Meet ACS Publications' Newest Associate Editors: Q3-Q4 2022 - ACS Axial | ACS Publications
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Meet ACS Publications’ Newest Associate Editors: Q3-Q4 2022

When a journal adds a new associate editor, that change means more for readers than just a tweak to the masthead. New associate editors bring new experiences, new perspectives, and new ideas to their publications. Get to know some of ACS Publications’ latest associate editors and learn what unique gifts they bring to their respective journals.

Yi Qin Gao, Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation

Yi Qin Gao Headshot

What is your research focus? What initially attracted you to your field?

My research focuses on the structure and dynamics of biological molecules and complexes. My lab currently works on development of theoretical and computation tools in the field of protein structure and conformation predictions. We spend much effort on studies of 3D chromatin structures to try to gain further understanding of the physical chemistry behind chromatin structure and state changes in different biological processes, such as development, differentiation, and disease.

My interest in these areas has been continuously growing since I was a graduate student studying non-equilibrium effects in chemical reactions under the mentorship of Professor Rudy Marcus at Caltech, and energy transduction mechanism of protein motors as a postdoc of Professor Martin Karplus at Harvard. How the complex, ever-changing, and seemingly random interactions between atoms and molecules lead to the many “predictable behaviors” such as transcription regulation in biology is fascinating to me.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I hope to help recognize and encourage studies on fundamental scientific questions, the solutions of which make use of new inter-disciplinary tools but at the same time lead to simple and physical models. In my own research, I utilize concepts and tools developed by multiple areas including chemistry, biology, physics, and computer sciences.

I am most deeply moved by studies which provide deep physical insights for complex systems, either through elegant analytical theories or through beautiful understanding of data generated experimentally or computationally.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

There are many challenges in my research area. For example, there are existing limitations in terms of hardware, software, and numerical methods, as well as standardized and easily approachable clean data. But the biggest challenge, and simultaneously what excites me the most, is whether and when it will be possible to develop a generalized theoretical framework to treat and eventually “understand” the multi-length and time-scaled “multi-omic” data at the molecular level. With the vastly increasing available data and fast growing computational and fitting powers, I am VERY afraid of getting lost in the data and losing analytical and deep-thinking skills.

What do you think is the most interesting and/or important unsolved problem in your field?

I believe that development of theoretical/computational frameworks and models that can lead to a systematic understanding of cross-scale dynamics of biomolecules and their complexes will be beneficial in many aspects. It would be utterly satisfying if our physical and chemical understanding of the biological systems can systematically assist in making medical decisions.

Carolyn Koh, Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data

Carolyn Koh Headshot

What is your research focus? What initially attracted you to your field?

Gas hydrates in flow assurance and technological applications. Interfacial techniques to discover key formation and particle interaction pathways, and advanced controls for gas hydrate formation in pipeline plugging mitigation that are used by the petroleum industry to ensure safe and environmentally sound flow in oil/gas pipelines, as well as the use of gas hydrates in energy storage and carbon capture technologies. The need for advanced thermodynamic and interfacial measurements and models to unravel the complex nature of gas hydrate systems.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

Increased awareness of the need to advance the thermophysical properties and phase behavior of gas hydrates for all energy applications that are critical to safe and economic transport and storage of fuels and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

As mentioned above, the thermophysical and interfacial properties of gas hydrates are important challenges in the field, especially the measurement of accurate data that are needed to validate/advance the models.

What do you think is the most interesting and/or important unsolved problem in your field?

Chemical engineering feasibility measurements of gas hydrate application to carbon capture and storage.

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

Energy Transition and Climate Mitigation Require Increased Effort on Methane Hydrate Research
Energy Fuels 2022, 36, 6, 2923–2926
DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.2c00338

Porous Organic Cage CC3: An Effective Promoter for Methane Hydrate Formation for Natural Gas Storage
J. Phys. Chem. C 2021, 125, 37, 20512–20521
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.1c04657

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

C. Koh has established internationally recognized gas hydrate research programs over the last two decades at King’s College, University of London and the Colorado School of Mines.

