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Chemical Bond — April 2016

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Chemical Bond logo

Vol. 67, No. 4, April 2016

Saint Louis Award: Call for Nominations

Nominations are solicited for the St Louis Award, which is sponsored by the Monsanto Company 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 <>.

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
Washington University
1 Brookings Drive
Saint Louis, Missouri 63130

Nomination packages (single PDF-file) should include, in this order:

I. a face page with the award name, the nominees name, and the date of the nomination;
II. a nominating letter, which includes note of any significant activities with the Local Section;
III. two additional seconding letters (not more) from individuals who have had a close professional affiliation with the nominee;
IV. a brief biography of the nominee (one page or less);
V. a concise description of the nominee’s chief accomplishments in the field (one page or less); and
VI. a list of publications and patents.

Additional details can be found at URL

Awards Night 2016

Save the date!

April 18, 2016

Awards Night will be held this year at Maggiano’s on the Boulevard (across Brentwood Blvd from the Galleria, (map).

Winners of the high school chemistry contest, the high school chemistry teacher-of-the-year, and the outstanding junior chemistry students at area colleges and universities are all recognized.

6:00 PM – Reception/social hour
6:30 PM – Dinner
7:45 PM – Awards program

All are welcome, whether you’re coming to applaud a particular honoree or not. Student winners and High School teachers receive a complimentary dinner; others may attend for $25 each. RSVP by Tuesday, April 12, to the Awards Night coordinator, Leah O’Brien at or 618-650-3562.

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Junior Chemistry Student Award Winners 2016

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Outstanding Junior Chemistry Student awards for 2016. Each college and university in the local section territory chooses its winner; all will be feted at Awards Night on April 18 (see related article).

Greenville College: Lincoln Johnson
Lindenwood University: Hannah Rector
Maryville University: Callie S. Weber
Principia College: Fiona Waller
Saint Louis University*: Anna M. Priddy
Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville*: Abbie Fox
University of Missouri – St. Louis*: John Zhou
Washington University*: Grace Zhang

* ACS Approved Programs

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Recognizing Recognition Night 2016

Doing justice to Recognition Night is challenging. There are so many excellent people, recognizers and recognees, so many achievements, and so much good fellowship! And our photo-documentarian, Vic Lewchenko, doesn’t help matters by taking so many fine pictures. In an effort to avoid tl;dr syndrome, it’s necessary to truncate. Please don’t interpret truncation as indicating lesser excellence.

The program, in brief:

  • Lots of smiling faces during social hour preceding the main event
  • Intro by Chair Joseph Ackerman
  • Presentation of (five) 50-year awards by Chair-elect Natalie LaFranzo: Earl Beaver, Ralph Burns, Surendra Gupta, Norman Jamieson, and George Podolsky
  • Rhonda Woerndle receives Science & Technology Award
  • Bill Doub receives Distinguished Service Award
  • Lisa Balbes receives plaque as local section outreach volunteer-of-the-year
  • Fourteen past, present, and future Chairs of the section gather for photo op
  • Pegah Jalili receives plaque in recognition of her service as 2015 Chair and then …
  • …performs her final official Chair act by delivering the after-dinner talk, Development of Stable-isotope-labeled Proteins for Quantitative Mass Spectrometry

Bill Doub receives the Distinguished Service Award from Chair-Elect Natalie LaFranzo

Bill Doub receives the Distinguished Service Award from Chair-Elect Natalie LaFranzo

Natalie LaFranzo presenting the Science & Technology Award to Rhonda Woerndle

Natalie LaFranzo presenting the Science & Technology Award to Rhonda Woerndle

Crowd tunes in to after-dinner talk by Pegah Jalili

Crowd tunes in to after-dinner talk by Pegah Jalili

The full set of photos from Recognition Night can be viewed on Vic Lewchenko’s Flickr page.

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Sci/Tech Award to Rhonda Woerndle

Rhonda Woerndle

Rhonda Woerndle

Rhonda Woerndle, process development chemist at Monsanto, has won the 2016 St Louis Section Chemical Science & Technology Award. The announcement came from the Award coordinator and past winner, David Rhee.

Rhonda received her undergraduate chemistry degree with honors in 1999 from Knox College in Galesburg, IL; soon thereafter she started her career as a synthetic organic chemist at MediChem Research in Des Plaines, IL. Next, Rhonda joined Pharmacia/Pfizer and was quickly promoted to Senior Research Scientist as part of the worldwide medicinal chemistry group. As an R&D organic chemist, Rhonda’s strength in synthesis and growing knowledge of drug design helped her contribute to the discovery of preclinical cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory drug candidates.

While at Pfizer, she completed her Master’s Degree in Biology at Washington University in St Louis, summa cum laude, in 2010. As a leader in the Pfizer Science Outreach organization, Rhonda helped develop chemistry and physics hands-on lessons, then presented them to students across the greater St Louis metro area.

