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JACS Au Names First Early Career Advisory Board

A few months ago, JACS Au announced the appointment of its first Early Career Advisory Board (ECAB). This inaugural board features 25 young researchers who represent the breadth of the chemical sciences from across the globe. They will work with the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Christopher Jones, and its Associate Editors to share their experiences and perspectives on emerging topics/issues within the chemical sciences.

Take a few minutes to learn more about the inaugural members of the JACS Au Early Career Advisory Board.

Takashi Toyao

Position: Assistant Professor
Institution: Institute for Catalysis, Hokkaido University
Hometown: Izumo, Japan

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

Heterogeneous catalysis, in situ/operando spectroscopy, machine learning

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I hope to increase the visibility of the journal.

Is there a specific article that JACS Au has published thus far that you’re excited about or have found interesting, and why?

The following papers have caught my attention because polymer utilization and recycling would be one of the most important topics towards a sustainable society and have got much attention both from academia and industry.

Conversion of Polyolefin Waste to Liquid Alkanes with Ru-Based Catalysts under Mild Conditions
JACS Au 2021, 1, 1, 8–12
DOI: 10.1021/jacsau.0c00041

Catalytic Hydrogenation of Polyurethanes to Base Chemicals: From Model Systems to Commercial and End-of-Life Polyurethane Materials
JACS Au 2021, 1, 4, 517–524
DOI: 10.1021/jacsau.1c00050

What are the major challenges facing Early Career Researchers and how do you think these challenges could be addressed?

There is too much pressure for quantity over quality, both in papers and in other areas. There need to be bigger and longer-term funding opportunities for young researchers. There are too many meetings that are not for research or education. There needs to be a streamlining of current processes and division of labor.

Patrick Fier

Position: Principal Scientist, Process Research and Development
Institution: Merck & Co., Inc.
Hometown: Bettendorf, Iowa, U.S.

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

Pharmaceutical process chemistry; developing novel reactions and reagents.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I hope to provide unique perspectives from a non-academic viewpoint and expand the involvement and impact of industry-based scientists across the broader chemistry community.

What are the major challenges facing Early Career Researchers and how do you think these challenges could be addressed?

Making a name for themselves and discovering breakthroughs in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced field. It is essential to ensure that potential unconscious biases against young researchers do not result in harsher reviews during the peer review process, or which papers are cited, or in the selection of individuals for broader recognition or opportunities.

Morgane Vacher

Position: CNRS Researcher
Institution: CEISAM Laboratory (Université de Nantes, CNRS – France)
Hometown: Lyon, France

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest)

I am a theoretical chemist, striving to understand better photochemistry, i.e. processes induced by light. To achieve this, we develop and use quantum chemical methods able to simulate how electrons and nuclei move on the fastest timescales (attoseconds, the intrinsic timescale of electrons) to longer timescales (femtoseconds-picoseconds, the intrinsic timescale of nuclei). Focusing on small molecules allows me to use very accurate methods.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

Being nominated for the first JACS Au Early Career Board was an honor for me. I hope to give constructive input to the conventional Editorial Advisory Board of JACS Au about emerging trends in chemistry and publishing, representing early career researchers but also the theoretical chemistry community in general.

In your opinion, what are some of the current global challenges that have to be addressed by your area of research?

Theoretical chemistry aims to simulate more and more complex systems to resemble reality as close as possible: molecules in solutions, proteins, surfaces, etc. while retaining accuracy and precision. Theoretical chemistry also aims to bridge timescales: how do processes on the attosecond timescale (the intrinsic timescale of electrons) affect processes on the picosecond timescale, and further on the millisecond timescale? Such outstanding questions require the development of efficient methods.

Ryan Stowe

Position: Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Institution: University of Wisconsin – Madison
Hometown: Jackson, Michigan, U.S.

