Volume 95 Issue 31 | pp. 40-42
Issue Date: July 31, 2017

2017 SciFinder Future Leaders

Introducing CAS’s newest class of chemical information scholars
Department: ACS News
Keywords: ACS News, CAS, SciFinder Future Leaders
SciFinder Future Leaders at a glance

Year program started: 2010

Number of participants to date: 145

Number of countries represented to date: 34

The 2017 SciFinder Future Leaders have been announced by CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, which publishes C&EN. This program offers Ph.D. students and postdocs from around the world the opportunity to learn about the chemical information industry and network with each other. Participants will visit CAS in Columbus, Ohio, as well as attend the ACS national meeting in Washington, D.C., next month. CAS’s chemical information products include SciFinder, a chemistry research solution. Here’s a look at this year’s SciFinder Future Leaders (those presenting papers in Washington are marked with an asterisk):

[+]Enlarge
Lisa Alcock
Credit: Courtesy of Lisa Alcock
Photo of Lisa Alcock.
 
Lisa Alcock
Credit: Courtesy of Lisa Alcock

Lisa Alcock

Graduate student in chemistry at Flinders University

Education: B.S., organic chemistry, Flinders University, 2015

Research: Developing tools for detecting poorly understood cysteine redox chemistry, with broader impact in medicine and biology.

Advice for others: “Experiments rarely work the way they are planned the first time, and everything often takes longer than expected. You need to be committed and willing to persevere through the rough patches, try failed experiments again, troubleshoot, and most important, never lose your motivation for scientific discovery.”

[+]Enlarge
Alyssa-Jennifer Avestro
Credit: Courtesy of Alyssa-Jennifer Avestro
Photo of Alyssa-Jennifer Avestro.
 
Alyssa-Jennifer Avestro
Credit: Courtesy of Alyssa-Jennifer Avestro

Alyssa-Jennifer Avestro

Royal Commission 1851 Research Fellow at Durham University

Education: B.S., chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 2010; Ph.D., chemistry, Northwestern University, 2015

Research: Addressing global research challenges in energy storage and how three-dimensional structural hierarchy can influence the design of hybrid organic optoelectronic materials.

Goals for program: “I would like to learn about what plans SciFinder may have in the future to address searches that involve dynamic systems, self-assemblies, and advanced macromolecular topologies as the field is now starting to move into an era of chemistry ‘beyond the molecule.’ ”

[+]Enlarge
Nicola L. Bell
Credit: Courtesy of Nicola L. Bell
Photo of Nicola L. Bell
 
Nicola L. Bell
Credit: Courtesy of Nicola L. Bell

Postdoc in chemistry at the University of Edinburgh

Education: MChem, Heriot-Watt University, 2008; Ph.D., chemistry, University of Edinburgh, 2012

Research: Synthesis of actinide complexes with multiply bonded ligands to probe f-block covalency and uranyl (UO22+) reduction.

Goals for program: “I am interested in finding new ways of locating and managing research data. I believe data management will be a big challenge in the years ahead but also a huge opportunity for scientists, providing us with the ability to use data in new ways to improve our understanding of chemistry.”

[+]Enlarge
Alice Chang
Credit: Courtesy of Alice Chang
Photo of Alice Chang.
 
Alice Chang
Credit: Courtesy of Alice Chang

Graduate student in chemistry at California Institute of Technology

Education: B.A., chemistry, Columbia University, 2013

Research: Synthesizing new polymer architectures, studying their self-assembly and properties, and developing applications as functional materials.

Scientific role models: “I am inspired by my undergraduate and graduate advisers, Ron Breslow and Bob Grubbs, respectively. Their commitment to discovery, entrepreneurship, and social as well as scientific progress motivates me to improve as a scientist and communicator.”

[+]Enlarge
Xiaoxia Chang
Credit: Courtesy of Xiaoxia Chang
Photo of Xiaoxia Chang.
 
Xiaoxia Chang
Credit: Courtesy of Xiaoxia Chang

Graduate student in chemical engineering at Tianjin University

Education: B.S., chemical engineering, Tianjin University, 2012

Research: Fuel production by solar water splitting and photocatalytic CO2 reduction, particularly in the investigation of reaction mechanism and pathways.

Goals for program: “I am looking forward to developing a better understanding of how to efficiently use research information to help advance my research, and making pleasurable connections with elite scientists at the same time.”

[+]Enlarge
Morgan J. Cichon
Credit: Courtesy of Morgan J. Cichon
Photo of Morgan J. Cichon.
 
Morgan J. Cichon
Credit: Courtesy of Morgan J. Cichon

Morgan J. Cichon

Research scientist at Ohio State University

Education: B.S., chemistry and economics, Emory University, 2010; Ph.D., food science and technology, Ohio State University, 2015

Research: Working on the Personalized Food & Nutritional Metabolomics for Health initiative at OSU.

Career dreams: “As I work to define my future career, I know I want to be involved in communicating science on a national and global scale. I envision a role in which I can utilize my financial economics degree in conjunction with my chemistry background to be a leader in the field and drive important scientific research in an unpredictable economic climate.”

[+]Enlarge
Craig Fraser
Credit: Courtesy of Craig Fraser
Photo of Craig Fraser.
 
Craig Fraser
Credit: Courtesy of Craig Fraser

Craig Fraser

Graduate student in chemistry at the National University of Singapore

Education: MChem, chemistry, University of Edinburgh, 2014

Research: In the field of frustrated Lewis pairs, searching for cheaper and greener methods for the activation of small molecules and bonds.

Favorite ACS career resource: “SciFinder, simply because it’s the resource I use the most, have used for the longest time, and always intend to use. I find it to be very user-friendly, and it makes searching for literature so simple.”

[+]Enlarge
Wai Chung Fu
Credit: Courtesy of Wai Chung Fu
Photo of Wai Chung Fu.
 
Wai Chung Fu
Credit: Courtesy of Wai Chung Fu

Wai Chung Fu

Graduate student in chemistry at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Education: B.S., chemistry, Hong Kong Baptist University, 2013

Research: Developing a series of novel phosphine ligands for palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions and using catalytic methods for materials science.

Goals for program: “It’s always exciting to learn new skills and insights from others, not to mention a select group of elite Ph.D. candidates and postdoctoral researchers from every part of the world.”

[+]Enlarge
Minjia Hu
Credit: Courtesy of Minjia Hu
Photo of Minjia Hu.
 
Minjia Hu
Credit: Courtesy of Minjia Hu

Minjia Hu

Graduate student in chemistry at the University of Alberta

Education: B.S., nanoscience and nanotechnology, Beijing Institute of Technology, 2014

Research: Functionalization of porous and flat silicon surfaces, especially modifying the surfaces with silicon-chalcogen bonds, Si–E (E = S, Se, or Te), and studying the change in chemical properties of those surfaces.

What she likes to do to relax: “Cooking! The interesting thing is, cooking is just like doing chemical research: fresh ingredients, cooking time and temperature, and different cooking styles, all of which in cooking lead to a delicious dish!”

[+]Enlarge
Elsa Ivry
Credit: Courtesy of Elsa Ivry
Photo of Elsa Ivry.
 
Elsa Ivry
Credit: Courtesy of Elsa Ivry

Elisa Ivry

Graduate student in chemistry at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Education: B.S., chemistry, 2011, and M.S., chemistry, 2013, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Research: Exploring and developing ruthenium complexes to be used in the promotion of asymmetric and light-induced metathesis reactions.

Goals for program: “The reason I am most excited to be a part of this program is to meet fellow students from all over the world, people that I would never have had the chance to meet otherwise. I hope to expand my circle of colleagues and hear how research is done in other universities.”

[+]Enlarge
Torsten John
Credit: Courtesy of Torsten John
Photo of Torsten John.
 
Torsten John
Credit: Courtesy of Torsten John

Torsten John

Graduate student in chemistry at Leibniz Institute of Surface Modification in joint collaboration with Leipzig University and Monash University

Education: B.S., chemistry, 2012, and M.S., chemistry, 2015, Leipzig University

Research: Aggregation of amyloidogenic peptides near interfaces using biophysical and computational methods.

Favorite ACS career resource: “I was mainly interested in research programs, and I became aware of the ACS International Center. It is a great resource to look for research and funding opportunities in several countries worldwide.”

[+]Enlarge
Sanaz Khorasani
Credit: Courtesy of Sanaz Khorasani
Photo of Sanaz Khorasani.
 
Sanaz Khorasani
Credit: Courtesy of Sanaz Khorasani

Sanaz Khorasani

Postdoc in chemistry at the University of the Wit­watersrand, Johannesburg

Education: B.S., chemistry, Islamic Azad University, 2007; Ph.D., chemistry, University of the Witwatersrand, 2014

Research: Developing techniques involving organic solid-state reactions for the synthesis of materials for applications in molecular electronic devices.

