Message from the Chair

Rachelle BienstockThis will be my final message to you as CINF chair, as I turn over the reins of leadership to Erin. In evaluating the past two years in which I have had the privilege of serving the CINF community, I cannot express what a rewarding and enriching experience it has been. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with the leading chemoinformaticians, information chemists, and chemical librarians, and have had the responsibiity of insuring that CINF continues to grow as an ACS division.

CINF has seen its programming at national meetings grow both in quality and quantity. Attendance in our sessions at national meetings has been substantial. In fact, one of our recurring complaints is assignment to rooms too small to accommodate attendance at national meetings! We have had continued cosponsorship of programming with several other divisions, notably COMP, CHED, CHAL, ANYL, and MEDI. We will continue working with other divisions, particularly in trying to develop a closer relationship with COMP regarding complementary programming. We have worked closely with CHED on the Online Chemistry Course (OLCC) and developing educational training in the area of chemical information; hopefully, these types of programs and Innovative Project Grants (IPGs) will continue in the future and grow from a well-established base. Hopefully, too, ACS will reward division cosponorship as a true cosponsorship and give credit to both divisions.

We have blazed new trails with our “big data” summit, and CINF will continue with multiple-day, big-topic programming, when appropriate, at our national meetings. Our Skolnik symposiums have awarded the best innovation in chemical information and we have had wonderful symposia honoring the work of Dr. Jürgen Bajorath in the area of QSAR, scaffold definition, and Matched Multiple Pairs (MMP), and Drs. Evan Bolton and Stephen Bryant for their work on PubChem.

The attendance at the meeting in Philadelphia was a bit smaller, and ACS is evaluating the national meeting format and looking at ways to make improvements and innovations for the future. There is discussion of shortening the meeting and perhaps making more content available streaming or virtually and other novel ways of reaching more members, or making participation at national meetings more convenient and affordable.

Our sessions at the Philadelphia meeting involved education and chemical information (Bringing Chemoinformatics Into the Classroom); a Genetech-sponsored symposium organized by Dr. Dan Ortwine (Effectively Harnessing the World’s Literature to Inform Rational Compound Design); a session on identifying druggable targets from databases (Shedding Light on the Dark Genome: Methods, Tools & Case Studies); Safety (Using Public Information to Support a Chemical Safety Culture); and a joint symposium with the analytical division (a first!) (New Directions in Chemometrics: Making Sense of Big & Small Chemical Data Sets).

In a few weeks we will be meeting in Philadelphia.  We have an excellent program planned, including a session cosponsored by MEDI, “Effectively Harnessing the World’s Literature to Inform Rational Compound Design”, and a session cosponsored with CHED on “Bringing Cheminformatics Into the College Chemistry Classroom”, and with BIOT, COMP and MEDI “Shedding Light on the Dark Genome” and CINF is cosponsoring a ANYL symposium on “New Directions in Chemometrics: Making Sense of Big and Small Chemical Data Sets”.

So I leave CINF leadership in good hands and I am hopeful that we will continue growing and offering quality benefits and programming to our members. We still need to not only grow our division in members but also in active members willing to volunteer, to help grow our programming and activities and improve our division and member benefits and offerings because there is always room for improvement!

Your chair,

Rachelle J. Bienstock, Rachelleb1@gmail.com