Awards & Scholarships

Dr. Stephen R. Heller Receives the 2015 Patterson-Crane Award

ImageThe 2015 Patterson-Crane Award ceremony was held on Tuesday evening, September 8, 2015, at the Clintonville Woman’s Club in Columbus, OH to honor Dr. Stephen R. Heller for his work on the development of the IUPAC International Chemical Identifier (InChI). Dr. Heller described how and why InChI was developed and how it is being used today to find chemical information. 

The Columbus and Dayton (Ohio) Sections of the American Chemical Society sponsor the Patterson-Crane Award for contributions to chemical information. It 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).

ImageThe biennial award consists of a $3,000 honorarium and a personalized commendation. The award is funded by a bequest of the Patterson family to the Dayton Section, by the Helen G. Crane Fund of the Columbus Foundation, and by the Patterson-Crane Award Fund of the Columbus Section.

The Austin M. Patterson Award was established in 1949 by the Dayton Section to acknowledge meritorious contributions in the field of chemical literature and especially documentation of chemistry. Dr. Patterson, the first recipient of the biennial award, was recognized for his leadership in organic chemical nomenclature and his work as editor of Chemical Abstracts. There were 13 additional recipients of this award, including E.J. Crane, who was editor of Chemical Abstracts from 1915 to1958. Subsequently, there was a desire to honor and establish an award in his memory. In February 1975 the ACS Board of Directors accepted a proposal by the Dayton and Columbus Sections for a jointly sponsored Patterson-Crane Award. Through 2010 there have been 31 recipients of the joint award. (Past recipients of the award are listed at:  http://columbus.sites.acs.org/pcawardmore.htm).

Steven Rosenthal, Chair, Patterson-Crane Award Committee

2015 CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence Presented

ImageThe 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, 58 scholarships in total. The awards at the 250th National Meeting in Boston were sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Applicants presented their posters at the CINF Welcoming Reception and the Sci-Mix session, and the four winners received scholarships at the CINF Luncheon during the same meeting. Two full scholarships valued at $1,000 each were awarded to Darshan Mehta and Florian Roessler, and the third scholarship was given to a team of Ewa Gajewska and Sara Szymkuc.

The names of the recipients and the titles of their posters are (listed from left to right on the photo):

Darshan Mehta, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA, “Chemical alerts and QSAR models based on dynamically-generated annotated linear structural fragments.” Co-authors: James Rathman, Chihae Yang.

Florian Roessler, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, “A knowledge-based approach to the parameterization of small molecule force fields based on crystal structures.” Co-authors: Oliver Korb, Robert Glen, Peter Bond.

Sara Szymkuc, Institute of Organic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland, “Chess-like algorithms behind Chematica’s retrosynthetic planning.”Co-authors: Ewa Gajewska, Tomasz Klucznik, Piotr Dittwald, Michael Startek, Karol Molga. Michal Bajczyk, Bartosz Grzybowski.

Ewa Gajewska, Institute of Organic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland, “Retrosynthesis of complex molecules using Chematica.”Co-authors: Sara Szymkuc, Tomasz Klucznik, Piotr Dittwald, Michael Startek, Karol Molga. Michal Bajczyk, Bartosz Grzybowski.

The next scholarships are jointly sponsored by InfoChem and Springer and will be awarded at the spring 2016 ACS National Meeting in San Diego, CA.

The coordination of the scholarships will be in the capable hands of Stuart Chalk (University of North Florida). I wish him much success for the future.

Guenter Grethe, Coordinator, CINF Scholarships for Scientific Excellence

2016 Herman Skolnik Award Announced

The American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Information is pleased to announce that Stephen Bryant and Evan Bolton have been selected to receive the 2016 Herman Skolnik Award for their work on developing, maintaining, and expanding the web-based NIH/NLM/NCBI PubChem database and related software capabilities and analytic tools to enhance the scientific discovery process. 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. Drs. Bryant and Bolton will also be invited to present an award symposium at the fall 2016 ACS National Meeting to be held in Philadelphia, PA.

ImageStephen H. Bryant received his B.A. in chemistry and english from the University of Virginia, and then completed a Ph.D. in biophysics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he studied protein crystallography. He did postgraduate work at Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine and of Hygiene and Public Health, followed by a stint at Brookhaven National Laboratory working on the Protein Data Bank (PDB). Bryant then spent some time in upstate New York as a Research Scientist, Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research, New York State Department of Health, and Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany before going to the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health as a Senior Investigator.

ImageEvan Bolton received a B.S. in chemistry from Rider College in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Georgia. He held positions as a computational scientist at American Cyanamid and IRL, Inc. before becoming a consultant who led the creation, use, and management of computer applications to manage scientific data. At first under contract to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) to work on the PubChem project, Bolton joined the NCBI staff as Lead Scientist in 2004.

