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39th Western Regional Meeting

September 6, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 36



The 39th Western Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (WRM 2004), hosted by the Sacramento Section, will be held from Wednesday, Oct. 27, through Saturday, Oct. 30, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Sacramento. The theme for WRM 2004 is "It's a Capital Idea in California's State Capital." More than 30 symposia, general technical sessions, and workshops will be presented.

Special sessions include a broad program on biotechnology as an enabling science, a look at the concerns of chemists in protecting and commercializing molecular innovation, a group of chemists sharing their choices for the "Most Beautiful Chemistry Experiments," an exploration of planning for teaching as a first or second career, the work of chemists in various areas within government, and the environmental impact of diesel engines. Special events include a Thursday evening banquet presentation on the topic of "Food of the Gods: Chocolate" and an opening mixer on Wednesday that includes a wine tasting and poster session.

ACS student affiliates have planned an extensive program, including talks, a poster session, and social events, for undergraduate students. Saturday, a special day for teachers, focuses on "Chemistry in the Life of Your Students."


The symposium "Biotechnology as an Enabling Science" is organized into three sessions and will start Wednesday morning, Oct. 27. The first session, titled "Rational Design for Drug Discovery & Development," will focus on immune-based therapies for pharmaceutical development, engineering of monoclonal antibodies and other protein therapeutics, development of potent and selective factor VIIa inhibitors, pharmaceutical structure-based drug discovery, and assessment of the potentials of drug-drug interactions. Speakers include Wendy Young, Celera Genomics; Michael Babich, ImmvaRx; Steven Doberstein, Xencor; Timothy Osslund, Amgen; and Heather Webb, Scios.

On Wednesday afternoon, "Proteomics: Expression & Purification" will cover processing and purification strategies for new drug development and includes speakers from the California biotechnology industry and academia. Significant advancement in expression systems, biosensors, analytics, and separations that offer opportunities in new product development will be explored.

On Thursday morning, "Agriculture & Food: Nutrigenomics & Metabolomics," focuses on the convergence of agriculture, food, and medicine enabled by biotechnology. Featured sessions include an overview of agricultural and food technology, a greater understanding of how our "biochemical pathways" relate to health and well-being on an individual basis, new "smart foods" that are designed to meet the individual needs of consumers, and real-world examples of how chemistry is offering new solutions for optimal nutrition on an individual basis.

In addition, interactive poster sessions will be held to allow one-on-one discussions with researchers and speakers. This symposium is funded and cosponsored by the ACS Divisions of Biochemical Technology and of Agricultural & Food Chemistry and by the University of California, Davis, Biotechnology Program.

As part of "The Most Beautiful Chemistry Experiments," Philip Eaton will discuss his own work on development of cubane. Other experiments will include those of Rutherford, Lavoisier, Pasteur, Davy, and the Curies. Selections will be discussed, and participants can vote for their favorite experiments, with the results announced at the banquet that evening. These ballots also will be entered into a prize drawing at the banquet.

Wednesday's symposium on preparation for teaching chemistry will address the issue of finding future teachers prepared to teach from middle school through university. Of particular concern is the process of helping current practicing industrial or government chemists turn to teaching as a second career.

In "State Chemists' Solutions to Analytical Challenges" on Thursday morning, chemists in a variety of government laboratories will share their work in areas such as forensics, food safety, consumer protection and trade, and environmental and resource protection. Speakers will also share the perspective of working in a government environment.

"Protecting the Product Life Cycle: Patent Law for Chemists" addresses the concerns of chemists in a variety of fields and at a number of levels regarding patent law, particularly with respect to molecular inventions. The symposium will feature presentations on university/industrial technology licensing, funding small technology companies, the concerns of investors in a small tech company, and infringement litigation of chemistry/biotech patents. Although focused on biotech/molecular development, the topics of this symposium will benefit all chemists interested in patentable research.

On Friday, chemical educators will have an opportunity to describe and share their classroom-tested laboratory experiments as part of the symposium, "Outstanding & Practical Chemical Laboratory Experiments That Really Work." Courses to be addressed include introductory chemistry, general chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry, and interdisciplinary courses.

The symposium on "Frontiers in Raman Spectroscopy," will address advances in broadly tunable and short-pulse laser sources. Highly sensitive low-noise detector arrays, microscopic techniques, and theoretical analysis are allowing the development of new Raman-based spectroscopy and new applications for these techniques. This symposium will also highlight developments in resonance Raman and nonlinear Raman spectroscopy and microscopy and applications in physical chemistry, biochemistry, and analytical chemistry.

For updates on events and deadlines, visit the WRM 2004 website at http://


WRM 2004 will feature a full day of events on Friday, Oct. 29, designed specifically for undergraduate students. The ACS student affiliates chapter from California State University, Sacramento (CSUS)--the Chemistry Club--is hosting these events.

