|Volume 64, Number 6||September, 2013|
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Eric Bruton, Chair of the ACS Saint Louis Award Jury, has announced Washington University chemist D AndrÉ d’Avignon as the 2013 Award winner. For the past three decades, Dr d’Avignon has managed the Washington University High Resolution NMR Facility. He has published over 70 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, participated in numerous grant proposals as principal- and co-investigator, and has contributed to the training and education of undergraduate and graduate students in formal classroom lectures, teaching laboratory settings, and numerous hands-on one-on-one sessions at the NMR spectrometer console.
After receiving his BA from State University of New York at Plattsburgh and his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr d’Avignon worked for four years at American Cyanamid in Stamford, CT. Washington University hired him in 1984 to help develop the Chemistry Department’s new NMR Facility, which opened in 1985 under his direction. The NMR Facility now houses seven modern spectrometers, has over 100 active users, and provides services to more than 40 research groups from 14 different departments at Washington University alone. In addition to his work with academic chemists, Dr d’Avignon has coordinated and directed NMR Facility research in support of corporate chemistry laboratories, including Nabisco Brands, Pillsbury, Kraft Foods, Monsanto, Mallinckrodt Medical, Reliable Biopharmaceutical, Solae, Ralston, Nestlé, Israel Chemicals, Asteras, Petrolite, Chemir Polytech Labs, and ISTO Technologies. Dr d’Avignon has also participated in numerous projects in collaboration with the Saint Louis FDA.
Colleagues writing in support of Dr d’Avignon’s nomination stressed his remarkable commitment and contributions to research and teaching. One wrote:
André’s policy has always been that the Facility is “available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.” I cannot count the number of Saturdays at 8 am, or Sundays at 10 pm, that I or my students have sat with him at the spectrometer trying to uncover the best pulse sequence or decoupling parameter to uncover the secrets held by our biospecimens. His intellectual gifts and sheer grit serve as a central node in a remarkably collaborative and perpetually growing network.
Another nominator stated:
In a scientific professional life that has extended over fifty years, I have had numerous collaborators on every level from undergraduate neophyte to professorial sage. Yet, in only two other cases can I say that the sheer pleasure of working together matched that of working with André.... A younger colleague once said to me about him: “I wonder when he sleeps.” I wonder too.
Currently, Dr d’Avignon is collaborating in research that uses NMR to study: (1) diet-mediated heart metabolism, (2) mechanism(s) of glyphosate (Roundup®) resistance in weedy and invasive plant species, (3) flux in plant phenotypes through the non-mevalonate pathway, i.e., the 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate/1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate pathway (MEP/DOXP pathway), (4) flux through the pentose phosphate shunt during glycolysis in erythrocytes, a measure of oxidative stress, and (5) bacteria as a model parasite for screening anti-malarial drug candidates.
The Saint Louis Award, sponsored by the Monsanto Company and administered by the Saint Louis Section–ACS, is presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the profession of chemistry and demonstrated potential to further the advancement of the chemical profession. The award, consisting of a $1,500 honorarium and a plaque, is presented at the Saint Louis Award Banquet. See below for details on that.
2:30pm Ziad Ramadan, Nestlé Research Centre
Chair, Saint Louis Section, American Chemical Society
Welcome and general introductions
2:35pm Joseph J H Ackerman, Washington University Department of Chemistry
Introduction and Salute to Dr d’Avignon
2:40pm Peter Crawford, Washington University Department of Internal Medicine
NMR Spectroscopy Profiling of Complex Metabolic Systems in Mammals
3:15pm Lucinda (Cindy) Buhse, Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, United States Food and Drug Administration
Modern Analytics for Legacy Drugs: The Heparin Crisis
3:50pm Refreshment break
4:10pm Allan Doctor, Washington University Department of Pediatrics
Wetware: Protein Encoded Control of Metabolism in Erythrocytes
4:45pm R Douglas Sammons, Monsanto Company
An Old Herbicide and New Resistance Mechanisms
5:20pm Joseph J H Ackerman
6:30pm Saint Louis Award Banquet, Glen Echo Country Club, 3401 Lucas and Hunt Rd, Normandy, MO
Advance reservations required (below)
Please note that the Saint Louis Award Banquet is on the same day as the Award Symposium this year. Don’t come a day late, or there won’t be much food left! Friday, October 25th, at Glen Echo Country Club, 3401 Lucas & Hunt Road, Saint Louis, MO 63121. You can find driving directions and a map of the venue here.
6:30 pm cocktails (open bar), 7:00 pm banquet, 8:00 pm program
Please send reservations by October 22nd to:
Lawrence Barton, Professor Emeritus
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
315 Benton Hall (MC 27)
University of Missouri–St Louis
Saint Louis, MO 63121
phone 314.516.5334; cell 314-698-9748
Make checks payable to Saint Louis Section–ACS, and provide the following information:
Number attending _____ × $57.50 each = amount remitted $____________
Special dietary limitations, if any ___________________________________
Runpeng Liu, a recent graduate of Ladue Horton-Watkins High School, earned a gold medal at the 45th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO). His three teammates also earned high scores, receiving one gold and two silver medals.
The Olympiad, hosted July 15–23 in Moscow (Russia, not Idaho), drew teams from more than 70 countries. Despite a grueling schedule of exams and laboratory work, competitors had opportunities to participate in athletics and sightseeing, and to establish networks that span cultures and borders.
Of his experience, Runpeng said, “The Olympiad was an unforgettable experience. We met so many people from around the world, and learned about Russia’s rich history and vast culture. The competition was extremely difficult, but we managed very well. Our team took home two gold and two silver medals. We are very impressed with our performance and excited to have represented our nation strongly. The event was truly a celebration of chemistry’s role in changing lives and uniting scientists across the world.”
Runpeng is a freshman at MIT this fall. Our sincere congratulations to Runpeng and the rest of the team.
The American Chemical Society has sponsored the American team annually since the United States joined the Olympiad. Principal funding is through the ACS Donald F and Mildred Topp Othmer Olympiad Endowment. Among the many additional sources of funding is Saint Louis’ Sigma-Aldrich Co.
We’ve had to wait almost three months, for the first fall issue of the Chemical Bond, to tell you about this, but the long wait is over.
ACS section science fair coordinator Sheryl Loux has reported the results of the 2013 Greater St Louis Science Fair judging on May 1.
In the Grades 9–12 Honors Division:
In the Grades 9–12 Regular Division:
In the Grades 6–8 Division:
In the Grades K–5 Division, a congratulatory letter and a purple participation ribbon were given to each of the 359 chemistry-related entrants this year.
Our ninth annual section picnic came off without a hitch on June 15. Eric Bruton, immediate past-chair and official host, reports that the event...
... was a great time of socializing with members and their families. We had a wonderful spread of food and several activities which kept everyone going for the full four hours. Attendees included many longtime members who would not miss a section picnic and a considerable number of members who had never come to a section picnic before, plus more spouses and kids than you could shake a burger at.
It was a great time to get to know some of the fifty-three people in attendance while enjoying the food and games. We were fortunate to have some of the best weather for a picnic in recent memory. Special thanks to those who helped with cooking and set-up.
Vic Lewchenko, our Treasurer and unofficial semi-pro photographer, posted his photostream of the event on Flickr. Go there if you want to see more of what went on.
The YCC’s Evening at the Garden attendees enjoyed a night out of the lab at the Whitaker Music Festival at the Botanical Garden on July 17. The concert featured Montez Coleman and the Willie Akins Project. We had a great time!
The Saint Louis Chemical Science & Technology 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. To be eligible, the nominee should have an Associate, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree in chemistry or a chemistry-related curriculum. The nominee need not be a member of the Saint Louis Section–ACS to be eligible.
Letters of nomination must be received by December 20, 2013. The nominating letter should address the criteria above. A current work address, phone number and email address must be provided for each nominee. To submit a nomination, contact the Chemical Science and Technology Award coordinator:
It’s that time again: the 9th Chemistry Merit Badge clinic will take place on Saturday, October 12, at Jost Chemical. This all-day session will introduce scouts and leaders to traditional chemical fields and the scientific method, and will include many hands-on activities and a tour of the plant. A second clinic will be held in Illinois in early November.
If you know a boy scout who is interested in earning this merit badge, have point him here for all the details. Registration is limited; earlier signups have the best chance of making the cut.
Lisa Balbes, the perennial perpetrator of our autumn Boy Scout Merit Badge Clinic, got herself into even more trouble this summer: an outdoor merit badge clinic at the Boy Scout National Jamboree in the mountains of southern West Virginia.