The awarding of the 2016 Herman Skolnik Award to Bryant and Bolton recognizes the significant contribution of the creation of the necessary computer and software systems to make PubChem information (a database of small molecules and biological activity information) easily web-accessible to biomedical researchers. Under Bryant and Bolton’s leadership, the PubChem team has created a world-class resource for chemical and biological information. PubChem is the first major public database to connect cheminformatics to bioinformatics and thereby provide a unique information resource for pharmaceutical research.

From its beginning, PubChem’s overriding goal has been to provide comprehensive information on the biological properties of small molecules. Since 2004, PubChem has grown to 196 million chemical substance records, encompassing 68 million unique compounds. It has been a demonstration of a public and private cooperation that has benefited the entire scientific community in collecting and integrating resources, as demonstrated by collaborations with over 250 academic and commercial organizations who have contributed records to PubChem. Biological screening results are available from over 1.1 million bioassay screens for over 3.1 million tested substances. Every day, tens of thousands of researchers from university labs, as well as pharmaceutical and biotech companies access PubChem in their drug discovery efforts.

Bryant and Bolton have provided important leadership for the PubChem project. Bryant is guided by an overarching vision of data integration, and in particular his focus on adding the third dimension to chemical structure searches, likely guided by his early experience in structural biology and crystallography. Bolton has had a consistent eye and focus on engineering and design, and has shared his insight and expertise with others in the field, especially with the intricacies of building highly robust chemical registration systems.

Bryant and Bolton are also cited as lucid and determined advocates not only for PubChem, but also for cheminformatics and chemical sciences in general. They are valued among their colleagues, having worked with other projects such as ChEMBL (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/chembl) at EMBL-EBI, an open medicinal chemistry data resource and on the ChEBI (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/chebi) chemical ontology database.

Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Chair, CINF Awards Committee

2017 Herman Skolnik Award: Call for Nominations

The ACS Division of Chemical Information established this Award to recognize outstanding contributions to and achievements in the theory and practice of chemical information science. The Award is named in honor of the first recipient, Herman Skolnik.

By this Award, the Division of Chemical Information is committed to encouraging the continuing preparation, dissemination, and advancement of chemical information science and related disciplines through individual and team efforts. Examples of such advancement include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Design of new and unique computerized information systems;
  • Preparation and dissemination of chemical information;
  • Editorial innovations;
  • Design of new indexing, classification, and notation systems;
  • Chemical nomenclature;
  • Structure-activity relationships;
  • Numerical data correlation and evaluation;
  • Advancement of knowledge in the field.

The Award consists of a $3,000 honorarium and a plaque. The recipient is expected to give an address at the time of the Award presentation. In recent years, an Award Symposium has been organized by the recipient.

Nominations for the Herman Skolnik Award should describe the nominee’s contributions to the field of chemical information and should include supportive materials such as a biographical sketch and a list of publications and presentations. Three seconding letters are also required. Nominations and supporting material should be sent by email to awards@acscinf.org. Paper submissions will not be accepted. The deadline for nominations for the 2017 Herman Skolnik Award is June 1, 2016.

Andrea Twiss-Brooks, Chair, CINF Awards Committee

2016 Lucille M. 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 annually 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 (e.g., biochemistry or chemical informatics). The applicant must have been accepted (or be 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 2016 Lucille M. Wert Scholarship is February 1, 2016. Details on the application procedures can be found at: http://www.acscinf.org/content/lucille-m-wert-student-scholarship.

Applications should be sent by email to: marge.matthews@outlook.com.

Marge Matthews, Coordinator, Lucille M. Wert Scholarship

2016 CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence: Call for Applications

The international scholarship program of the Division of Chemical Information (CINF) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) co-sponsored by InfoChem (www.infochem.de) and Springer (www.springer.com) is designed to reward students in chemical information and related sciences for scientific excellence and to foster their involvement in CINF.

Up to three scholarships valued at $1,000 each will be awarded at the 251st ACS National Meeting in San Diego, CA, March 13-17, 2016. Student applicants must be enrolled at a certified college or university; postdoctoral fellows are also invited to apply. The applicants will present a poster during the Welcoming Reception of the Division on Sunday evening at the national meeting. Additionally, they will have an option to show their posters at the Sci-Mix session on Monday night. Abstracts for the poster must be submitted through MAPS, the abstract submission system of ACS.

To apply, please inform the chair of the selection committee, Stuart Chalk, at schalk@unf.edu that you are applying for a scholarship. Submit your abstract at http://maps.acs.org using your ACS ID. If you do not have an ACS ID, follow the registration instructions. Submit your abstract in the CINF program in the session “CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence. Student Poster Competition.” MAPS is now open and submissions are due by October 12, 2015. Additionally, please send a 2,000-word abstract describing the work to be presented to schalk@unf.edu by January 31, 2016. Any questions related to applying for one of the scholarships should be directed to the same e-mail address.

Winners will be chosen based on the content, presentation, and relevance of the poster, and their names will be announced during the Sunday reception. The content should reflect upon the student’s work and describe research in the field of cheminformatics and related sciences.

Stuart Chalk, Coordinator, CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence