ACS Bridge Program: Applications Due March 31

The ACS Bridge to the Doctorate Program is a national effort to increase the number of chemical science PhDs awarded to underrepresented students defined by the project as primarily Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students. The ACS Bridge Program was also recently highlighted in C&E News, and it features UW-Madison fellow Jairo Villalona!

More information about ACS Bridge Program is available online, including eligibility and application materials.

Application materials must be received by March 31.  Please note that students who are interested in participating specifically in our UW-Madison/ACS Bridge program must apply to the national application portal as indicated above and be selected through UW-Madison’s selection process in order to be designated as UW-Madison/ACS Bridge Fellows. Please contact UW-Madison ACS Bridge Program leaders Desiree Bates or Bob Hamers with any questions.

Posted on behalf of the ACS and the UW-Madison.

2020 Awards and Honors

Our honorees this year are each highlighted in this special issue of our newsletter. They include:

  • 70-year, 60-year, and 50-year ACS members
  • ACS-Hach Land Grant Scholarship recipients
  • ACS-Hach High School Chemistry Classroom Grant recipient
  • ACS Bridge Program Students
  • ACS Undergraduate Awardees
  • Prize Winners in the local exam, U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Competition

Of course, all honorees will receive their official ACS Certificate of Recognition in the mail and will be honored in person when we are able to hold a banquet!

ACS Spring 2021: Online April 5-16

Today, the American Chemical Society announced a fully virtual spring meeting. ACS Spring 2021 will be held online April 5-16. This will enable a meaningful sharing of scientific information, while ensuring everyone’s safety – a core value of ACS – during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will include 10 weekdays of live sessions, followed by two weeks of on-demand content, at the presenters’ discretion. This will allow for a maximum amount of science to be shared with the widest possible audience.
Get ready!
Abstract submission will open on December 16, 2020. Meeting registration will be available in January 2021. Information about abstracts, registration pricing, and more is available on the FAQ page of the ACS website.

Hans Reich’s Organic Chemistry Resource Websites Relaunched by the ACS Organic Division

The ACS Organic Division has been hard at work this summer and is now ready to release a new resource for organic chemists:

The idea and majority of the current content (~1500 html pages + 650 PDF files) of the Organic Chemistry Data website has come from the late Professor Hans J. Reich who served his entire professional academic career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Upon his untimely death in 2020, the ACS Organic Division offered to assist in maintaining Professor Reich’s extensive online resources which have impacted the organic chemistry community worldwide. This new website not only contains Prof. Reich’s collection of resources, we have also merged our extensive “links page” with Professor Reich’s to create a single list of ~300 website resources on organic chemistry (~35 are to resources in our Reich Collection). The linked pages have been selected for ease of use, broad applicability, and quality of coverage. Topics include: Reaction Info, Chemical Data, Spectroscopy Resources, Organic Compound Info, Safety, Chemical Societies & Portals, Literature Sources, Laboratory Techniques, Useful Software, Resources for Educators and Students, and Organic Chemistry Videos.

We hope that the data and information resources provided and the links to resources off of this new website provide organic chemists quick access to high quality information to facilitate their efforts in the laboratory and classroom settings. Links to resources off of this website are meant to assist individuals in finding high quality information; they are not an endorsement of any product, service, or website.

Highlights on the Reich Collection of Resources:

  •     ~700 Total Syntheses searchable and categorized by compound name, named reactions used, chemoselectivity, rings formed, reaction types, and reagents used, and year of publication. In most of these modes, selecting the synthesis in a particular category presents the synthesis with a blinking red arrow to highlight where the reagent, named reaction, reaction type, or ring appear in the synthetic scheme.
  •     A comprehensive Topics in NMR database (e.g. spin systems, chemical shifts, coupling constants, multinuclear NMR)
  •     An NMR Spectral Database with ~650 high quality NMR spectra (PDF files) which are searchable and grouped by functional group, molecular formula, NMR spin systems, techniques (i.e. cyclohexane stereochemistry & 2D), multinuclear (D, T, P, F, B, Se, Si, Sn, N), and spectral level (i.e. trivial–advanced).
  •     Information on some of the fundamentals of organic chemistry. e.g. pKa tables, electron pushing, A-values, nomenclature, organometallic chemistry (esp. organolithium reagents), pericyclic reactions, reduction and oxidation.

