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L’Actualité chimique Chemical News INTERFACE OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGY




May  mai

2004 Vol. 56, No./no 5


L’Actualité chimique canadienne

Canadian Chemical News

May  mai

2004 Vol. 56, No./no 5

Table of contents Table des matières

A publication of the CIC Une publication de l’ICC



Page 18

• Guest Column/Chroniqueur invité On the Future of Chemistry Tom Tidwell, FCIC


Feature Articles/Articles de fond

• Letters/Lettres


Crossing Over— The Promise of Regenerative Medicine

• Personals/Personalités


Healing is redefined at the University of Toronto. Innovative strategies inspire collaborative enterprises.

• News Briefs/Nouvelles en bref


Molly S. Shoichet, MCIC

• Chemputing Come On Out of the Closet Marvin D. Silbert, FCIC

Page 25



Biotechnological Engineering


A new discipline designed to meet new demands

• Chemfusion Say Cheese! Joe Schwarcz, MCIC


• CIC Bulletin ICC


Biomolecular Screening

• CSC Bulletin SCC


A perspective on implementation of small molecule screening at the McMaster HTS Laboratory

• CSChE Bulletin SCGCh


Eric D. Brown

• Local Section News/ Nouvelles des sections locales


• Division News/Nouvelles des divisions


• Student News/Nouvelles des étudiants


• Careers/Carrières


Bernard Marcos, Pierre Proulx, MCIC, and Patrick Vermette, MCIC

Arsenic in Sheep’s Clothing


Organic arsenic-sulfur compound discovered in sheep urine— is arsenic metabolism more complex than expected?

Carbon Coordinates What if Descartes had been an organic chemist? Cover/Couverture What happens when two disciplines collide? In this issue, we take a look at some of the collaborations, discoveries, technology, and new challenges resulting from the interface of chemistry and biology in Canada.


C. Gauthier and C.K. Jankowski, FCIC


Guest Column Chroniqueur invité Section head

On the Future of Chemistry Tom Tidwell, FCIC peculations about the future of chemistry are often raised by distinguished panels of scientists com- missioned for this task. Whether such efforts are helpful is debatable, but it is certain that detailed predictions are both foolhardy and presumptuous, as science is by its very nature unpredictable. However some general thoughts on the subject are excusable, and probably no one will remember to criticize the prognosticator whose speculations are far off the mark. It is safe to say that chemical knowledge will continue to advance with great speed, perhaps unprecedented in the history of the science. Also it is certain that future advances will be dependent on such things as the increasing understanding of biological processes, on advances in computational methodology, and upon the increasing sophistication of instrumental methodology. However, to guess at the greatest chemical discoveries in even the near future would be unwise. There are other big changes coming besides the many technical advances. The past decade has seen a revolution in the dissemination of chemical information, with many chemical journals now available on-line, and the creation of powerful electronic tools for searching the chemical literature. At the same time, the high costs of for-profit journals have impoverished libraries, and national chemical societies are increasingly promoting their publications as the lower cost and more responsible choice. In a move to help both individuals and libraries afford access to newly published chemical information, there is a call for open access to electronic publication, with the most common expectation that authors should pay the costs of publications. However a major shift to open access would affect not only for-profit publications but those of national societies as well—those who depend on revenue from subscriptions to


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maintain the quality of their journals, including peer review. I serve on the editorial board of a free on-line journal, and expect these will provide significant competition for for-profit journals in the future, while the national journals compete for the very best new research results. Another increasingly powerful influence will be the effects of globalization, which will have a profound effect on the practising chemist. Countries such as China and India now have increasingly large numbers of highly trained and motivated chemists who are practising their profession in their home countries in wellequipped laboratories at salaries below those in Canada and other countries. As a result, chemistry jobs are being “outsourced” from traditional chemistry centres that have higher operating costs. This phenomenon is rapidly spreading, and presents a major challenge to chemical employment in Canada and elsewhere. The tradition has been that in the developed world advanced levels of skill and productivity protect jobs, but efforts will have to be redoubled to preserve this advantage. Countries enjoying high returns for their scientific activities may continue to do so if they sustain greater creativity and innovation. However, as others catch up in their chemical ability the question will be whether their rewards rise to match those elsewhere, or whether individual chemists in the traditional economic strongholds suffer a decline in what they receive for their efforts. Change is certain in the chemical future. Whether this change will have a positive effect on the welfare of chemistry and chemists in Canada is still largely dependent on the success of individuals, industry, universities, and government in meeting the challenges these changes will bring.

Tom Tidwell, FCIC, is a chemistry professor at the University of Toronto, where he carries out research in organic chemistry and dabbles in the history of chemistry. He is president of the CSC, and past-president of the IUPAC division of organic and biomolecular chemistry.

mai 2004

Editor-in-Chief/Rédactrice en chef Michelle Piquette Managing Editor/Directrice de la rédaction Heather Dana Munroe Graphic Designer/Infographiste Krista Leroux Editorial Board/Conseil de la rédaction Terrance Rummery, FCIC, Chair/Président Catherine A. Cardy, MCIC Cathleen Crudden, MCIC Milena Sejnoha, MCIC Editorial Office/Bureau de la rédaction 130, rue Slater Street, Suite/bureau 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 613-232-6252 • Fax/Téléc. 613-232-5862 • Advertising/Publicité Subscription Rates/Tarifs d’abonnement Non CIC members/Non-membres de l’ICC : in/au Canada CAN$50; outside/à l’extérieur du Canada CAN$75 or/ou US$60. Single copy/Un exemplaire CAN$8. Canadian Chemical New/L’Actualité chimique Canadienne (ACCN) is published 10 times a year by The Chemical Institute of Canada / est publié 10 fois par année par l’Institut de chimie du Canada. Recommended by The Chemical Institute of Canada, The Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, and the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the official position of the Institute, or of the societies that recommend the magazine. Translation of any article into the other official language available upon request. Recommandé par l’Institut de chimie du Canada, la Société canadienne de chimie, la Société canadienne de génie chimique et la Société canadienne de technologie chimique. Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement la position officielle de l’Institut ou des sociétés constituantes qui soutiennent la revue. La traduction de tous les articles dans l’autre langue officielle est disponible sur demande. Change of Address/Changement d’adresse Printed in Canada by Gilmore Printing Services Inc. and postage paid in Ottawa, ON./ Imprimé au Canada par Gilmore Printing Services Inc. et port payé à Ottawa, ON. Publications Mail Agreement Number/ No de convention de la Poste-publications : 40021620. (USPS# 0007-718) Indexed in the Canadian Business Index and available on-line in the Canadian Business and Current Affairs database. / Répertorié dans la Canadian Business Index et à votre disposition sur ligne dans la banque de données Canadian Business and Current Affairs. ISSN 0823-5228

Letters / Lettres Our Own Worst Enemies I was particularly pleased by two articles in ACCN March 2004—Madeleine Jacobs’ “Are Chemists Too Shy For Their Own Good?” and Armand Lattes’ “What If All Chemists Quit?” They brought to mind several thoughts that I might have included in my earlier article, “Thoughts On Enhancing The Public Image Of Chemistry,” from ACCN July/August 2001. Chemists are the only professionals I know who make a practice of deprecating each other. I have never known of medical doctors bad mouthing

each other publicly (as being incompetent), no matter how egregious the malpractice. But such is not true of chemists. For the most part, the public has no idea of the contributions of chemistry to modern life, and the many benefits that are directly attributable to chemistry, and therefore to chemists. That is why I found the conundrum posed in the second article to be so intriguing, namely — supposing all chemists quit! As Lattes pointed out (albeit obviously tongue-in-cheek) the results to our society would be catastrophic! But as Jacobs points out, we are actively discouraged from

“blowing our own horn.” Years ago this was said to me, when I pointed out my annoyance at the protracted lack of recognition, despite repeated significant achievements. I replied. “Who will blow my horn, if I do not do so?” I have often wondered if there is such a thing (psychologically) as a chemist's personality. Are we predestined to hide our light under a barrel, while others are credited with things that chemists have either discovered or developed? I am no longer active in the practice of chemistry. But I tell everyone within earshot about the myriad benefits that chemistry brings to their lives on a

daily basis. I write monthly articles in our condominium’s newspaper attempting to acquaint lay people with chemistry’s many contributions. So I say to those of you who are still active in the practice of chemistry—stop bad mouthing either fellow chemists, or the practice of chemistry. Instead, use whatever energy you expend in making public statements to praise and publicize chemistry: the central science! Thomas F. Massiah, FCIC

A biotechnological engineering student at the Université de Sherbrooke uses an electrophoresis process for characterization and separation of bioproducts.

May 2004

Canadian Chemical News 3

Personals Personnalités Section head

University Dalhousie University’s Jean Burnell, MCIC, has been appointed Faculty of Science Killam Professor of Chemistry effective July 1, 2004. The professorships are awarded for five-year terms to recognize the careers of the most outstanding scientists in the faculty. Burnell is one of Canada’s leading synthetic organic chemists. After a stellar 17-year career at Memorial University, he joined the Dalhousie department of chemistry in September 2002. In less than two years, he is credited with having made major contributions to that university.

year secondment, during which Codding will split her time between teaching and research at the university and CIAR program development. CIAR is a research institute that supports networks of researchers, principally in Canada, but with a significant international component.


Lucienne Robillard. “Through their creativity and excellent research, they are helping Canada build the knowledge base needed for a 21st-century economy.” “These awards are public recognition for outstanding scientific achievement,” said NSERC president, Tom Brzustowski. “The researchers honoured today have already started their careers in a way that has already earned them an international reputation, and I know that they will continue to do great things for science and engineering in Canada.”

Mosto Bousmina, ACIC

Penelope Codding, FCIC

University of Victoria’s Penelope Codding, FCIC, has been appointed associate vice-president of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Studies. This is a three-

The Université Laval’s Mosto Bousmina, ACIC, was among six university professors to be awarded the 2004 NSERC Steacie Fellowship. The award is one of Canada’s premier science and engineering prizes. “NSERC Steacie Fellows are quickly rising to the top of their fields while providing role models for younger scientists and engineers,” said Minister of Industry,

Jim Wright, MCIC

An article written by Carleton University’s Jim Wright, MCIC, entitled “Predicting the activity of phenolic antioxidants: Theoretical method, analysis of substituent effects, and application to major families of antioxidants,” was published in the Journal of the American


In Memoriam

ACCN extends its apologies to Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. for referring to them as Mark Frosst Canada Inc. in Vol. 56, No. 4.

The CIC extends its condolences to the families of: H.J. Dawe, FCIC William F. Furter, FCIC

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Chemical Society. It has recently been identified by the ThomsonISI Web of Science database as one of the most cited papers in the research area of phenolic antioxidants. The Commercial Development and Marketing Association (CDMA) and the Chemical Heritage Foundation will present the 2004 Award for Executive Excellence to Madeleine Jacobs, executive director and CEO of the American Chemical Society. The award is given annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of commercial development and marketing in the chemical and allied industries. With extensive experience at several major scientific organizations, Jacobs has consistently demonstrated strategic thinking, innovation, and effective communication on issues critical to the chemical community during her previous position as editor-in-chief of Chemical & Engineering News, and has made an important contribution by serving as an ambassador for the chemical sciences. Jacobs’ most recent contribution to ACCN was her March 2004 article entitled, “Are Chemists Too Shy For Their Own Good?”

Gordon C. Laidlaw, FCIC

Photo by Pam Roth

News Briefs Nouvelles en bref Section head

Web of Lies Dihydrogen monoxide was thought to be such a threat to the community of Aliso Viejo that California officials considered banning foam cups after learning the chemical was used to make them.

Have Your Plate and Eat It Too Nature-based tableware as described in ACCN January 2004 is now available on-line in bulk quantities from Brenmar. NatureWorks™ PLA has taken another step toward broader mainstream acceptance and availability through the establishment of an on-line order site for NatureWorks PLA at The site is designed to appeal to smaller businesses, institutions, and consumers looking for bulk quantities of compostable plates, cold-drink cups, and utensils. It is intended to be a means of efficiently servicing smaller product orders and facilitating trial use.

City councillors of the Orange County suburb were scheduled to vote to ban foam containers at all city-sponsored events because they could “threaten human health and safety.” But the councillors were red-faced when they recently learned they were victims of an Internet hoax.

The “dangerous” chemical known as dihydrogen monoxide is, of course, water. Aliso Viejo city manager, David Norman, called the incident “embarrassing” and put the blame squarely on an overanxious paralegal “who did bad research” for the council. It was not apparent to the city officials that dihydrogen monoxide is a scientific name for water. In a move to be environmentally correct, they had jumped on the chance to ban products containing the feared chemical. The hoax dates back seven years. A high school student in Eagle Rock, ID, attempted to prove how gullible people can be by conducting a survey about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide as part of a science fair project. In the survey, 86 percent of residents said they were in favour of banning the

chemical, even though none had a clue what it was. This led to satirical spin-offs on the Internet, with many “national coalitions” formed advocating bans on the substance because of its “harmful effects” such as tissue damage caused by prolonged exposure (wrinkly skin after soaking in the bath), to death by overdose (drowning). The American Plastics Council jumped in and said the case was an example of how “junk science” can cause unfounded environmental fears. City officials are still looking at banning foam cups in an effort to keep them out of the Aliso Creek watershed, although they’re certainly eager to put this episode behind them. Compiled by Tony Lofaro with files from Citizen News Services

NatureWorks PLA offers the strength, performance, and convenience of traditional petroleum-based plastic tableware, but is nature-based and more environmentally appealing. The products are fully compostable in commercial compost facilities and, because NatureWorks PLA is made from ordinary field corn, its production uses less petroleum and contributes less greenhouse gas to the atmosphere than traditional plastics. Plates are available in lots of 2,000 and cold-drink cups, lids, forks, spoons, and knives are sold in 1,000-piece lots via the Web site. Cornbased bowls, portion-control cups and other food storage containers for cold deli products, salads, and dips are also offered. Cargill-Dow LLC

May 2004

Canadian Chemical News 5

News Briefs Nouvelles en bref Section head

110 Reasons to Celebrate The periodic table never looked so good. The Centennial Periodic Table project was designed by students and scientists at the University of Manitoba. The project was organized by Jason Hein, MCIC, and Pedro Aguiar—two PhD students in chemistry.