She has received several awards, including the Young Scientist Award of the British Association for Crystal Growth, ConocoPhillips Faculty Award (2010-2012), CSM Young Faculty Research Excellence Award (2012), Dean’s Award (2016), Distinguished Lecturer Award (2021). Also recently, IChemE Guggenheim Medal 2021. Guggenheim Medal – IChemE. Yeram S. Touloukian Award 2021. Yeram S. Touloukian Award – ASME. Gas Processors Association Donald L. Katz Award 2021. She has over 200 publications (Google Scholar h-index: 75, citations: 29,871).

Bradley Olsen, Macromolecules

Bradley Olsen Headshot

What is your research focus? What initially attracted you to your field?

Polymer networks, bio-based polymers, polymer recycling & biodegradation, and polymer informatics. I was first attracted to polymer science because I was fascinated with chemistry and large molecules, and I did a science fair project in this area that really got me hooked.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I am looking forward to working with the rest of the Macromolecules team to maintain the journal as the leading journal in polymer science and to helping to attract the papers that are re-defining our field.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

I think the big two are the role of polymer science in all aspects of sustainability and the way that the big data and automation revolutions are impacting polymer science are the two biggest challenges today.

What do you think is the most interesting and/or important unsolved problem in your field?

From a fundamental science standpoint, I think that the structure-property relationships in sequence-defined polymers and the molecular science of fracture in soft matter are probably two of the most important problems to be solved.

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

BigSMILES: A Structurally-Based Line Notation for Describing Macromolecules
ACS Cent. Sci. 2019, 5, 9, 1523–1531
DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.9b00476

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

I like to bike and do triathlons.

Elizabeth Yuriev, Journal of Chemical Education

Elizabeth Yuriev Headshot

What is your research focus? What initially attracted you to your field?

My work focuses on innovations to improve learning and teaching of graduate attributes, with an emphasis on skill development in problem solving, collaboration, and study skills.

I have been teaching chemistry for several years when I decided to dedicate my research efforts to chemistry education. That decision was driven in particular by the desire to ground the education practice – mine and that of others – in robust research-based evidence.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

Journal of Chemical Education brings education research and practice to chemistry educational practitioners. I hope I will be able to help the journal to highlight innovative practice and robust research findings.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Adoption of education research findings by education practitioners is still a challenge. It is known that education innovations often “stay with the experts.”

What do you think is the most interesting and/or important unsolved problem in your field?

Marrying the findings from learning sciences with chemistry education research and figuring out the most effective ways to infuse them into the practice of chemistry education.

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

Teaching Chemistry Down Under in an “Upside Down” World: Lessons Learned and Stakeholder Perspectives
Advances in Online Chemistry Education, Chapter 8, pp 105-122
ACS Symposium Series 2021, 1389, 105-122

In this paper, we describe the online teaching approaches developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyse the pros and cons of various choices in three domains – technological, pedagogical, and affective – and draw on perspectives of three groups of stakeholders: students, academics, and teaching associates.

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

I am a Ukrainian-born Australian. Before focusing on chemistry education research, I undertook research in molecular modelling, studying carbohydrates and G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).

Svetlana Sukhishvili, ACS Applied Engineering Materials

Svetlana Sukhishvili Headshot

What is your research focus? What initially attracted you to your field?

My research focuses on the understanding of responsive polymer assemblies and polymer networks, and the exploration of the advantageous features that these materials can bring to biomedical devices, soft robotics, civil engineering, and energy storage applications.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I am excited to be on the team and hope to establish high standards and broad readership for the new journal. I bring my expertise in soft materials and will work hard to assure rigorous peer review and promote ACS Applied Engineering Materials as the go-to journal for the publishing of high-quality, innovative research with important engineering applications.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Aligning the innovative discoveries with impact remains an on-going challenge in the field. The challenge must continue to be addressed via enhancement of interactions between academia, industry, and national labs.

What do you think is the most interesting and/or important unsolved problem in your field?

I believe that in the field of responsive polymer materials the most important unsolved problem is how intermolecular interactions, chain tethering and molecular architecture affect macroscopic materials response to external stimuli.

