Vol. 71, No. 2, February, 2020
- Opportunity knocks for chemical and cultural immersion 10 January 2020
Reaching out to area college and university faculty, but this is not about you.
The ACS Office of External Affairs/Global Outreach is launching a new program for summer, 2020, offering a few select undergraduates a research and cultural opportunity that really should not be missed. Please pass the word at your first opportunity; the application deadline is February 10th!
The International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) Program is an exchange program that allows talented young chemical and materials scientists to spend a summer conducting research in another country. Undergraduate students will spend 10-12 weeks working on frontier chemical and materials science research projects under the guidance of faculty mentors to sharpen scientific skills, develop collaborations with scientists abroad, and experience the life and culture of a foreign country.
For the summer of 2020, up to five students from the United States will be selected to conduct research at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Applicants have the opportunity to choose among three laboratory projects, working closely with NUS professors over the course of the summer. The entire program will be conducted in English, so no special language fluency is required. Only US citizens or permanent residents enrolled at a US university or college are eligible.
Deadline: Monday, February 10, 2020, at 11:29 pm EST. Details of the available projects and faculty mentors, as well as an online application are at the ACS IRES Singapore program page or email IRES@acs.org.
- 49th Annual Saint Louis Award Symposium and Banquet 13 January 2020
Submitted by Dr. John-Stephen Taylor, St. Louis Award Committee Chair
On October 25th, 2019 a symposium and banquet was held in honor of Dr. David Keire, this year’s 49 annual St. Louis Section ACS Awardee, for his outstanding contributions to the profession of chemistry and demonstrated potential to further the advancement of the chemical profession. The symposium “Keeping it Safe. Current challenges in the Analysis of Food and Drugs,” was attended by over 50 people from academics and industry in a state of the art lecture hall in the Academic and Research Building of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy (STLCOP). The attendees were welcomed by Dr. Benjamin Barth, Associate Professor of Chemistry at STLCOP, and immediate past chair of the section. Dr. Barth spoke of the great contributions of the local section to the community and introduced Dr. Larry Lee, Director of the FDA/CDER Office of Pharmaceutical Quality, Office of Testing and Research. Dr. Lee spoke of the great contributions that Dr. Keire has made to solving important problems in the analysis of conventional and biological drugs, and in upgrading the analytical and spectroscopic capabilities of the FDA in St. Louis.
Dr. Keire then spoke of the use of high field NMR for assaying the integrity of biological drugs such as filgrastin and valscartan. He also spoke of the recent discovery of NMDA, a carcinogenic nitroso compound found in certain drug preparations. Dr. Cindy Buhse of the FDA Office of Pharmaceutical Quality Office of Quality Surveillance then spoke about the challenges of staying ahead of potential problems by monitoring drug quality and inspecting manufacturers and reformulators. After a coffee break, Nicole Konsdorf of the NP Analytical Laboratories spoke of analytical methods for monitoring Vitamin D levels in pet food, which is of great importance since vitamin D accumulates in fatty tissue and is toxic to dogs at high levels. Dr. Justin Sperry of Pfizer then talked about how the stability of newly developed monoclonal antibodies and gene therapy drugs can be monitored by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. The symposium ended on an appropriate note with a presentation by Dr. Matt Vincent of the Budweiser Technical Center of Anheuser-Busch/In-Bev. He described how he used analytical gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry to solve manufacturing and distribution problems that result in off-tasting and smelling beer. Needless to say, the Busch/In-Bev beer served at the reception that followed tasted great!
The symposium and reception was immediately followed by a Banquet at the Glen Echo country Club, which was attended by many members of the local ACS section and guests. The attendees were then called to dinner, where Benjamin Barth introduced David Keire and his wife and thanked him for putting on such a great symposium. He then introduced Dr. Keire’s guests, and elected members of the local section and former St. Louis Section ACS award winners. Everyone was then treated to a great dinner of a mixed green salad, tenderloin Oscar, and cherries jubilee. While people were enjoying their dessert and coffee, Dr. Benjamin Barth presented Dr. Keire with St. Louis Section ACS Award after which Dr. Keire was introduced by Dr. Lee, who extoled his important contributions to the FDA, and to maintaining the safety of drugs. Dr. Keire then gave a fascinating talk about his upbringing and adventures in life, from working with his father’s bee hives as a child, to taking fractions from an industrial distillation column at a refinery and determining the octane rating by the knocking sound when combusted in an octane engine. Finally, he described his transatlantic sailing adventure with his uncle, where they had to negotiate more than one gale with 20 foot waves. Ben closed the proceedings thanking everyone for attending and the staff and chef of the Glen Echo Country for the fine service and food and wished everyone a safe trip home.
(All photos courtesy of Jim O’Brien)
- Cocktails/Coffee with Chemists resumes in 2020 22 January 2020
The outreach program Cocktails/Coffee with Chemists, initiated last year by Natalie LaFranzo, continues in 2020, coordinated by Tabbetha Bohac. The popular series of meet-ups jumps around St Louis geographically, calendrically, and horologically in an effort to reach as many area scientists as possible. Join one or more of these monthly events!
For January, it’s a “Cocktails”, on January 30th, 6-8 pm, at 4 Hands Brewing Company. We’ve got a space reserved upstairs – just ask for the Cocktails with Chemists event! This is an informal event and meant to serve as a networking opportunity for all local chemists and scientists; come and go as you please. ACS Membership not required, but we’d love to tell you more about it! Bring business cards, if you have them, to pass around.
If this time/date/place doesn’t work for you, join the Meetup to hear about future Coffees and Cocktails with Chemists events.
