Awards and Scholarships

2014 CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence Presented

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The scholarship program of the Division of Chemical Information (CINF) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) is designed to reward students and postdoctoral fellows in chemical information and related sciences for scientific excellence and to foster their involvement in CINF. Since 2005, the program has awarded scholarships at each of the ACS National Meetings and has awarded 54 scholarships in total. The awards at the Fall 2014 National Meeting in San Francisco were sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Applicants presented their posters at the CINF Welcoming Reception and the Sci-Mix session. Four 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 (listed from left to right on the photo):

Alexander R. Geanes, Department of Chemistry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA, “BCL::EvoGen: An evolutionary algorithm for focused library design.” Co-authors: Edward W. Lowe, Jens Meiler.

Vinícius M. Alves, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal de Goías, Goiania, Goias, Brazil, “Pred-hERG: A novel web-accessible computational tool for predicting cardiac toxicity of drug candidates. Co-authors: Rodolpho C. Braga, Meryck B. Silva, Eugene Muratov, Denis Fourches, Alexander Tropsha, Carolina H. Andrade.

Huifang Li, Vancouver Prostate Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, “Targeting androgen receptor DNA-binding domain using structure-based methods to overcome resistance.” Co-authors: Fuqiang Ban, Kush Dalal, Eric, Leblanc, Paul S. Rennie, Artem Cherkasov.

Katarzyna Odziomek, Faculty of Chemistry, Laboratory of Environmental Chemometrics, University of Gdansk, Poland and Computational Research Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA, “Towards Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) models for nanoparticles.” Co-authors: Daniela Ushizima, Tomasz Puzyn, Maciej Haranczyk.

The next scholarships are jointly sponsored by InfoChem and Springer and will be awarded at the Spring 2015 ACS National Meeting in Denver, CO.

Guenter Grethe, Coordinator, CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence 

2015 Skolnik Award Announced

The American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Information is pleased to announce Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bajorath as the recipient of 2015 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. Prof. Bajorath will also be invited to present an award symposium at the Fall 2015 ACS National Meeting to be held in Boston, MA.

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Bajorath is a world leader in the development and application of cheminformatics and computational solutions to research problems in medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, and the life sciences and has done pioneering work in the area of compound data analysis in chemistry. He is widely recognized for his seminal and prolific research work in molecular similarity analysis and ligand-based virtual screening, fingerprint engineering and advanced machine learning techniques, application of information theoretic concepts to cheminformatics, large-scale graphical analysis and visualization of structure-activity relationships, big data analysis in chemistry, and evaluation of SAR information in medicinal chemistry project progression in novel ways. Bajorath has been active in several areas of scientific enquiry and development that have all helped shape some of the fundamental research issues in chemical information science. Some of these areas include:

  • Algorithms to navigate high-dimensional chemical space representations in search of novel active compounds
  • Molecular fingerprints for similarity searching that are not affected by molecular complexity and size effects and that are directed against specific compound classes
  • Methods for the estimation of recall rates in virtual screening and database rankings
  • Prediction of structure-activity characteristics of compound data sets
  • Approaches for the analysis of selectivity differences between ligands of members of target protein families and the identification of selective compounds
  • Compound data mining and molecular promiscuity analysis
  • Activity landscape modeling and systematic exploration of activity cliffs
  • Various novel visualization methods for analysis of structure-activity relationships.

Bajorath obtained his diploma (M.S.) and Ph.D. degrees (under Wolfram Saenger, 1988) in biochemistry from the Free University West-Berlin. After postdoctoral work with Arnie Hagler at Biosym in San Diego focusing on DFT calculations on enzyme-inhibitor complexes, he joined Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and spent seven years at the BMS Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Seattle where he became a Principal Scientist. During his years at BMS, Bajorath worked on protein modeling and structure-based design projects and developed his interests in bio- and chemoinformatics research.

After leaving BMS, he was involved in starting a biotech company (New Chemical Entities) that ultimately became the AMRI Bothell Research Center. In 1995, he was appointed Affiliate Associate and later Full Professor of Biological Structure at the University of Washington where he developed strong academic ties.

In 2004, after 16 years in the US, he was appointed Full Professor and Chair of Life Science Informatics at the University of Bonn, Germany. He continues to be affiliated with the University of Washington and has also been an invited professor at the University of Strasbourg, France.

Bajorath currently serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and is also on several editorial boards (including, among others, Drug Discovery Today, Expert Opinion in Drug Discovery, Chemical Biology and Drug Design, Molecular Diversity, and Molecular Informatics) and various scientific advisory boards.

