Editor News Archives - ACS Axial | ACS Publications
Search
Close

ACS Celebrates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2022

February 11 is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day created by the United Nations to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. Women and girls continue to make important contributions to chemistry, even as the COVID-19 pandemic of the past two years has proved to be measurably more disruptive for female scientists than their male counterparts.

Together with our many women editors, authors, reviewers, and readers, ACS Publications works to promote the full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. We salute the hard work of women and girls in the chemistry community, who contribute to the American Chemical Society’s mission “to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people.”

Chemistry of Materials Virtual Issue: Resilient Women and the Resiliency of Science

This Virtual Issue highlights a collection of papers published during the COVID-19 pandemic in Chemistry of Materials by women corresponding authors. In addition, the issue Editorial features a Q&A with nine recent authors in the journal about how they define resilience and the times in which they were resilient.

ACS Energy Letters Virtual Issue Series: Women Scientists at the Forefront of Energy Research

As part of ACS Energy Letters’ annual celebration of the contributions of women scientists, we bring you a four-part Virtual Issue series. From early career researchers to well- established senior scientists, the successful career paths they have taken to become leaders in the community have impacted energy research in a significant way. The contributions of female energy researchers who have published new advances from their laboratories in ACS Energy Letters are compiled along with their short inspirational stories. To inspire other scientists working in the field, we asked them to comment on their inspiration to engage in energy research, discuss an aha! moment in research, and/or provide advice to newcomers in the field. We hope that these personal reflections compiled in this virtual issue can motivate many young researchers to tackle challenges in clean energy.

Women Scientists at the Forefront of Energy Research: A Virtual Issue, Parts 1 & 2

Women Scientists at the Forefront of Energy Research: A Virtual Issue, Part 3

Women Scientists at the Forefront of Energy Research: A Virtual Issue, Part 4

Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry Virtual Issue: Women in Mass Spectrometry

We have assembled this virtual issue featuring talented women mass spectrometrists who publish in Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry as the corresponding author. The articles compiled are among the most highly cited that were published in the journal in the last 5 years, regardless of gender, and are representative of the best mass spectrometry science reported in Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry.

ACS Omega Virtual Issue: Women at the Forefront of Chemistry

In this special collection, ACS Omega celebrates the contribution of women researchers who have published new advances from their groups in our journal. This Virtual Issue is guest-edited by ACS Omega’s Associate Editor, Prof. Luisa Torsi (University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy), a recipient of the IUPAC 2019 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering award. The articles selected feature women at different stages of their career from around the world, in all areas of chemistry. We hope highlighting the work of these champions of chemistry will challenge stereotypes, advance progress towards full gender equality in the future, and encourage more women to pursue a career in STEM.

ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters Women in Medicinal Chemistry Special Issue

Journal of Medicinal Chemistry Women in Medicinal Chemistry Special Industry

Impactful Publications from Women in Materials, Interfaces, and Applications

ACS Applied Bio Materials
Osteogenic Potential of Additively Manufactured TiTa Alloys

Erin G. Brodie, Kye J. Robinson, Elizabeth Sigston, Andrey Molotnikov, and Jessica E. Frith

***

Biodegradable Breast Tissue Marker Clip

Moran Haim Zada, Zehava Gallimidi, Michal Schlesinger−Laufer, Abraham Nyska, and Abraham J. Domb

***

Catalyst-Free Mechanochemical Recycling of Biobased Epoxy with Cellulose Nanocrystals

Liang Yue, Kai Ke, Mehrad Amirkhosravi, Thomas G. Gray, and Ica Manas-Zloczower


ACS Applied Electronic Materials
Record-High Responsivity and Detectivity of a Flexible Deep-Ultraviolet Photodetector Based on Solid State-Assisted Synthesized hBN Nanosheets
Sushmitha Veeralingam, Lignesh Durai, Pinki Yadav, and Sushmee Badhulika
***
Nanospike Electrode Designs for Improved Electrical Performance in Nanoscale Organic Thin-Film Transistors
Calla M. McCulley, Xin Xu, Kelly Liang, Xiao Wang, Liang Wang, and Ananth Dodabalapur
***
Near-Unity Photoluminescence Quantum Yield in Blue-Emitting Cs3Cu2Br5–xIx (0 ≤ x ≤ 5)
Rachel Roccanova, Aymen Yangui, Hariharan Nhalil, Hongliang Shi, Mao-Hua Du, and Bayrammurad Saparov

ACS Applied Energy Materials
Reduced Graphene Oxide-NiO Photocathodes for p-Type Dye-Sensitized Solar Cellsv
Marco Zannotti, Elisabetta Benazzi, Lee A. Stevens, Marco Minicucci, Lawrence Bruce, Colin E. Snape, Elizabeth A. Gibson, and Rita Giovannetti
***
Understanding the Role of Interfaces for Water Management in Platinum Group Metal-Free Electrodes in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells
Jiangjin Liu, Morteza Rezaei Talarposhti, Tristan Asset, Dinesh C. Sabarirajan, Dilworth Y. Parkinson, Plamen Atanassov, and Iryna V. Zenyuk
***
Operando X-ray Tomography Imaging of Solid-State Electrolyte Response to Li Evolution under Realistic Operating Conditions
Natalie Seitzman, Olivia F. Bird, Rory Andrykowski, Steve Robbins, Mowafak M. Al-Jassim, and Svitlana Pylypenko

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Cytotoxicity of Graphene Oxide and Graphene in Human Erythrocytes and Skin Fibroblasts
Ken-Hsuan Liao, Yu-Shen Lin, Christopher W. Macosko, and Christy L. Haynes
***
Decomposition of Organic Perovskite Precursors on MoO3: Role of Halogen and Surface Defects
Sofia Apergi, Christine Koch, Geert Brocks, Selina Olthof, and Shuxia Tao
***
Stretchable, Biocompatible, and Multifunctional Silk Fibroin-Based Hydrogels toward Wearable Strain/Pressure Sensors and Triboelectric Nanogenerators
Faliang He, Xingyan You, Hao Gong, Yun Yang, Tian Bai, Weiguo Wang, Wenxi Guo, Xiangyang Liu, and Meidan Ye

ACS Applied Nano Materials
Metal and Metal Oxide Nanoparticles to Enhance the Performance of Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)
Yuan Gao, Yingzhu Zhou, and Rona Chandrawati
***
Quantum Dots and Their Applications: What Lies Ahead?
Mônica A. Cotta
***
High-Index Core–Shell Ni–Pt Nanoparticles as Oxygen Reduction Electrocatalystsv
Gerard M. Leteba, David R. G. Mitchell, Pieter B. J. Levecque, Lebohang Macheli, Eric van Steen, and Candace I. Lang

ACS Applied Polymer Materials
Utilizing Reclaimed Petroleum Waste to Synthesize Water-Soluble Polysulfides for Selective Heavy Metal Binding and Detection


Logan Eder, Cameron B. Call, and Courtney L. Jenkins
***
Fundamentals and Applications of Polymer Brushes in Air
Guido C. Ritsema van Eck, Leonardo Chiappisi, and Sissi de Beer
***
Recent Trends in Advanced Polymer Materials in Agriculture Related Applications
Amrita Sikder, Amanda K. Pearce, Sam J. Parkinson, Richard Napier, and Rachel K. O’Reilly

ACS Central Science Editorials

In this Editorial, Achieving Gender Balance in the Chemistry Professoriate Is Not Rocket Science, Carolyn R. Bertozzi considers why it seems so hard to populate the ranks of chemistry department faculty with women.
Learn more about The Chemistry Women Mentorship Network (ChemWMN) in this piece from Brandi M. Cossairt, Jillian L. Dempsey, and Elizabeth R. Young.

OPR&D: Celebrating Women in Process Chemistry Special Issue

In recognition of a new age that embraces better gender balance and diversity in all its forms, this Special Issue of Organic Process Research & Development features a collection of papers published by women in process chemistry. Such innovative work encompasses a multitude of topics relevant for the safe, environmentally benign, and ultimately economical manufacturing of organic compounds that are required in larger amounts to help address the needs of society across the globe. Read a related Virtual Issue on Celebrating Women in Organic Chemistry

Bioconjugate Chemistry: Women in Bioconjugate Chemistry: Celebrating Women Scientists

In the spirit of celebrating women who are collaborating across disciplines, developing new understanding and new ideas, publishing groundbreaking research in our journal and in all the journals beyond ours, and not letting the trappings of other people’s expectations and assumptions define what is possible, Bioconjugate Chemistry is happy to present the “Women in Bioconjugate Chemistry: Celebrating Women Scientists” Virtual Issue.

Journal of Chemical Information Modeling : Advancing Women in Chemistry Call for Papers

Following the response to and impact of JCIMs May 2019 special issue on  Women in Computational Chemistry addressing the issue of gender disparity in science, JCIM is launching a new call for papers for a special issue on “Advancing Women in Chemistry.” This special issue aims to raise awareness for addressing and closing the gender gap in chemical sciences.

ACS Symposium Series eBook: Addressing Gender Bias in Science & Technology

A recent addition to the ACS Symposium Series, Addressing Gender Bias in Science & Technology walks readers through this important subject by using supporting data to define the challenges and then discussing ways to dismantle barriers and respond to gender biases. With solutions backed by research, this work will be useful for those working in all science and technology fields. Read more here.

A New ACS Guide Chapter: ACS Inclusivity Style Guide

The ACS Inclusivity Style Guide, a new open-access chapter added to the ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication, helps readers learn to communicate in ways that recognize and respect diversity in all its forms. The chapter includes recommended language on gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, disabilities and disorders, and more. It offers important context for each topic, including the background behind each recommendation and links to valuable resources. Because language is ever-evolving, the guide will be updated over time to reflect changes in language and to incorporate new topics. Read the chapter here.

Laura Gagliardi Named the New Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation

Professor Laura Gagliardi

ACS Publications is pleased to introduce Professor Laura Gagliardi as the new Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation (JCTC). Professor Gagliardi is the Richard and Kathy Leventhal Professor in the Department of Chemistry, the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, and the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago.

Professor Gagliardi is a theoretical and computational chemist known for her contributions to the development of electronic structure methods and their use for understanding complex chemical systems. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. Professor Gagliardi served as an Associate Editor for JCTC from 2016 to 2020.

“The Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation has an opportunity to play a role in forming and promoting the next generation of theorists and computational chemical scientists, and as Editor-in-Chief, I will make such community-building a priority,” says Professor Gagliardi. “I plan to lead JCTC to a future that expands both the diversity of our authors and the scope of the journal’s focus, building upon the success of the journal to date in creating a world-class home for outstanding researchers.”

I had the pleasure of connecting with Professor Gagliardi in this recent interview. Learn more about her background in theoretical and computational chemistry, her vision for the journal, and more below. 

What does it mean to you to be the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation?

It is an honor and a responsibility at the same time. The Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation (JCTC) is the leading journal in the field; it publishes state-of-the-art papers in theory and computation, ranging from electronic structure theory to dynamics and classical simulation. I hope that I can make a difference in shaping the field by identifying new directions for JCTC to expand to keep up with emerging developments, and also helping the next generation of theorists to advance their science. I moreover think it is important to address the issue of diversity in all possible respects, especially in terms of geographic diversity and use of the journal to both reach out to and amplify the voices of the entire theory and computation community, always with the goal of promoting the excellence of the science.

What are you currently working on?

I am primarily an electronic structure theorist by education and practice. Nowadays, my group works to develop electronic structures methods, often combining them with dynamical simulations to address societal needs related to clean energy. We study catalysis for decarbonization, photochemical processes, gas separations, and quantum systems in general, including quantum information.

What excites you about your current research?

We are working on several exciting projects right now. We are developing quantum embedding fragmentation methods for strongly correlated extended systems and we are making these theories and codes “quantum ready”, which is to say ready to be implemented on quantum computers. Such methods will allow us and the community to study large systems, e.g., excited states of vacancies and defects in materials, and magnetic communication in multimetallic systems. We are also using machine learning and artificial intelligence to more rapidly advance these methodologies. On the application side, we are investigating porous frameworks, like metal-organic frameworks and covalent organic frameworks for their applications in catalysis and separations. A common feature of these projects is that we are trying to combine the most fundamental theories with very applied chemistry and materials science in a synergistic way.

What element has been most central to your scientific career, and why?

I did a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry because I was interested in understanding chemical systems at the most fundamental level, and I worked on accurate configuration interaction methods that are usually applicable only to very small systems. Then, over time, I became interested in chemical systems with increasing complexity, but I’ve wanted always to explore them with advanced rigorous methods, like those developed in my Ph.D. This desire to continue achieving the highest levels of accuracy has pushed me out of my comfort zone so that along the way we’ve had to develop novel methodologies that would allow us to study systems like metal-organic frameworks, catalysis, magnetic materials, etc. Another key to my personal development has been my collaborations with experimentalists. Theorists can end up developing super-sophisticated methods that suffer from never being deployed on other than toy systems. By contrast, when one collaborates with experimentalists, one faces real and complex problems and one must make one’s methodologies more practical and useful.

I think what has also helped me is that I delight in novelty and am unashamed of ignorance. I enjoy starting new projects where I know very little at the beginning. I try to be humble and willing to learn from scratch and I cultivate patience. While this can certainly be frustrating early on, the ultimate satiation of curiosity is incredibly rewarding. 

What initially attracted you to chemistry?

I started being excited by chemistry in high school. I studied Latin, Greek, Math, and Physics. I loved them all. Chemistry combined the fascinating aspects of all of these disciplines. It had the rigor of Latin, the philosophical subtlety of Greek and Physics, the logic of math. And at the same time, it explains how the real world works. If one thinks about the major challenge of our planet, namely global climate change, it is clear that chemistry will play a fundamental role in mitigation strategies. Similarly, one can reflect on the acute challenge that began in 2020, namely COVID-19, and see that also in this case chemistry has played a key role in confronting the pandemic.

Where do you think your field will be in 10 years’ time?

What I think is fascinating is that in chemistry one can “make things” (like new molecules, new reactions, new materials, etc.) and “understand things” by analytical means. The two aspects are not, by any means, mutually exclusive. I belong to the category of those who want to “understand things” and guide how to “make them” on a computer. I am a theoretical and computational chemist. I think the role of theoretical and computational chemistry has always been important because we have the opportunity to explain phenomena and to make predictions that drive more impactful experiments when a self-sustained loop can be created. As access to “big data” and artificial intelligence proves ever more important to chemistry, I think the future of theoretical and computational chemistry will also critically involve data science and quantum information. These will permit theoretical/computational chemistry to progress at an accelerated pace to help solve societal challenges.

What do you wish people outside your field knew about the work you’re doing?

I tried to explain to my nephew once, when he was four or five years old, that water is made of a lot of invisible molecules and water is what we see with our eyes because of the properties of these little molecules and the way they interact. More recently, I told to my 80-year old parents that I study some “sponges”, metal-organic frameworks, that can adsorb water vapor and that this can deliver drinkable water under otherwise arid conditions. So, in general, I would like people to understand that we study phenomena at a very fundamental and microscopic level to explain the behavior of the commonly perceived reality around us.

It can be difficult for the general public to appreciate chemistry, and especially theoretical chemistry and computation, because it is a technical field, and moreover, some associate chemistry only with dangerous concepts like pollution, explosions, etc. I find it disappointing that most of the time when I say that I am a chemist, people tell me how difficult they found chemistry in their studies. I wish we did a better job at conveying the excitement and importance of the field to younger generations and fascinating them with chemistry and STEM in general at an earlier age. I appreciate enormously the efforts of educators in general and ACS in particular with respect to efforts to involve younger generations in STEM.

What advice would you give to young scientists today?

While perhaps somewhat trite, most scientists, given all the up-front commitment involved, can certainly be said to be following their passion. If one is able to find one’s real passion in one’s work, one will typically be successful and have the energy to make progress every day towards making a difference. As scientists, chemists, educators, we face the incredible challenge of saving our planet and leaving it in a better condition than we found it and we can contribute towards this mission in a meaningful way. We also have the responsibility to make science more inclusive because this will drive better outcomes and be better for our society. At the same time, I tell my students and postdocs that to make a difference, we need to strive for excellence and personal improvement in all that we do. We want to find the right answers for the right reasons. We have to be committed to integrity and follow ethical practices. We have to collaborate, support, and respect one another. That’s the scientific future I envision.

Learn More About the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation.

ACS Publications’ Newest Associate Editors: Q4 2021

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’s latest editors and learn what unique gifts they’ll be bringing to their respective journals.

Ashutosh Sharma, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

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

In the last 35 years, my primary focus has been on soft interfaces, colloids, and nanoscale entities and their myriad applications and tech development. These applications have at different times branched into self-organization in nanoscale films; nanofabrication and micro/nano-patterning; wetting, adhesion, and friction; electrospinning of functional materials for devices; carbon and polymeric nanocomposites for environmental remediation, energy storage, and health (theranostics, biosensors) and biomaterials.