Scientific role models: “I have many role models. One of these is my Ph.D. supervisor, who changed my attitude toward chemistry from not liking it much in the beginning to seeing it as a field with infinite

opportunity in which the limit is my imagination.”

[+]Enlarge
Youngjin Kim
Credit: Courtesy of Youngjin Kim
Photo of Youngjin Kim.
 
Youngjin Kim
Credit: Courtesy of Youngjin Kim

Postdoc in chemical and biological engineering at Seoul National University

Education: B.S., chemical engineering, Seoul National University of Science & Technology, 2010; Ph.D., chemical and biological engineering, Seoul National University, 2016

Research: Developing lithium-oxygen batteries with a phosphorene-derived protective layer on a lithium anode.

Advice for others: “Listen and pay attention to your colleagues’ research. Surprisingly, I found a couple of problems that could not be solved in my research were solved by peer research.”

[+]Enlarge
Nacole King
Credit: Courtesy of Nacole King
Photo of Nacole King.
 
Nacole King
Credit: Courtesy of Nacole King

Postdoc in chemistry at the National Institute of Standards & Technology

Education: B.S., chemistry, Virginia State University, 2010; Ph.D., chemistry, North Carolina State University, 2015

Research: Combinatorial approach to studying photocatalytic systems.

Scientific role models: “I have a fond memory of Mae C. Jemison’s picture on a bulletin board in elementary school. She was the first African American astronaut, and the only woman in science that I could relate to at the young age of seven. I admired her intelligence and accomplishments and thought, ‘Science looks fun.’ ”

[+]Enlarge
Jeffrey Y. W. Mak
Credit: Courtesy of Jeffrey Y. W. Mak
Photo of Jeffrey Y. W. Mak.
 
Jeffrey Y. W. Mak
Credit: Courtesy of Jeffrey Y. W. Mak

Jeffrey Y. W. Mak

Postdoc in molecular bioscience at the University of Queensland

Education: B.S., organic chemistry, 2007, and Ph.D., synthetic organic chemistry, 2012, University of Queensland

Research: Synthesis of biologically active small molecules, especially against immune system T-cell and G protein-coupled receptor targets.

Advice for others: “Research life in graduate school is full of setbacks. Rather than putting pressure on yourself to achieve, focus on working hard and learning from your experiences, especially from failures.”

[+]Enlarge
Caitlyn Mills
Credit: Courtesy of Caitlyn Mills
Photo of Caitlyn Mills.
 
Caitlyn Mills
Credit: Courtesy of Caitlyn Mills

Graduate student in chemistry at Northeastern University

Education: B.S., forensic science and chemistry, University of New Haven, 2012

Research: Protein function annotation using computational methods to predict the function of proteins and testing these predictions biochemically, thus bridging the gap between chemical biology and computational chemistry.

Favorite ACS career resource: “ACS Career Consultants have been an enormous help to me over the years. I have had the opportunity to discuss potential career paths with a consultant and was given information and suggestions on how to explore these career paths before graduation.”

[+]Enlarge
Biswajit Mondal
Credit: Courtesy of Biswajit Mondal
Photo of Biswajit Mondal.
 
Biswajit Mondal
Credit: Courtesy of Biswajit Mondal

Biswajit Mondal

Graduate student at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science

Education: B.S., chemistry, Scottish Church College, 2009; M.S., chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, 2011

Research: Developing bioinspired water-splitting catalysts.

Career dreams: “To become a research faculty member and pursue high-quality research on bioinspired N2 fixation. I also have a mind to run a start-up in India to offer an alternative source of energy for the benefit of society.”

[+]Enlarge
Gaston Richelle
Credit: Courtesy of Gaston Richelle
Photo of Gaston Richelle.
 
Gaston Richelle
Credit: Courtesy of Gaston Richelle

Gaston Richelle

Graduate student in chemistry at the University of Amsterdam

Education: B.S., organic chemistry, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Heerlen, 2010; M.S., chemistry, Radboud University, 2013

Research: Developing scaffold-assisted peptide multicyclization strategies.

Goals for program: “I will get to meet 24 people from all over the world, all with their own perspectives on science and life. I hope to learn a lot from them and have some fun as well.”

[+]Enlarge
Michael D. Schulz
Credit: Courtesy of Michael D. Schulz
Photo of Michael D. Schulz.
 
