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WCC Newsletter

11 Posts authored by: Gail Webster

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. 

WCC Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast, Orlando, FL, April 1st, 2019, 7:30‐9am


“30 Years of Eli Lilly Awards: Career paths taken”


The ACS Women Chemists Committee (WCC) and Eli Lilly and Company sponsor a program to provide funding for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral female chemists to travel to meetings to present the results of their research. Awards are made based on scientific merit and financial need. Award winners are provided networking opportunities at ACS national meetings where the WCC hosts a poster session and reception for awardees. In addition, awardees are invited to the WCC Women in the Chemical Enterprise Breakfast and WCC Luncheon where they receive recognition. Through this program, WCC and Eli Lilly and Company continue to increase the participation of women in the chemical sciences. At the Women in Chemical Enterprise Breakfast in Orlando, we have invited previous Eli Lilly Award winners to discuss their career paths and answer questions.




7:30 am     Doors open

7:40 am - 7:40 am  Breakfast and introductions

7:50 am - 7:55 am  WCC Chair Welcome

7:55 am - 8:00 am   Past Eli Lilly winners introduction

8:00 am - 8:30 am   Panel members talk about their paths (Anneli Joplin, Mindy Levine, Jana Olson)

8:30 am - 8:40 am   Open discussion

8:40 am - 8:45 am   Tables network

8:45 am     Host’s concluding remarks and door prizes drawing


Submitted by Ean Warren and Lorena Tribe


Will you be attending the National Meeting in Orland, Florida? Please join us for a symposium, Tuesday April 2nd , highlighting the accomplishments of Dr. Ruth Baltus, the 2019 winner of the ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences. See the flier for the symposium here.

WCC_2019_Spring_Ruth Baltus_Symposium_flyer - Kim Woznack.png

Will you be attending the National Meeting in Orland, Florida? Please join us for a symposium, Monday April 1st, highlighting the accomplishments of the talented WCC Rising Stars. See the flier for the 2019 Rising Stars Award symposium here.

Gail Webster

From the WCC Chair

Posted by Gail Webster Mar 27, 2019

fall 2011 Dr. Kimberly Woznack 1 - Kim Woznack.jpg


Welcome to the Spring 2019 ACS-WCC Newsletter!


Just last week, the WCC collaborated with ACS Webinars for the webinar, “Advocating for Yourself: Stop Waiting for Yoda to Advance Your Career”. This webinar, which took place on Thursday March 21st from 2-3pm EDT, featured three panelists: Pushpa Murthy, Dorothy Phillips, and Kathleen Shultz each sharing advice about some of the challenges that may be faced by women and chemists from underrepresented backgrounds. The panelists also discussed approaches used to overcome challenges. We thank everyone who tuned in for the webinar and we will share the website link once the recorded webinar is available online.


During 2019 the WCC is very happy to be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the WCC Eli Lilly Travel Award. Due to the generosity of the Eli Lilly Company since the inception of the award in 1989 over 700 young investigators have been able to travel to their first national meeting to present the results of their work. We will have events at both the Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 ACS National meeting to celebrate this very important milestone.


Women Chemists Committee Breakfast- featuring past winners

Monday, April 1, 7:00 am–9:30 am, Hilton Orlando, Orlando IV


Women Chemists of Color Networking Event- focused on awards

Monday, April 1, 9:30 am–11:30 am, Hilton Orlando, Lake Sheen A


WCC–Eli Lilly Travel Award Poster Session

Tuesday, April 2, 11:00 am–12:00 pm, Hilton Orlando, Orlando III


WCC Eli Lilly Travel Awards 30th Anniversary Symposium

Tuesday, April 2, 1:30 am – 4:25 pm, Orange County Convention Center, Room W330B


WCC ‘Just Cocktails’ in Honor of the 30th Anniversary of WCC Eli Lilly Award

Tuesday, April 2, 1:30 PM - 4:30 PM, Hilton Orlando, Lake Nona A


The national WCC is very interested in strengthening both our communication and our collaboration with local WCC sections. We have been developing a local WCC officer/contact email list. If you would like to be added to this email list, please contact Kim Woznack (


Many people reach out to me and ask how they can become more involved with the work of the WCC.


  • Get involved with your local section, and find out if they have a local WCC.
  • Start a local WCC if none exists or is not active.
  • Reach out to us at national WCC ( if you are interested in any of the following opportunities:
    • Helping us with national meeting programming
    • Helping us with regional meeting programming
    • Helping with one of our advocacy task forces (non-tenure track faculty, awards nominations, sexual harassment prevention/awareness)
    • Helping Highlight the contributions of women (writing newsletter articles, social media or website work)
    • Reading for WCC Awards programs


Wishing you a Happy Spring 2019!


Kim Woznack