The 66th Annual Greater San Diego Science And Engineering Fair

Date: March 10 – 15, 2020

Judging Day Date: Wednesday, March 11

Place: Balboa Park Activity Center, 2145 Park Blvd Map

For information please see

Chemistry of Wine: Dr. J. Ernest Simpson

Dr. J. Ernest Simpson
Professor Emeritus
Chemistry Department, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA

Date: Thursday, March 12, 2020

Time: 6:00 PM Check-in and seating
7:00 PM Talk and serving wine begins
7:15 PM Break for light supper
7:45 – 8:30 PM Talk and serving continues

Place: Elijah’s Restaurant
7061 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego Map

Price: $25.00 per person
No one under the age of 21 will be admitted. Attendance limited to first 75 registrants.

RSVP: By Monday, March 9, 2020

About the Speaker:
Dr. Simpson joined the Chemistry Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in 1968 after completing his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. (organic chemistry) at the University of New Mexico and spending one year as a visiting chemistry professor at Pomona College. In 1973-74 he was on leave as visiting research associate in the Department of Enology and Viticulture at UC/Davis. He is an active member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture and has served on the editorial review board for the Society’s journal. He has published a California wine guide. He is a member of the Society of Wine Educators and the American Wine Society. At Cal Poly he developed industrial chemistry and cooperative education courses/programs. He was the Director of Cooperative Education for Cal Poly (1980-2001). His research interests are in the areas of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, carbon-13-labeled compounds, and phenolic compounds, especially in grapes and wine. At Cal Poly he has been selected for exceptional merit service awards including the 2013 Provost’s Award. In 1996 he was selected as the outstanding advisor in the College of Science, and his co-op program was chosen as the best in California. He is a member of ACS (San Gorgonio past chair and current councilor), California Association of Chemistry Teachers (program chairman and southern section president, 1985-87), and California Cooperative Education Association (president 1996-97). He was selected as an ACS Fellow in 2012, and serves on the ACS National Local Section Activities Committee.

About the Lecture:
The talk will include an overview of wine and wine making and more detailed descriptions of the chemical composition of grapes and wine, laboratory methods for analysis of grapes and wines, sensory and organoleptic methods used for wine, the role of tannin and other phenolic compounds in wine, and some potential health aspects of wine. The talk will be combined with a “component and varietal analysis”. During the component analysis, the audience will be given a reference wine sample with known levels of components such as acid, sugar, alcohol, etc., and then “unknown” samples in which one or more components have been increased by a known increment. During a varietal analysis a representative number of white and red wines will be compared.




EXPO Day and ALL EVENTS will take place RAIN or SHINE!

SAVE THE DATE – March 7-15, 2020

Celebrating 12 Years of Science & Engineering Education!

The Biocom Institute Festival of Science and Engineering is a ten-day educational experience including interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities and dynamic speakers to engage kids and families in all that encompasses STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). The week kicks off with its largest event EXPO Day (March 7, 2020) at PETCO Park. EXPO Day is free and open to the public.

Hundreds of community businesses and organizations will participate in EXPO Day in addition to over 75 programs and events that will follow throughout the week all throughout the county of San Diego. More than 65,000 kids, parents, teachers, industry leaders and community members are anticipated to attend during STEM Week.

DATE: Saturday, March 7, 2020

TIME: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM





Dr. Brett Goldsmith Co-Founder and CTO of Cardera

DATE: Thursday, February 13, 2020

TIME: 6:00 PM Social Hour, Light Meal
7:00 PM Lecture

PLACE: Takeda, 9625 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego Map


About the Speaker:

Brett’s passion is applying nanoelectronics technology to products that change people’s lives. Brett was a post-doc at the University of Pennsylvania as an Intelligence Community Fellow and is the lead researcher on landmark Field Effect Biosensing papers in Science and Nature Nanotechnology.

About the Presentation:

Cardea’s Innovation Partnership Program (IPP) was created to provide a diverse set of partners’ access to the company’s breakthrough biology-gated transistors and software.

Cardea’s new infrastructure is helping the world Conduct BiologyTM using the biocompatible material graphene, novel chemistry and electronics to convert biological signals into real-time data. Cardea’s first- of-its-kind nanoscale technology infrastructure is already being mass produced (100k transistors/month) – opening a universe of opportunities for portability and scalability.

Pure Water Demonstration Facility Tour Experience

Pure Water Demonstration Facility Tour Experience

Date: Saturday, January 11, 2020

Time: 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Place: North City Water Reclamation Plant, 4949 Eastgate Mall, San Diego, CA 92121 Map


The tour, including a presentation, will last approximately one hour. Participants are encouraged to arrive 10-15 minutes before their registered tour time at 10:45 AM.

With little rain and limited local water supplies, San Diego depends on importing 85 percent of its water from the Colorado River and Northern California. Rising imported water costs, population growth and the ongoing drought threaten San Diego’s water reliability. To address these challenges, the City of San Diego is moving forward with Pure Water San Diego, a phased, multi-year program that will provide 1/3 of San Diego’s water supply locally by 2035.

In an introductory presentation, guests will learn about San Diego’s water supply challenges and how water purification can provide a reliable, sustainable and cost-effective drinking water supply for San Diego. Guests will then take a guided walking tour through the Pure Water Demonstration Facility, where proven technology is used to clean recycled water to produce safe, high-quality drinking water through ozonation, biological activated carbon, membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation with ultraviolet light.

Tour participants will see the equipment and resulting purified water up close and have an opportunity to compare samples of purified, tap, bottled and recycled water. Finally, participants are offered to taste a sample of the purified water produced by the facility.


