The Younger Chemists Committees of the ACS Northeastern Section (NESACS) and the German Chemical Society just completed their fourth annual student exchange program. "The exchange, which was held this year in Boston, typically involves 12 mostly graduate students," says NESACS member Michael E. Strem, president of Strem Chemicals.
Strem, who has been involved in all the section's exchanges, tells C&EN that the program began in 2001 when a German contingent traveled to Boston for a weeklong program. In 2002 and 2003 (the Year of Chemistry in Germany), groups of students from NESACS traveled to Germany visiting Cologne, Aachen, Munich, and Dresden. The highlight of each trip to Germany was the Euroregionale Research Conference in which the NESACS group participated.
In addition to taking in a Red Sox home baseball game, this year's group members toured the Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology chemistry departments and visited the research facilities of Pfizer in Groton, Conn., where they also participated in a seminar on drug discovery. The group members also visited Boston's Museum of Fine Arts for a lecture by its chief chemist.
The first career fair for the Northeastern Section was also part of this year's exchange. Participating companies included Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), Degussa, Engelhard, Genzyme, ImmunoGen, Kforce, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Pharm-Eco, Strem Chemicals, and Wyeth. During the morning, ACS Career Services hosted a résumé/interview workshop, and in the afternoon the participants visited the company booths.
The last day was the highlight, as the 6th Annual Northeast Student Chemistry Research Conference (NSCRC) was held. This conference featured the research of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs. Awards were given for the best posters and the best oral presentation.
Charles P. Casey, ACS president, delivered the welcoming address at NSCRC as well as the closing remarks at the banquet that evening. Stephen J. Lippard, chair of the MIT department of chemistry, gave the keynote address, "New Fluorescent Sensors To Study Biochemical Zinc and Nitric Oxide and To Monitor Mercury in the Environment."
In Casey's note afterward, he expressed his appreciation for being invited to attend the events and his hope that other local sections would try to have similar programs. "There is value in both the cultural and science exchanges and the career development for students as well," he said.