When I started on my Ph.D. work back in 1984, the 2-D world of interfaces, such as its thermodynamics and mechanics, was an upcoming, exciting area in chemical engineering with many interesting potential applications. During this time, I initiated work on the pathophysiology of Dry Eye Syndromes in the framework of thin films (tear film) and wetting (cornea), which was a first. Basically, my interest all along has been in connecting different dots of knowledge that seemingly appear to be disjointed. This approach led to many opportunities along the way.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces is a rather unique, wide spectrum journal in that it covers many deep areas of science together with their important applications, which could aid in the development of real technologies and products. These aspects of ACS AMI fit rather well with my own research background and thinking. While reading a paper, I like to ask several questions: Is there good, reasoned, verifiable science in there? Is there an element of novelty in at least one of these components that I call 4 Ms of Science—mechanics (understanding) or materials or methods, or in the machine/device architecture? Is it a clearly superior application, even if not terribly novel? How profound or incremental are the contents? Is narrative clear and exciting for an average reader in that area? I do think that these elements bring value to any good journal in applied sciences. In particular, I hope to contribute to the editorial work in the areas of colloids, soft interfaces, and their applications and also bring the journal to the greater attention of Indian scientists as an excellent platform to publish their best works with applied flavors.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

An overarching challenge is a contextually meaningful, synergistic convergence of elements and functionalities in the new materials/interfaces that are engineered to provide solutions to a problem, which is actually a multidimensional problem, as most of the real ones are. For example, miniaturized low-cost autonomous sensor networks (smart pebbles) that seamlessly embed some computing at the edge, communication, machine learning, fault diagnosis, and auto-calibration, positional information, actuators for local actions, and a long-lasting power source that may harness vibrations, solar and other stuff such as surrounding fluids! There would have to be greater integration of the physical, digital, and biological for the new multifunctional materials. Nature-inspired materials and manufacturing is a major opportunity in which we have currently only barely scratched the surface. The most popular examples have been superwetting, smart adhesives, structural colors, fog harvesting, etc. However, interesting materials and manufacturing in nature are not passive, but embed information and the action elements, and most often perform functions by being connected to a larger system of communication and computing! On a lighter note, one could think of progressing from the advanced materials, functional materials, smart materials, etc to informational materials, intelligent materials, wise materials, and who knows, even conscious materials that will inspire a series of CONMAT conferences! Other challenges with functional interfaces are their durability and large-scale production.

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

On the most fundamental level, inter-surface and inter-particle interactions are rather poorly understood and predicted, especially for the real physico-chemically heterogeneous interfaces in the aqueous media, including bio- and polymeric surfaces. Such interactions include for example the long-range van der Waals, electrostatic and electrodynamic, acid-base (hydrogen bonding) structural and entropic, specific, etc. Another complexity is summing of these interactions for poorly defined heterogeneous interfaces. A rational understanding and the design of interfaces for most applications demand developing such insights at multiple scales.

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

Self-Organized Wrinkling in Thin Polymer Films under Solvent–Nonsolvent Solutions: Patterning Strategy for Microfluidic Applications
ACS Appl. Polym. Mater. 2021, 3, 12, 6198–6206
DOI: 10.1021/acsapm.1c01044

Thin polymer coatings show a novel self-organized wrinkling instability on their surface when put under a mixture of a good solvent and a non-solvent. The solvent swells the film and the mixture diffusing to the polymer-substrate interface delaminates the film. Interestingly, along a polygonal network of lines where local detachments occur, thus forming buried micro-channels. The selective delamination-induced wrinkling is found to be a rather generic phenomenon that can be tuned in different polymer films of variable thickness by appropriate combinations of solvent–nonsolvent mixtures. The paper has some of the elements I like: discovering a new phenomenon, understanding its control to produce channels of the desired geometry, and potential applications, e.g., in micropatterning and microfluidics.

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

My other areas of interest are philosophy and art. Most of my sketches are made while listening to lectures and in meetings! Paradoxically, it mostly allows a better understanding of what the speaker is saying, owing to shutting down the unrelated internal dialogue. Apparently, the brain cannot fully focus on two streams of thoughts simultaneously!

For about seven years, until August 2021, I was a Secretary to the Government of India heading its Department of Science and Technology, which allowed greater appreciation of how science, technology, and innovation connect with different segments of society and how policies are an important instrument of meeting the challenges and leveraging the opportunities of the future through science and technology.
***

David Olson, ACS Chemical Neuroscience

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

Our lab studies a class of compounds that we call psychoplastogens, or small molecules capable of promoting neural plasticity. Such compounds have enormous potential for treating a wide variety of illnesses including depression, anxiety disorders, addiction, and neurodegenerative diseases.

We use a combination of synthetic chemistry, molecular neurobiology, and behavioral neuropharmacology to 1) understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying the effects of psychoplastogens on the nervous system, and 2) develop next-generation neurotherapeutics. I was initially attracted to the field of central nervous system drug discovery due to the enormous unmet medical need. There are a ton of people who need help, and current treatments are far from adequate.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I hope to continue to raise the profile of ACS Chemical Neuroscience as a premier journal for neuropharmacology research and central nervous system drug discovery.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

The identification of robust biomarkers that predict treatment efficacy is an issue that continues to plague the development of central nervous system therapeutics. Fortunately, progress in this area is being made.

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

Most people now agree that many brain illnesses are a result of pathological neural circuits rather than chemical imbalances. A key challenge for the field going forward will be to find ways to selectively target disease-relevant circuits with brain penetrant small molecules. That type of precision will likely be necessary to both improve efficacy and reduce side effects.

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

The Subjective Effects of Psychedelics May Not Be Necessary for Their Enduring Therapeutic Effects
ACS Pharmacol. Transl. Sci. 2021, 4, 2, 563–567
DOI: 10.1021/acsptsci.0c00192

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

In addition to developing new neurotherapeutics, I’m also very passionate about understanding how psychedelics produce their effects on brain structure and function. Psychedelics are some of the most powerful substances known to impact the brain, and I believe that understanding the basic science underlying their effects will lead to important advances in neuroscience.
***

Karmella Haynes, ACS Synthetic Biology

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

My focus is the rational design of components of chromatin (proteins and scaffold RNAs that organize DNA in chromosomes) to control epigenetic gene regulation in human and mammalian cells. I studied basic epigenetic research as a Ph.D. student. After I entered synthetic biology as a postdoc (ca. 2006), I became excited about the idea of epigenetic engineering in eukaryotes, and mammalian synthetic biology in general.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I hope to apply my knowledge of advances and barriers in the area of mammalian synthetic biology to the process of sharing the latest findings with the public. I also hope that my connections with the growing mammalian synthetic biology community will encourage early career and historically marginalized scientists to consider ACS Synthetic Biology as a platform for elevating the visibility of their work.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Translating biological design principles from viral and bacterial systems to mammalian cells is a major overarching challenge for mammalian synthetic biology. Mammalian cells have the remarkable ability to differentiate into a myriad of specialized states while remaining genetically identical. This poses a significant challenge for an orthogonal genetic circuit that is intended to function in a predictable manner.

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

Solving the problem of unexpected epigenetic regulation of synthetic gene circuits will certainly help to advance mammalian synthetic biology. Also, a widely adopted, easy-to-use artificial chromosome that is stable in replicating mammalian cells would make cells much easier to engineer.

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

Design, Construction, and Validation of Histone-Binding Effectors in Vitro and in Cells
Biochemistry 2018, 57, 31, 4707–4716
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.8b00327
***

Daniel Nomura, Chemical Research in Toxicology

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

My group is focused on reimagining druggability using chemoproteomic platforms to develop transformative medicines. One of the greatest challenges that we face in discovering new disease therapies is that most proteins are considered “undruggable,” in that most proteins do not possess known binding pockets or “ligandable hotspots” that small molecules can bind to modulate protein function. Our research group addresses this challenge by advancing and applying chemoproteomic platforms to discover and pharmacologically target unique and novel ligandable hotspots for disease therapy.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

One of the greatest challenges that we face in discovering new disease therapies is that most proteins are considered “undruggable,” in that most proteins do not possess known binding pockets or “ligandable hotspots” that small molecules can bind to modulate protein function. This challenge requires the development of approaches that not only enable ligand discovery against these undruggable targets but also the invention of new therapeutic modalities to therapeutically exploit these targets in a safe manner.
I hope to bring my expertise in chemical biology, drug discovery, and environmental toxicology, particularly as it relates to small-molecule interactions with macromolecules in our bodies.
***

Doris Braun, Crystal Growth & Design

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

The “Preformulation and Polymorphism group” at the University of Innsbruck in Austria focuses on scientific and applied problems related to solid-state properties of pharmaceuticals and other small organic molecules of high industrial relevance. We develop methods, strategies, and guidelines for the production and characterization of solid-state forms and drug products.

In particular, my research focuses on:

  1. The role of computational chemistry for pharmaceutical solid form screening and characterization: how to implement crystal structure prediction into solid form screening and characterization programs.
  2. Thermodynamic relations in solid forms: how to derive the thermodynamic stability, stability order, and stability ranges of and between different solid-state forms
  3. Hydrate, solvate, and co-crystal formation: prediction, characterization, and practical consequences.

The beauty of crystals under the microscope attracted me to the field of polymorphism.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

Materials properties and their applicability have always been the driving force in my research. I have university training in pharmacy, worked on projects focusing on basic research and applied industrial problems. As a scientist, I have taken the role of an experimentalist among world-leading theoretical chemists, and am now applying computational chemistry in an otherwise experimentally focused research group. I hope to play an integral part in maintaining the high standards of the journal, help to encourage (younger) researchers to publish high-quality papers, and promote out-of-the-box thinking of scientists working in the field.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Over the last decade, there have been ground-breaking achievements in the field of crystal engineering/materials sciences. Computational chemistry can be used to predict feasible crystal structures. We are aiming at predicting the properties of materials. Experimental techniques have advanced immensely. High-resolution and in-situ data collections allow us to get insights into the structural behavior, transformations, and interrelations of solid forms. Thus, the challenges we have to overcome in our field are not always related to science but are often linked to the accessibility of the (newest) techniques, the time we can spend working on a compound, and the funding opportunities available.

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

Despite the ground-breaking advances in the field and the efforts undertaken by scientists in academia and industry worldwide we are still not able to predict if a molecule will crystallize, let alone in what forms or especially under which conditions. The required breakthrough is probably understanding nucleation and growth in practically relevant systems. The ultimate goal is then to design and produce the assembly of new materials with targeted properties.

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

The Eight Hydrates of Strychnine Sulfate
Cryst. Growth Des. 2020, 20, 9, 6069–6083
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c00777

In this study, we aimed at a comprehensive molecular-level understanding of a hydrate forming model compound. The fact that strychnine sulfate shows eight hydrate forms, but no stable and ordered anhydrous phase, highlights the importance of water as a stabilizing agent in solids. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that a series of complementary analytical techniques allowing precise adjustments of humidity and temperature conditions must be employed to reveal the solid-state behavior of complex hydrate systems.
***

Sanjit Konar, Crystal Growth & Design

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

The focus of my research team is multidirectional, with special emphasis on the thrust areas, namely responsive molecular crystals (mainly MOFs), molecular magnetism, and nanoscopic polyoxometalates. We aim to design and synthesize magnificent molecular materials whose physicochemical properties could be orchestrated using external stimuli such as light, temperature, pressure, etc, and can be used as molecular switches. In these studies, appropriate selection of the ligand field, along with a proper choice of the redox potential of the molecular components plays a vital role. Moreover, other parameters like the arrangement of the molecules in the crystal lattice, mainly driven by intermolecular interactions, often fine-tune the dynamic and reversibility of the properties. The other aspect of our work includes molecular magnetism. We design single-molecule/ion magnets, magnetic refrigerants, and cages and rationalize their properties experimentally and theoretically to make this field significant progress. In another area, we explore the fascinating electronic, catalytic, and magnetic properties of nanoscopic polyoxometalates(POMs) formed by the early transition metals. The intrinsic color of the transition metal complexes attracts me the most as it provides a clear hint about their structure and reactivity.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

My background is in transitional metal coordination chemistry, and my current research interest in molecular magnetism, metal-organic frameworks, and polyoxometalates may bring complementary expertise to the editorial board of this journal. I hope to contribute to the area of structure-property relationship in the transition metal-based crystalline compounds.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

The complexities associated with the structure of a small molecule in the crystal lattice considering the intermolecular interactions and its relationship with the properties might need to reach the next level of understanding for a more efficient design of the materials. Although significant efforts have been devoted in this direction, a faster progression could be achieved by the synergy between the design strategy of the molecules and an adequate understanding of the intermolecular interactions involved therein.

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

Even for the simplest molecule, predicting the crystal structure may turn out to be wrong.

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

Magnetic Transition in Organic Radicals: The Crystal Engineering Aspects
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 10, 5473–5489
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.1c00731

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

Two things need to be mentioned that help me evolve as a researcher: extensive undergraduate teaching and a scientist at home, my wife, also a chemistry professor.
***

Michael Ruggiero, Crystal Growth & Design

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

We are broadly interested in understanding how intermolecular forces shape the properties of condensed phase materials, which we typically achieve through the lens of low-frequency (terahertz) vibrational spectroscopies, supplemented by quantum mechanical simulations. The terahertz vibrational community is one of the most welcoming and collaborative communities I’ve come across, which is the primary reason why I have been in this community from my doctoral studies through my current independent career – basically, great friends, great science, and a whole bunch of fun is what kept me around!

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I have been impressed with the direction that Crystal Growth & Design has been moving in over the last several years, and I have been quite fortunate to have some of my more ambitious and interesting studies land in the journal. The organic growth of the CGD community, and their keen eye to expanding beyond the traditional crystallography community into related fields, are major driving forces for my desire to be involved. I am very much looking forward to helping to grow the community by acting as a bridge between CGD and the terahertz sciences.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

The terahertz sciences are rapidly evolving, as instrument costs are decreasing and the technique is easier-than-ever to access. However, with that evolution, there is an influx of new researchers that need to become acquainted with the nuances associated with low-frequency vibrational spectroscopy, which is sufficiently different to comparable methods (e.g., mid-IR vibrational spectroscopies). Thus, there is a need now, more than ever, for detailed studies that clearly highlight experimental methodologies and subsequent analysis techniques.

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

One of the most interesting areas of the terahertz sciences, in my opinion, is the increasing finding that solid-state phenomena (reactions, phase transformations, and so on) seem to closely follow a terahertz vibrational normal mode. This has resulted in some interesting and ongoing investigations into driving solid-state reactivity with terahertz radiation, which is one of the ‘holy-grails’ of low-frequency vibrational spectroscopy, in my opinion!

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

Advances in Low-Frequency Vibrational Spectroscopy and Applications in Crystal Engineering
Cryst. Growth Des. 2022, 22, 2, 939–953
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.1c00850

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

I am an avid outdoorsman, and when not playing with lasers you can find me lurking around the Green Mountains of Vermont or the Adirondack Mountains of New York – hiking, camping, skiing, and everything in between – often with my wife and two dogs. I’m also a sucker for a good collaboration, and have a difficult time saying “no” to a fun and interesting problem from a fun and interesting person: basically, we’ll stick anything in our spectrometer, and happily head to the pub for beers after!
***

Shalini Singh, Crystal Growth & Design

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

I am a nanomaterial chemist. Currently, my research focus is on synthesizing ultra-thin inorganic nanocrystals composed of a few atomic layers by bottom-up approaches. Creating them atom-by-atom using molecular precursors provides vast opportunities to engineer their structure, dimensions, surface, and properties. By using different spectroscopic and microscopic techniques, we gain a proper understanding of the stoichiometry, crystal structure, morphology, electronic properties, and surface chemistry of synthesized nanomaterials. Further, depending on their electronic properties, we study their potential as electrode materials for batteries or electrocatalysts. Initially, my research career started from designing polymeric nanocomposites(as a research fellow in India). While I was searching for a Ph.D. position, I saw an advertisement for a position at University of Limerick. The description said that the candidate would be trained on transmission electron microscopes. For me, that was very fascinating. I wanted to take images of nanocrystals with atomic resolution. High-quality TEM images of nanocrystals still make my day. After my Ph.D., I moved to Belgium as a postdoc to study the relationship between the nanocrystal surface and their opto-electronic properties. With different expertise I gained during my research journey helped me to establish my research group at University of Limerick, Ireland on designing and tuning the structure and property of novel nanomaterials for technological applications.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

As a Topic Editor of Crystal Growth & Design, I will handle manuscripts in the metallic and semiconductor nanocrystals areas. Specifically, I would be handling manuscripts on insights into crystallization and structure-function relationship in nanocrystals synthesized via a bottom-up approach. I am very much looking forward to reading new studies in this area that will contribute to fundamental advances.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

New semiconductor and metallic nanocrystals with designer and tunable properties are emerging rapidly. However, there is a lack of fundamental understanding of underlying concepts on surface, structure, and crystallization in these different sets of new materials. These missing links often hamper the development of reproducible and scalable ways for the synthesizing, processing, and integration of these new materials in applications. Addressing these fundamental challenges will be important to create a platform technology for an easier lab-to-fab transition of novel nanomaterials.

