ACS is a global scientific society, inclusive of all skilled chemistry professionals. It’s this diversity that enables excellence, innovation, and transformative action in the sciences. To celebrate inclusion during LGBTQ Pride Month, we’ve chosen to highlight select authors in the ACS community that submitted bios to 500 Queer Scientists.
500 Queer Scientists is a visibility campaign for LGBTQ+ people working in STEM that helps bolster awareness and recognition of queer scientists in the workplace. The campaign hopes to create role models for the next generation of scientists and foster community connections in the current generation.
To learn more about the ACS diversity and inclusion initiatives, visit this site. If you are an LGBTQ+ chemist looking to get involved in the community, consider joining the PROF Subdivision for Gay and Transgender Chemists.
Mark Y. H. Chan, Ph.D.
Mark Chan, an assistant professor of biology at San Francisco State University (SFSU), studies how organelle size is sensed and controlled by the cell.
Chan is a graduate student from Stanford University in chemistry, and later completed his postdoctoral fellowship in biochemistry and biophysics. He now runs the Chan Lab at SFSU which examines how cell shape and organelle size affects cell function.
Nicolas K. Geitner, Ph.D.
Nicolas Geitner, a postdoctoral research associate at Duke University, focuses on nanomaterial behavior in the environment. The goal, Geitner says, is to obtain a informed design of these materials while still focusing on safety.
Geitner began with a bachelor’s degree in physics from Denison University and continued with a master’s in physics from Miami University. This program introduced him to nanotechnology. He continued studying nanotechnology during his Ph.D. in physics at Clemson University by studying nano-biophysics. Geitner’s Ph.D. work examined how polymer-based nanomaterials could reduce damage from marine oil spill. He now works for the Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT) at Duke University.
Claire G. Griffin, Ph.D.
Claire Griffin, a postdoctoral associate at the University of Minnesota, researches carbon and nutrient cycling are impacted by landscapes and climate in aquatic systems.
Griffin earned her Ph.D. at the University of Texas, Austin at the Marine Science Institute. She currently resides in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Griffin is a volunteer with Earth Science Women’s Network and an advocate of inclusion in STEM.
Ronald E. Hunter Jr., Ph.D.
Ronald Hunter Jr., an analytical chemist at Coca-Cola, is currently developing methods for the analysis of vitamins A, E, C and B in dairy, soy, and non-dairy beverages to support product quality.
Hunter started as a Spanish major on the pre-med track at Mercer University, but realized he excelled in his chemistry classes. He became a double major in Spanish and chemistry, and continued to earn a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Emory University. After working at the Environmental Protection Agency, Hunter returned to Emory as a postdoctoral research fellow with the Rollings School of Public Health. From there, Hunter joined the Centers for Disease Control as a research chemist before landing his current position at Coca-Cola.
Hunter remains an activist by participating in the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE).
Carmen J. Marsit, Ph.D.
Professor Carmen Marsit of the Departments of Environmental Health and Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, researches how the environment during pregnancy impacts children’s health.
Marsit grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania where she was exposed to the aftereffects of the local coal and manufacturing industries. Friends and family, including her grandfather, were exposed to dangerous working conditions during their careers and many ended up sick or dead. This drove Marsit to study the effects of environmental factors on health, assuming she would do experimental toxicology or cancer biology research. After working in Professor Karl Kelsey’s lab at Harvard University, Marsit developed a passion for molecular epidemiology. Her career gradually switched from cancer-related molecular epidemiology to environmental impacts on children’s health during pregnancy and developing studies examining mechanisms, typically epigenetic, that connect environmental exposures to health outcomes.
Gary S. McDowell, Ph.D.
Gary McDowell is the Executive Director of The Future of Research, Inc. and oversees the organization’s daily operations.
McDowell studied chemistry at the University of Cambridge, moving on to a Ph.D. in oncology from the same institution. He went on to help generate the first Future of Research Symposium in Boston in 2014. Gary is also part of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)’s LGBTQ Working Group.
