Message from the Chair

Rachelle BeinstockThe San Diego meeting included a novel initiative for CINF: the Multi-Day Data Summit Symposium: Chemistry, Data and the Semantic Web and its related reception (both of which may become a recurring event). It took a great deal of effort to pull together this successful symposium and I specifically want to thank Erin Bolstad, Evan Bolton, Stuart Chalk, and Leah McEwen for all their work in making it so successful. Thanks also go to Graham Douglas for his help with fundraising and coordinating the reception venue with Erin.

A very successful, multiyear, combined CINF (Leah McEwen and Stuart Chalk) and CHED (Robert Belford) effort also came to fruition at this meeting, with the CHED symposium (cosponsored by CINF) on the Intercollegiate Cheminformatics Course. This course was the result of an Innovative Project Grant and has led to the development of a valuable online educational resource in the area of chemical information and cheminformatics. The online cheminformatics OLCC found at http://olcc.ccce.divched.org/Fall2015OLCC was offered at four universities in the fall of 2015 and features a series of superb teaching modules with contributions from many CINF members. Topics covered include chemical identifiers; comparing and searching chemical entities; 2D similarity methods; tutorials on advanced searching in PubChem using chemistry APIs, including the ChemSpider InChI API; and using chemical databases. At the San Diego meeting, it was great to see all of the students involved in the program, and I would like to see CINFs continued involvement with CHED in providing educational materials and direction in curriculum development in cheminformatics, chemical information, and methods for data analysis, all of which are becoming increasingly important.

The CINF program also featured some outstanding symposia covering significant topics in chemical information, such as: Overcoming Incompatibilities in Scientific Data; Applying Structural Knowledge in Drug Discovery and Development; Global Initiatives in Research Data Management and Discovery; Data Mining for Searching Noncovalent Interactions in Chemical Databases; ELNs; Chemical Information for Small Businesses and Startups; Linking Big Data with Chemistry: Databases Connecting Genomics, Biological Pathways and Targets to Chemistry; Impact of Funders on the Research Data and Publications Landscape; and Reimagining Libraries.

We enjoyed a superb luncheon with delicious food (thanks to the capable organization of Michael Qiu) and a fascinating speaker, Dr. Christopher Tubbs of the Conservation Education Division at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, whose topic “Dietary Phytoestrogens and Reproduction in Southern White Rhinoceros,” addressed the impact of diet on the reproductive health of the rhino.

For Philadelphia we are also looking forward to some outstanding programming, including a cosponsored symposium with MEDI, on “Effectively Harnessing the World’s Literature to Inform Rational Compound Design,” sponsored by Genentech and organized by Dan Ortwine; the 2016 Skolnik symposium, and a symposium which I am chairing with ANYL on “New Directions in Chemometrics: Making Sense of Big and Small Chemical Data Sets.”

I want to thank some CINF members who are stepping down from responsibilities and some who are assuming new responsibilities. Thanks to Dave Martinsen, stepping down from chairing Communications and Publications; Leah McEwen, stepping down from the office of Secretary; Belinda Hurley and Carmen Nitsche, stepping down as Webinar chairs, and Graham Douglas for assuming the role of Communications and Publications chair. Thanks also to Michael Qiu and Erin Bolstand who will be now be assisting with Webinars, and welcome to our new Secretary, Tina Qin; David Evans, our new Awards chair; and Bonnie Lawlor, our new Procedures chair.

If you have any suggestions or recommendations on how CINF can provide more services and reach out to its members more effectively, please let me know. As only 25% of members ever attend a national meeting, CINF is anxious to find ways that it can provide resources and benefits to members who do not attend these meetings. If you have any comments please email me at rachelleb1@gmail.com, and if you are in Philadelphia, please introduce yourself.

Rachelle J. Bienstock, Chair,
ACS Division of Chemical Information
rachelleb1@gmail.com