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

Yes, I would love to highlight these two recent papers in ACS journals:

Ligand Adsorption Energy and the Postpurification Surface Chemistry of Colloidal Metal Chalcogenide Nanocrystals
Chem. Mater. 2021, 33, 8, 2796–2803
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.0c04761

In this article, we demonstrated how the actual surface chemistry of ligand passivated colloidal nanocrystals is a combined result of intrinsic ligand-nanocrystals binding character and concrete work-up procedures.

Insights into Nucleation and Growth of Colloidal Quaternary Nanocrystals by Multimodal X-ray Analysis
ACS Nano 2021, 15, 4, 6439–6447
DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.0c08617

In this article, we present a real-time investigation of the formation of colloidal copper zinc tin sulfide nanorods by in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy and small-angle X-ray scattering. Using this x-ray combination, we unraveled the key nucleation and growth stages in quaternary nanocrystal synthesis.

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

Besides research, I am a passionate teacher. I love teaching and creating a new innovative ways to teach organic chemistry to my students. I am also trained in different Indian folk dancing styles. If I were not a chemist, she would own and run my own dance studio.
***

John Munafo, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

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

Our lab aims to unlock the potential of food, fungi, and plant-based natural products to benefit agriculture and animal and human health. Through flavor chemistry, we aim to identify key aroma and taste active molecules in foods and beverages with the vision of developing “Healthy Foods with Great Flavor.” Through natural products chemistry, we aim to identify biologically active molecules with the vision of developing “Novel Natural Products for Health and Agriculture.” The overarching objectives of our integrated program are to guide the development of healthy foods with great flavor, to develop new specialty crops for farmers, and identify novel preventative and treatment options to combat global health afflictions such as diabetes, cancer, and emerging infectious diseases. What initially attracted me to these intriguing fields of research was the realization that nature contains a virtually limitless supply of bioactive molecules that are waiting to be discovered. Many of these molecules have the potential to benefit humans, animals, and the environment.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

Flavor science and natural products chemistry are two of my passions. I am particularly interested in studies that contribute to the fundamental aspects of these two disciplines, especially those with the potential to be further developed, in an applied fashion, to benefit people, food, and agriculture.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Supplying the world with sustainable, affordable, safe, healthy, and delicious food.

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

I find it fascinating that, through trial-and-era, nature has generated an enormous suite of time-tested bioactive molecules with the potential to benefit humans, animals, and the environment. This creates a huge opportunity to discover uses for these natural products to benefit society.

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

This recently published manuscript details the aroma chemistry of a pleasantly unique smelling mushroom endemic to the Southern Appalachians.

Key Odorants from the Fragrant Bolete, Suillus punctipes
J. Agric. Food Chem. 2020, 68, 32, 8621–8628
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.0c03389

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

I enjoy spending time with family and friends, exploring nature, reading, and gardening.
***

Geoffrey Coates, Journal of the American Chemical Society

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

The research focus of the Coates Group is the development of new catalysts for the synthesis of macromolecules and small molecules. Professor Coates’ research concentrates on developing new methods for reacting commodity feedstocks in unprecedented ways. His current research centers on the development of homogeneous catalysts for olefin polymerization, heterocycle carbonylation, epoxide homo- and copolymerization, the utilization of carbon dioxide in polymer synthesis, and new polymers for energy conversion and storage.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I hope to bring additional expertise in catalysis and polymer chemistry to the journal.

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

Society depends on polymeric materials now more than at any other time in history, despite increasing concern that their synthesis and disposal are unsustainable. The development of new routes to polymers that have reduced environmental impact is one of the most important unsolved problems in the field of polymer chemistry.

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

Isotactic Poly(propylene oxide): A Photodegradable Polymer with Strain Hardening Properties
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 14, 6800–6806
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.0c01768
***

Christophe Coperet, Journal of the American Chemical Society

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

I study surface chemistry along with catalysis, nuclear magnetic resonance, X-Ray Absorption, metathesis, and CO2 hydrogenation. I study surface chemistry because of its unusual structure and reactivity. It requires me to try to bridge the gap between molecular and solid-state chemistry.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

A molecular view on heterogeneous catalysis and the ability to look at interfaces with the eye of a molecular chemist.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

The requirement for a broad range of expertise (from synthetic molecular chemistry to solid-state chemistry, including the use of advanced multiple spectroscopy techniques, as well as computational approaches) to embrace the complexity of surface chemistry. Also, data analysis is becoming complex and demanding due to the ever-increasing size of the data set, along with time- (Operando) and space-resolved spectroscopy.

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

Finding a way to capture the dynamics of surface (active) sites under operating conditions, combining imaging and spectroscopy.

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

Nanoparticle O–H Bond Dissociation Free Energies from Equilibrium Measurements of Cerium Oxide Colloids
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 7, 2896–2907
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.0c12799

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

I am a fan of literature, philosophy, music, and wine.
***

Carlos Nieto de Castro, Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data

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

My scientific activity covers the field of molecular thermophysics and fluid technology, ionic liquids, nanofluids, ionanofluids, and nanosystems, including new heat and storage fluids with industrial impact in the area of energy and the environment, and the use of ionic liquids as solvating and reaction media to synthesize and functionalize nanomaterials, for industrial and domestic applications. Attracted by thermodynamics and transport processes in chemical systems, namely in a liquid state. To solve new problems in chemical engineering and physical chemistry.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

My experience in science and technology, from doing, directing, and writing. Rigor in data acquisition and presentation for thermophysical properties of fluids (experiment and modeling). Ethics in publications. My strong belief in the capacity of science and technology, namely chemistry and chemical engineering, to transform the world.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Nanomaterials characterization, new heat transfer, and storage fluids and materials, use of renewable energies, namely solar, in domestic and industrial applications. The lack of financing in physical chemistry/thermophysical research. The resistance of young people to think scientifically.

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

Liquid state molecular theory. Structure of nanofluids and parent dispersions.

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

It is not very recent but it was a fundamental paper for the use of ionic liquids as base fluids for nanofluids. The term IoNanofluids was created then and sprayed over in the literature:
Thermal Properties of Ionic Liquids and IoNanofluids of Imidazolium and Pyrrolidinium Liquids
J. Chem. Eng. Data 2010, 55, 2, 653–661
DOI: 10.1021/je900648p

Another one fundamental in the area:

Influence of Thermophysical Properties of Ionic Liquids in Chemical Process Design
J. Chem. Eng. Data 2009, 54, 9, 2569–2575
DOI: 10.1021/je900107t

The most recent one:

Thermophysical Properties of 1-Butyl-3-methylimidazolium tris(pentafluoroethyl)trifluorophosphate, [C4mim][(C2F5)3PF3], and of Its IoNanofluid with Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes
J. Chem. Eng. Data 2021, 66, 4, 1717–1729
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jced.0c01017

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

I am one of the world’s most cited top scientists in chemical engineering/physical chemistry, in the top 2% for 2020 and 2021, according to Stanford University.
***

Nanshu Lu, Nano Letters

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

My research focuses on thin-film mechanics and soft bio-integrated electronics. Representative works of my group include stretchability of metal thin films and serpentine ribbons, nano-bubbles and nano-tents formed by 2D materials, epidermal electronics, graphene e-tattoos (GETs), “cut-solder-paste” rapid prototyping of wireless e-tattoos, bio-electronics interface mechanics, and hybrid piezoresistive and piezocapacitive responses of pressure sensing e-skins. I enjoy both achieving the fundamental understanding of the mechanics of thin-film materials as well as making technical advancements enabled by those fundamental understandings.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I hope that my expertise in thin-film mechanics and soft devices can be an unconventional addition to Nano Letters because it is no longer just limited to chemistry or chemical engineering. Instead, we are trying to recognize that mechanics, materials, and electronics all contribute synergistically to future devices with hybrid nano and macro components.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

A major scientific challenge is the synthesis of intrinsically soft and stretchable high-performance electronic materials such as organic conductors and semiconductors, which can ultimately replace metal and silicon while still being tissue soft. A major technical challenge is the reliable and robust interfacing of the soft, nano components with rigid, macroscopic components like silicon chips or printed circuit boards.

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

I envision that in the future, humans will be more like robots (i.e., digital, computational, connected to the internet, etc.) whereas robots will be more like humans (i.e., soft, human-mimetic actuation and sensation, artificial intelligence, etc.). To achieve this vision, we need better brain probes to decipher the human brain and better soft actuators to behave like artificial muscles.

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

I was one of the iCANx/ACS Nano inaugural rising star lecturers in 2020. Therefore, I just submitted an invited perspective on soft capacitive pressure sensors to ACS Nano. I hope to share it when this perspective is published.

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

I endeavor to break the barriers between disciplines and I need everyone’s help with that.
***

Liberato Manna, Nano Letters

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

My main research focus is on colloidal nanocrystals. My group targets their synthesis, surface functionalization, modeling, the study of their physical properties, and their applications, mainly in energy-related fields.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I hope to bring my expertise in nanoscale materials science, both from a chemistry and physics perspective, and to cover a wide array of materials and properties.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

There are several challenges. I would mention perhaps only two. One is getting nanoscale materials that are stable and that have a level of environmental compatibility that makes them suitable for widespread applicability. A second important issue is related to the reproducibility of results from lab to lab, which will require more standardized procedures, sharing of raw data, and certification of performances on a broader scale than has been done so far.

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

I am now working mainly in the field of halide perovskites. The most unsolved issue in this field is to find valid alternatives to lead-based compositions. This is still an open quest. Another important challenge in colloidal chemistry, in general, is being able to synthesize materials, in the form of high-quality colloidal nanocrystals, that in the bulk require high temperatures to be prepared with good crystallinity and/or in a desired phase/composition.

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

Sb-Doped Metal Halide Nanocrystals: A 0D versus 3D Comparison
ACS Energy Lett. 2021, 6, 6, 2283–2292
DOI: 10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00789

This recent work from our group stresses the importance of the extent of connectivity of the coordination polyhedra on one side, and or surface trap states on the other side, on regulating the optical properties of nanoscale metal halide crystals.

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

Please don’t focus only on science, but cultivate other interests that enrich your life and make you a more complete person.
***

Elena Besley, Nano Letters

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

I am working in the field of theoretical and computational chemistry. I very much like the rigor of theoretical methods, which we use to interpret and predict the outcomes of experimental observations. Mathematics allows us to treat a physical problem with a high level of accuracy and precision, yet often leads us to general conclusions about the underlying mechanisms.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

Computational science is still at the very beginning of its growth as compared to experimental science, which already enjoyed four centuries of development and advancement. With Nano Letters, I hope to create a strong platform for computational science that can be used to explore nanoscale phenomena not always directly accessible to experiment in key scientific areas such as atmospheric science, materials science, molecular biology, colloidal chemistry, aerodynamics, and elementary particle physics, to name a few. I hope to highlight the highest quality development works by computational chemists, mathematical chemists, and physicists, chemical informaticians who underpin and explain new ground-breaking experimental results.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

The major challenge that faces us is to develop our abilities to pose and solve problems that combine insights from more than one discipline within the natural sciences with mathematical tools and computational skills. This provides a unique combination of applied and theoretical knowledge.

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

We need to continue developing new computational methods that make challenging physical and chemical problems more tractable on modern computing platforms. We also need to change the future of computer simulations. For example, combining machine learning and data analysis with quantum computing is an exciting topic, which can completely change the future of computer simulations and the way we study physical systems at the nanoscale. There are also many unresolved problems in algorithm development, error control, and software productivity.

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

Triplet Excitation and Electroluminescence from a Supramolecular Monolayer Embedded in a Boron Nitride Tunnel Barrier
Nano Lett. 2020, 20, 1, 278–283
DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b03787

In this paper, we show that ordered monolayers of organic molecules stabilized by hydrogen bonding on the surface of exfoliated few-layer hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) flakes may be incorporated into van der Waals heterostructures with integral few-layer graphene contacts forming a molecular/two-dimensional hybrid tunneling diode. Electrons can tunnel through the hBN/molecular barrier under an applied voltage, and we show that tunneling electrons excite embedded molecules into singlet states in a two-step process via an intermediate triplet state through inelastic scattering and also observe direct emission from the triplet state. These heterostructures provide a solid-state device in which spin-triplet states, which cannot be generated by optical transitions, can be controllably excited and provide a new route to investigate the physics, chemistry, and quantum spin-based applications of triplet generation, emission, and molecular photon upconversion.
***

Chuan He Named Editor-In-Chief of ACS Chemical Biology

ACS Publications is pleased to announce Professor Chuan He’s appointment as Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of ACS Chemical Biology, replacing founding EIC Professor Laura L. Kiessling. He is the John T. Wilson distinguished service professor in the departments of chemistry and of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago. His research group studies a broad range of topics in chemical biology, nucleic acid chemistry and biology, epigenetics, and genomics. He is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the American Chemical Society Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, and the ACS Chemical Biology Lectureship Award, among many other awards.

“Since its inception, ACS Chemical Biology has established itself as the main platform for chemical biologists to communicate their research and share scientific discoveries,” says He. “I envision the journal expanding its scope to encompass emerging research areas that are likely to blossom in the coming decade. I also look forward to building relationships with young chemical biologists through new initiatives, and I believe that the journal can play an active role in encouraging all chemical biologists to explore new areas of research.”

Learn More about Professor Chuan He and his vision for ACS Chemical Biology

What is your vision for ACS Chemical Biology as Editor-in-Chief?

Under the leadership of former Editor-in-Chief Professor Laura Kiessling, ACS Chemical Biology has become a platform that glues the chemical biology community and serves everyone. It is the first chemical biology journal run by academic chemical biologists. Its main goal is not to make a profit but to serve the research community of chemical biology. I will strengthen the journal’s role in serving everyone, especially to ensure that we can help young chemical biologists develop their careers. We also care about scientific impact and encourage researchers to submit the latest findings and cutting-edge research ideas to ACS Chemical Biology. I believe many of us are tired of the lengthy revision process after submission, so our editorial team will keep the process of publishing papers as short and streamlined as possible while maintaining high standards.

What are your expectations for submissions to ACS Chemical Biology?

I think there are generally three types of submissions: can be a development of a new method, a new scientific discovery, or the accumulation of data that is valuable to the research community. We welcome different types of submissions, including research resources type work. We plan to have a new mechanism for junior chemical biologists to summarize the scientific significance and breakthroughs of their research.

Can you tell us about your current research?

I started my independent lab working on bioinorganic chemistry, microbiology, and structural biology in the first 6-8 years. Over the past 13 years, my lab has focused more on RNA biology, epigenetics, and genomics. We study nucleic acid chemistry and biology and also use chemical principles to invent new genomics methods. Over the past decade, my lab has been more focused on answering biological questions, but we have recently embarked on several new research directions in chemical biology, and we hope to report results from these new directions in the future.

How did you determine this research direction? What is your advice for choosing a research direction?

For me, there are three criteria for choosing a research direction: first, whether it has great scientific significance; second, whether the pathway has notable in vivo functions or phenotypes; third, whether I can bring in unique ideas or invent methods to help address the challenges.

What advice would you give to young scientists for their career development?

I would suggest going beyond research areas you are familiar with. Have the courage to get into real biology and try to start a new research direction every 5 to 10 years. Consider attending biology conferences like Keystone meetings, and don’t just stay in your familiar field and attend only familiar meetings. As a chemical biologist, your success will be judged by your contribution to biology or the truly useful chemical biology approach you have developed.

Learn more about ACS Chemical Biology and read Professor Chuan He’s 2022 Editorial Statement.

Announcing the ACS Publications Diversity Data Report 2021

In June 2020, the Editors of ACS Publications journals wrote a joint editorial on addressing systemic racism in the chemistry community. That editorial made several commitments, including a pledge to gather and make public our “baseline statistics on diversity within our journals, encompassing our editors, advisors, reviewers, and authors.”

ACS Publications is now honoring that promise with a report of baseline data on the gender, racial, ethnic, and regional representation of our authors, reviewers, Editors, and Editorial Advisory Board members. This report supports our efforts to identify areas where representation improvements can be made by formulating targeted strategies to address bias in our journals.

A summary of the ACS Publications Diversity Data Report 2021 appears below.

Data Collection

The data for this report come from a recent survey of authors, reviewers, Editors, and Editorial Advisory Board members, as well as existing geographical data from these same groups.

Gender Representation

Men comprise the majority of every community reported on here, often by a ratio of 2:1 or more, compared with women, with nonbinary individuals comprising less than 1.5% of all communities.

Geographic Representation

Three regions are home to most people in the roles covered by this report. The majority of authors and reviewers reside in East Asia and the Pacific, followed by either the United States and Canada, or Europe and Central Asia. Most Editors and EAB members are based in the United States or Canada.

Racial and Ethnic Representation

Persons who self-identify as East Asian or White account for a majority of authors, reviewers, and editors. Respondents identifying as White comprise the greatest proportion of published authors, reviewers, and editorial positions, while those respondents who identify as East Asian represent the majority of submitting authors. No other group comprises more than 10% of any category.