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

My group works to understand how chemistry learning environments could and should engage all learners in authentic, meaningful scientific work. This program of research is highly interdisciplinary and draws from literature in science education, cognitive psychology, and discipline-based education research. Ongoing projects range from small-scale investigations focused on modeling student cognition to large-scale cross-sectional studies comparing transformed chemistry enactments that enroll thousands of students.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I am excited for the opportunity to represent early-career chemistry education scholars as part of the JACS Au Early Career Board. In particular, I look forward to considering the characteristics of the highest impact chemistry education scholarship with the JACS Au editorial team and Editorial Advisory Board.

In your opinion, what are some of the current global challenges that have to be addressed by your area of research?

In my opinion, global challenges in chemistry education research include:

  • Understanding how learning environment features (i.e., curricular materials, assessments, pedagogical moves, peer interactions) can message to students that figuring out why phenomena happen is the goal (not learning about disconnected skills and facts).
  • Understanding how chemistry learning environments can support diverse learners in weaving together aspects of their lived experience into causal accounts for phenomena.
  • Expanding our definition of “success” in chemistry classes from quickly recalling canon to more authentic and meaningful performances (i.e., designing molecular solutions to pressing problems, figuring out the molecular underpinnings for phenomena).
  • Understanding how faculty, staff, and student instructors may be productively supported in designing and enacting chemistry learning environments that foreground equitable engagement in “doing science.”

Davide Michieletto

Position: University Research Fellow
Institution: The Royal Society
Hometown: Treviso, near Venice, Italy

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

In spite of their extreme length and confinement, our genomes are surprisingly well organized, functional and knot-free. This is achieved via sophisticated proteins that exert exquisite topological and mechanical control over the genome’s material properties. Inspired by this, my group aims to discover new DNA-based topological soft materials and complex fluids that can change properties in time. The group’s expertise is rooted in polymer and statistical physics and employs both simulations and experiments to answer our questions. We believe boundaries between disciplines were made to be broken, and we do our best to shatter them every day.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I am passionate about transparent, reproducible, fair, open science. Being part of the JACS Au ECAB will be an invaluable opportunity to promote these values and shape the scientific direction of a prestigious journal. While JACS is perhaps the best-known journal by the chemistry community, it is perceived as less appealing to the polymer physics and biophysics communities. I think these are exciting areas of new research and I hope I will be able to encourage and attract more submissions from people in these fields.

In your opinion, what are some of the current global challenges that have to be addressed by your area of research?

Sustainability is in my opinion the biggest open challenge in material science, and I feel that bio-inspired design and materials are perhaps our best way to tackle it. I have always been fascinated by how nature solves problems and one that has a special place in my heart is the way nature folds our DNA to package 2 meters of genetic information in each one of our cells and to divide the duplicated DNA into daughter cells without the need to break it down at each cell division.

With new technology and sophisticated modeling, we are only now understanding how these remarkable feats are achieved and I hope we will be able to take inspiration from them to design space-efficient materials with tunable and responsive material properties that can be reused and recycled with little energy cost.

Sunkyu Han

Position: Associate Professor
Institution: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Hometown: Pisa and Pietrasanta, Italy

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

  • Total synthesis of complex natural products
  • Natural products-inspired development of new synthetic methods
  • Natural products-inspired drug development

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I hope that the newly launched JACS Au can cover the interests of scientists and engineers that were relatively left out (research fields, countries) in previous multi-disciplinary chemistry journals. I would like to contribute to making JACS Au more diverse, inclusive, and researcher-friendly. That is my primary mission as a JACS Au Early Career Board member.

Is there a specific article that JACS Au has published thus far that you’re excited about or have found interesting, and why?

This paper that discussed the synthesis, stereochemical analysis, and biological activity studies of ganglioside GM3 analogues containing monofluoromethylene-linked sialoside from the Sodeoka group drew my attention. The group established a strategy to introduce the monofluoromethylene linker in a stereoselective manner and showed its potential in future studies of ganglioside GM3.

What are the major challenges facing Early Career Researchers and how do you think these challenges could be addressed?

