Message from the Chair

ImageCINF’s Boston ACS program was an outstanding success! This was one of the largest CINF programs with over 170 papers, beating the previous records of 130-140 talks in San Diego and San Francisco. Thanks to our program chair, Erin Davis, for all her hard work!

At this meeting, CINF participated in some novel programming, including organizing a panel discussion of Careers in Chemical Information and Cheminformatics, in conjunction with the ACS Graduate and Undergraduate Program Offices. Thank you to Lori Betsock, ACS Undergraduate Program Office, for her assistance with organizing this program and providing refreshments. In addition, on Wednesday afternoon CINF hosted a Wikipedia edit-a-thon, in conjunction with the ACS Committee on Public Relations and Communications - another “first” for CINF! Thank you to Keith Lindblom, ACS National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program, for his assistance with organizing this program.

The Herman Skolnik Award symposium honoring Jürgen Bajorath provided for some excellent presentations to a standing room only audience, despite some unfortunate last minute cancelations and substitutions due to illness. Veer Shanmugasundaram put together an outstanding program highlighting Jürgen’s entire career in talks from mentors, colleagues, and recent students. Also a “first” this year, we hope that the Herman Skolnik Award symposium will be published as an ACS Symposium Series book. Hopefully, this will become a recurring tradition, further highlighting and honoring our Skolnik awardee.

Thanks to our luncheon speaker, Michele Derrick, Research Scientist, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, who discussed CAMEO (The Conservation and Art Materials Encyclopedia Online (CAMEO), an electronic database that disseminates technical information on terms, materials, and techniques used in the fields of art conservation and historic preservation. This is the first time in recent history that we actually ran out of luncheon tickets and sold out with record attendance!         

In the area of novel programming, the “Intercollegiate Cheminformatics Education Symposium” was funded by the ACS Innovative Projects Grant program to the Division of Chemical Information in collaboration with the Division of Chemical Education (CHED). I want to thank Robert Belford, Stuart Chalk, and Leah McEwen, for their work on this proposal. The symposium is part of a larger project within CHED in which several members of CINF are participating, the Cheminformatics OLCC (OnLine Chemistry Course, It is a concurrent online conference style course covering a range of chemical information and cheminformatics skills, bringing in the expertise of a range of chemical information professionals, including chemistry librarians, research and teaching faculty, and government scientists. This course was developed with NSF funds and is running as a pilot in collaboration with four chemistry departments this fall ( Presenting at the symposium is the capstone event for the students taking the course, and provides an opportunity for them to meet each other, the course faculty, and many chemical information professionals at the ACS National Meeting in San Diego, CA. 

One of the issues, which consistently emerges from our discussions, is what added value can CINF provide to its members outside of the national meeting programming? Only a small percentage of our division members attend the national meetings, so let me highlight some of the recent activities. Thanks to Carmen Nitsche and Belinda Hurley, webinar coordinators, CINF has been able to offer many interesting topical webinars throughout the year ( Some ACS Symposium Series books, such as the upcoming Herman Skolnik Award Symposium book, are another information resource developed by CINF outside of national meetings. The most recent idea emerged from a Boston presentation by Rajarshi Guha and Noel O’Boyle “So I have an SD file…what do I do?” It suggests that CINF should support a repository of organized and annotated links to various cheminformatics tools available on the web. We will be developing a collated index of useful cheminformatics tools for the community. I am open to other suggestions from the division membership regarding what CINF could and should be doing for them outside of national meetings.

I want to thank some of our CINF colleagues for their valued service to the Division over many years, who are stepping down from their current positions: Leah McEwen as secretary, and Guenter Grethe as coordinator of the CINF Scholarship for Scientific Excellence and a representative to the ACS Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group.

We are now looking for active participants to suggest or organize symposia, coordinate webinars, and help with fundraising and social events. Please email me ( if you would like to play a valuable role volunteering within CINF. I am looking forward to meeting you virtually or in person at the spring meeting in San Diego. Feel free to introduce yourself either way!

Rachelle Bienstock, Chair, ACS Division of Chemical Information

Image Sponsored by the Division of Chemical Information 2010-2014

Science and the law: analytical data in support of regulation in health, food, and the environment
Town, William G; Currano, Judith N. 2014.                

The future of the history of chemical information
McEwen, Leah Rae; Buntrock, Robert E. 2014.         

Special issues in data management
Xiao, Norah; McEwen, Leah Rae. 2012.                     

Library design, search methods, and applications of fragment-based drug design
Bienstock, Rachelle J. 2011.

Special topics in intellectual property
Twiss-Brooks, Andrea. 2010.

There are 12 books in total sponsored by CINF from 1977 to 2014. The first chapter of each is free to read. ACS members may use their “Universal Member Access” benefit (for any 25 articles, including ebooks).