Current Diversity Initiatives

ACS Publications has spent the past 18 months focusing on the specific diversity commitments made in June 2020, along with implementing several additional DEIR initiatives during this time. These programs stand atop continued efforts to diversify our Editorial Boards and a long history of diversity programs across the ACS.

In the Future

ACS Publications will use the data in this report to design and evaluate procedural and programmatic changes to address the systemic issues in peer review, editor selection, accessibility, and other factors affecting diversity in scientific publishing.

Read the Full Report.

ACS Publications’ Newest Associate Editors: Q3 2021

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’s latest editors and learn what unique gifts they’ll be bringing to their respective journals.

Iryna Zenyuk, ACS Applied Energy Materials

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

My research is focused on using electrochemical techniques to enable the decarbonization of energy conversion and storage systems. Renewable energy technologies based on hydrogen are promising candidates to enable clean grid, transportation, and industrial sectors, as they have zero emissions and can use renewable and intermittent energy. I work on both polymer electrolyte fuel cells and electrolyzers, as well as Li-ion batteries. I did my Ph.D. at studying electric double layers at Pt- electrolyte interfaces with application to fuel cells. I wanted to do a Ph.D. in fuel cells as even back then, I understood the challenge of decarbonizing the energy sector and the need for novel, clean, cost-effective, energy-efficient solutions.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I hope that my expertise in fuel cells and electrolyzers can serve the journal well. ACS Applied Energy Materials is an ideal place for energy conversion and storage technology paper submissions, as it allows for some more applied approaches to be published, and this is, I believe, where we see a lot of innovation. I am excited to see more papers where the know-how/empirical approach is transformed into a science, for example, catalyst integration into actual devices, as only with rational design will we be able to advance the electrochemical technologies to market applications.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

The major challenges for broad hydrogen technologies (fuel cells and electrolyzers) deployment include high cost, durability challenges, and material challenges. The cost and material challenges are interlinked as, in many cases, the use of precious metals (platinum, iridium, etc.) results in high capital costs. Fundamental and applied science and engineering can address these challenges through novel catalysts and support design. The durability challenge again can be addressed either with a system-level solution (clipping voltage of the cell, for example) or with a materials design solution. I am looking forward to paper submissions to ACS Applied Energy Materials, where the authors will address cost, durability challenges through novel materials designs and their integration into actual devices.

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

I think there are many interesting unsolved problems in my field. From the top of my head, I can list several. For example, shaped-controlled catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction demonstrated several times increased mass activities when measured in rotating disk electrodes, but this does not translate yet into performance within the actual device. A complex environment within the fuel cell somehow prevents these catalysts from reaching their full potential. In electrolyzer space, understanding the local environment within the iridium oxide catalyst layers for oxygen evolution reaction is still a challenge, as currently ionomer distribution, local morphology, IrOx oxidation state during operation, and two-phase flow within solution are all unknowns. By rationally designing catalyst layers for electrolyzers, we can dramatically reduce the device cost by reducing IrOx catalyst loading.

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

Measurement of Contact Angles at Carbon Fiber–Water–Air Triple-Phase Boundaries Inside Gas Diffusion Layers Using X-ray Computed Tomography
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2021, 13, 17, 20002–20013
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.1c00849

I like this paper because it uses a neat way to extract internal contact angles within the gas diffusion layers (GDLs) for fuel cell applications. This is something that has not been done previously in the fuel cell community, and it is much needed as the internal wettability of GDLs dictates water management.

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

In my previous life, I was a professional chess player, now retired but would be happy to be challenged to a chess game during our annual ACS meeting!

***

Joelle Pelletier, ACS Catalysis

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

Understanding how enzymes work, so we can modulate their activity. Enzymology; Biocatalysis; Enzyme kinetics; Computational simulations.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I hope to bring high-quality research on how enzymes/biocatalysts work and the harnessing of that knowledge to create new or improved methods of catalysis. Complex synthetic pathways that involve a variety of catalyst classes are exciting developments that we can promote. I will also strive for ACS Catalysis to include greater human diversity at all levels of the publication process, to publish the highest level of science with the greatest breadth of input and maximal outreach.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

1) Creating a body of knowledge that will inform methods of artificial intelligence to accelerate innovation in biological catalysis.
2) Bringing down barriers between subdisciplines of catalysis to increase the scope of discovery.

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

The development of uniform metrics to assess the quality of data in enzyme catalysis. Contrary to most fields of chemistry, biochemical data does not conform to specified norms, nor is it easy to think of doing so for reasons that are inherent to the immense variety and complexity of biology. Nonetheless, high-quality comparables lie at the root of knowledge expansion. Efforts are underway in the international metrology community to propose metrics for reporting results of enzyme catalysis. I will work to ensure that ACS Catalysis stays abreast of these and supports their development.

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

I look forward to meeting and discussing geeky science with all those who are passionate about biocatalysis.

***

Hee-Tae Jung, ACS Sensors

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

Molecular assembly – Nanomaterials and surface nano-patterning – CO2 conversion, HER and NRR catalysts – Gas sensors – Nanomaterials for climate change

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

A bridge between academia and industry in these fields, as well as making contributions to climate change issues.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Developing new types of nanomaterials to overcome the hurdles of conventional electrochemical sensors and metal oxide-based sensors.

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

I hope to bring the development of high-performance metal oxide gas sensors at low temperatures and the development of high-performance lung cancer and virus sensors from human breath analysis.

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

Etching Mechanism of Monoatomic Aluminum Layers during MXene Synthesis
Chem. Mater. 2021, 33, 16, 6346–6355
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.1c01263

***

Andrew Marr, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering

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

My research focuses on catalysis for green and sustainable chemistry. This includes biocatalysis, organometallic catalysis, and artificial metalloenzymes. I also work quite a bit with ionic liquids. I learned about green and sustainable chemistry when I was doing postdoctoral research on hydrogenase models at the University of Nottingham (1998 – 2000). Martyn Poliakoff was expanding the green chemistry agenda in Nottingham, and the speaker program was amazing. My wife and I got to meet many of the pioneers of the field during that time, and we took some of them out for lunch or dinner. When we moved to Belfast, we were fortunate enough to learn about ionic liquids from Ken Seddon and join his QUILL research centerboard. Paul Kamer was also a good friend. He introduced me to artificial metalloenzymes.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I will help to maintain the excellent standards of ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. This journal covers a fast-moving area. I hope to help the journal keep up with the best technological advances in sustainable chemistry and engineering.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

To transition all chemical and energy technologies to more sustainable alternatives. Solutions that serve all living things better than the existing paradigm. This is the biggest challenge facing humans and a core purpose of the journal.

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

There are too many to count. One challenge that occupies us at the moment is the application of enzymes to energy technologies. The opportunity to grow components for electrochemical devices is fascinating.
***

Susan Latturner, Inorganic Chemistry

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

My research focus is solid-state chemistry. I became interested in the field when I did an undergraduate research project at the University of Virginia, working on the intercalation chemistry of iron oxychloride. I enjoyed the synthesis and crystal growth of the host materials, as well as monitoring the structural modifications as organic guest species were added. However, my interest might have been inspired a decade earlier, as a 12-year-old, when I went to a New Year’s Eve party in Austria, and there was a person doing molybdomancy. (They hand you a slug of tin, you melt it over a flame and drop it in water, and they tell your fortune from the shape into which it freezes.) I don’t remember the divination, but I really liked the molten metal. It turns out that growing things out of molten metal was my future.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I’m looking forward to facilitating the publication of new work in materials chemistry and publicizing work that is of particular interest to the field.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

A major area of research is the development of materials to address energy needs in ways that mitigate the impact on the environment. It’s not clear if this will be best addressed by incremental improvements of existing compounds or by complete paradigm change. For instance, small changes in lithium-ion battery materials have led to greatly improved performance, but changing to a different platform may lead to even better properties and also eliminate the sourcing issues with lithium and cobalt. The discovery of new materials that can lead to dramatic improvement is difficult (as John Corbett said, it’s “difficult to predict the unimaginable”). But paradigm shifts can happen with a combination of exploratory synthesis, new synthetic techniques, and computational work to aid in materials discovery.

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

A big problem in the synthesis of extended inorganic solids is the lack of understanding of reaction mechanisms. We lack the fine control of bond-making and bond-breaking that organic chemists have in their reactions. It is therefore difficult to tailor the structure and properties of our products. But this is becoming increasingly addressable with advances in characterization techniques which allow for in-situ measurements as reactions progress. Improved understanding of reaction intermediates may enable us to modify our syntheses to target the desired product.

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

Unexpected Hydride: Ce4B2C2H2.42, a Stuffed Variant of the Nd2BC Structure Type
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 9, 5164–5171
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.1c00521

We used neutron diffraction to detect interstitial hydrides that were inadvertently introduced during the flux growth of a Ce/B/C compound. We were looking for carbide interstitials, but the neutron diffraction data clearly showed they were hydrides. Given that information, we increased the yield by using a hydrocarbon (anthracene) as a reactant. (This is the extent of the organic chemistry we do.)
***

Yu Tang, Inorganic Chemistry

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

My research interest is functional coordination compounds, mainly focusing on the design, synthesis, functional and stability control, and application of rare-earth functional complexes and materials. In recent years, we have carried out systematic researches on the key scientific issue of regulating the function and stability of luminescent materials based on the rare-earth complexes at the molecular level. And the rare-earth complexes based luminescent materials can be used in the construction of intelligent optical coding materials, two-photon biological probes, and the assembly of stable and highly efficient inorganic-organic hybrid perovskite solar cell devices. Those researches have enriched the research content of coordination chemistry and have significant meaning for the synthesis of new rare-earth luminescent materials and their high-value applications. It was the curiosity to explore the unknown world and the interest in coordination chemistry that initially attracted me to the field. In addition, what fascinates me with scientific research is the astonishment or awe, excitement or stimulation, motivation or impulse fed back to me by the experiment. I clearly remember that when I saw the crystal that I got after cultivating overnight was like a romantic ice flower, I fell in love with the creative and energetic chemical laboratory.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

Discover more excellent works with high quality and articles with high citation potential, and attracting scientists with high academic levels to join the editorial board team would be my greatest wish. Of course, I also want to qualitatively define the relationship between all authors, reviewers, and editors, a long-term strategic partnership to create a harmonious and friendly atmosphere for our future exchanges.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

For the past several decades, the application of rare earth luminescent materials has been the focus in high-tech fields, such as lighting, display, messaging, and so on. Rare earth complexes possess the functionally oriented molecular design property and excellent luminescent behavior, but these compounds are poorly stable for long-term use in devices. Even after encapsulation of the complexes in inert hosts, their stability remains questionable. I highly recommend that scientists in this field pay more attention to the development of more features and precise synthesis of ultra-stable rare earth complexes based on luminescent materials.

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

The most interesting unsolved problem of rare earth luminescent materials is the transformation from academic research to engineering application. Achieving their industrial application is the true meaning of scientific research. I always imagine that rare earth luminescent materials will appear as a “superstar” to illuminate every corner of the global village. It’s meaningful but challenging.
***

Katharina Scherf, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

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

My group and I develop new analytical strategies to study the complex interplay between structure, functionality, and bioactivity of food proteins in a multidisciplinary way. We analyze food proteins along the entire value chain from the plant to the food and beyond to understand digestibility, uptake, and potential immunoreactivity in the human body. These fundamental insights contribute to improved food security, food quality, and food safety. One of my main research interests is the analytical, immunological, and biochemical aspects of wheat-related disorders, including celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy. The most rewarding part of our research is that the results will help improve the quality of life for patients affected by wheat-related disorders.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

As an Associate Editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, I will be looking for high-quality submissions that advance the research field, for example, by introducing novel analytical methods into food science or by building bridges to other disciplines. My previous editorial activities will certainly be useful because I am already familiar with the entire process of handling manuscripts.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Wheat is one of the pillars for nutrition security worldwide, but the prevalence of wheat-related disorders is increasing. There is an urgent need to understand why this is happening, and this can only be achieved through multidisciplinary collaborations.

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

Current gaps in knowledge are that digestibility and uptake of food proteins in the human body remain underexplored. We know very little about how undigestible food-derived peptides are absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted. If we had this fundamental understanding, it would open many new possibilities to promote human health and prevent the development of food-related disorders.

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

Among the papers from my group, I would like to highlight our work published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry:

Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Breeding from 1891 to 2010 Contributed to Increasing Yield and Glutenin Contents but Decreasing Protein and Gliadin Contents
J. Agric. Food Chem. 2020, 68, 13247-13256
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.0c02815

Changes in wheat protein composition due to breeding have been put forward as a potential reason for the increasing prevalence of wheat-related disorders. We studied agronomic characteristics, protein content, and gluten composition of 60 German winter wheat cultivars first registered between 1891 and 2010 grown in 3 years. Overall, the harvest year had a more significant effect on protein composition than the cultivar, and we found no evidence to support an increased immunostimulatory potential of modern winter wheat.
***

Mark S. Taylor, The Journal of Organic Chemistry

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

My group’s research is aimed at discovering catalytic reactions of organic compounds and studying their mechanisms. We’re especially interested in learning how noncovalent or reversible covalent interactions can be used to influence selectivity in catalysis. As an undergrad, I was fascinated by the idea that the course of a chemical reaction can be controlled by changing the molecular structure of a catalyst. I had an opportunity to participate in catalysis research at an early stage, working with Keith Fagnou during his time as a Ph.D. student in Mark Lautens’ group at U of T.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get a closer look at diverse types of new chemistry and to learn as much as I can from the authors, reviewers, and editorial team at JOC. Respect and civility in the peer review process are important to me. Hopefully, I can help to promote and sustain those values in my role as Associate Editor.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

We are facing a crisis of how to reduce the environmental impact of our activities while maintaining or improving the quality of life for individuals. Discoveries in organic chemistry can help to address this challenge by increasing efficiency in the discovery and production of medicines or materials and by identifying new types of chemical feedstocks.

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

Developing site-selective transformations that function in complex settings is a problem that I find to be interesting and inspirational. Solutions to this problem offer new ways to modify the structures of biomolecules, conduct late-stage functionalizations of medicinal agents or secondary metabolites, and devise new chemical processes based on bio-derived compounds.

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

Synthesis of Ketodeoxysugars from Acylated Pyranosides Using Photoredox Catalysis and Hydrogen Atom Transfer
ACS Catal. 2021, 11, 17, 11171–11179
DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.1c03050

This is a paper that I co-authored with my students Julia, Nicholas, and Daniel in ACS Catalysis. Despite wiping out two chirality centers, this reaction provides access to useful precursors to rare sugars from abundant starting materials, and the mechanism of the transformation is interesting. If you read our paper, I’d also recommend having a look at “A unified strategy to access 2- and 4-deoxygenated sugars enabled by manganese-promoted 1,2-radical migration”, a related study from Alison Wendlandt’s group at MIT.

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

Outside of work, I’m always looking for ways to stay active. I’ve been playing ultimate frisbee for around two decades and had the chance to compete at the World Masters Ultimate Club Championships in 2018. Recently, I have been enjoying running, (indoor) rock climbing, and cross-country skiing.
***

Mary Watson, The Journal of Organic Chemistry

What is your research focus? What initially attracted you to your field?
My research focuses on the development of transition metal-catalyzed reactions for organic synthesis. My group works on cross-couplings of sp3-hybridized electrophiles to deliver highly enantioenriched products with all-carbon quaternary stereocenters via stereospecific cross-couplings and to transform ubiquitous amino groups into a wide variety of new substituents. We are also developing enantioselective, copper-catalyzed alkynylations of cationic substrates. I was originally attracted to transition metal catalysis by the ability of transition metal catalysts to induce organic molecules to undergo transformations that are otherwise impossible. The ability of metal catalysts to control selectivity in these reactions also inspires me.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

First and foremost, I am bringing my love of organic chemistry to the journal. Organic chemistry provides amazing opportunities for creativity and problem solving, and there is so much left to learn and discover. I am also bringing a deep respect for the scientists in this field and look forward to seeing their contributions. Finally, I hope to support the authors in bringing a high level of rigor to their publications.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Organic chemistry has evolved beautifully to encompass a great diversity of research from mechanistic analysis to synthesis of soft materials to chemical biology. However, there remains a lack of diversity among organic chemists, especially at the more senior levels. I am encouraged to see calls and recommendations for making our community more inclusive and diverse, but we have much work left to do. Our field also struggles with embracing a diversity of approaches. As organic chemists, we need options when confronting new synthetic challenges. Although it is tempting to want a single “best” strategy or solution for all contexts (and tempting to glom on to hot new research areas), we need a great diversity of solutions to chemical challenges because organic molecules themselves are diverse, ranging from simple starting materials to highly functionalized heterocycles to complex natural products. Finally, organic chemistry faces communication challenges. For example, much academic method development is directed towards gaining efficiency in the synthesis of potential pharmaceuticals, but historically there is limited communication between academic and industrial chemists. As a field, we also struggle with the sheer amount of results and data being communicated. How do we consume, digest, and most importantly utilize the vast amounts of information being reported to move to deeper fundamental understanding and greater rational design in organic reactivity?