Friday morning's program will open with a continental breakfast and networking session followed by technical sessions on forensic chemistry and green chemistry. Lunchtime will provide another networking session and will allow access to graduate school information from a variety of universities. The afternoon poster session will provide undergraduate students an opportunity to present their current research projects, and there will be awards for outstanding posters. A variety of demonstrations, including liquid-nitrogen-prepared ice cream for tasting, will accompany the posters. Following a dinner break, undergraduate students are invited to an evening of chemistry-related movies, complete with popcorn.


On Saturday, WRM 2004, in cooperation with the California Association of Chemistry Teachers, will present a full day of programming for middle and high school, community college, and four-year college chemistry teachers filled with activities relevant to today's science classrooms.

The regional high school Chemagination contest will be part of Saturday's program. High school chemistry students have been invited to write an article as if it were part of a future issue of ChemMatters, the ACS magazine for high school chemistry students. The article must answer the question: "Twenty-five years in the future, what breakthrough or innovation related to chemistry and/or its applications will improve the quality of a teenager's life?" The students also have prepared poster presentations based on their articles. Each poster will include the contestant's written article, a magazine cover for the 2029 edition of ChemMatters, and relevant background research. The articles and posters will be on display and judged Saturday morning by members of the CSUS Chemistry Club. Winners will be announced at the Saturday luncheon.


On Tuesday evening, Oct. 26, before the meeting officially opens, Yorke Rhodes will speak to the Sacramento Section at the DoubleTree Hotel on "Astrochemistry: The Evolution of Organic Molecules in Interstellar Clouds." WRM 2004 attendees are invited to attend and network with colleagues following the presentation.

ACS President-Elect William F. Carroll Jr. will help officially open WRM 2004 late Wednesday afternoon in the exhibit area. A mix of posters, including those of the local section National Chemistry Week poster winners, will be on view in the exhibit area. A western regional winner will be selected from those displayed and the winner announced at the Thursday night banquet.

On Thursday morning, all registered attendees are invited to a continental breakfast and conversation with ACS District VI Director Stanley H. Pine. Pine will discuss the latest information from the national meeting and introduce other members of governance in attendance. Attendees are encouraged to bring their ideas, suggestions, comments, and complaints to the society's officials.

The midmeeting luncheon, formerly the women chemists' luncheon, takes place at noon and will be a networking opportunity for all meeting attendees. Following lunch there will be a short presentation reflecting on the value of ACS membership and networking to one's career. That evening, the banquet and program will continue the theme of food, technology, and special experiences. Attendees will want to save room for dessert--the after-dinner treat will be "The Food of the Gods: Chocolate." An assortment of California chocolates will be available as a part of this presentation.


An exhibition of laboratory supplies, equipment, and textbooks will be held from Wednesday, Oct. 27, at noon, through Friday, Oct. 29, at 1 PM. Vendor workshops will be held during the meeting. Refreshment breaks will be held each morning and afternoon in the exhibit hall. More information will be posted on the meeting website,, in September. Vendors wishing to participate should visit the meeting website or contact John Bingham at (209) 478-5225 or


The ACS Career Resource Center will present the following workshops on Wednesday: Targeting the Job Market, at 9 AM; Résumé Preparation, at 10 AM; and Interviewing Skills, at 11 AM.

Although the Regional Employment Clearinghouse (RECH) will not be on-site at this meeting, employers interested in submitting job openings and ACS members and national and student affiliates interested in submitting their résumés to employers should visit the Career Services website at and follow the instructions, or call (800) 227-5558 ext. 6209. Job seekers and employers may also drop off résumés and job postings at the main meeting registration desk. The deadline for submitting forms is Oct. 29.


A block of rooms has been reserved at the Sacramento DoubleTree, 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento, CA 95815. The ACS/WRM room rate is $110 per night, single or double. Rooms may be reserved on the Web at using the group code ACS, by calling DoubleTree reservations at (800) 222-TREE, or by calling the Sacramento DoubleTree directly at (916) 929-8855. The hotel is located just off Business 80 (Capital City Freeway), across from the Arden Fair Mall. The DoubleTree is near downtown Sacramento, the State Capitol, Old Sacramento, Cal Expo/State Fair, the Crocker Art Museum, and the California Railroad Museum. The hotel is 20 minutes from Sacramento International Airport, with SuperShuttle service available.


Advance registration is available online through the ACS Regional Meetings website ( or the WRM 2004 website ( Registration forms may also be downloaded from either site. The deadline for advance registration is Oct. 18.

On-site registration will begin Tuesday evening, Oct. 26, at the DoubleTree Hotel. Registration opens at 8 AM each morning of the meeting and closes 30 minutes after the start of the last event of each day.


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