Under the tenure track system, there is little room for errors for early career researchers. Furthermore, early career researchers with fewer resources (manpower, equipment…) are expected to win the battle against other established researchers with more resources in the same arena. More emphasis on the qualitative aspect of research (impact, novelty, creativity…)  than the quantitative aspect of research (unnecessarily large number of examples, unnecessary mechanism studies, unnecessary data…) during the journal review process would help the early career researchers.

Yuan Qiao

Position: Assistant Professor
Institution: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Hometown: Shijiazhuang, China

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest)

My current research interests are about understanding the chemical underpinning of the gut microbiota-host interaction.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

It is a great opportunity to get to know my peers in the field in the Early Career Board. I hope to bring diversity and share experience in chemical biology to the team.

Is there a specific article that JACS Au has published thus far that you’re excited about or have found interesting, and why?

This is a nice work on fluorescent trehalose substrate for rapid and specific detection of mycobacteria.

Toward Point-of-Care Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: A Brighter Solvatochromic Probe Detects Mycobacteria within Minutes
JACS Au 2021, 1, 9, 1368–1379
DOI: 10.1021/jacsau.1c00173

In your opinion, what are some of the current global challenges that have to be addressed by your area of research?

The field of the microbiome has been greatly advanced due to DNA sequencing technologies, but there is still a great knowledge gap to be filled by chemists to address things at the molecular level.

Graham de Ruiter

Position: Assistant Professor
Institution: Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Schulich Faculty of Chemistry
Hometown: ‘s-Gravendeel, South Holland, Netherlands

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

Some of my research interests include the application of coordination chemistry in catalysis and surface chemistry, the chemistry of transition metal complexes, organometallic chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, small molecule activation, green chemistry, bio-inspired chemistry, and self-assembly.

In particular, the current research in my laboratory is directed towards driving sustainable catalysis through bespoke ligand design. To this end, we have developed a series of new PCNHCP pincer complexes of manganese, iron, and cobalt that show extraordinary activity in a wide variety of transformations. Our attention is focused on developing sustainable processes for aryl-aryl cross-coupling, alkene isomerization, acceptorless alcohol dehydrogenation, and small molecule activation.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

As a chemist and faculty member, I find it important to contribute to the global network of the American Chemical Society. It is important to frame the future of our international community in these exciting new times and together with other early career researchers map new directions where we say important development can be made. One way is being part of the ECAB of JACS Au.

The high standards of the ACS and in particular JACS, made it an easy choice to accept this honor. I hope to represent Israel in this international community and to promote that chemistry (or science in general) is not limited by set boundaries, whether it be based on country, gender, or discipline (e.g, old distinctions between organic chemistry, or phys. chem. etc.), but rather that it is all-inclusive. In addition, I hope to promote JACS Au in my community and help this exciting new open-access journal to become the gold standard in open access publishing.

Is there a specific article that JACS Au has published thus far that you’re excited about or have found interesting, and why?

There have been several articles that really piqued my interest, in particular articles that use earth-abundant metals to drive sustainable catalysis are really interesting to me. Some beautiful work was published by Prof. Walter Leitner that demonstrated the hydrogenation of carbon monoxide to methanol.

We recently started to work on manganese complexes with our PC(NHC)P ligands, so it is really stimulating to see such exciting research by these talented chemists. A recent paper that describes the mild reduction of carboxylic acids to alcohols was also recently reported, which equally piqued my interest for the same reasons.

What are the major challenges facing Early Career Researchers and how do you think these challenges could be addressed?

I think there are many challenges for early career researchers. Whether it is establishing oneself as a valued member in the community, which helps with getting grants and getting papers accepted, or coping with the general lack of resources, as usually we are not as well equipped as the labs that we came from.

I think that when submitting manuscripts, it would be a good idea to indicate on the online submission page if you are an early career researcher so that editorial staff can pay particular attention to your submission. Based on my colleagues’ comments, sometimes I feel that submissions may be just brushed off as not relevant for a given journal. I think that there are many more issues, but I think it’s good to discuss these on separate occasions.

