The Division of Biological Chemistry publishes its newsletter on an annual schedule. Hear the latest news from our Chair, and read about upcoming meetings and symposia, award nominations, officer elections, and travel grants.

Message from the Chair: Craig Townsend, Ph.D.

First, I hope all attendees to the ACS meeting in Washington DC in August enjoyed the meeting, especially the DBC program. For that, we thank Liz Hedstrom and the Program Committee for the excellent DBC sessions, and we thank Liz again as she passes the mantle to Shana Kelly as head of the Program Committee for 2018. We also acknowledge and thank Vahe Banderian for his service on the Program Committee. Chris Whitman retires as the DBC Treasurer at year’s end, and we thank him for his superb job in that role. Others who leave the DBC leadership team with our thanks for an excellent job include: Christine Hrycyna (Nominating Committee), Erin Carlson and Wendy Kelley (Councilors) and Aimin Liu and Karen Buchmueller (Alternate Councilors). Thank you all very much for your service and commitment to the Division.

The DBC leadership team met at the Washington meeting, and here are outcomes of our discussion. The DBC team agreed to, and is pleased to support the following conferences: Oxygen Radicals GRC (Feb 4-8, 2018), GRC Metallocofactors (June 10-15, 2018), Genetic Code Expansion Conference (August 9-11, 2018), GRC/GRS on Bioorganic Chemistry (June 9-15, 2018), GRC Metals in Biology (Jan 21-26, 2018), Metals in Medicine (June 24-29, 2018), R. Bryan Miller Symposium (March 15-16, 2018), 73rd Annual Southwest Regional Meeting (SWRM) Structural Biology symposium (Oct 29-Nov 1, 2017) and the Texas EMC (January 5-6, 2018).

DBC membership: The DBC leadership team is encouraging all of its members to contact 5 non-members they know and ask them to join the DBC if they have not already done so. The annual dues remain a meager $15, and the more who join our division, the more influence the DBC will bring to the Society and help our work to sustain the biological chemistry community. So please ask your friends to join. We invite you to gather with us in New Orleans (March 18-22, 2018) for some great science at the spring National meeting in a historic city.

Biochemistry. As all of you know, Prof. Alanna Schepartz became Editor of Biochemistry last year. She joined us at our business meeting in Washington to inform us about the status of the journal one year into her editorship, including changes and lack of changes. Alanna reported that she (and the ACS) wishes Biochemistry to remain the “go-to” journal for biological chemistry, including protein and cellular biochemistry and (mechanistic) enzymology. It also seeks to branch out into other areas including RNA biology and neurosciences. In the past year, the impact factor for the journal rose for the first time in a decade. While manuscript submissions for topics in mechanistic enzymology and structural biology remain steady in the past year, papers in synthetic and chemical biology are increasing, which could lead to increased total annual pages for the journal. This will necessitate increased rigor in peer review. Biochemistry now accepts articles as Communications and Perspectives with emphasis on younger authors. Biochemistry is also increasing its profile in social media (Facebook, Twitter), and the journal would be happy to receive videos from DBC members as to why you love Biochemistry.

I am very pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 ACS Biological Chemistry Division National Awards:

  • Professor Brad Pentelute is the recipient of 2018 Eli Lilly Award.
  • Professor Mohammad Seyedsayamdost is the recipient of the 2018 Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry
  • Professor Michael Gelb is the recipient of the 2018 Repligen Award in the Chemistry of Biological Processes

Lastly, mini-biographies of the award winners may be found in the full newsletter.

DBC Elections. November was elections month not only nationally but for the DBC! The following have been elected to officer roles on the DBC, beginning in the new year, and we congratulate them, as well as look forward to working with them!

Treasurer: Christine Chow
Program Committee: Mark Distefano
Nominating Committee: Sarah Michel
Councilors: Barb Golden and Lana Saleh
Alternate Councilors: Tonya Zeczycki and Andy Fisher

Best wishes, and I hope to see you in New Orleans,

Craig Townsend

Chairman, Division of Biological Chemistry

Other information found in the newsletter (award nomination information, future regional meetings, etc.) can be found throughout this site.

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