The ACS Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) and the CIBA Foundation are proud to introduce the CIBA/YCC Young Scientist Travel Award. The program provides funding for young and early-career chemists to travel to and participate in an ACS national or regional meeting. Through this program, the YCC and the CIBA Foundation continue to support development of younger chemists in the chemical sciences. The award is intended for young scientists (under 35) who have post-doctoral appointments OR are within the first seven (7) years of their professional career. CIBA/YCC Young Scientist Travel Awards are awarded twice each year but the number of awards granted yearly will vary subject to available funding. Each award will equal $1000.
US citizens or permanent residents
Under the age of 35 years of age at the time of application
Are not a Member or Associate Member on any National ACS committee
Current post-doc OR within the first seven (7) years of a professional career
Current ACS member
Have not received a prior award under this program.
Application Deadline: The application deadline for meetings occurring between January 1 and June 30 is November 15. The application deadline for meetings occurring between July 1 and December 31 is May 15. Late applications will not be considered. Travel awards cannot be used for meetings already attended.
All application material must be received by the application close date for consideration.
How to Apply:
Completed CIBA/YCC Young Scientist Travel Award application
A short biography for publication on the YCC website (100 words or less).
Your current curriculum vita or resume including your permanent address (PDF or DOC).
Selection Preference: Awards will be given with preference to the following:
Applicants making their first presentation at an ACS national or regional ACS meeting;
Applicants who have not presented at an ACS national, regional or other major scientific meeting since degree completion. For example:
Postdoctoral applicants who have not presented at a national or regional ACS meeting since completing their graduate degree;
Early career professionals (within 7 years of degree completion, regardless of degree) who have not presented at a national or regional ACS meeting since completing their degree.
Applicants currently under the age of 35 OR within 7 years of degree completion regardless of the number of prior presentation at ACS national or regional meetings.
The YCC Governance Interface and Outreach Subcommittee oversees the application review and selects awardees. If you have questions about the award process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Danielle Guarracino received her B.A. in Chemistry and Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biochemistry in 2002 from Cornell University. She then pursued graduate studies at Yale University where she received an M.S. in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry in 2008. While at Yale she worked for Professor Alanna Schepartz on a Chemical Biology project involving optimization of beta-peptide foldamer structure and function with applications towards the novel viral target, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. From there, Dr. Guarracino performed post-doctoral research with Professor Paramjit Arora at New York University from 2008-2010, working on oligooxopiperazines as alpha-helical mimetics. From 2010 to the present, Dr. Guarracino has been a tenure-track Assistant Professor at The College of New Jersey, where she has taught undergraduate classes in General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, and upper-level Chemical Biology. Her research focuses on using macrocyclic peptides as first generation therapeutics to probe protein-protein interactions, as well as artificial peptide helical structures.
Imitating nature with peptidomimetics: Synthetic macrocyclic hormone mimics and artificial peptide helices
The macromolecular structure of biochemical compounds often plays a large role in their cellular function. Unique cycles and helices dictate the ability of a hormone, peptide or whole protein to perform its job inside and outside of the cell. Frequently, the relationships between such compounds are implicated in the disease state, and can be traced to the interactions between the various shapes of the compounds involved. We have been synthesizing peptide-based compounds that imitate the structural features of naturally found peptides, but work to improve overall stability, and hope to provide unique functionality. First, by targeting vasopressin and its implications in a rare form of Diabetes, and using related hormone oxytocin as a comparator, we created novel synthetic macrocyclic peptides with improved proteolytic stability and moderate ability to bind to the V2 vasopressin G protein coupled receptor, as determined by a competition Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbant Assay. Our current studies include applying our cyclic peptide stabilization techniques towards inhibitors of the binding event between collagen and van Willebrand factor that is implicated in pathogenic blood clot formation. Using a competition ELISA, we have begun to assess the ability of these novel compounds for displacing van Willebrand factor from collagen. Taken together, these studies provide a wealth of information in the design of first generation peptide-based pharmaceuticals. In independent work, we synthesized a panel of short 6-8 residue alpha- and beta-peptides that used primary sequence design features to influence helical control, and compared helicity across peptides with minimal epitopes. Using CD spectroscopy, we found there was no significant “cross-helicity” inducing an alpha- or beta-peptide to fold into the oppositely controlled helix. Overall, these results inform future peptidomimetic designs, especially in the development of short, structured peptide with biological function.
Meng (Chloe) Rowland is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. James Stivers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, working to unravel the mystery of DNA repair enzyme’s genome search mechanism. She received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry with Dr. Michael Best at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where her research focused on developing chemical tools to characterize membrane-protein binding interactions. Prior to graduate school, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in pharmacology from Jilin University of China.
Microscopic Mechanism of DNA Damage Searching by Human 8-Oxoguanine Glycosylase (hOGG1)
The DNA backbone is often considered a track that allows long-range sliding of DNA repair enzymes in their search for rare damage sites in DNA. A proposed exemplar of DNA sliding is human 8-oxoguanine (oG) DNA glycosylase 1 (hOGG1), which repairs mutagenic oG lesions in DNA. Here we use our high-resolution molecular clock method to show that macroscopic 1D DNA sliding of hOGG1 occurs by microscopic 2D and 3D steps that masquerade as sliding in resolution-limited single-molecule images. Strand sliding was limited to distances shorter than seven phosphate linkages because attaching a covalent chemical road block to a single DNA phosphate located between two closely spaced damage sites had little effect on transfers. The microscopic parameters describing the DNA search of hOGG1 were derived from numerical simulations constrained by the experimental data. These findings support a general mechanism where DNA glycosylases use highly dynamic multidimensional diffusion paths to scan DNA.
Yijun Huang is a postdoctoral fellow working with Professor John D Lambris at University of Pennsylvania on the development of new generations of complement inhibitor compstatin. He obtained his PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences with Professor Alexander Doemling at University of Pittsburgh (2011), where his research focused on discovery of small molecule inhibitors of p53-Mdm2 interaction. He obtained his MS degree in Chemistry from Texas Christian University (2008) under the guidance of Professor David E Minter. He also holds BS degree in Chemistry and MS degree in Organic Chemistry from Nanjing University (Nanjing, China).
Wen Zhang joined NJIT’s Newark College of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as assistant professor in 2012. Wen received his B.S from Tsinghua University in 2004, M.S. from Tongji University in 2007, and Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2011. His research interests are developing innovative solutions for addressing water-energy nexus challenges with state-of-art nanotechnology and environmental biotechnology.
Leslie Aldrich is a postdoctoral fellow working with Stuart Schreiber at Harvard University and the Broad Institute on the development of small-molecule autophagy modulators as tools to study the underlying biology of Crohn’s disease. She obtained her Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry with Craig Lindsley at Vanderbilt University, where her research focused on the total synthesis of alkaloid natural products and the synthesis and optimization of natural product analogs with anticancer activity. She began her career in organic synthesis and chemical biology with Kevin Bucholtz at Mercer University, where she synthesized potential ligands for the PPAR δ nuclear receptor.
Joseph Baker earned his B.S. in Physics in 2003 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He then studied at the University of Arizona, receiving his Ph.D. in Physics in 2011. While at the University of Arizona, Dr. Baker studied computational biochemistry in the research group of Dr. Florence Tama. In Dr. Tama’s group, his interests included the dynamics of multidrug transporters and bacterial type IV pili. Dr. Baker joined the Voth group in January 2012 as a postdoctoral scholar, where he studies large protein complexes and engages in public outreach activities with the Center for Multiscale Theory and Simulation.
Benjamin J. Stokes received his B.Sc. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004 and completed his Ph.D. studies under the supervision of Tom G. Driver at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010. He began postdoctoral research with Matthew S. Sigman at the University of Utah in 2011. He is sponsored by an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein postdoctoral fellowship.
Benjamin Yancey received a B.S. in 2007, an M.S. in 2009, and completed his Ph.D. in chemistry in August of 2011 at the University of Mississippi. His undergraduate and graduate research was focused on polymer electrolytes and their properties under Prof. Jason Ritchie. His last year of graduate studies, he worked as a research associate at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he worked on hybrid materials applying for a patent in June 2011 under Prof. Eugenia Kharlampieva. Since September 2011 he has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at UAB under Prof. Sergey Vyazovkin.
Kristin J. Labby
Kristin Jansen Labby is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova at the University of Michigan studying aminoglycoside resistance enzymes in tuberculosis. She completed her PhD in the fall of 2012 under the supervision of Richard B Silverman at Northwestern University. Her thesis work concerned mechanistic studies of nitric oxide synthase, an enzyme implicated in several disease states including neurodegeneration. During the 2011-2012 academic year, Kristin participated in Reach for the Stars, Northwestern University’s NSF GK-12 program. Kristin hopes to continue outreach opportunities throughout her independent research career.
Introducing medicinal chemistry research to middle school students: a multi-faceted approach from a GK-12 experience
The NSF GK-12 program Reach for the Stars at Northwestern University presents graduate students with the unique opportunity to serve as “scientist in residence” at a local K-12 school. This presentation details the partnership between graduate fellow Kristin Labby and Pamela Sims, a science teacher at Nettelhorst Middle School in Chicago. The GK-12 experience typically includes regular classroom visits and the design and execution of non-traditional lessons with ties to the graduate fellow’s research. Kristin and her teacher partner went beyond the classroom and culminated the academic year with a student field trip to the Northwestern campus. During their visit, students rotated through five stations, hosted by a diverse group of scientists, with hands-on activities specially designed to include aspects of Kristin’s medicinal chemistry research. This presentation will include specific examples of activities as well as general considerations for adapting such an event to other institutions.
Dustin W. Janes is a Postdoctoral Researcher with Christopher J. Ellison at the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Applying photochemistry in new, unexpected ways is a major theme of all of his current projects. His main focus is on creating methods to replicate block copolymer thin film patterns continuously and over large areas to enable high-throughput nanopatterning technologies. Prior to this, he earned his B.S. from Tulane University and his Ph. D. from Columbia University with Christopher J. Durning, both in Chemical Engineering. His dissertation concentrated on understanding how sorption and diffusion of small molecules in a polymer was affected by the addition of nanoparticles.
Replicating Thin Film Block Copolymer Patterns With Light Activated Chemistries
To help enable high-throughput nanopatterning technologies, a strategy to replicate nanopatterns formed by the self-assembly of lamellae-forming block copolymer (BCP) was investigated. To accomplish this, liquid compositions (i.e. conformal layers) are placed between the surfaces of the “master” poly(styrene-block-methyl methacrylate) film and transparent “replica” substrate that solidify and covalently bind to the BCP upon exposure to light. The conformal materials able to replicate the BCP pattern were comprised of a multifunctional acrylic monomer, a benzophenone compound, and a visible wavelength photoinitiator. The replication is light activated, scalable to large areas, occurs below the glass transition of the BCP, and takes less than 1 h. Scanning electron micrographs of the replica samples show that specific patterns can be copied. Control experiments conducted with alternative liquid compositions indicate that interfacial photosensitization of the BCP by excited benzophenone is the primary mechanism by which pattern replication takes place.
Max Majireck is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University and the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard working with Stuart Schreiber on the development of small molecule probes for various cancer targets. Prior to this, he earned a Ph. D. in synthetic organic chemistry at Pennsylvania State University under Steven M. Weinreb working on the total synthesis of complex natural products and the discovery of new methodologies for organic synthesis. As an undergraduate student, he gained 3 years of experience in inorganic synthesis with Prof. Charles E. Kriley (Grove City College) and Ian P. Rothwell (Purdue University). In addition, he had a valuable summer research experience in chemical engineering at CONSOL Energy Research and Development investigating new technology for the reduction of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Small Molecule Inhibitors of EZH2
EZH2 is a histone methyltransferase and catalytic subunit of the Polycomb Repressor Complex-2 (PRC2) that selectively methylates histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27), a pivotal chromatin mark that plays a key role in defining cell states and is misregulated in many human cancers. One of the primary mechanisms of oncogenesis in these cancers is thought to be caused by an overabundance of the repressive mark H3K27me3 (trimethylated H3K27) and the resultant silencing of crucial tumor suppressor genes. Very recently, non-Hodgkin lymphomas were identified containing heterozygous mutations of EZH2 at tyrosine 641 (Y641) in the catalytic domain. In these cancers, a critical wild-type/mutant EZH2 partnership is likely the key mechanism for driving H3K27 trimethylation. To test this hypothesis, we are developing the first wild-type selective EZH2 inhibitor to 1) perturb the function of wild-type EZH2 in lymphomas harboring heterozygous Y641 EZH2 mutations and 2) In collaboration with the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Target Discovery and Development (CTD2) Network project at the Broad Institute, we will evaluate this compound in 949 extensively characterized and genetically defined cancer cell lines in order to identify genetic signatures that predict sensitivity to EZH2 inhibition.
Kathleen Garber is a postdoctoral researcher with Erin Carlson at Indiana University. Her research is in the field of proteomics, where she is working on the development of chemical methods for the detection of phosphorylated proteins. She obtained her Ph.D. in chemistry with Laura Kiessling at the University of Wisconsin—Madison as an NSF Graduate Fellow. She worked on the development of a glycomimetic scaffold for targeting carbohydrate binding proteins, which she applied to DC-SIGN, a receptor involved in HIV infection. She began her career in bioorganic chemistry synthesizing fluorescent chemosensors with Scott Van Arman at Franklin & Marshall College.
Chemical tools for the selective detection of phosphorylated proteins
Protein phosphorylation is a ubiquitous posttranslational modification that regulates cell signaling in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The dysregulation of kinases and phosphatases has been linked to many disease processes in humans, including cancer. Accordingly, protein kinases are important drug targets in the pharmaceutical industry. Kinases have recently been identified as potential drug targets in the search for antibacterial agents. Although the study of phosphorylated proteins has made great progress in the last decade, global phosphoproteomics studies are still challenges for several reasons, including the instability of the phospho-amino acid bonds and the low abundance of phosphoproteins. These issues are particularly exacerbated when examining phosphorylation at sites other than Ser, Thr and Tyr. To address these challenges, we are pursuing the development of a chemical method capable of specifically targeting phosphorylated amino acids in order to identify phosphoproteins from complex biological samples.
Ashley Galant obtained a B.S. in Biochemistry from Denison University in Granville, OH, and her PhD in Plant Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Her graduate research focused on the characterization of the soybean thiol-redox proteome, including the crystal structure of the enzyme homoglutathione synthetase. Currently, she is a postdoctoral Research Chemist with the USDA-ARS, Citrus and Subtropical Products Unit. There, she is investigating the nanostructure and stability of the hydrocolloid pectin as a component of beverage clouds, and laying the groundwork for development of an industry-applicable rapid detection assay for monitoring product quality.
Characterization of pectin from Citrus sinensis (sweet orange) juice.
In plants, pectin is one of a group of long-chain polysaccharides that are synthesized for the purposes of maintaining cellular structural integrity. While its core element is a backbone of α-( 1,4)-galacturonic acid residues, its chemical composition can be quite variable, encompassing arabinan- and galactan- based decorations, methyl and acetyl esterification, etc. Due to its relative abundance and utility as a thickening agent, pectin is incorporated into a wide variety of food products. As in plants, the presence of different modifications can alter pectin’s rheological properties, making pectin from some sources better suited to particular applications. Globally, the majority of pectin is extracted from oranges, and while the yield and composition of pectin from orange peels have been relatively well characterized, comparatively less is known about the pectin found in processed orange juice. Here we report new insights on the chemical composition of pectin from frozen concentrated orange juice.
Professor Mindy Levine received her PhD from Columbia University, where she worked with Ronald Breslow studying the origin of homochirality. She then spent two years at MIT doing an NIH-funded post-doctoral fellowship with Professor Timothy Swager. Dr. Levine started her independent career at the University of Rhode Island in 2010, studying supramolecular organic chemistry. She currently supervises a research group of 3 graduate students and 4 undergraduate students. She has obtained numerous internal grants and travel awards to support her research group.
Synthesis of fluorescent macrocycles and polymers by click chemistry
Reported herein is the synthesis of a variety of fluorescent macrocycles and polymers via the Huisgen 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reaction of azides and alkynes. The macrocycles are synthesized in one step from bis-alkynyl anthracenes and biphenyl bis azides; the conjugated polymers are synthesized from the same anthracene moieties and phenyl bis-azides. The resulting fluorescent molecules can be used for a variety of applications, including the fluorescent sensing of toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitroaromatic explosives. Both of these sensing applications are discussed herein.
Jeffery Peterson - State University of New York, College at Geneseo
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 06:00 PM
Single Molecules: Theory Meets Experiment (06:00 PM - 09:00 PM)
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Hall D
“Simultaneous Measurement of Chargeand Fluorescence from Single CdSe Quantum Dots.”
Jeffrey Peterson is currently an assistant professor of chemistry at SUNY Geneseo. He earned his PhD in chemistry from the University of Rochester working with Todd Krauss, and was a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at JILA-NIST with David Nesbitt. His current research interests include novel multiparameter approaches to investigate single molecule phenomena, with an emphasis on nanomaterial photophysics.
Katherine Windsor - Vanderbilt University
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 07:00 PM
Chemistry of Life, Biologically-Related Molecules and Processes, Heterocycles and Aromatics, Metal-Mediated Reactions and Syntheses (07:00 PM - 10:00 PM)
Location: San Diego Convention Center, Room 20
“Capture-and-Release of Alkynyl Peptides”
Katherine Windsor is an NIEHS postdoctoral fellow with Ned A. Porter at Vanderbilt University. Her research in the field of lipid oxidation chemistry focuses on the synthesis of alkynyl-derivatized peptides and small molecules and the development of a cobalt-based capture-and-release method for these alkynyl compounds. In 2010, Katherine completed her PhD in organic chemistry with Robert J. McMahon at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied the reactivity of carbon-rich, enediyne-containing compounds. She obtained her undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame, where research with Xavier Creary initiated her interest in physical organic chemistry.
Tirandai Hemraj-Benny - Queensborough Community College
“Solution-Phase Synthesis of Mg Nanoparticles for Applications in Single-Walled Magnesium Nanocomposite Materials.”
TirandaiHemraj-Benny is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the Chemistry Department at Queensborough Community College,CUNY. She joined the department in August 2008 after spending a year and half as an Adjunct Professor in the Chemistry and Physics Department at Old Westbury College, SUNY. Dr. Hemraj-Benny received her baccalaureate degree from York College and her doctoral degree from Stony Brook University, SUNY in 2006. Her research interest involves the purification and functionalization of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs). She is also interested in increasing the learning outcomes of non-science majors in studying chemistry.
Modi Wetzler - Clemson University
“Cellular Tomography of C. alibcans and E. coli Treated with Lethal and Sub-lethal Concentrations of LL-37.”
ModiWetzler graduated with a double major in Chemistry and English for the State University of New York, Buffalo, and then received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2007. Dr. Wetzler then began a postdoctoral research appointment with Prof. Annelise Barron at Stanford University studying the microcidal mechanisms of antimicrobial peptides and peptoids; work which he continues today as a Research Assistant Professor at Clemson University.
Jeff Johnson - Hope College
“Mechanistic insights into the rhodium-catalyzed activation of carboncarbon single bonds”
Jeff Johnson began studying chemistry 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.
John Kyndt – University of Arizona
“Optimizing Algae for Competitive Biofuel Production”
Dr. John Kyndt is a biochemist who is currently working in the field of Algae for Enhanced Biofuel production. He obtained his PhD at the University of Ghent in Belgium and is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona (Tucson). He has ample publications and one patent in the area of photo-sensing and signaling in biological systems. As part of continuing education he recently received an Associate certificate in Entrepreneurship from the McGuire Entrepreneurship Center (Eller College of Management, University of Arizona).
Justin Walensky – University of Missouri, Columbia
“Synthesis and reactivity of Group 11 amidinate complexes”
Justin was born in Albany, NY but moved to Florida in high school. He obtained his BA Chemistry from New College of Florida and did most of his undergraduate research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with Annie Kersting. In 2009 he obtained his PhD from the University of California, Irvine with William J. Evans and went to Los Alamos National Laboratory to work with Richard Martin learning density functional theory. His postdoctoral studies were conducted at Texas A&M University with Drs. John Fackler, Oleg Ozerov and Michael Hall. He is now an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Kristin Wustholz – College of William and Mary
“Identification of Organic Dyes and Pigments in Oil Paints using Surface-Enhanced Raman Microspectroscopy”
Kristin L. Wustholz is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the College of William and Mary. She received her Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Washington studying single-molecule fluorescence in dyed salt crystals in the laboratories of Bart Kahr and Philip J. Reid. Her postdoctoral research with Richard P. Van Duyne at Northwestern University focused on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and plasmonics of individual molecules and nanoparticles. At William and Mary, her research focuses on studying the optical properties of dyes in organic-based solar cells and historical artworks.