Jennifer L. Morse, Ph.D.
Jennifer Morse, an assistant professor at Portland State University, works on understanding how ecosystems respond to environmental change, and applying ecological understanding to environmental restoration and sustainability.
Morse, a biogeochemist and an ecosystem ecologist, works on the movement of nutrients and the production of greenhouse gas in both natural and human-modified ecosystems. She received her Ph.D. in Ecology from Duke University and is an associated faculty member with the Ecosystem Services for Urbanizing Regions (ESUR) IGERT program at Portland State University.
John M. Nicoludis, Ph.D.
Jack Nicoludis, a structural biologist and postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, researches how protein structure results in biological function.
Nicoludis’ postdoctoral research looks into antimicrobial peptides and how they recognize phospholipids in cellular membranes. Beyond the lab, he is a graduate student and postdoctoral research unionization advocate to help support minority groups and address diversity in academia.
Erica D. Pratt, Ph.D.
Erica Pratt, a biomedical engineer, is a postdoctoral fellow at the MD Cancer Center at the University of Texas.
Pratt received her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Cornell University, where she co-designed the GEDI microfluidic device used for the study of circulating tumor cells. She currently works in the lab designing methods for the early detection of pancreatic cancer. Her long-term goal is to become a tenure-track engineering professor and to lead her own research group in translational engineering oncology.
Andrew J. Princep, Ph.D.
Andrew Princep currently researches frustrated magnetism and correlated electron phenomena with a concentration in the properties of the element Osmium in oxide material.
Princep earned his Ph.D. in physics at the University of New South Wales. He is currently a junior research fellow at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), a UK government organization that conducts civil science and engineering research.
Matthew S. Schuler, Ph.D.
Matthew Schuler, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, currently works as a part of the Jefferson Project at Lake George in New York.
Schuler started his career in wildlife management, but moved to thermal physiology. He eventually found his calling studying community ecology. Today, Schuler helps develop novel methods to study threats to lake ecosystems as part of the Jefferson Project. Schuler is also in charge of the lake’s nearshore monitoring program, where he surveys the chemistry, algae, zooplankton, and macroinvertebrate around the lake to investigate how urbanization impacts the lake’s food web. Schuler is also working with IBM to develop models using machine-learning to understand the impact of invasive species on freshwater communities.
Abraham J. Waldman, Ph.D.
Abraham Waldman will be working this July on his postdoc, where he will research cell wall biosynthesis by examining chemical probe development in Mtb.
Waldman recently completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry with the Balskus Lab at Harvard University where he investigated biosynthesis of a natural product antibiotic. His hope is to develop novel therapeutics to treat infectious disease through discovering new enzymes and metabolic pathways in pathogens.
Cheryl A. Wilen, Ph.D.
Cheryl Wilen, an Integrated Pest Management Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension, currently focuses on evaluating pesticides for safety, and providing advice on their proper use.
In 1994, Wilen received her Ph.D. in botany from the University of California – Riverside with an emphasis on weed physiology and ecology. She went on to become the Area Integrated Pest Management Advisor for Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties, which focuses on pests and weed management.
David Laviska, Ph.D.
David Laviska, an assistant professor at Seton Hall University, currently researches transition metals in catalysis.
Laviska began as an environmental chemist at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for about ten years before returning to get his Ph.D. at Rutgers University. His work with Alan Goldman, who included him in the Center for Enabling New Technologies through Catalysis (CENTC), a National Science Foundation Center for Chemical Innovation (NSF-CCI), and his doctoral work in stoichiometric and catalytic chemistry with iridium pincer complexes, fueled his passion for his research with transition metals. Today, Laviska works in applying green chemistry principles to catalytic processes and further applying green methodology to his university lab at Seton Hall. His goals at the lab are improved safety, reduced waste output, and guiding students toward environmental stewardship.