Monday, March 22, 2010

Biotech REU at Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University seeks talented science students to participate in its summer National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in investigative biotechnology.  Our preference is for rising juniors and seniors (younger students with research experience will be considered), who have completed core courses in the science curriculum at their home institutions and have demonstrated a curiosity and passion for science. 

Over 13 faculty members in Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics and Computer Science will serve as mentors to accepted students. Students will be trained in research techniques, participate in exciting research (chose from over eighteen projects), and gain valuable presentation skills. Additionally, students will benefit from a series of workshops exploring ethics and preparing students to apply for and succeed in graduate school. 
Students will receive a stipend of $460 per week, free housing, meal and travel allowances, and lab supplies.  Those interested can can find more information and apply online at  Applications are due by 5 PM CST on April 5, 2010. If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact Dr. Shivendra Sahi (, Dr. Rodney King (, or Dr. Audra Jennings, Coordinator of Undergraduate Research (

Friday, March 19, 2010

Biochemistry Lab Next Year: Chem 373

If you've looked closely at the Class and Lab Schedule for next year you will see that Chem 373, Experimental Biochemistry, will only be offered in the fall. Please keep this in mind as you plan your registration for classes!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Seminar 3:15pm, March 25:

Jeff Johnson, Hope College
Carbon-Carbon Single Bond Activation: We can do what? To which bonds?

Jeff Johnson first experienced the wonders of pyrophoric inorganic species as an undergraduate at Gustavus Adolphus College. Following graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the supervision of Chuck Casey, Jeff headed west for an NIH postdoctoral fellowship with Tomislav Rovis at Colorado State University. These experiences covered a breadth of inorganic and organic chemistry, including mechanistic analysis, the development of organic methodology and natural product synthesis.

Since 2007 Jeff has been an assistant professor of chemistry at Hope College in Holland, MI. His research focuses on the mechanistic elucidation of carbon-carbon bond activation reactions and the development of transition metal-catalyzed organic methodology.

Presentation Abstract: Carbon-carbon single bonds, being the fundamental structural component of organic compounds, are necessarily inert to a vast majority of typical reaction conditions. Despite the inherent stability of these bonds, several recently developed reactions have achieved carbon-carbon single bond activation and functionalization, but these reactions remain limited to very specific substrates. In order to learn more about the fundamental process of carbon-carbon bond activation, our group has initiated mechanistic studies on several of these reactions. This presentation will outline our approach to studying a rhodium-catalyzed reaction of quinolinyl ketones with alkenes and summarize our mechanistic conclusions to date.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

SOCS T-Shirt Design Contest Extended

The deadline for submission on t-shirt designs for the 2nd annual SOCS t-shirt design contest has been moved to Wednesday, March 17th.

Submissions of design ideas should be directed to or the P.O. box of Christopher Roberts

As a reminder, Chemistry Majors will vote for the winning design, and the contest winner will receive their t-shirt free!

Friday, March 12, 2010

ACS Webinars

Notes on this webinar can be turned in to Karen Renneke
for Seminar Credit.
"Staying ahead of the game: Recent innovations in computational methods for drug discovery"

Looking for new ideas in your research projects? Want to know if computational methods can help? Knowing when to use a certain tool in your research is as crucial as deciding whether you should use it. Advances in computational methods have greatly sped up drug discovery, but it is not without its setbacks. Our speaker will discuss the successes of computational modeling and how to benefit from failures and avoid costly mistakes. Join us as we probe the secrets of when to deploy computational methods and how to get the innovations you want.
A short presentation followed by Q&A with Woody Sherman, Vice President of Applications Science at Schrödinger Inc. This event will be moderated by Karen Rossi, This event will be moderated by Karen Rossi, a scientist with over a decade of computer-aided drug design experience in various therapeutic projects at Bristol Myers Squibb and DuPont Pharmaceuticals.

What You Will Learn
- How recent innovations in computational methods can impact my projects.
- When should I use (and not use) molecular modeling in my projects
- What can I learn from past successes in computer-aided drug design.
- Guidance to getting where I want faster; avoiding costly mistakes
- And much more...

Webinar Details
Date: Thursday, March 18, 2010
Time: 2:00-3:00 pm ET
Fee: Free
Don't miss out -
Register now!
Questions to speaker can be submitted during registration.

Who Should Attend
Executives, Entrepreneurs, Chemists, Engineers, ACS Members and Anyone Looking for New Ideas.

Meet your Expert
Dr. Woody Sherman is Vice President of Applications Science at Schrödinger Inc. He received his Ph.D. from MIT where he developed a novel method for optimizing ligand binding specificity across a panel of targets and helped develop a novel method to enhance antibody affinity that resulted in a patent. He has authored papers on induced-fit docking, binding specificity, antibody design, fragment docking, and hybrid ligand/structure-based methods. Woody is a reviewer for many top journals related to computational chemistry and drug design and is on the Editorial Board of Chemical Biology & Drug Design.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The First and Second Laws of Themodynamics - Flanders & Swann

For those of you in Chemistry 126 this should bring a smile to your face.

ACS Awards for Women Undergraduates

2010 Priscilla Carney Jones Scholarship:  This scholarship was established by Paul R. Jones in memory of his wife, Priscilla Carney Jones, because of the difficulties she faced as a female chemist early in her career.  Applicants must be able to demonstrate evidence of financial need.  Click here for more information.
The 2010 Overcoming Challenges Award:  This award is designed to recognize a woman undergraduate from a two-year or four-year institution for her efforts in overcoming hardship to achieve success in chemistry.  Click here for more information.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


The Merck Index Women in Chemistry Scholarships

About the Awards

Established in 2007, The Merck Index Women in Chemistry Scholarships are designed to encourage women to pursue careers in medicinal or synthetic organic chemistry. Each year, Merck will present five, $5000 scholarships to women entering into their first year of an organic chemistry PhD program in the United States or Canada.

In addition to the five scholarship winners, Merck will present special recognition awards in the amount of $500 to up to 10 students.

The awards are presented at the American Chemical Society Fall National Meeting and Exposition, at the Women in Industry Breakfast. The winners present their undergraduate research at a symposium sponsored by the Women Chemists Committee. The special recognition awardees present their undergraduate research at a poster session, also sponsored by the WCC. For examples of the award-winning research presentations, please click here to view the 2009 program.

Participating in this program provides invaluable experience for young scientists to attend a national meeting and present their work. As winners of these awards, students have the opportunity to network with successful scientists from Merck, the Women Chemists Committee, and across the ACS. This program also introduces students to their peers, hopefully establishing a network of friends and future colleagues in chemistry.

Click here for more information about the types of events held in conjunction with the scholarship program.

Merck sponsors the cost of meeting registration for all winners to attend and present at the ACS meeting, in addition to one year of ACS membership dues if students are new ACS members. Merck also provides tickets for all student winners to attend the Women in Industry Breakfast.

For more information, please contact The Merck Index staff at:

Applications are now being accepted for the 2010 program


Monday, March 8, 2010

An ACS Scholarship for Young Women

Priscilla Carney Jones Scholarship

The Priscilla Carney Jones Scholarship was established by Paul R. Jones, in memory of his wife, to provide scholarships for female undergraduate majors in chemistry or related disciplines who are beginning their junior or senior years of study. Priscilla Carney Jones wished to have this scholarship established because of the difficulties she faced as a female chemist early in her career. Read more about Priscilla Carney Jones.


The scholarship is a one-time award on the basis of both need and scholarship. The award amount is subject to available funding, but will be a minimum of $1,500. The award is sent directly to the recipient’s financial aid office and may be used for tuition, books, and lab fees. On-and-off campus housing, transportation, and other personal fees (e.g., sorority dues) may not be paid from this award.


To be considered a candidate, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Rising junior or senior female undergraduate student
  • Enrolled full-time at an accredited college or university
  • Major in chemistry or chemistry-related science
    Students in pre-med programs who intend to go to medical school are not eligible for this scholarship.
  • Completed research or plan to conduct research during undergraduate years
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.25
  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • Able to demonstrate evidence of financial need

Application Materials

The current application deadline is May 1. All application materials must be received by this deadline.

