Chemistry Short Films & Lesson Plans

This film series shows the vital role the chemical sciences play in the biggest issues facing the world. Each film is accompanied by a lesson plan to integrate the science behind these innovations into the classroom.

Films include:

* Direct Air Capture & The Future of Climate Change, with Christopher Jones (Georgia Tech)
* Under the Skin, with Zhenan Bao (Stanford)
* Rewriting Life, with David Liu (Harvard)

Watch the short films here:



Virtual Presentation: How Materials Shaped Us, Ainissa Ramirez, PHD


How Materials Shaped Us Ainissa Ramirez, PHD

DATE: Tuesday, March 9, 2021

TIME: 7pm

PLACE: Your Computer



Ainissa Ramirez, Ph.D., is an award-winning materials scientist and science communicator, who is the author of The Alchemy of Us (MIT Press). A graduate of Brown University, she earned her doctorate in materials science and engineering from Stanford. Dr. Ramirez began her career as a scientist at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ, and was later an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Yale. She has written for Forbes, Time, The Atlantic, and Science, and has explained science headlines on CBS, CNN, NPR, and PBS. She speaks widely on the topics of science and technology and gave a TED talk on the importance of science education (


Often when we talk about compounds and substances, the conversation usually focuses on how chemists and materials scientists synthesized them. In this talk, materials scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez will discuss how simple materials and the inventions they enabled shaped society. Based on her new book, The Alchemy of Us, she will show how everyday inventions had a hand in shaping language, politics, and even our bodies.

Virtual Presentation: SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibodies for the Treatment of COVID-19

Ajay Nirula, MD, PhD
Vice President-Immunology, Eli Lilly

Date: February 4, 2021

Time: 7:00 PM Lecture


Join Zoom Meeting:

About the Speaker
Ajay Nirula, M.D., Ph.D., is Vice President, Immunology for Lilly Research Laboratories (LRL) based at the Lilly Biotechnology Center in San Diego. Dr. Nirula joined Lilly in 2015 and is responsible for discovery research and early phase clinical development in immunology. He has most recently served as the medical leader for Lilly’s work during the COVID pandemic that lead to emergency authorization for a therapeutic neutralizing antibody. Prior to joining Lilly, Dr. Nirula held leadership positions at Amgen and Biogen Idec and was involved in several research programs and regulatory filings spanning diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and vasculitis.

Dr. Nirula earned his undergraduate degree in molecular biology from UC Berkeley, his MD from UCLA School of Medicine, and his PhD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He subsequently joined the faculty in the Division of Rheumatology at UCSF Medical Center. He has published extensively in the scientific literature in journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Immunology, and Journal of Experimental Medicine.

About the Presentation
Dr. Nirula will discuss the therapeutic landscape of the various neutralizing monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19.


John William Schindler Obituary

John William Schindler
October 6, 1948 – November 12, 2020
San Diego

JOHN WILLIAM SCHINDLER, PH.D., P.E. passed away in San Diego, California on November 12, 2020. Jack was born on 6th October, 1948 in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from St. Charles Parochial School (’62), St. Ignatius High School (’66), and received his BS in Engineering Science (’70) and M.S.C. in Chemistry (’72) from Cleveland State University. Jack took post-graduate classes from Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, while working for PPG, Pittsburgh Plate and Glass. He then traveled to Los Angeles, California to do his doctoral work in Chemistry at USC ’80 (Ph.D.), followed by two years as NSF Post-Doctoral Fellow at UCLA. Jack taught at the University of San Diego, followed by an ONT-ASEE Research Fellowship for the Naval Oceans Research Center before beginning what turned out to be his lifelong work in Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy for the San Diego Air Pollution Control Agency. He authored/co-authored over 15 research papers. Upon retirement, Jack originated and consulted under the Mayer-Spisak Engineering Sciences signature. Jack is survived by siblings: Richard J. (Anita), Reverend Paul E., Sister Elaine C., HM, Donna J. Brady (Thomas, dec.), and James R. (Joyce); 13 nephews and nieces; and 17 grand nephews and nieces. Jack was preceded to the Lord by his father, Robert William, mother, Josephine Florence, nee Janko, brother, Lawrence Thomas, and sister, Anita Louise. As a loving son, brother, and uncle, Jack regularly visited his family back East. He also shared a special relationship with Donna and Tom’s “California sun” family on the West coast. Living most of his life in Pacific Beach, Jack enjoyed the natural, historical, and naval background of the area. He played in a co-ed softball league and was a committed follower of the San Diego Padres. As a proud and faithful member of the San Diego Section American Chemical Society, Jack served a term as Chair, led and was active on numerous committees, and participated in its many activities. He happily represented San Diego’s ACS as delegate to the National Conventions many times over the years. Jack was a Parishioner of Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church in Pacific Beach.A funeral service of Christian Burial will be held at a future date and Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. To offer condolences visit