Yi-Feng Wang

Position: Professor
Institution: University of Science and Technology of China
Hometown: Hengshan, Hunan, China

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

My lab at USTC focuses on the development of new synthetic methods based on the exploitation of new chemical reactivity of Lewis base-boryl radicals.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

To share experiences and perspectives on emerging topics of organic chemistry and I hope to bring strong expertise in organic synthesis and radical chemistry to the journal.

In your opinion, what are some of the current global challenges that have to be addressed by your area of research?

How to design new radical species (non-metal involved) as a catalyst to enable fantastic transformations, in particular asymmetric synthesis.

Jessica Ray

Position: Assistant Professor
Institution: University of Washington, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

My research program bridges materials science and environmental engineering approaches to address pressing environmental concerns within the urban water sector. Specifically, we are developing novel materials to separate or degrade contaminants in waste streams and water sources. We use a lot of surface chemistry techniques to probe structure-function relationships, interfacial reactions, and physicochemical properties to characterize the materials we develop for their intended applications.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I was thrilled to receive an invitation to join the JACS Au Early Career Board. JACS is such a prestigious journal, and the articles published by JACS Au have been of such high quality. I am honored to be able to contribute to shaping the scope, future direction, and access of JACS Au. I hope to contribute my equity lens to increase the diversity of publication subject matter and author disciplines and backgrounds.

What are the major challenges facing Early Career Researchers and how do you think these challenges could be addressed?

One of the major challenges facing current Early Career Researchers is navigating the initial stages of their research during the pandemic. Starting a tenure-track position is already challenging. The uncertainty and rapidly changing conditions in academia are hard to manage while trying to stabilize your research program, teaching responsibilities, etc. To help Early Career Researchers handle their new roles, particularly during the pandemic, I believe it is crucial to develop mentorship networks with other faculty within and outside of your institution to provide advice and guidance.

Eva Blasco

Position: Junior Professor (with tenure-track to full Professor) since October 2020
Institution: Heidelberg University, Germany
Hometown: Teruel, Spain

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest)

Our research group focuses on the design and synthesis of new polymer-based functional materials with application in 3D/4D printing. The additional dimension (time) refers to the ability of a 3D printed object to change its properties over time in a controlled fashion. One can imagine it as the addition of “life-like” behavior to the printed objects. This is an emerging research field with promising applications in many areas, ranging from optics and sensing to biomedicine and soft robotics.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I joined the JACS Au Early Career Board because I believe that this is a great opportunity to get more insights into the publishing world and to expand my network. In addition, I find it very attractive that JACS Au aims to publish works across all the chemistry disciplines and follows the JACS tradition of underlining work with a broad impact in the community. And very importantly, it is an open-access journal.

What are the major challenges facing Early Career Researchers and how do you think these challenges could be addressed?

One of the many challenges of early career researchers is publishing. Very often, we are being evaluated (new a faculty position, project grants, etc.) and the publication records have still a big influence. Thus, we all, and especially early career researchers, are under time pressure to publish our findings. I personally think that moving towards effective, fair, and transparent review processes is very important. In addition, I find it beneficial for early career researchers to receive support in different ways: e.g., enhancing their visibility by highlighting their research in special issues and features or engaging them on editorial boards.

Robert Chapman

Position: Lecturer in Chemistry
Institution: University of Newcastle, Australia,
Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

My group is interested in making polymer mimics of therapeutically active proteins. We do this by using high throughput polymer synthesis and screening to unpick how a polymer’s structure affects function and to learn how to fold polymers in order to control the presentation of biologically relevant epitopes in solution.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

Open access is building momentum and I want to support the ACS’s agenda of ensuring that the top open access chemistry journals are owned by the societies, for the benefit of their members, and built on high-quality peer review and editorial supervision. This is what gives readers confidence in the quality of what is published. Already we’ve seen JACS Au’s commitment to publishing more broadly across the field of chemistry than perhaps JACS has traditionally been able to do, and I think this could be a great journal for the very best of polymer chemistry and physics to meet. I am keen to advocate for this from both within the journal and the polymer community.

