The TarHelium
   Volume 39, Issue 3                                                                                                   January 2009

 Nicolle S. Tulve,

 Judi Price,
Copy Editor

 M. Pasquinelli,
& Address Information

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  J. Hines, Chair
  Marc ter Horst, Chair-Elect
  M. Pasquinelli, Secretary
  J. T. Bursey, Treasurer






















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The TarHelium is a publication of the North Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society.
-- for more information --

What's in this Issue

January 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

February 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
March 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
April 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat


During my year as Chair-Elect of our NC ACS section, I learned much about the operation and breadth of things in which the section is involved. It has become clear that the volunteer efforts of the Executive Committee and many others have served to make the NC ACS Section a highly visible and active one across the region we serve.

One of the many changes we faced was the change to a new Sectional Meeting format. That change resulted in a spring meeting with an ACS Tour speaker and a Fall meeting in the evening with the awards and posters. This is still a work in progress as we will try to add more and more elements to the aspects of the change that worked for us.

We will begin our 2009 year with an ACS Tour Speaker, Dr. Yorke Rhodes, on January 21st covering the topic of AstroChemistry followed by another ACS Tour Speaker on February 18th on the Chemistry of Chocolate. Both should be enjoyable. A new endeavor on our list this year will be sponsoring a "Science Caf�" for which we have received a supporting grant from the national ACS. We also continued to increase our involvement and support, by way of Laura Sremaniak, Melissa Pasquinelli and Sara Paisner, of our Women Chemists Committee (WCC), and with our discussion groups. Perhaps our biggest undertaking will be sponsoring the 2012 Southeastern Regional Meeting (SERM) of the ACS here in the RTP. Our section has previously sponsored the 1984, 1998, and 2004 meetings which were highly successful events from the national ACS perspective. We submitted our bid, won it, and have begun planning for the event which will need many volunteers for what will be a highly rewarding experience.

Please begin your 2009 year being an active member of your ACS section and volunteering some of your time and expertise to help continue our activities into 2009 and beyond. You can contact me ( or any of the NC ACS Executive Committee members you find on our web site at:
for information.

Best regards,

John Hines


Several strategic changes that NC ACS initiated in 2007 have resulted in some excellent improvements in 2008 to the NC ACS Local Section's programs. The newly programmed Fall Local Section Meeting was well attended and featured a technical poster session including more than 40 posters, a Distinguished Speaker lecture, and a Marcus Hobbs Award presentation. The Local Section further presented two successful dinner meetings in 2008, dedicated to fostering social interaction among section members, and featuring an entertaining speaker. In 2008, the Section also restructured its scholarship program based on recommendations by its Scholarship Committee. The scholarship program includes one annual application cycle in the spring, with increased scholarship research award amounts as well as modest cash awards to be presented directly to the winners at the Local Section Meeting. Here are some additional details and highlights of the wide variety of events and programs that NC ACS hosted and supported during 2008 in furtherance of the chemical enterprise and the continued growth of ACS.
  • First Dinner Meeting, March 18. This event was held at Porter's City Tavern in Raleigh, and included dinner and an entertaining presentation by Dr. Thomas Holme on "Chemistry, Society and Science Fiction."

  • Richard D. Gilbert Award Symposium, March 27. This symposium for students engaged in polymer research was presented by the NC ACS Polymer Discussion Group, and was held at the N.C. State University Club.

  • 25th Triangle Chromatography Symposium and Instrument Exhibit, May 15. This symposium, presented by the NC ACS Triangle Chromatography Discussion Group, was held at the McKimmon Center, Raleigh.

  • NBC17 Health Fair, May 17-18. NC ACS provided volunteers to help run this event at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, which included fun family activities and health information designed to raise community health consciousness.

  • Polar Palooza, May 24-25. NC ACS provided volunteers to help run this event at the N.C. Museum of Natural Science, which included tales of adventure and science for youth, told by a charismatic cast of characters.

  • Second Dinner Meeting, September 16. This event was held at the Mez Mexican Restaurant in Durham, and included dinner and an entertaining presentation by Dr. Ned Heindl on "Tinctures, Tonics and Patent Medicines - A History of Commercialized Quackery."

  • Women Chemists Committee, October 4. WCC held a networking brunch at Caf� Carolina and Bakery, attended by 20 women from the RTP area.

  • NC State Fair, October 16-26. NC ACS again presented a booth staffed with many volunteers, including live stage shows with demonstrations of chemistry and physics.

  • National Chemistry Day, October 18. NC ACS also presented a booth staffed with volunteers, and live stage shows, at this event held at the N.C. Museum of Natural Science.

  • 122nd Annual Local Section Meeting, October 28. This event was held at the N.C. Biotechnology Center, and included a Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Michael Crimmins of UNC-Chapel Hill on "Enantioselective Synthesis of Heterocyclic Natural Products", presentation of the Marcus Hobbs Service Award to Dr. Joan Bursey, and a technical poster session.

  • Project SEED. Under the expert guidance of Ken Cutler and with the financial support of the Wellcome Foundation, our Project SEED summer program for economically-disadvantaged high school students for 2008 included 40 students, including some students from outside the Triangle area who lived on the Duke Campus. The SEED students spent 10 weeks working in Duke, UNC-CH, and NCSU labs under faculty mentorship and also received educational support from the N.C. Project SEED Staff. As has always been the case, many of the N.C. SEED students successfully applied for admission to colleges and universities and for scholarships, thus increasing the diversity of our pool of future chemists, scientists, and engineers.

It has been my pleasure to serve as 2008 Chair of NC ACS. The active members of NC ACS, including the Executive Committee, are a great group of people! I hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to take part in one or more of NC ACS's activities in 2009 and to get to know more of your fellow NC ACS Local Section members.

Jay M. Brown

2008 Chair


Astrochemistry:What's New in the Field of Astrochemistry?