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

As a field, we still have so much to learn in terms of controlling reactivity. When we design a new reaction, we can often correctly predict the metal, class of ligand, and the need for other reagents. When we design a total synthesis route, we can choose well-precedented methods for each step. But so much of what we do is still empirical. Reactions that look great “on paper” often fail or require tens to hundreds of optimization experiments to achieve high yield and selectivity. This need for empirically derived solutions belies a lack of fundamental understanding of how to funnel molecules along the desired energy surface. Although sometimes daunting, I believe this lack of understanding is a tremendous opportunity for organic chemists to continue pushing deeper into understanding how reactions work (and what doesn’t work), and I’m excited to see the continued development of new physical organic techniques, machine learning, and other approaches that will allow us to deepen our ability to understand chemical reactivity.

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

Earlier this year, my group reported conditions that enable unprecedented scope in stereospecific cross-couplings of benzylic carboxylates to set all-carbon quaternary stereocenters.

Overcoming the Naphthyl Requirement in Stereospecific Cross-Couplings to Form Quaternary Stereocenters
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 23, 8608–8613
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c03898

This advance depended on the use of a stilbene additive, and I am excited to understand how this additive enables reactivity.

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

One of the projects I’m passionate about is helping to organize the annual Empowering Women in Organic Chemistry conferences (https://ewochem.org). I am also the proud mom of twin daughters.
***

Magnus Palmblad, Journal of Proteome Research

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

My main research focus is new algorithms and applications of computational proteomics, ranging from workflows for large-scale analyses to the identification of biological species from mass spectra. The focus keeps shifting as there are so many ideas to explore! I was first attracted to the field in high school, where our chemistry teacher had us play a computer game where one had to sequence a peptide using a choice of chemical reactions and analyses, each with a different price tag. The goal was to find the correct sequence while spending as little cash as possible. Mass spectrometry was one of those analyses – and the most expensive one if I remember correctly. This must have been around 1990. I then did a summer internship in 1992, right after high school, exploring crystallization methods for MALDI, and I was firmly hooked on mass spectrometry.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I will bring my personal experience of computational methods in proteomics as well as an overview of the field informed through my work on software registries and the two special issues on software tools in the Journal of Proteome Research.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

One of the major challenges, at least from a practical point of view, is closing the gap between the ‘best’ experiments and analyses published by experts and what can be achieved routinely by most users of the same instrument and software. This challenge is not unique to proteomics, but it is exacerbated by the complexity of the experiments and data analyses in our field.

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

There are many exciting developments in massively parallel peptide sequencing that one day may challenge the dominance of mass spectrometry in the field. These new technologies also bring interesting computational problems that will need to be addressed. We should also make it easier to scale up data analyses so that anyone is able to contextualize their data or answer research questions by reusing data in public proteomics repositories, databases, and atlases. I am excited to see efforts now addressing the obstacles to making this a common practice.

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

Benjamin Neely and I wrote a perspective for the Journal of Proteome Research looking at the early work in molecular phylogenetics comparing patterns of tryptic peptides in the light of current proteomics technology. We found it enormously rewarding to follow the literature trail back in time – and forward again, following in the footsteps of past researchers. And it was great to have a partner-in-crime to help pull me out when I was going too far down a rabbit hole of a literature trail.

Rewinding the Molecular Clock: Looking at Pioneering Molecular Phylogenetics Experiments in the Light of Proteomics
J. Proteome Res. 2021, 20, 10, 4640–4645
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.1c00528

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

I sometimes tweet about proteomics or mass spectrometry as @MagnusPalmblad.
***

Song Lin, Organic Letters

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

My lab’s research focuses on advancing new reaction strategies to improve the efficiency and selectivity of organic synthesis. We explore fundamental principles of electrochemistry and radical chemistry to discover new organic reactions and uncover new mechanistic pathways. Electrochemistry has historically seen limited use in organic chemistry. However, it has a number of unique features that are not commonly encountered in traditional chemical synthesis, and the ability to harness such features for discovering new reactivity has always fascinated me.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I am excited to join a great editorial team with diverse professional backgrounds and hope to contribute to the journal’s success with my expertise in electrosynthesis, radical chemistry, and physical organic chemistry.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

Discovering fundamentally new reactivity and new bond disconnection strategies are always exciting but challenging at the same time. In addition, gaining a deep understanding of reaction mechanisms using traditional and new physical/analytical tools is critical to modern organic chemistry research. Furthermore, the marriage of organic synthesis with technology and data science will undoubtedly expand the horizon of our field and lead to exciting new discoveries. All challenges are also opportunities for our field to grow.

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

Understanding and predicting reaction outcomes in complex systems.

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

Unlocking the Potential of High-Throughput Experimentation for Electrochemistry with a Standardized Microscale Reactor
ACS Cent. Sci. 2021, 7, 8, 1347–1355
DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.1c00328

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

If I wasn’t a chemist, I would likely pursue a career in architecture. Building complex objects, from tiny molecules to magnificent skyscrapers, with both pleasing aesthetics and desirable functions, fascinates me.
***

Natalie Fey, Organometallics

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

The main focus of my work in my group is on the computational study of organometallic catalysts aimed at improving our understanding of the mechanism of catalytic reactions and developing approaches for the screening and optimization of novel catalysts. In practice, this means that we study catalytic cycles for a relatively small number of systems chosen carefully to sample chemical space. We also use calculations to assess ligand, substrate, and catalyst properties for a larger number of systems, combining the two approaches to build predictive models. We collaborate a lot with synthetic chemists to validate and improve our predictions. I like it when reactions change color, so transition metal complexes were a good fit for me. However, when I first became interested in pursuing research in organometallic chemistry, computational studies were still a bit of an adventure and considered quite a risky undertaking. I’ve always been interested in using computing to best effect to support chemistry, but I initially combined it with a substantial synthetic task in my Ph.D. However, I was a bit of a liability in the lab (let’s blame a heady mixture of being tall, clumsy, and quite easily distracted by computers), so everybody heaved a sigh of relief when I changed direction to focus on computational studies. My interest in synthesis has continued to inform our approach, though, and now we want to use computational approaches as a driver for scientific discovery, still with a particular interest in applying computational and structural chemistry to the large-scale prediction and design of organometallic catalysts, but we also support chemical synthesis across a range of areas, from organic to materials chemistry.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

There is a lot of excitement about using data-led approaches in chemistry, including in organometallic chemistry, at the moment. I hope to contribute some of my expertise in both computational chemistry and data analysis/model evaluation to the community, along with an appreciation of the value and robustness of molecular structures. Much of our understanding of chemistry ultimately relies on relating structures to properties, and computational studies are an important part of that.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

At the computational end, it’s often a dearth of experimental data which we can use to really challenge and validate predictions made, although there have been some exciting developments in what you might call physical organometallic chemistry recently. Any experimental insights into what the catalyst actually is, along with reliable kinetics/barriers and some idea about what happens to the catalyst before and after the reaction, can improve mechanistic studies. We also need to leverage what we already know more effectively too, and that’s where data capture, curation, and exploitation come into their own.

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

The activation of difficult bonds, ideally with earth-abundant transition metals supported by cheap ligands, has got to be up there somewhere! More immediately, we still need to figure out how we record and exploit all of the data we can now collect and then decide how to leverage it to the best effect.

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

Building a Toolbox for the Analysis and Prediction of Ligand and Catalyst Effects in Organometallic Catalysis
Acc. Chem. Res. 2021, 54, 4, 837–848
DOI: 10.1021/acs.accounts.0c00807

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

When I start to get a sense of despair about all of the challenges stacking up in our future (climate, health, biodiversity, and how to keep everybody clothed, fed, warm and sane), I tend to remind myself that science gives us a way of addressing quite a lot of them. So we need to get the best and brightest working on this and support them to make this a viable and rewarding task. Nobody said it would be easy!
***

Belén Martín-Matute, Organic Letters

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

My research focuses on developing catalytic approaches for selective organic synthesis. We study different redox reactions and reactions where carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bonds are formed selectively. We work with homogeneous transition metal- and organo-catalysts, as well as with different heterogeneous catalysts, such as functionalized metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Understanding the mode of action of the catalysts is one of our main interests.

What do you hope to bring to your journal?

I hope that my background in developing a broad variety of catalysts of different nature will attract new articles to Organic Letters that tackle major selectivity challenges. These include methods that can be applied to the late-stage functionalization of complex molecules and methods that provide outstanding levels of selectivity when using base metals or main group catalysts.

What are the major challenges facing your field today?

We cannot rely on fossil resources forever. And making chemicals from sustainable resources is very challenging. The arsenal of catalysts available today present serious limitations when, for example, used to create high-value organic compounds from highly oxygenated raw materials.

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

Understanding the mode of action of heterogeneous catalysts is a major unsolved challenge. This includes understanding the role of the support/material that holds the catalytic species. These difficulties make that the use of heterogeneous catalysts in organic synthesis is still, to a large extent, based on trial/error approaches.

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

We have developed a method for stereospecific 1,3-proton shifts based on the in-situ formation of ion pairs with induced noncovalent chirality:

Base-Catalyzed Stereospecific Isomerization of Electron-Deficient Allylic Alcohols and Ethers through Ion-Pairing
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 40, 13408–13414
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b08350

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

I am the director of the Ph.D. education at our department, and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to discuss different aspects of research education with highly motivated students. Outside work, I enjoy family time and keep very busy on the weekends with orienteering competitions and ice-hockey training with the boys. We also enjoy traveling to visit our big family abroad.
***

ACS Chemical Neuroscience Announces Professor Jacob Hooker as Editor-in-Chief

ACS Publications is pleased to announce that Professor Jacob M. Hooker has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of ACS Chemical Neuroscience, replacing outgoing EIC Professor Craig W. Lindsley. In light of Professor Hooker’s contributions as an Associate Editor of ACS Chemical Neuroscience since 2013, and his combination of research accomplishments and knowledge of the journal and its community, we’re thrilled that Professor Hooker will be guiding the journal into its next phase.

Professor Hooker had this to say about his appointment:

“I have had the privilege of working as an Associate Editor of ACS Chemical Neuroscience for seven years and have supported the journal as it moved from infancy to maturity. Our author and reader community is phenomenal and my role is to make sure that the journal not only serves that community but also enhances its impact on the study of the brain. Look for an expansion of our scope that matches our #IAmAChemicalNeuroscientist outreach efforts, especially to folks in clinical neuroscience and therapeutic evaluation. Please also share with us your thoughts on what makes the journal such a vital part of ACS Publications and what you would like to see as it continues to evolve. Finally, hang in there with COVID-19 and all the challenges it brings. We will be as flexible as possible always, but especially now, to help you communicate your science. “

Professor Hooker is currently Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and a Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport MGH Research Scholar, and holds associate or affiliate appointments at the Broad Institute, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He brings the perspective of industry researchers as well as an active consultant and advisor to the pharmaceutical industry in neurotherapeutics; he currently serves as a scientific advisory board member for, among others, Psy Therapeutics, Delix Therapeutics, and Fuzionaire Diagnostics. In 2017, Prof. Hooker co-founded Eikonizo Therapeutics which leverages molecular imaging to de-risk drug discovery in the pursuit of disease-modifying therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.

Learn more about Professor Hooker in the below excerpt from the upcoming Neurochat:

What are the major challenges facing neuroscience today? How can these be tackled?

Technology advances for neuroscience have been extraordinary recently. Integration of data from single-cell sequencing, for example, with other approaches is in many cases leading to more questions than answers.  No area of neuroscience should really be considered solved. I see a lot of encampment in methods. Rather than encamping as scientists in methods, technology, cell-type, or overarching dogma, we need to be better able to connect the dots between very different types of experiments in neuroscience.

What advice would you give to young scientists today?

Do what excites you and follow your instincts. While it is hard, sometimes impossible, to avoid doing things that others tell you are important, you have to try to be deliberate and do what you want. Sure, be opportunistic in the right moments but do not lose sight of things that give you simple joy and that make work seem like play. If you do things that excite you, you will stay motivated and have a wonderful career.

What is something about yourself that people would be surprised to know?

Though it’s been a long time since, I have completed three Ironman triathlons and many marathons. I used to punish myself by not training much and doing these things “off the couch”.

Connect with Professor Jacob Hooker and ACS Chemical Neuroscience on Twitter @ACSChemNeurosci.

 

Open Science Now: A Follow-Up Interview with ACS Publications President Dr. James Milne

In February 2020, Dr. James Milne became the President of ACS Publications. He marked that occasion with a discussion about open science, a subject that is both personally important to him, and essential to the future of chemistry. Eighteen months later, a great deal has changed, both in the world at large, and in the world of open access publishing. In this interview, he continues that conversation around the future of open science.

What are some of the most significant developments in open science this past year and a half?

The last 18 months have been challenging not just for the chemistry community, but that hasn’t held back the steady adoption of open science principles. We’ve seen a marked increase in publishing output worldwide, which led to ACS Publications publishing more open access papers than ever before. From 2018 to 2020, we recorded a 63% increase in open access papers published by ACS.

At the same time, the popularity of preprints continues to soar. We’ve seen article posts to ChemRxiv, the preprint server we co-manage with four international chemical societies, more than triple over the last two years, while downloads during the same time period have increased by over fifteen-fold!

This trend is driven by changing funder mandates and the proactive and positive conversations we’re having as a community around open science principles. There’s broad agreement that open science is good for chemistry. Now we need to make sure we’re creating a sustainable system that supports the broader chemistry enterprise.

What has ACS Publications done to advance open access publishing since our last interview with you in February 2020?

The landscape has changed dramatically and at lightning speed over the last year. At the end of 2020, we were publishing three open access journals: ACS Central ScienceACS Omega, and JACS Au. With the launch of our ACS Au portfolio of nine new discipline-specific journals in early 2021, we now offer twelve fully open access journals. This clearly demonstrates our dedication to advancing open science and open access publishing. We’ve also changed our copyright policy to enable our authors to retain copyright, and we introduced a new journal publishing agreement workflow that effectively integrates several of our publishing platforms. All of this makes publishing open access with ACS Publications easier for authors and institutions than ever before.

We’ve also seen tremendous growth in global ACS Read + Publish agreements. More institutions worldwide are meeting their open access publishing goals by entering into transformative agreements with us because these agreements are easy to administer and easy for authors to understand. As a result, we saw 90% more articles published under ACS Read + Publish agreements in the first quarter of 2021, compared with the same time period in 2020.

What effect have these efforts had on the publishing behavior of ACS authors?

We know that publishing open access is important to our author community, with 66% of ACS authors recently saying they expect to publish an article open access in the next five years. The introduction of our new, streamlined open access publishing workflow has contributed significantly to this activity. Now, authors with accepted manuscripts at institutions with ACS Read + Publish agreements are automatically identified and prompted to publish their work open access. This technology has driven a 50% increase in authors choosing to publish open access.

What about open data? What new activities has ACS Publications undertaken in this area?

We continue to support Figshare and SciMeetings, two innovative open science platforms that provide a home for research data and non-traditional research outputs such as conference poster presentations. And more recently, we have been advancing research data curation and preservation across our publishing activities. This supports reproducibility, reinforces discipline-specific data standards, and aids discoverability by introducing innovative metadata tagging to enhance data mining opportunities.

How are significant changes in funder mandates, such as the Coalition S Rights Retention Strategy, affecting the publishing business?

It’s important to remember that Coalition S and ACS Publications share a common goal: We want to create a publishing ecosystem in which scientific knowledge and advancements are widely available, enhancing collaboration and innovation across disciplines to benefit the Earth and everyone on it. Where we don’t agree is on how best to structure that system. At ACS we’ve long said that the publishing framework needs to be sustainable and needs to preserve the highest quality standards both in service to researchers and for the quality of research published. That means the framework must respect the integrity of authors’ work, and it must ensure that publishing organizations are incentivized to support the effective editorial and peer review activities to sustain quality.

While we can support the primary ‘gold open access’ publishing option of Coalition S, ACS Publications shares serious concerns about the predictable consequences of their so-called ‘Rights Retention Strategy’ (RRS). Without supporting the peer review process and economic models, the RRS approach makes it harder for publishers to continue to invest in the high-quality open access journals and publishing options the community needs. Additionally, authors rely on being able to maintain the integrity of their work and to take credit for it. By removing almost all rights relating to their article, as the RRS requires, authors invite others to “remix and transform” their scholarly manuscripts however they choose.  We remain optimistic that a way forward can be found to enhance access to science without undermining the systems that support it.

Any predictions for 2022?

That’s a great question, and a tough one to answer with any surety. However, I will predict the raw number of papers we publish open access will continue to climb. And what’s more, the overall percentage of our total output that we publish open access will increase. Over the last two years, downloads of ACS open access articles have doubled, and we expect that upward trend to continue. As a result, you’re going to see the citation totals for open access journals continue to rise, as more and more authors recognize the value of that broader reach to a larger audience.