Is there a specific article that JACS Au has published thus far that you’re excited about or have found interesting, and why? 

I am fascinated by the giant polymers that Xue-Hui Dong and coworkers showed in one of the first issues. They used the iterative exponential chain growth mechanism pioneered by Johnson and coworkers to prepare sequence-controlled oligomers (up to 16 units long) of a set of silsesquioxane monomers. The self-assembly behavior of the amphiphilic versions of these polymers was similar to the ’small monomer’ counterparts but they showed much greater stability. I’m looking forward to seeing whether this class of materials might enable improved control over the internal structure of polymeric nanoparticles.

What are the major challenges facing Early Career Researchers and how do you think these challenges could be addressed?

Finding exciting questions that are answerable with the limited resources and time available. To do this we need to read broadly, build collaborations, and grow networks where we are constantly bouncing ideas around. We need our funding agencies to reserve more of their budgets to ‘take the risk’ on groups of ECRs that bring together complementary skills to explore out-of-the-box ideas.

Yi-Tsu Chan

Position: Professor
Institution: Department of Chemistry, National Taiwan University
Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

My research interests include supramolecular coordination chemistry and polymer chemistry. Our research group is enthusiastic about developing a novel molecular self-assembly methodology for the rational construction of functional supramolecular architectures and polymeric materials.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

  • Curiosity about how the prominent editorial team manages and develops a successful journal
  • To contribute to the society of supramolecular chemistry and polymer science
  • I would help identify emerging research topics based on my expertise, encourage talented young researchers to submit their best papers, and advertise JACS Au in our research community.

What are the major challenges facing Early Career Researchers and how do you think these challenges could be addressed?

  • Finding a research topic with scientific impacts. A thorough literature survey will help evaluate the importance of a research topic. Try to find a secret spot that has not been addressed before.
  • Lack of self-confidence. Do not let rejection destroy your confidence. It is important to be committed to your own work. Before submitting a manuscript, having comments from your senior colleagues would be helpful.
  • Discouraged by inappropriate evaluation. Pressure to publish and the publication metrics used to judge scientific achievements would discourage junior researchers from tackling grand scientific challenges. Do not get trapped by an unhealthy evaluation system before you can reconstruct it.

Caroline E. Paul

Position: Assistant Professor
Institution: Department of Biotechnology at Delft University of Technology
Hometown: Toronto, Canada, and Aix-en-Provence, France

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

My current area of research is Biocatalysis, more specifically using the exquisite selectivity of enzymes to catalyze oxidation and reduction reactions using artificial cofactors for synthetic organic chemistry.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I am excited to join the JACS Au Early Career Board for the opportunity to experience the development of a new multidisciplinary journal that is fully open access and to gain a working knowledge of such a high standard journal that reaches across different fields. I hope to bring my insights and perspective of the diverse Biocatalysis field to the team, its exciting cross-disciplinary developments and promote JACS Au across generations.

Is there a specific article that JACS Au has published thus far that you’re excited about or have found interesting, and why? 

I came across the recently published article Rapid Screening of Diverse Biotransformations for Enzyme Evolution in JACS Au, which allows the screening of various biocatalytic reactions and new biocatalysts, always exciting in my field!

In your opinion, what are some of the current global challenges that have to be addressed by your area of research?

I believe some of the current global challenges that have to be addressed by Biocatalysis are developing greener chemical routes, using CO2 as feedstock, producing biofuels. Overall, some challenges can be tackled by:

  • Reducing chemical waste with more efficient and selective biocatalytic processes, increasing enzyme activity for higher space-time yields through bioinformatics and engineering.
  • Finding complementary synthetic chemical routes by expanding the biocatalyst portfolio through enzyme discovery and evolution, tapping into understanding enzyme mechanisms.

Another focus should be the use of enzymes to tackle the degradation of microplastics and polymers, but also the production of new biodegradable polymers.

