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Khalid Baig Mirza defends his Ph.D. thesis at Drexel University on December 6, 2010 (advisor JC Bradley). He first discusses Open Notebook Science and his contribution to the sodium hydride oxidation controversy. Then he describes the UsefulChem project, involving the use of the Ugi reaction as an approach to synthesizing new anti-malarial agents, including a few unexpected side reactions and challenges. Finally he presents an overview of the ONS Solubility Challenge and its application to organic synthesis.