Molecular Research Centre Launched In response to outstanding support of its scientific research programs, The King’s University College (TKUC) officially opened The King’s Centre for Molecular Structure (KCMS). The Centre, was made possible by awards from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Alberta Science and Research Authority, Bruker Canada, and Varian Canada Inc. It will serve Albertans by providing scientific expertise and instrumentation to support basic and applied research in chemistry and biochemistry. The Centre will support faculty and undergraduate student research, meeting real needs both in Alberta and around the world. KCMS-supported research

Created as part of the 100th Anniversary Celebrations of the department, the highly original artwork features each element in the periodic table as interpreted by artists and would-be artists. When science meets art, the result is often unpredictable. This time, the union has produced a striking and creative combination of ideas and design. “The results have been very impressive and represent the variety

includes projects such as developing catalysts to assist in the design of pharmaceutical products, understanding basic metabolism processes in plants, eliminating impurities that have environmental impact from industrial processes in the pulp and paper and fertilizer industries, and characterizing medicinal plants in East Africa. TKUC’s faculty members collaborate extensively with undergraduate students in their research, equipping students with the scientific and problem-solving tools they need to be of effective service in their communities. Collaborative research by faculty and students is in keeping with TKUC’s mission to be an agent of positive social transformation. The King’s University College natural sciences division has an excellent track record of filling research niches, meaningfully involving undergraduate collaborators, and responding quickly and effectively to projects that cross disciplinary

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of individuals participating in the project,” says Hein. “The goal was to create a lasting commemoration for the department on its centennial anniversary, while generating interest in chemistry among students at secondary and post-secondary levels.” The student-organized event involved more than 150 volunteers including faculty, staff and graduate, undergraduate and high school students. Each element, from Hydrogen to Darmstadium, was assigned to a volunteer or team of participants. They each received a blank, six by six inch ceramic tile and were asked to decorate it as to best depict characteristics of their particular element. The results were colourful and highly innovative, to say the least. Some, like a painting of the sun for Hydrogen or of Einstein for Einsteinium, are intuitively obvious. Others, like the rare element Yttrium depicted by Superman’s cape,

aren’t quite as straightforward (it’s used in superconductors and x-ray devices). The project was funded through local donations of equipment and materials. In addition, some prizes for the best-designed tiles were donated by Wiley Scientific and through funds from the faculty of science. Judging of the tiles was done last week by the president of the University of Manitoba, the dean of science and the director of the School of Art. In discussions with ACCN, associate department head, Philip G. Hultin, MCIC, said, “This centennial gift to the department is just one of many contributions these two outstanding graduate students have made to chemistry in Manitoba. We have great expectations for both of them.” University of Manitoba

TKUC chemistry department with equipment in the KCMS. Left to right: Peter Mahaffy, FCIC, Cindy Slupsky, MCIC, Ken Newman, Grace Strom, and Hank Bestman (biology).

boundaries and traditional sectors. The 2001 AUCC publication, Building Research Capacity in Canadian Universities, indicates that Canadian efforts to build research excellence have often focused on big science, carried out at large institutions with post-graduate programs. Also suggested is that smaller institutions can easily be pushed out of the research

enterprise. Yet small universities, including The King’s University College, have demonstrated strong performance in tackling important problems and training highly qualified graduates, who have had the opportunity to work on all aspects of research problems under the mentorship of a faculty member. The King’s University College

Chip Controls Neural Connection

Thieves Hit Campus Labs

Researchers from the University of Calgary and the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany have used a silicon chip to coax a pair of nerve cells to communicate. The two cells communicate with each other using a chemical synapse. When one neuron is electrically excited by a capacitor on the chip, it transmits the signal to a second cell. The activity of the second neuron is recorded by a transistor on the chip. In the brain, chemical synapses enable learning when connections are strengthened by activity. The researchers were able to strengthen the connection between the two neurons by stimulating the first neuron with a series of pulses from a capacitor. The researchers’ device could be used to gain a better understanding of the function of neuronal networks. If the current snail nerve cells can be replaced with rat nerve cells, the chip could be used for pharmaceutical screening, according to the researchers. The prototype chip is also a step toward neurocomputers. The method could be used for pharmaceutical screening and analysis of neuronal networks in five years. It will take 10 to 20 years before the method can be used to make neurocomputers in the lab. It’s not possible to tell when the method could be used to directly connect humans and electronics, according to the researchers. The work appeared in the January 23, 2004 issue of Physical Review Letters.

A series of brazen thefts from laboratories at the University of Saskatchewan earlier this year has authorities suggesting that glassware be kept under lock and key. Special Constable Paul Smith with security services said a number of incidents over the course of several weeks resulted in the loss of up to 300 test tubes from labs in the Health Sciences Building. Since then, glassware has been stored more securely, but staff are left wondering if the thefts might be connected to the illegal production of the drug crystal methamphetamine. According to Smith and Mary Woodsworth, a lab coordinator in the department of microbiology and immunology, the perpetrators were young men who entered the building first to purchase glass tubing from medical stores, which they said they needed for an art project. When they returned to buy more, they were denied and so turned their attention to the labs. Woodsworth said the men were spotted several times during the day wearing different coats, including lab coats apparently stolen from the department of physiology. When confronted in microbiology, they said they were looking for boxes because they

Photo by Colleen MacPherson

News Briefs Nouvelles en bref Section head

were moving, a “very plausible” explanation for their presence. In fact, the boxes were being used to transport test tubes out of the lab.The thieves were recognized by a staff member who had seen them in the lab earlier, Woodsworth said, and security was called. Smith said four separate incidents of test tube theft were reported, and security services and Saskatoon City Police did detain one suspect. He agreed to return the materials, but failed to do so and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Constable Chad Coles with the Saskatoon Integrated Drug Unit said in an interview it is unlikely the test tubes are used in the actual production of

crystal methamphetamine. For that, larger condensing vessels are required. He has, however, seen the drug transported in glass tubes, and also speculated that the stolen tubes might be melted and remade into the glass pipes needed to smoke the drug. Woodsworth said the department’s media room is now kept locked. “Just about everybody who needs to get in has a key so it’s about all we can do—we still have to work here.” Smith said all lab employees should exercise caution, pointing out that young thieves can easily blend in on a university campus. University of Saskatchewan

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May 2004

Canadian Chemical News 7

News Briefs Nouvelles en bref Section head

Bill C-45 Now in Effect Bill C-45, the “Westray bill” became effective March 31, 2004. It extends the Criminal Code of Canada to hold corporations (and all those who direct the work of others) accountable for failing to take appropriate measures to protect health and safety. The legislation makes officers with executive or operational authority criminally liable if they become aware of offences being committed by other employees and do not take action to stop them. The legislation also appears to go beyond the corporate manslaughter offence imposed or being considered by some other jurisdictions, in that it refers to protecting health and safety. It could also be applied in cases where a large number of serious injuries or industryrelated health problems—but no fatalities—are involved. Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association

Million Dollar Student

The University of Saskatchewan announced that its chemistry department has accepted a donation of $1.4 million from a former student. The funds will be used to enhance graduate student scholarships and provide undergraduate labs with leading-edge equipment. Vern Wilson, a 1920s graduate, bequeathed the gift in gratitude for the world-class education he received at the university, which helped launch a successful career

in the sciences. He directed his gift to the Harry A., Margaret and Janet Wilson Memorial Trust Fund, which he had established in 1994 as a memorial to his wife Jane, and his parents. The broad purpose of the fund is to enhance the academic experience and opportunities available to students in the department of chemistry. The university’s science dean Ken Coates said, “We are delighted to receive such a generous gift from Dr. Wilson. His donation will bolster the recruitment and retention of graduate students and will enable undergraduate students to develop scientific skills in a first-rate learning environment.” Chemistry department head Ron Steer, FCIC, added, “We are at the cusp of an important expansion of our research, as we move into new laboratory space and bring new instrumentation and new young faculty colleagues on stream. Our most urgent need now is for additional funds to support graduate students, who are an integral part of the department’s expanding research team. The annual revenues from the investment of the proceeds of

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University of Saskatchewan

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the estate will help make us competitive with our researchintensive counterparts across Canada. We are extremely grateful to Dr. Wilson, a distinguished graduate of the department, for this gift.” In 1996, a laboratory in the chemistry department was named in Wilson’s honour in recognition of his previous gifts to the university. The bequest brings his total donation to $1.59 million. Born in Powassan, ON, in 1906, Wilson enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan where he earned both his BSc (1927) and MSc (1929) in chemistry. After completing a PhD (1933) at McGill University in Montréal, he spent the bulk of his professional career at the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, NY, as a research associate and laboratory head. He has 35 patents to his name. Weldon Brown, a University of Saskatchewan student who later became a world-renowned chemist, was Wilson’s classmate and roommate for a time. Wilson passed away in 2001.

News Briefs Nouvelles en bref Section head

Vital Stats Statistics Canada has released its 2003 shipments, imports, and exports, by industry. The data is shown below in billions of dollars. Tha change compared to 2002 is shown in parentheses below. Overall, the industry showed strong growth in industry shipments in 2003, little change in imports, and a decline in exports.

Since this data is reported in dollar terms, a good part of this growth in shipments is assumed to be due to increased prices for many commodities during the year. There may also have been some increased consumption as the economy strengthened. If this is the case, it occurred more prominently among downstream customers within Canada than in export markets.

Sub-industries showing growth stronger than the industry average in 2003 were petrochemicals, industrial gases, chlor-alkali and other inorganics, fertilizers, pesticides, adhesives and sealants, and toilet preparations. Sub-industries that experienced a decline in shipments in 2003 were dyes and pigments, synthetic fibres, and explosives.

It is interesting to note the relatively small changes observed in imports and exports given the change that the Canadian dollar experienced during the year. The currency shift would have had the effect of hurting the bottom line for Canadian exporters, but this impact was muted, at least in part, by the simultaneous rise in commodity prices.

Shipments and trade statistics for the chemical industry in 2003 Shipments



Chemical industry (total)

$42.1 (4.8%)

$33.2 (0.9%)

$20.3 (-3.0%)


$4.6 (12.9%)

$0.27 (28.6%)

$1.4 (8.0%)

Industrial gases

$0.49 (14.3%)

$0.16 (-5.3%)

$0.15 (-4.4%)

Dyes and pigments

$0.61 (-1.1%)

$0.73 (-3.6%)

$0.37 (-3.0%)


$0.57 (6.1%)

$0.18 (-14.5%)

$0.18 (10.2%)

Other inorganics

$2.4 (6.1%)

$1.2 (-7.1%)

$1.9 (-13.1%)

Other organics

$3.7 (1.9%)

$5.0 (-2.3%)

$2.2 (-11.1%)

Synthetic resins and rubbers

$6.8 (4.6%)

$5.5 (-3.8%)

$5.4 (0.6%)

$0.79 (-15.1%)

$0.76 (-7.5%)

$0.70 (-11.6%)

Chemical fertilizers (excl. potash)

$1.8 (17.8%)

$0.42 (32.7%)

$0.95 (-5.3%)

Mixed fertilizers

$0.51 (17.8%)

$0.29 (26.0%)

$0.03 (-8.9%)


$0.43 (31.7%)

$0.82 (-10.8%)

$0.16 (-6.6%)


$8.5 (2.7%)

$9.0 (11.7%)

$3.4 (31.8%)

Paints and coatings

$2.0 (4.3%)

$1.0 (-4.1%)

$0.41 (-2.9%)

Adhesives and sealants

$0.74 (8.1%)

$0.48 (-8.5%)

$0.19 (2.8%)

Soap and cleaning compounds

$2.1 (0.7%)

$1.6 (0.4%)

$0.66 (-6.1%)

Toilet preparations

$1.4 (9.5%)

$1.6 (1.6%)

$1.0 (1.6%)

Printing inks

$0.53 (2.2%)

$0.15 (-8.1%)

$0.07 (-21.1%)


$0.23 (-6.6%)

$0.10 (12.8%)

$0.11 (-2.0%)

Custom compounding of resins

$0.89 (2.3%)

$0.48 (-0.4%)

$0.03 (-26.2%)

Other chemicals

$3.1 (2.3%)

$3.4 (-4.1%)

$1.1 (-3.0%)

Synthetic fibres

May 2004

Canadian Chemical News 9

News Briefs Nouvelles en bref Section head

Canadian production in 2003 Statistics Canada has also released its 2003 production data for petrochemicals and synthetic resins on a tonnage basis. For this data, values are in kilotonnes. The % change compared to 2002 is shown in parentheses.

Petrochemicals Benzene: 843 (-0.8%) Ethylene: 4729 (-0.1%) Butadiene: 276 (no change) Butylene: 238 (-6.5%) Propylene: 938 (-1.9%) Toluene: 289 (12.6%) Xylenes: 336 (14.2%) The overall decline in petrochemical volumes combined with the large jump in industry shipments (shown above) confirms that prices rose significantly during the year for these commodities as a group.

Resins Polyethylene (total): 3083 (-7.4%) – LDPE and LLDPE: 1694 (-6.1%) (estimated) – HDPE: 1389 (-1.5%) (estimated) Polystyrene and ABS: 183 (-6.2%) Polyesters: 139 (23.2%)

Again, volumes declined while shipments increased indicating some price recovery during the year. Industry Canada

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Chemputing Section head

Come On Out of the Closet No need to run a sideshow to put on your slide show. View your slides on your computer! Marvin D. Silbert, FCIC ack in my graduate student days, several of us were quite active with our 35 mm cameras. This led to many lunchtime slide shows in room 16 of McMaster’s nuclear research building. It was dark, but there wasn’t much space. We had to share space with a mass spectrometer and listen to the vacuum pump. Many things have changed since those graduate student days. People no longer sit in darkened rooms to watch colour slides, and those slides have ended up in the back of a closet. Many people have told me that it has been years since they last looked at colour slides. Considering all the effort that went into producing them, it would be a shame to leave them in the closet. A few years ago, I replaced my old 300 dpi scanner with a new 600 dpi scanner. This new one cost something like $129 and included a transmission unit that could scan both colour slides and negatives. I started scanning them to see how they looked. That 600 dpi is the minimum to do a full-frame 35 mm slide. Those specialized scanners designed specifically for slides tend to be in the 2400–3000 dpi range. They’re expensive now, but somehow scanners keep adding features and their prices keep coming down. The 1200 dpi scanner will soon be the norm and it’s only a matter of time before 2400 dpi becomes the norm. That difference in resolution will determine how sharp the image can be and the size of the file. My scanner is an Epson model 1250 Photo. It came with all the necessary software to scan and manipulate slides. A simple click fires up the scanner with the Epson Twain scanning software. It seems to take some combination of Photo Editor and the Twain software to give me the best image. Usually it’s necessary to make it a bit brighter and adjust the contrast a bit. The major problem I encounter is all those automated settings that come up with some weird colouring. I can usually overcome that and get the colour where I want it by adjusting the brightness of the red, blue, or green


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individually. I’ve got it down to about five minutes between placing the slide in the scanner and getting a final image that looks right to me. I then save it as a JPG with a 65 percent quality. A 600 dpi image will take somewhere between 0.3 to 1.2 MB of file space. I have a couple thousand lined up for scanning. At an average of 0.5 MB per slide, that would take about 1 GB of disk space. It is a good idea to be a bit selective. An alternative method is to limit the size of the image. My scanner wants to go to 470 percent magnification and I go for half that, unless I plan to make large prints from them. I used my initial set of scanned slides to test Aunt Abigail’s Photo Album (ACCN, May 2003). Auntie gave me an entirely new way to look at those slides. By assembling them into mosaics that place many slides on a single page, I was able to see what might be called that “bigger picture” that can easily be overlooked when sitting in the dark and viewing images on a slide-by-slide basis. There’s another way to bring those slides back to life and, as they were produced originally as slides, this is also a method that shows them that way. As a

mai 2004

bonus, all the software is included as part of Windows. Click on the desktop to get the properties for the screen and choose Screen Saver. If you have Windows ME or later, one of the options is My Pictures Slideshow. Take this option and go into settings to set up the slide show you want. First select browse and tell it where your pictures are stored. Then choose the time for each slide to be displayed and whether or not it should be expanded to full screen. As a further refinement, I suggest you also choose Stretch small pictures to make any smaller images appear the same size as the larger ones and Allow scrolling through pictures with keyboard. This later choice enables you to scroll through them manually at your own speed with the arrow keys. The last step is to set the time before the screensaver jumps into action. That’s all there is to it. Ignore your computer and instead of one of those continually varying patterns, up comes your slide show! You don’t have to set up the projector and move all the furniture. You don’t have to sit in a dark room that keeps getting hotter as that expensive 500 watt bulb burns through its 20-hour life. Just sit back, relax and enjoy yourself. Unlike the old days, you can just keep the show running over and over again effortlessly. File the images in separate directories according to topic or date and go in once every month and change the file location to set the topic of the month. If you want more control over your show, you can always open them with Windows Picture and Fax Viewer or some similar package with a slide show option. Now all you have to do is scan those slides. You can reach our Chemputing editor, Marvin D. Silbert, FCIC, at Marvin Silbert and Associates, 23 Glenelia Avenue, Toronto, ON M2M 2K6; tel. 416-225-0226; fax: 416-225-2227; e-mail:; Web site:


Say Cheese! Chymosin was the first food product of genetic engineering Joe Schwarcz, MCIC heese producers were cheesed off. People were eating less veal and slaughterhouses were running short of calf stomachs. There was not enough rennet to meet the demands of turophiles (that’s “cheese lovers” from the Greek) around the world. Rennet, you see, is critical to the cheesemaking process. Traditionally, it has been made by washing, drying, macerating, and brining the lining taken from the fourth stomach of calves. This leads to a product that is a mixture of two enzymes, chymosin and bovine pepsin, both of which can coagulate milk and convert it into cheese. The stomach lining of mammals contains these enzymes because they are needed for proper digestion. If milk did not coagulate to some extent in the stomach, it would flow through the digestive tract too quickly, and its proteins would not be sufficiently broken down into absorbable amino acids. Chymosin and bovine pepsin are proteases. They catalyze the breaking down of proteins, a task that is central to the milk coagulation process. Milk consists of about 87 percent water, 3.5 percent fat, 5 percent lactose, 1 percent minerals, and 3.5 percent protein. The protein content consists mostly of casein molecules that are insoluble in water and aggregate into tiny spheres called micelles. Since their density is comparable to the surrounding solution, micelles remain suspended. Actually, there are three kinds of casein molecules, referred to as alpha, beta, and kappa-casein. Within the micelle, the alpha and beta caseins are curled up like a ball of string, and are held together by kappa casein, which functions much like an elastic band. The job of chymosin is to break the band and allow the casein molecules to stretch out and form a long tangled network of protein molecules that settles out of the solution. Fats and minerals get snared in this protein net, and presto, we have cheese! Chymosin is the ideal enzyme for catalyzing this process. In an acidic environment it snips kappa-casein specifically, allowing the other caseins to unwind. In the stomach, the


acidic environment is created by cells that secrete hydrochloric acid, whereas in cheesemaking a bacterial starter culture that converts lactose into lactic acid is added before the rennet. Bovine pepsin is not quite as suitable because it has a more general protease activity, snipping caseins in a variety of ways. This weakens the protein network needed to trap fat and results in a lower yield of cheese. Some of the protein fragments it produces have a bitter taste and subtly alter a cheese’s flavour profile. By the 1960s, the shortage of rennet was becoming critical. The stomachs of older animals were pressed into service, but the resulting rennet was not really suitable. As an animal ages, chymosin production goes down and pepsin production increases. So, scientists had to step in and take the bull by the horn, as it were. Actually, instead of bull horns, they grabbed chicken bones. Researchers at the University of Guelph discovered that rennet enzymes would bind very well to porous chicken bones and that milk could be pumped through a matrix of such bones to start the curdling process. The same amount of rennet would go a lot further than if it were just dumped into vats of milk. While an interesting possibility, the method was never commercialized because a number of companies found that using a technique called anion exchange chromatography, they were able to separate pure chymosin from the stomach extracts of older animals. This made pure 100 percent chymosin available for the first time, but the process was complicated and not cheap. There was another way to compensate for the lack of calf rennet. In the 1960s, researchers had discovered that certain fungi, Mucor miehei being a prime example, were capable of producing enzymes that would cleave proteins much like chymosin did. This meant that cheese could be produced without using any animal rennet at all. Not only did this address the rennet shortage, it also made possible the production of cheese that met the needs of vegetarians. Such cheese was also Kosher because there was no mixing of milk and meat. But purists claim that the taste was

not the same. They may well be right. The fungal enzymes have greater proteolytic (protein breaking) activity than chymosin and can give rise to “off” flavours. Then genetic engineering entered the picture and essentially solved the chymosin problem. The bit of DNA, the gene, that gives the instructions for the formation of chymosin was isolated from calf cells and cloned. It was then successfully inserted into the genetic machinery of certain bacteria (E.coli), yeasts (Kluyveromyces lactis) or fungi (Aspergillus niger) that dutifully churned out pure chymosin. Approved in 1990 by the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S., chymosin became the first product of genetic engineering in our food supply. It is 100 percent identical to that found in calf stomachs, but because it does not come from animals, it is acceptable to consumers who do not want meat products in their cheese. Extraordinary precautions were taken before chymosin, made by recombinant DNA technology, was marketed. Regulators ensured that no toxins of any kind had been introduced and that no live recombinant organisms were present. Indeed, the product contained nothing but pure chymosin. Cheese made with it is completely indistinguishable from that produced with animal rennet. In any case, chymosin itself is degraded during cheese making and none is left in the finished product. Today, in North America, over 80 percent of all cheese is made using chymosin produced by recombinant DNA technology. Cheese makers no longer have to worry about a shortage of calf stomachs and turophiles can satisfy their critical tastebuds. Thanks to biotechnology they can “say cheese” and smile. Popular science writer, Joe Schwarcz, MCIC, is the director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society. He hosts the “Dr. Joe Show” every Sunday 3:00–4:00 p.m. on Montréal’s radio station CJAD. The broadcast is available on the Web at You can contact him at

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Canadian Chemical News 13

Crossing Over— The Promise of Regenerative Medicine Healing is redefined at the University of Toronto. Innovative strategies inspire collaborative enterprises. magine a world where there is no donor organ shortage—where victims of spinal cord injuries can walk, where weakened hearts are replaced, and the brains of stroke victims are regenerated. This is the promise of regenerative medicine—to address the donor organ shortage by creating an unlimited supply of vital organs for the purpose of transplantation. Regenerative medicine cuts across traditionally distinct research areas encompassing fundamental research at the interface of cell biology, materials science and engineering and surgery. The University of Toronto (U of T) and affiliated teaching hospitals are at this interface. Indeed several academic research centres in Canada lead the world in this field of regenerative medicine. Examples include Ray Rajotte’s laboratory in Alberta where the Edmonton Protocol for cell transplantation for diabetic patients was established. It


Multicomponent nerve guidance channel for enhanced regeneration after injury

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Molly S. Shoichet, MCIC

is now setting the pace for treatment worldwide. And Thomas Chang’s laboratory at McGill University pioneered encapsulated cell therapy for liver failure and as an artificial red blood cell. This therapy served as the platform on which several investigators, from Lausanne Switzerland to the California Institute of Technology, built their careers. While regenerative medicine is a relatively young field, its promise has enticed many investigators—and it would be difficult to describe them all, even if limited to Canada. Instead, I will describe some examples from my home, the University of Toronto. The University of Toronto and its affiliated teaching hospitals represent an exceptionally strong, internationally renowned academic health science complex. U of T research efforts in the biomedical and health sciences extend from the molecular scale to the clinical setting. Capitalizing on a wealth of basic knowledge, U of T is a leader in transplantation and immunology, developmental biology, engineering, genetics, the neurosciences and polymer chemistry. Given the size and diversity of the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Complex and engineering and science faculties, it is no surprise that there is a strong and active tissue engineering/regenerative medicine community at U of T. Regenerative medicine research at U of T comprises all aspects of tissue engineering and regeneration—from biomaterials to cell biology to surgery. Consisting of close to 100 principal investigators with tens of millions of dollars in annual funding, the Toronto community has emerged as an international leader in the burgeoning field of cell-based therapeutics through its pioneering efforts to integrate cells and materials in novel medical devices. Some examples include research out of the laboratory of Michael Sefton, FCIC, where encapsulated cell therapy was

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investigated to overcome diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Sefton is well-known for his pioneering work with blood-material interactions. He has recently capitalized on an invention related to angiogenic materials with the formation of a spin-off company, Rimon Therapeutics. Our own laboratory is focused on soft tissue and specifically on spinal cord injury and peripheral nerve injury repair. Since there are only limited therapeutics available for spinal cord injured patients, our laboratory is devising innovative strategies to enhance regeneration after injury. These include an injectable drug delivery strategy and an entubulation strategy. The latest innovation out of our laboratory builds on a

Combining strengths in biomaterials, bioengineering, and the basic sciences coatings and tube processing technology. This has resulted in a spin-off company, matREGEN Corp., which is focused on materials for regeneration in the nervous and vascular systems. The laboratory of John Davies, FCIC, is rich with innovations related to bone tissue engineering. Davies has created a novel biodegradable scaffold in collaboration with our laboratory. He has combined the scaffold with an invention relating to mesenchymal stem cell expansion (in collaboration with the laboratory of Peter Zandstra, ACIC). These two powerful technologies—scaffolds and stem cells—have

Photo above: Molly S. Shoichet’s research group at U of T

resulted in a spin-off venture, BoneTec Corporation, which promises to promote healing in bone defects after injury. Zandstra is developing novel technologies related to bioreactor design, hematopoeitic, mesenchymal, and embryonic stem cells. These technologies include a bioprocess to blood stem cell growth, which (in combination with other related developments) has lead to a spin–off company, InSCeption Biosciences. Zandstra is collaborating with the laboratory of Kim Woodhouse, ACIC, on a heart-tissue engineering project. Woodhouse is testing novel, elastomeric scaffolds for myocyte delivery. Zandstra is designing bioreactors for the generation of clinically relevant numbers of embryonic stem cell derived cardiac myocytes. This collaboration builds on Woodhouse’s understanding of materials science, which includes innovations in polyurethanes and elastin-analogs for use in skin and bladder applications. Elastin Specialties, a spin-off venture between Woodhouse, Keeley, Rothstein and Rothstein, promises elastomeric materials for soft tissue implantation. Through a collaboration with Woodhouse, J. Paul Santerre, MCIC, is investigating the use of his novel fluorinated surface modifying molecules coupled with cell spreading/adhesive peptides for regenerative medicine applications in the vasculature. These fluorinated additives are being commercialized by a spin-off company, Interface Biologics. U of T has an excellent track record in establishing clear and practical links between the research laboratory and the clinical development of treatment modalities and development of devices. In

addition to the examples above, a novel tooth root replacement system, the Endopore® dental implant, is produced and marketed by a Canadian company, Innova Corporation, Toronto. It is the result of research out of Robert Pilliar’s laboratory. Thus the University of Toronto builds collaborative enterprises between academia and industry to create valid and feasible channels for the development of new clinically relevant products and materials. The combined strengths in biomaterials, bioengineering, the basic sciences, and the clinic give the University of Toronto a considerable competitive advantage. This regenerative medicine group capitalizes on the excellent infrastructure and the research environment that is already in place to ensure that U of T maintains its world leading position in the fields of biomaterials, tissue engineering, and regeneration research. The Advanced Regenerative Tissue Engineering Centre (ARTEC) is led by John Semple at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre and U of T’s Kim Woodhouse and Michael Sefton. The Centre represents the collaborative effort of the team of investigators coming together to bring bench-side innovations to clinical treatment. The McLaughlin Centre in Molecular Medicine, spearheaded by Keith Stewart at the University Health Network, is another example of the crossover strength in regenerative medicine in Toronto. The ability to grow replacement cells and tissues for a wide variety of clinical applications will have a significant social and economic impact. Business Week claims that tissue engineering is poised to

become an $80 billion industry. Time Magazine asserts that “tissue engineer” will be the number one job of the future! The University of Toronto is committed to being the institution that will translate this goal into a reality. This commitment is echoed across Canada, providing us with an opportunity to translate our exceptional research into clinical products for the benefit of all Canadians.

Molly S. Shoichet, MCIC, holds the Canada Research Chair in tissue engineering and is an associate professor of chemical engineering and applied chemistry, chemistry and biomaterials and biomedical engineering at the University of Toronto. She is a recipient of such prestigious distinctions as NSERC’s Steacie Fellowship, CIAR’s Young Explorer’s Award, CSChE’s Syncrude Innovation Award, and Canada’s Top 40 under 40™. Shoichet is an expert in the study of polymers for regeneration and is a leading expert in fluoropolymer synthesis and applications for industrial coatings. She recently founded matREGEN Corp. (, a spin-off based on a platform technology invented in her laboratory. Shoichet has published over 190 papers, patents, and abstracts. She has been invited to speak at over 100 institutions worldwide.

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Canadian Chemical News 17

Biotechnological Engineering A new discipline designed to meet new demands Bernard Marcos, Pierre Proulx, MCIC, and Patrick Vermette, MCIC here has been a great deal of progress made recently in fundamental and applied biology at the molecular and cellular levels. This progress has generated a large body of knowledge on the mechanisms of biological phenomena and systems. Work in the genomics and proteomics fields have increased the available data. The next challenge involves the treatment and management of the new information—from the genomic level, up to higher levels of biological systems. Society must develop a fundamental understanding of the new concepts and develop innovative biotechnology processes and products. Engineering is one approach where the first principles of analysis and synthesis are used to develop strong design principles. These principles can be used to explain the behaviour of systems from the component behaviour. Modelling and quantification methods are the core basis of the engineering disciplines; these methods rely on mathematics, physics, and chemistry. It seems timely that engineering principles have extended to encompass biological systems. It is in this framework that the Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS) has created a new program called biotechnological engineering. The program focuses on the expanding field of bioengineering, bioengineering analyses, biological systems, and processes in terms of key properties. It also proposes


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technologies that can efficiently design, modify, and control such systems.

