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Pittcon 2018 will feature the latest advances in laboratory science

Annual conference on lab science to attract more than 15,000 attendees

by Linda Wang
February 12, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 7

A photo of Orlando city lights.
Credit: Shutterstock

The 2018 Pittsburgh Conference & Exposition (Pittcon) will be held Feb. 26 to March 1 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Pittcon’s core focus is analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy, with applications in fields including life and environmental sciences, drug discovery, food safety, nanotechnology, and water and air analysis.

Pittcon at a glance

Dates: Feb. 26–March 1

Location: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando

Information contacts: Program, ­­; exposition, expo@­; general information, info@­


The conference, which annually attracts more than 15,000 attendees from 90 countries in industry, academia, and government, is sponsored by the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh.

Some 2,000 technical presentations and more than 100 short courses are planned. All conference information, including details about registration and housing, is on the Pittcon website at

Registration for the entire conference costs $325, and one-day registration is $150. Attendance is free on Thursday. The cost for full-time students with a valid ID is $25 for the entire conference. An expo-only pass is available for $100.

The ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry (ANYL) will be providing programming at Pittcon. It will hold several invited symposia, titled “Analytical Chemistry & ACS ANYL: New Measurement Approaches for Environmental Sampling & Measurement,” “Advances in Measurement Science Lectureship Awards Symposium,” “ACS Sensors & ACS ANYL: Frontiers in Sensors—in Situ Luminescent Sensing, from Cell to Organism,” “Journal of Proteome Research & ACS ANYL: Advancing Measurement of the Proteome.” ACS Publications will be hosting a reception at Pittcon.

Jeremy Nicholson, head of the department of surgery and cancer at Imperial College London and director of the MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre, will deliver the Wallace H. Coulter Lecture at 5 PM on Monday, Feb. 26. His talk is titled “Analytical Science in Precision Medicine: Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century Healthcare.” A happy hour at Pub Pittcon will follow the lecture.

The 29th James L. Waters Symposium will recognize the history, science, and applications of the technologies associated with ambient ionization mass spectrometry for imaging and analysis. It will take place at 1:30 PM on Monday, Feb. 26. The speakers will be R. Graham Cooks, Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University; Justin Wiseman, chairman, president, and CEO of Prosolia; Pieter Dorrestein, professor in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego; Thalappil Pradeep, institute professor at Indian Institute of Technology Madras; and Richard N. Zare, Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor of Natural Science at Stanford University.

A plenary lecture titled “Optical Microscopy: The Resolution Revolution” will take place at 5 PM on Tuesday, Feb. 27. The talk will be given by 2014 Nobel laureate Stefan W. Hell, director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research.

Conferee networking sessions provide a venue for small groups of participants to solve problems or discuss topics of mutual interest. These 90-minute sessions begin on Monday and run through Thursday afternoon and are open to all registered conferees at no extra cost.

Exposition. The exposition provides attendees with hands-on access to instrumentation, laboratory apparatuses, and other lab-related products and services. Hours are 9 AM to 5 PM from Tuesday, Feb. 27, through Thursday, March 1.

Awards. This year at Pittcon, 15 awards will be presented by various organizations to recognize scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy.

Advances in Measurement Science Lectureship Awards: Neil Kelleher, professor of chemistry and medicine and director of Northwestern Proteomics at Northwestern University; Francesco Ricci, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Rome; and Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, professor of engineering and director of the Centre for Advanced Electronics & Sensors at RMIT University.

Charles N. Reilley Award: Patrick Unwin, professor of chemistry at the University of Warwick.

Chromatography Forum of the Delaware Valley Dal Nogare Award: Robert Kennedy, professor of chemistry at the University of Michigan.

Coblentz Society Williams-Wright Award: Charles R. Anderson, president of Spectral Systems.

LCGC Emerging Leader in Chromatography Award and the Satinder Ahuja Award for Young Investigators in Separation Science: Zachary Breitbach,senior scientist at AbbVie.

LCGC Lifetime Achievement in Chromatography Award: Ronald Majors, consultant at ChromPrep.

Pittcon Heritage Award: Mike Morris, president of SpectrEcology.

Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award: Xiaowei Zhuang, David B. Arnold Professor of Science and director of the Center for Advanced Imaging at Harvard University.

Technical program

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The ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the Chinese American Chromatography Association,, the Coblentz Society, the International Association of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, the Japan Analytical Instruments Manufacturers’ Association, the National Institute of Justice, the National Science Foundation, the Professionals’ Network in Advanced Instrumentation Society, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, and the Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry are all programming partners for Pittcon.

Five days’ worth of invited symposia, workshops, and oral and poster sessions will provide comprehensive coverage of the latest developments in analytical chemistry, applied spectroscopy, bioanalysis, food sciences, life sciences, and related disciplines.

Symposia are planned in broad subject areas, including the following:
Art and archaeology
Atomic spectroscopy and elemental analysis
Environmental analysis
Food identification
Gas chromatography
Homeland security and forensics
Liquid chromatography/ mass spectrometry
Materials science
Petroleum analysis
Pharmaceutical sciences
Polymers and plastics

Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award and the Royce W. Murray Award: Parastoo Hashemi, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of South Carolina.

Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award: ­Michael D. Fayer, David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University.

Ralph N. Adams Award: Chad A. Mirkin, George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry and director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology at Northwestern University.

Nominations are also being solicited for four of Pittcon’s 2019 awards:

Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award. The award includes a cash prize and reimbursement of travel costs to Pittcon. The honor recognizes significant contributions to the field of analytical chemistry, including the introduction of a significant technique, theory, or instrument, and the provision of exceptional training. Nominations are due by April 30.

Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award. This award recognizes outstanding achievements in analytical chemistry or applied spectroscopy. To be eligible for the 2019 award, nominees must have completed their Ph.D.s on or after March 1, 2008. Nominations are due by April 30.

Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award. This award honors outstanding contributions in the field of applied spectroscopy. Nominations are due by April 30.

Ralph N. Adams Award in Bioanalytical Chemistry. This award recognizes significant contributions to the field of bioanalytical chemistry. The recipient must have introduced a significant technique, theory, instrument, or application important to the life sciences and have provided an exceptional environment to educate bioanalytical chemists. Nominations are due by May 1.

Visit the Pittcon website for more information about these awards.

Employment. Pittcon offers a free Employment Bureau service during the meeting. The bureau provides a venue for candidates to review active job openings and for employers to review candidate credentials and résumés. Candidates and employers should bring their own computers or other devices for accessing the internet and email. Candidates must bring printed and electronic résumés in searchable PDF or Word format, preferably stored on a USB flash drive. The Employment Bureau will be located in West Building of the Orange County Convention Center. More details are available at

Short courses. The Pittcon 2018 short course program will consist of more than 100 courses on analytical topics, including food science, the environment, life sciences, and pharmaceuticals. Details can be found at Registration fees range from $425 for a half-day course to $1,500 for a two-day course. Students get a 50% discount. Attendees of three paid courses receive free conference registration.


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