Meet the Newest Associate Editors of ACS Publications Journals – Q2 2016

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New associate editors bring more than just changes to a publication’s masthead. They bring new experiences, new perspectives and new ideas to their publications. Get to know some of ACS’ latest associate editors and learn what unique gifts they’ll be bringing to their respective journals.

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Lutgarde Raskin, Environmental Science & Technology

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What do you hope to bring to your journal?      

I will bring my expertise and excitement to promote publication of high-quality research that links microbial ecology and environmental biotechnology.

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Describe your current research.   

My research team and I work on understanding various aspects of the engineered water cycle microbiome to improve human health using sustainable design approaches. We especially focus on (1) water and energy recovery from waste streams and energy crops, and (2) drinking water systems including biofiltration, disinfection, distribution and premise plumbing.

What are the major challenges facing your field today? 

Translating microbiology and chemistry research findings into the practice of water quality process engineering design and operation.

Do you have a recent paper in an ACS journal that you’d like to highlight?           

Differential Resistance of Drinking Water Bacterial Populations to Monochloramine Disinfection
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2014, 48 (7), pp 4038–4047
DOI: 10.1021/es4055725

This study provides an example of the difficulty of integrating microbial research data into engineering design. Bacterial inactivation rates are necessary for the design of disinfection systems. However, it is not clear which methods should be used to determine inactivation rates. We found very different inactivation rates with culture-independent molecular methods than with culture-based methods. In this study, we also demonstrated that bacterial populations in drinking water exhibit differential resistance to disinfection, and that the disinfection process selects for resistant bacterial populations.

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Stuart Conway, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

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What do you hope to bring to your journal?
The Journal of Medicinal Chemistry has a reputation for publishing high-quality medicinal chemistry research so my primary aim is to continue this trend by being a rigorous but fair Associate Editor. Having worked closely with colleagues in industry, I hope that I can bring a balanced view that takes into account both industrial and academic expectations. Finally, I am on the Advisory Board for the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC), so I hope to continue the strong links between the EFMC and the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

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Describe your current research.
My group works in a number of diverse areas at the interface of chemistry, biology, and medicine. We have a particular interest in developing inhibitors of the bromodomain epigenetic readers. We reported some of the early BET and CREBBP bromodomain ligands, and are now looking to expand this work in a number of directions. We have also been developing tumor-targeting pro-drugs that are activated by the reducing tumor microenvironment. We are currently expanding this work by investigating imaging technology to complement our pro-drug approach. A third area of interest involves working towards validating novel targets for the treatment of infectious diseases.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?
One of the main challenges that faces molecularly-focused medicinal chemists and chemical biologists is that of understanding the function of molecules within complex cellular systems. This challenge is particularly important in the area of epigenetics, where the effect of a small molecule drug will potentially depend on the microenvironment of the protein in the context of its multiple protein binding partners, and the wider chromatin structure. Related to this point is the challenge of how we assess the true selectivity of biologically-active compounds within a complex physiological environment. By understanding the polypharmacology of effective compounds we might learn how to harness this phenomenon to our advantage. These areas impact on both our understanding of fundamental biology, and the drug discovery process.

Anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

I am a keen runner and my research group usually enters several teams into the Teddy Hall Relays, which is a 3.6-mile relay race around Oxford.

You can get updates about our group on twitter: @conway_group

Do you have a recent paper in an ACS journal that you’d like to highlight?

Small Molecule Inhibitors of Bromodomain–Acetyl-lysine Interactions
ACS Chem. Biol., 2015, 10 (1), pp 22–39
DOI: 10.1021/cb500996u

Optimization of 3,5-Dimethylisoxazole Derivatives as Potent Bromodomain Ligands
J. Med. Chem., 2013, 56 (8), pp 3217–3227
DOI: 10.1021/jm301588r

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Partha Sarathi Mukherjee, Inorganic Chemistry

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What do you hope to bring to your journal?      

Make sure Inorganic Chemistry remains the best journal for publishing highest quality research in inorganic chemistry/organometallics/bioinorganic chemistry.

Silvano Trieste 28/11/2011 TWAS 22nd General Meeting

Describe your current research.

We work on self-assembled discrete coordination molecular architectures and use of their confined nanospace for chemical transformations; and recognition of various analytes including chemical explosives. We also work on organic cage molecules/MOFs for controlled synthesis of tiny metal nanoparticles for heterogeneous catalysis.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

The major challenge in the field is to perform enantioselective chemical transformations in confined space of molecular cages with main focus in aqueous medium without using harmful organic solvents.

Anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

Details are available on the group’s home page.

Do you have a recent paper in an ACS journal that you’d like to highlight?

Urea-Functionalized Self-Assembled Molecular Prism for Heterogeneous Catalysis in Water
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138 (5), pp 1668–1676
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b12237

Molecular Cage Impregnated Palladium Nanoparticles: Efficient, Additive-Free Heterogeneous Catalysts for Cyanation of Aryl Halides
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2016, 138 (5), pp 1709–1716
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b13307

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Moon Jeong Park, Macromolecules

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What do you hope to bring to your journal?      

