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2021 Southeast Regional Meeting

by Alexandra A. Taylor
September 24, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 35


A photo of Birmingham, Alabama.
Credit: Shutterstock
Birmingham, Alabama

The Auburn and Alabama Local Sections will host the Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) Nov. 10–13 at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Details, including COVID-19 protocols, can be found at

SERMACS 2021 at a glance

Dates: Nov. 10–13

Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Information contacts: General cochair Tracy Hamilton


Technical program. Plenary talks will be held daily in the early evenings. Speakers will include Chang-Guo Zhan, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Kentucky, on Wednesday evening; Suzanne E. Lapi, professor of radiology and chemistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, on Thursday evening; Gregory H. Robinson, professor of chemistry at the University of Georgia, on Friday evening; and Larry DeLucas, principal scientist with the Aerospace Corporation, on Saturday evening.

Over 1,250 abstracts have been submitted, and more than 60 half-day sessions of invited technical programming will span all the disciplines of chemistry. View all the symposia at

Workshops. SERMACS 2021 offers two ACS Leadership Development courses: Collaborating across Boundaries on Thursday morning and Leading without Authority on Saturday morning. A Molecular Sciences Software Institute Workshop will cover how to create publication-quality graphs and visualizations using Python and the Jupyter Notebook and may be of interest to computational chemists. A safety workshop, “Integrating Risk Assessment into Undergraduate Teaching Labs,” will be held on Friday. Merck will host a virtual career workshop and a technical symposium before the meeting on Monday, Nov. 8.

Undergraduate programming. The session “Women in STEM” will take place Friday afternoon, and “Careers in Industry” will be held on Saturday afternoon. Both sessions will end with a panel discussion. A special undergraduate poster session will be held at the McWane Science Center on Friday evening. The entire first floor will be open, and all attendees and their families are invited. Student chapters can enter a virtual demo contest at On Saturday, DeLucas will close undergraduate programming with his plenary talk, and an undergraduate pizza party will follow.

Exposition and graduate school fair. The expo will kick off on Thursday morning and run through Friday, offering a great opportunity to learn about the latest products on the market. Applications for exhibitors are available on the meeting website. A graduate school fair will take place on Saturday morning, coinciding with two undergraduate poster sessions. Applications for the expo and graduate fair can be found at

Awards. Several awards will be presented at the meeting. These include the Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences, Regional Awards for Excellence in High School Teaching, and the E. Ann Nalley Regional Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society. The awards luncheon will take place on Thursday.

Social events. Among the social highlights of SERMACS 2021 will be the Younger Chemists Committee Brewery Event on Thursday night on the covered porch at Cahaba Brewing. Participants are also invited to attend the awards luncheon and the senior chemist breakfast at which Steve Burgess from Avanti Polar Lipids will discuss lipid nanoparticle technology in mRNA vaccines. On Wednesday, Ted Breaux, chemist and founder of Jade Liqueurs, will lead an absinthe tasting at a Women Chemists Committee “Just Cocktails” event.

Lodging and registration. Early-bird registration for the meeting ends at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on Sept. 29, but you can register at the on-site rate through the end of the meeting. You can reserve a room at a reduced rate at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel through the SERMACS 2021 website.


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