I think also we’re going to see a shift in the discussion around open science in two significant ways. First, we’re finally going to move beyond the questions of whether and how to implement open access publishing as we focus increasingly on making the experience utterly seamless for everyone involved. The question won’t be ‘Who supports open access?’ It’ll be, ‘Who implements it best?’ At ACS, we’re already making smart investments in the technology to design and create the best open access publishing experience for our authors and institutions, and our efforts in this area will continue. And finally, we’re going to see people’s attention increasingly turn toward other components of open science, such as open data and open methods. That’s where the real innovation is still waiting to happen.

2021 Emerging Investigators in Crystal Growth & Design

New ideas from fresh minds are the lifeblood of any scientific discipline, and where better to look for new ideas in solid state chemistry and physics than in the work of the emerging generation of leaders in the field? We have put together a collection of 28 exciting publications from the past two years by the emerging generation of research group leaders. Here you will find fascinating science ranging from terahertz spectroscopy, elastic crystals, eutectics, oleofoams, nanocrystals, nonlinear optics, MOF-HOFs, pillars, catalytic coordination polymers, semiconductor nucleation, thermochromism, pharmaceuticals, and a host of other delicious topics in solid state structure–function. In addition to the science itself, the diversity and personalities of the people who carry it out are an indication of the health of our field. We have taken the liberty of asking our authors a few fun facts about themselves, and what emerges is a rich snapshot of people reading, sporting, cooking, growing, parenting, communicating, and joking with passion and modest self-deprecation. This is very much the community that the journal has been trying to crystallize over the past 20 years. It is a particular pleasure to highlight the work of my colleagues Elena Simone, Doris Braun, and Kodi Beyeh who have recently joined the journal’s Board as two-year Topic Editors.

This virtual collection follows on from the very successful 2019 Emerging Investigators Virtual Issue, and it is striking to see how the 2019 authors have already become familiar and important members of the field. Looking forward, we are already inviting and receiving submissions for a Virtual Special Issue again highlighting Emerging Investigators that will be published in 2022, and I cordially invite you to take part or recommend a colleague at the beginning of their career.

The aim of Crystal Growth & Design (CG&D) is to stimulate cross-fertilization of knowledge among scientists and engineers working in the fields of crystal growth, crystal engineering, and the industrial application of crystalline materials. In this virtual collection, there are featured authors from nine countries, which exemplify this aim and reflect state-of-the-art progress in these fields. The scope of science and application in this virtual issue is truly representative of the inclusiveness and diversity which are hallmarks of CG&D. Our emerging authors are clearly the breaking wave of creative new science and application, and it is a privilege to be a part of their journey.

Professor Stephanie Lee

Professor Stephanie Lee

Professor Stephanie Lee, Associate Professor, New York University (United States), joined the Department of Chemistry at New York University as an associate professor in 2021 and is a member of the Molecular Design Institute. She received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 2007 and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and materials science from Princeton University in 2012. She was a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Molecular Design Institute at NYU from 2012 to 2014 before joining Stevens Institute of Technology as an assistant professor from 2014 to 2020. Her research group studies the crystal engineering of solution-processable semiconductors for emerging optoelectronic applications, including flexible displays and photovoltaics. Their strategies involve the use of solution rheology to monitor and control semiconducting polymer network formation, scaffold-directed crystallization of small molecules into vertical crystal arrays and nanoconfined crystallization to shift the thermodynamics and stability of metal-halide perovskites for high- performance solar cells. Lee is a recipient of the Stevens Early Career Award for Research Excellence and a 2019 NSF CAREER award.

Fun Facts:

  • She actually wanted to be a biomedical engineer when she was an undergrad, but she joined a drug delivery lab and almost fainted while observing a rat dissection. That was the end of her bio aspirations, and now she enjoys working with non-living crystals.
  • She was a competitive figure skater when she was younger, but it turns out she hated performing. She still loves winter sports and goes skiing on weekends when there is snow.
  • She had two kids as an assistant professor, born exactly 2 years and 2 days apart. The week of their birthdays has become a sugar-fueled blur of too many cakes and presents.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Directing Solution-Phase Nucleation To Form Organic Semiconductor Vertical Crystal Arrays
Kai Zong, Yichen Ma, Kamran Shayan, Jack Ly, Emily Renjilian, Chunhua Hu, Stefan Strauf, Alejandro Briseño, and Stephanie S. Lee*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2019, 19, 6, 3461–3468
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.9b00321

Professor Hua Lin

Professor Hua Lin

Professor Hua Lin, Professor, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter (FJIRSM), Chinese Academy of Sciences (China) received his bachelor’s degree in inorganic chemistry from Fuzhou University in 2006. Then, he got his start in inorganic functional chalcogenides research in the laboratory of Professor Ling Chen at Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter (FJIRSM), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). In 2012, he received his Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry and became a full professor of FJIRSM in 2019. His current research interests have focused on the design, synthesis, characterizations, and structure–property relationships of thermoelectric (TE) materials and infrared nonlinear optical (IR NLO) crystals.

Fun Facts:

  • He likes walking on the riverside in the early morning. Fresh air and a quiet environment make him feel joyful and broaden his mind. Many of his research ideas were developed while he was walking.
  • His favorite structure is a 3D diamond-like framework because it can be used as a structural platform for overcoming the trade-off between strong second harmonic generation and high laser-induced damage threshold in infrared nonlinear optical materials.
  • In his opinion, scientific research must have the spirit of “playing mahjong”.

Highlighted Review Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Mixed-Anion Inorganic Compounds: A Favorable Candidate for Infrared Nonlinear Optical Materials
KaYan-Yan Li, Wen-Jing Wang, Hui Wang*, Hua Lin*, and Li-Ming Wu*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2019, 19, 7, 4172–4192
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.9b00358

Dr. Xin Zhang

Dr. Xin Zhang

Dr. Xin Zhang, Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (United States) received his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from Texas Tech University (U.S.A.) in 2014. Currently, he is a staff scientist in the Physical Science Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL, U.S.A.). His research focuses on materials synthesis for energy storage, catalysis and environment, surface science, and crystal growth—particularly on exploring the nucleation, crystallization, particle aggregation, dissolution, ion/molecular adsorption, and phase transformation of nanocrystals in the gas phase and solutions including extreme environments such as high vacuum, high temperature, high pressure, strong acidic/caustic, and highly concentrated electrolyte solutions using advanced in situ and ex situ techniques. He has authored over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals including Science, PNAS, Nature Materials, Nature Protocols, Nature Communications, and JACS, with an h-index of 32. He has also edited two ACS books on Crystallization via Nonclassical Pathways (Volume 1 and 2) and authored several book chapters and over a dozen patents.

Fun Facts:

  • He enjoys rural life. He created an approximately 1,000 sq. ft. garden in his yard to plant various vegetables. He also has four fruit trees and three Chinese toon trees in his garden.
  • He enjoys cooking delicious foods for his family. Similar to the synthesis of materials, he believes in cooking exquisite foods by adjusting the formula, not just following the recipe.
  • He is obsessed with the size, morphology, and facet-controlled synthesis of “pure” nanocrystals without additives, as well as exploring their facet-dependent behaviors without contaminations.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Transformation of Gibbsite to Boehmite in Caustic Aqueous Solution at Hydrothermal Conditions
Xin Zhang*, Wenwen Cui, Jian Zhi Hu, Hsiu-Wen Wang, Micah P. Prange, Chuan Wan, Nicholas R. Jaegers, Meirong Zong, Hailin Zhang, Carolyn I. Pearce, Ping Li, Zheming Wang, Sue B. Clark, and Kevin M. Rosso*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2019, 19, 10, 5557–5567
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.9b00468

Professor Louise N. Dawe

Professor Louise N. Dawe

Professor Louise N. Dawe, Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada) obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada) in 2008. She joined the Faculty of Science at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in 2013, where she is currently an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She is Vice-Chair of the Canadian National Committee for Crystallography and the organizer of their national Chemical Crystallography Workshops. She is an elected member of the American Crystallographic Association’s Communication Committee and was program co-chair for the ACA’s 2015 annual meeting. She is also a member of the International Union for Crystallography Calendar Subcommittee and a co-editor for the IUCr’s journal, Acta Crystallographica Section C.

Fun Facts

  • She always feared deep water and never learned how to swim. The week after she defended her Ph.D. thesis, she started swimming lessons. Her reasoning was that if she can do a Ph.D., she can also overcome something scarier. Now she has a Ph.D., and she can swim!
  • She is a vegetarian, and she loves to cook for her friends and family.
  • When she was an undergraduate, she did not understand figures that represented displacement ellipsoids, and she would skip the crystallography experimental section and tables when reading papers. Now that she is a crystallographer, she works hard to help her students understand small-molecule crystal structures.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Crystal Packing of a Series of 1,2,3,4-Substituted Phenoxazine and Dibenzodioxin Heterocycles
Lana K. Hiscock, Kenneth E. Maly*, and Louise N. Dawe*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2019, 19, 12, 7298–7307
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.9b01184

Professor Hongping Wu

Professor Hongping Wu

Professor Hongping Wu, Professor, Tianjin University of Technology (China), received her Ph.D. in 2012 from Xinjiang University. In the same year, she started her independent career as an associate professor at Xinjiang Technical Institute of Physics & Chemistry of CAS (XTIPC, CAS). In 2017, she was promoted to a full professor at XTIPC. From 2018, she worked as a full professor at Tianjin University of Technology. Her current research interest focuses on the synthesis and crystal growth of new nonlinear optical materials.

Fun Facts:

  • She likes cooking as much as she likes chemistry. Also, she thinks that synthetic chemistry is cooking with the elements.
  • Her preferred leisure time activity is traveling, especially visiting a history museum.
  • If she were not a chemist, she would be a pianist because she has a pair of hands with long fingers.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Crystal Growth and Linear and Nonlinear Optical Properties of KIO3·Te(OH)6
Hongping Wu, Hongwei Yu, Weiguo Zhang, Jacqueline Cantwell, Kenneth R. Poeppelmeier, Shilie Pan*, and P. Shiv Halasyamani*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2017, 17, 8, 4405–4412
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.7b00704

Professor Ngong Kodiah Beyeh

Professor Ngong Kodiah Beyeh

Professor Ngong Kodiah Beyeh, Assistant Professor, Oakland University (United States), obtained his B.Sc. degree from the University of Buea, Cameroon. He then completed his M.Sc. (2004) and Ph.D. (2008) at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, with Professor Kari Rissanen. Upon graduation, he worked at the University of Jyväskylä as an Academy of Finland postdoctoral research fellow and then as a research associate at Aalto University, Finland, with Professor Robin Ras. He spent time as a guest researcher at the University of Bonn and Free University of Berlin, Germany, with Professor Christoph Schalley, and as a guest scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, USA, with Professor Eric Anslyn. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Windsor with Professor John Trant before joining Oakland University as an assistant professor in 2018. His research topics include structural, organic, supramolecular, and nanochemistry. The group focuses on utilizing noncovalent interactions such as hydrogen and halogen bonding in the design and synthesis of organic and biohybrid materials and their properties.

Fun Facts:

  • He is passionate about teaching, interacting with, and mentoring students.
  • He loves traveling and enjoying the beautiful sceneries in different countries and regions.
  • His preferred leisure time activities are playing soccer with friends and watching European soccer, especially the premier league, during the weekends.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Host–Guest Interactions of Sodiumsulfonatomethyleneresorcinarene and Quaternary Ammonium Halides: An Experimental–Computational Analysis of the Guest Inclusion Properties
Kwaku Twum, J. Mikko Rautiainen, Shilin Yu, Khai-Nghi Truong, Jordan Feder, Kari Rissanen, Rakesh Puttreddy*, and Ngong Kodiah Beyeh*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2020, 20, 4, 2367–2376
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.9b01540

Dr. Aijiz A. Dar

Dr. Aijiz A. Dar

Dr. Aijiz A. Dar, Assistant Professor, University of Kashmir (India), was born and brought up in Kashmir, a valley in the Himalayas. He received his master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Kashmir and was successful in UGC-NET/JRF, a national eligibility examination for doctoral study. In 2009, he joined the Department of Chemistry, IIT Bombay, to work with Professor Ramaswamy Murugavel to understand the mechanism of the formation of zeolitic materials. After completing a brief tenure as a research associate at IIT Bombay, he shifted to the University of Kashmir to work as an assistant professor in December 2015. With the help of a startup grant from UGC-New Delhi and an early career research award from SERB-DST-New Delhi, he started his independent research career in 2018. The major focus of his group is crystal engineering for the development of functional materials. He has visited Professor Desiraju’s group at IISc Bangalore as an INSA-Visiting Scientist 2018 and was also awarded an INSA-Visiting Scientist fellowship for 2021-2022. He is a grassroots science worker and does frequent outreach to schools and college students. He is a frequent reviewer for crystallographic journals of ACS, RSC, and Elsevier.

Fun Facts:

  • During his Ph.D. studies, each time he had a dream about crystals and his work, he successfully obtained the same crystals in the laboratory the next day.
  • Kashmir is the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas, abundant in pristine meadows and gushing streams. A long nap beside a rushing stream under the shadow of Himalayan cedars is the best experience of his life.
  • Being an introvert, he talks the most to himself. It works for him at both personal and professional levels.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Irreversible Thermochromism in Organic Salts of Sulfonated Anils
Aijaz A. Dar* and Arshid A. Genie
Cryst. Growth Des. 2020, 20, 6, 3888–3897
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c00188

Professor Daqiang Yuan

Professor Daqiang Yuan

Professor Daqiang Yuan, Professor, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter (FJIRSM), Chinese Academy of Sciences (China), is a Professor at Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received his M.Sc. degree from Beijing Normal University in 2002 and his Ph.D. degree from Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences, under the supervision of Professor Maochun Hong in 2006. After finishing a four-year postdoctoral fellowship at Miami University and Texas A&M University with Professor Hong-Cai “Joe” Zhou, he joined Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter as a full professor in 2011. His main research interest is on the designed synthesis and applications of new porous materials, including metal-organic cages, porous organic cages, metal–organic frameworks, and covalent organic frameworks.

Fun Fact:

  • When he was in college, he originally wanted to do archaeological research. Therefore, he studied field archaeology, Oracle bone inscriptions, the ancient Chinese calendar, and other related topics, but he finally engaged in chemical research. He thinks discovering fascinating structures is as exciting as excavating historical relics.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Hydrogen-Bonded Framework Isomers Based on Zr-Metal Organic Cage: Connectivity, Stability, and Porosity
Mi Zhou, Guoliang Liu, Zhanfeng Ju, Kongzhao Su, Shunfu Du, Yanxi Tan, and Daqiang Yuan*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2020, 20, 6, 4127–4134
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c00407

Dr. Avijit Kumar Paul

Dr. Avijit Kumar Paul

Dr. Avijit Kumar Paul, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Technology (NIT), Kurukshetra (India), was born in Medinipur, West Bengal. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Calcutta. He started his doctoral research in August 2005 at IISc-Bangalore in solid state chemistry, where he learned crystallography and related skills under the guidance of Professor Srinivasan Natarajan. After earning his doctoral degree from IISc, he moved to Max Planck Institute, Stuttgart, for his postdoctoral research work with Professor Martin Jansen in August 2011, and, later, he moved to the Max Planck Institute, Dresden, to work with Professor Claudia Felser. At both of the Max Planck Institutes, he worked on the synthesis of new oxide materials for spintronic applications. He started his independent career as an assistant professor at NIT Kurukshetra in December 2013. Presently, his field of research is the discovery of new solid materials that can show unusual structural coordination and electronic & physical properties. These new materials may be important for the fabrication of electronic devices, energy storage, gas storage, or as (photo-)catalysts in future applications. He has received the Best Faculty Award from his Institute and the INSPIRE Faculty Award from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

Fun Facts:

  • He believes every inorganic material is exciting if you investigate in the correct direction.
  • Sport is a top priority in his life, and he eagerly awaits calls from friends and colleagues to play football, cricket, table tennis, volleyball, badminton, or even swimming.
  • When he cooks at home, he only prepares vegetarian meals because his wife, who hails from the southern part of India, does not like non-vegetarian foods.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Transition Metal Ions Regulated Structural and Catalytic Behaviors of Coordination Polymers

Nikhil Kumar, Tanmay Rom, Virender Singh, and Avijit Kumar Paul*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2020, 20, 8, 5277–5288
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c00465

Professor Michael T. Ruggiero

Professor Michael T. Ruggiero

Professor Michael T. Ruggiero, Assistant Professor, University of Vermont (United States), received his B.Sc. degree in chemistry from SUNY College at Geneseo, and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Syracuse University, both in New York State. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge and began his current appointment at the University of Vermont in 2018. His research is focused on utilizing low-frequency (terahertz) vibrational spectroscopy to characterize advanced materials and selectively drive the material properties of molecular solids. His work is highly interdisciplinary, sitting at the intersection of chemistry, physics, pharmacy, materials science, and computer science, and as such, he is a heavy collaborator with groups from around the world. Professor Ruggiero is the recipient of a number of awards, most recently an NSF CAREER award, inclusion in the annual Forbes 30 under 30 list (2019), and a Young Scientist Award from the International Conference on Infrared, Millimeter, and Terahertz Waves (IRMMW-THz 2019).