Rhonda began her work at Monsanto in 2010 in the Technology Pipeline Solutions (TPS) group at a Scientific Software Specialist. In 2012, she decided to take advantage of a research opportunity that allowed her apply her synthetic expertise as part of the herbicide process development team. Over the last 3+ years, Rhonda has helped advance the understanding utility of a key synthetic sequence to produce critical intermediates in the production of an herbicide. Her work enabled the pilot scale-up of the process, and will potentially impact manufacturing of the herbicide.

Rhonda has participated in the Young Women in Science Career Panel, volunteered as a Greater St Louis Science Fair judge, and is a member of Monsanto’s WiSE (Women in Science Exchange). Each summer, she indulges her passion for mentoring elite high school juniors in scientific writing that showcases their collegiate-level research in the STARS (Students and Teachers As Research Scientists) Program at University of Missouri–St Louis.

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We have winners, lots of winners (of the HS Chem Contest)

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

The examination for the 2016 High School Chemistry Contest was given last Friday and Saturday, March 11th and 12th. Myron Reese, coordinator of the contest, has announced the results:

  Student School Teacher
1st Ben Langton John Burroughs School Eric Knispel
2nd Tong Zhao Clayton High School Brad Krone
3rd Liam Storan John Burroughs School Eric Knispel
4th William Howlett John Burroughs School Eric Knispel
5th Daniel Wang Westminster Christian Academy Andrew Shaw
HM Dominic Pancella St. Louis University High School Charles Busenhart
HM Nathan Tung John Burroughs School Eric Knispel
HM Elizabeth Nguyen Clayton High School Brad Krone
HM Erin Kotzbauer Clayton High School Brad Krone
HM Hunter Sigmund John Burroughs School Eric Knispel
HM Mallory Rubin Clayton High School Brad Krone
HM Adam Bagna John Burroughs School Eric Knispel
HM Max Krupnick John Burroughs School Eric Knispel
HM Charles Brennan Clayton High School Brad Krone
HM Nick Kime John Burroughs School Eric Knispel
  Student School Teacher
1st Harry Rubin Clayton High School Nathan Peck
2nd Sravya Ainapurapu Lafayette High School Jeff Marx
3rd Noah Sock John Burroughs School Marina Smallwood
4th Gajan Kumar Parkway Central High School Beth Karfs
5th Emily Sharp Clayton High School Nathan Peck
HM Aditya Cowsik Clayton High School Nathan Peck
HM Daniel Greenblatt Clayton High School Nathan Peck
HM Nicholas Lee Clayton High School Nathan Peck
HM Haran Kumar Parkway West High School Jan Keller
HM Alex Luckerman Parkway Central High School Beth Karfs
HM Tiger Chen Clayton High School Nathan Peck
HM Matthew Perkins Marquette High School Steve Schmitt
HM Sai Allu Lafayette High School Jeff Marx
HM Dallin Richards Parkway West High School Jan Keller
HM Shoshana Williams John Burroughs School Marina Smallwood

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The High Resolution NMR Facility at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) provides a service to the local business community and can help foster economic development. UMSL’s High Resolution NMR Facility can help your company’s scientific endeavors by providing data collection and analysis on one of three high resolution NMR spectrometers, an Agilent DD2 600 MHz, a Bruker Avance 300 MHz, and a Varian Unity Plus 300 MHz. Dr. Rensheng Luo is the Manager of the NMR Facility and he has more than 20 years’ experience in NMR theory and applications.

For more information about our instruments and commendations about our service, please click here. Contact Dr. Rensheng Luo at phone 314-516-5330 or email: to arrange service today!


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Presenting the 2016 MO Tri-county Science Fair Honors winners

On Saturday, February 27th, Wentzville Holt High School hosted the Missouri Tri-County Science Fair (Honors Division). Our intrepid science fairy (is it OK to call you that, Sheryl Loux?) has reported the following projects/scientists as winners in the chemistry-themed category.

  • First Place: Yushin Lee and Sydney Thomas, Grade 12, Fort Zumwalt North High School, O’Fallon, MO: The Effects of 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde on the Amyloid Formation of α-Synuclein.
  • Second Place: Rachael Neff, Grade 12, Wentzville Holt High School, Wentzville, MO: Elucidation of the VP35 Protein in Myotis sp.
  • Third Place: Hannah Steber, Grade 12, Wentzville Holt High School, Wentzville, MO: KATP Channel Expression and Behavior in Danio rerio β-cells.

We hope we speak for the Section when we say “Congratulations” to the winners and all the competitors who stretched themselves to compete.

Yushin Lee and Sydney Thomas of Fort Zumwalt North High School

Yushin Lee and Sydney Thomas of Fort Zumwalt North High School

Rachael Neff, Wentzville Holt High School

Rachael Neff, Wentzville Holt High School

Hannah Steber of Wentzville Holt High School

Hannah Steber of Wentzville Holt High School

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STLACS Annual Picnic

section_picnicSigns of spring forbode signs of summer, one of which is our Section Picnic, this year’s being the 12th! The date and venue are set.

Date: June 25, 1–5 pm
Place: the Webster Groves home of our excellent hosts, Joe and Brenda Ackerman. That would be 355 Rosedale Place, Webster Groves, MO 63119. (map)

All members and their families are invited. We usually get a good mix of old-timers and new faces, spouses, kids.

Please let us know by June 10th if you are coming (and how many “you” are). Email your RSVP or questions to

— lunch at 1:30 PM
— games
— networking
— of course great people!

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STL-ACS Sponsored Career Day at UMSL

Dear Science Educator,

We invite you and your students to Career Day sponsored by the American Chemical Society. This is to be held at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. The date for this event is Friday May 6th, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The objective is to introduce your students to careers involving chemistry and biochemistry and have them witness activities in those areas. It includes tours of research laboratories and instrument facilities, and Chemistry Demonstrations by the UM-St. Louis Chemistry Club. A lunch (pizza, etc.) starting at about 11:30 a.m. concludes the event. The tours follow a brief introduction where Just What is Chemistry and What Careers Involve Chemistry are considered. Chemistry and biochemistry are very much “central sciences” and other careers such as those in healthcare involve these disciplines. In the department tour, research in biochemistry, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry will be featured and major instruments to be shown and demonstrated include X-ray Diffraction, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Mass Spectrometry and Electron Microscopy.

Your school schedule is likely already very crowded, but please consider how valuable this experience may be for your students as they consider their college and future career options.

Please respond by Friday April 22nd, 2016 to to Michelle Haley (, or phone 314-516-5311) to inform us that you will attend. Please let us know how many students will accompany you so that complete arrangements for food and setting up tour groups may be made. Please include an e-mail address in your response to this invitation. The day involves lots of activities so please plan to be punctual. For those who can attend, additional information will be provided subsequently by e-mail. We again are contacting science educators by e-mail rather than by traditional mailing. Please note: our budget for this event does not include the cost of transportation for attendees but free parking will be provided. Additional details concerning the program that is planned can be obtained from Keith Stine or Jim O’Brien; their contact information is given below.

Professors Keith Stine and James J. O’Brien
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
One University Blvd.
St. Louis, Missouri 63121
(314) 516-5346 (Keith Stine)
(314) 516-5717 (Jim O’Brien)
FAX (314)-516-5342;

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You Can be a Science Fair Judge

for the St. Louis Section’s Science Fair Chemistry Awards!

Volunteer by replying to Sheryl J. Loux at (636-237-5149)

2016 Fairs the American Chemical Society (ACS) St. Louis Section are judging:

9AM-12 noon K-4 Participation awards (not judged), Grades 5-8, and 9-12 (not honors 9-12) Free Judges breakfast 8-9 AM.
Where: Francis Howell North High (in cafeteria), 2549 Hackman Road, Saint Charles, Mo 63303

2.) GREATER ST LOUIS SCIENCE FAIR will be Wednesday April 27, 2016
Greater St. Louis Elementary and Secondary Science Fairs located at Edgar M. Queeny Park Recreation Complex, 550 Weidman Rd, Ballwin, MO 63011 in West St. Louis County. Dinner for judges is free at site (5-6:00 PM).

Elementary (K-5) Participation Awards distributed to chemistry-related projects. Three people needed for about 1 hour each between 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM Wednesday, April 27, 2015 No Judging involved.

Secondary (6-12) Judging of chemistry-related projects 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM (Please come for at least 2.5 hours) Wednesday, April 27, 2015 All secondary judges must be present at 8:30 PM to pick winners –Please allow about 1 additional hour for this process.

Your Participation as an ACS Judge would be Greatly Appreciated!

St. Louis Section of the American Chemical Society Science Fair Chemistry Awards
2016 Co-Coordinators Sheryl Loux (, 636-237-5149 and GSM Sundaram (; (314) 258-5048).

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Natalie LaFranzo appointed Chair of national Younger Chemists Committee

Natalie LaFranzo, Chair-elect of the St Louis Local Section, has been appointed Chair of the national Younger Chemists Committee (YCC), serving in 2016. Natalie became involved with the Committee in 2012, when she won a Leadership Development Award to attend the annual Young Leaders track at the ACS Leadership Development Institute in Dallas. In 2014 and 2015, Natalie served as Chair of the Communications subcommittee.

portrait: Natalie LaFranzo

Natalie LaFranzo

As national Chair, Natalie will lead the activities of the YCC, which include symposia/programming such as the annual YCC Fun Run at national meetings, award opportunities tailored to younger chemists, and mentorship of local section YCCs.

Natalie is eager to improve communications between the YCC and other Divisions and Committees of the Society, expand YCC programming at national meetings, and engage young chemists to become active within the Society, to ultimately benefit themselves, their peers, and the ACS at large.

About the YCC

The Younger Chemists Committee advocates for and provides resources to early-career chemists and professionals in the chemical sciences and related fields. The YCC addresses specific issues facing younger chemists within the ACS and serves as a voice to the Society on behalf of younger chemists.

Established in 1974, the YCC is a joint Board-Council committee of the ACS consisting of thirty-three members and associates. Along with its many alumni, the committee represents a wide range of industrial, governmental, and academic fields and serves as the voice of younger chemists in the ACS. Committee associates and members are appointed for one- or three-year terms by the ACS President and Chairman of the Board and may be reappointed until the age of 35. During their term on the YCC, members and associates may choose to serve on various subcommittees and task forces.

The YCC meets twice per year at national ACS meetings, sponsors programs targeted at younger chemists at national and regional ACS meetings, organizes and mentors local section YCCs, maintains the YCC website as a communication tool and information resource, publishes the YCC newsletter, and represents the younger chemists within the ACS governing organization.

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Council business, San Diego 2016

logo_nm251Our Councilors have reported from San Diego, where the 251st ACS National Meeting is wrapping up today. As usual, they have provided “Councilor Talking Points,” a document that summarizes the actions of various Council committees and Council at large. Lol Barton was quickest on the [Attach] and [Send] tool buttons this meeting. Thanks, Lol.

Picking out some that might be of general interest:

  • Peter K Dorhout and Thomas R Gilbert were nominated for 2017 President-Elect. They, along with any candidates qualifying via petition, will be on the national ACS ballot in October. If you know of someone (including yourself) who you believe is qualified for ACS national office, you are urged to contact one of our Councilors.
  • Baseline membership dues will be $166 next year, applying the full inflation adjustment permitted in the ACS Bylaws.
  • At the close of 2015, there were almost 157,000 members of the American Chemical Society, incuding 25,000 who joined in 2015. The total is down 0.96% from the same date in 2014.
  • Total registration at the San Diego national meeting was 16,327.
  • In addition to its executive session, the Board of Directors had an open session with a guest speaker. New York Times reporter Amy Harmon delivered “Telling Science Stories: Dispatch from the Conflict Zone,” addressing social implications of science and technology.

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meetings and seminars heading

Board of Directors

St Louis Section–ACS Board of Directors meets the second Thursday of each month, usually at the Glen Echo Country Club (map and driving directions). Meetings are open to all members, and all are encouraged to attend. Elected officers and chairs of major committees vote on questions put to the Board; others in attendance have voice but no vote.

If you want to attend for dinner, please contact the section Chair at least a week in advance. Usual cost of the dinner is $21 ($12 for post-docs and unemployed members). Bar service and dessert are optional extras. Members wishing to become active in section activities are welcomed for their first dinner as guests of the section.

Date: Apr 14
Social hour, cash bar: 5:30 pm
Business meeting: 6:30 pm (suspended for dinner when served)
Future meetings: May 12, Sept 8

Saint Louis University

Seminars are generally on Fridays at 12 noon in Carlo Auditorium, Tegeler Hall, unless noted otherwise. Refreshments follow. For the most up-to-date information, refer to the department’s seminar page or contact Brent Znosko,

University of Missouri–St Louis

Mondays at 4 pm in 451 Benton Hall, unless otherwise specified. Refreshments 15 minutes prior to seminar time. For timely information on visiting seminar speakers, contact the Chemistry Department, 314.516.5311, or visit the seminar schedule. The department has additional seminar series which are also accessible from this page.

Washington University

Seminars are in McMillen 311 at 4 pm unless otherwise noted. For information, consult the departmental events page. Related seminars, including endowed seminar series and the WU med school biochemistry series, are linked here as well.

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about the Chemical Bond

The Chemical Bond is published at January through May and September through December by the St Louis Section–American Chemical Society. If you would like to receive email notification when each issue is posted, you can subscribe to our email list and join the “Chemical Bond reminders” group.

Correspondence, letters to the editor, etc., should be emailed to
or mailed ℅ St Louis Section–ACS, PO Box 410192, Saint Louis, MO 63141-0192

Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society and the St Louis Section–ACS

Editor Margaret Allen
Associate Editor Eric Ressner 314.962.6415
Assistant Editor &
Advertising Manager
Keith Stine 314.516.5346
Business Manager Donna Friedman 314.513.4388