Printer Friendly Announcement (pdf)


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

150 Park Drive, Research Triangle Park NC 27709-2168, USA.
Telephone: (919) 549-8631

5:30 pm - Cocktails
Cash Bar (Wine/Beer), Soft Drinks hosted; Social/Networking

6:30 pm - Fixed-Menu Dinner*
Tossed salad * Beef/potato or Chicken/rice, Mixed vegetable medley * Chocolate cake

7:30 pm - Speaker, Dr. Yorke E. Rhodes

You do NOT have to be an ACS member to attend! You may attend the presentation ONLY at no cost (7:30pm)!

* Fixed-Menu Dinner - Subsidized Advance Registration: $20 per person; $10 per student; limited to the first 40 persons and Advanced Registration payment must be received by Friday, January 17 (to meet the Radisson headcount deadline). See the Registration Page for dinner choices and advance registration instructions. Call (below) if you have registration questions.

Abstract "Astrochemistry: What's New�."
    At the dawn of the space age in the 1960s, a handful of molecules were known to exist off Earth. Since those days of early robotic exploration of the Moon and Mars, fly-bys with spectroscopy of the outer planets, and radio astronomy of distant areas of our own galaxy and parts of the universe have brought forth a burst of molecular information. About 120 molecules, some new and some known, have been identified to date. What types and kinds of molecules exist? What varieties of molecular species have been found? How did they form, where do they occur, and what mechanisms exist for molecular formation? Can we model and predict what other molecules may occur? How has interstellar organic chemistry evolved? The content of the talk varies and the level of the talk is adaptable to the audience present.
    Yorke Rhodes received a B.S. in soil chemistry from the University of Delaware in 1957, as Senior of the Year in the College, and then earned an M.S. in organic chemistry in 1959 with William A. Mosher and Darrel Lynch. After completing his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois in 1964 with Prof. James C. Martin, he was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow with Kenneth B. Wiberg at Yale University. He joined the faculty of New York University at the University Heights campus in 1965 and developed research areas in SO2 solvent chemistry, electrocyclic reactions, small ring chemistry, and carbocations, especially neighboring group cyclopropane-assisted cation rearrangements. He moved to the Washington Square campus in 1973 after a sabbatical leave with Horst Prinzbach at the Universitat Freiburg in West Germany. Work at he Square continued in carbocations, led to alkyl group migratory aptitude studies and to synthetic studies in silyl ketene acetal chemistry for synthesis of quaternary neopentyls. He was a State Department exchange visitor to Prague, Czechoslovakia, and Zagreb, Yugoslavia, in 1977 and was also Gastprofessor with Ivar Ugi at the Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) in 1977, followed by a stay in 1978 as Alexander von Humboldt U.S. Senior Scientist Awardee at the TUM with Ugi. NASA/IEEE Summer Fellowships were held at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories at Cal Tech in Pasadena with Wes Huntress in 1980 and 1981 (astrochemistry). In 1987, he was professor associe at the Centre d'Astrophysique, Universite de Grenoble, France, with Alain Omont (astro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon chemistry). Rhodes was awarded the Golden Dozen Award for Teaching Excellence in the College of Arts and Science in 1991, and again in 1996. Professor Rhodes has been director of the Dual Degree Program in Science and Engineering at New York University and Stevens Institute of Technology, Professor in a Residence in a University residence hall, and is very active in the New York Academy of Sciences and American Chemical Society local section activities, sponsoring a variety of symposia, poster sessions and other activities for students. He was chair of the ACS New York Section in 1998 and as an ACS Councilor was also a member of the "Local Section Activities Committee" and welcomes discussions about local sections. He has served on Department of Education review panels and is an educational consultant/evaluator for several undergraduate and high school research mentoring programs.


by Dr. Howard Peters

Sponsored by North Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

at the HAMNER CONFERENCE CENTER Congressional Room

NC Biotechnology Center
Research Triangle Park

Presentation begins at 7pm followed by Chocolate Dessert and Coffee

There is NO charge! PLEASE RSVP By emailing the number attending to so we can assure adequate seats and dessert

(RSVP deadline Monday, Feb. 16, for final head count)

You do NOT have to be an ACS member to attend!

For questions, please contact John Hines (919) 541-6647; or see the NC ACS Web Site at

Abstract, Directions, and Biographies follow.

Abstract: "Chocolate - Food of the Gods"

Chocolate has been a part of New World culture for thousands of years. This talk includes:

  1. Some high points of the history of chocolate and its production from the Mayan, Olmec and Aztec cultures up to the present;
  2. Aspects of the processing of the cocoa bean & pod, fermenting, drying, roasting, conching, tempering, blending and finishing;
  3. Some chemistry, biochemistry, and biology of chocolate and the active ingredient theobroma cocoa (literally from the Greek - Food of the Gods);
  4. Some health aspects (flavanoids, polyphenols & other anti-oxidants) that this exotic food is good for you;
  5. A discussion about aspects of the "dark side" of chocolate; and
  6. A few circulating legends (& trivial connections) about chocolate. For attendees who stay to the "bitter" end, there will be a free drawing for a 10 pound bar of Guittard "bittersweet" chocolate. You must be present to win. For more information, see (home page and some old slides in PPT on the second page under the Presentations bar) and p.2-3)

Map and Directions

North Carolina Biotechnology Center
15 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

Directions from I-40:

  • Take I-40 to the Research Triangle Park (RTP).
  • Where I-40 splits in RTP, take Exit 279-B, bearing right onto the Durham Freeway North (147).
  • Take the Alexander Drive exit (Exit 7) and turn left onto Alexander.
  • Go through one immediate traffic light, then turn left at the next light into the driveway opposite GlaxoSmithKline.
  • Go up the hill and bear right, into the Biotechnology Center's driveway.
  • Follow sign for visitors parking.