Fun Facts:

  • He has two dogs, Cooper (weimaraner) and Julep (vizsla), who often join him for hiking, camping, and skiing around the Green Mountains (Vermont) and Adirondacks (New York).
  • Originally from outside of New York City, he never skied until he moved to Vermont, but now he can’t get enough of the slopes.
  • A craft beer lover, when he was working towards his Ph.D., he traded his chemistry knowledge for inside access to local breweries, making friends with many brewers along the way.

Highlighted Communication Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Terahertz Vibrational Motions Mediate Gas Uptake in Organic Clathrates
Wei Zhang, Zihui Song, Michael T. Ruggiero*, and Daniel M. Mittleman*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2020, 20, 9, 5638–5643
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c00797

Dr. Doris E. Braun

Dr. Doris E. Braun

Dr. Doris E. Braun, Privatdozent and Senior Scientist, University of Innsbruck, Austria, is from Dornbirn, Austria, and got her preliminary education there. She received her Diploma in Pharmacy (2004) and her Ph.D. in natural sciences (2008) from the University of Innsbruck for work on crystal polymorphism and structure–property relationships of drug compounds under the supervision of Professor Ulrich Griesser. Subsequently, Doris moved to the Department of Chemistry, University College London, UK, where she spent more than three years working with Professor Sally Price. At UCL, she was introduced to the world of computational chemistry and is now applying both experimental and computational approaches in her research. She returned to the University of Innsbruck after being selected as a Hertha-Firnberg (2012) and an Elise-Richter (2015) Research Fellow. Since 2019, she is a Privatdozent at the Institute of Pharmacy at the University of Innsbruck. Her research in Innsbruck focuses on the scientific and applied problems related to the solid-state properties of pharmaceuticals and other small organic molecules.

Fun Facts:

  • Water is her favorite molecule. The majority of the compounds she investigated form troublesome hydrates.
  • Photography is not only a hobby for her but also a part of her work. She spends hours capturing the beauty of crystal forms.
  • One of her preferred leisure time activities is traveling to and exploring new places.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design

The Eight Hydrates of Strychnine Sulfate
Doris E. Braun*, Thomas Gelbrich, Volker Kahlenberg, and Ulrich J. Griesser
Cryst. Growth Des. 2020, 20, 9, 6069–6083
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c00777

Dr. Dong-Dong Zhou

Dr. Dong-Dong Zhou

Dr. Dong-Dong Zhou, Associate Professor, Sun Yat-Sen University (China), received his B.Sc. degree (2011) from South China Agricultural University and his Ph.D. degree (2016) in inorganic chemistry from Sun Yat-Sen University under the supervision of Professor Jie-Peng Zhang. Then, he became an associate researcher in the Chen and Zhang Group at Sun Yat-Sen University. Since 2019, he has been an associate professor in the School of Chemistry at Sun Yat-Sen University. His current research interest focuses on the design and synthesis of porous coordination polymers or metal–organic frameworks, especially for their dynamic structural changes playing a role in the applications of adsorption, separation, catalysis, and more.

Fun Facts:

  • He became interested in crystal structures in high school after independently assembling structure models borrowed from his chemistry teacher.
  • If he were not a chemist, he would be a repairman because he loved to assemble and disassemble appliances when he was a child.
  • In his spare time, he enjoys kicking a shuttlecock with group members in a circle because the feeling of all people doing the same thing is good.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design

A Metal–Ligand Layer Compatible with Various Types of Pillars for New Porous Coordination Polymers
Yun Li, Zong-Wen Mo, Xue-Wen Zhang, Kai Zheng, Dong-Dong Zhou*, and Jie-Peng Zhang*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2020, 20, 10, 7021–7026
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c01078

Dr. Ajeet K. Srivastav

Dr. Ajeet K. Srivastav

Dr. Ajeet K. Srivastav, Assistant Professor, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT), Nagpur (India), graduated from NIT Rourkela in 2006 with a B.Tech. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. Further, he moved to IIT Kanpur, where he was awarded the DAAD Fellowship to conduct his M.Tech. thesis work on Co and Co-Pt alloy nanowires at IFW Dresden (Germany) under the guidance of Professor Ludwig Schultz. Subsequently, he joined IIT Madras in 2008 for his doctoral research under the guidance of Professor B. S. Murty. His doctoral research contributed an analytical approach to predict nanograin instability and its growth behavior in thermodynamically stable nanocrystalline binary alloys. After defending his Ph.D. thesis, he joined VNIT Nagpur in June 2015 as Assistant Professor in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. He is a recipient of the Early Career Research Award by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. His research group is currently active in understanding the growth and stability of metal/metal oxide nanostructures.

Fun Facts:

  • His group recently patented a novel graphene synthesis approach using waste battery electrodes.
  • He enjoys Indian classical music in his free time.
  • He likes to have fun and play with his two loving daughters and becomes the third kid once at home.

Highlighted Communication Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Understanding the Growth Mechanism of Hematite Nanoparticles: The Role of Maghemite as an Intermediate Phase
Suresh Bandi and Ajeet K. Srivastav*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 1, 16–22
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c01226

Professor Jian Lin

Professor Jian Lin

Professor Jian Lin, Associate Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia (United States), is the William R. Kimel Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and an adjunct professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering; and Physics and Astronomy at University of Missouri, Columbia. He received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering and automation from Zhejiang University, China, in 2007. Then he received his M.S. degree in electrical engineering in 2010 and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 2011, both from the University of California at Riverside, followed by three-year postdoctoral training advised by Dr. James M. Tour at Rice University. His current research interests include artificial intelligence for materials development, processing and applications of smart polymeric materials, and 3D/4D printing.

Fun Facts:

  • Exploring unknowns and pursuing science outside of his comfort zone are fun for him.
  • He enjoys baking and cooking, just like doing science experiments.
  • He likes reading and doing math with his daughter.

Highlighted Communication Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Flexible Alkyl Tails Help Shape Matching and Close Packing in Self-Assembly of Supramolecular Structure
Ping Liao, Steven P. Kelley, Kanishka Sikligar, Heng Deng, Gary A. Baker, Jerry L. Atwood*, and Jian Lin*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 1, 40–44
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c01475

Dr. Sharmistha Pal

Dr. Sharmistha Pal

Dr. Sharmistha Pal, Lead, Polymorphs Screening, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (India) graduated in 1997 with a degree in pharmaceutical sciences from Jadavpur University, where she also completed her master’s degree in pharmaceutics in 1999. Subsequently, she worked under the guidance of (Late) Professor David J. W. Grant at the University of Minnesota in the area of polymorphism in pharmaceutical materials earning her Ph.D. in pharmaceutics. The doctoral studies were instrumental in developing her interest in the solid state of pharmaceuticals. Subsequently, she has worked in several pharmaceutical and CRO companies such as Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca, and Syngene in not only developing solid forms of active pharmaceutical ingredients but also evaluating relationships between their solid state properties, process conditions, and performance in products. She currently leads the polymorph screening group in Dr. Reddy’s Lab in Hyderabad, India.

Fun Facts:

  • The counterintuitive effect of temperature on the aqueous solubility of calcium hydroxide was what first triggered her interest in chemistry, and she is still intrigued today by this unexpected effect.
  • The M&Ms of her life are Music & Math for fun.
  • She loves to solve Sudoku, Kakuro, Hitori, and Loop-the-Loop.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design

Mixing Effects on the Ternary Phase Diagram of Cocrystals and Gibbs Formation Energy Calculation
Sharmistha Pal*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 1, 249–259
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c01077

Dr. Tejender S. Thakur

Dr. Tejender S. Thakur

Dr. Tejender S. Thakur, Senior Scientist, CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute (India), was born in Himachal Pradesh, a state in the northern part of India. He completed his B.Sc. and M.Sc. (Honors School) degrees in chemistry from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. He did his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Hyderabad, Telangana, followed by ~3-year post-doctoral work in the Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India. He received an Eli Lilly Asia outstanding thesis award in 2009 for his Ph.D. work at the University of Hyderabad. His research group focuses on the study of pharmaceutical solids and their properties through crystal engineering and computational chemistry. His group is also interested in the experimental and theoretical quantum crystallography studies of intermolecular interactions.

Fun Facts:

  • He was fascinated by crystals and minerals and had initially joined a bachelor’s course in geology but later decided to pursue a B.Sc. in chemistry.
  • He likes reading Hindi poetry and short stories in his leisure time.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design:

Computational Screening of Multicomponent Solid Forms of 2-Aryl-Propionate Class of NSAID, Zaltoprofen, and Their Experimental Validation
Sibananda G. Dash and Tejender S. Thakur*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 1, 449–461
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c01278

Professor Arnout R.D. Voet

Professor Arnout R.D. Voet

Professor Arnout R.D. Voet, Assistant Professor, KU Leuven (Belgium), graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Leuven. In 2005, he obtained an IWT Ph.D. fellowship to work with Professor Z. Debyser. In 2011, he moved to Japan and joined the RIKEN Structural Bioinformatics team (Professor K. Zhang) as a postdoc to work on computer-aided drug and protein design. First, he was awarded a JSPS Foreign postdoc in 2012. From 2013, he also joined the YCU laboratory for protein design (Professor J. Tame), and in 2014 he was awarded a RIKEN SPDR fellowship to continue his research. Following several publications on protein design, he was awarded the RIKEN research incentive award and the CLST young researcher award. In 2016, he obtained a faculty position at the KU Leuven Department of Chemistry and initiated a laboratory for biomolecular modelling and design funded by an Odysseus fellowship. He recently got tenured and will be promoted to associate professor starting in 2022.

Fun Facts:

  • He combined his Ph.D. with a job as a travel guide during the summer seasons and ended up in the evening as an interim cocktail shaker in Katmandu as most local bartenders were gone for the Dashain festival.
  • He appeared in a Japanese newspaper as a manga figure explaining computer-aided protein design for a broad audience.
  • His research lab houses two fancy (oranda) goldfish: Sushi and Sashimi.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design:

Shape and Size Complementarity-Induced Formation of Supramolecular Protein Assemblies with Metal-Oxo Clusters
Laurens Vandebroek, Hiroki Noguchi, Kenichi Kamata, Jeremy R. H. Tame, Luc Van Meervelt, Tatjana N. Parac-Vogt, and Arnout R. D. Voet*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 2, 1307–1313
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c01571

Dr. Shalini Singh

Dr. Shalini Singh

Dr. Shalini Singh, Lecturer, University of Limerick (Ireland), graduated from DDU Gorakhpur University India with a master’s (Chemistry) degree in 2009. Then, she worked as a research fellow at CSMCRI, India, designing nanocomposite polymeric membranes. Following this, she moved to Ireland to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Limerick. In 2016, she received a Ph.D. degree for her work on designing multicomponent metal chalcogenide nanocrystals using methods of colloidal chemistry. She subsequently joined Ghent University, Belgium, to explore the surface chemistry of colloidal nanocrystals systems using the solution NMR technique as a toolbox. She was awarded the FWO (Research Foundation, Flanders, Belgium) postdoctoral grant in 2017 to work on designing novel semiconductors for photonic applications. In January 2020, she was appointed as a Lecturer at the Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Limerick. Her research interest is focused on the development of novel colloidal semiconductor and metallic nanocrystals for energy conversion and storage applications.

Fun Facts:

  • She loves dancing and is trained in different Indian folk dancing styles. She has performed on national TV before becoming a scientist. If she were not a chemist, she would own and run her own dance studio.
  • She learned to ride a bicycle at the age of 28 after many years of cyclophobia.
  • She dislikes cooking as much as she likes chemistry. Only a few experiments have been successful in her kitchen.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design:

Synthesis of Colloidal WSe2 Nanocrystals: Polymorphism Control by Precursor-Ligand Chemistry
Pengshang Zhou, Pieter Schiettecatte, Matthias Vandichel, Anastasia Rousaki, Peter Vandenabeele, Zeger Hens, and Shalini Singh*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 3, 1451–1460
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c01036

Dr. Elena Simone

Dr. Elena Simone

Dr. Elena Simone, Lecturer, University of Leeds (United Kingdom), graduated with an M.Sc. in chemical engineering from the University of Pisa (Italy) and then moved to the United Kingdom to pursue a Ph.D. at Loughborough University. In 2016, she completed her Ph.D. on the application of process analytical technologies (PAT) for the better understanding and control of polymorphic and impure crystallization processes. During her Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies at Loughborough University, she developed novel crystal engineering strategies to control the polymorphism, size, and shape of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical crystals. She received the 2017 Excellence Award in Crystallization presented by the European Federation of Chemical Engineering for her Ph.D. thesis. In 2016, she was appointed lecturer in the School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds (UK), where she explored new areas of research, particularly soft matter, fat crystallization, and Pickering stabilization. Between 2019 and 2021, she collaborated closely with industry through both the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering industrial fellowships. In autumn 2021, she will join the Department of Applied Science and Technology at the Politecnico of Torino (Italy) as Associate Professor to start her recently awarded European Research Council Starting Grant, CryForm.

Fun Facts:

  • In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and eating, listening to music, and learning Mandarin (with little success, unfortunately!).
  • With her food crystal engineering group, she attended several science fairs and outreach events to explain the complexity of food materials such as chocolate and ice cream.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design:

The Effect of Crystallization Conditions on the Structural Properties of Oleofoams Made of Cocoa Butter Crystals and High Oleic Sunflower Oil
Lorenzo Metilli, Aris Lazidis, Mathew Francis, Stephanie Marty-Terrade, Joydeep Ray, and Elena Simone*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 3, 1562–1575
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c01361

Professor Li-Ming Yang

Professor Li-Ming Yang

Professor Li-Ming Yang, Professor, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China), obtained his Ph.D. in physical chemistry at Jilin University in 2008. After several years of postdoctoral and visiting research training at different institutes worldwide, he started his independent research career as a full professor and principal investigator in February 2016. His interests focus on 2D materials, porous materials, and electrocatalysis. Through high-throughput screening and artificial intelligence (machine learning), he reverse-designs novel materials with target properties and functionalities. Two novel 2D materials he predicted have been successfully prepared by experiments. He published more than 80 SCI papers in high-level journals, including J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., and Adv. Energy Mater., with total citations >2,200.

Fun Facts:

  • He likes reading diverse and sometimes completely irrelevant scientific literature widely and without a specific purpose, thereby immersing himself in enjoying the latest progress reports and seeking inspiration and intuition. Unexpectedly, this habit greatly benefits his research, innovation, and writing.
  • In his leisure time, he enjoys making delicious Chinese foods, which he views as similar to modulating chemical reactions with different reactants at different reaction conditions. Chemistry is the magic ingredient to make life better.
  • He teaches his 3-year-old daughter English with the Children’s English Enlightenment Picture Book, but he never thought he would learn so much at the same time.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design:

CO2 Adsorption Properties of a N,N-Diethylethylenediamine-Appended M2(dobpdc) Series of Materials and Their Detailed Microprocess
Xin Zheng, Hui Zhang, Li-Ming Yang*, and Eric Ganz
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 4, 2474–2480
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.1c00096

Dr. Soumyajit Ghosh

Dr. Soumyajit Ghosh

Dr. Soumyajit Ghosh, Assistant Professor, SRM University Chennai (India), has worked as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry, SRM University Chennai, since October 2016. He completed his M.Sc. degree in Chemistry from IIT Delhi in 2006 and his Ph.D. in organic crystal engineering from IISER Kolkata in 2013 under the supervision of Professor C. Malla Reddy. His doctoral research focused on mechanical and other physicochemical properties of pharmaceutical cocrystals. After that, he pursued his postdoctoral career as a DST Young Scientist under Professor Gautam Desiraju, IISc Bangalore. Before joining SRM University, he worked as Assistant Manager, Mylan Laboratories Hyderabad. His current research interests are organic crystal engineering, structure–property correlation in molecular crystals, mechanically responsive molecular crystals, photosalient, and thermosalient crystals, pharmaceutical cocrystals, and their physicochemical properties.

Fun Facts:

  • He is from Kolkata, “City of Joy,” and the cultural capital of India.
  • Since his early days, he has been fascinated by chemistry and developing new molecules for diverse applications.
  • He loves teaching and interacting with bright students to motivate them to pursue a career in research.
  • He is a passionate watcher of Bollywood movies and loves travelling to beautiful places.

Highlighted Review Published in Crystal Growth & Design:

Elastic Molecular Crystals: From Serendipity to Design to Applications
Soumyajit Ghosh* and Manish Kumar Mishra*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 4, 2566–2580
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c01743

Dr. Sharmarke Mohamed

Dr. Sharmarke Mohamed

Dr. Sharmarke Mohamed, Assistant Professor, Khalifa University (United Arab Emirates), completed his M.Sc. (2007) and Ph.D. (2011) degrees with Professor Sarah (Sally) Price FRS and Professor Derek Tocher at University College London. During his time at UCL, he developed expertise in crystal growth, X-ray crystallography, and computational methods for crystal structure prediction. In 2011, he took up a position as a drug development chemist within the pharmaceutical industry, working in Sanofi’s fastest-growing generics business in Europe. His work led to the award of three patents for discoveries of new solid forms of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). During his time in industry, he also contributed to the current FDA guidance on what constitutes a “cocrystal” in the context of active pharmaceutical ingredients. In 2014, he was appointed to the faculty at Khalifa University (KU), where he has played a leading role in establishing the current undergraduate chemistry program. In 2019, Dr. Mohamed was elected to the board of the ACS International Chemical Sciences Chapter in the UAE, where he currently serves as the secretary and treasurer. In 2020, he helped establish the Emirates Crystallographic Society (ECS) and currently serves as its vice president, as well as UAE representative of the ECS in both the European Crystallographic Association (ECA) and IUCr. His research group is engaged in interdisciplinary research that encompasses green chemistry, materials modelling, and experimental crystallization research.

