Issue Date: January 10, 2011
Posters In The Pacific
Nervous energy filled the cavernous Kamehameha exhibit hall in the Honolulu Convention Center on Dec. 16, as the 237 finalists for the Pacifichem 2010 student poster competition set up their posters and awaited the judges.
"We can feel some tension among the finalists, because they all really want to win," said Mitsuo Sawamoto, the poster competition's coordinator and a polymer chemistry professor at Japan's Kyoto University. The competition is a premier event at Pacifichem, a chemical congress held in Hawaii every five years for countries that border the Pacific Ocean.
Sawamoto dashed off to give the 50 judges their final briefing before they engaged the students. As the students waited, some of them visibly practiced their oral presentations—mouthing words, gesturing with their hands, running their fingers over reaction schemes, and pointing to graphs and spectra. Others stood silently staring at their posters trying to focus. Still others, feeling ready to go, stood with their feet together, hands clasped. When the session was over and the judges had huddled to make their final decisions, 43 of the finalists were declared winners.
"This competition is an important aspect of the Pacifichem program," said Steven Holdcroft, a chemistry professor at Simon Fraser University, in Burnaby, British Columbia, and the conference's technical program chair. Of the approximately 5,900 posters presented at Pacifichem this year, 2,070 students entered the competition, he noted.
The conference's topical area coordinators worked with symposium organizers to screen the applications and judge the extended abstracts to select the finalists, Holdcroft explained. The number of finalists from each topical area was proportional to the number of applicants from each area. Once the finalists were notified in late July, they had five months to finalize their poster presentations and get ready for the final judging.
"The students take the competition very seriously, and they put a lot of time into their work," Holdcroft said. "For the winners, it is a significant achievement—a tremendous accolade to add to their résumé."
During the initial round of judging, each student was evaluated for the quality of their abstract and for the novelty and importance of the research, Sawamoto said. In Hawaii during the final round, each of the finalists made a five-minute oral presentation to at least two judges, he added. The judges spent an additional five minutes interviewing each student.
"The judges in the final round placed more emphasis on the students' poise, enthusiasm, and understanding of their research, rather than on the quality of the poster and the significance of the science," Sawamoto said.
The winners and their advisers were feted at a luncheon on Dec. 19, where the students received their awards—a certificate and a compact disc version of the Merck Index.
Anneli Kleyn, a student at Stellenbosch University, in South Africa, and one of the competition winners, said she enjoyed interacting with students from so many different countries. "This is a great conference, and a good opportunity for me to meet and listen to lectures from chemists when normally I would just be at home reading their research papers," Kleyn said. "The quality of the presentations is much better than the small conferences we usually are able to attend." Kleyn was optimistic that the networking at Pacifichem might lead to a postdoctoral position for her when she finishes her Ph.D. in a couple of years.
"I'd like to thank all of people who gave me advice and suggestions on my poster," added winner Azusa Iida of Nagoya University, in Japan. "The poster reflects not only my work, but that of my colleagues. I feel happy that it worked well to lead to a winner." Iida said the luncheon was a nice reward for her and other winners' efforts.
"It's exciting for us to have such enthusiastic students come here," Sawamoto said. "We have this competition so the students will be more committed to attend Pacifichem, not just to come so they can to go to the beach and go shopping—although we know they will do that. I hope this event ultimately further stimulates their research."
Keisuke Hara, Kyoto University, High-throughput peptide ligand screening for G protein-coupled receptor in combination with membrane-displayed ligand using a single yeast cell
Takayuki Kawai, Kyoto University, Microscale electrophoresis of oligosaccharides using large-volume sample stacking with electroosmotic flow pump
Dhruvajyoti Roy, Pohang University of Science & Technology, South Korea, Force-based atomic force microscopy as an analyzing tool for immunodetection of individual antigens captured on an antibody chip
Hisashi Shimizu, University of Tokyo, Detection of nonfluorescent molecules in extended nanochannel using differential interference contrast thermal lens microscope
Azusa Iida, Nagoya University, Japan, Borole-containing ladder π-conjugated compounds
Anneli Kleyn, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Permeability and reversible guest-exchange of seemingly nonporous metallocycles
Yoshiaki Shuku, Nagoya University, Japan, Synthesis, crystal structures, and magnetic properties of [1,2,5]thiadiazolo[3,4-f][1,10]phenanthroline 1,1-dioxide salts: A new anion radical/ligand for molecule-based magnetism