Bioengineering programs The numerous developments in biotechnology and the medical sciences have led the engineering faculties to adapt their curricula. In the last few decades, bio-related engineering programs have been created under such names as biomedical engineering, biochemical engineering, and biological engineering. It can be quite difficult to differentiate between these terms, but some definitions have been proposed by the Whitaker foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Historically, bioengineering was synonymous with biomedical engineering and corresponded to the Whitaker Foundation’s definition: “Biomedical engineering is a discipline that advances knowledge in engineering, biology, and medicine, and improves human health through cross-disciplinary activities that integrate the engineering sciences with the biomedical sciences and clinical practice.” Whitaker’s definition and the following definitions outline the close relationship between biomedical engineering and medicine. In the last few years, bioengineering has become a prominent field, evolving from

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a medicine-related application to a biologyrelated application. The Bioengineering and Environmental Systems (BES) division of NSF has opened a section called Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology (BEB). The BEB’s mission is to advance “… the knowledge base of basic engineering and scientific principles of bioprocessing at both the molecular level (biomolecular engineering) and the manufacturing scale (bioprocess engineering). Many proposals supported by BEB programs are involved with the development of enabling technologies for production of a wide range of biotechnology products and services by making use of enzymes, mammalian, microbial, plant, and/or insect cells

to produce useful biochemicals, pharmaceuticals, cells, cellular components, or cell composites (tissues).” This definition underscores the bioprocess and chemical engineering emphasis. In this orientation, the definition is built on the principles of process engineering. The IBE has recently proposed the following definition for biological

The philosophy of the new MIT division is to make biology an additional core science underlying this particular type of engineering. This would add biology to the mathematics, physics, and chemistry that presently underlie all of the engineering disciplines. MIT’s new biological engineering undergraduate program is projected to begin in 2005.

engineering: “Biological engineering is the biology-based engineering discipline that integrates life sciences with engineering in the advancement and application of fundamental concepts of biological systems from molecular to ecosystem levels.” Biological engineering was initially related to agricultural engineering and biological resources. Its focus has now spread beyond solely agricultural aspects. Biological engineering is developing into a science-based discipline rather than an applications-based discipline. Students are receiving broad training in biology and engineering science at the undergraduate level, rather than focusing on applications. One could argue that biological engineering will one day be based on biological sciences—as chemical engineering is based on chemistry, and mechanical engineering is based on physics. The biological engineering division at MIT endeavours to further develop the new discipline. MIT has offered a definition that resembles the IBE’s definition. It stems from the rapid advances in understanding biology at the cellular and molecular levels.

Université de Sherbrooke’s biotechnological engineering curriculum For professional training, the most precious asset of a profession is its intellectual core. In an era of rapid evolution in the biotechnology-based industry, it is imperative that the biotechnological engineering discipline defines its own core. It must strengthen its core through scholarly activities and diverse applications. Considering that biotechnology constitutes a broad field, biotechnological engineers should integrate skills in engineering principles, process engineering, and biological sciences, but without being restricted to a particular application. The new discipline is a science-based discipline. Biotechnological engineering programs must take into account the complexity of living systems with their discrete and non-linear relationships. The integration of complex engineering principles is not a simple task, and the biology-engineering barrier is an obstacle that has to be overcome. Recent studies listed basic concepts in biology and engineering where

the engineering concepts encompass biokinetics, thermodynamics, biotransport (heat and mass transfer), biofluidics, biomaterials, bioinstrumentation, cellular and molecular engineering, and bioprocess and control. The biology component should include molecular biology, biochemistry, cellular biology, and organism biology. It is recommended that courses be designed by biologists and engineers working together. It is not sufficient to incorporate biological science courses into a chemical engineering curriculum— and to hope that the students will be capable of integrating both concepts. The biotechnological engineers must eliminate the present gap and misunderstandings between traditional engineers and biologists. They must accept that living organisms are not entirely predictable. Consequently, they must master basic knowledge on living organisms and bioproducts, and in fundamental unit operations and simulation tools used by engineers. They must understand the physiology of prokaryotes and eukaryotes as well as the engineering concepts used in bioprocesses. Biotechnological engineers must also be able to operate and control small- and large-scale culture systems of cells and micro-organisms for the production of products of commercial potential (e.g. proteins, antibiotics, etc.) as well as the downstream processing including separation and purification of biomacromolecules. Finally, they must be skilled in project management and quality control. Broadly speaking, the biotechnological engineer will be called upon to solve problems through the development of bioproducts and bioprocesses that use living organisms or the products they synthesize. The biotechnological engineering program at the Université de Sherbrooke was developed by the departments of biology and chemical engineering. It took four years to build the program, which offers an integrated training in biotechnological engineering. Visit newbiotechnologicalengineeringprogramcurricuium. The program is divided into eight terms that include laboratories, applied projects, and lectures. A major facet of this advanced training is that UdeS has recently adopted revolutionary practices in the training of young engineers—not only from the point of view of cooperative

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Canadian Chemical News 19

training (four four-month work terms in Industry) but also in terms of pedagogical innovations. As soon as students enter the faculty of engineering, they work on an integration project (problem-based learning). These projects expose students to more than lectures—the socalled common core of a traditional university program— that may appear disconnected from each other. This revolutionary pedagogic approach has produced spectacular results in terms of the quality of training, enhanced design ability, teamwork synergisms,

Industry requires biotechnological engineers

improved interpersonal relationships, and the development of problem solving skills. This integrated approach is absolutely essential to consolidate the biotechnological engineering discipline and to eliminate the biology-engineering barrier.

blockbusters recently, and the protein therapeutics market is expected to reach US$57 in 2007. According to the firm Lias and Fogerty (2001), the issue of supply and demand has become so acute that it is predicted that some 20-40 products currently in development may wind up “shelved” rather than on the shelf due to the lack of production capacity. The need for biopharmaceutical processes exceeds the present capability. All the data show the demand for

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The educational programs must be directly related to Industry’s needs. Several segments of the bio-industry are relevant to the future biotechnological engineers. One such segment is the biopharmaceutical and drug delivery system companies. The proportion of new biologic-based therapeutic products is increasing with respect to chemical therapeutics products. Several biopharmaceutical products have been

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biotechnological engineers trained to manage bioprocesses. Another segment involves the industrial biotechnology companies that develop non-medical products. This segment comprises agribusiness and food companies that used to employ more classical engineers (biochemical or agricultural). Environmental biotechnology companies also belong to this segment. The new biotechnological engineers will be valuable resources for these companies because of the integrated training in biology and engineering. The third segment pertains to companies related to biomaterials and the tissue engineering sector. These companies develop novel biomaterials and bioproduct design. They use structure-functional properties, modifications, bioconversions, reactions, and catalysts. They perform property measurements and performance evaluations. As the biotechnological engineers master the interaction between materials and living organisms, they become well trained to work on processing design, control, and scale-up. The last segment is related to biomedical instrumentation companies engaged in the production of internal or external artificial organs—especially the organs where mass or momentum transfer phenomena play an important part. Creating a new discipline may present some drawbacks for the hiring of new graduates. Industry will need to learn what a biotechnological engineer is—just as it understands what chemical engineers and biologists are. That is why the biotechnological engineering program was developed with industrial partners. These industrial partners are regularly updated on the curriculum’s development. Another area of concern is that biotechnological engineers may be too narrowly trained and too application oriented. As explained previously, the biotechnological engineering program is a science-based program that should ultimately alleviate a narrow perspective. The goal of the training is to prepare a generalist engineer who is able to manage the evolution of the biotechnology industry. The breadth of knowledge of tomorrow’s biotechnological engineers will be an important advantage.

Concluding remarks The intellectual core of the biotechnological engineering program at the Université de Sherbrooke has been defined by keeping

in mind that our future engineers must be capable of practising in most of the biotechnology areas. Biotechnological (biological) engineering is emerging as a separate and distinct discipline. There are many initiatives that define the field as a cohesive unit and general agreements are being reached regarding the specific knowledge core, courses to offer, or the types of academic programs to design. The success of the program will require that industrial (and other) employers become informed about the needs and the capabilities of future graduates. The new biotechnological engineering program at the Université de Sherbrooke is helping to craft this unique, emerging discipline.

Bernard Marcos is a full professor in the department of chemical engineering at the Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS). He is presently the head of the new program of biotechnological engineering. His research interests are the modelling and control of the process and bioprocess. Pierre Proulx, MCIC, is a chemical engineer and professor in the chemical engineering department of the UdeS. He has served as a vice-dean and head of department but is now back to his preferred researcher and teacher position. He has been involved for many years in the mathematical modelling of complex chemical reactors and currently supervises seven PhD students.

Patrick Vermette, MCIC, is a professional engineer and assistant professor in the UdeS department of chemical engineering. He is also a scientist at the Research Centre on Aging, and an active member of the Intelligent Materials and Systems Institute. With his expertise in nanotechnology applied to biological processes, biomaterials, regenerative medicine, and processing of large human tissues, colloids and interface science, and drug delivery, Vermette is deeply involved in the start-up of our new biotechnological engineering program at UdeS.

Helping Young People Catch the Biotech Wave Career Focus

The Biotechnology Human Resource Council (BHRC) has launched a new wage subsidy program, , funded by the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Strategy (YES). The program is designed to provide valuable work experience in the sector for young people aged 30 or under who are unemployed or underemployed. The project is an initiative that provides cash incentives to industries for the creation of employment opportunities for new graduates in biotechnology. The core offering of the program is a wage subsidy that offsets part of the cost of staffing a new biotech position. Subsidies will cover approximately one third of salaries paid out to participants for a minimum 6-month period ($10,635 maximum subsidy for a 12-month period). BHRC’s executive director, Claire Thifault, says, "The great strength of the program is that it allows employees to get out of the vicious circle of 'no experience, no job/no job, no experience' and give their careers a head start." Many companies have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly a recent graduate can become an integral part of their workforce. Candidates bring new ideas, energy and exuberance to their jobs and work very hard to prove themselves and make a contribution to the company. As Eddie Johnson from Cedarlane Laboratories states, their organization was "able to hire someone with the appropriate qualifications without having the initial high salary costs. This is the third time we have used this program. Each time, we have had an excellent employee who was able to more than fulfill their duties." Biophage is a biotechnology company with limited financial resources. However, thanks to the financial support provided by the BHRC in recent years, it has been able to forge ahead with its development plan and create new jobs in the technology field. We owe BHRC a great debt of thanks,” declared Lucie St-Georges, VP and CFO of Biophage Pharma Inc. Only ten spots left! If you are interested in participating, please contact Erica Phillips-Posner as soon as possible at youth(at) or (613) 235-1402 ext. 617. For more information on the Career Focus program, visit BHRC's website at

About BHRC The BHRC is a unique organization that is dedicated to ensuring a greater understanding and management of the human resources issues in the Canadian biotechnology sector. In order to grow Canada's pool of biotech talent, BHRC develops and delivers specialized training, human resource management tools, biotech career information and job portals, and is the hub of a coast-to-coast network of leading experts in the field of biotechnology.

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Canadian Chemical News 21

Biomolecular Screening A perspective on implementation of small molecule screening at the McMaster HTS Laboratory Eric D. Brown ith the emergence of small molecule screening as a powerful research tool in biology, biomolecular screening has arrived in the laboratories of academe. More and more, researchers in universities and hospital research institutes are recognizing the power of small molecules as probes of biochemical and biological systems. At McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, we have established a state-of-the-art small molecule screening laboratory that became fully operational a little more than two years ago ( It’s with considerable enthusiasm, as the founding director of that laboratory, that I offer the following perspectives on screening in an academic setting and on my own experiences in setting up such a facility. There has been a groundswell of interest among academic researchers in high throughput screening. It began with the establishment of the first academic screening operations—including that of the Harvard Institute of Chemistry and Cell Biology in the late 1990s. Today, biological researchers in most research-intensive academic institutions are, at the very least, considering the establishment of capabilities and a presence in small molecule screening in order to fuel research activities in the emerging field of chemical biology. Nevertheless, the implementation of a reasonably capable screening facility with its associated liquid handling, instrumentation, compound and information management systems is a complex, costly, and energetic undertaking. In setting up a state-of-the-art screening laboratory, it has been instructive for me to reflect on how advances in high throughput screening in the private sector have exerted recent influence on research directions in biological research at universities and research institutes. This trend contrasts with the conventional academic view of innovation, which has emerging technology


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moving from university to industry. Advances in biological research have, of course, been among the most celebrated university-based innovations. The once purely academic pursuits of biological chemistry and cell biology have slowly but firmly established themselves in the research paradigm of formerly chemistrycentred pharma, beginning with revolutionary advances in molecular biology in the late 1970s. It is perhaps ironic, if not remarkable, then that similarly revolutionary progress made by high throughput screeners in the pharmaceutical sector has impacted on the technology now available to chemical biologists in academe. Equipped with robust robotics, information systems and well-established screening methodologies, all developed by and large in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical

The entire core system. The Biomek FX is visible in the centre (liquid handler with side stackers for storage). The ORCA robotic arm on its 3m rail. The tiplift stores tip boxes and is to the immediate right of the rail. The Analyst HT (fluorescence detector) is the grey box behind tiplift. The CO2 incubator is behind Analyst, for whole cell screens. The ambient storage carousel (for storage of assay and compound plates) is between the ORCA and the tiplift. Everything is run by the PC at the left.

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sector, biochemists and cell biologists in academe are turning in earnest to small molecule screening as a fresh approach to discovering molecular probes of systems under their study. With the freedom to innovate and publish, academic screeners will now surely be in a position to return the favour to their private sector colleagues with new discoveries and new approaches. Our own HTS Lab was founded by three principle investigators at McMaster whose research interests include antimicrobial research (Gerry Wright and I) and materials science (John D. Brennan). The genesis and funding for the laboratory came as part of a province-wide initiative in genomics. It included close partnerships with combinatorial chemistry laboratories at York University and the University of Toronto. The thinking was that the chemists and screeners could work together, for example, in lead optimization activities. Indeed, the practicality of attracting the interest of collaborators in synthetic chemistry for downstream optimization of hits from commercial libraries is frequently a concern among academic researchers considering screening projects. In practice, we’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the interest of colleagues in synthetic chemistry and the ease with which meaningful collaborations have arisen. Among the primary considerations in setting up the McMaster HTS Lab was to clearly define our goals. We wanted to establish a facility that would be in a position to lead in academic screening in Canada and elsewhere. Therefore, in addition to servicing the research needs of the principle investigators, the McMaster HTS Lab has aspired to provide a service to the biological research community in Canada and beyond. Those objectives have required the establishment of capable research, service, and training components that can be tapped into on an ad hoc basis. As a result,

The Optimized Robot for Chemical Analyses (ORCA) used to transport all labware

A close-up of the Biomek FX (BFX)

The empty deck of the BFX

The stocked deck of the BFX

A plate containing library compounds

the McMaster HTS Lab has participated in collaborative projects with researchers from across the country. It has provided advice and training resources for researchers setting up screening operations in the public and private sectors in Canada and the U.S. In setting up the screening infrastructure, we needed to make some important philosophical choices. In screening circles, opinions on instrumentation, informatics and compound collections border on religion. Having spent three years in the private sector in Boston, MA, working in antibacterial lead discovery, I developed some strong thoughts of my own. Nonetheless, we consulted widely with colleagues in the private sector and visited screening labs in pharmaceutical companies in Boston and Montréal, QC. Those consultations were invaluable and our most important philosophical decision was to concentrate on the biological research capabilities of our facility. That meant de-emphasizing the technology of screening and choosing “offthe-shelf” technology where possible. We have not, for example, allocated funds to programming, engineering, or instrumentation development. We have not elected to push the limits of throughput. The result is a screening operation that is flexible, userfriendly, and small in scale. It functions with a highly trained but skeleton crew of just three full-time researchers, including a lab manager and two research scientists. Our compound collection is consistent with this user-friendly philosophy. The core of the collection is a couple of milligrams each of 50,000 diverse molecules from Maybridge, an organic compound producer in the U.K. This collection is recognized in screening circles for its quality and for ease of re-supply. The latter is particularly important to the academic biological screener who is typically without resources for re-synthesis. In our experience, molecules can be re-ordered cost-effectively from Maybridge with quick turnaround to verify structure and activity and to make headway on mechanism of action. This additional data is very helpful in solidifying downstream research activities and may provide preliminary results to secure funding and collaborations for those efforts. In addition to our core collection of 50,000 Maybridge compounds, we have lesser quantities of Chembridge molecules (50,000) and 10,000 proprietary molecules under agreement with Crompton Corporation. We have found that the core collection provides a good first pass that fits with most academic goals and finances, where the latter is a reality of academic research budgets, particularly due to

the high costs of disposables in screening. For high priority screens and targets, we screen our entire collection. For our screening instrumentation, we chose an integrated screening system, the SAGIAN Core System from Beckman equipped with a three metre rail, ORCA robotic arm, Biomek FX liquid handler (96-tip and span eight pipettors), and SAMI integration software. For instrumentation on the rail, we have an LJL Analyst fluorescence reader, Molecular Devices Spectra Max plus absorbance reader, CO2 incubator, etc.—all components that Beckman had successfully integrated before with the SAMI software. The goal here was to create a system that

Virtually all of our screens have produced molecules worthy of ongoing study and have spurred significant collaborations with synthetic chemists and structural biologists worked with little development or fiddling. In addition to the integrated Core System, we also have a complement of off-line readers and instrumentation, including a Biomek FX liquid handler equipped with a single pod 96-tip pipettor/gripper that is frequently used for plate replication and as general liquid handling capacity to assuage the screening queue. For informatics we have likewise chosen “off-the-shelf” solutions with ActivityBase by IDBS and DecisionSite by Spotfire. Again, the goal was to streamline our operation with little or no informatics development. Here, ActivityBase is a highly functional relational database system and Decision Site

May 2004

Canadian Chemical News 23

serves as a data visualization and analysis tool. Together these programs have been particularly up to the service challenges of the McMaster HTS Lab where meaningful data and queries must be delivered to users not trained on the software. The McMaster HTS Lab became fully operational in April 2002. Since that time, despite our “off-the-shelf” approach, we’ve experienced delays and down time amounting to about 20 percent due to instrumentation, informatics, and user difficulties. Even so, the growing pains appear to be behind us now. To date, we’ve collected millions of data points on more than a dozen screening campaigns. The first screens were of the principle investigators here at McMaster, the lion’s share of those currently underway are screens for researchers from other institutions across Canada. Of the assays completed some were cell-based and many were biochemical, that was among the first published (Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2003, 13:2493). It has formed the basis of an international data-mining and docking competition with the involvement of computational chemists from around the world (Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 2004, 3:6). Virtually all of our screens have produced molecules worthy of ongoing study and have spurred significant collaborations with

24 L’Actualité chimique canadienne

synthetic chemists and structural biologists. Among the most important lessons learned: devote quality time to assay development and run screens in duplicate. In closing, it’s a great time to be a small molecule screener in academe. Thanks mostly to more than a decade of development directed by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, screening technology is now available in sophisticated and userfriendly solutions. Furthermore, thanks to organizations such as the SBS, and its associated journal, screening approaches and methodologies are maturing and becoming more accessible to public domain researchers. Establishing a reasonable scale screening laboratory, however, remains a complex undertaking requiring investment and strategies for operation that are uncommon among facilities traditionally used by academic researchers. Regardless of the challenges, small molecule screening is very likely to find an enduring home in academe as biologists in universities and research institutes are increasingly recognizing the utility of small molecules as probes of their experimental systems.

Acknowledgements The author would like to acknowledge the staff at the McMaster HTS Laboratory, Jan

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Blanchard, ACIC, Jonathan Cechetto, and Nadine Elowe for their efforts. And my colleagues John Brennan, MCIC, and Gerry Wright for their thoughts and insights. I am also grateful to the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund for infrastructure and operating funds. Thanks also to the Canada Research Chairs program for a salary award.

Eric D. Brown is the director of the High Throughput Screening Laboratory and an associate professor in the department of biochemistry at McMaster University. He has a particular interest in new targets and leads for new antimicrobial chemotherapeutics.

Arsenic in Sheep’s Clothing Organic arsenic-sulfur compound discovered in sheep urine— is arsenic metabolism more complex than expected? hen “arsenic” comes up in mystery stories, the victim has usually been poisoned with white arsenic—arsenic oxide. Just how toxic an arsenic-containing substance is depends on the exact structure of the compound. Researchers at the Universities of Aberdeen, Scotland, and York, England, have found a previously unknown organic arsenic compound in the urine of a rare breed of sheep. The unusual thing about this molecule is that it has a sulfur atom bound to the arsenic atom. This is the first time that a thioorganoarsenate, as this class of compounds is called, has been found in a biological sample. “This is surprising, but not actually unexpected,” claims Jörg Feldmann, environmental and analytical chemistry researcher at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, “because arsenic has a high affinity for sulfur; in the body, arsenic ions bind to hydrogen sulphide groups in proteins, crippling important physiological functions. Bonding between arsenic and sulfur atoms also plays an important role in the breakdown of arseniccontaining compounds in the body.” In their search for arsenic-containing metabolic products, Feldmann and his colleagues examined the urine of a British breed of sheep whose preferred food is seaweed. Seaweed accumulates arsenic, which is present in trace amounts in seawater, in the form of arsenosugars, a class of compounds previously considered to be nontoxic. The thioorganoarsenate, whose structure was


Photo by Pierre-André Vullioud

determined by chromatographic and mass spectroscopic methods, is not very stable, which may be one reason why it has only just been discovered. Treating the samples, or allowing them to stand for a long time, causes the compound to be rapidly converted into the corresponding oxoorganoarsenate. The sulfur atom is replaced by an oxygen atom. The oxo compound has been known for some time. It occurs in crustaceans and was thought to be a metabolite of arsenosugars excreted in urine. Perhaps thioorganoarsenates were just previously overlooked in the analysis of biological samples. Says Feldmann, “The standard conditions for the analysis of arsenic compounds seem to be very unfavourable for the detection of thioorganoarsenates.” For example, the pH value (acidity) plays an important role in the separation of samples on chromatography columns. In more acidic solutions, the thioorganoarsenate from sheep urine decomposes easily, while less acidic liquids make it impossible to elute the compound from the column at all. “Now that we know this, we may be able to discover many more thioorganoarsenic compounds,” speculates Feldmann. “In any case, the metabolism of arsenic compounds in the body seems to be more complex than previously thought, and more questions about the toxicity of arsenic compounds are raised.”

CSChE Summer Institute Launched The education team of the CSChE process safety management division/PSM committee is proud to announce the first ever Summer Institute for outreach to university professors in Process Safety and Loss Management. The institute will take place in Sarnia, ON, at the beginning of June and will feature visits to NOVA Chemicals, Bayer, and Imperial Oil. At least 20 of Canada’s 23 faculties of chemical engineering are registered—a number well beyond what the organizing team expected in the first year of operation! For more information, contact Manny Marta of NOVA Chemicals at

Reprinted with permission from Angewandte Chemie.

May 2004

Canadian Chemical News 25

Carbon Coordinates What if Descartes had been an organic chemist? C. Gauthier and C. K. Jankowski, FCIC ne of the most fundamentally assumed dogmas in science is the presence, or even the omnipresence, of Cartesian coordinates. Whatever one wants to represent in the plane or in 3D space, chemical entities included, one uses these coordinates. The traditional sciences, as well as several newer branches of chemistry, were built on the basis of Cartesian coordinates. Many domains of learning, such as physical chemistry, simply cannot live without them. This text is a scherzo con variazioni1 on the theme of coordinate systems which would be appropriate to describe certain types of molecules of organic chemistry. Could a coordinate system, with tetrahedral symmetry be more convenient than Cartesian coordinates? Since our scientific childhood, we are taught that carbon, the most prominent element in a human being’s universe, exists in several hybridization states. Hence, the terms sp3, sp2 and sp are always associated with the knowing and learning more about the structures of millions of organic molecules built in majority with millions of sp3 carbon building blocks. The sp3 hybrid is a well-known geometrical entity whose equal distribution of electron densities allows the construction of more complex bonds toward other sp3 carbons, possibly in different hybridization states, or towards other atoms, some of which also displaying the sp3 tetrahedral symmetry. Tetrahedral carbon could be presented with a centre of mass in the gravicentre of a tetrahedron, with four specific directions oriented in such a way as to form an angle of 109° 28' between any two of the four axes. This leads us to the following questions. Why was such a common object in our universe not adopted by philosophers, mathematicians and, more generally, by all scientists? Why was the carbon coordinate system not adopted by everybody as the fundamental coordinate system, with C-H or C-C single bond as the length unit and the


26 L’Actualité chimique canadienne

angle of the tetrahedron as the angle unit? The first round of this debate took place in 1877 and saw the Dutch chemist J. H. van t’Hoff defending the tetrahedron against the German chemist H. Kolbe. Despite the apparent success of van t’Hoff’s view of “atoms arranged in space,” almost 150 years later we are still using the more rectangular Cartesian coordinates to describe organic chemistry molecules. The present study is a reflection of what the world could look like if we did use the coordinates based on the four axes forming the tetrahedral symmetry. Another question that can be asked is why the 3D Cartesian coordinate system uses 90° between any two of the six halfaxes in the positive or negative direction? This could be related to historical reasons. Some time ago, prior to Copernicus and to the discovery of the fact that Earth is a rotating spheroid, for centuries most scientists belonged to the school of flat-earth thought. As a result of this, the framework of North-South and East-West was enough to describe the universe. Could this have been the combined effect of gravity (even without knowing that it exists, it was obvious that it is easier to walk straight than bent), and also of aesthetics and biology? It was assumed that 90° is architecturally beautiful, an idea that probably comes from the Pythagorean beauty of the 90° triangle. The fact that, even now, languages are full of expressions characterizing straightness of moral characters as right (meaning 90°), is in this respect striking. The biological movement going toward the sun, meant the same thing for plants and for humans. Looking upright (90°) means looking toward God or gods. The fact that we are up, meant going forward with evolution of the evolution. “Homo erectus” means 90° (or eventually slightly less with age). With the development of astronomy, planets and their non-square movements in a non-flat universe, it was just a matter of time before this 2D world would be amended to answer more questions.

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Edmondson [1], in a recent book entitled A Fuller Explanation, explains that 3D space is just a convention, enduring from Descartes to now, a way to introduce a next step in the continuous change of coordinate systems for measurements, which would be a response to the fact that 90° is now a less natural angle for our environment. Seen in this way, we can say that the Cartesian coordinate system was not the way to freedom of spirit, but rather a means of channelling it into a framework of organized thinking. Scientists were not entirely satisfied with the Cartesian coordinate system, so they developed other systems of coordinates, such as the spherical or the cylindrical ones. These new coordinate systems were better adapted to certain problems. If we now agree on a quick jump through the history of coordinate systems, we arrive at Bucky and the fourth dimension. Spaces having four dimensions are quite common in science. The use of this fourth dimension is clear in physics where it plays the role of time. Time, considered by many as an illusion, “was open to physicists as a dimension already by Galileo.” Despite this, 4D spaces are now widely used in sciences and several works have been done on this subject, many from a strictly mathematical point of view. We would like to propose that the sp3 tetrahedral symmetry of carbon be used as the symmetry of a new coordinate system, with this atom located at the origin. The four axes of the tetrahedron would then come from the centre of this universe. It is then possible to represent any object, such as organic molecules, with respect to these axes. The tetrahedral symmetry of carbon has a quite respectable history. Hence, looking back on tetrahedral carbon in organic chemistry, one could go as far as the stereo chemistry of Pasteur, van t’Hoff, and LeBel. Searching for asymmetry with the tetrahedron, one also sees that this shape is very versatile in building single, double, or even triple C-C bonds. Just imagine van t’Hoff

playing with two tetrahedral blocks and connecting them via one vertex to get the single C-C bond, then edge to edge (two connection points) to give a double bond or a triple C-C bond by gluing two tetrahedrons face to face. All that by playing with tetrahedral blocks ... Remember that to the Cartesians “playing with block cubes” means playing with their six faces, while the tetrahedron has only four faces. More specifically, let us now introduce a few words of the mathematical terminology. The 3D Euclidean space E3 can be seen as the set of ordered triplets (a1,a2,a3) where a1,a2, and a3 are real numbers. Such triplets are called vectors. The three unit vectors e1=(1,0,0), e2=(0,1,0) and e3=(0,0,1) are mutually orthogonal. The 3D Cartesian coordinate system on E3 corresponds to choose the set B={e1,e2,e3} as basis of E3. However, mutual orthogonality is not essential to a set of three vectors for them to form a basis of E3. To illustrate this point, let us consider a regular tetrahedron inscribed in a sphere of unit radius in E 3. Fixing the origin of the 3D Cartesian coordinate system at the gravicentre of the tetrahedron, it is possible to orient the three Cartesian coordinate axes in such a way that the vertices of the tetrahedron be located at the points determined by the vectors t 1= Ê



t3=ÊÁ Ë



1 3


1 1 , -, 3 3

1 ˆ 3¯

, t2=ÊÁ Ë

1 ˆ ˜ 3¯

1 ,3

1 -, 3

and t4=ÊÁ Ë

1 ˆ ˜ 3¯ 1 -, 3

, 1 1 ˆ , ˜ 3 3¯



ˆ 3 3 3 ( x + y), ( x - z), ( y - z)˜ 2 2 Ë 2 ¯


Similarly, if [v]B'=(x',y',z'), then [v]B = ÊÁË

( x ¢ )2 + ( y ¢ )2 + ( z ¢ )2 -

1 1 1 ( x ¢ + y¢ - z ¢ ), ( x ¢ - y¢ + z ¢ ), ( x ¢ - y¢ - z ¢ )ˆ˜¯ 3 3 3

2 ( x ¢ y¢ + x ¢ z¢ + y¢ z¢ ) = r 2 . 3


Comparing (2) and (3), it is clear that the former is simpler than the latter. But the situation is different when the coordinate system is chosen by taking into account the intrinsic symmetry of the set of objects to be located in E3. Hence, with respect to the spherical coordinates r , f and q , the equation of the above sphere is simply r =r. We shall now illustrate this when the set of objects to be located in E3 has a tetrahedral symmetry. One such set of objects is the molecule of methane CH4, in its fundamental state. If we fix the origin of the carbon coordinate system at the centre of the atom of carbon C and place the axes of coordinates according to the symmetry of the molecule, then the location of the atoms are (0,0,0) for the atom C, and (a,0,0), (0,a,0), (0,0,a), (–a,–a,–a) for the atoms of hydrogen H, where a=1.1 Å. With respect to the corresponding Cartesian coordinate system, these locations would read (0,0,0) for the atom C, and

One example of a basis of E3 composed of non-orthogonal vectors is then given by any set of three of these four vectors. We choose B'={t1,t2,t3} as a new basis of E3. We call carbon, or tetrahedral, coordinates the coordinates of a vector expressed in terms of the basis B'. The carbon coordinates of a vector are in general different from its Cartesian coordinates. To see that, let v be an arbitrary vector in E3. Also, let [v]B and [v]B' stand for the coordinates of v in terms of B and B', respectively. It is then easy to show that the carbon coordinates of a vector and its Cartesian coordinates are directly related. In fact, if [v]B=(x,y,z), then [v]¢ B = Á

To show the versatility of the link between [v]B' and [v]B', we consider the equation of the sphere of radius r and centred at the common origin of the 3D Cartesian and carbon coordinate systems. It is well known that the equation of this sphere with respect to B is given by x2+y2+z2=r2. (2) From (1) and (2), it is straightforward to prove that the equation of the same sphere with respect to B' is



Ê a a a ˆ , , ˜ Á Ë 3 3 3¯

a -, 3

a a ˆ , ˜ 3 3¯


Ê a ,Á Ë 3

a -, 3

a ˆ, Ê ˜ Á 3¯ Ë

a a , -, 3 3

a ˆ ˜ 3¯


for the atoms H.

