Celebrating Women in Medicinal Chemistry - ACS Axial
Search
Close

Celebrating Women in Medicinal Chemistry

The Editors of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (JMC) and ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters (MCL) are proud to share the release of their first special issue dedicated to “Women in Medicinal Chemistry.” Over the past several years, there has been a heightened awareness of the importance of attracting and retaining women in the field of medicinal chemistry, as well as supporting and developing their careers.

To celebrate the issue I chatted with the guest editors, read their interviews below:

Maria Jesus Blanco: ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters Editorial Advisory Board Member

Why was it important for JMC and MCL to partner to bring this special issue to life?

JMC and MCL are the two main journals for medicinal chemistry for the American Chemical Society (ACS). Thus it was important to show a unified effort towards gender diversity, highlighting the great work that women in medicinal chemistry do, supporting each other across these two prestigious journals. ACS is supportive of gender equality, one of the 17 UN sustainable development goals, thus initiatives like this showed that actions are reflective of words (not only nice intentions). Women are a minority in medicinal chemistry, in industry and academia, often getting little recognition and just appreciated their “teamwork or modesty.” This initiative is a way to empower women, let them know that it is time to be equally recognized, as there is a female pool with high talent, creativity, passion, and desire to excel in medicinal chemistry.

Where do you hope to see women in medicinal chemistry in the next 20 years?

I hope to see a good representation of women in medicinal chemistry in symposiums, as speakers, as recognized leaders in academia or industry, achieving high leadership positions (as Deans, in industry, on boards) beyond a few exceptions like now. I hope to see women as part of valuable medicinal chemistry networks in a gender-diverse group. I hope to see women supporting each other for recognition and awards. I am expecting committees, panels to include women regularly (not as a mandate). I hope to see women fearless, able to pursue a career in medicinal chemistry, being proud of their path and accomplishments.

Sally-Ann Poulsen: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry Editorial Advisory Board Member

Why was it important for JMC and MCL to partner to bring this special issue to life?

To have leading journals in the medicinal chemistry field united in purpose is very powerful. It presents a very strong statement that addressing the visibility of women in medicinal chemistry is critical to catalyzing the changes needed to ensure future medicinal chemistry careers and study options have equal opportunities for women at the core.

Where do you hope to see women in medicinal chemistry in the next 20 years?

I hope that there is no need to champion women in medicinal chemistry as an under-represented group of the medicinal chemistry family.

Hong Liu: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry Associate Editor

Why was it important for JMC and MCL to partner to bring this special issue to life?

This special issue will attract more women’s attention to present their outstanding work, and it provides a stage for female scientists to leave their impact and develop themselves. The publication of this special issue will motivate female scientists, students and postdoctoral associates to devote to the career of medicinal chemistry and show their deep understanding of medicinal chemistry theory. Most importantly, the special issue will encourage female scientists to develop themselves into positions of leadership and urge themselves to disclose more seminal works about disease treatment to improve human health and lifestyles.

Where do you hope to see women in medicinal chemistry in the next 20 years?

Female scientists will achieve more excellent work, and a lot more women would like to dedicate their career to medicinal chemistry research and present their outstanding work to show their thorough understandings of the relationship between molecules and diseases. And women can be empowered more leadership to achieve gender equality.

Kelly Ganamet: Adjunct Professor, University of Michigan

Why was it important for JMC and MCL to partner to bring this special issue to life?

It’s important because there is a large disparity in the number of men and women in STEM fields as education and careers advance, and specials issues such as this bring awareness and also highlight progress being made.

Where do you hope to see women in medicinal chemistry in the next 20 years?

The ultimate goal would be to achieve gender equality within the chemistry workforce in the next 20 years, where equal opportunities exist regardless of gender.

Donna M. Huryn: ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters Associate Editor

Why was it important for JMC and MCL to partner to bring this special issue to life?

JMC and MCL are sister journals, with a common audience and common authors. By partnering, we broadened the opportunities for women to contribute. In MCL, we had contributions of career viewpoints, scientific viewpoints and the regular letters format. In JMC, there were contributions of the longer perspective articles, mini-perspectives, drug annotations, and full-length articles.

Where do you hope to see women in medicinal chemistry in the next 20 years?

In the next 20 years, I hope that will be no reason to have special issues devoted to women in medicinal chemistry.

Maria Laura Bolognesi: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Associate Editor

Why was it important for JMC and MCL to partner to bring this special issue to life?

In recent years, it has been quite common for ACS journals of the same area to partner and join their expertise on special issues. In the specific case of “Women in Medicinal Chemistry,” I believe that such a partnership takes an even deeper meaning. I have always admired women who have synergized in politics, across party and other divisions, in the struggle for female empowerment. What I notice in women with leadership roles, is their ability to connect, look for synergies, and be supportive.

My quote for this year International Women’s Day was taken from the Harry Potter novel ‘We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.’ So, despite the women’s rivalry cliché, thank you to Gunda, Donna, Maria, Sally-Ann, Kelly, and Hong, for putting efforts together to make things happen!

Where do you hope to see women in medicinal chemistry in the next 20 years?

Women already occupy top positions in academia, big pharma, editorial boards as champions for female medicinal chemists. Although change is happening, nowhere near fast enough. While we may think we’ve come a long way, the overall structure still remains male-centric. Despite a rising awareness and existing framework conditions for anti-discrimination measures, in practice, barriers still exist. Moreover, if many gender gaps have narrowed in developed countries, substantial inequalities remain in low-income fragile and conflict-affected states.

My hope for the next 20 years is that all medicinal chemists can operate in truly equal-opportunity environments all over the world. I hope that the field will be really inclusive and accessible to everyone, with no bias for gender, racial or ethnic identities, or anything else that might be discriminated against.

I wish that they will have equal opportunity to raise their fullest potential and use their talent for discovering more effective medicines and make a difference for better health for all.

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Want more stories like this delivered to your inbox?

Sign up for our newsletter to receive a selection of stories related to your favorite topics.