The design of new ion-containing polymers that result in high ionic conductivities, high cation transference numbers, and high mechanical strengths that can be used in a wide range of emerging nanotechnologies.

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Describe your current research.

The ultimate goal of my research is to find new ways to design soft materials and to understand how to improve their ion/charge transport properties. From this standpoint, I have been working on three major research topics: (1) understanding ion transport in polymer electrolytes, (2) designing self-assembled polymers with an aim to improve their ion/charge transport properties, and (3) investigating the electromechanical behavior of ion-containing polymers. In all cases, the principle objective has been to develop a fundamental understanding of the chemistry of molecular interactions. Whenever possible, my group has tried to investigate how these molecular details can affect the physicochemical properties of charge-containing materials.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?        

The development of new ion/charge transporting polymeric materials that are more efficient, predictable, and sustainable for energy storage and transport.

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Molly Shoichet, Biomacromolecules

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What do you hope to bring to your journal?      

Excellent papers.

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Describe your current research.

My research in regenerative medicine is at the interface of polymeric biomaterials, protein therapeutic and drug delivery, hydrogels and cell delivery.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Cell survival and integration; controlled and sustained protein release

Anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

I look forward to receiving their intellectually stimulating papers.

Do you have a recent paper in an ACS journal that you’d like to highlight?           

We have a recent paper in Biomacromolecules that highlights affinity-controlled release of a growth factor and cell delivery within an injectable hydrogel of hyaluronan and methylcellulose. James Parker and Nikolaos Mitrousis are co-first authors.

Hydrogel for Simultaneous Tunable Growth Factor Delivery and Enhanced Viability of Encapsulated Cells in Vitro
Biomacromolecules, 2016, 17 (2), pp 476–484
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.5b01366

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Timothy Deming, Biomacromolecules

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What do you hope to bring to your journal?
Assistance in the review process to promote expedient and careful evaluation of manuscripts. Also, I want to help promote journal visibility and help continually increase the quality of manuscripts the journal receives.

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Describe your current research.   

My lab works on polypeptide materials, ranging from development of synthetic methods to supramolecular assembly of these polymers and evaluation of their properties for biological applications.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Designing and developing polymeric materials in a scalable, cost effective process that meet all the needs and constraints required of materials that will be used in biological settings.

Do you have a recent paper in an ACS journal that you’d like to highlight?

Synthesis of Side-Chain Modified Polypeptides
Chem. Rev., 2016, 116 (3), pp 786–808
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.5b00292

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Filippo De Angelis, ACS Energy Letters

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What do you hope to bring to your journal?    

I hope the journal will benefit from my expertise in energy-related computational materials chemistry and science. I am hoping to help the best computational papers in the field to be published in ACS Energy Letters, by providing fast manuscript processing and fair peer review. I am also wishing to offer opportunities to less-established or younger scientists in the energy field to publish their work in a world-wide leading forum. I hope I can help new ideas, possibly on controversial topics and not necessarily in the mainstream of current research, to be spread by the journal.

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Describe your current research.

My current research is focused on computer simulations by first principles computational approaches of the fundamental material properties and processes underlying the functioning of hybrid/organic photovoltaic and photoelectrochemical devices. The main topics I am currently investigating are related to perovskite solar cells and dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells. In particular, an important aspect in both type of device is how charges are separated at the multiple heterointerfaces characterizing the devices and what are the structural and electronic parameters which come into play to retard or suppress undesired charge recombination events. These phenomena are approached by a combination of static and dynamics simulation tools based on Density Functional Theory (DFT) and many body perturbation theory.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?        

The current challenges in both perovskite and dye-sensitized solar cells are mainly related to understanding structure/property/function relations among different materials compositions and the related heterointerfaces lying at the heart of the corresponding devices. Computational techniques can offer an hitherto inaccessible electronic and atomistic view of such systems, which can further boost the efficiency and stability of the corresponding devices. An important aspect which is common to most of computer simulations is to be able to accurately simulate realistic systems, composed by several hundred atoms, possibly in complex environments (such as electrolytic solutions or molecule/metal oxide interfaces) on sufficiently long time scales to capture the essential dynamics features characterizing such systems. Accurate electronic structure methods, possibly beyond DFT, including relativistic effects are also needed for such large-scale calculations.

Anything else you’d like readers to know about you?   

For additional information on my lab activity and references about current research projects and research infrastructures please have a look at our web site www.clhyo.org.

Do you have a recent paper in an ACS journal that you’d like to highlight?

Tracking Iodide and Bromide Ion Segregation in Mixed Halide Lead Perovskites during Photoirradiation
ACS Energy Lett., 2016, 1 (1), pp 290–296
DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.6b00158

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Marcus Müller, ACS Macro Letters

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What do you hope to bring to your journal?      

