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CORE Newsletter, Issue 3 - July 2020

Welcome to the CORE newsletter!
The biannual CORE newsletter has the goal to keep you updated on all CORE related activities. If you have any news, ideas or comments to share feel free to contact us!

Welcome to the third newsletter from the CORE Network

This newsletter finds the world in a different place, and COVID-19 has also impacted on the CORE Network, with delayed experiments, shortened secondments  and postponed PhD defences. Now that the situation slowly moves towards a new normal, we realise that the CORE network quickly approaches its end this year. While it is sad that such a fruitful cooperation will soon finish, it is great to see the excellent theses being produced, and the ESRs finding employment beyond their PhD project. Great results on the deracemization of chiral compounds have been achieved in the network, several of which can be found in this newsletter. Alongside the publications in the scientific literature, other aspects of the training of the early stage researchers (ESRs) are highlighted. In addition, as a way to engage as a network with society, we have created two videos on the network and its work on the interesting chiral pharmaceutical Praziquantel. Check these out below, and please share!

We wish you happy reading of the many network activities, as well as the exciting science that you will find in this newsletter. 

Joop ter Horst (CORE Network Coordinator) and Elias Vlieg (Core Network Dissemination Committee Chair).

Keeping in touch during lockdown: the CORE ESRs on a video call amid the COVID-19 situation



CORE Video Project

As the work of the CORE Network comes to an end, colleagues at the University of Strathclyde, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg and Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Germany (MPI) have created two short videos about the Network.
The first video provides a general overview of the network aims and the impact of the research, and features contributions from Project Coordinator Prof. Joop ter Horst, Beneficiary Partner Prof. Andreas Seidel-Morgenstern and Associate Partner Prof. Heike Lorenz, as well as CORE ESRs Francesca Cascella and Raghunath Venkatramanan.
The second video focuses specifically on the science behind the project, and features CORE ESR Maxime Charpentier explaining the story of the drug Praziquantel and how the network contributes to improving the drug's effectiveness.
We hope that you enjoy these videos, and kindly ask that you share them among your own networks!


Most recent publications
Download the full publication list, conference/workshop posters, book chapters or blog posts,
Published papers can be obtained upon request from the project manager.

Success Stories

CORE Project, European Commission Article

The European Commission recently published a success story about the CORE ITN:

The EU-funded CORE project is helping to develop safer, more effective medicines by improving the processes pharmaceutical companies use to separate mirror-image pharmaceutical molecules, which will boost the industry's efficiency and competitiveness.

To read the full article, click here:

ESR Post-Fellowship Successes

Although some of the CORE Early Stage Researchers continue to work for the Network and start to approach the conclusion of their studies, a number of them have found success following the conclusion of their Marie-Curie Fellowships. ESR Ryusei Oketani has begun a postdoctoral position at the Université libre de Bruxelles, while ESR Johannes Hoffmann is now working at Johnson & Johnson in Belgium.

Viva Successes

We are delighted that since the last CORE Newsletter, we have had five viva successes.
  • Carola Tortora (Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen) "Organocatalysts and Enzymes for Racemization", July 2020
  • Johannes Hoffmann (University of Strathclyde) "Continuous Crystallization enables Chiral Synthesis", June 2020
  • Lina Harfouche (University of Rouen) "Screening of Chiral Solid State and Phase Diagram", May 2020
  • Aliou Mbodji (University of Rouen) "Discovering Conglomerates", May 2020
  • Ryusei Oketani (University of Rouen) "Optimization of Second Order Asymmetric Transformation (SOAT)", December 2019

Journal Cover Profile

An image by ESRs Carola Tortora and Giuseppe Belletti was chosen as the cover for this issue of Chemistry: A European Journal. The picture displays a population of racemic conglomerate crystals of a BINOL derivative undergoing deracemization through Viedma ripening, leading to the formation of enantiopure crystals. This research represents the first successful Viedma ripening deracemization of a chiral compound with the use of a cheap and green source, such as UV light, as a racemization tool. 
Read the full text of the article at 10.1002/chem.201904382. : “Photoracemization‐Based Viedma Ripening of a BINOL Derivative” Giuseppe Belletti, Carola Tortora, Indradevi D. Mellema, Paul Tinnemans, Hugo Meekes, P.J.T. Rutjes, Svetlana B. Tsogoeva and Elias Vlieg (2019) Chemistry: A European Journal

CORE Research Work Packages

WP3: Towards Continuous (ESRs 1 to 4)
With seven published papers so far, and more in the making, Work Package 3 has already contributed well towards the goal of continuous resolution of chiral conglomerate-forming compounds and of racemic compound-forming systems at the eutectic. Process simulations and experimental work based on either preferential crystallization and temperature cycling have been the main routes investigated considering several case studies.

WP4: Hybrid Resolution (ESRs 5 to 9)
With some of the ESRs already finished, the results of this work package are nearing completion. In all topics covered by WP4, significant progress has been made, often through the collaboration of several ESRs.

Mitigating the bottle-neck of racemization has been the topic of Giulio Valenti (using a separate reaction cell) and of a collaboration of Carola Tortora and Giuseppe Belletti (using photoracemization in combination with Viedma ripening for the first time). Francesca Breveglieri has experimentally mapped out the parameter space of temperature cycling, while Ryusei Oketani has studied second-order asymmetric transformation in great detail and compared it with other racemization routes.

WP5: Enabling Resolution (ESRs 10 to 15)
With some of the ESRs finished or close to finishing, Work Package 5 has focused on different tasks covering i) co-crystal predictions and analysis for new conglomerate-forming systems; ii) conglomerate detection using second harmonic generation (SHG); iii) resolution of racemic systems through their stable/metastable conglomerate and of conglomerate co-crystals by means of preferential crystallization processes and iv) development of Process Analytical Tools (PAT) for online monitoring of resolution processes. Eight publications by this WP are now available and more have been submitted/will soon be submitted. 


During the CORE project, the 15 ESRs spend part of their research training with network partners undertaking visits/ secondments. The goal of each visit/ secondment is to prepare joint scientific papers. For all ESRs, visits/ secondments are planned at the secondary supervisor institute, at an academic partner as well as at an industrial partner. In addition to their knowledge skills development, the secondments provide interdisciplinary training and intersectoral awareness will be facilitated. The duration of each secondment is planned together with the host supervisors.  

Recently Completed:
Shashank Bhandari, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany.
Host: Process System Enterprise (PSE), UK,  November 2019.

Ghufran ur Rehman, University of Manchester, UK.
Host: Merck KGaA - Central Process Development PM-OT / Cryst.Lab PM-OTS-D, Germany - November 2019.

Ghufran ur Rehman, University of Manchester, UK.
Host: ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich), Switzerland, September-October 2019.

The most recent blog post by Louise Lejeune, a Masters student who recently did an internship working with members of the CORE team, "An Internship Abroad", in which Louise reflects on her time at Strathclyde, which was sadly cut short by the COVID-19 situation:

Our industry partner, Dr Mihaela Pop from TeraCrystal (Associate Partner) has also kindly written a blog post about the experience of being part of the CORE training network from "An Industry Perspective":

Another blog post since the last newsletter is an interview with two of our CORE Early Stage Researchers, Francesca Cascella and Ghufran ur Rehman:

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