A Message from the Chair
Head of Process Chemistry
Vertex Pharmaceuticals, San Diego
Warm greetings! Welcome to one of the largest global communities and the premier society for organic chemists – the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry (DOC). It is both an honor and privilege to address you as the 2024 ACS DOC Chair. Since 1908, the DOC has had a rich global history of scientific excellence and professional development. Our Division’s innovation and impactful achievements have brought me immense pride and overwhelming gratitude to lead this organization. I am eager to embrace what lies ahead in 2024 with you as part of our inclusive group of organic chemists from around the globe.
The DOC’s mission is to foster and promote the advancement of the field of organic chemistry. We also have had numerous philanthropic efforts catering to our diverse members’ needs and interests. The Division supports a variety of organic symposia held at Regional and National ACS. During my tenure as Chair-Elect in 2023, the DOC continued its tradition of hosting well-organized ‘in-person’ and virtual symposia. For instance, during the 2023 ACS meetings, the Division accepted 775 abstracts for the Spring meeting in Indianapolis (331 oral sessions and 444 posters) and 806 abstracts for the Fall meeting in San Francisco (255 oral sessions and 551 posters), including both ‘in-person’ and virtual options for posters and talks. In the upcoming year, I look forward to even more community engagement to showcase scientific excellence at the 2024 ACS Spring (New Orleans, LA) and Fall (Denver, CO) National Meetings.
The Division’s premier event is the National Organic Chemistry Symposium (NOS), which significantly increased the number of plenary speakers and travel awards at the 2022 NOS in La Jolla, CA. These efforts were emulated in the 2023 NOS in South Bend, IN. Our Division also organized the first lightning seminar talks in 2022, known as the “Industry Sessions.” These new traditions have benefited both the academic and industrial communities, reflecting the Division’s commitment to creating meaningful engagement and a lasting impact on our diverse stakeholders.
I have been intimately involved with the NOS since I was a poster presenter as a graduate student to being the Executive Officer for the 2022 meeting! At the 2023 NOS meeting, I had the immense honor of being the spokesperson for Organic Reactions and presenting the Roger Adams Award to Nobel Laureate Carolyn Bertozzi, which is arguably the most prestigious award in organic chemistry. The 2023 NOS meeting hosted the inaugural ACS Publications OPRD Lectureship Award, which I conceived and initiated. Excitingly, NOS 2025 will be held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY on June 22-26. Please check out the NOS Lecture Videos to learn more about the NOS and the happenings from the 2023 meeting.
One of the most rewarding DOC programs is the Graduate Research Symposium (GRS) initiated by P. Andrew Evans and Gary Molander in 2010. I joined the GRS as a co-chair in 2019 and every year my inbox is filled with grateful messages from the 4th year graduate student participants, who were provided with the opportunity to present their research and interact with leaders from academia, industry, various funding agencies, and publishers at the meeting. We held another successful GRS at Montana State University from July 20-23, 2023, and I look forward to the next GRS at the University of Virginia on July 25-28, 2024.
Our Division also partners with other groups, such as the Empowering Women in Organic Chemistry (EWOC) conference to increase and invest in female scientists to pursue and maintain careers in organic chemistry. The 2023 EWOC was hosted at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, CA with an attendance of 244 ‘in-person’ and 163 virtual registrants. The next EWOC conference will be hosted by Merck in Rahway, NJ, on June 20-21, 2024. The DOC will continue to collaborate and support this initiative.
While on the theme of partnership, I’m delighted to share that the DOC and Chemical Health & Safety were awarded a prestigious collaborative grant to run a two-year initiative on organic chemistry laboratory safety. For this initiative, we will host ‘in-person’ and online seminars to enhance safety awareness and best practices in organic chemistry labs. Our initiative focuses on the inclusive representation of underrepresented communities: Densely populated areas with underrepresented persons, remote locations, community colleges, HBCUs, and SLACS. The DOC is waiting for future updates about this new collaborative initiative, which will be announced soon.
Many of our ACS DOC meetings are ‘in-person;’ however, the Division allows its members to connect online through our quarterly Virtual Symposia series. In 2023, the Division hosted four sessions with eight speakers from a mix of academia and industry. Past symposia videos are available here and provide a very diverse selection of topics and speakers.
Between each ACS DOC meeting, we are consistently inspired and amazed by the presentation of emerging scientific accomplishments, discoveries, and innovations. Behind the caliber of great science are individuals to be recognized for such contributions in organic chemistry. Our DOC Awards programs are a highlight of the year, as our commitment to acknowledging the pursuit of scientific excellence and the implications for future works in organic chemistry. The two significant awards the Division gives are the Gassman and the Leete awards. We honored P. Andrew Evans, as a recipient of the Gassman award at the Spring ACS in Indianapolis and at the Fall ACS in San Francisco, we celebrated Marisa Kozlowski as the winner of the Leete award.
Last year, the DOC selected 13 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) to carry out research at their respective institutions. The DOC presented 404 Undergraduate Awards and 14 Travel Awards to enable students and faculty at PUI’s to present their research at the National ACS meetings. We awarded 24 Technical Achievement in Organic Chemistry (TAOC) Awards, 16 Young Academic Investigator (YAS) Awards, 28 Early-Career Investigator Awards (ECI), and 16 Mid-Career Investigator Awards (MCI).
The success of the awards programs is also because of your commitment and participation. I am very grateful to our membership, because of members like yourselves being involved in the nomination process. I firmly believe that we should all continue to celebrate each other’s successes and acknowledge key contributors. I hope you continue to support the Division by applying or nominating someone for the Division of Organic Chemistry co-sponsored ACS Publications Awards (OL, JOC, OM, OPRD, and ACS Catalysis) and ACS National Awards.
I highly encourage you to join us and leverage our Division’s events and initiatives as a platform to ensure that our members can maximize their knowledge, gain visibility for their work and be recognized for their accomplishments. In closing, I want to express my gratitude to the dedicated and outstanding volunteers of the ACS DOC Executive Committee for making these events possible. Every minute of volunteering they spend is a declaration of their commitment to advancing the future of organic chemistry. Once again, I am humbled to lead the Division and I welcome you to be a part of the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry.
Dr. Angie R. Angeles
Chair, ACS Division of Organic Chemistry 2024