Howard Peters - is a 1962 graduate of Geneva College , Beaver Falls PA (& hometown of Joe Namath). He earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Stanford University in 1967 under the late Dr. Harry S. Mosher. After 12 years in industry first with The Dow Chemical Co. in Midland MI and then SRI International in Menlo Park, CA in high explosives research, he received his Juris Doctor in law from Santa Clara U. in 1978. He was first a chemical patent attorney with SYNTEX (The Pill and ALEVE) and then was in private patent law practice for 12 years with Phillips Moore Lempio & Finley LLP of San Francisco and Palo Alto. He was a cofounder of the boutique patent law firm, now Peters Verny LLP of Palo Alto, in 1996 and retired from active practice in 2007. He is a 46 year member of the ACS and has 30 years of service on the ACS Council (of 500). He was a co-founder of the ACS Division of Chemistry and the Law in 1983 (now celebrating its 25 th anniversary). He received the 2007 ACS Henry Hill Award for advancing chemistry as a profession. From 2005-7, Howard served as a member of the ACS Board of Directors and was the unsuccessful candidate for ACS President-elect in 2007. In April 2008, he received the annual Geneva College Life G Award to recognize community service and public outreach. He is the author of the ACS reference book, Understanding Chemical Patents, 2nd, 1991 and is currently working of the next update.

Sally Peters - is a graduate in chemistry of Geneva College (1964). She did work in tobacco mosaic virus research at Stanford under Dr. Hubert Loring (the chemist who first crystallized the polio virus) and then worked briefly in the Swain Chemistry Library at S tanford. In 1983 she earned a Masters degree in Library Science at San Jose State U. She has been a chemical information specialist at PARC, INC (formerly XEROX PARC) in Palo Alto CA for 25 years. She served as the 2001 Chair of the ACS Santa Clara Valley Local Section and has served as a member of the ACS Council for 15 years. Sally received the Geneva College Outstanding Alumni Service Award (1997) and the ACS - SCV Section's Ottenberg Award in 2001. She has organized the high school level ACS -United Nations Chemistry Olympiad competition in the Silicon Valley since 2001.


The business card for Mr. and Mrs. Chocolate (aka Howard, PhD '67, and Sally Peters), says, "Have Chocolate-Will Travel." Still, it was a treat to be invited aboard the Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 as last-minute replacements for the guest speakers. The Peterses, who have chemistry backgrounds, gave a presentation on chocolate (with a raffle for 10 pounds of Guittard bittersweet for those who "stayed to the bitter end"). Howard Peters, a longtime Palo Alto patent attorney, also spoke about immigrants and patents and about Joseph Priestley, "the British father of American chemistry." It was, he says, "tough duty-but, then, someone has to do it."


--contributed by Bill Switzer, NCSU

The theme of the 2008 State Fair was Green NC. There were a number of new exhibitors several of whom had interesting stage shows. As a consequence we had less stage time than usual, but our stage shows continued to be among the most popular. The new theme, which will continue in 2009, fits better with the demonstrations that we have done than in past years.

We continued to make butterflies from coffee filters, pipe cleanser, and magic markers, as well as focus on states of matter doing demonstrations with liquid nitrogen and dry ice. For a number of years we have demonstrated a model internal combustion engine by popping a cork from a bottle with an air-alcohol explosion. We added demonstrations of working models of a steam engine and a Stirling engine. We operated the steam engine using liquified carbon dioxide and liquid nitrogen showing that it is the condensed state to gas conversion that makes the engine work. Heat is required, but the temperature doesn't need to be hot. We also operated the steam engine from compressed air showing that pressurized air can also be used to store energy. We linked videos of vehicles operating from compressed air and liquid nitrogen. The Stirling engine is a true hot air engine which works because of the thermal expansion of a gas when heated. We also showed a video of the working antique Stirling engine on display in the Antique Farm Equipment Exhibit at the State Fair. In addition to these model engines, we also had a working model hybrid solar electric/fuel cell car. One of our volunteers also brought a thermo electric power source. We are always looking for new demonstrations that are safe, interesting and do not make much of a mess. Please keep thinking about new demonstrations and contact Bill Switzer at at any time to convey these ideas.

We were fortunate to have a large number of volunteers from both academic and non-academic institutions, including Campbell, Duke, Elon, Meredith, NCCU, NCSU, UNC Chapel Hill, Wake County Public schools, Barber Analytical, BIOplastics/CYCLERtest Inc., Closure Medical, EPA, GSK, IBM, Lord Corp, MycoFuels, NC DENR, NIEHS, PPD, Reichold, RTI, and Telecris. Special thanks to Ken Krebs for scheduling volunteers and to Jim Ellenson, Jared Hayman, Sol Levine, Ken Lyles, and Bill Switzer who did stage shows and helped supervise volunteers on site!

We look forward to having you volunteer with us in 2009. Watch for the announcement requesting volunteers in the early fall.

The pictures below have been contributed by Ken Lyle.

To view the complete set of photographs, click here.


Chair-elect, 2009 Marc ter Horst
Treasurer Joan Bursey
Councilor Jim Chao
Alternate CouncilorRussell Gorga

Marc ter Horst, Chair-Elect

Marc ter Horst currently serves as NMR Spectroscopist and co-Director of the Chemistry Department's NMR Facility at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Marc provides training and expertise in the use of NMR applied to solid, liquid, gaseous and heterogeneous samples while doing his part to maintain seven NMR spectrometers. Marc is a member of the Biofuels Advisory Board for Central Carolina Community College, the Steering Committee for the NC ACS Triangle Magnetic Resonance (TriMR) Group and committees for the ACS booth at the NC State Fair and the Southeast Regional ACS (SERMACS) meeting. This year, he was elected to the UNC-CH Employee Forum and serves on its Executive Committee. He has also served in various capacities in support of the public school system, including school based management teams, officer positions in PTA's, parent representative in district committees and science night at the middle school.

Marc obtained a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1994 with Cynthia Jameson combining gas phase NMR spin relaxation measurements with molecular simulations to investigate potential energy surfaces. He then worked on reactive potential energy surfaces and simulations with George Schatz at Northwestern University. With a desire to get back into NMR, a post-doc position with Hilary Godwin at Northwestern brought experience in applying NMR to lead binding. Marc then worked in bioNMR at the University of Chicago with Michael Weiss and the biochemistry NMR facility. The range of experiences prepared him well for the Chemistry NMR Facility at UNC-CH where he started in October 2000.

Joan Bursey, Treasurer

Dr. Joan Bursey is currently a participant in the EPA's Senior Environmental Employee (SEE) program, working for the Decontamination and Consequences Management Division (DCMD) of the National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC). In this position, Dr. Bursey creates and maintains a Virtual Library for DCMD (more than 15,000 documents so far and still growing!!), performs literature searches, performs Quality Assurance reviews, technical reviews, and editorial reviews of a wide variety of EPA documents. Dr. Bursey was born in Nebraska (a looooong time ago, as her husband is fond of reminding her) and is married to Dr. Maurice Bursey (Department of Chemistry, UNC-CH, retired). Undoubtedly because Dr. Bursey and her husband are both scientists, their two children are professional violists, each playing with local symphonies in North Carolina, Tennessee and Massachusetts.

Dr. Bursey received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California (Berkeley), specializing in organic mass spectrometry. She came to North Carolina on a post-doctoral fellowship at UNC-CH, working for Dr. Maurice Bursey (to whom she was not married at the time). After she married Dr. Maurice Bursey and the post-doctoral fellowship at UNC was finished (and could not be renewed because of NC anti-nepotism policies), Dr. Joan Bursey worked at the Research Triangle Institute for 14 years, eventually becoming manager of the RTI mass spectrometry laboratory. Dr. Bursey's areas of interest at RTI included biomedical mass spectrometry (focusing on birth control drugs and drugs of abuse) and environmental applications of mass spectrometry. Upon leaving RTI, Dr. Bursey worked for Radian Corp. until the purchase of Radian by Dow Environmental necessitated the sale of Radian's then active EPA contracts to Eastern Research Group (ERG). Radian staff working on these contracts were offered positions by ERG, where Dr. Bursey worked for nearly 20 years in the areas of environmental mass spectrometry and contract management until she was laid off by ERG and joined EPA's SEE program.

Jim Chao, Councilor

James Lee Chao received his B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois- Urbana in 1975 and 1976. He earned his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California-Berkeley in molecular spectroscopy in 1980.

Jim currently works at IBM AlphaWorks in business development with a mission to accelerate technology commercialization as an Emerging Technologies Strategist. For many years, Jim has collaborated on time-resolved infrared spectroscopy research interests as an adjunct professor at Duke University.

Jim has served the North Carolina Local Section in a number of capacities including Chairman (1991), Alternate Councilor (1992), and Councilor since 1993. As Chair of the Section, he reinstated the Section's participation in Project SEED. In 1990, he was involved with fundraising for the National ACS Campaign for Chemistry. From 1997-2001, he served on the International Activities committee. He is currently serving as member on the Committee on Patents and Related Matters and now serves as subcommittee chair of National Awards. His subcommittee is responsible for preparing nominations by the ACS Board of Directors for the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology and the National Women's Hall of Fame.

He was responsible for introducing the North Carolina section to the NC State Fair in 1996 where we have had continuous participation for public outreach collaborating with the NC Dept. of Agriculture.

Jim has served the section as the Scholarship Committee Chairman from 1992-98 and has since been a member on the selection committee. In 1997, Jim was the recipient of the Marcus E. Hobbs Service Award from the Section.

Russell Gorga, Alternate Councilor

Russell E. Gorga is an assistant professor in Textile Engineering at NC State University and a member of the graduate faculty in the Fiber and Polymer Science program. He is currently involved in creating novel nanocomposite fibers that can be used for novel applications (such as tissue scaffolds and filtration media). His research interests include nanotube/polymer composites, melt spinning and extrusion, electrospinning, and interfacial properties between polymers and particles. Before coming to NC State, Russell was a post-doctoral associate at MIT where he worked on improving the strength of brittle polymers. Earlier, Russell worked as a research engineer at Union Carbide Corporation from 1997 through 2000, where he focused on structure-property relationships of semi-crystalline polymers for high strength commodity applications. Russell received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Iowa State University where his doctoral work focused on developing relationships between molecular-micro-macro properties of polymer-polymer interfaces. Specifically, interfacial strength was mechanistically related to miscibility and mobility characteristics of the polymer constituents. He received a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Science in Materials Engineering from Drexel University.


North Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society
ACS Polymer Discussion Group

Richard D. Gilbert Award Symposium for Students in Polymer Science

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Polymer Discussion Group of the North Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society announces its annual Richard D. Gilbert Award Symposium. The symposium will give students engaged in polymer research a forum in which to share their results, and to see other current work in the RTP area. Participants will compete for the Richard D. Gilbert Award in Polymer Science.

WHO?RTP area graduate students engaged in polymer research
WHAT? Student Research Symposium and Award Competition
WHEN? At the NC State University Club (4200 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC) on Thursday, April 9, 2009.

Papers are due THURSDAY March 19, 2009.*

  1. Honor Professor Richard D. Gilbert, who was a leading teacher and researcher in polymer science in North Carolina

  2. Gain valuable experience in presenting your research results

  3. Improve your professional exposure and be recognized by area students, university faculty, and industrial scientists for your research efforts
PRIZES Monetary Prizes for: First Place, Second Place, Third Place, and Top Poster

*Papers must be submitted by March 19, 2009 at 5 pm to Prof. Wendy Krause ( Papers should consist of no more than two 8-1/2" x 11" pages. The style of the papers should be similar to an ACS extended abstract. Formatting is left to the authors� discretion, but the font size must be 11 point or larger. Papers must include the name, address, daytime phone number and e-mail address of the student and faculty advisor. Submissions should be in PDF format with a file name in the format of krause-w_09.pdf.