Professor Hans J. Reich was born May 6, 1943 in Danzig, Germany. After earning a B.Sc. at the University of Alberta in 1964, he entered graduate school at UCLA, receiving a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1968 (with D. J. Cram). In graduate school, he met fellow organic chemistry student, Ieva Lazdins and they married in 1969. The two were lifelong companions, socially and scientifically. After graduate school, he spent two years as a postdoctoral associate supported by a Canadian National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, the first at CalTech (with J. D. Roberts) and the second at Harvard (with R. B. Woodward). In 1970, he joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, establishing what soon became an internationally recognized research program in physical-organic chemistry publishing 157 papers throughout his career. Fittingly, Professor Reich received the James Flack Norris Award in Physical-Organic Chemistry from the American Chemical Society in 2012. Additionally, he was a pioneer in distribution of educational content via the world wide web. He began teaching himself programming in the late 1990s, producing new freeware programs, WinPLT and WinDNMR. These programs managed chemical structure drawings, NMR spectra annotations, and simulations cohesively. As an outgrowth of these endeavors, he began the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Organic Chemistry Information webpage in which he accumulated and curated information for the broader chemistry community to use free of charge.

The vast majority of work on setting up this website  and converting the content of Prof. Reich’s websites so that the content is viewable/useable on a wide range of electronic devices where through the immense volunteer efforts of Organic Division Assistant Webmaster Dr. Khoi Van (Ph.D., Organic Chemistry with Professor Daniel Romo) with initial oversight, support, and direction from Organic Division Webmaster Brian Myers (Ph.D., Organic Chemistry with Professor David R. Williams) and Organic Division Head Webmaster Joseph Ward (Ph.D., Organic Chemistry with Professor Robert Maleczka).

We are grateful to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (especially the Chemistry department) for their support in this project. We also graciously thank his wife, Dr. Ieva L. Reich, and her family for supporting this project where we are able to honor Professor Reich’s 25+ years of website efforts in support of the broader organic chemistry community.

While this website ( is freely available to everyone in the organic chemistry community, it is underwritten and maintained by the ACS Organic Division which gets its funding for projects like this from membership fees: ACS Members ($15), Affiliate Members ($15 without ACS membership), or Student Members ($5). Please consider showing your support for this program as well as all the other Division’s programs that aim to foster and promote the advancement of the field of organic chemistry by joining the division:

BCCE Travel Grants for HS Teachers

Are You a HS Chemistry Teacher? Do You Know Your Local HS Chemistry Teacher?

This is an opportunity to get a grant of up to $750 to attend a chemistry education conference in summer 2020.

The 26th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE) will be held at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon from July 18 to 23, 2020. The Wisconsin Section will sponsor two high school teachers to attend the conference. Details about how to apply are on our Grants page.

The Wisconsin Section sponsored three teachers to attend the 25th BCCE in summer 2018 and all three found the experience extremely valuable. If you are interested in attending, we urge you to apply; if you know of fellow teachers who might want to attend, please tell them about this opportunity.

The deadline for applications is February 8, 2020. We would love to support teacher attendance at this conference!

NOTE: Even if you can’t attend the BCCE, we invite you to participate in the Wisconsin Section of the ACS. If you are not already a member/affiliate member, you can become an affiliate member of our local section for just $2 per year and receive information about our professional development and social events as well as getting a regular newsletter. Send an email to if you would like to join.

Science on Tap Success!

Science on Tap turned out to be a very popular event! It took place on Monday, August 19, in Union South on the UW-Madison campus under the joint sponsorship of Mirus Bio and the ACS Wisconsin Local Section. About 100 people turned out for the early evening event. It began with complimentary beverages (including local beers) and food, giving grad students, post-docs, faculty and staff as well as members of the biotech community a chance to mix and meet each other.

Then it was time for the focus of this series—highlighting how research from various scientific disciplines such as Chemistry, Engineering, Biology, and Genetics can combine to deliver groundbreaking scientific research in our community. This took form in a talk by Dr. Christian Capitini on “The Emergence of CAR-T Cell Therapy”. He shared the latest developments as well as his own research efforts with CAR-T Cells. Capitini is in the Department of Pediatrics, UW School of Medicine and Public Health and Carbone Cancer Center.

See more photos from the event on our Flickr page!

Science on Tap August 2019 event

2018 Annual Banquet Highlights

The Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony was held on Thursday evening, November 8, at Imperial Garden Chinese Restaurant. Sixty people attended, ranging in age from university undergrads to octogenarians as well as some accompanying children (thus significantly lowering our average age!) In addition to honoring 50-, 60-, and 70-year ACS members, there were ACS Student Excellence Awardees as well as the recipients of ACS awards. The detailed program listing all winners is available here.

The Banquet speaker was Professor Helen Blackwell from UW-Madison Chemistry. Her topic was “Chemical Interception of Bacterial Communication Pathways.”

Abstract: Many bacteria communicate using a chemical language to monitor their population densities in a process called “quorum sensing.” At high cell densities, bacteria use this signaling network to switch from a single cell existence to that of a multicellular community. This lifestyle switch is significant, as it often controls how the bacteria interact with their hosts and other bacterial species. Our research is focused on the development of non-native molecules that can intercept quorum sensing and provide new insights into its role in host/microbe interactions and in the environment. I will introduce our research approach, highlight recent results, and motivate why I believe chemists are poised to make unique contributions to this research area.

In the evening’s program you will also find a listing of the current officers of the Section and information in words and photos about our recent and upcoming activities. Additional photos are on out Flickr page!

During the banquet, the following posters were on display: High School Teacher Scholarship Winners and Crystal Growing Contest; Local Section Social Events from 2018; ACS Hach Scholars.  These illustrate some of our recent activities—as a group and as individuals. If you don’t find yourself included, perhaps you can do something about that: Make Suggestions! Get Involved! Join our next social activity!

2018 March for Science

The Wisconsin Section ACS has is pleased to announce that the 2018 March for Science will take place on Saturday, May 5th, from 3 -7 PM. Participants will meet at James Madison Park (614 E Gorham St, Madison) and march down Langdon Street to Library/State Street Mall, where the rally itself will occur. Speakers will be scheduled to address the crowd any time between approximately 4:15-5:30, and the organizers are expanding this year’s event to include a science-based festival immediately following the rally. Science organizations and science advocates will be providing information, demonstrations and experiments for both children and adults. We encourage all members to participate.

Wisconsin Space Crystal Mission

The WI Local Section is one of the co-sponsors of the WI Crystal Growing Contest. In 2017 the four contest winners went on to work with CASIS (Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) to design a crystallization experiment to be conducted aboard the International Space Station in April 2018. Their challenges included: Do crystals grown in space differ from the ones grown on Earth? Do compounds crystallize differently in space? What hardware does one use to conduct a crystallization experiment in space? Fuller information is below:

It has just been announced that the WI Space Crystal Mission will take place again in 2018!

Do crystals grown in space differ from the ones grown on Earth? Do compounds crystallize differently in space? What hardware does one use to conduct a crystallization experiment in space? Answers to these questions are being sought by the winners of the 2017 WI state-wide Crystal Growing Contest (WICGC), co-sponsored by the ACS WI Local Section. The four laureates have been collaborating with the Molecular Structure Laboratory and scientists from the CASIS, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, to design two crystal-growing experiments to be conducted aboard the International Space Station in April 2018. To qualify for this honor, three middle and three high school students won top prizes in the WICGC by growing high-quality crystals and creating crystal-inspired artworks.

The annual WICGC has been organized since 2014 by the departmental Molecular Structure Laboratory to promote the Wisconsin Idea, introduce participants to the scientific method, and inspire the next generation of young scientists. The 2018 WICGC began on March 1, 2018. Participants include 621 middle-school and high-school students as well home-schooled youths ages 11–18 from 21 middle and 26 high schools. Science teacher participation is the highest to date with 19 middle-school and 15 high-school teachers and home-schooling parents. The state-wide competition attracted participants across the state from Menomonie to Luxemburg and from Phillips to Salem. The free contest offers an introduction to solution chemistry, laboratory work, team partnership, a prospect to succeed at a new endeavor, and an opportunity to visit the UW–Madison campus and a flagship Chemistry Department. At the May 18, 2018 award ceremony Chemistry Department chair Prof. Judith Burstyn will communicate the significant role of the department on campus; Prof. John Moore and Luke Oxtoby will give a lecture with chemical demonstrations; guest speaker from CASIS, Dr. Marc Giulianotti will describe the International Space Station and its function in the scientific community. The winners will be recognized with certificates, books, T-shirts, and cash prizes. The six top winners will qualify for the 2018 WI Space Crystal Mission!

Numerous ACS and ACS WI Local Section members have helped with the organization of the contest, whereas industrial and non-profit sponsors provided financial support to this important outreach activity.