He received the Novartis Chemistry Lectureship Award and was appointed as a F1000 Faculty Member to the Drug Discovery and Design Section.

Jürgen Bajorath has been a dominant force in the fields of cheminformatics, big data analysis, and computational chemistry. He has published more than 450 papers in several prestigious journals, and 4 books and holds 25 issued patents. Some programs and databases that are a result of his scientific research work have been placed in the public domain including SARANEA, an open-source Java application for interactive exploration of structure-activity and structure-selectivity relationships.

Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Chair, CINF Awards Committee 

2015 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 2015 Lucille M. Wert Scholarship is February 1, 2015. 

Details on the application procedures can be found at:
http://www.acscinf.org/content/lucille-m-wert-student-scholarship.

Applications (email preferred) can be sent to: Andrea Twiss-Brooks <atbrooks@uchicago.edu>

Contact information:  Andrea Twiss-Brooks
Co-Director Science Libraries, University of Chicago
5730 S. Ellis Avenue, John Crerar Library, Chicago, IL 60615
Phone: 773-702-8777  

Patterson-Crane Award: Call for Nominations

Do you have a colleague whom you believe should be acknowledged for her/his work in chemical information? The Dayton and Columbus Sections of the American Chemical Society, which sponsor the Patterson-Crane Award, would like to hear from you.

The biennial award consists of a $3,000 honorarium and a personalized commendation and is to be presented in the spring of 2015 at an awards dinner to be held in Columbus, Ohio. The recipient is expected to give an address at the time of the award presentation.

Award Criteria:

Nominees, who need not hold ACS membership, should demonstrate outstanding achievement in the field of chemical information science. Contributions of international significance may relate to:

  • Design, development, production, or management of chemical information systems or services.
  • Electronic access to and retrieval of chemical information; critically evaluated data compilations.
  • Information technology applications in chemistry or other significant chemical documentation, including production of original works, editorial work, or chemical library work.

Nominations for the award must be in writing and may be sent either in hard copy or via email. 

They should discuss the nominee's contributions to the field as well as an evaluation of accomplishments. Materials supporting the nomination should include a biography and bibliography of publications and presentations. Seconding letters are required and may also be sent either in hard copy or via email.

Send the nomination materials to Dr. Steven Rosenthal, Chair of the Patterson-Crane Award Committee, (srosenthal@cas.org or CAS, 2540 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43202-1505) for receipt by 31 January 2015. To receive more information about this award, contact Dr. Rosenthal (614-447-3600, ext. 2070 or srosenthal@cas.org).

Nominations will be judged by a seven-member selection committee consisting of Dayton and Columbus Section members as well as the Chair of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Information.

The Patterson-Crane Award is international in scope and given in honor of two outstanding members of the sections: Austin M. Patterson (1876–1956) and E.J. Crane (1889–1966), who were both Editors of Chemical Abstracts Service.

Steven Rosenthal, Chair, Patterson-Crane Award Committee

CSA Trust Grants: Applications Invited for 2015

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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 now inviting the submission of grant applications for 2015.

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 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, 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, for example, 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 document must be supplied for distribution to the Grants Committee.

Deadline for Applications

Applications for the 2015 Grant are due by March 13, 2015. Successful applicants will be notified no later than May 2 of the relevant year.

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 chescot@aol.com prior to submission so that she can contact you if the e-mail does not arrive.

Recent Grant Awardees:

2014

Dr. Adam Madarasz: Institute of Organic Chemistry, Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He was awarded a Grant for travel to study at the University of Oxford with Dr. Robert S. Paton, a 2013 CSA Trust Grant winner, in order to increase his  experience in the development of computational methodology which is able to accurately model realistic and flexible transition states in chemical and biochemical reactions.

Maria José Ojeda Montes: Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University Rovira i Virgili, Spain. She was awarded a Grant for travel expenses to study for four months at the Freie University of Berlin to enhance her experience and knowledge regarding virtual screening workflows for predicting therapeutic uses of natural molecules in the field of functional food design.

Dr. David Palmer: Department of Chemistry, University of Strathclyde, Scotland.  He was awarded a Grant to present a paper at the fall 2014 meeting of the American Chemical Society on a new approach for representing molecular structures in computers based upon on ideas from the Integral Equation Theory of Molecular Liquids.

Sona B. Warrier: Departments of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, and Pharmaceutical Analysis, NMIMS University, Mumbai. She was awarded a Grant to attend the International Conference on Pure and Applied Chemistry to present a poster on her research on inverse virtual screening in drug repositioning.

A complete list of the previous grant awardees is at: /node/590

Bonnie Lawlor, Chair, CSA Trust Grant Committee