Jin Suntivich

Position: Associate Professor, Materials Science, and Engineering
Institution: Cornell University
Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest)

Electrocatalysis, spectroscopy, and sustainability.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

A chance to contribute to ACS journals with rich history such as JACS. Hope to raise awareness in interdisciplinary research at the intersection between science and engineering.

Is there a specific article that JACS Au has published thus far that you’re excited about or have found interesting, and why?

I enjoy reading the recent work by Rorrer, Beckham, and Roman-Leshkov on polyolefin hydrogenolysis.

In your opinion, what are some of the current global challenges that have to be addressed by your area of research?

I think finding ways to make materials more sustainably, for example, by utilizing low-value wastes will be an important problem in the future.

Daiana Capdevila

Position: Laboratory Head
Institution: Leloir Institute (FIL-IIBBA)
Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

The main goal pursued in my laboratory is to use a family of transcriptional repressors that regulate stress responses in bacteria as model systems for molecular evolution in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. We apply NMR approaches to study the atomic details of how allostery works in a family of transcriptional regulators responsive to different inorganic species that the human host harness to clear bacterial infections. We focus on transcriptional regulators that determine the homeostasis in bacteria of transition metal ions (metallostasis) and reactive sulfur species.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

As an early career chemist from the global south, I want to get involved in re-thinking scientific publishing. I firmly believe that open access journals from scientific societies can be a valuable tool to remove the barriers in the way of science. I hope I can bring the voice and the ideas of a lot of great young scientists from developing countries on what we need to publish more open access cross-disciplinary research in chemistry.

In terms of research, I hope I can bring the perspective that a broader idea of what chemistry is will make our research more interesting and more impactful, without sacrificing the rigor and the exquisite detail that chemistry approaches and methods have.

Is there a specific article that JACS Au has published thus far that you’re excited about or have found interesting, and why?

My favorite article so far is Local Mutations Can Serve as a Game Changer for Global Protein Solvent Interaction by Ellen M. Adams, Simone Pezzotti, Jonas Ahlers, Maximilian Rüttermann, Maxim Levin, Adi Goldenzweig, Yoav Peleg, Sarel J. Fleishman, Irit Sagi, and Martina Havenith.

My laboratory is very interested in method development for monitoring the role of solvent in entropic contribution to ligand binding. Terahertz spectroscopy is a fantastic tool for monitoring solvent contribution at the protein surface. This work is a first step towards understanding how protein sequence can determine solvent entropy which I think is an exciting area of future research. It is a great example of how developing new methodologies can occur in parallel to answering interesting biological questions. To me, this paper captures the broad perspective of chemists that JACS Au aims to portray.

In your opinion, what are some of the current global challenges that have to be addressed by your area of research?

As a chemist working at the molecular level in infectious diseases funding new antibiotic strategies is one of the main challenges that come to mind.

As a structural biologist working in a developing country, I think that we need to figure out how to guarantee that everyone with motivation and good ideas can access state-of-the-art techniques that can make their research transformative and interesting for the global community. The more diverse the scientific community is the richer and more transformative our science becomes; humanity needs to tackle very complicated problems this century and we need everyone involved in finding those solutions.

As a physical chemist working on biological systems, I am particularly interested in making physical chemistry techniques (such as NMR and calorimetry) accessible and readily available for answering chemical biology and microbiology question. I believe that interdisciplinary research is the more effective way to address how organisms adapt to an ever-changing environment.

Yanhang Ma

Position: Assistant Professor
Institution: ShanghaiTech University
Hometown: Henan Province, China

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

My research is focused on methodology developments of electron crystallography/microscopy and their applications in the structural analysis of nanomaterials.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I want to have more opportunities to communicate with young and active scientists. I also want to contribute to the scientific community by doing some service and giving suggestions.

What are the major challenges facing Early Career Researchers and how do you think these challenges could be addressed?

The major challenge for me is that I am usually occupied by many things, such as teaching, conferences, business traveling, and so on. I need to spend more time on the research.

