Awards and Scholarships

2013 Herman Skolnik Award Presented

Dr. Richard (“Dick”) Cramer was awarded the 2013 Herman Skolnik Award by the Division of Chemical Information (CINF) during the 246th American Chemical Society National Meeting held in Indianapolis, IN, September 8-12, 2013. 

This award recognizes Cramer’s outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science. Cramer’s scientific breakthroughs include the invention of Comparative Molecular Field Analysis (CoMFA), the first and most widely-used 3D-QSAR technique for molecular discovery. Researchers use CoMFA to build statistical and graphical models that relate the chemical and biological properties of molecules to their 3D structures and the 3D steric and electrostatic properties. These models are then used to predict the activity of novel compounds. This information helps researchers to decide which molecules will likely make the best new drug candidates. This development earned Cramer one of the earliest cheminformatics patents. He continues to refine this technique through his work on topomeric descriptors and other QSAR innovations.

Dr. Cramer organized a one-day symposium for the occasion, which included the following presentations (links to abstracts below, a symposium report by Wendy Warr is in this Issue): 

Adventures in CoMFAland / Robert D Clark

Adventures in drug discovery: For now we see through a glass, darkly / Robert C Glen

Three paradigm shifts in computer-assisted drug design: The inventors and by-standers / Yvonne C Martin

Look back at 3D-QSAR and Dick Cramer / Anton J. Hopfinger

Evolution of QSAR from regression analysis to physical modeling / Ajay N Jain

Scientific analysis of baseball performance / David W. Smith

Synthesis planning: Something about reactions, representation, relationships, and reasoning / W. Todd Wipke

Think local, act global: Some challenges in cheminformatics and drug research / Tudor I Oprea

From library design to off-target prediction: A wide array of topomer applications / Bernd Wendt

2013 Herman Skolnik Award address:
Whole template CoMFA: The QSAR grail? / Richard D Cramer

Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Chair, CINF Awards Committee

2013 CINF Lifetime Award Presented

Guenter Grethe receiving congratulations from Antony Williams, CINF Chair

Guenter Grethe was presented the CINF Lifetime Award during the Division Luncheon in Indianapolis on Tuesday, September 10, 2013. 

The award was established by the Executive Committee of the Division of Chemical Information in 2006.  It recognizes long-term membership, and outstanding service and active contributions to the Division over the years. The recipient must have been a member of the Division for at least 20 years.

Guenter has served CINF in various offices, and has been especially active in promoting the development of international partnerships and activities for CINF, including the XCITR project and the International Conference on Chemical Structures.

Guenter was the recipient of the 2001 Herman Skolnik Award and the 2004 Val Metanomski Meritorious Service Award from the Division. 

Congratulations, Guenter!

Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Chair, CINF Awards Committee


2013 CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence Presented

The scholarship program of the Division of Chemical Information (CINF) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) is designed to reward graduate and post-graduate students in chemical information and related sciences for scientific excellence and to foster their involvement in CINF. At each of the ACS National Meetings since 2005, the program has awarded a total of 49 scholarships. The awards at the Fall 2013 National Meeting in Indianapolis were sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Applicants presented their posters at the CINF Welcoming Reception and the Sci-Mix session. Two scholarships valued at $1,000 each were presented to the winners at the CINF Luncheon during the same meeting.

The names of the recipients and the titles of their posters are:

Johannes Hachmann, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, “The Harvard Clean Energy Project: From big data and cheminformatics to the rational design of molecular OVP materials.
Co-authors: Roberto Olivares-Amaya, Alan Aspuru-Guzik

Abhik Seal, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, “The enhanced ranking of PknB inhibitors using data fusion methods.”
Co-authors: David J. Wild

Johannes Hachmann, Abhik Seal, Guenter Grethe

The next scholarships jointly sponsored by InfoChem and Springer will be awarded at the 2014 Spring ACS National Meeting in Dallas, TX. 

Guenter Grethe, Coordinator, CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence

2013 Lucille Wert Scholarship Presented

Kristin Briney receiving congratulations from Andrea Twiss-Brooks, CINF Awards Chair

Kristin Briney was presented the 2013 Lucille M. Wert Scholarship during the ACS-Milwaukee Section Dinner Meeting, in Klemmer's Banquet Center, on October 17, 2013. 

An interview with Kristin Briney is featured in this issue of Chemical Information Bulletin.

Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Chair, CINF Awards Committee



2014 Lucille Wert Scholarship: Call for Applications

Designed to help persons with an interest in the fields of Chemistry and Information to pursue graduate study in Library, Information, or Computer Science, the Scholarship consists of a $1,500 honorarium. This scholarship is given yearly by the Division of Chemical Information of the American Chemical Society. 

The applicant must have a bachelor’s degree with a major in Chemistry or related disciplines (related disciplines are, for example, Biochemistry or Chemical Informatics). The applicant must have been accepted (or currently enrolled) into a graduate Library, Information, or Computer Science program in an accredited institution. Work experience in Library, Information or Computer Science is preferred.

The deadline to apply for the 2014 Lucille M. Wert Scholarship is February 1, 2014. 

Details on the application procedures can be found at:

Applications (email preferred) can be sent to:
Contact information:  Marge Matthews, CINF Awards Committee
633 Dayton Rd., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-3801
Phone:  215-823-3922

Marge Matthews, Coordinator, Lucille M. Wert Scholarship


2014 Herman Skolnik Award Announced

ImageDr. Engelbert Zass has been selected as the recipient of the American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Information’s 2014 Herman Skolnik Award.