Scouts, Venturers, and leaders were drawn into conversations with professional chemists through the use of a Soxhlet extraction, Cartesian divers, superhydrophobic tiles, gel electrophoresis, a Raman spectrometer and a UV-vis spectrometer. Over 350 scouts stayed for all four sessions, completing the six merit badge requirements offered and learning how to complete the final requirement at home: cooking an onion and explaining the chemical changes.
The staff for this effort consisted of 16 volunteer scout leaders, including 12 scientists (7 of whom were PhD chemists, all ACS members). Volunteers paid their own expenses, donated two weeks of their time, lived in tents, and hiked to work more than two miles each way, over a ridge and through a valley.
The Saint Louis section has been short-listed for four (4) ChemLuminary Awards, the catchall designation that national ACS uses for recognition bestowed on outstanding section and division programs. We’re in the running for:
Winners will be announced and awards presented at the 246th ACS National Meeting in Indianapolis on Tuesday, September 10. These awards are in recognition of activities during 2012 [except the regional meeting, which we hosted in 2011 (go figure)]. We’ll let you know how we did on the website and in the October issue.
Chemistry Career Night, organized by the St Louis Younger Chemists Committee, will be held on Tuesday, September 17, from 6 to 8:30pm on the campus of the Washington University School of Medicine. An expert panel of speakers will share insight into their career paths and industries. Students are strongly encouraged to attend; all ages are welcome. Admission is free; dinner is provided; but registration is required. For more information and to RSVP, visit http://bit.ly/CCN_2013.
The Subcommittee on Public Policy (SPP) of the ACS Committee on Economic and Professional Advancement (CEPA) would like you to know about an important piece of science legislation that expires this year and is being considered for renewal.
The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act (America COMPETES Act) was a bipartisan initiative that first became law in 2007. It was inspired by findings from the 2007 National Academy of Sciences report Rising Above the Gathering Storm, which identified ways to create jobs and focus science and technology efforts on meeting the nation’s needs. The original Act established a three-year plan for increasing US investments in physical science and engineering research at the NSF, the DOE, and NIST, and increased emphasis on education in STEM fields.
The Act was reauthorized in 2010, again for three years, and expires at the end of 2013. The ACS has been meeting with members of Congress over the past several months advocating on behalf of COMPETES and would like to make ACS members aware of the effort.
The Congressional Research Service has prepared a document with more information on the America COMPETES Act. You don’t get any action items here, just information, but if you feel strongly about the renewal of the Act, let your Rep and Sens know.
Granted that title was wordier than absolutely necessary, but the Younger Chemists Committee wants you to know that Hung Nguyen of the University of Missouri–St Louis and Miranda Scarborough of Maryville University are the recipients of the 2013 Young Researcher Awards. Both undergraduate students will receive $250 towards travel costs to present their research at the Midwest Regional Meeting in Springfield, MO, this October.
St Louis SectionACS 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 $24 ($12 for post-docs and unemployed members). Members wishing to become active in section activities are welcomed for their first dinner as guests of the section.
Date: Sep 12
Social hour: 5:30 pm
Business meeting: 6:30 pm (suspended for dinner when served)
Future meetings: Oct 10, Nov 14
Seminars are on Fridays at 12 noon in Carlo Auditorium, Tegeler Hall, unless noted otherwise. Refreshments follow. For more information, contact Jim Edwards, email@example.com.
Ryan McCulla, Saint Louis University
Peter Cornish, University of Missouri–Columbia
Probing the conformational dynamics of the ribosome with single molecule biophysics
Ed Driezen, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Locating interface for heterogeneous reactions of metal powders
Mondays at 4 pm in 451 Benton Hall, unless otherwise specified. Refreshments 15 minutes prior to seminar time. For more information, contact the Chemistry Department, 314.516.5311.
Xi Chen, University of California–Davis
Chemoenzymatic synthesis and applications of carbohydrates
Gary Baker, University of Missouri–Columbia
Michael Haley, University of Oregon
Seminars are in McMillen 311 at 4 pm unless otherwise noted. For information, contact: Liviu Mirica, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chung-Yuan Mou, National Taiwan Univ
Mimicking copper enzymes through innovative materials chemistry
Holden Thorp, Washington University
Inhibition of cytochrome P450 via modulation of metal binding: New drugs for prostate cancer and anti-fungal indications
The Chemical Bond is published at www.stlacs.org 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 the bond.remind listserv. You can also follow the link to “Manage bond.remind options” from the home page at www.stlacs.org.
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