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

Thermodynamics and Stereochemistry of Reconfigurable Diels-Alder Polymer Networks: Role of Crosslinker Flexibility and Crosslinking Density
Macromolecules 2021, 54, 10510–10519
DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.1c01662

Shaoping Nie, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Shaoping Nie Headshot

What is your research focus? What initially attracted you to your field?

My research interests are focused on food chemistry and nutrition, food safety and analysis, especially on the structure, conformation and bioactivities of dietary fiber and bioactive polysaccharides and the relationship of their structure and bioactivities. I also focus on developing bioactive ingredients for the functional foods and nutraceutical products; developing novel dietary fibre and polysaccharides from natural agricultural products and explores their applications in foods, medicinal and pharmaceutical industries.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I hope to bring my experiences to my journal.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

The structure of dietary fiber and bioactive polysaccharides is difficult to elucidate, we need to find new ways to solve these problems, furthermore, I need more knowledges to understand the relationship of structure of dietary fiber and bioactive polysaccharides and their functions.

What do you think is the most interesting and/or important unsolved problem in your field?

The structure of dietary fiber and bioactive polysaccharides.

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

Bioactive dietary fibers selectively promote gut microbiota to exert antidiabetic effects
J. Agric. Food Chem. 2021, 69, 25, 7000–7015
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.1c01465

Sonia de Pascual-Teresa, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Sonia de Pascual-Teresa Headshot

What is your research focus? What initially attracted you to your field?

Nutritional aspects associated with the consumption of bioactive compounds in general and foods rich in polyphenols in particular. Food and diet are the main environmental factors that affect human health and are poorly studied at various levels.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I think that reviewing and editing is a necessity in the research community and that we all need to get involved in some way. I hope to bring my work and experience in reviewing so far.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

There is a need to establish officially accepted methods for the determination of biologically active food components. There is a need to clearly establish if the activity is real and if there is enough scientific evidence as to recommend their consumption to the general population or to specific population groups. There is a need for biomarkers of consumption for the different groups of bioactive compounds.

What do you think is the most interesting and/or important unsolved problem in your field?

As I said before, I think there is a need to clearly establish if the biological activity of the different food components is sufficiently proved. General methods for their analysis and biomarkers of consumption.

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

Interaction of Polyphenols with Other Food Components as a Means for Their Neurological Health Benefits
J. Agric. Food Chem. 2018, 66, 31, 8224–8230
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b02839

Gong Chen, Organic Letters

Gong Chen Headshot

What is your research focus? What initially attracted you to your field?

My research is mainly focused on developing synthetic tools for exploring new functions of complex peptides and carbohydrates. The beauty of natural products, the power of chemical synthesis, and the complexity of biological systems attracted me to this field.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

Organic synthesis provides one of the most essential tools to enable the exploration of the molecular world. As the demand for building or modulating increasingly more sophisticated molecular systems grows, organic chemistry needs to adapt to fulfill the new challenges. Besides the traditional criteria, I wish to promote the functional aspects of synthetic chemistry in Organic Letters.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Different sets of expertise are needed for studying the synthesis and properties of functional molecules. Unfortunately, synthetic research groups in academia are often disconnected from actual functional investigations. To address these issues, academic synthetic groups would need to have a better understanding of the functional needs, establish close collaborations with the function research groups or learn to perform in-house function investigations.

What do you think is the most interesting and/or important unsolved problem in your field?

Synthetic chemists have acquired extraordinary abilities to explore the chemical space of small molecules. In contrast, the chemical space between the small molecules and large biologics is much underexplored. Exploring the chemical space of so-called middle-sized molecules is particularly interesting to me.

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

Yes, work on developing a simple and broadly applicable method for constructing peptide macrocycles via palladium-catalyzed arylation of thiol groups.

Construction of Peptide Macrocycles via Palladium-Catalyzed Multiple S-Arylation: An Effective Strategy to Expand the Structural Diversity of Crosslinkers
Org. Lett. 2021, 23, 8001-8006
DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.1c03003

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