I will serve the journal with my interest and expertise in macromolecular theory and modeling, as well as computer simulation techniques. Theory and simulation continue to make fundamental contributions to our understanding of macromolecular materials. The structure, thermodynamics and kinetics of polymer systems pose exciting conceptual challenges — e.g., the relation between the dynamics of individual macromolecules and collective structure formation or mechanic-dynamical properties — and insights provided by theory and simulation are important to rationalize experiments and form the basis for designing materials. As Associate Editor I will promote theoretical manuscripts that substantially advance fundamental concepts in macromolecular science, provide a significant contribution to our understanding of an important, experimental problem, or open research directions by devising new theoretical or computational techniques.

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Describe your current research.

Marcus Müller’s research interests focus on computational approaches to soft and biological matter. Developing and using computer simulation techniques and self-consistent field calculations of coarse-grained models, he investigates the thermodynamics and kinetics of collective ordering processes of polymer blends in thin films, binary polymer brushes, and the directed self-assembly of copolymer materials as well as biological transport processes, like fusion and fission, in membrane systems. Recent efforts have been directed towards exploring the free-energy landscape of self-assembling systems and towards modeling and tailoring the kinetic mechanisms of structure transformations.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?        

(1) Advances in macromolecular synthesis and experimental techniques allow to fabricate synthetic or biological multi-component materials, whose structure and interactions are increasingly complex and often rely on the intricate interplay of physical phenomena on different length, time and energy scales. A computationally efficient and predictive description of these hierarchically structured materials poses a challenge for existing modeling strategies.

(2) Macromolecular materials often do not reach thermal equilibrium but the kinetics of structure formation becomes trapped in one of multiple metastable states. Thus, the material properties depend on the process, by which the macromolecular material has been prepared. Whereas this concept is familiar in large-scale engineering applications, a molecular understanding and design of non-equilibrium processes that result in specific materials properties is an outstanding, important challenge.
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Audrey Moores, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering

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What do you hope to bring to your journal?
I hope I’ll be able to help the journal continue to publish in the field of green and sustainable chemistry with a broad and open-minded fashion. It’s important that this field covers all aspects of chemistry, from inorganic to organic, from nanoscience and biochemistry to analytic and physical chemistry. I also adhere to the goal of ACS Sustainable Chem. Sci. to promote the use of green metrics within its articles.

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Describe your current research.

My group works at the interfaces between the fields of material chemistry, coordination chemistry and organic synthesis. We conduct research in the domains of catalysis using both the heterogeneous and homogeneous approaches and more sustainable nanoparticle synthesis. We have a special interest in magnetic particles and nanocrystallites of cellulose in catalysis, novel syntheses of nanoparticles in solid phase and nanoparticles in ionic liquid media.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?
In the field of sustainable chemistry and engineering, the challenge resides in the assessment of the “greenest” of the reaction or processes described. One of the fields I am interested in is the development of greener nanomaterials, both in terms of synthesis and end-products. Nanoscience has been less concerned with these issues, while its currently a rapidly growing market. Other important challenges for chemists reside in the ability to limit the intensity of the chemistry necessary to achieve a given product, or ideally to achieve a given function. Efforts to limit the use of energy and resources is still a major challenge for the whole scientific community.

Do you have a recent paper in an ACS journal that you’d like to highlight?

Cellulose Nanocrystals as Chiral Inducers: Enantioselective Catalysis and Transmission Electron Microscopy 3D Characterization
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137 (19), pp 6124–6127
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b02034
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Yang-Kook Sun, ACS Energy Letters

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What do you hope to bring to your journal?
I have more than 20 years of industrial and academic experience in synthesizing and evaluating energy-related materials. From my previous editorial experience in a high impact journal, I am also keenly aware of the importance of a fast dissemination of new scientific discoveries, especially in the area of sustainable energy sources and energy storage systems. My experience in the field combined with a network of renowned researchers I have established over the years will help to quickly build the journal’s reputation as a platform for introducing new exciting ideas and discoveries in the energy-related field.

 

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Describe your current research.
My primary research activities include the synthesis of new electrode materials for lithium-ion, sodium-ion, lithium-sulfur, and lithium-air batteries. My recent work in lithium ion batteries is introduction of a hybrid cathode with core-shell and continuous compositional gradation. This concept represents a new approach in the development of practical high-performance lithium batteries with synergetic effects primarily for electric vehicles.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?
Due to the foreseeable depletion of easily-recoverable fossil fuels, development of an efficient rechargeable battery for storing the harnessed sustainable energy has become a hot topic on a global scale. In addition, growing CO2 emissions, electro-mobility for personal transportation is rapidly becoming a necessity. The currently available state-of-the-art batteries do not, however, adequately address the energy density, battery life and safety requirements for electric vehicles and power-grids, largely hindered by the limitations of the electrode materials although myriads of research papers and patents have been published on the topic in the recent decades. Therefore, it is of uttermost importance to screen and bring together entirely new ideas in identifying and synthesizing electrode materials and tailoring their electrochemical properties.

If you have comments or questions for the author of this post, please e-mail: Axial@acs.org.