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.

Chem Expo: Marvelous Metals

The mission of NCW is to reach the public, particularly elementary and secondary school children, with positive messages about chemistry to:
• Make a positive change in the public’s impression of chemistry;
• Promote a mechanism for effectively mobilizing ACS local sections; and
• Motivate the ACS membership through local section activities.

In addition to our main event, Scouts have an activity :

San Diego Chemists Celebrate National Chemistry Week with Science Activities for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

What to Expect:

• Exhibits by Local Companies and Organizations
• Chemistry Demonstrations
• Hands-on Activities
• Middle and High School Extra Credit (at teacher’s discretion) • Open to the public at no charge

Volunteers Sign-up, please contact Julann Miller for 2 hour shifts to share Chemistry !!

Date: Saturday, October 26, 2019
Time: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Location: San Diego Miramar College, 10440 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego Map

Contact: Julann Miller at


ACS National Meeting & Expo – Chemistry & Water

Giving scientific professionals a platform to present, publish, discuss, and exhibit research discoveries and technologies in chemistry and its related disciplines. The meeting will provide networking opportunities, and career development and placement. The Exposition will give attendees the chance to meet more than 250 exhibitors, many of whom are showcasing new technological developments. A number of exhibitors also offer free workshops during the meeting so attendees can learn more about these state-of-the-art technologies.

Date: August 25-29, 2019
Location: San Diego Convention Center, 111 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101



2019 Distinguished Scientists Award Banquet

Sabine Hadida, Ph.D. Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry, Vertex Pharmaceuticals (San Diego)

Peter Grootenhuis, Ph.D.*
Principal Research Fellow, Chemistry, Vertex Pharmaceuticals (San Diego)
* Deceased.


  • Tony Bottone Award for Outstanding Service
    Dr. Bill Tolley, Secretary, ACS – San Diego Section
  • Outstanding Committee Chair Award
    Valerie Kuck, Project SEED Committee, ACS – San Diego Section

DATE: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

6:30 PM No host bar
7:00 PM Dinner
8:00 PM Award lecture

PLACE: The Butcher Shop | 5255 Kearny Villa Rd, San Diego, CA 92123 Map

PRICE: $30.00 per dinner, $15.00 with student I.D.

RSVP: Thursday October 10, 2019
Reservations required




Date: Tuesday, October 8, 2019, at 9:30 AM
Location: Bristol Farms Café – Costa Verde Shopping Center – Genesee Avenue and Nobel Drive, University City

223rd 2YC3 Conference – San Diego Miramar College

223rd 2YC3 Conference
“Celebrate Partnerships and Innovation”

DATE: August 23-24, 2019

WHERE: San Diego Miramar College

San Diego Miramar College is excited to host the 223rd2YC3Conference ( in August 2019. Do you have a unique way that you partner with your students, other faculty, universities, businesses, surrounding community, etc.,to achieve student success? Are you using innovative approaches inside and/or outside of the classroom? We want you to come and share about what you are doing! Our hope is that these two days will be a celebration of the good work that is happening across a variety of two-year schools and highlight the amazing work happening in Chemistry Education. Through these connections, we also anticipate new partnerships being formed and innovative techniques being adopted into classrooms. Come celebrate, innovate, and collaborate! Please contact Gary Smith ( if you would like more information.




DATE: Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

TIME: 9:30 AM

WHERE: Bristol Farms Cafe, Costa Verde Shopping Center
Genesee Avenue and Nobel Drive, University City