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Jan. 10, 2021.

We wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year!



 We wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year!


Virtual Annual Meeting

Join us for our last big virtual event in 2020! Come meet the San Diego Section Executive Committee members and hear election results for new officers.

Date: Thursday, December 3, 2020

Time: 6:00 PM

Join the Zoom Meeting:

James Caldwell, our 2020 Chair, will give the year-end wrap-up


Jim Shih, Chair in 2021, will discuss his plans for the coming year




Please vote by November 25th

Bios can be found on pages 4-6 in the November Newsletter

Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) Meet & Greet Career Panel

Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) Meet & Greet Career Panel

Virtual – A link will be provided closer to the event date

Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Time: 3:00-4:00 pm


Skin-Inspired Organic Electronics

Skin-Inspired Electronics

Zhenan Bao, Ph. D.
K.K. Lee Professor of Chemical Engineering and (by courtesy) Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University

Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm

Place: Your Computer (ZOOM meeting)

RSVP: 123780820767


Zhenan Bao is Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at Stanford University. Bao was selected as one of Nature’s Ten People Who Mattered in 2015 as a “Master of Materials” for her work on artificial electronic skin. In 2020 she was awarded the inaugural ACS Central Science Disruptor and Innovator Prize. Bao has received numerous national and international science awards. Bao is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors. She is a Fellow of MRS, ACS, AAAS, SPIE, ACS PMSE and ACS POLY.



Skin is the body’s largest organ and is responsible for the transduction of a vast amount of information. This conformable, stretchable, self-healable and biodegradable material simultaneously collects signals from external stimuli that translate into information such as pressure, pain, and temperature. The development of electronic materials, inspired by the complexity of this organ, is a tremendous unrealized materials challenge. However, the advent of organic-based electronic materials may offer a potential solution to this long-standing problem. In this talk, I will describe the design of organic electronic materials to mimic skin functions. These new materials and new devices enabled a range of new applications in medical devices, robotics and wearable electronics.

National Chemistry Week Video Contest Outline

Product: Create an original, bite-sized, educational video explaining any topic consistent with
the theme of “Sticking with Chemistry”.

Participants: The contest is open to grades 9-12 and undergraduate students studying in San
Diego County.

Length: 5-6 minutes

Is a chemical demonstration necessary? No, the video does not require the use of any
chemicals or any other physical props to be considered for the contest. A winning video may
feature graphics and/or animations, exclusively. Videos that show students (or parents or
guardians) engaging in a questionable, dangerous, or illegal activity/behavior will be

Safety and Personal Protective Equipment: Students who do choose to do a chemical
demonstration as part of their video must adhere to strict safety protocols. You can learn about
handling and working with chemicals on the American Chemical Society’s Chemical and
Laboratory Safety page. Minors must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times when
working with chemicals. Participants are discouraged from using reagents or chemicals they are
not already familiar with. Neither the American Chemical Society, nor the San Diego Local
Section will be responsible for any damage, injury, or death resulting from a chemical

Submissions: Submit your video by posting to YouTube. Email a YouTube link to by October 23, 2020. The subject headline should read National
Chemistry Week Video Contest. Before submission, the video must be set to ‘public’. In the
email, include your name, school, grade level (or undergraduate year), and best phone number
to reach you at in the email.

Winning videos: The winners of the contest will be announced in November. Prizes will be
awarded to the best three videos in the grades 9-12 and undergraduate categories. The winning
videos will be posted on the San Diego American Chemical Society Local Section website.

Rank K-12
1st Place $300 $300
2nd Place $200 $200
3rd Place $100 $100

Grading: The video will be graded on the following categories.