- Calling all genders to the Global Women’s Breakfast 24 January 2020
Coffee with Chemists in February is a special event in conjunction with the IUPAC Global Women‘s Breakfast (GWB). This event celebrates women and girls in STEM with a breakfast that starts in New Zealand, circles the world with the sun, and ends in Hawaii.
The STLACS iteration:
February 12, 2020, 7:30 – 9:00 am
at La Bonne Bouchee
12344 Olive Blvd, Creve Coeur, MO 63141
Of course, all genders are welcome. We‘ll have our normal social time plus a bit of programming related to the GWB 2020 theme, Building bonds to create future leaders. Please register to reserve your spot. Can’t make it this month? No problem. Join the Meetup and get notified when we post next month‘s event.
More information from IUPAC on the GWB.
Contact Tabbetha Bohac with questions.
- Kevin Moeller is Cope Scholar 26 January 2020It’s always nice when your opinion of someone is reinforced by others. So it is with Kevin D Moeller, Professor of Chemistry at Washington University.
Kevin is our 2019 Midwest Award winner. And he is now among the 2020 class of Arthur C Cope Scholars, announced by the American Chemical Society earlier this month.
His award citation reads, “For seminal contributions to the field of organic chemistry through the expoloration of new radical cation intermediates and the development of novel electrochemical methods.” Moeller noted that synthetic electro-organic chemistry (or any other way you concatenate the prefixes … electrosynthetic organic chemistry?) has not always been a “thing”. Says Moeller, “We have been pursuing electrochemistry as a tool for synthesis for over 30 years. For the first 20 or more of those years, we did so against the backdrop of an at-times very skeptical synthetic community.”
Good to see that skepticism, and the career hurdles it erected, are past. We congratulate Kevin for his selection as a Cope Scholar, and say “See, what did we tell you?!”
- Our Committee for Minority Affairs Represents at NOBCChE 2019 27 January 2020
submitted by Dr. Michael Hankins
The St. Louis ACS Committee for Minority Affairs (CMA) were invited to participate in the Welcome Ceremony for the 2019 National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) Conference held at Washington University’s Danforth Campus. Students were invited to come as a “prequel” to the events at Union Station to become more immersed in local St. Louis area programs and resources. The St. Louis ACS CMA hosted an informational table for students to learn more about the ACS and its supports.
The students were very eager to inquire about the resources ACS provides. The majority of the students were from a chemical engineering background and many of them have either never heard of ACS or had the notion that ACS was for pure chemists only. Fortunately we had several copies of C&EN News Magazine to debunk the myth! Some of the students were interested in joining also!
I believe the visit was impactful for the students. The greater part of my discussions with the students involved their preparation for the next steps. Some were seeking graduate schools, while others were seeking employment after finishing their degrees. I was able to assure them that networking through ACS was a good way to accomplish both. I also believe the NOBCChE visit was a great way to recruit chemical engineering students. In addition, it provides an excellent background for inviting minority students to participate in ACS. Several students were encouraged by my presence (a black male chemistry professor) and asked for my personal business card in addition to the local ACS card. The NOBCChE Conference participation was a fantastic way to be more intentional about diversity and inclusion.
- Call for Nominations: Saint Louis Award 2020 30 January 2020
Nominations are solicited for the St Louis Award, which has been sponsored Bayer and administered by the St Louis Section–ACS. Nominees should be individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the profession of chemistry and demonstrated potential to further the advancement of the chemical profession. The awardee is selected by a review committee constituted by the St Louis Section–ACS. The award, consisting of a $1,500 honorarium and a plaque, is presented at the St Louis Award Banquet, which is typically held in October during National Chemical Week.
At the time of the nomination, nominees must not have previously received the Midwest Award or any national ACS-sponsored award. Nominees must be members or affiliates of the St Louis Section of the ACS. Nomination packets received by April 30 are considered for award presentation in October.
Nomination packages (vide infra) should be prepared as a single Portable Document Format (PDF) file and sent by email to John-Stephen Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org
Nomination letters, required as an integral component of the nomination PDF-file-package, can be formally addressed to:
John-Stephen Taylor, Ph.D.
ACS Saint Louis Award Coordinator
Department of Chemistry
Campus Box 1134
1 Brookings Drive
Saint Louis, Missouri 63130.
Nomination packages (single PDF-file) should include, in this order:
- a face page with the award name, the nominees name, and the date of the nomination;
- a nominating letter, which includes note of any significant activities with the Local Section;
- two additional seconding letters (not more) from individuals who have had a close professional affiliation with the nominee;
- a brief biography of the nominee (one page or less);
- a concise description of the nominee’s chief accomplishments in the field (one page or less); and
- a list of publications and patents.
Additional details can be found at URL http://www.stlacs.org/st-louis-award/.
- Battle of the Burets this month at SIUe 31 January 2020
The annual Battle of the Burets titration face-off will be hosted again this year by SIU–Edwardsville on Monday, February 24th in 2075 Science West. Pizza begins at 6:00 pm; then pizzas-down, goggles-on buret-wielding at 6:30.
Each school may send up to two teams of two students each. Each student will do three individual titrations; the group score is the sum of the scores for the team.
If you are a high school chemistry teacher and you have not received an email with registration information, please contact the coordinator by email or phone (below). If you are a high school chemistry student (or know one) and haven’t heard about this competition from your teacher, it’s time to start bugging your teacher.
Registration deadline is 4 pm on Monday, Feb 17th.
Students’ attire must cover the legs and feet; splash goggles must be worn in the lab. Please park in the visitor lot (pay lot, $1/hr); reimbursement is available upon request.
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