Awards and Scholarships

2018 Herman Skolnik Award Announced

Dr. Gisbert SchneiderThe American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Information is pleased to announce that Gisbert Schneider, ETH Zurich, Switzerland has been selected to receive the 2018 Herman Skolnik Award for his seminal contributions to de novo design of bioactive compounds and the application of these innovative design concepts in both academia and industry. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science and related disciplines. The prize consists of a $3,000 honorarium and a plaque. Prof Dr Schneider will also be invited to present an award symposium at the fall 2018 ACS National Meeting to be held in Boston.

Prof Dr Schneider is a full professor at ETH Zurich, holding the Chair for Computer-Assisted Drug Design. Over the last 25 years he has worked in a variety of areas in cheminformatics and computational molecular design. He is recognized as being a pioneer in the integration of machine-learning methods into practical medicinal chemistry, and for his coining the phrases ‘scaffold-hopping’ and ‘frequent hitter’. His career has led him from the pharmaceuticals division at Roche to academia, initially to the Goethe-University in Frankfurt where he held the Beilstein Endowed Chair for Chem- and Bioinformatics, and then to his current position at ETH in Zurich. He is an elected Fellow of the University of Tokyo, and an Adjunct Professor at Goethe-University. He has co-founded several start-up companies including inSili.com GmbH, AlloCyte Pharmaceuticals AG, and Endogena Therapeutics Inc.

His current research interests focus on the development of methods for adaptive autonomous systems in drug research. Current projects include developing, implementing and experimentally validating these innovative concepts in applied settings, including:

  • Virtual screening by active learning
  • Constructive de novo molecular design methods
  • Macromolecular target profiling and polypharmacology
  • Self-organizing systems for molecular pattern recognition.

His research group develops and applies these often nature-inspired algorithms to virtual compound screening, drug re-purposing and deorphaning, in silico polypharmacology and chemogenomics projects, protein structure analysis and the design of allosteric and natural-product-derived ligands.

The awarding of the 2018 Herman Skolnik Award to Schneider recognizes his significant contributions to the fields of cheminformatics and in silico molecular design methods. His nomination discussed his broad contributions to the field including:

  • Automated reaction-based de novo design for rapid lead prototyping
  • Conception of multi-objective adaptive fitness landscapes for library design
  • Development of ligand- and structure-based methods for identifying macromolecular targets of pharmaceutically active compounds.

Schneider’s early research resulted in the invention and coining of computational peptide design by adaptive optimization, using neural networks and evolutionary algorithms. These seminal studies laid the foundation for ‘artificially intelligent’ molecular design. His more recent work pursues innovative machine-learning models for target and similarity prediction in automated hit and lead discovery, bridging the chemical and biological worlds. Schneider's name is found on the Thomson Reuters list of the 'World's Most Influential Scientific Minds'. His inspirational studies are documented in over 400 publications and six books.

Schneider is also cited for his contributions to our field. He was a founding editor of the journal Molecular Informatics, and serves as a reviewer for many top-ranking journals including Nature, Science, and Angewandte Chemie. He has also been very active in teaching and his efforts have been recognized by the students at ETH by winner of the “Golden Owl” award for outstanding faculty teaching.

David Evans, Chair, ACS Division of Chemical Information Awards Committee

2019 Herman Skolnik Award: Call for Nominations

The ACS Division of Chemical Information established this award to recognize outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science. The award is named in honor of the first recipient, Herman Skolnik.

By this award, the Division of Chemical Information is committed to encouraging the continuing preparation, dissemination, and advancement of chemical information science and related disciplines through individual and team efforts. Examples of such advancement include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Design of new and unique computerized information systems
  • Preparation and dissemination of chemical information
  • Editorial innovations
  • Design of new indexing, classification, and notation systems
  • Chemical nomenclature
  • Structure-activity relationships
  • Numerical data correlation and evaluation
  • Advancement of knowledge in the field

The award consists of a $3,000 honorarium and a plaque. The recipient is expected to give an address at the time of the Award presentation. In recent years, an award symposium has been organized by the recipient.

Nominations for the Herman Skolnik Award should describe the nominee’s contributions to the field of chemical information and should include supportive materials such as a biographical sketch and a list of publications and presentations. Three seconding letters are also required. Nominations and supporting material should be sent by email to awards@acscinf.org. Paper submissions will not be accepted. The deadline for nominations for the 2019 Herman Skolnik Award is June 1, 2018.

David Evans, Chair, CINF Awards Committee

CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence

Purpose

The scholarship program of the Division of Chemical Information (CINF) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) is designed to reward graduate and postdoctoral students in chemical information and related sciences for scientific excellence and to foster their involvement in CINF.

Scope

Scholarships valued at $1,000 each will be awarded at the ACS National Meetings.

Eligibility & Application

Applicants must:

  • be enrolled at a certified college or university.
  • present a poster during the CINF Welcoming Reception and the Sci-Mix session at the National Meeting.
  • Abstracts for the poster must be submitted electronically through the Meeting Abstracts Programming System (MAPS) according to ACS rules approximately three months in advance of the meeting in question.
  • send in electronic form a 2,000-word long abstract describing the work to be presented:
    • submitted to: Stuart Chalkdue by mid-June for presentation at the Fall Conference of that year.
    • due by mid-January for presentation at the Spring Conference of the upcoming year.

