To support the participation of students and/or postdocs at the Winter Enzyme Mechanisms Conference (EMC). The Award is administered by the Division of Biological Chemistry (DBC) of the American Chemical Society (ACS).


The award consists of travel support up to $2,000 for one graduate student or postdoc to attend the biannual winter Enzyme Mechanisms Conference. The award is distributed in alternate years.


Thomas Bruice, William Jencks, and Myron Bender founded the Winter Enzyme Mechanisms Conference in 1969 as a mechanism to foster collegial interactions within the community of chemists and biochemists interested in understanding the chemical basis for enzymatic catalysis and the regulation of enzyme action. The passing of William P. Jencks on January 5 of 2007 coincided with the 20th meeting of the Winter Enzyme Mechanisms Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, and this loss was felt keenly by many senior participants at that conference. The interest in recognizing Jencks’s many contributions to mechanistic enzymology, in a manner that would help to ensure the vibrancy of the community that he helped to create, resulted in the creation of the “Founders Travel Award” in 2008 with the financial help of multiple donors (members and friends of the DBC, former Bruice/Jencks/Bender students/postdocs).


Any student or postdoc attending and presenting at the EMC meeting can be selected for the Founders Travel Award. The current EMC meeting chair and organizing committee develops the criteria and process for selection, which may involve a competitive selection of the awardee from abstracts submitted to the conference or selection of a top presentation.


Following the EMC meeting, the chair informs the DBC treasurer of the awardee. The treasurer then reimburses the student/postdoc for allowable travel expenses (up to $2000).


The ACS Biological Chemistry Division will manage the investment of funds contributed for this award. The fund is held in a separate account.