Author Archives: netsacs

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.

Volunteers needed: Chemists and Girl Scouts Celebrate Earth Week 2022

Volunteers are being sought to perform a variety of scientific demonstrations highlighting the chemistry of bugs, i.e. red dye from cochineal beetles, chemiluminescence, paper chromatography and more. Stations will be set up for hands on demos and groups of Scouts will rotate through the various demos. The Scouts range in age from 5 to 13. Materials will be supplied, and volunteers will be trained as necessary.

The event will be held Saturday, April 23, 2022 at ETSU from 1:00 pm EDT to 4:30 PM EDT. Volunteers will be asked to arrived at 12:00 PM EDT to be trained and stay until 5:00 PM EDT to help clean up.

See this flyer for more details and please reach out to Deborah Wilkinson (contact information on attached flyer) if interested.

Seminar March 29, 2022: “Structure-function studies of the SARS-CoV-2 spike and development of COVID-19 interventions”

Please see the registration link for our upcoming Seminar on Structure-Function Studies of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Development of COVID-19 Interventions on Tuesday, March 29th at 5:00 PM EDT.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Jason McLellan

Dr. Jason McLellan (University of Texas at Austin) researches viral proteins, and his work to understand how these proteins are structured and how they function has factored into the development of vaccines and potential treatments for deadly viruses that have impacted the lives of billions of people. He is one of the inventors of a way to engineer a key protein in coronaviruses for use in vaccines. The technology his team developed can be found in many leading vaccines against COVID-19 (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and Novavax). McLellan and his colleagues also designed key proteins that form the basis of several vaccines now in clinical trials against the coronavirus, as well as separate proteins used in vaccines against respiratory syncytial virus, a virus especially dangerous for young children and seniors.

Seminar will be held via Zoom on March 29, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT. Please register in advance for this webinar at this link:

Seminar February 24, 2022: “Water Chemistry for Space Exploration at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center”

Please help us welcome Dr. Luke Roberson, Senior Principal Investigator for Flight Research at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, who will be giving a talk on “Water Chemistry for Space Exploration”. This seminar will describe how the Space Agency’s mission to return to the Moon will take place over the next few years, how technology is developed for space exploration, and how purifying water will be critical to the survival of the astronauts.

Presenter Bio

Dr. Luke B. Roberson

Dr. Luke B. Roberson is a NASA Senior Principal Investigator for Flight Research within the Exploration Research and Technology Directorate at the Kennedy Space Center. Dr. Roberson’s current research focuses on building a closed loop bioregenerative water purification system for planetary habitats, while supporting ISS water purification hardware. Prior to these projects, Dr. Roberson designed and built the Advanced Plant Habitat and two VEGGIE units, which are plant growth facilities aboard the International Space Station. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. (2005) from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Seminar will be held via Zoom on February 24th, 2022 at 4:00 PM EST. Please register in advance for this webinar at this link:

Seminar October 21, 2021: “Eastman in the Circular Economy”

The simple fact is: Our current recycling infrastructure isn’t equipped to tackle our current crisis. Enter: advanced circular recycling. Eastman’s advanced circular recycling technologies that allow brands to incorporate certified recycling content in packaging in ways the industry hasn’t been able to before. To solve the plastic waste crisis, we need a multi-faceted approach that looks ahead, not behind. Essentially, when you can used mechanical recycled content – use it! When you can’t, turn to advanced circular recycling. 

In a fast-moving presentation, Jayme will tell the audience how the world actually recycle materials today (mechanically), what the limitations are (multi-layers that can’t be recycled, stream contamination), and how we could augment the current system with new advanced circular recycling technologies. After, he will conclude with a pathway for how we can breakthrough, make our waste management system work, help brands hit their recycled content goals, and put a major dent in the plastic waste problem – together.

Presenter Bio

Jayme Leita, Director, Circular Economy Integration, Eastman

As director of circular economy integration within the sustainability and circular solutions department at Eastman, Jayme Leita is responsible for leading the development of capabilities required to deploy Eastman’s Advanced Circular Recycling technologies across the enterprise and into the marketplace.

Leita has been with Eastman since 2003 and has worked in a variety of roles in technology, marketing, and business. His experience includes process improvement, technical service, product and market development, and platform management. He has played significant roles in the design, development, commercialization, and global market activation of six new products for Eastman. In his current role, he is applying his experience to integrate the fundamentals of circularity into a platform of innovation for Eastman. 

He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Tennessee Technological University and is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.

Leita lives in Johnson City, Tenn., with his wife Molly, their two children, Lacy and Benji, and the family dogs, Chip and Jo. In his spare time, he enjoys fly fishing, boating, reading, and traveling with his family.

Seminar will be held via Zoom on October 21, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT. Please register at this link:

Seminar September 16, 2021: “Meeting the Challenge: Decarbonization of Transportation in the 21st Century”

Decarbonization of the transportation industry is a critical part of addressing climate change.  What will be required to accomplish this massive overhaul of the industry?  Electric vehicles are a widely-publicized piece of the solution, but electrifying passenger cars and trucks will require increasing raw material availability, increasing electricity production, and adjusting our travel habits to accommodate charging realities.  Electrification isn’t a practical solution for some parts of the industry, and thus net-zero carbon fuels are also likely to be important to keeping people and goods moving.  What are these fuels likely to be, and how can these fuels be produced?  There’s no doubt that successfully addressing all of these questions will make the 21st century one of rapid change for the transportation industry and for consumers.

Presenter Bio

Scott Sluder is a senior research staff member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Scott has been involved in research involving clean fuels, engine performance, and emissions for 25 years. He has contributed to major national fuel and emissions policy decisions, including the introduction of ultra-low sulfur diesel in 2000, the decision to allow 15% ethanol in gasoline in 2010, and the EPA’s Tier 3 on-road emissions regulations. Scott has led research efforts for federal entities as well as private-sector customers. Scott is a recipient of several awards from SAE International, and was elected a Fellow of SAE International in 2014 for his contributions to mobility engineering.

Seminar will be held via Zoom on September 16, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT. Please Register at this link: