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NESACS 2018 Election Results
Anna W. Sromek (w)
Sofia Santos
Ashis Saha (w)
Peter C. Meltzer (w)
Nominating Committee: (2)
Michael P. Filosa (w)
Sonja Strah-Pleynet (w)
Norris Committee: (2)
Mark Tebbe (w)
Kuzhikalail Abraham (w)
Vasiliki Lykourinou
Councilor/Alternate Councilor:
Katherine Lee (c)
Catherine Costello (c)
Ruth Tanner (c)
Andrew Scholte (c)
June Lum (c)
Morton Z. Hoffman (a)
Kenneth Mattes (a)
Joshua Sacher (a)
Mariam Ismnail (a)
Malika Jeffries-El (a)
Patrick Cappillino
Raj (SB) Rajur
Ashis Saha
72 Ajay Purohit
70 Hicham Fenniri
25 Daljit Matharu
Director-at-Large: (2)
John M. Burke (w)
June Lum (w)
133 John L. Neumeyer


DUE Friday, March 1, 2019
Can you explain a quantum concept to a family audience in just three minutes? Can you demonstrate one with a hands-on activity? Win prizes, fame, and a trip to Boston in early April for the 2019 National Quantum Matters™ Science Communication Competition.
The two competition categories:
  1. TALK Researchers: Create a fabulous, jaw-dropping, three-minute talk for a family audience explaining a key concept related to your research in quantum science or technology and how it might matter to us in the future.
  2. DEMONSTRATE Individuals and teams (researchers or not): Design a fabulous, ah-ha! producing, hands-on activity for Museum visitors, communicating a key concept in quantum science or technology and how it might matter to us in the future.
Finalists will receive expert coaching, $200 stipends, travel to Boston, cash prizes ($100 – $400), and photos and video!  Entries are due Friday, March 1. The Finals will be held Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 before a live audience at the Museum of Science!
See the Quantum Matters Competition Website for rules, eligibility, and entry forms.
For a taste of last year’s competition, click hereAnd pass this email on to other quantum enthusiasts!
For more information:
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Central Division Meeting

Saturday, March 9, 2019
9 am - 12 noon
Registration opens at 8:30 am
The Bromfield School
14 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard, MA

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Bring your favorite analogies and formative assessment strategies to share with colleagues
Planning to attend? Contact Leslie Bishop at Please let her know if you have any food allergies.
PDPs are available

New England Association of Chemistry Teachers was founded in 1898 to promote the teaching and learning of chemistry. NEACT offers professional development and support to chemistry teachers at all levels.


Report on the 21st Andrew H. Weinberg Memorial Lecture
Weinberg lecturer challenges notion that some drug targets are out of reach
By Robert Levy, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Reprinted with permission from DFCI Online
Many of the genes and proteins that make the most enticing targets for new cancer therapies have been deemed offlimits because they are considered “undruggable” – too remote within the cell or too shape-shifting to be blocked with drugs made from small molecules. But new techniques for snaring and eliminating
such proteins suggest it is far too early to slap the “undruggable” label on them, the presenter of the 21st Annual Andrew H. Weinberg Memorial Lecture told a standing-room-only audience at Dana-Farber earlier this month (October 2017).
Titling his talk, “New Paths to the Waterfall: Rethinking the Science of Therapeutics for Pediatric Malignancies,” James Bradner, M.D., president of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, brought listeners inside his team’s efforts to harpoon some of the most elusive, but powerful targets in cancer medicine. In one case in particular, those efforts spring directly from his research at Dana-Farber, where he was a member of the Chemical Biology Initiative until 2015.
“We’re at an awkward moment in cancer medicine,” Bradner observed. “Never before have we had a better appreciation of the hard-wiring of cancer, with total certainty of its genetic origins, but we face the humbling reality that we lack the therapeutic instruments to respond to that information.”
Bradner focused his remarks on the key operators of the cell’s machinery for division – proteins known as transcription factors which switch genes on and off and are almost always out of balance in pediatric cancers. Appealing as such factors are as potential drug targets, they present chemists and drug-designers
with an array of technical and conceptual challenges. “They live in the nucleus, where antibody drugs can’t go, and they lack druggable pockets,” nooks and crevices where small drug molecules can lodge, Bradner noted.
The result is a prevailing sense of defeatism about developing drugs against them. “‘Undruggable’ is my least favorite term in science,” he confided. “It literally means we haven’t drugged it yet, but it has come to mean ‘Don’t bother.’” The path to a more versatile drug – the “waterfall” of his title – demands novel thinking. “It will require a reconsideration of the science of therapeutics, from which these new drugs would arise,” he said.
He began a detailed discussion of one approach to such novel therapies. Where conventional targeted therapies are designed to block or disable a cancer-related protein, Bradner and his team are at work on agents that would destroy such proteins – an approach they call targeted protein degradation. The researchers have constructed drug molecules with two “arms,” or active regions. One arm binds to the targeted protein. The other holds a proteosome, part of the cell’s trash-disposal machinery. When the drug molecule attaches to its prey protein, the trash disposal eliminates it.
The advantages of this approach are clear: “Eliminating a protein altogether can have a greater effect than disabling its biochemical or biophysical function,” Bradner explained. “In addition, proteins and gene circuits can adapt when a protein is blocked. A drug that eradicates the protein, by contrast, may not only be more potent but might have a longerlasting effect.”
Lastly, he touched on two other approaches his team is taking. One, called conformational restructuring, involves “gluing” proteins into odd combinations so they are incapacitated. The other uses RNA to bind to and interfere with proteins. “If targeting RNA is possible,” he said, “then nothing is undruggable.”
The Andrew H. Weinberg Memorial Endowment Fund was created in 1995 with the support of family and friends of Dana-Farber patient Andrew H. Weinberg, along with the Medicinal Chemistry Group of the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society and Dana-Farber. The fund is dedicated to bringing researchers from the field of cancer drug development together with those in the biomedical research and
clinical care communities at large, helping to foster an environment for synergy and originality in cancer research.

BAGIM Events

BAGIM Event: Michael Hoemann

Hosted by  Alisha Caliman
Thursday, February 28, 2019
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Le Meridien Cambridge/MIT
20 Sidney St · Cambridge, MA

Design at AbbVie in the 21 st Century
Michael Hoemann in collaboration with: Maria Argiriadi, Eric Breinlinger, Kevin Cusack, Jeremy Edmunds and Michael Friedman
This talk will cover the various computational tools that we use at AbbVie at all stages of small molecule drug design. In particular, methods for the analysis of large numbers of virtual compounds through docking (i.e. Glide, Gold etc), clustering (i.e. tSNE), similarity analysis (i.e. Rocs Overlay™ and Cresset Torch™) and sorting through fingerprints (i.e. SIFT) of ligand-protein interactions will be discussed. In addition, it is recognized that protein-ligand complexes are not static solid state structures, but are dynamic and fluid. Therefore, this talk will talk about some of the early work we have been doing at AbbVie to utilize dynamic simulations (MM-GBSA, Desmond MD, MetaDynamics and FEP+) to prioritize compounds for synthesis. These tools when combined together can provide validated workflows to improve the efficiency of small molecule drug discovery.
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BAGIM is sponsored by Scilligence, Silicon Therapeutics, Acellera, Cyrus Biotechnology, DNASTAR, OpenEye Scientific Software, Schrodinger, Chemical Computing Group, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, Optibrium, Dassault Systemes, Dotmatics, LabAnswer, and ChemAxon.
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