Van Vu, University of Minnesota, Insights into the mechanism and stereospecificity of deoxyhypusine hydroxylase, a nonheme diiron enzyme involved in regulating eukaryotic cell growth
David Hvasanov, University of New South Wales, Australia, Membrane-bound light-harvesting bioconjugates as chloroplast mimics
Koji Kadowaki, Osaka University, Japan, Hierarchical and functional control of engineered blood vessel tissues by hierarchical cell manipulation
EunHye Kang, Seoul National University, Dendronized polymer synthesis via cyclopolymerization of 1,6-heptadiyne derivatives by ruthenium-based alkylidene initiator
Yuan Lin, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, China, Controlled assembly of proteins pattern in the glass capillaries
Soichiro Ogi, University of Tsukuba, Japan, Macroscopic mechanical control over molecular conformation affects the efficiency of fluorescence resonance energy transfer
Hideto Fujiwara, Tohoku University, Japan, Total synthesis of dictyodendrin A and B
Hajime Furutani, Osaka University, Japan, Switching machine for rotaxane-specific chirality: A brake function for the shuttling motion between enantiomeric rotaxanes
Kosuke Kaizuka, University of Tokyo, Aerobic oxidation of alcohols and direct oxidative ester formation catalyzed by polymer-immobilized bimetallic nanocluster catalysts
Chaemin Lim, Seoul National University, Rational design and evaluation of branched chain-containing α-GalCer derivatives as a nonstereotypical glycolipid antigen
Arimasa Matsumoto, University of Tokyo, Iron-catalyzed C–C bond formation at α-position of aliphatic amine via C–H bond activation through 1,5-hydrogen transfer
Masanori Nagatomo, University of Tokyo, Synthetic study of ryanodine
Tadashi Ohara, Hokkaido University, Japan, Polymer-supported dirhodium(II) catalyst for asymmetric amination reaction
Hyeon Park, Seoul National University, Highly selective synthesis of small and large fused multicyclic molecule by tandem dienyne ring-closing metathesis and Diels-Alder reaction
Shuji Watanabe, Osaka University, Japan, Protein labeling system in living cells using mutant β-lactamase tag
Daisuke Yamashita, Tokyo University of Science, Total synthesis of norzoanthamine
PHYSICAL, THEORETICAL & COMPUTATIONAL
Lee Ch'ng, University of Southern California, Vibrational predissociation dynamics of hydrogen-bonded dimers NH3-H2O and HCl-H2MO
Misato Kazama, Chiba University, Japan, Application of photoelectron diffraction theory to ultrafast molecular dynamics
Inkoo Kim, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, Unrestricted two-component spin-orbit Hartree-Fock and the second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation theory: Energies and properties
Kwati Leonard, Kagoshima University, Japan, Excited-state interactions and morphological changes of copper phthalocyanine tetrasulfonate-gold nanocrystal hybrids
Eri Nakazaki, University of Tsukuba, Japan, Induction of differentiation of human leukemia HL-60 cells by apigenin 7-glucoside
Hitoshi Katada, University of Tokyo, Artificial restriction DNA cutter as homologous recombination stimulator for genome engineering
Jérémie Leclerc, Laval University, Quebec, Solid-state NMR spectroscopy reveals distinctive protein dynamics in closely related spider silks
Torao Suga, Saga University, Japan, Regulation of ion channel forming based on cyclic peptides
I Ha Loi, City University of Hong Kong, Bioaccumulation patterns of perfluorinated compounds in a tidal shrimp pond in Mai Po Marsh Nature Reserve, Hong Kong
Keiko Sawamoto, Kobe University, Japan, Meerwein-Ponndrof-Verley reduction of cinnamaldehyde in the presence of water
MATERIALS & NANOTECHNOLOGY
Syun Gohda, Osaka University, Japan, Synthesis of single-molecular diode connected to carbon-nanotubes
Bo Hou, University of Tokyo, Quality of produced SWNTs determined by catalyst treatment and feedstock decomposition conditions in alcohol CVD
Takahiro Ikeda, University of Tsukuba, Japan, Size effect of Rh nanoparticle cocatalyst on photocatalytic activity for overall water splitting under visible light
Noriaki Ozaki, University of Tokyo, Photoreversible magnetism with a high Curie temperature and a large coercive field in a Co-[W(CN)8] bimetallic assembly
Tetsuya Sasamura, Nagoya University, Japan, Photoelectrochemical properties of ZnO nanorod thin films modified with ZnS-AgInS2 solid solution nanoparticles
Taizo Yoshinaga, University of Tsukuba, Japan, Photocatalytic overall water splitting promoted by two different cocatalysts for hydrogen and oxygen evolution under visible light
ALTERNATE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY
Hyo-Jin Yoon, Seoul National University, Efficient and selective conversion of biomass into chemicals with polymer-supported NHC-metal catalyst
CHEMISTRY OUTREACH TO THE COMMUNITY
Takumi Hasegawa, Tokyo Gakugei University, Educational experiment for energy conversion in chemical reactions using photocatalyst
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Mayumi Takahashi, Hokkaido University, Japan, Highly durable gene-silencing effect by 2′-O-Me-4′-thioribonucleotides modified siRNA
Ali Khumaeni, University of Fukui, Japan, Unique technique for rapid analysis of tiny amount of powder sample using transversely excited atmospheric CO2 laser-induced He gas plasma at 1 atm
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