Papers will be judged on scientific content, merit, and presentation. Since the emphasis will be on the student's own work, the number of authors should be minimal. However, acknowledgements of colleagues and citations of other key research in the area are encouraged. The top three abstracts will be selected, and those three students will present their work as a 15-minute lecture at the Symposium. Each will be honored with a certificate and a cash award. The remaining entrants will present their research in a poster session. A certificate and cash award will be made for the most outstanding poster, based on the same criteria as above.

Note: Students wishing to present a poster and not be considered for the top three prizes may do so by submitting a brief abstract to Prof. Wendy Krause ( by 5 pm on April 2, 2009. Please send questions to

The Polymer Discussion Group thanks Lord Corporation for providing the awards.

Printer Friendly PDF Version


The 13th Annual Richard D. Gilbert Awards in Polymer Science were presented at the Richard D. Gilbert Polymer Science Symposium held in May at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh. The awards, funded by Lord Corp., are meant to encourage excellence in polymer science and engineering.

From left to right:Young Jhon, Shreya Paul, Doris Gilbert,
James Brock, and Derrick Stevens.

    First place:
      A commemorative certificate and $500 was awarded to Derrick Stevens from NC State University for "Polymer composites: percolation and dimensionality" (Advisor: Laura Clarke).

    Second place:
      A commemorative certificate and $400 was awarded to James Brock from UNC Chapel Hill for "Understanding tension in adsorbed bottle-brush polymers using molecular dynamics simulations" (Advisor: Michael Rubinstein).

    Third place:

      A commemorative certificate and $300 was awarded to Young Jhon from NC State University for "The effects of monomer sequence distribution and isotope substitution on solution phase behavior of random copolymers" (Advisor: Jan Genzer).

    Poster prize:

      A commemorative certificate and $200 was awarded to Shreya Paul from NC State University for "Breathable barrier nonwoven fabrics using surface modified polypropylene/thermoplastic polyurethane laminates" (Advisor: Behnam Pourdeyhimi).

The symposium and the awards are named after Richard D. Gilbert, a founding member of the ACS North Carolina Section Polymer Discussion Group, which sponsored and hosted the symposium. This was the second symposium since the passing of Professor Gilbert. Professor Gilbert's widow, Doris Gilbert, presented the awards. Students and recent graduates in the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina are eligible to be nominated for the awards. Contact Russell Gorga ( for more information.


Thursday, May 21, 2009
McKimmon Conference and Training Center
NCSU, Raleigh, NC

Things to look for:
  • Lunch: Served on-site as part of the registration fee.
  • Exhibitor Seminars: Seminar Rooms where Exhibitors will give presentations on state-of-the-art topics.
  • Prize Drawing: Contributions by many of the Exhibitors - Grand Prize contributed by the TCDG.
  • Refreshments: Available in the Exhibit Hall (AM and PM).
  • Continuing Education: GLP/GMP (Certificates of Attendance).
  • Poster: Local student competition; local university and industry research; vendor developments.
  • Exhibit-Only Registration: FREE!!
  • TCDG Election: Opportunity to vote for TCDG Officers.

Check the TCDG website for more information as it becomes available:


-- Contributed by Denise Sherman, Staff Writer

WENDELL - When 17-year-old Giovanni Leon heard about the six-week summer science program called Seed, he envisioned students touring labs and watching scientists work. "When they told me, 'you will be conducting research,' I was shocked," says Leon, a senior at East Wake High School.

By the end of the summer at N.C. State University, he had a body of work that he entered into the Siemens Science Competition. Leon's research was weighted against 1,200 other students' nationwide. And the result - he was named a semi-finalist. The competition is sponsored by the Siemens Foundation, which uses the Siemens' companies as a guide for its benevolence in science, technology, engineering and math in the United States.

The Seeds program gives minorities and disadvantaged students the opportunity to work with scientists on research projects in industrial, academic and federal laboratories.Leon was one of twelve North Carolina high school students who made it to the top of the competition. They received the distinction and prizes like video recorders and flash drives.

Ten of those honored were from Project Seed. Nine of the students attend the N.C. School of Science and Math. Leon tells his tale with a refreshing candor, humility, idealism, enthusiasm, humor and wisdom. For instance, when he explains his paper he prepared, "Differential Incorporation of Cholesterol by Sindbis Virus Grown in Delipidated Insect Cells," he tells the experiences that went into learning about it himself.

With the dense facts swirling around, he couldn't write notes, and listen to his professors at the same. He spent 10 hours at N.C. State, two in class in seven in the lab, plus another two and a half hours studying each night to master the material. He learned that previous studies showed cholesterol was required for reproduction of the Sindbis virus, a mosquito-borne virus. Yet research had only been conducted on one type of mosquito cell line and only using one chemical method to extract cholesterol from a cell. In Leon's study, he used three types of cholesterol delipidation methods, the process of using chemicals to remove a substance. He also used three types of mosquito cell lines to test the results of the previous studies. Strikingly, his work produced new results. He found the virus does not require cholesterol in order to reproduce. Learning more about the Sindbus Virus will help scientists understand more about complex viruses such as West Nile virus and Dengue Fever, Leon says.

All this attention is a lot to take in. "When I heard the news (of the award), I was surprised," he says. "I was speechless. I hadn't heard of anybody in my family or anybody at East Wake ever winning an award like this. After I got home, I was proud, extremely proud." Leon says he then thought about all the people who had helped him. He thought of his parents, Emilio and Albairis Leon, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico before he was born. His father is now a U.S. citizen and his mother is a permanent resident. "When the project Seed director started explaining what the Siemens actually is, they (his parents) were proud. They said where do you want to go out to eat." He thought of chemistry teacher Cathy McCluskey who first suggested Leon apply to project Seed. Chemistry isn't his best subject, math is. She helped him with his application and to prepare for an interview, Leon recalls. His preceptor or mentor who was paired with Leon at State is trying to get Leon's paper published in a scientific journal.