Online Application

In the online application process, the applicant will be required to provide/upload the following:

  • Applicant statement to describe why the applicant is a good candidate to receive the scholarship
  • Community service statement to describe the applicant’s community service activities and related responsibilities
  • Leadership statement to describe the key leadership roles that the applicant has fulfilled
  • Research presentations/publications list
  • Research summary to summarize the specific nature of research (or planned research) and the applicant’s role in it
  • Future goals statement to summarize applicant’s future plans and goals
  • Resume / C.V.
  • Copy of the most recent award letter from the applicant’s institution outlining all costs of attendance and itemizing any financial awards, scholarships, or grants the applicant receives
  • A reference form from the applicant’s academic/research advisor, which includes a letter of recommendation.
  • In addition, estimated unmet need for the next academic year must be indicated on the application form. Unmet financial need is equal to the cost of tuition, academic fees, and books minus the estimated family contribution and any scholarships/grants.

Friday, March 5, 2010

2nd Annual SOCS T-Shirt Design Contest

The Saint Olaf Chemistry Society (SOCS) is hosting its 2nd annual t-shirt design contest!

• May submit electronic or paper copy
• Must be black and white
• Must be clean
• Submit by FRIDAY, MARCH 12th


Submit original design ideas to or to P.O. box of Christopher Roberts.

• Check t-shirt/chem websites for ideas
• Ask your professors for chemistry jokes

National Periodic Puzzle Contest

Valdosta State is hosting a NATIONAL online periodic puzzle contest. The contest consists of 25 sudoku-type puzzles filled in with symbols of chemical elements. Teams of 1-6 students of any level may enter. Please see the link below. It will give you a much better idea about the specifics of the contest.

Who: Any student with interest in chemistry
Where: Online
When: March 7th-26th (Registration is ongoing. Please sign up ASAP.)

YOU MUST SIGN UP BOTH ONLINE AND ON THE BULLETIN BOARD outside Karen's office (RNS 336). If you are looking for more team members or an advisor (yes, this is required) contact Thanks and happy puzzle solving!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Seminar Opportunity: ACS Webinar (take notes for seminar credit)

MIDA Boronate Building Blocks:
Towards a general platform for small molecule synthesis

Live Webinar: March 23, 2010
2:00 p.m. EST • 1:00 p.m. CST • 12:00 p.m. GMT • 11:00 a.m. PST

Broadcast live at the ACS Spring National Meeting
Room 114N

Register Now

Overview: In an idealized form of the building block approach for small molecule synthesis, off-the-shelf subunits having all of the required functional groups preinstalled in the correct oxidation states and with the desired stereochemical relationships are brought together via the recursive application of one stereospecific reaction. Analogous to peptide coupling, this strategy aims to maximize the simplicity, efficiency, and flexibility with which small molecules can be made in the laboratory. MIDA boronates represent a powerful platform of building blocks with the potential to broadly enable this type of synthesis.

The webinar will discuss the many physical and chemical features of MIDA boronates that underlie their widespread utility, including:
  • Ease of preparation, purification, and storage and minimized environmental impact
  • Reversibly attenuated boronic acid reactivity that enables small molecule synthesis via iterative cross-coupling
  • Capacity for slow-release cross-coupling that transforms even notoriously unstable 2-heterocyclic, vinyl, and cyclopropyl subunits into air-stable and highly effective cross-coupling partners
  • Compatibility with a wide range of common reaction conditions which enables the multistep synthesis of structurally complex boronic acids from simple B-containing starting materials
Your host for this webinar will be:

Martin D. Burke, Ph.D., M.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Early Career Scientist of the
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


A. Maureen Rouhi, Ph.D.
Deputy Editor-in-Chief

Who Should Attend?
  • synthetic organic chemists
  • medicinal chemists
  • process chemists
  • leaders in the pharmaceutical industry
  • instructors of organic chemistry courses

Register FREE at

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chemistry Seminar

Chemistry Seminar
Friday, March 5, 2010
RNS 390 at 3:15 with refreshments prior to seminar


Kris will speak about her experiencing interning at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this past January.  She spent the month reading nominations for the 2010 Presidential Green Chemistry
Challenge.  She will discuss some of the applications of green chemistry that she learned about, as well as what it was like to work for the EPA.