Fun Facts:

  • He speaks several languages as a result of the opportunities he has had to work with talented people in a number of countries.
  • He is passionate about community service and engaging the future generation of scientists, particularly undergraduate students.
  • He is equally comfortable being described as an experimentalist, theoretician, or crystallographer thanks to the enriching experience with the Price group.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design:

Crystal Engineering of Binary Organic Eutectics: Significant Improvement in the Physicochemical Properties of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons via the Computational and Mechanochemical Discovery of Composite Materials
Zeinab M. Saeed, Bhausaheb Dhokale, Abeer F. Shunnar, Wegood M. Awad, Hector H. Hernandez, Panče Naumov, and Sharmarke Mohamed*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 7, 4151–4161
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.1c00420

Dr. Matthew R. Ryder

Dr. Matthew R. Ryder

Dr. Matthew R. Ryder, Distinguished Staff Fellow, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (United States), is originally from the Shetland Islands in the North of Scotland. He received his undergraduate M.Chem. degree with first-class honors from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and his doctorate (D.Phil.) in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford. He was awarded a competitive EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship in 2017 to start his independent career at the University of Oxford before being recruited by the U.S. Department of Energy to work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where he became the youngest person ever to be offered the prestigious Clifford G. Shull Fellowship. He moved his research to ORNL in 2018, where he is focused on understanding materials at the molecular level using a hybrid approach of quantum mechanics in conjunction with neutron scattering and synchrotron techniques. His work aims to understand and design materials for target applications in carbon capture and clean energy. He has published 48 research papers and has been awarded numerous prizes and accolades.

Fun Facts:

  • He was an entrepreneur before his scientific career, owning his own business and even being an employer at 15 years old.
  • He enjoys watching sports, especially Newcastle United Football Club (NUFC), and playing video games such as Borderlands and World of Warcraft.
  • He is a passionate collector of many things ranging from small-batch Scotch whisky to trading cards and comics.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design:

Controlled Metal Oxide and Porous Carbon Templation Using Metal-Organic Frameworks
Gregory S. Day, Hannah F. Drake, Aida Contreras-Ramirez, Matthew R. Ryder*, Katharine Page, and Hong-Cai Zhou
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, 21, 8, 4249–4258
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.0c01596

Dr. Kim E. Jelfs

Dr. Kim E. Jelfs

Dr. Kim E. Jelfs, Reader, Imperial College London (United Kingdom), is a Reader and Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College. Her group specializes in the use of computer simulations to assist in the discovery of supramolecular materials, particularly porous materials and organic electronics. In terms of porous materials, her research focuses on porous molecular materials, polymer membranes, and amorphous metal–organic frameworks. Her research includes the development of open-source software to automate the assembly and testing of materials, with the application of artificial intelligence techniques, including an evolutionary algorithm and machine learning. Kim was awarded a 2018 Royal Society of Chemistry Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize and a 2019 Philip Leverhulme Prize in Chemistry, and she holds a European Research Council Starting Grant.

Fun Fact:

  • She enjoys travelling, running (slowly), and spending time with her daughter, who shares her name with a famous female scientist.

Highlighted Article Published in Crystal Growth & Design:

Computational Screening of Chiral Organic Semiconductors: Exploring Side-Group Functionalization and Assembly to Optimize Charge Transport
Julia A. Schmidt, Joseph A. Weatherby, Isaac J. Sugden, Alejandro Santana-Bonilla, Francesco Salerno, Matthew J. Fuchter, Erin R. Johnson, Jenny Nelson, and Kim E. Jelfs*
Cryst. Growth Des. 2021, XXXX, XXX, XXX-XXX
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.1c00473

Calling All Emerging Investigators

Thank you for reading about Emerging Investigators across Crystal Growth & Design. If you would like to be considered for the 2022 Virtual Special Issue with the same theme, please submit your work to CG&D by December 30, 2021. To be considered, you must be a research group leader with less than 10 years of independent research (although the timescale is flexible in cases of career breaks and personal circumstances).

As an important demographic of the field, CG&D focuses on content, initiatives, and resources to support Emerging Investigators.

  • Talking CG&D – Monthly Webinar Series: Crystal Growth & Design hosts monthly webinars focused on trending topics in the field led by emerging researchers and thought leaders in the field alike. You can view the full list of webinars and register here.
  • Quarterly Author Features: Learn about the interests and career paths of authors publishing work in topics that fall within the scope of Crystal Growth & Design to help you define your own interests or career path. Check out the first set of authors, who are experts in organic solid-state chemistry, and the second set of authors, who are experts in inorganic and coordination chemistry.

Stay tuned for the latest resources and information on emerging investigators in the field by registering for journal e-Alerts now.

ACS Catalysis Appoints Three Industry Chemists as Topic Editors

ACS Catalysis Editor-in-Chief Cathleen Crudden is delighted to announce the appointment of three new Topic Editors to the journal’s editorial team, effective August 1, 2021.

“Seeing catalytic reactions move from the bench to the kilo lab to pilot plants truly illustrates the impact of catalytic processes on all of our lives, and at ACS Catalysiswe want to be at the forefront of bringing these discoveries to our readers,” Crudden says. “The Topic Editors will serve in much the same capacity as the existing 17 Associate Editors to handle manuscripts, interact with authors virtually and in-person, and advise on the strategic direction of ACS  Catalysis. They will help us ensure that authors, readers, and reviewers from all different types of research institutions are represented on the team.”

I recently sat down with each Topic Editor from industry to discuss the new role. Read on to find out what they said and to learn why Crudden says we can “expect to see the best catalysis work from industry in the pages of ACS Catalysis!”

Dr. Carlos A. Martinez, Pfizer

“Carlos is the Leader for the Biocatalysis Center of Excellence within the Chemical R&D Department in the Pharmaceutical Science Small Molecular organization in WRDM Pfizer. He is responsible for leading the development of new biocatalysis technologies and the implementation of those in the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API),” says Crudden. “Following studies at Universidad del Valle in Cali Colombia, University of Florida, and Caltech, Carlos brings expertise in biocatalysis, enzymatic process development, and enzyme engineering. We warmly welcome Dr. Martinez to our team!”

One of the reasons for adding Topic Editors exclusively from Industry at ACS Catalysis is to help us highlight the outstanding catalysis work being done in Industry. How do you think this can best be accomplished? 

I am excited that ACS Catalysishas decided to enhance the inclusion of contributions from industry. Implementing catalysts in industry requires focus on a broader set of performance metrics beyond catalyst load, selectivity, and turnover number; and must include stability, cost, and green chemistry metrics as well. I want the Topic Editors to bring greater understanding to readers about implementation in large-scale applications and exposure to catalysts that are developed in industry as well.

Who has been an inspiration to you in the field?

Professor J. Bryan Jones (University of Toronto), a true pioneer in biocatalysis, inspired me to see the wonders of enzymes in chemical synthesis. My scientific growth in the field of biocatalysis was nurtured by two very bright scientists in Professor Jon Stewart (University of Florida), for my Ph.D. and Professor Frances Arnold (Caltech) for my postdoc.

Why do you think it’s important for people in under-represented groups to take on leadership roles?

Leadership in the modern world demands the same awareness and aptitudes to influence and inspire a diverse talent pool in the workforce.   People coming from under-represented groups may have an increased sense of awareness in matters associated with inclusivity, equity, and recognizing the need to capture diverse ideas to solve complex problems.

How do you decide yourself whether you should take on a given leadership opportunity in addition to everything else you do?

Learning, connecting with, and influencing people are key drivers. Discovering new aptitudes and strengths within myself is something that drives me to consider new challenges.

What advice would you give to chemists and engineers pursuing collaborations between industry and academia?

Maintain an open mindset to learn from each other, and recognize innovation happens at both places. The biggest difference might be that in industry, the mindset focuses on developing truly implementable solutions.

What advice would you give to young chemists and engineers just starting their careers? 

A positive attitude and disposition towards opportunities (sometimes seen as challenges) is perhaps the best way to discover your aptitudes, strengths, and passions in life.

A recent ACS Article from Dr. Carlos Martinez:

A Chemoenzymatic Route to Chiral Intermediates Used in the Multikilogram Synthesis of a Gamma Secretase Inhibitor
Org. Process Res. Dev. 2017, 21, 6, 871–877
DOI: 10.1021/acs.oprd.7b00096

Dr. Beata Kilos-Réaume, Dow Chemical Company

“Beata completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry jointly in Poznan, Poland and in Villeurbanne, France with a prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship with Enrique Iglesia and Alex Bell on oxidation catalysis before joining Dow,” Crudden says. “Named a 2017 ACS Rising Star and 2018 ACS Early Career Fellow of the Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Division, she has also been deeply involved in the Michigan Catalysis Society and the North American Catalysis Society. Beata brings expertise in heterogeneous catalysis, oxidation catalysis, carbonylation chemistry, zeolites, and mesoporous molecular sieves. We’re delighted to have Dr. Kilos on our editorial team!”

One of the reasons for adding Topic Editors exclusively from Industry at ACS Catalysis is to help us highlight the outstanding catalysis work being done in Industry. How do you think this can best be accomplished? 

Given competitive pressures to protect new discoveries, highlighting such work is often challenging.  Topic Editors from industry are uniquely positioned to appreciate such sensitivities and to work with authors and their organizations to highlight groundbreaking research as soon as possible after patents are published. By its very nature, industrial research tends to be closely related to market and societal trends as well as to the latest scientific developments. In my opinion, a holistic view of catalysis in this broader context spurs innovation to focus technical advances on problems that significantly benefit our industry and society at large.

Why do you think it’s important for people in under-represented groups to take on leadership roles?

Seeing someone like yourself attain a leadership position and succeeding is critical to inspiring young scientists and engineers to pursue STEM careers, knowing that state-of-the-art scholarship and leadership are well within their sight. In my case, growing up in Poland, Marie Sklodowska Curie’s success in a male-dominated field was pivotal to my choice to pursue a career in chemistry.

Engineering is the art of applying science to address real-world needs.  And many needs are best appreciated by under-represented groups. For example, needs for personal care products differ by gender, race, and geography. Understanding these needs is critical to formulating products tailored to address them. Or, for instance, someone who grew up in an impoverished area without a secure water supply might have unique insights into the need for antimicrobial products. Having members of under-represented groups in leadership helps to ensure that such needs are offered appropriate consideration when allocating scarce development resources.

How do you decide yourself whether you should take on a given leadership opportunity in addition to everything else you do?

Time is finite, so there is a cost in taking on a new opportunity: the cost of foregoing other opportunities. As such, I feel it’s critical to consider new opportunities in the context of both current activities and planned or potential future activities. In the famous book “Good to Great,” the author recommended pursuing activities that you’re passionate about, that you can excel at, and where you can truly add significant value. When an opportunity satisfies all three criteria, it’s often an easy call. For example, I was humbled, honored, and inspired when I received the invitation to be a Topic Editor for ACS Catalysisas I believe it’s an exciting and critical role where I can excel.

What advice would you give to chemists and engineers pursuing collaborations between industry and academia?

Having been involved in several collaborations with academia, navigating some diametrically opposed motivations is a great challenge. Academicians strive to disseminate groundbreaking results as widely as possible, while industry seeks to protect such results to leverage a competitive advantage. It’s critical for collaborators to understand each other’s motivation and develop creative and tailored approaches to ensure successful outcomes for all parties: researchers, professors, students, and the industrial partners. This requires frequent and candid communication to develop and maintain alignment and ensure that all parties are engaged toward a common goal. A staged approach with clear milestones helps ensure expectations are shared and understood.

What advice would you give to young chemists and engineers just starting their careers? 

Do what you’re passionate about. Never hesitate to take on a challenge because you’ve never done such a thing before, as that is the essence of groundbreaking research. Our industry, as you see it now, will likely not resemble the industry you’ll see towards the end of your career.  It’s critical to avoid over-planning or constraining yourself as you face the opportunities and challenges of the future. Surround yourself with a diverse cohort of collaborators from different disciplines, as the most groundbreaking innovations often occur at these intersections.

A recent ACS Article from Dr. Beata Kilos-Réaume:

Acceptorless Dehydrogenative Coupling of Neat Alcohols Using Group VI Sulfide Catalysts
ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2017, 5, 6, 4890–4896
DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b00303

Dr. Rebecca Ruck, Merck & Co.

“Rebecca (Becky) is Executive Director of Small Molecule Process R&D Enabling Technologies at Merck & Co., where her team is tasked with leveraging catalysis, biotechnology, and flow chemistry to enable synthetic routes for active pharmaceutical ingredients,” says Crudden. “Following studies at Princeton, Harvard, and Berkeley, she brings expertise in asymmetric catalysis, automation, cross-coupling chemistry, organocatalysis, and process chemistry, as well as an immense passion for driving Women in Chemistry activities. Becky received the American Chemical Society’s 2018 Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences.”

One of the reasons for adding Topic Editors exclusively from Industry at ACS Catalysis is to help us highlight the outstanding catalysis work being done in Industry. How do you think this can best be accomplished? 

I am very excited to take on the Topic Editor role in the area of homogeneous catalysis since I know this is a very active area of research in industry. It is critical that we establish ACS Catalysisas the premier catalysis journal for our industry colleagues to publish their latest relevant work to facilitate scientific exchange in this important and growing area of research. We need to reach a critical mass of impactful publications to render this scenario self-sustaining, whereby industry researchers prioritize the journal for their catalysis-focused submissions.

What advice would you give to chemists and engineers pursuing collaborations between industry and academia?

Collaborations between academia and industry enable both sides to build new capabilities, develop talent, and answer questions of scientific curiosity. When pursuing these collaborations, it is crucial for the involved chemists and engineers to identify opportunities that target as many of these questions as possible in order to maximize the value of the work. Furthermore, once the collaboration is in flight, maintaining regular communication is critical to ensure that the team goals remain aligned and that the shared commitment and investment are retained.

Why do you think it’s important for people in under-represented groups to take on leadership roles?

In order to catalyze innovation and address the types of complex, interfacial problems that are now commonplace in chemistry, we need to tap into a diversity of backgrounds, skillsets, and experiences. To realize this benefit of diversity, we need to be able to pique the interest of that diversity in our field. We also know that seeing people who look like you, especially in leadership roles, is an incredibly powerful mechanism to attract that diversity. As a woman leader in organic chemistry, I believe it is my responsibility to use my platform to advocate for women and those from under-represented groups, to connect with early career researchers and facilitate their journeys, and to educate my senior colleagues on how they can be better allies and leaders in the area of DEI.

How do you decide yourself whether you should take on a given leadership opportunity in addition to everything else you do?

As a woman in chemistry, I receive many requests to participate in conferences and other public fora to help diversify teams. This makes it incumbent to be selective about the leadership opportunities I choose. I typically consider several factors: (1) my current and upcoming bandwidth; (2) how the opportunity fits into the balance amongst my portfolio of existing roles; (3) whether the intrinsic values of the new opportunity align with mine; (4) how I can leverage the opportunity to continue to influence the field with my values; and (5) whether I like/respect/admire the people involved. Happily, the Topic Editor role met all of these criteria for me, and, of course, who could pass up working with the editor-in-chief, Cathy Crudden?

Who has been an inspiration to you in the field?

I have many inspirations across chemistry. My advisors through my training (Professor Maitland Jones, Jr., Professor Eric Jacobsen, and Professor Bob Bergman) were each incredible mentors who paved the way for me to get where I am today. They demonstrated different styles of leadership, and I hope I have been able to incorporate elements from all of them into my personal brand. I especially remember Eric, who long ago challenged me with the question: “What are you doing to make the people around you better?.” This has become a staple of my commitment and one that I repeat frequently to others. Many colleagues (internally and externally) during my time at Merck continue to inspire me. There are far too many to name, but they span a variety of roles and career stages, and all represent the consummate reason I continue to be excited by how science and engineering can impact human health!

What advice would you give to young chemists and engineers just starting their careers? 

Early career chemists and engineers are so much better-rounded than I was at the same stage, so they could probably give me some useful guidance! That said, my advice is: scientific accomplishments will always be your career currency, but it is likewise important to establish a strong network that includes external collaborators. Understanding how to build one’s network and bring necessary visibility to your scientific accomplishments is critical to success.

A recent ACS Catalysis Article from Dr. Rebecca Ruck:

Using an Automated Monitoring Platform for Investigations of Biphasic Reactions
ACS Catal.2019, 9, 12, 11484–11491
DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.9b03953