The above simplification being established, let us give the location of the atoms forming two molecules a bit more complex than the molecule of methane, but still having a tetrahedral structure in their fundamental states. Let a=1.1 Å and b=1.54 Å. It is then easy to show that the carbon coordinates of the atoms forming the molecule of ethane C2H6 are given by (0,0,0), (0,0,b) for the atoms C, and by (a,0,0), (0,a,0), (–a,–a,–a), (–a,0,b), (0,–a,b), (a,a,a+b) for the atoms H. Similarly, the carbon coordinates of the atoms forming the molecule of cyclohexane C6H12 are (0,0,0), (0,b,0), (b,2b,b), (b,2b,2b), (b,b,2b), (0,0,b) for the atoms C, and (a,0,0), (–a,–a,–a), (–a,b,0), (0,b,–a), (b,a+2b,b), (a+b,2b,b), (b – a,2b,2b), (a+b,a+2b,a+2b), (a+b,b,2b), (b,b,a+2b), (–a,0,b), (0,–a,b) for the atoms H.

One aspect of this study is the practical use of the carbon coordinates. In fact, apart from the desire to study something different and the simple curiosity behind this problem, potential applications of this coordinate system could be found, for example, in the field of the X-ray crystallography, petrochemistry, and in molecular modelling. With an appropriate computer program, such a coordinate system could lead to a faster rate of calculation, a property not without interest in a world where any picosecond gain is important. Let us conclude with the reflection, a little much ado about nothing: Had Descartes had been an organic chemist, and lived in a slightly less traditional environment, then it would be possible that the carbon tetrahedral coordinates, rather than the XYZ coordinates, were invented in 1637.

Endnotes 1 A scherzo is usually a light and funny piece of music replacing in sonatas the heavier minuet. It was the romantic composers’ answer to the serious character of the music of their predecessors.

Reference 1 Amy C. Edmondson, A Fuller Explanation: The Synergetic Geometry of R. Buckminster Fuller, available at marksomers/40.html. C. Gauthier received a PhD in mathematics from the Université de Montréal in 1979. His research interests are in pure and applied mathematics, as well as in theoretical physics. He has published more than 60 papers in these fields. C. K. Jankowski, FCIC, received his PhD in organic chemistry from the Université de Montréal in 1968 and a doctorat d’état in physics in 1985 from the Université de Paris XI. His research in natural products chemistry has resulted in over 220 papers.

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Canadian Chemical News 27

CIC Bulletin ICC Section head

The Chemical Institute of Canada 2004 Award Winners / Lauréats et lauréates des prix Bayer Inc. Award / Prix Bayer Inc. Sponsored by / Parrainé par Bayer Inc. The Bayer Inc. Award recognizes excellence in the teaching of chemistry at the secondary school level. Le Prix Bayer Inc. reconnaît l’excellence dans l’enseignement de la chimie au niveau secondaire.

he entered the field of chemical education as an instructional associate in the department of chemistry at Brandon University. In 1986, he earned a Certificate in Education, after which he began teaching high school chemistry. He currently teaches at St. John’s-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg, MB.

The Catalysis Award / Le Prix de catalyse Sponsored by / Parrainé par Canadian Catalysis Foundation The Catalysis Award is presented biennially to an individual who, while resident in Canada, has made a distinguished contribution to the field of catalysis. Le Prix de catalyse est décerné tous les deux ans à une personne qui s’est distinguée dans le domaine de la catalyse pendant qu’elle résidait au Canada.

Mark Delmage St. John’s-Ravenscourt School Mark Delmage was born in Brandon, MB, in 1952. He began working in the field of chemistry as a high school student, spending his weekends repackaging chemicals and preparing bulk solutions for sale to school science labs. He studied chemistry at Brandon University, obtaining his BSc in 1974. Following graduation, Delmage proceeded to Manitoba Hydro where he learned about industrial chemistry including water treatment, corrosion control, and the chemical analysis of a host of materials including boiler water, fuels, lubricating and transformer oils, and cements. In 1977,

28 L’Actualité chimique canadienne

Colin A. Fyfe, MCIC University of British Columbia Colin A. Fyfe was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He received a BSc (Hon.) and PhD from

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St. Andrew’s University in 1964 and 1967, respectively. He was a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia (UBC) from 1967 until 1969. After 18 years at the University of Guelph, Fyfe joined the department of chemistry at UBC in 1987. Fyfe has published over 300 papers and review articles and authored the text Solid State NMR for Chemists. He has presented many invited lectures at international conferences, including Gordon Research Conferences, three NATO Advanced Study Institutes, and an IZA Summer School. Four of his publications on zeolites have been in the top 100 cited papers in their respective time periods. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Fyfe received this award for his pioneering studies of zeolite catalysts using solid-state, high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Since 1981, the Fyfe group has developed high-resolution 29Si solid-state NMR spectroscopy as a complementary technique to diffraction for the investigation of zeolite materials. In particular, they demonstrated that highly informative Si spectra of zeolites could be obtained by magic angle spinning (MAS) experiments on a commercial high resolution NMR spectrometer. Fyfe has also pioneered the development of 2D solid-state NMR experiments to deduce the 3D Si-O-Si bonding connectivities within the zeolite lattice. This greatly extended the potential of solid-state NMR techniques for investigations of unknown zeolite structures. More recently, the Fyfe group has made substantial progress on two outstanding problems in zeolite catalysis and selectivity: the determination of sorbate/zeolite framework structures and the characterization of multiple aluminium sites in acid zeolite catalysts.

CIC Bulletin ICC Section head

The Chemical Institute of Canada Medal / La Médaille de l’Institut de chimie du Canada The Chemical Institute of Canada Medal is presented as a mark of distinction to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the science of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada. La Médaille de l’Institut de chimie du Canada est décernée à une personne qui s’est distinguée pour son apport exceptionnel dans le domaine de la chimie ou du génie chimique au Canada.

The Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award / Le Prix des sciences et de l’ingénierie des macromolécules Sponsored by / Parrainé par NOVA Chemicals Corporation The Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award is presented to an individual who has made a distinguished contribution to macromolecular science or engineering. Le Prix des sciences et de l’ingénierie des macromolécules est décerné à une personne qui s’est distinguée dans le domaine des sciences ou de l’ingénierie des macromolécules.

Society for Chemistry (CSC) conference in Toronto. He served as the vice-president of the CSC for the 2000 to 2001 term and as its president from 2001 to 2002. Sundararajan is currently the CIC vice-chair and will serve as the chair for the 2004 to 2005 term.

The Montréal Medal / La Médaille de Montréal Sponsored by / Parrainé par The Montréal CIC Local Section / La section locale de Montréal de l’ICC The Montréal Medal is presented as a mark of distinction for significant leadership in— or for an outstanding contribution to—the profession of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada. La Médaille de Montréal est un prix honorifique reconnaissant des qualités de leadership remarquables ou un apport exceptionnel dans la profession de la chimie ou du génie chimique au Canada.

Mitchell A. Winnik, FCIC University of Toronto Mitchell A. Winnik obtained his PhD in organic chemistry at Columbia University in 1969 and spent a postdoctoral year at Caltech studying organic photochemistry. He joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 1970 and received tenure as an organic chemist. On sabbatical in Bordeaux, France, he switched his interest to polymer chemistry. Beginning in the late 1970s, he and his co-workers pioneered various applications of fluorescence spectroscopy to polymers, particularly in the study of polymer-polymer interfaces. Among the polymer systems his research group has studied are latex films, polymer blends, block copolymers, interpenetrating networks, and water-soluble polymers, particularly associative thickeners. His group also investigates various aspects of molecular self-assembly. These include kinetic processes of traditional surfactant micelles in water, and, in collaboration with his colleague Ian Manners, FCIC, the unique features of the self-assembly of inorganic block copolymers.

Pudupadi (Sundar) Sundarajan, FCIC Carleton University Pudupadi (Sundar) Sundararajan came to Canada in 1969, with a PhD from the famous Ramachandran Institute, Madras University, India. He spent postdoctoral tenures with Bob Marchessault, FCIC, at the Université de Montréal and with Paul Flory at Stanford University. Sundararajan then joined the Xerox Research Centre of Canada. He was the manager of the Materials Characterization Area and then a principal scientist. He has 98 refereed publications and ten patents. Sundararajan moved to Carleton University in Ottawa as NSERC-Xerox Industrial Research Chair Professor. His research activities focus on the structure, morphology, and modelling of polymer composites with small molecules and carbon nanotubes. He is also the 2004 winner of the Materials Chemistry Award of the Canadian Materials Science Conference. Sundararajan took on the overall responsibility for organizing the 1999 Canadian

Tristram Chivers, FCIC University of Calgary Tristram Chivers, a native of Bath, England, received his BSc, PhD, and DSc degrees from the University of Durham. After postdoctoral work at the University of Cincinnati and a two-year appointment as a Tutorial Fellow at the University of Sussex, he came to Canada in 1967 as a Teaching Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia. He joined the University of Calgary in 1969 and served as head of the chemistry department from 1977 to 1982. He currently holds the titles University Professor and Professor of Chemistry.

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Canadian Chemical News 29

CIC Bulletin ICC Section head

Chivers has been involved in a variety of professional activities as a journal editor, as a member and chair of various NSEC and Royal Society of Canada committees, and in several capacities in the CSC and CIC. He was on the CSC Board of Directors from 1990 to 1992 and again from 1999 to 2002, during which time he served as treasurer (1990 to 1992), vicepresident (1999 to 2000), and president (2000 to 2001). He was chair of the inorganic chemistry division from 1982 to 1984. He has also served as the senior editor for the Canadian Journal of Chemistry (1993 to 1998) and was previously the Inorganic Chemistry editor (1988 to 1993). He has participated on NSERC Chemistry Grant Selection committees on three separate occasions: from 1979 to 1981 (Chair, 1981), in 1990 when the Chemistry GSC was divided into two committees, and from 1996 to 1999 as Group Chair for both Chemistry GSCs. In 2000 he chaired the NSERC Selection Committee in Research Grants. He was also Chair of the 7th International Symposium on Inorganic Ring Systems held in Banff AB in 1994. Chivers’ research interests are in the general area of main group element chemistry. He has contributed approximately 270 articles in refereed journals and 40 reviews or book chapters to this subdiscipline. He received the CSC’s Alcan Lecture Award in 1987, the E.W.R. Steacie Award from the CSC in 2001, and the Royal Society of Chemistry Award (U.K.) for main group element chemistry in 1993. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2003 he received the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the University of Calgary.

The Union Carbide Award / Le Prix Union Carbide The Union Carbide Award recognizes a person who has made outstanding contributions to education in Canada at any level in the fields of chemistry and chemical engineering.

Chemical Education Trust Fund Update

Lewis J. Brubacher, MCIC University of Waterloo Lewis J. Brubacher was born near New Hamburg, ON, and grew up in the Niagara Peninsula. He earned his BA at Goshen College (Indiana) and his PhD from Northwestern University. Postdoctoral Fellowships were at NRC, Ottawa, 1966 to 1967, and the Max Planck Institut für physikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany, 1967 to 1969. He taught for three years at Eastern Mennonite University (Virginia), and 32 years at the University of Waterloo, where he became emeritus professor in 2001. His publications include 16 research papers and a textbook, Catalysis and Enzyme Action, which was translated into Spanish and Japanese. Since 1986, he has been editor-in-chief of CHEM 13 News, a magazine published by University of Waterloo’s chemistry department for high school chemistry teachers. He has helped plan six chemical education and research conferences at the University of Waterloo, and has served on the executive of the chemical education division of the CIC. His awards include the Royal Society of Canada’s McNeil Medal for the Public Awareness of Science (2000), and a Service Award (1993) from the Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario.

Le Prix Union Carbide est décerné à une personne qui s’est distinguée par un apport exceptionnel dans l’enseignement des domaines de la chimie et du génie chimique, à tous les niveaux d’enseignement au Canada.

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The Chemical Education Trust Fund (CETF) is a registered charity of The Chemical Institute of Canada. The Fund was created to support worthwhile scientific programs and chemical education activities. Income for the funds comes from donations made by corporations and individuals and from interest earned on investments. Trustees, appointed for three-year terms by the CIC Board, meet annually to review applications for support, approving as many as possible within the limitations of income and consistent with the purposes of the Trust Fund. The funds of the CETF are used to support national and regional activities that are linked to chemical education. The Trustees have provided funds annually to events such as student symposia and science fairs, but their major focus is providing funds for seed money for new initiatives. The recipients of the 2004 Chemical Education Trust Fund grants are: • CSCT Student Symposia. The Canadian Society for Chemical Technology hosted two symposia, one at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and the second one at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in March of this year; • Four CSC Undergraduate Student Conferences held annually received support. Part of the funds will be used for a E. Gordon Young award at each conference; • Canada-Wide Science Fair support is provided to the Youth Science Foundation for prizes to the top intermediate and the senior chemistry submissions in Canada; • Virtual Science Fair from the Prairie View School Division, SK, is receiving seed money for its initiative to promote science education through the Internet; • Other new projects are still under consideration. The Trustees are looking for original and innovative projects to fund. Proposal submissions must be submitted by the December 15 deadline for review in early January 2005 by the CETF Trustees. When funds permit, the Trustees are willing to consider new initiatives at other times throughout the year. For more information contact: Ed Capes, FCIC, Chair, CETF Trustees at 613-692-9336 or e-mail or Gale Thirlwall-Wilbee, at 613-232-6252, ext. 223 or e-mail

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2004 CETF Donors The Chemical Education Trust Fund Trustees would like to thank the generous donations from the following members to the Fund: H. Anderson, FCIC M. T. Antoniades, MCIC Gordon Bates, MCIC Jacqueline Bélanger, FCIC (in memory of Horace Philipp, FCIC) Robert Betts, FCIC R. Peter Brown, MCIC T. M. Callaghan, MCIC James Carroll, MCIC Douglas Christie, MCIC Francis Chubb, FCIC F. Cooper, MCIC Cameron Crowe, FCIC F. Crowne, MCIC Patrick Draper, FCIC Julian Dust, MCIC T. Eastwood, FCIC James Fogo, MCIC Chien Fong, MCIC George Fraser, MCIC John Goudey, MCIC J. Grossert, FCIC Ronald Haines, MCIC F. Harrison, MCIC W. Harrison, FCIC W. David Jamieson, FCIC Harry Krokosh, MCIC Ulrich Krull, FCIC R. Kuper-Meryn, MCIC E. Ladniak, MCIC S. Liang, MCIC J. Matthews, MCIC Murray McAndrew, MCIC Archibald McCulloch, FCIC Eric Mead, FCIC H. Meyer, FCIC T. H. Glynn Michael, FCIC D. Mutton, FCIC E. Nenniger, MCIC Brian Newbold, FCIC W. Phalen, MCIC Judith Poe, FCIC Harold Quinn, FCIC A. Ramella, MCIC Allan Reddoch, MCIC Christine Rogers, MCIC Maurice Ryant, FCIC Michel Senez, MCIC D. Shearer, FCIC Jet Sieh, MCIC G. Skinner, MCIC Donald Smith, FCIC F. Southam, FCIC Josef Takats, FCIC K. Thompson, FCIC Clinton Waggoner, MCIC Mary Anne White, FCIC Alfred Wikjord, MCIC David Wiles, FCIC H. Winnett, MCIC

Canadian Society for Chemistry 2004 Award Winners The Alcan Award / Le Prix Alcan Sponsored by / Parrainé par Alcan International Limited The Alcan Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of inorganic chemistry or electrochemistry. Le Prix Alcan est décerné à un chercheur résidant au Canada qui s’est distingué dans le domaine de la chimie inorganique ou de l’électrochimie.

in coordination chemistry is very much ligandbased, with a supra-molecular and magnetic emphasis. He has acted as conference program co-organizer (79th CSC Conference, 1996), and is a member of the international advisory board for the International Conferences on Molecular Magnetism. Thompson is on the editorial advisory board of Polyhedron, and has published in excess of 175 journal papers.

The Alfred Bader Award / Le Prix Alfred Bader Sponsored by / Parrainé par Alfred Bader, FCIC The Alfred Bader Award is a mark of distinction and recognition of a scientist under the age of 60, for excellence in organic chemistry research. Le Prix Alfred Bader reconnaît un chercheur de moins de 60 ans qui s’est distingué pour l’excellence de ses travaux de recherche en chimie organique.

Laurie K. Thompson, FCIC Memorial University of Newfoundland Laurie K. Thompson received a BSc in chemistry at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, graduating in 1965. He joined Barry Lever’s group as a graduate student, and with research stints at both Manchester and York Universities, obtained the PhD (Manchester) in 1968. A teaching Postdoctoral Fellowship followed at the University of Texas with George Watt, before he joined the faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1970 as an assistant professor. He became full professor in 1984, and then University Research Professor in 1995. Thompson’s research focus

R. Stanley Brown, FCIC Queen’s University R. Stanley Brown received a BSc (Hon.) in chemistry from the University of Alberta in 1968 as well as MSc and PhD degrees from May 2004

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the University of California at San Diego in 1970 and 1972. After an NSERC PDF at Columbia University, he joined the University of Alberta in 1974, becoming a professor in 1984. In 1995, he moved to Queen’s University as head of the department of chemistry, a position he held until 2002. Brown’s research interests centre on electrophilic halogenation, mechanisms of the hydrolysis of amides and esters, effects of structural distortion on the reactivity of amides and the catalysis of alcoholysis of organophosphates by transition metals and lanthanides. His work has led to 130 research publications, seven book chapters and scientific awards such as the CNCIUPAC Award in 1987 and the Syntex Award in 1991, and McCalla and Killam Professorships at the University of Alberta in 1989 and 1993. He served the chemical profession in Canada as treasurer for the CSC (1988 to 1990), and then chair of the chemistry grant selection committee of NSERC (1993 to 1996), and membership on its reallocation steering committee in 2001. He assumed the position of vice-president of the CSC in 2003 to 2004 and will be president in 2004 to 2005.

The Award for Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry / Le Prix de chimie inorganique pure ou appliquée Sponsored by / Parrainé par The Inorganic Chemistry Division / Le Division de chimie inorganique The Award for Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry is awarded for outstanding contribution to industrial or academic inorganic chemistry, within the five calendar years preceding the year of nomination. Le Prix de chimie inorganique pure ou appliquée est décerné en reconnaissance d’un apport exceptionnel au domaine de la chimie inorganique industrielle ou universitaire au cours des cinq années civiles précédant la mise en candidature. Michael Wolf, MCIC University of British Columbia Michael Wolf was born and raised in Halifax, NS, and received a BSc from Dalhousie University in 1989. He earned his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994 working under the supervision of

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Mark Wrighton. Starting in 1994, he spent a year and a half as an NSERC postdoctoral Fellow working with Marye Anne Fox at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1995, he took up an appointment at the University of British Columbia (UBC) where he is currently an associate professor in the department of chemistry. His research interests are focused in the area of inorganic materials chemistry and molecular electronics. Wolf has made significant contributions to the synthesis of new metalcontaining conjugated materials and the development of molecular sensors based on coordination complexes. In 2003, his contributions to research were recognized with a UBC Killam Research Prize.

The Bernard Belleau Award / Le Prix Bernard Belleau The Bernard Belleau Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of medicinal chemistry through research involving biochemical or organic chemical mechanisms. Le Prix Bernard Belleau est décerné à un chercheur résidant au Canada qui s’est distingué dans le domaine de la chimie médicale par le biais de recherches faisant intervenir des mécanismes biochimiques ou chimiques organiques. David R. Bundle, FCIC University of Alberta David R. Bundle obtained his BSc in chemistry from Nottingham University (U.K.) and studied for his PhD in microbiological chemistry with Sir James Baddiley at the University of Newcastle, U.K. He came to Canada as a National Research Council (NRC) postdoctoral Fellow in 1971 at the Division of Biological Science, NRC, Ottawa. Subsequently he

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was a postdoctoral Fellow and then a research associate with R. U. Lemieux at the University of Alberta department of chemistry. In 1975, he returned to the division of biological science at the NRC. During the next 18 years, he was successively group leader and section head of the division’s immunochemistry Section and was recognized as an accomplished leader and manager. In 1993, Bundle moved to the University of Alberta to accept a faculty position in the department of chemistry and an adjuant position in the department of medical microbiology and immunology. He became a member of the protein engineering group and the Bacterial Diseases Network Centres of Excellence and rapidly developed a research group of ~15 graduate student postdoctoral Fellows. In 1995, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a McCallaResearch Professor in 1997. In 2002, he lead a successful application to Alberta Ingenuity for the establishment of the Centre for Carbohydrate Science and is currently the director of this centre, which has PIs at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. In March 2001, he founded TheraCarb Inc., a University of Alberta spin-off company. Since 2002 he has been Associate Chair of Research. Recently Bundle has combined 3D structural detail with studies of antibodyantigen interactions by physical methods including NMR and microcalorimetry. Extensions of the work have included the characterization of monoclonal antibodies that exhibit protection in animal models of infection for the parasite Trichinella spiralis and the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. He is currently using the well-defined structural details of carbohydrate-binding sites to investigate protein-sugar interactions and the potential for rationale design of high affinity ligands and vaccines. A recent success published in

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the journal Nature involved tailored multivalency in the design of a high avidity ligand that blocks the action of the Shiga like toxin responsible for the disease that result from pathogenic E. coli O157:H7. Bundle was the recipient of the Whistler Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry, awarded by the International Carbohydrate Organization and the CSC’s R.U. Lemieux Award. Bundle currently serves on the editorial boards of Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Glycobiology Journal. He is a member of the advisory board of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Centre. He is the author of some 200+ scientific papers, book chapters and reviews, and patents.

The Boehringer Ingelheim Award for Organic or Bioorganic Chemistry / Le Prix de chimie organique ou bio-organique Boehringer Ingelheim Sponsored by / Parrainé par Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. The Boehringer Ingelheim Award is awarded to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant whose PhD thesis in the field of organic or bio-organic chemistry was formally accepted by a Canadian university in the 12-month period preceding the nomination deadline of March 1 and whose doctoral research is judged to be of outstanding quality. Le Prix Boehringer Ingelheim est décerné à un citoyen canadien ou à un résident permanent dont la thèse de doctorat dans le domaine de la chimie organique ou bioorganique a été officiellement acceptée par une université canadienne au cours des douze mois précédant la date limite de mise en candidature, à savoir le 1er mars, et dont les travaux de recherche se démarquent par leur qualité.

and Ian Manners, FCIC. He moved on to the University of British Columbia for graduate studies in the lab of Stephen Withers, FCIC. His PhD work, supported by NSERC and Killam Fellowships, focused on the mechanisms and engineering of a class of enzymes called glycosidases. After obtaining his PhD in 2001, he conducted postdoctoral research in X-ray crystallography with Gideon Davies ofYork Structural Biology Laboratory, U.K. He subsequently received a Human Frontiers Science Program Fellowship to study the directed evolution of proteins with Andreas Plückthun of the University of Zurich, Switzerland. In the fall of 2004, he will be joining the department of chemistry at Queen’s University as an assistant professor. His research interests include enzyme mechanisms and the directed evolution of proteins.

The Clara Benson Award / Le Prix Clara Benson Sponsored by / Parrainé par Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC) / Conseil des directeurs de département de chimie des universités canadiennes (CDDCUC) The Clara Benson Award is awarded for a distinguished contribution to chemistry by a woman.

David Zechel, MCIC Biochemisches Institut Universität Zürich

Le Prix Clara Benson est décerné à une femme qui s’est distinguée dans le domaine de la chimie.

David Zechel was born in Winnipeg, MB, and grew up in the woods of eastern MB. He attended the University of Toronto as an Arbor Scholar to study chemistry and obtained his BSc in 1995. During this time, he was greatly influenced by research stints in the labs of Ronald Kluger, FCIC,

Eugenia Kumacheva, MCIC University of Toronto Eugenia Kumacheva is one of the most eminent polymer chemists in Canada. Her research on polymer thin films, polymer nanostructured materials, and self-assembly

has achieved broad international acclaim. Kumacheva’s reports on confinementinduced phase transitions in thin liquid films was published in Science. Her work on the new mechanism of lubrication by polymer brushes was published in Nature. Kumacheva’s studies of supramolecular assemblyof rigid-rod polymers shed light on the mechanisms of fibrogenesis of proteins. Her studies of forces acting between thin layers of polymer gels led to the fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of polymer association and biolubrication. Her group has pioneered studies of convection in polymeric fluids, and has trapped and replicated highly non-equilibrium periodic patterns in the solid films. Kumacheva opened up a new field in polymer materials science. Her group has discovered novel strategies for synthesis and fabrication of polymer nanocomposites with periodic structures and thus produced unique polymer materials: photonic crystals for 3D optical data storage, optical limiters and switches, strain and biosensors, and films for security documents. Recently, her interests shifted to polymer materials with structural hierarchy embracing nano-, meso and micrometer length scales. She also developed a highly novel strategy to polymerization in constrained geometry of microfluidics. In the University of Toronto, her highly innovative work resulted in 12 patent applications (three patents issued). Kumacheva has published about 84 papers and gave about 60 invited lectures. In recognition of her accomplishments, she was awarded the Canada Research Chair in Advanced Polymer Materials, the Schlumberger Award (Oxford University), the Premier’s Research Excellence Award, and the International Chorafas Foundation Award. Her achievements in the field of nanostructured

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materials have been reported in The Globe and Mail, Silicon Valley North, Mcleans’ Magazine (2001), High Tech Materials Alert, Inventive Women (2001), Chemical Innovation (2002), Photonics Research (2002, 2004), and Science Today (2004).

The E.W.R. Steacie Award / Le Prix E.W.R. Steacie Sponsored by / Parrainé par Sciex Inc., Division of MDS Health Group / unee division du Groupe des services de santé MDS The E.W.R. Steacie Award in chemistry is given to a scientist for a distinguished contribution in chemistry. Le Prix de chimie E.W.R. Steacie est décerné à un chercheur qui s’est distingué dans le domaine de la chimie.

of University Faculty Associations Award for teaching excellence, the Theophilus Redwood, the Chemical Analysis and Instrumentation Award, and the Robert Boyle Gold Medal (2002) of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He holds a DSc from the University of Wales and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1998. He has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Analytical Chemistry, Analytica Chimica Acta, Talanta, Chemical Sensor Technology, Analytical Communications, and Biosensors and Bioelectronics. Currently, he is editor of analytical chemistry in The Canadian Journal of Chemistry, and scientific editor of The Analyst.

The Fred Beamish Award / Le Prix Fred Beamish Sponsored by / Parrainé par Eli Lilly Canada Inc. The Fred Beamish Award is to recognize individuals who demonstrate innovation in research in the field of analytical chemistry, and whose research is anticipated to have significant potential for practical applications. Le Prix Fred Beamish vise à reconnaître les chercheurs qui font preuve d’innovation dans le domaine de la chimie analytique et dont les travaux de recherche laissent entrevoir des possibilités d’applications concrètes considérables.

worked with F. C. Anson and A. H. Zewail (1999 Nobel Laureate in chemistry) as a postdoctoral Fellow in the area of electroanalytical chemistry and ultrafast laser spectroscopy. Upon his arrival in Canada in 1999, Yu joined the NRC’s Steacie Institute of Molecular Sciences as an NSERC Fellow under the direction of D. D. M. Wayner, FCIC. In 2001, he accepted the position as assistant professor in analytical chemistry at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. Yu’s current research is focused on DNA surface chemistry, CD-R biosensing technology, and molecular modification of semiconductors, which are seminal for the development of the next generation of electronic and diagnostic devices.

