Author Archives: netsacs

Seminar May 10, 2023: “Small Molecule COVID Antivirals: New Game Changing Treatments for COVID-19”

Please join us in welcoming Dr. George Painter, Executive Director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development at Emory University, Atlanta, GA, who will be presenting a talk on “Small Molecule COVID Antivirals: New Game Changing Treatments for COVID-19”. This seminar will discuss the discovery and development of two successful COVID-19 orally available treatments, molnupiravir and nirmatrelvir. Dr. Painter will also talk about how students and young polymer chemists can get involved in the exciting field of pharmacological research.

Presenter Bio

George Painter, Ph.D., is the George R. Painter III distinguished professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at Emory University School of Medicine, CEO of Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), and Executive Director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development where most recently he led the discovery and development of molnupiravir. Dr. Painter has decades of experience in the discovery and development of pharmaceutical agents for the biotechnology and global pharmaceutical sectors. Over the last 30 years, he has played a major role in the discovery, development, and implementation of modern antiviral therapy. Before coming to Emory in 2012, Dr. Painter cofounded and led the biotechnology company Chimerix, Inc. During his tenure there, he led the development of the drug Tembexa, which is in the Strategic National Stockpile for the treatment of smallpox in the event of a bioterrorist attack. Before Chimerix, he was a founding member of the management team of Triangle, Inc., where he led the development of the now widely used HIV drug, Emtriva. Prior to entering the biotech sector, Dr. Painter held senior management positions in large pharmaceutical companies including Burroughs Wellcome Co and what is now GlaxoSmithKline, where he led the discovery, development and commercialization of antiviral agents to treat HIV and Hepatitis B. He holds more than 250 patents, many of which have led to approved, commercially available drugs or combinations of drugs for the treatment of HIV, Hepatitis B, smallpox and coronavirus infections. He has published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Painter earned his BS in Chemistry, MS in Physical Organic Chemistry, and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Emory. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology. He has received the Gertrude B Elion Lifetime Achievement Award in Antiviral Research from the International Society for Antiviral Research and is a member of the National Academy of Inventors.

Seminar Information

Seminar will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, May 10th, 2023, at 6:00 PM EDT. Please use the following link to access the seminar:

Seminar March 23, 2023: “High Performance Multifunctional Materials for Air Force Applications”

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Davide Simone, a senior research chemist at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Dayton, OH, who will be presenting a talk on “High Performance Multifunctional Materials for Air Force Applications”. This seminar will highlight how the nation’s defense depends on the state-of-the-art materials chemistry to create protective equipment and weaponized vehicles that leverage strong polymers and polymer composites to protect our service men and women. Dr. Simone will also talk about how students and young polymer chemists can get involved in this exciting field of research.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Davide L. Simone received his B.S in Chemistry from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now NYU) with Professor Yoshi Okamoto in 1995 and his Ph.D. in organic/polymer chemistry in 2002 at MIT with Professor Timothy Swager. He spent 17 years at GE Global Research before joining the Air Force Research Lab in 2019. His current research includes chiral high performance resin development, autonomous reaction optimization/material discovery and molecular stress/strain sensing.

Seminar Information

Seminar will be held via Zoom on Thursday, March 23rd, 2023, at 6:00 PM EDT. Please use the following link to access the seminar:

Volunteers Needed: Chemists Celebrate Earth Week



Volunteers are being sought to perform a variety of scientific demonstrations highlighting the chemistry of algae (good, bad and ugly), i.e. exploring polymers by making worm goo from sodium alginate, discovering how early forms of algae stromatolites provided the oxygen for earth’s present-day atmosphere, determining the presence of chlorophyl in algae by fluorescence and more. Stations will be set up for hands on demos with groups of Scouts rotating through the various demos. The Scouts range in age from 5 to 13. Materials will be supplied, and volunteers will be trained as necessary.


Saturday, April 22, 2023, 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM. Volunteers are asked to arrive at 12:00 pm to be trained and help with set up and stay till the end to help clean up around 5:00 pm


ETSU Geosciences Bldg. (Ross Hall)
247 S. Dossett Drive
Johnson City, TN

Masks are optional but we do have a disclaimer that if anyone is sick or lives with someone sick, they cannot attend.

For more information see the attached flyer.

Seminar February 28, 2023: “The Science of Forensic Chemistry: It’s probably not what you think!”

Please help us welcome Dr. Jason E. Schaff, a former federal forensic chemist at Quantico VA, who will be presenting a talk on “The Science of Forensic Chemistry: It’s probably not what you think!”. This seminar will describe the different disciplines within forensic chemistry, and provide an in-depth perspective of the day-to-day life in a forensic laboratory.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Schaff received a B.S. in Chemistry in 1991 from Yale University and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry in 1997 from the University of Minnesota. After completing his doctorate, he spent two years on a fellowship at the Indiana University Medical Center. There he conducted fundamental studies on the mass spectrometry of anabolic steroids and developed analytical methods for their analysis. While at the IU Medical Center, he served as a member of the testing laboratory staff for the 1998 Goodwill
Games. Dr. Schaff then spent 21 years with the Chemistry Unit of the FBI Laboratory performing chemical and toxicological analyses supporting investigations of an array of different criminal and civil matters. Since August of 2020, Dr. Schaff has been with the FDA Center for Tobacco Products where he conducts regulatory review of new product applications and evaluation of testing laboratory protocols. He served on committees established by the Society of Forensic Toxicologists and the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards which were charged with developing standards for the use of mass spectrometry in drug identification. Dr. Schaff is currently a member of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Drug Testing Advisory Board.

Seminar Information

Seminar will be held via Zoom on February 28th, 2023, at 6:00 – 7:00 PM EST. Please use the following link to access the seminar:

SERMACS 2023: October 25-28 in Durham, NC

The 2023 Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS) will be hosted by the North Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society in Durham, NC from October 25-28, 2023.

