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.

As entering Chairman of the Biological Division, I want to thank you for your support and for entrusting me and your elected officers to continue the work of the BIOL division in the year ahead. I am deeply grateful to outgoing Chairman Dewey McCafferty for his leadership over the past two years, and for his help and advice, and that of Ben Liu, Dewey’s predecessor, in making this transition. I encourage you to visit the BIOL website from time to time to keep up with events, and to participate in local and National Meetings. It is the commitment and engagement of all of us that sustains and renews the biological chemistry community.

I am joined in this enterprise by a team of excellent colleagues: Anne-Frances Miller, the new Chair-Elect, and by Tom Meek (Secretary) and Chris Whitman (Treasurer). I am fortunate to have these experienced hands at my side and thank them for their past and continuing help. Vahe Bandarian did an outstanding job as Program Chairman last year, a critical role to our mission that is headed up by Liz Hedstrom with the help of Shana Kelley, Phil Bevilacqua and Vahe. New to this office, I am pleased to have an Advisory Committee of the seasoned players Karen Allen, Michele Hamm, Suzanne Walker and Squire Booker. Our current Councilors are Erin Carlson and Wendy Kelly with Coran Watanabe and Andrew Murkin newly elected. The Alternate Councilors are Karen Buchmueller and Aimin Liu who are joined this year by Keri Colabroy and Rob Minto. The Nominating Committee consists of Christine Hrycyna, James Hougland and new member, Victoria DeRose. Welcome to all of you just beginning your terms in office. Yi Tang continues as our MPPG representative. We gratefully acknowledge the continued service of Paul Thomas as our Webmaster,  and I thank those now rotating off their positions for their outstanding service:  Craig Crews (Program Committee), Carol Fierke and E. James Petersson (Advisory Committee), Coran Watanabe (Nominating Committee), Christine Chow and Tom Magliery (Councilors) and Webster Santos and David Tierney (Alternate Councilors).

Our goal in organizing the program for the twice-yearly National Meetings is to have traditional thematic and award symposia that highlight both established and early career investigators. In addition to this familiar format, we will continue to organize sessions that focus on the research of young faculty, postdoctoral fellows and senior graduate students with exciting new science to report, much of it drawn from submitted abstracts. Our intention is that biochemists at all stages of their careers, from participants to presenters, will have opportunities for active participation through talks, posters and post-session receptions. To maximize their impact, all sessions are planned to occur at separate times. I hope you will join me in the open, intellectual health of the Division by interacting with scientists from all over the country.

Another important role of the BIOL Division is to provide financial support to a range of meetings which feature biological chemistry. At its business meeting during the Philadelphia ACS last August the officers voted to provide support for the following conferences: the 36th Midwest Enzyme Chemistry Conference, Gordon Research Conferences (and Seminar) on Bio-Organic Chemistry and Metals in Biology, the 68th Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society:  Symposia on Catalysis and Biocatalysis and Cutting Edge of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, the Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society – Chemical Biology Symposium, and the 25th Enzymes Mechanism Conference.

I am very pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 ACS Biological Chemistry Division National Awards:

  • Professor Howard Hang is the recipient of 2017 Eli Lilly Award.
  • Professor Emily Balskus is the recipient of the 2017 Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry
  • Professor Wilfred A. van der Donk is the recipient of the 2017 Repligen Award in the Chemistry of Biological Processes
  • Professor John A. Gerlt is the recipient of the Gordon Hammes ACS Biochemistry Lectureship
  • Professor Ben Cravatt is the recipient of the 2017 ACS Chemical Biology Lectureship

Lastly, mini-biographies of the newly elected officers of the Division may be found in the full newsletter.

Soon the details of the San Francisco program will become available (please see the full newsletter below).

See you there!

Best wishes,

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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