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Early-Career Chemistry Researchers Tell How Reaxys Supports Their Innovative Work

Posted on April 20th, 2021 by in Chemistry

The Reaxys PhD Prize is a global competition that recognizes accomplished young chemists for their innovative research. The only requirements to participate are that one must be in the process of completing a PhD, or recently have completed one – and it can be in any discipline of chemistry.

For 10 years now, Elsevier has been proud to promote exciting research from early-career scientists through this competition (read about the 10th anniversary symposium) and is also honored to be able to help them do this important work through the use of tools like Reaxys.

The three winners of the 2020 Reaxys PhD Prize have all made good use of this expertly-curated chemistry database in their work:

Jianchun Wang, PhD thinks that every organic chemist would agree that Reaxys is a very useful and user-friendly tool, and provides an example of how he uses it. “When we want to run a reaction, and especially if it’s one we don’t know that well, we can search on a different set of conditions and compare which one is most promising,” he explains. “We can search other disciplines, such as medicinal chemistry, if it’s likely they’re using something similar, and if we discover something we think is new, we can check whether it’s a known reaction. It saves a lot of time and introduces you to a lot of new information.”

Fellow prize winner Rupert Procter, PhD, finds that Reaxys is a valuable tool in his discipline as well. “I use Reaxys to find out how to make all the compounds I need for my research. That’s pretty much what you do in synthetic chemistry – you make stuff,” he says. “Reaxys can help you find good conditions quickly, which speeds up the process a lot.”

Keiichi Yano, PhD also appreciates that Reaxys gets him better results faster. “I used Reaxys when I made my new molecule,” he shares. “It’s kind of a tricky molecule, with three parts: a core part, a side chain part and a termini part. Each of those are very sensitive to reaction conditions such as basic or acidic. So it’s kind of tough to make an optimized reaction. Plus, in my research, it requires a lot of material, so process optimization is really important — you can’t afford to get it wrong and Reaxys helps me get it right. In that regards, Reaxys plays a very important role in ensuring I can synthesize enough quantity of my materials.”

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