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CCN Blog

This blog is for members to inform others, voice opinions and carry on discussions.  Opinions are those of individuals, and are not official positions of the Chemical Consultants  Network.

  • 23 Sep 2021 12:24 PM | Youwen Xu (Administrator)

    Abstract - What is qPCR (quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction), and how does it work? What is the chemistry behind this powerful technique? This presentation will discuss the chemistry and biochemistry that makes it work. This seminar reviews associated applications when working with DNA, RNA, and protein analysis. DNA applications include mutation detection, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and high resolution melt. RNA applications reviewed are gene expression and small RNA. The final section of the talk examines protein expression and digital PCR.

    Biography - Geoff Jackson is a Regional Field Application Scientist for Thermo Fisher Scientific with over 30 years of experience in molecular biology and pathogen detection.

    Prior to this role, Geoff was a lead biologist and program manager at Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for almost 10 years. He is fluent in many scientific and molecular biology techniques that include but are not limited to basic science benchwork; pathogen detection assay development; bioterrorism response and prevention; program management; and emergency management.

    Registration: Access to the meeting is free but registration for the event is required. To register go to: A link to join the virtual meeting will be sent to all those who register prior to the meeting.  For questions contact

  • 04 Jun 2021 11:10 PM | Youwen Xu (Administrator)

    For anyone who is interested in what is happening in the field of nuclear medicine and radiopharmaceutics development: PET Drugs and Regulatory Compliance.


  • 08 Apr 2021 9:09 AM | Michael Michalczyk (Administrator)

    ACS Philadelphia is hosting a virtual Delaware valley multi-section networking Zoom event on May 11 from 6:00-7:30 pm.  CCN will be participating along with other ACS sections, AIChE and professional organizations. 

    The goal is to promote participation in local science & engineering organization chapters and to network with professionals and other technical folks.

    Professionals, academics, students interested in expanding their technical network and participation in local science & engineering organization chapters may want to attend.  

    Registration is here:

  • 24 Mar 2021 4:00 PM | Youwen Xu (Administrator)

    Virtual Meeting of the Princeton ACS Section, :

    Time: Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 6:30 PM

    Speaker: Stephen Toth, Senior Research Investigator, International   Flavors  and Fragrances

  • 16 Feb 2021 11:02 AM | Michael Michalczyk (Administrator)

    James Chan has written a blog on CPA Now on his lessons from 38 years of consulting.

  • 15 Nov 2020 6:39 PM | Dr. Keith D. Wing (Administrator)

    December 2:  Laboratory Research and Innovation Group of Philadelphia Virtual Scientific Meeting

    Time:  12:00 PM -- 12:55 PM

    Speaker:  Michael F. Santillo (FDA)

    Topic:  "Applications of Biological Target-Based Assays for Chemical Detection"

    Cost:  Free

    Registration:  On-line


    December 9:  Chemistry Council of New Jersey Plant Operations Management Workshop

    Time:  8:15 AM -- 12:15 PM

    Agenda:  Workshop covering plant operations.  Topics include safe plant operations, COVID-fatigue, OSHA 1910, and a keynote talk by Jared M. Maples, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness

    Cost:  $25.00 to $125.00, depending on category

    Registration:  On-line


    December 10:  ACS Philadelphia Section Meeting

    Time 6:30 PM -- ?

    Agenda:  Virtual Happy Hour discussing virtual environments.

    Cost:  Free

    Registration:  On-line


    December 10-11:  2020 Chemical Ventures Conference, Germany

    Agenda:  AIChE conference focusing on innovation, investment and deal flow.

    Cost:  $145.00 -- $445.00, depending on category

    Registration:  On-line


    December 13-17:  American Association of Clinical Chemists Annual Scientific Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo

    Agenda:  Comprehensive symposia and expo, focusing on clinical chemistry.

    Cost:  $200.00 to $600.00, depending on category

    Registration:  On-line


    December 17:  Philadelphia Organic Chemists Club

    Time:  6:45 PM -- 8:30 PM

    Speaker:  Osvaldo Gutierrez (University of Maryland)

    Topic:  To be determined

    Cost:  Free

    Registration:  None

    Website: Click on this link -- -- on December 17th at 6:30 PM

  • 03 Jul 2020 2:44 PM | Dr. Keith D. Wing (Administrator)

    Virtual Meeting of the Princeton ACS Section

    Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 11:30 AM “GoToMeeting” 

     Colin Suckling, PhD

    Research Professor of Chemistry, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland

         “Off Paradigm Drug Discovery and the AMR / COVID-19 Era”

    Abstract- For many years it had been recognized that the world was facing a problem in the lack of new anti-infective drugs to tackle the increasing prevalence of microbial resistance to existing drugs. The global pharmaceutical industry had largely ignored the problem for understandable commercial reasons. The standard industry drug-discovery paradigm of single drug, single target leading to predefined beneficial effect also imposes limitations on the discovery of resilient antimicrobial drugs because resistance can easily arise from mutations in the target (together with other mechanisms). Such target driven drug discovery is powerful but in fields such as anti-infective drugs, other approaches that I call ‘off-paradigm’ become highly relevant if they lead to resilient new drugs. This was the approach we took at Strathclyde using minor groove binders for DNA (S-MGBs) and we have been able to discover a wide range of anti-infective compounds for bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases, the most advanced of which has successfully completed a Phase 2a clinical trial.


    Then along came COVID-19 and changed the world. Interestingly and perhaps surprisingly some of our S-MGBs had shown high activity against hepatitis C virus in vitro. This raised the obvious question of whether S-MGBs would be active against COVID-19, a question that is being addressed right now. Further, the acute effects of COVID-19 infection including the so-called cytokine charge and serious lung disorders pointed to the importance of another of our off-paradigm drug discovery projects in the field of anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory compounds. In this second project, from the starting point of a protein secreted by a parasitic nematode worm we discovered a range of compounds, known as SMAs, that have been shown to be highly effective in a wide range of animal models of disease, including some relevant to treating COVID-19 patients. This talk will discuss the design, biological activity, and mechanism of action (as much as is known) of S-MGBs and SMAs and speculate about their potential contribution to treatments for COVID-19 infections and future biosecurity.


    Biography - Colin Suckling is a graduate of the University of Liverpool (BSc 1967, PhD 1970, DSc 1989) and has spent most of the rest of his academic career at the University of Strathclyde where he was Freeland Professor of Chemistry from 1989 to 2012. During the 1990s until 2002, was Dean of the Faculty of Science, Deputy Principal, and Vice Principal of the University. Currently he is a Research Professor of Chemistry.


    Research interests focus on the synthesis and properties of heterocyclic compounds designed as molecular probes for biological systems and as drugs for treating infectious and inflammatory diseases. The most advanced compound, a DNA Minor Groove Binder (MGB), has successfully completed a phase 2a clinical trial for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infections (May 2020). Other compounds in the Strathclyde collection of MGBs are nearing candidate selection status as treatments for African Animal Trypanosomiasis and also as antifungal compounds. A further advanced project in medicinal chemistry entering the commercial phase concerns immunomodulatory compounds based upon the structures of protein secretions of parasitic worms. The small molecule analogues of the parasite protein show great promise as treatments for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and lupus.


    Colin has published over 250 papers and books. He was the Adrien Albert Lecturer of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2009-10), Chairman of the 2011 International Congress of Heterocyclic Chemistry held in Glasgow, recipient of the Nexxus Lifetime Achievement Award (2011), and elected an Honorary Life Fellow of the Indian Society of Chemists and Biologists (2011).  Colin is a Fellow of many learned societies and Royal Colleges including the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. He was a B.D Tilak Fellow of the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, in 2019.



    Registration/ Join Meeting:


    Registration for the meeting is requested.  To do so, please go to go our website at

    Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

    You can also dial in using your phone. 
    United States: 
    +1 (224) 501-3412 

    Access Code: 583-199-957 

    New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:


  • 06 May 2020 11:32 PM | Dr. Keith D. Wing (Administrator)

    Meeting of the Princeton ACS Section (

    Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - “GoToMeeting”

    6:30 PM – 8:00 PM 

    6:30 PM - Dr. Niny Rao, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Thomas Jefferson University

    “Chemistry in Your Cup – Chemical Characteristics of Cold Brew Coffee”

    Abstract: Both small and large commercial coffee brewers have recently begun offering cold-brew coffee drinks to customers with claims that these cold-water extracts contain fewer bitter acids, due to brewing conditions, while still retaining the flavor profile. Dunkin Donuts’ website suggests that the cold-water and long brewing times allow the coffee to reach “... its purest form.” With very little research existent on the chemistry of cold- brew coffee, consumers are left to the marketing strategies of Starbucks and other companies regarding the contents of cold-brew coffee. Our goal is to provide some scientific information about this new coffee trend. The present research employs a simple French press style set-up to brew both cold brew and hot brew coffee. We varied the brewing time, origin of beans, and degree of roast to understand how these parameters affect the acidity, antioxidant activity, as well as the concentration of caffeine of the coffee brew.

    Biography: Dr. Niny Rao is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and the Director of Chemistry and Biochemistry Program at Thomas Jefferson University, College of Life Sciences. She received her bachelor degree in chemical engineering from the Cooper Union and went on to pursuit a PhD in physical chemistry at Florida State University. A computational chemist by training, her past research interests spanned from small inorganic ion clusters to protein-lipid bilayer complex. As an enthusiast of artisanal food and beverages, Dr. Rao has expanded her research into the field of food science, such as chemistry of cold brew coffee.

    7:00PM - Dr. William K. HallmanProfessor & Chair of the Department of Human Ecology, Rutgers University

     “Communicating about Science, Risk, and Health in an Era of Virally Disseminated Nonsense”

    Abstract: Most of our lifelong learning about science occurs informally, outside of a classroom, and often on the Internet. In this presentation, I will use examples drawn from food, health, and the environment to talk about virally disseminated misinformation, how to communicate with others about science, and why presenting scientific facts alone typically isn’t enough to persuade people to change their minds or their behaviors.

    Biography: Dr. William K. Hallman is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers University and is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. An experimental psychologist with expertise in science and risk communication, he has written extensively about numerous issues concerning health, food, technology, and the environment. These include studies of public perception, communication, and behavior change strategies involving infectious and non-communicable diseases, unexplained symptom syndromes, food safety and food insecurity, preventive health behaviors, environmental contaminants, climate adaptation and mitigation, responses to natural and technological disasters, and new food technologies including genetic modification, gene editing, nanotechnology, animal cloning, and the development of cell-based meats and seafood.

    Dr. Hallman has served as the Director of the Rutgers Food Policy Institute and as Chair of the FDA’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee. He currently serves as a member of several committees of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, including the Advisory Committee for the Academies’ Climate Communications Initiative and the Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication Research and Practice. He authored the Climate Communications Initiative Strategic Plan, as well as the National Academies’ consensus report: Communicating Science Effectively, A Research Agenda, which has been downloaded more than 32,000 times. He also coauthored the Risk Communication Applied to Food Safety Handbook, published jointly by the FAO and WHO.

    Registration for the meeting is requested.  To do so, please go to

    Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

    You can also dial in using your phone.  United States: +1 (224) 501-3412 

    Access Code: 583-199-957 

    New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:

  • 25 Feb 2020 2:11 PM | Dr. Keith D. Wing (Administrator)

    Wednesday, March 11, 2020

    Professor Gene Hall

    Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Rutgers University

    “From Electronic Cigarette Liquids to Sushi: Molecular Characterization Using Multiple Different Mass Spectrometers”

    Frick Chemistry Laboratory, Princeton University

    Lecture in Auditorium at 6:00 pm, followed by dinner in Atrium

    Join us at our “Sushi & Snacks” pre-talk Mixer at 5:15 pm in the Atrium to network with colleagues!!



    I am delighted to share with you the use of several analytical tools in my mass spectrometry toolbox to characterize a variety of consumer products.  Some of the products discussed are used by the general population spanning from high school students to senior citizens. 

    Consumers are faced with a daunting task trying to decipher fact from fiction when purchasing products to improve health and longevity.  To assist consumers, we have been using several different types of mass spectrometers that include GC-TOF-MS, linear ion traps, Q-TOF, IMS-Q-TOF, and LDI-TOF-TOF to characterize all types of samples from electronic cigarette liquids to sushi.  Our philosophy for analyses centers around minimal or no-sample preparation and taking an untargeted approach in our workflows. This presentation will then focus on basic mass spectrometry that is used to determine purity, molecular structure, concentrations, and sources of a variety of consumer products that the audience uses daily. Also presented will be a forensic approach to solving an actual adulterated dietary supplement product sold as a health fraud product targeted towards senior citizens.


    Professor Gene S. Hall received his BS degree in both Chemistry and Mathematics in 1973 from Tusculum College and his PhD in radiochemistry from the Virginia Polytechnical Institute (Virginia Tech) in 1978.  He then went on to the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University in 1979 as an assistant professor of analytical chemistry to fulfill his life-long dream of

    being a chemistry professor.  He is currently full professor where his focus is on using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry to characterize various consumer products such as dietary supplements, natural foods, artist paintings, and electronic cigarettes.


    The meeting will be held in Frick Laboratory, Princeton University. The social mixer and dinner will be in the CaFe area of the atrium and the lecture in the auditorium (B02).  Frick Laboratory is located at the east end of the pedestrian bridge on Washington Rd. Visitor parking is available all day in Lot 21, corner of Faculty and Fitzrandolph Roads, or other lots along Ivy Lane after 5:00 pm. (see  Registration is required for this meeting. The seminar is free and open to the public.  Dinner is $25 ($10 for students) and $22.50 if prepaid with credit card (select "pay by debit or credit card").  To register and prepay go to our website at If you have questions, contact  Please make your dinner reservations by March 9, 2020.

The ideas, advice and positions expressed by individual members of the Chemical Consultants Network are the member's own and not the responsibility of CCN or its sponsors, the American Chemical Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

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