His older sister Ruby, a student at UNC and the first in his extended family to go to college, taught him to dream big. "She's the one who encouraged me in the beginning to reach far then go farther than what I had planned," he says. "When I first entered high school, I never thought I'd go to a four-year college. I thought I'd go straight into the workplace." Now, he plans on becoming a surgeon, and plans to apply to Harvard, UNC, Duke or Wake Forest.

Leon wants more for his family. Until he was injured at work, his father worked two jobs as do all the people in his extended family. He draws disability that supports a family of five. Most of Leon's cousins have dropped out of high school. "We (Ruby) noticed it was pretty much like a circle," he says. "You pretty much ended up doing what your parents do. Most Hispanics don't do research. There's got to be a change. If I can do it. Anybody can do it."

Contact Denise Sherman at 269-6101, ext. 101, or


The Executive Committee invites all NC ACS members to nominate worthy individuals for the MARCUS E. HOBBS SERVICE AWARD and the NC ACS DISTINGUISHED LECTURER AWARD. Descriptions of these awards are listed below. Both awards will be presented at the 2009 NC ACS Local Section Dinner Meeting in the fall.

Nomination packages should be forwarded to Sol Levine at the contact information listed at the end of this article. The nomination deadline for both awards is MAY 1, 2009.

Distinguished Lecturer Award:

The NC ACS Distinguished Lecturer award was established in 1982. The nomination package should include a nominating letter summarizing the nominee's research contributions, a CV, and up to two additional letters of support. Past award winners can be found at:

The Marcus E. Hobbs Service Award:

The Marcus E. Hobbs Service Award was established in 1988 to recognize members who have made significant, long-term contributions to the North Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society. The award was named for Marcus E. Hobbs, Department of Chemistry, Duke University, a model member who worked closely with the North Carolina Section since serving as Chair in 1945. Past award winners can be found at:
The nomination package should include a nominating letter summarizing the contributions the nominee has made to the NC ACS Local Section and a CV.

Completed applications should be sent not later than MAY 1, 2009 to:

Save the Date - - May 30-31, 2009

NBC 17 Health and Fitness Expo
May 30-31, 2009; 10 am to 5 pm
Jim Graham Building,
NC State Fairgrounds
Raleigh, NC

More details coming soon��


The North Carolina Section of the ACS (NC ACS) is pleased to announce its annual call for undergraduate scholarship applications. Up to three scholarships of $4,000 each may be awarded to undergraduate students who will actively be conducting research in the chemical sciences. The decisions to award one or more scholarships, and the amount(s) of these scholarships, are within the sole discretion of the Executive Committee of the NC ACS. Two of the scholarships will be named in honor of distinguished NC ACS members, Dr. Ernest Eliel and Mr. Howie James.

    Dr. Eliel was a W. R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and was a central figure in the field of stereochemistry. Some of his many awards, accomplishments, and recognitions, include being a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Guggenheim Fellow, and receiving the Lavoisier Medal of the Chemical Society of France. He served as President of the American Chemical Society, and received its highest recognition, the Priestley Medal, in 1995.

    Mr. Howie James was an Executive Technical Sales Representative with the Waters Corporation and a long standing member of the Triangle Chromatography Discussion Group (TCDG). He was very active in planning and executing TCDG workshops, seminars, and the annual Triangle Symposium and Instrument Exhibit.

Additional details and eligibility criteria for the undergraduate scholarships are presented below. If you have any questions concerning the application instructions or requirements, please contact Keith Levine (

How to Apply:

  • To be considered for a scholarship, the student must be an undergraduate attending and conducting research at a university within the Local Section. Applications from outside of the NC ACS geographical area will not be considered.
  • Applications must be submitted online:
  • In addition to the application, a letter of recommendation from the student's research advisor must be sent as an e-mail attachment to the scholarship committee chair:
  • To be considered, applications must be submitted by April 3, 2009.
  • Applicants are not required to be ACS members.
  • All applicants will be notified by e-mail about the status of their application by May 1, 2009. The NC ACS will begin distributing awards on May 8, 2009.
Award Details and Requirements:

  • Award recipients will be required to present their research findings at an NC ACS Conference, TCDG Conference, an ACS regional or national meeting, or a similar venue.
  • Award funds will be distributed in two payments. The first payment ($3,500) will be sent to the academic department where the student is conducting research. These funds can only be used by the student or the student's advisor to pay for reagents, instrument components or labware, copies, books, software, student travel costs for presentation of scholarship-funded research results, and the student's research salary.
  • The second payment ($500) will be presented directly to the student upon completion of a presentation of research findings at one of the above described venues.
  • As part of the scholarship, all award recipients will be presented with an ACS student affiliate membership.

Novartis Early Career Award in Organic Chemistry

-- contributed by C&EN, Chemical and Engineering News,
December 1, 2008, p. 27

Jeffrey S. Johnson of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has been awarded the Novartis Early Career Award in Organic Chemistry for 2008. This award is presented annually to outstanding scientists within ten years of having established an independent academic research career in the areas of organic or bioorganic chemistry in the broadest sense. Two winners are identified each year, one from Europe and one from North America, each of whom receives an unrestricted research grant.

Jeffrey S. Johnson earned his Ph.D. in 1999 from Harvard University working with Professor David Evans. After completing postdoctoral studies in the group of Professor Robert Bergman at the University of California, Berkeley he joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001 where he has established a highly innovative synthetic methodology program. Professor Johnson has made pioneering contributions to the field of catalytic asymmetric reactions of acylsilanes, Lewis acid catalyzed dipolar cycloaddition reactions and metal-catalyzed electrophilic aminations, often driven by careful mechanistic studies.


William L. Switzer joined the ACS in the 1960's shortly before finishing graduate school. During the early '70's, while working for Beckman Instruments, he first became active in the Society, serving on the High School Awards Committee of his local section. In 1973, he accepted a position at North Carolina State University, and immediately began working in the North Carolina Local Section. Initially, he served as the Hospitality Chair, but soon took over the Education Committee where he was instrumental in organizing and teaching a series of continuing education workshops. In the late '79's, he was editor of the TarHelium, the local section newsletter. Later he served as the Section Chair and was instrumental in developing the Triangle Chromatography Discussion Group, the Polymer Discussion Group, and in organizing a series of local section conferences and symposia. Other local section activities include many years of organizing National Chemistry Week activities (leading to a Section Chemluminary award), additional service as the newsletter editor, and other leadership positions. He has served on the NC Local Section Executive Committee almost continuously for some 30 years and as an Alternate Councilor or Councilor for the Section for 20 years. In recognition for this work, he was awarded the Marcus Hobbs Award for Service to the North Carolina Section.

Professor Switzer's work at the Regional Level has been crucial to the development of the Southeast Region into arguably the most active Region in the ACS. In 1984, he served as the Publicity and Printing Chair for that year's SERMACS, an extremely challenging job in the days before online abstract submission. He went on to become General Chair of the 1998 SERMACS, the largest SERMACS ever held and one of the largest Regional meetings as well. He also served as the Program Chair of the 2004 SERMACS, which was another highly successful meeting. From 1994 until last year, Bill served almost continuously on the SERMACS Board of Directors, including two terms as Chair. He was instrumental in the effort to incorporate SERMACS and played a major role in the revision of the Bylaws that has put the Region on a very solid financial footing. He has also developed powerful internet-based tools for the Region, including an online meeting bid submission form, web forms for the Regional High School Teacher and the Regional Volunteer Service awards, and managing a list serve for the Region that has been critical to publicizing SERMACS to the ACS membership in the Southeast.

After the 2007 SERMACS, Bill stepped down from the Board, though due to his vast experience and deep concern for the Region, he continues to advise the group in an informal role. The SERMACS Board is profoundly grateful to William Switzer for his dedication and long service to the North Carolina Local Section and to the Southeast Region.

122nd NC ACS SECTIONAL CONFERENCE - October 28, 2008

The 122nd NC ACS Sectional Conference was held at the Hamner Conference Center at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in the Research Triangle Park on Tuesday, October 28, 2008. Over 90 scientists and students attended the evening meeting which included poster presentations and judging, awards presentations, and the Distinguished Speaker Presentation.

Over 40 posters were presented in two categories, undergraduate/graduate students (14), and high school students (26). Past NC ACS chairs provided the judging in a competition that resulted in 1st - 3rd place winners in each category:

Amanda Reams describes her work to Laura Sremaniak.

    Undergraduate/Graduate Students
      First Place ($300) -"Boranophosphate modified siRNA for use in RNA Interference Against Human Disease". Laura Moussa, Marcus Cheek, Barbara Ramsay Shaw, Duke University.

      Second Place ($200) - "Exploring New Treatment Options for Tuberculosis". Elke Feese, Reza A. Ghiladi, North Carolina State University.

      Third Place ($100) - "Analysis of Single DNA Molecules Translocating through Nanochannels Fabricated in SiO2". Laurent D. Menard, Steven A. Soper, Louisiana State University, J. Michael Ramsey, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    High School Students (Three tied for First Place, so all received $200)

      "Exploring Cell Signaling by using Microarray Patterning to Control Cell Placement on Self Assembled Monolayers". Haoming Xu, NC School of Science and Mathematics, Muhammad N. Yousaf, UNC Chapel Hill.

      "� hairpin Peptides as Receptors for DNA". Racheal N. Johnson, Dr. Marcey Waters, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Project SEED.

      "Finding a Structure Based Approach to Determine PAC 1 Activation Mechanism of (Pro)Caspase 3". Brandon Young, Dr. Clay Clark, North Carolina State University, Project SEED.

Two Spring 2008 Undergraduate Research Scholarships were announced. The awardees received $1,500 each and were received by:

    Eric Emilio-Gerrit Butter, UNC/Duke - Robertson Scholar (Advisor, Dr. W. Lin Coker III) on designing nanoparticle emulsions and polymers to increase drug delivery payload and efficiency by analyzing the conformation and chemistry of target areas in bacteria and viruses.

    Sara Beth McSpadden, Campbell University, Chemistry Department (Research Advisor, Dr. Russ Mumper) on assessment of lead content in everyday objects. Sara also gave a poster at the conference on her work entitled "Lead: Could It Be In You? The Analysis of Children's Toys for Lead and How It Affects the Human Body".

Award recipients: Laurent Menard, Elke Feese, Laura Moussa,
Hiaoming Xu, Rachael Johnson, and Brandon Young.

The 2008 NC ACS Hobbs Service Award was presented to Dr. Joan Bursey, NCBA at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for her constant and long-term commitment to the Local Section, which goes back to 1969 when she arrived in NC for a postdoctoral fellowship.

The 2008 NC ACS Distinguished Lecturer Award was presented to Dr. Michael T. Crimmins of the Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Crimmins gave the Distinguished Speaker Presentation on "Enantioselective Synthesis of Heterocyclic Natural Products".


-- Contributed by Charlie Goss, GSK

NC ACS Dinner Meeting and Poster Session featuring a lecture on Science, Society and Science Fiction by Dr. Thomas A. Holme, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Tuesday, 18-Mar-2008

Porter's City Tavern, Raleigh, NC

Dr. Thomas A. Holme

Tinctures, Tonics, and Patent Medicines: A History of Commercialized Quackery
Ned Heindl, Lehigh University
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
MEZ Contemporary Mexican Restaurant

Ned Heindl and NC ACS Chair Jay Brown.

ACS Councilor Richard Palmer.

NC ACS Alt Councilor Al Tonelli.

National Chemistry Week Report

Saturday, October 18, 2008
-- Contributed by Meredith Storms, Ph.D.,
University of North Carolina at Pembroke,
NC ACS Local Section Event Coordinator

The NC ACS teamed with staff at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences ( to provide a day of educational activities in celebration of National Chemistry Week (NCW). Chemistry stage shows and hands-on experiments at this outreach event were related to the 2008 theme, "Having a Ball with Chemistry". Dr. Meredith Storms (University of North Carolina at Pembroke) once again served the Local Section as the NCW event coordinator. She and her team of volunteers received many positive comments from the 2,793 people who visited the Museum during the event. The event continues to be a great success and consistently attracts a large crowd for an exciting celebration of National Chemistry Week. We appreciate the volunteerism put forth by students and faculty groups from North Carolina State University, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Duke University, Scotland Early College High School, Broughton High School, and Lee County Schools in addition to industry scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency, and representatives from BeActive NC and local restaurant chefs and owners.

Weightless Lumbees (UNCP) demonstrate topics related to microgravity.

Broughton High School volunteers.
The NCSU Food Science Club demonstrated a Mentos explosion for Museum visitors. BeActive NC presented information related to sports in an effort to support the theme "having a ball with chemistry".

Environmental Protection Agency. 


Information on the NC ACS Local Section Discussion Groups can be found at the following web link:

Discussion groups include:


Check them out and consider joining a discussion group.


We will be hosting the SERMACS meeting in 2012. We are looking for hard-working, energetic individuals who would like to participate on the organizing committee. If you are interested, please contact one of the Executive Committee members who can provide you with more information. Thank you!!

Volunteer Opportunity for the NC ACS Local Section

NC ACS Local Section is seeking a highly motivated individual to serve as the Marketing/Advertising Director

The NC ACS Executive Committee (EC) seeks a marketing/advertising director to assist the EC in various activities. This is a volunteer position, as are all roles in the EC. Marketing efforts will be useful to the NC ACS in improving the visibility of the NC ACS in the local community and in increasing attendance at NC ACS events. Specific NC ACS activities for which the NC ACS seeks marketing expertise include, but are not limited to: boosting NC ACS membership; fostering an increase in student members; and encouraging attendance at the several events presented each year by the NC ACS. These events currently include a major meeting that features a Distinguished Lecture and Award; and one or more smaller meetings typically including dinner, cocktails and an entertaining speaker. Several times each year, the NC ACS electronically publishes a newsletter, "The TarHelium", to its membership. Advertising efforts, including sales of ad space in the TarHelium, will assist NC ACS in raising funds for its activities. The EC holds monthly meetings to address NC ACS business, which the marketing/advertising director will be encouraged to attend. Anyone having an interest in this position is invited to contact Jay Brown, 2008 NC ACS Chair, to discuss this volunteer opportunity.


It is extremely important to keep ACS informed of your current contact information. If you have had a change in your address, phone number, or email address, please contact ACS to update your information. In addition to your old and new contact information, include your membership ID, which is the 8-digit number in the upper left hand corner of the C&E News address label when you correspond with ACS.

Postal mail:

    Manager, Member & Subscriber Services, ACS
    P.O. Box 337
    Columbus, OH 43210


    (800) 333-9511
    (614) 447-3776



The NC ACS Local Section Executive Committee will hold meetings on the first Wednesday of every Month. February 4th, March 4th, April 1nd, May 6th, and June 3rd at the Hamner Institute in the Research Triangle Park at 4:30 pm. Members are welcome and encouraged to attend.


    The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences
    6 Davis Drive
    P.O. Box 12137
    Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2137


    Coming from I-40 WEST:
      Exit 280 Davis Drive
      Right onto Davis Drive
      The Hamner is the second campus on the left. (There is a left turn lane here).

    Coming from I-40 EAST:

      Exit 280 Davis Drive
      Right onto Davis Drive Continue through one stoplight
      The Hamner is the second campus on the left. (There is a left turn lane here).


J. Hines
(RTI), Chair 2009
M. ter Horst
(UNC-CH),Chair-Elect 2009
M. Pasquinelli
Secretary (2008-2009)
J. T. Bursey
Treasurer (2009-2010)
N. S. Tulve
TarHelium Editor (2006-present)
B. N. Chaney
Councilor (2008-2010)
J. L. Chao
Councilor (2009-2011)
A. L. Crumbliss
(Duke Unviersity)
Councilor (2007-2009)
S. Paisner
(Lord Corporation)
Councilor (2008-2010)
L. Sremaniak
Councilor (2008-2010)
R. A. Palmer
Councilor (2007-2009)
R. Gorga
Alt. Councilor (2009-2011)
K. E. Levine
Alt. Councilor (2008-2010)
K. Lyle
(Duke University)
Alt. Councilor (2007-2009)
N. Oberlies
Alt. Councilor (2007-2009)
K. Tomer
Alt. Councilor (2008-2010)
J. Brown
(Law Offices of Jay Brown)
Past Chair 2008
A. Tonelli
Alt. Councilor (2008-2010), Past Chair 2007
C. Goss
Past Chair 2006
S. Levine
(NCSU, retired)
Past Chair 2005
M. Box
M. M. Bursey
(UNC-CH, retired)
Ex Officio
K. A. Cutler
Project Seed Ex Officio
A. Davis
TCDG, Ex Officio
S. Cooper
TCDG, Ex Officio
T. M. O'Connell
TMRDG, Ex Officio
M. Fitzgerald
TAMS, Ex Officio
E. C. Bigham
Director, District IV

Updated: February 17, 2009

North Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society
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