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Chemical Bond — December 2016

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Vol. 67, No. 9, December 2016

Continuity Dinner

The annual Continuity Dinner this year will be a combined Board of Directors meeting (where non-Board members have voice but no vote) and a general meeting of the Section (where all Section members have a vote, including a vote on the revised bylaws).

The ACS St. Louis Section Board of Directors worked diligently over the past several months to make revisions to the bylaws. These bylaw revisions have been approved both by the ACS St. Louis Section Board of Directors and ACS National Constitution and Bylaws committee. There will be a vote by the membership to approve the bylaw revisions at the Continuity Dinner. Please address any comments, queries, or concerns about the bylaws to Donna Friedman.

What: ACS St. Louis Section Continuity Dinner
When: Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Where: Bristol Seafood Grill (in the Creve Coeur Room)
11801 Olive Blvd,
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

The charge will be $28 per attendee with a cash bar.

Please contact Section Chair Joe Ackerman at for late RSVPs. Reservations will be accepted through Dec 4.

2016 STL ACS election results

2016 local section election results are final. Introducing newly elected board members:

Chair – Elect: Ben Barth
Secretary: Henry Rohrs
Treasurer: Jeff Cornelius
Councilor: Eric Bruton
Alt Councilor: Christopher D Spilling
Directors: Jim O’Brien, Bill Doub, Derek Redmore

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2016 STLACS Undergraduate Research Symposium

Attendees and presenters at the 2016 ACS Undergraduate Research Symposium. (photo, Susan D. Wiediger

Attendees and presenters at the 2016 ACS Undergraduate Research Symposium. (photo, Susan D. Wiediger

The 2016 ACS-St. Louis Section Undergraduate Research Symposium was held Friday November 4th from 2:30-5:00 p.m. in the Science Laboratory West building at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Sixteen presenters shared work from twelve projects. Area institutions represented included Greenville College, Maryville University, Webster University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, St. Louis University, and the University of Missouri – St. Louis. This year the symposium was in the fall instead of in the spring, which means projects ranged from summer research programs to multi-year endeavors. From ICP-OES on paper samples, through separations and syntheses, to bioassays, most fields of chemistry had a topic represented.

The quality or projects and presentations was very high, making the judges’ task quite difficult and keeping more than fifty attendees very engaged in learning about the chemistry being done. Awards were made to the following students (note that not all co-authors and collaborators are listed):

Award recipients at the 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium, from left to right: John Zhou (UMSL, 3rd place), Abbie Fox (SIUE, 1st place), Ben Ingenthron (Webster University, 4thplace), Daniel Wright (SLU, 2nd place) (photo Jim O’Brien)

Award recipients at the 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium, from left to right: John Zhou (UMSL, 3rd place), Abbie Fox (SIUE, 1st place), Ben Ingenthron (Webster University, 4thplace), Daniel Wright (SLU, 2nd place) (photo Jim O’Brien)

1st: Abbie Fox, mentored by Dr. Sarah Luesse of SIUE, for “Component variation in Ugi-Smiles reactions: Qualitative rate studies”

2nd: Daniel Wright, mentored by Dr. Brent Znosko of SLU, for “Thermodynamic characterization of inosine·cytosine pairs located within RNA Watson-Crick helices”

3rd: John Zhou, mentored by Dr. Alexei Demchenko of UMSL, for “The H-bond-mediated Aglycone Delivery (HAD): Focus on competitive α- and β-glycosylation”

4th: Benjamin Ingenthron, mentored by Dr. Ryan Groeneman of Webster University, for “Exploiting polyfluorophenyl-phenyl interactions to achieve a series of quantitative cross-photodimerizations in the solid state”

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“Chemistry is pHun” is Seeking Additional Volunteers

Kids having fun and learning; is there a better way to spend a day—for them or for you?

Kids having fun and learning; is there a better way to spend a day—for them or for you?

One of the most popular outreach programs sponsored by the St Louis Section is “Chemistry is pHun” which brings age-appropriate hands-on chemistry experiences to area elementary and high school science classrooms.

Will Ridley, the coordinator of the program, is offering to train retired ACS members in the program so it can expand its reach and impact in the St Louis area.

The “States of Matter” program was designed for elementary students and is popular for the 2nd and 3rd grades. Solid, liquid, and gas states are explored, mainly of water, demonstrating the addition or release of energy in the form of heat when changing physical states. “Gluep” is made to show a substance that has properties of both liquids and solids.

If you are interested in volunteering or obtaining more information, please contact Will Ridley, email:, cell phone: 314-920-1507.

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Saint Louis Chemical Science & Technology Award – call for nominations

Nominate a member of your team for the Saint Louis Chemical Science & Technology Award. This award is presented to a chemist in the St. Louis area who has demonstrated a high degree of professionalism and scientific contribution. Criteria used to judge the award include technical proficiency, presentations, coaching/teamwork, and additional professional activities. The award will consist of a plaque, a $500 honorarium, and dinner for the awardee and a guest at the annual Recognition Night. The Due date is January 1 2017.

You can find all the details on eligibility, nominating a candidate, and recent winners right here. To submit a nomination, email the Chemical Science and Technology Award Coordinator David Rhee at or phone 314.694.4874.

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From Little Acorns, Big Trees Grow

Lisa M. Balbes, Ph.D.

2004 Chemistry Merit badge clinic in St Louis

2004 Chemistry Merit badge clinic in St Louis

In September of 2004, 16 scouts gathered at Jost Chemical for the first Chemistry Merit badge clinic in St Louis. It was a successful experiment in many ways – the scouts explored chemical reactions and physical changes, chemicals in the home, biochemistry, reactivity series, rust, chemical careers, and much more. Both scouts and adult leaders learned a lot and had fun– so much so that it has become an annual event, spread to multiple locations, and served over 800 scouts to date.

At the end of that first day, one of the 12-year-old scouts expressed concern about his future career plans. Jay was now torn, because he liked chemistry AND he liked biology. When I asked if he’d thought about studying biochemistry, his response was “Mrs Balbes, is that a word?”

Jay Sibbitts presenting at the 2016 ACS Midwest Regional Meeting in Lawrence, Kansas

Jay Sibbitts presenting at the 2016 ACS Midwest Regional Meeting in Lawrence, Kansas

Fast-forward 12 years, to the October 2016 ACS Midwest Regional Meeting in Lawrence, Kansas. I visited the opening student poster session, and was surprised to see that the “cool” poster (as described by other students) was entitled “Microfluidic devices for the study of protein kinase activity and inhibition in single-cells”, presented by Jay Sibbitts.

Yes, that youth who didn’t know that “biochemistry” was a word is now a graduate student in chemistry at Kansas State University. He works with Professor Christopher T. Culbertson, designing microfluidic devices that use electrophoresis and laser induced fluorescence detection to analyze single cells. By looking at enzymes of diagnostic interest, and quantifying intracellular marker concentrations, they are advancing diagnoses of illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer’s – which they have decided is bioanalyticalchemistry, with a bit of materials science thrown in. Now that’s a word!

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Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher award nominations open

Nominations are open for the 2017 Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher award. Besides their own colleagues and administrators, students and parents (present or past) are also eligible to submit a nomination. That could be you … and who’d be more qualified to recognize good chemistry teaching when they see it?

Nominating is pretty easy (full qualifications and nomination instructions here). But if you have someone in mind and don’t feel competent to chase down all the documents (not that many, really, but whatever), just get in touch with the high school principal and ask for help.

Teachers live for approbation. Let’s let ’em have it.

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2nd Wash U Chemistry Tournament open for registration

Competitors at the first WUCT Washington University’s 2nd annual Chemistry Tournament (WUCT), to be held on April 8, 2017, is now open for registration.

WUCT is an annual chemistry competition held on Washington University’s campus in St Louis, MO. The competition invites high school students from across the nation to participate in a series of individual and team-based chemistry exams, engage with college students and faculty, and earn recognition at an awards ceremony. WUCT emphasizes real-world applications of science and promotes fundamental problem-solving and teamwork skills.

The first tournament was held in April, 2016, and drew 180 high school students from near and far. Organizers are planning for over 300 participants in 2017.

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SAVE THE DATE – Fri. Jan. 6, 2017

St Louis NMR Discussion Group announces a symposium in honor of Prof. Jacob Schaefer
(refer to this site for more announcements:
Speakers confirmed include:
Alexander Barnes, Washington University
Lynette Cegelski, Stanford University
Hellmut Eckert, WWU Muenster, Germany
Joel Garbow, Washington University School of Medicine
Terry Gullion, West Virginia University
Joon Kim, Baylor University
Matt Merritt, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville
Gary Patti, Washington University
Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy, Univ. of Michigan
Asher Schmidt, Technion University, Israel
David Weliky, Michigan State University

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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: Dec 8 – Continuity Dinner, see above for special venue, time, and RSVP information

Future meetings: Jan 12, Feb 9

Social hour, cash bar: 5:30 pm
Business meeting: 6:30 pm (suspended for dinner when served)

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