Michael D. Schulz
Credit: Courtesy of Michael D. Schulz

Michael D. Schulz

Postdoc in chemistry and chemical engineering at California Institute of Technology

Education: B.S., chemistry, University of Iowa, 2010; Ph.D., organic and polymer chemistry, University of Florida, 2014

Research: Acyclic diene metathesis polymerization and depolymerization, and developing polymeric delivery vehicles for radionuclides to treat pediatric bone cancer.

Advice for others: “Learn to use your time effectively. Many graduate students mistake the number of hours they’ve worked for the number they’ve worked productively, but they aren’t the same thing.”

[+]Enlarge
Magaret Sivapragasam
Credit: Courtesy of Magaret Sivapragasam
Photo of Magaret Sivapragasam.
 
Magaret Sivapragasam
Credit: Courtesy of Magaret Sivapragasam

Magaret Sivapragasam

Postdoc in ecotoxicological risk assessment of ionic liquids at Petronas Technology University

Education: B.S., biotechnology, Asian Institute of Medicine, Science & Technology, 2008; Ph.D., bioprocess engineering, Universiti Putra, Malaysia

Research: Ecotoxicological assessment of ionic liquids, biosurfactant binary mixtures as oil dispersants, and microbial adaptation to ionic liquids.

Advice for others: “I believe grad school is a personal experience for everyone. Take it easy and enjoy every bit of it, both the good and the bad. The reward is certainly big at the end!”

[+]Enlarge
Andy Tay
Credit: Courtesy of Andy Tay
Photo of Andy Tay.
 
Andy Tay
Credit: Courtesy of Andy Tay

Andy Tay

Graduate student in bioengineering at the University of California, Los Angeles

Education: B.S., engineering, National University of Singapore, 2014; M.S., bioengineering, UCLA, 2015

Research: Developing technologies for magnetic-based neural stimulation and for directed evolution of magnetotactic bacteria.

Goals for program: “I hope to learn more about resources from ACS and to interact with peers to learn about their countries, cultures, and amazing research.”

[+]Enlarge
Gabriela D. Tormet-Gonzalez
Credit: Courtesy of Gabriela D. Tormet-Gonzalez
Photo of Gabriela D. Tormet-Gonzalez.
 
Gabriela D. Tormet-Gonzalez
Credit: Courtesy of Gabriela D. Tormet-Gonzalez

Gabriela D. Tormet-Gonzalez

Graduate student in organic chemistry at the University of Campinas

Education: B.S., chemistry, Central University of Venezuela, 2010; M.S., organic chemistry, University of Campinas, 2015

Research: In vitro and in vivo studies of the biosynthesis of the polyether ionophore salinomycin.

Favorite ACS career resource: “The e-learning courses offered by the ACS Leadership Development System are a diverse resource for professionals who are continuously searching for career development.”

[+]Enlarge
Galina Viryasova
Credit: Courtesy of Galina Viryasova
Photo of Galina Viryasova.
 
Galina Viryasova
Credit: Courtesy of Galina Viryasova

Galina Viryasova

Graduate student in biochemistry at Moscow State University

Education: B.S., chemistry, Moscow State University, 2014

Research: Human blood cells and processes during differentiation and immune response.

Favorite ACS career resource: “I like ACS Career Navigator because it combines a lot of information in one clear format.”

[+]Enlarge
Jie Wang
Credit: Courtesy of Jie Wang
Photo of Jie Wang.
 
Jie Wang
Credit: Courtesy of Jie Wang

Jie Wang

Graduate student in applied chemistry at East China University of Science & Technology

Education: B.S., fine chemicals, East China University of Science & Technology, 2015

Research: Host-guest interactions in supramolecular systems, photochromic materials, and supramolecular self-assembly.

Career dreams: “My career objective is to work in the editorial office of an academic journal or database so that I could still follow important scientific research findings, discuss or comment on contributions, and spread ideas as well as knowledge.”

[+]Enlarge
Masafumi Yanase
Credit: Courtesy of Masafumi Yanase
Photo of Masafumi Yanase.
 
Masafumi Yanase
Credit: Courtesy of Masafumi Yanase

Masafumi Yanase

Graduate student in chemistry at the University of Tokyo

Education: B.S., chemistry, 2014, and M.S., chemistry, 2016, University of Tokyo

Research: Developing peptide ligation reactions toward total protein chemical synthesis.

What he likes to do to relax: “Since I am a member of the track and field club of the university, I take part in a half marathon several times a year. In the future, I would like to go to marathon competitions around the world.”

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment