Skip navigation

Annmarie Carlton received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey in 2006. After
graduating, she worked at NOAA and US EPA as a Research Physical Scientist before becoming an
Assistant Professor at Rutgers in 2010. In 2016, she moved to the Department of Chemistry at UC Irvine
where she is continuing her research on atmospheric chemistry with a focus on anthropogenic
emissions. Her concern is of their chemical transformation during atmospheric transport as well as the
critical issues surrounding air quality and climate change. To address these issues, she conducts
atmospheric modeling with field and laboratory studies. The models accurately describe the fate and
transport of trace species and aid in the development of effective policies and management strategies
that safeguard human health, ecosystems, agricultural economies and security.

A symposium in in honor of Professor Lisa McElwee-White in recognition of her contributions to chemistry and in particular her mentorship of women in the field and in academia was presented at the 2019 Spring National ACS meeting in Orlando. Professor McElwee-White, in an effort to continue to promote awareness and recognition of women in the field, invited a dynamic panel of 21 speakers made up entirely of women. Speakers were from 12 states, Canada, and Scotland and featured Prof. Vy Dong (UC-Irvine) the 2019 Elias J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator award winner, Prof. Debbie Crans (Colorado State) the 2019 ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry award winner,  as well as 2019 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award winner and Queen's Distinguished University Professor Cathleen Crudden (Univ. British Columbia. The symposium was made up of 3 half day sessions with talks on a range of subjects including surface chemistry (Prof. Jill Millstone and Prof. Teri Odom), catalysis (Prof. Jennifer Love and Prof. Corinna Schindler) , plasmonic nanomaterials (Prof. Catherine Murphy), and f-element chemistry (Prof. Connie Lu, Prof. Anne LaPointe and Prof. Polly Arnold). The symposium was sponsored by WCC and the Division of Inorganic Chemistry, the University of Florida as well as industrial sponsorship from Oakwood Chemical, Synquest Laboratories, IKA, Vigor and journal sponsors Inorganic Chemistry, Chemical Society Reviews, Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, Dalton Transactions, Chemical Science, Catalysis, Science, and Technology, Trends in Chemistry,  and Cell Press: Chem. A dinner in honor of the awardee Prof. McElwee-White, speakers, and guests was sponsored by Oakwood Chemical.


Submitted by: Anne Gorden



For 2019 Rising Star Antonella Converso, using chemistry to help people is an incredible gift.  She gets to do just that in her career as a medicinal chemist at Merck Research Labs in West Point, PA.  There she has worked on programs directed toward cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and most recently HIV/AIDS. Converso, who hails from Italy, moved to the United States after receiving a BS/MS in chemistry from the Università degli Studi della Calabria and earned a PhD in organic chemistry with Nobel Laureate K. Barry Sharpless at Scripps.  After post-doctoral studies with K.C. Nicolaou, also at Scripps, she joined Merck in 2006. Both these early mentors have a contagious passion for science that she herself shares. Among her many accomplishments, Antonella reported the first known allosteric inhibitors of Chk1 kinase for oncology. “There is much to learn off the beaten path,” she says, telling the story of how these compounds were discovered as part of a parallel effort within the main program.  She then moved on to study S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine hydrolase as a potential target to treat Alzheimer’s disease.  There she took a carbocyclic nucleoside lead Neplanocin A, worked through genetic toxicity issues, and developed a series of potent compounds with good ADME properties demonstrating in vivo efficacy in animal models of the disease.  Reflecting on this experience and the many hurdles overcome along the way, she advised, “Don’t give up if you believe in an idea.” In 2009, Antonella joined the newly formed Exploratory Chemistry department at Merck, “where,” she explained, “chemistry meets biology.”  And soon after she gave birth to twins! After maternity leave, her efforts shifted to HIV/AIDS, an area that she and her team have focused on for the past few years. Working in the early discovery space “you know where you started, but you don’t always know where you’ll end up,” she reflected, “so doubt and debate everything. And have fun while doing so!”#

With the theme of “30 Years of Eli Lilly Awards:  Career paths taken” the ACS Women Chemists Committee (WCC) kicked off a yearlong celebration for one of the longest and most successful awards managed by WCC at the Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast. The event was well attended with over 50  individuals including ACS Board members and members of the presidential succession, Eli Lilly company representatives, current and past winners of the Eli Lilly award as well as other ACS members. Following introductory remakes by the Kim Woznack, WCC Chair, three past winners were invited to discuss their careers. The three panelists and past Eli Lilly award winners were Anneli Joplin, Instructor of Visual Arts and Design at Rice University; Mindy Levine, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Rhode Island and Jana Olson, Content Creator, Phillips Morris International. One of the three panelists followed a more traditional path (academia).  The other two panelists described their journey into an alternative career (communication). Despite the different career paths, all three panelists offered several common messages for the current winners and the audience at large. The panelists stressed the importance of asking questions and advocating for what you need; for keeping an open mind about jobs and seeking inspiration from others in other fields.