Any questions related to applying for one of the scholarships should also be directed to Stuart Chalk

Selection

Winners will be chosen based on content, presentation, and relevance of the poster, and they will be announced at the meeting. The content shall reflect upon the student’s work and describe research in the field of cheminformatics and related sciences. At the Sci-Mix session, winning posters will be marked as "Winner of ACS Publications CINF Scholarship Award for Scientific Excellence”

Recent Sponsors and Recipients

ACS Nat'l Sponsor Recipient/Poster Title
#254, Fall, 2017 ACS Publications Phyo Phyo Kyaw Zin, Department of Chemistry, Bioinformatics Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
“PKS Enumerator Software to Explore the Chemical Space of Macrolides”
#254, Fall, 2017 ACS Publications Mohammad Atif Faiz Afzal, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA
“Deep learning approach for the fast and accurate prediction of optical properties of organic molecules”
#254, Fall, 2017 ACS Publications Jeremy R. Ash, Department of Chemistry, Bioinformatics Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
“Cheminformatics Approach to Exploring and Modeling Trait-Associated Metabolic Profiles”
#253, Spring, 2017 ACS Publications Andrew McEachran, National Center for Computational Toxicology, Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
“Mobilizing EPA’s Comptox Chemistry Dashboard data on mobile devices”
#253, Spring, 2017 ACS Publications Matthew Seddon, Information School, University of Sheffield, Regent Court, 211 Portobello, Sheffield S1 4DP, UK
“Global spectral and diffusion geometry descriptors of 3D molecular shape for virtual screening”
#253, Spring, 2017 ACS Publications Christopher T. Lee, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California - San Diego, La Jolla CA 92093, USA
“Investigating transport properties with multiscale computable mesh models from heterogeneous structural datasets”
#252, Fall, 2016 ACS Publications Mojtaba Haghighatlari, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University at Buffalo, USA
“ChemML: A Machine Learning and Informatics Program Suite for the Chemical and Materials Sciences”
#252, Fall, 2016 ACS Publications George Van Den Driessche, Department of Chemistry, Bioinformatics Research Center, North Carolina State University, USA
“Forecasting Adverse Drug Reactions Triggered by the Common HLA-B*57:01 Variant”
#252, Fall, 2016 ACS Publications Nathanael Kazmierczak, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Calvin College, USA
“Modeling spectrophotometric titration data: tracking error from the measurement, through the model, and to the targeted output parameters”
#251, Spring, 2016 Springer & InfoChem Wilian Augusto Cortopassi, Chemistry Research Laboratory, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
“Prediction and quantification of cation-π interactions in ligand-bromodomain binding: Using quantum chemistry to capture electronic effects”
#251, Spring, 2016 Springer & InfoChem Iva Lukac, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
“Quantifying the effect that chemical environment exerts upon changes in property in matched molecular pairs analysis”
#251, Spring, 2016 Springer & InfoChem Yu-Chen Lo, Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
“CSNAP: A new chemoinformatics approach for target identification using chemical similarity networks”

Applications Invited for CSA Trust Grants for 2018

CSA TrustThe Chemical Structure Association (CSA) Trust is an internationally recognized organization established to promote the critical importance of chemical information to advances in chemical research. In support of its charter, the Trust has created a unique Grant Program and is now inviting the submission of grant applications for 2018.

Purpose of the Grants:

The Grant Program has been created to provide funding for the career development of young researchers who have demonstrated excellence in their education, research or development activities that are related to the systems and methods used to store, process and retrieve information about chemical structures, reactions and compounds. One or more Grants will be awarded annually up to a total combined maximum of ten thousand U.S. dollars ($10,000). Grantees have the option of payments being made in U.S. dollars or in British Pounds equivalent to the U.S. dollar amount. Grants are awarded for specific purposes, and within one year each grantee is required to submit a brief written report detailing how the grant funds were allocated. Grantees are also requested to recognize the support of the Trust in any paper or presentation that is given as a result of that support.

Who is Eligible?

Applicant(s), age 35 or younger, who have demonstrated excellence in their chemical information related research and who are developing careers that have the potential to have a positive impact on the utility of chemical information relevant to chemical structures, reactions and compounds, are invited to submit applications. While the primary focus of the Grant Program is the career development of young researchers, additional bursaries may be made available at the discretion of the Trust. All requests must follow the application procedures noted below and will be weighed against the same criteria.

Which Activities are Eligible?

Grants may be awarded to acquire the experience and education necessary to support research activities; for example, for travel to collaborate with research groups, to attend a conference relevant to one’s area of research (including the presentation of an already-accepted research paper), to gain access to special computational facilities, or to acquire unique research techniques in support of one’s research. Grants will not be awarded for activities completed prior to the grant award date.

Application Requirements:

Applications must include the following documentation:

  • A letter that details the work upon which the Grant application is to be evaluated as well as details on research recently completed by the applicant;
  • The amount of Grant funds being requested and the details regarding the purpose for which the Grant will be used (e.g. cost of equipment, travel expenses if the request is for financial support of meeting attendance, etc.). The relevance of the above-stated purpose to the Trust’s objectives and the clarity of this statement are essential in the evaluation of the application);
  • A brief biographical sketch, including a statement of academic qualifications and a recent photograph;
  • Two reference letters in support of the application. Additional materials may be supplied at the discretion of the applicant only if relevant to the application and if such materials provide information not already included in items 1-4. A copy of the completed application document must be supplied for distribution to the Grants Committee and can be submitted via regular mail or e-mail to the Committee Chair (see contact information below).

Deadline for Applications:

The application deadline for the 2018 Grant is March 30, 2018. Successful applicants will be notified no later than May 9, 2018.

Address for Submission of Applications:

The application documentation can be mailed via post or emailed to: Bonnie Lawlor, CSA Trust Grant Committee Chair, 276 Upper Gulph Road, Radnor, PA 19087, USA. If you wish to enter your application by e-mail, please contact Bonnie Lawlor at chescot@aol.com prior to submission so that she can contact you if the e-mail does not arrive.

Past Recipients of the CSA Awards