The Organizing Committee has currently opened their call for symposia at For more information check the website and follow them on Twitter (@sermacs2023) for updates including upcoming calls for abstracts.

For more information see this attached invitation.

Seminar November 15, 2022: “Brewing Up a Minor”

Please use the registration link for our upcoming seminar “Brewing Up a Minor” on Tuesday, November 15th at 6:30 PM EST.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Erik Petersen
Assistant Professor
East Tennessee State University

Since 2019, Dr. Petersen has been an assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences in the ETSU College of Public Health. He primarily teaches immunology and biochemistry while running a research lab investigating bacterial sensing of the environment. However, he has also been homebrewing beer, cider, and mead for over 10 years after starting during graduate school. Dr. Petersen sought to find a way to use brewing to teach science concepts both within science courses as well as to non science students as a way to get a foot in the door.

Please register using the information below.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Nov 15, 2022 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Brewing Up a Minor

Register in advance for this webinar:

Seminar September 13, 2022: “Beyond the Bench – Bringing Together Business, Chemistry, and Creativity”

Please use the registration link for our upcoming seminar “Beyond the Bench – Bringing Together Business, Chemistry, and Creativity” on Tuesday, September 13th at 6:00 PM EDT.


Career opportunities for chemists are nearly limitless. From research in academic, government, and industry to careers in patent law, marketing, or policy, it can often feel overwhelming to identify the best path forward as an early-career chemist. Finding useful resources to leverage, along with hearing the personal experiences from chemists representing a variety of career options, are two impactful means of beginning to explore the career opportunities that chemists may pursue. In this session, Dr. LaFranzo will share some of the experiences that shaped her career path, and the resources available through the ACS, IUPAC, and other organizations that have been impactful in shaping her success. Whether you are a young chemist eager to learn, a mentor hoping to expand your knowledgebase, or a local chemist looking to learn more about what’s going on in our community, this session will feature something for all.

Presenter Bio

Natalie LaFranzo, Ph.D.
Director, Marketing Communications
Personalis, Inc.

Natalie LaFranzo received her BS in Chemistry from Bradley University in 2007, and her PhD in Chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis in 2013. She has held numerous commercial roles in biotech primarily within small to medium-sized early-stage companies. Through these experiences, she has built a career at the interface of science and business, and now serves as the Director of Marketing Communication at Personalis, a precision genomics company working to define the next standard of care in oncology. Her service to the chemistry community, and volunteerism with the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) have earned her accolades including ACS Fellow (2021), IUPAC Young Observer and Plenary Speaker at the World Chemistry Congress (2019), and recognition as “Cs” on the Periodic Table of Younger Chemists (2019). Dr. LaFranzo’s current service to ACS includes Career Consultant, Subcommittee Chair on Budget and Finance, and Member-At-Large for the ACS Board of Directors. As an early-chemist with a non-academic career path, Natalie is passionate about helping students and professionals navigate their careers, supporting the evolution of ACS to reflect the changing face of chemistry, and creating a more inclusive environment in science so all feel welcome.

Seminar will be held via Zoom on September 13, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT. Please register in advance for this seminar at this link:

Seminar August 16, 2022: “Cross Circular Themes of Water Quality in Introductory General Biology and Chemistry Courses”

Please see the registration link for our upcoming Seminar “Cross Circular Themes of Water Quality in Introductory General Biology and Chemistry Courses” on Tuesday, August 16th at 6:00 PM EDT.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Ray Mohseni

Dr. Ray Mohseni is an associate professor in the Chemistry Department at ETSU. He teaches general chemistry, instrumental analysis lab, and forensic chemistry courses. He is also the general chemistry lab coordinator. He is an analytical chemist. His research focuses on separation science, pesticide residue analysis, and chemical education. He has developed /adapted forensic chemistry and two chemistry online courses for undergraduate students at ETSU. He received his Ph.D. from University of Wyoming.

Seminar will be held via Zoom on August 16, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT. Please register in advance for this webinar at this link:

2022 Annual Awards Ceremony

On April 11, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT the Northeast Tennessee Section of the American Chemical Society will hold its annual awards ceremony virtually via Zoom. Section members should watch their e-mail for a link to the Zoom meeting.

Awards to be presented at this year’s annual awards ceremony include ACS Membership Awards, the Volunteer Recognition Awards, the ACS Outstanding Outreach Volunteer Award, The NETS-ACS Chemical Technician Award, NETS-ACS Outstanding Chemistry Student Awards, and the NETS-ACS Distinguished Member Award. NETS-ACS Special Award winners from the 31st annual Blue Ridge Highlands Regional Science Fair will also be recognized, as will students who are registered to take the National Chemistry Exam.

ACS Membership Awards are awarded annually to 40-, 50-, 60- and 70-year members of the ACS, recognizing them for their long service to the ACS and to science in general. This recognition is a small token of appreciation to many people who have dedicated their lives to science.

NETS-ACS Outstanding Chemistry Student Awards are given to outstanding chemistry students from area institutions. Selection is based on overall grade point scores and excellence in their academic achievements.

NETS-ACS Distinguished Member Award is given in recognition of a section member, selected by the Executive Committee, for their technical contribution and achievement in the field of chemistry, and outstanding contributions to chemistry education and/or perception of chemistry with the community.

NETS-ACS Chemical Technician Award is presented annually to a chemical technician who has demonstrated an extremely high degree of professionalism. Criteria used to judge the award include technical skills, communication skills, safety, reliability, leadership, teamwork, publications, and presentations. Additional professional and community activities are also considered.

For more information on section awards the criteria for selection please visit the Resources page of the NETS-ACS website.