Qilei Song

Position: Senior Lecturer
Institution: Imperial College London
Hometown: Bengbu, Anhui, China

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

My current research interests are focused on the development of functional materials and membrane technology for energy and environmental applications.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I hope to bring an engineering perspective to the chemistry community.

Is there a specific article that JACS Au has published thus far that you’re excited about or have found interesting, and why?

I am interested in one paper by Holmes, Lively, and Realff,  Defining Targets for Adsorbent Material Performance to Enable Viable BECCS Processes. Techno-economic analysis is important and provides helpful guidelines for chemists and materials scientists to develop new materials.

In your opinion, what are some of the current global challenges that have to be addressed by your area of research?

My research helps to solve global challenges in renewable energy conversion and storage, water purification, and CO2 capture. Better materials and membranes will help solve these challenges.

Olalla Vázquez

Position: Professor of Chemical Biology
Institution: Philipps-Universität Marburg
Hometown: Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

Chemical Biology. We strive to understand biological processes at the molecular level to elucidate the fundamental problems at the interface of chemistry and biology. For this purpose, we focus on the design and development of innovative chemical tools for sensing biological processes and remotely manipulating molecular machines inside cells. Our work embraces the synthesis of low molecular weight drug-like molecules, peptides, and nucleic acids combined with the methodology to investigate physiological responses. Thus, our optochemical tools have been able of achieving conditional and selective biological modulation by taking full advantage of photosensitive molecules. Also, chemical epigenetics is at the core of our research.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

It is a golden opportunity to learn and to understand publishing from the inside. I believe I can bring my enthusiasm for chemical biology and my multidisciplinary background.

In your opinion, what are some of the current global challenges that have to be addressed by your area of research?

The precise understanding of biology to be able to control it on demand.

Abhishake Mondal

Position: Assistant Professor
Institution: Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
Hometown: Kolkata, India

Describe your current area of research (or areas of interest).

We are a young research group located at the Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, working in the field of Magnetic Materials and Switches. Molecular Magnetism constitutes a highly dynamic interdisciplinary field. With the fine blend of experimental physics and theoretical chemistry emerging from coordination chemistry fundamentals, we explore the frontiers of modern themes in the most prominent multifunctional molecular materials. The design and synthesis of Stimuli-responsive Switchable Magnetic Materials based on transition metals, particularly materials displaying magnetic, electric, and/or optical bistabilities such as spin crossover (SCO), single-molecule magnets (SMMs), single-chain magnets (SCMs), metal-to-metal electron transfer systems, valence-tautomeric systems, organic radicals-based magnetic systems, and their applications towards spintronics, MEMS, NEMS devices, etc. are the hot areas of research being studied in our group.

What made you want to join the JACS Au Early Career Board and what do you hope to bring to the team?

JACS Au is one of the best prestigious open-access journals covering the broad spectrum of research held in Chemical Sciences. The journal serves as a stage to bring people from various interests come together and explore the possibilities for collaborative research. We are a young research group working in Molecular Magnets and Switches based on Switchable systems. Our colleagues indulged in an essential area of research yielding high-impact research. The massive peer-reviewed articles with lesser available articles in JACS Au focusing on Molecular Magnetism motivated me to bring the highly interdisciplinary field to the prestigious platform of JACS Au.

Is there a specific article that JACS Au has published thus far that you’re excited about or have found interesting, and why?

The articles published in JACS Au are of utmost scientific curiosity to researchers, where a few recent articles published in 2020 and 2021 have attracted my interest owing to the similarity of the field.

What are the major challenges facing Early Career Researchers and how do you think these challenges could be addressed?

As a young research group, the following hurdles are faced by most of the groups despite being involved in high impact research:

  • Procuring the funding for the successful conduction of any project is a bottleneck
  • Limited access or unavailability of special sophisticated and dedicated equipment in the highly interdisciplinary field is also quite challenging
  • As a new group, publishing exciting results in high-impact journals is pretty challenging due to a lack of exposure and experience in the field. We would be working together with JACS Au to overcome the mentioned barrier in communicating interesting results to the targeted community.

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