Date: Thursday, January 9, 2020

Time: 9:30 AM

Place: Bristol Farms Café – Costa Verde Shopping Center , Genesee Avenue and Nobel Drive, University City Map

Annual Meeting and Holiday Party

Jennifer Barber-Singh, 2019 Co-chair

David Wallace, 2019 Co-chair

James Caldwell, 2020 Chair-Elect







Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2019

5:30 PM Social Hour
6:30 PM Buffet Dinner
7:30 PM Presentations

Place: Sufi Mediterranean Cuisine, 5915 Balboa Avenue, San Diego Map

Price: $20.00 per Dinner – $10.00 with student I.D.

RSVP: Monday, December 3, 2019

If you are unable to register online, please use voice mail: 619-687-5570

Join us for our last big event in 2019! Come meet the San Diego Section Executive Committee members and hear election results for new officers. Co-Chairs in 2019, Jennifer Barber-Singh and David Wallace, will give the year-end wrap-up and James Caldwell, Chair-Elect in 2020, will talk about upcoming plans.

This is a great evening, not to be missed, to meet new colleagues and to get involved in SDACS activities!

Season’s Greetings!

Holiday Party

Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Location: Sufi Mediterranean Cuisine, 5915 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, CA 92111 Map

Harnessing Poop For The Cure™, Omics, and Machine Learning to Create Novel Immunotherapies

Date: Thursday, November 14, 2019

6:00 PM Social Hour, Light Meal
7:00 PM Lecture

Place: Takeda, 9625 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego Map

RSVP: By November 6, 2019

Stephanie Culler, PhD Co-Founder and CEO Persephone Biome, San Diego


Stephanie Culler, Ph.D., is the co-founder and CEO of Persephone Biome, a business taking a unique approach to oncology, by understanding and leveraging the rich metabolic capabilities of the gut microbiome to develop better therapeutic drugs. Dr. Culler oversees the company’s strategic growth and directs the discovery and product development platforms of the company. She is also a recent graduate of the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator, recipient of the Biocom Catalyst Award and has spoken at TEDx San Diego. She received her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from UC San Diego and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Culler has over a dozen publications and patents on synthetic biology and microbial based technologies.

Persephone Biome uses artificial intelligence to rapidly decode the gut microbiome and its interaction with the immune system, enabling the development of novel microbe-based products to improve cancer therapies. We are focused on a class of groundbreaking and curative immunotherapy cancer drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors. Unfortunately, 70% of cancer patients fail to respond to therapy and recent literature published in Science Magazine demostrated that gut microbes influence and modulate the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors. These results have tremendous implications on using live biotherapeutics (FDA approved probiotics) to fully enable the curative power of immunotherapy The presentation will discuss how machine learning and deep systems analysis of large omics datasets acquired from patient samples (Poop For The Cure™) are used to decode the metabolic relationship between the microbiome and the immune system. Using an iterative engineering approach, live biotherapeutics are rapidly developed. We will discuss how microbiome research is challenged by the lack of infrastructure and standard collection methods. Poop For The Cure™, a citizen scientist campaign for stool collection, has alleviated these research barriers. Data collected from systems-based analyses of patient biospecimens and pre-clinical studies will also be presented.

Lessons Learned: Things We Learned Along the Way

Date: Thursday, September 19, 2019

Time: 6:00 PM Social Hour, Light Meal
6:30 PM Panel Presentation Followed by Discussion

Place: California State University San Marcos, Markstein Hall 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., San Marcos, CA 92096 Map

RSVP: By September 10, 2019


Graeme Freestone is a Principal Scientist in the Medicinal Chemistry Department at Ionis Pharmaceuticals, where his research is focused on improving the therapeutic profile of antisense oligonucleotides. His previous research experience was at Metabasis Therapeutics, Helicon Therapeutics, and Dart Neuroscience, working in various therapeutic areas including cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurological. He earned his MChem from the University of Manchester, Ph.D. from University of Oxford, and undertook a postdoctoral position at The Scripps Research Institute with K.C. Nicolaou. He is active in the San Diego Section of the American Chemical Society, serving in various roles over the years including Member-at-Large, Treasurer, and Chair of the Section.

Mark Tichenor is a medicinal chemist at Janssen Research & Development with 12 years of experience in drug discovery, working in the Pain and Immunology therapeutic areas. He earned his BS at UC San Diego and his PhD at The Scripps Research Institute in the laboratory of Professor Dale Boger. Mark served as the Chair of the San Diego Section of the ACS in 2014, and is currently a member of the organizing committee for the annual ACS/UCSD Medicinal Chemistry Symposium.

Ben Pratt received his BA in chemistry from Dartmouth College. After 3 years as a Research Associate at Rhodia ChiRex in
the department of Process Research and Development, he began his Ph.D. with Professor K.C. Nicolaou at The Scripps Research Institute on the synthesis of complex natural products. Since 2008, Ben has been a medicinal chemist at San Diego biotechnology companies focused on the therapeutic areas of cancer at Ambit Biosciences, metabolic disease at Exelixis, cognitive enhancement at Dart NeuroScience, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis at Akarna Therapeutics/Allergan, and is currently a consultant for small molecule drug discovery and development. Ben co-founded the Academics-2-Industry lecture series that serves as a primer course for aspiring medicinal chemists.


Three research chemists will discuss the critical decisions they faced during their undergraduate and graduate training and in their careers. They will address the challenges they faced, the factors that influenced their decisions, and the resulting impact of those choices. Ample time will be given for attendees to explore areas such as career options, skills now in demand, planning for graduate school, and ways for increasing employability. Don’t miss this opportunity to get the information you need to know to make thoughtful career decisions.