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. Dr. Zass will also be invited to present an award symposium at the Fall 2014 ACS National Meeting to be held in San Francisco.

Dr. Zass, Head of the Chemistry Biology Information Center at ETH Zürich (retired), is being recognized for outstanding contributions and achievements in the practice of chemical information science, notably for his lifelong work in education, research and development activities. Throughout his career he has been a true bridge-builder and mediator between database producers, vendors, publishers, librarians and end-users in chemistry, contributing to advancing chemical information as a whole.

Dr. Zass specialized in chemical information after receiving his Ph.D. in organic chemistry, and has more than 30 years of experience in searching, operating, and designing chemistry databases, as well as in the support, training and education of users of chemical information. He has given numerous lectures and courses in Europe and the U.S., is author of more than 60 papers on chemical information, and served on several publisher advisory boards. From 1999 till 2004, he was a partner in the BMBF (German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) Project "Vernetztes Studium – Chemie," where he was engaged in the design of multimedia educational material for chemical information. Through his leadership, vision, and collaborative efforts with his staff, he developed a model 21st century library that serves chemists and biologists at ETH.

To his many friends and admirers, “Bert” has been a true leader in the profession, generous in sharing his expertise with colleagues. His dedicated, sustained efforts and the transformative impact he has had on chemical information systems, database producers, chemists, and librarians make him a worthy recipient for the Herman Skolnik Award.

Dr. Zass did his undergraduate studies in chemistry at Universität zu Köln, followed by a Master’s degree (Diplom) in Chemistry with Prof. E. Vogel. He went on to complete graduate studies with Prof. A. Eschenmoser at the Laboratorium für organische Chemie der ETH Zürich, culminating with a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry (Dr. sc. nat.). Upon completing his education, Dr. Zass was a lecturer and senior scientist at the ETH, Laboratorium für organische Chemie ETH / Chemistry Information Center, later serving as Head of the expanded ETH Chemistry Biology Pharmacy Information Center until his retirement in 2012.

Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Chair, CINF Awards Committee


Chemical Structure Association Trust Award


The Chemical Structure Association Trust is an internationally recognized organization established to promote the critical importance of chemical information to advances in chemical research. In particular, the Trust strives to create a heightened and sustained awareness of the essential role that is played in scientific research by the systems and methodologies used for the storage, processing and retrieval of information related to chemical structures, reactions and compounds. In support of its charter, the Trust has created the Chemical Structure Association Trust Award as well as a unique Grant Program. These programs are financed by investments managed by the Trust and through funds donated by industrial, academic, and government organizations that recognize the value of and benefit from research, development, and education in the fields supported by the Trust.

The Trust is now seeking submission of nominations for its Award for its next round of deliberations.

Award Program

Purpose: To recognize and encourage outstanding accomplishments in education, research and development activities that are related to the systems and methods used to store, process and retrieve information about chemical structures, reactions and compounds.

Nature: The Award, given on a tri-annual basis beginning in 2002, consists of five hundred U.S. dollars ($500.00) and an appropriate memento. The Award will be presented at a prestigious, relevant conference to be identified prior to each presentation. The awardee will be asked to give a presentation at the conference.

Eligibility: The Award shall be granted to an individual without regard to age or nationality for outstanding achievement in education, research or development in the area of systems and methods used for the storage, processing and retrieval of information about chemical structures, reactions and compounds. Nominations of persons known to be deceased will not be considered. Posthumous awards will be made only when knowledge of the recipient's death is received after the Award Committee has announced their decision.

Nominations: Any individual may submit one nomination or one seconding letter for the Award in any given year. In nomination by petition, the person whose signature is first will be considered to be the nominator. The required nominating documentation is as follows: 1) a letter that evaluates the nominee's accomplishments and the specific relevant work that is to be recognized; 2) a biographical sketch, including a statement of academic qualifications, as well as contact information; 3) at least two seconding letters that support the nomination and provide additional factual information with regard to the scientific achievements of the nominee. If appropriate, a list of the nominee's publications and/or patents may also be submitted. The Award will not be given in any year in which the nominees do not meet the award criteria.

The information should be submitted via email to René Deplanque, Chair of the Awards Committee, ( and to Bonnie Lawlor, CSA Trust Secretary, ( by November 15, 2013.

Bonnie Lawlor, Secretary, CSA Trust


Applications Invited for CSA Trust Grants for 2014

The 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 currently inviting the submission of grant applications for 2014.

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). 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 applications 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; e.g. for travel to collaborate with research groups, to attend a conference relevant to one’s area of research, to gain access to special computational facilities, or to acquire unique research techniques in support of one’s research.

Application Requirements: Applications must include the following documentation:

  1. 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;
  2. 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);
  3. A brief biographical sketch, including a statement of academic qualifications;
  4. 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. Three copies of the complete application must be supplied for distribution to the Grants Committee.

Deadline for Applications: Applications must be received no later than March 13, 2014. Successful applicants will be notified no later than May 2, 2014.

Address for Submission of Applications: Three copies of the application documentation should be forwarded 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 prior to submission so that she can contact you if the e-mail does not arrive. 

Bonnie Lawlor, Chair, CSA Trust Grant Committee