CINF Technical Program Highlights

Hurricane IreneUnfortunately the fall 2011 Denver National ACS meeting began with a hurricane. Hurricane Irene affected travel from the entire East Coast, closing all three New York area airports and putting a severe damper on attendance and resulting in the cancellation of many sessions.  However, despite all, CINF sessions still managed to maintain a high level of attendance and interest. The weather was sunny and perfect in the mile high city!

Opening day Sunday morning featured a session complementing the theme for the Denver meeting, Chemistry of Air, Space and Water, on “Chemical Environment Specific Databases and Searching Information Related to the Air, Water, and our Environment.” Andrea Twiss-Brooks organized this session with talks that complemented each other without overlap. This session featured talks on the US Geological water survey and USGS National Geochemical Database as well as CHEMLIST.  There was a lively question and answer session and audience participation.

Sunday afternoon, Patricia Meindl organized a very apropos session on “Nontraditional Careers What Else Can I do with a Chemistry Degree?” This was a very topical symposium based on the ACS Board’s meeting on unemployment and what the ACS can do. Unemployment among chemists, based on ACS data is currently 3.8%, the highest it has been since 1972!

Monday featured a standing-room only symposium organized by David Martinsen and MartinBraendle on “Chemistry in Mobile Spaces: Chemical Apps for Mobile Devices.” Attendees struggled to capture those QR codes on the presented slides before they disappeared and argued whether iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphones were the platform of the future, while the oldies in the audience struggled with reading the ACS program small text on our phones!

By all means, on Tuesday we were all honored to celebrate with Alexander (Sandy) Lawson on receiving the 2011 Herman Skolnik Award. The Herman Skonik symposium opened with Robert Massie (CAS) and a fascinating overview of the publishing and information age and how it is evolving, followed by presentations from Martin Tanke (Elsevier), Tony Williams (ChemSpider, Royal Society of Chemistry), and Uwe Rosemann (German National Library of Science and Technology). The afternoon session opened with a presentation by Robert Glen (University of Cambridge) on apelin and drug discovery, followed by a presentation from Torsten Hoffmann (Hoffmann-La Roche) on how medicinal chemists in industry keep track of information. Rudy Potenzone (SciencePoint Solutions), and Wendy Warr (Wendy Warr & Associates) rounded out the afternoon prior to hearing from Sandy himself about his extensive and interesting career. We all want to share our sincerest congratulations to Sandy on receiving this well deserved award!

Wednesday concluded the CINF programming with our CINFlash last minute cutting edge papers and discussion led by Rajarshi Guha. Our general session featured a very full and eclectic group of papers including many presentations on chemical structure representations, consensus modeling and ring representations by David Deng (formerly Roche, now ChemAxon), Jose Medina-Franco (Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies), and Adrian Kolodzik (University of Hamburg), endocrine disruptor characterization by Tudor Opera (University of New Mexico), and several presentations on chemical databases by Evan Bolton (National Center for Biotechnology Information), Tony Williams (ChemSpider, Royal Society of Chemistry), Jens Schamberger (Bayer HealthCare AG), and  interaction networks by Adam Palmer (Harvard Medical School) and Karina Martinex-Mayorga (Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies). The afternoon session closed with a presentation on the use of InChIs as chemical reaction descriptors by Jonathan Goodman (University of Cambridge)  and several presentations on library tools and their usage by Jayne Knoop (CAS), Shu Guo (Central Michigan University), Danielle Jacobs (Rider University) and Donna Wrublewski (University of Florida).

I am grateful to all the symposium organizers who worked so hard putting together an outstanding program for this Denver meeting. Of course, if you have any programming ideas for future meetings, please don’t hesitate to contact me – it is too late for the next San Diego meeting (Spring 2012), but it is not too late for Philadelphia (Fall 2012) or future meetings!

Rachelle Bienstock, Chair, CINF Program Committee