The John C. Polanyi Award / Le Prix John C. Polanyi Sponsored by / Parrainé par Xerox Research Centre of Canada / Centre canadien de recherche Xerox The John C. Polanyi Award is for excellence in research in physical and theoretical chemistry or chemical physics. Le Prix John C. Polanyi récompense l’excellence dans la recherche en chimie physique et théorique ou en physique chimique.

Michael Thompson University of Toronto Michael Thompson obtained his BSc degree in chemistry from the University of Wales and his PhD in analytical chemistry from McMaster University. He then spent a period as SRC postdoctoral Fellow at the University College of Swansea before being appointed to a lectureship in instrumental analysis at Loughborough University. He became an assistant professor of analytical chemistry at the University of Toronto and was promoted to a full professorship in 1983. He has also held visiting professorships at the University of Utah, the Scripps Institute for Research, and Queen’s College of Cambridge University. He is currently a Leverhulme visiting professor at the University of Durham, U.K. Thompson has received several awards for his work including the CSC Fisher Scientific Lecture Award, the Ontario Council

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Roderick E. Wasylishen, FCIC University of Alberta

Hua-Zhong (Hogan) Yu, MCIC Simon Fraser University Born in 1971, Hua-Zhong (Hogan) Yu received his BSc (1991) and MSc (1994) from Shandong University, Ji’nan. He received his PhD (1997) from Peking University, Beijing, China. He then went to the California Institute of Technology and

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Roderick E. Wasylishen was born in Elk Point, AB. He obtained his BSc (Hon.) in chemistry from the University of Waterloo, and his PhD from the University of MB under the supervision of one Canada’s NMR pioneers, Ted Schaefer, MCIC. From 1972 to 1974, Wasylishen was a NRC of Canada postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of chemical physics at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. From

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1974 to 1982, he was a professor at the University of Winnipeg. From 1982 to 2000, he was at Dalhousie University, and since 2000 he has been at the University of Alberta where he holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in physical chemistry. Research interests include: NMR and MRI studies of solid materials, applications of ultra high-field NMR, and theoretical studies of NMR parameters. Wasylishen enjoys working with students and colleagues, hiking and cross-country skiing with his family as well as jogging, photography, and astronomy.

The Maxxam Award / Le Prix Maxxam Sponsored by / Parrainé par Maxxam Analytics Inc. (established in 1999) Auparavant le Prix Fisher Scientific (octroyé de 1968 à 1998) The Maxxam Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of analytical chemistry while working in Canada. Le Prix Maxxam est décerné à un chercheur résidant au Canada qui s’est distingué dans le domaine de la chimie analytique pendant qu’il travaillait au Canada. .

Microwave-Assisted Processes (MAPTM), developed in support of Canada’s commitment to sustainable development. They have applications in various sectors such as agri-food, pharmaceutical, forensic, environmental, and others. Paré received his PhD in natural product chemistry from Carleton University in 1984. He authored/co-authored over 130 scientific publications, holds 13 patents, and presented his scientific work around the world in roughly 320 communications. Paré is recognized as a leader and innovator within the Canadian Public Service and has been honoured with numerous awards, including the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada Gold Medal Award (2003); the Outstanding Achievement Award (2003); The Meritorious Service Medal (2003); and the creation of a Paré Scholarship in Technology Studies (2004).

The Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research Award / Le Prix du Centre de recherche thérapeutique Merck Frosst Sponsored by / Parrainé par Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research / Centre de recherche thérapeutique Merck Frosst The Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research Award is given for a distinguished contribution in the field of organic chemistry or biochemistry by a young scientist.

Research in the Tanner lab focuses on combining the tools of organic chemistry with those of biochemistry in an attempt to understand the mechanisms by which enzymes catalyze biochemical reactions. Particular emphasis is placed on epimerases and racemases, sugar nucleotide-modifying enzymes, and the enzymes of sialic acid and peptidoglycan biosynthesis.

The Noranda Award / Le Prix Noranda The Noranda Award is presented for a distinguished contribution in the field of physical chemistry by a scientist. Le Prix Noranda est décerné à un chercheur qui s’est distingué dans le domaine de la chimie physique.

Le Prix du Centre de recherche thérapeutique Merck Frosst est décerné à un jeune chercheur qui s’est distingué dans le domaine de la chimie organique ou de la biochimie. Martin Tanner, MCIC University of British Columbia

J. R. Jocelyn Paré Wastewater Treatment Centre Environment Canada J. R. Jocelyn Paré is interim director of the Wastewater Technology Centre (Burlington, ON) and chief of the microwave-assisted processes division at the Environmental Technology Centre (Ottawa, ON), Environment Canada. He is the inventor of a number of technologies collectively known as

Martin Tanner grew up in Edmonton, AB, and obtained his BSc from the University of Alberta in 1985. His undergraduate research experience was obtained in the labs of D. L. Rabenstein, MCIC, J. C. Scaiano, FCIC, and R. S. Brown, FCIC. Tanner obtained his PhD in organic chemistry at UCLA in the laboratory of D. J. Cram in 1991. He then moved to Harvard University where he was an NSERC postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of J. R. Knowles. In 1992, he joined the faculty at the University of British Columbia where he is currently a professor of chemistry.

Peter G. Kusalik, MCIC Dalhousie University Peter Kusalik is a native of southern Alberta and obtained his BSc in chemistry at the University of Lethbridge in 1981. His MSc and PhD degrees in chemistry were completed at the University of British Columbia working under G.N. Patey, FCIC. In early 1987, he joined D.J. Evans at the

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Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University as an NSERC postdoctoral Fellow. He was awarded an NSERC University Research Fellowship in 1989 and moved to Dalhousie University to join the department of chemistry as an assistant professor. He has remained at Dalhousie where he is now a professor of chemistry. Kusalik has authored or co-authored 57 research papers, served as a referee for 14 scientific journals, including Science and Nature, and supervised five undergraduate students, six graduate students, and five postdoctoral Fellows.

The R. U. Lemieux Award / Le Prix R. U. Lemieux Sponsored by / Parrainé par The Organic Chemistry Division / La Division de chimie organique The R. U. Lemieux Award recognizes a distinguished contribution in organic chemistry. Le Prix R. U. Lemieux est décerné à une personne qui s’est distinguée dans le domaine de la chimie organique.

out research in organic chemistry by Gordon Lange. He worked in the laboratories of Barry Trost at the University of WisconsinMadison where he obtained a PhD in 1985 studying molybdenum catalyzed reactions and palladium catalyzed cycloisomerisations. Following postdoctoral work in the area of total synthesis with David Evans at Harvard University, he joined the faculty at the University of Toronto as a University Research Fellow (URF). He was promoted to professor in 1995 and became the AstraZeneca Chair in Organic Synthesis in 1998. In 2003 he was awarded the Merck Frosst/NSERC Industrial Research Chair. Among his awards are the first BioMega Prize, a Sloan Fellowship, Lilly Granteeship, Merck Frosst Lecture Award, the Steacie Fellowship, Rutherford Medal, Solvias Prize, and election to the Royal Society of Canada. All these pale in comparison to his most important title, “Dad!”

The W. A. E. McBryde Medal / La Médaille W.A.E. McBryde The W. A. E. McBryde Medal is awarded in recognition of a significant achievement in pure or applied analytical chemistry by a young chemist. La Médaille W. A. E. McBryde est décernée à un jeune chimiste qui s’est distingué par un accomplissement remarquable dans le domaine de la chimie analytique pure ou appliquée. Gregory Jerkiewicz, MCIC Queen’s University

Mark Lautens, FCIC University of Toronto Mark Lautens was born in Hamilton, ON, and graduated from the University of Guelph where he was stimulated to carry

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Gregory Jerkiewicz received his MSc in chemical engineering from the Technical University of Gdansk, Poland in 1984. He also studied solid state physics at the same university (1983 to 1985). In 1985, he emigrated to Canada and settled down in Ottawa where he completed his PhD (1991) under the supervision of Brian E. Conway, FCIC, one of the icons of electrochemistry

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of the 20th century. Following his PhD studies, he spent the summer of 1991 working in the Institute of Physics, University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He joined the department of chemistry at the Université de Sherbrooke, as a research associate in September 1991 and became assistant professor in June 1992. He was promoted to associate professorship with tenure in June 1997. In 1997, he won the Electrochemistry Award of the Société Française de chimie, the first time ever awarded to a researcher residing abroad. In June 2002, he joined the department of chemistry at Queen’s University where he is an associate professor. He has authored some 50 papers and book chapters, and has co-edited one book and three volumes of conference proceedings. He has been an active member of several professional associations and has served on several executive committees.

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Québec Combinatorial Chemistry Consortium to Benefit from Major Infrastructure Grant and International Colloquium Topping off a productive second year, the Québec Combinatorial Chemistry Consortium (QC3: see “Québec Launches Combinatorial Chemistry Consortium” ACCN May 2003, p. 17) has procured an important objective in its mission to establish an internationally significant Canadian centre for innovation based on combinatorial science. The Canadian Foundation of Innovation (CFI) funded in full (~$15 million from all sources) a collaborative McGill University/Université de Montréal proposal for parallel experimentation infrastructure oriented towards the synthesis and analysis of molecular diversity libraries of potential drugs, catalysts, and materials. Recognizing the need to compete in combinatorial science, the CFI funding strengthens strategic potential for productivity in areas of science in which Canadian scientists have a tradition of excellence, particularly in catalysis, molecular synthesis, and drug discovery. Speaking for QC3 members, André Charette, MCIC, (chemistry, UdeM, NSERC/Merck Frosst/Boehringer Ingelheim Chair in Stereoselective Drug Synthesis) notes “new tools, for synthesizing, resolving and screening chiral ligands with unprecedented complexity, will improve our capabilities for developing novel catalytic asymmetric transformations. We can now try tackling problems that we could have only imagined working on.” James Wuest, FCIC, (chemistry, UdeM, Canada Research Chair in Supramolecular Materials) adds “combinatorial approaches have not yet been exploited in the areas of materials science and nanotechnology as intensively as they have been in drug discovery. This grant gives great opportunity to learn more about how molecular structure and properties are correlated in materials.” Bruce Arndtsen, MCIC, (chemistry, McGill) considers “the infrastructure very appealing for developing multicomponent chemistry. By facilitating couplings of three or more diversified building blocks in single step reactions, this equipment should allow us to take greater advantage of the potential

of multicomponent processes for making and studying a range of new biologically relevant structures, catalysts, and polymer libraries.” Promoting education in combinatorial science, the QC3 organized a stimulating colloquium entitled, “Combinatorial Chemistry and Biology” as part of the 72nd Acfas meeting on Wednesday, May 12, 2004. Featuring talks from Dennis Hall, FCIC, (chemistry, University of Alberta), Daniel Erlanson (Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), and Marc-André Poupart, MCIC, (Boehringer Ingelheim, Canada) among other scientists from academic and industrial institutions—this colloquium explored new avenues of innovation using combinatorial science including drug discovery, parallel synthesis, dynamic libraries, data mining, and high throughput screening techniques.

Le Consortium québécois de chimie combinatoire bénéficiera d’une importante subvention à l’infrastructure et d’un colloque international. Clôturant une deuxième année prolifique, le Consortium québécois de chimie combinatoire (QC3 : voir « Nouveau Consortium Québécois en chimie Combinatoire » ACCN mai 2003, 19) a accompli un objectif important dans sa mission d’établir un centre canadien internationalement significatif pour l’innovation basé sur la science combinatoire. La Fondation canadienne pour l’innovation (FCI) a complètement subventionné (~$15 millions de toutes sources) la proposition d’une collaboration (McGill University / Université de Montréal) pour l’infrastructure d’expérimentation en parallèle, orientée vers la synthèse et l’analyse de chimiothèques de drogues potentiels, de catalyseurs et de matériaux. Reconnaissant la nécessité de concurrencer en science combinatoire, la subvention de la FCI renforcie le potentiel stratégique de la productivité des secteurs de la science où les scientifiques canadiens ont une tradition d’excellence, en particulier dans la catalyse, la synthèse moléculaire et la découverte de drogues. Au nom des membres du QC3, le professeur André Charette, MICC, (chimie, UdeM, chaire NSERC/Merck

Frosst/Boehringer Ingelheim pour la Synthèse stéréosélective de médicament) note « de nouveaux outils, pour synthétiser, résoudre et examiner les ligands chiraux avec une complexité sans précédent, améliorera nos possibilités de développer de nouvelles transformations asymétriques catalytiques. Cela ouvre la voie à de nouvelles perspectives de recherches entrevues hier et aujourd’hui réalisables. » Le professeur James Wuest , FICC, (chimie, UdeM, chaire de Recherche du Canada en matériaux supramoléculaires) ajoute « les approches combinatoires n’ont pas encore été exploitées dans les secteurs de la science des matériaux et de la nanotechnologie aussi intensément qu’elles ont été explorées dans la découverte de drogues. Cette subvention offre l’opportunité d’approfondir comment la structure et les propriétés moléculaires sont corrélées dans les matériaux. » Le professeur associé Bruce Arndtsen, MICC, (chimie, McGill) considère « l’infrastructure très attrayante pour développer la chimie à plusieurs composants. En facilitant les couplages de synthons triplement diversifiés ou plus lors de réactions en une seule étape, cet équipement devrait nous permettre de profiter plus grandement du potentiel des processus à plusieurs composants pour créer et étudier les chimiothèques de nouvelles structures biologiques, de catalyseurs et de polymères. » Promouvant l’éducation en science combinatoire, le QC3 a organisé un stimulant colloque intitulé « Chimie combinatoire et biologie » pour l’occasion du 72e congrès de l’Acfas, le mercredi 12 mai, 2004. Parmi les conférenciers invités figurent Dennis Hall, FICC, (chimie, University of Alberta), Daniel Erlanson (Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), Marc-André Poupart, MICC, (Boehringer Ingelheim, Canada) et autres scientifiques provenant d’établissements scolaires et industriels. Ce colloque explorera de nouvelles avenues d’innovation utilisant la science combinatoire pour la découverte de drogues, la synthèse en parallèle, les bibliothèques dynamiques, les algorithmes d’apprentissage et les techniques de criblage à hauts débits. Submitted by William D. Lubell, FCIC, translated by Yann Brouillette

May 2004

Canadian Chemical News 37

Local Section News Nouvelles des sections Section head locales

CSChE Bulletin SCGCh Section head

EIC Fellows 2004 Each year since 1963, the council of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) has elected annually to the grade of Fellow a number of engineers. These engineers are recognized for their excellence in engineering and their services to the profession and to society. Current practice is to elect around fifteen Fellows annually. The following CSChE members have been honoured this year: John Ross Grace, FCIC Grace obtained his BA Sc from the University of Western Ontario, and a PhD from Cambridge University in chemical engineering. He taught at McGill University and spent two years as a senior project engineer with SNC Inc. of Montréal. He then joined the University of British Columbia where he is now a professor in the faculty of applied science in chemical and biological engineering. Grace’s international reputation has been built on his landing research in fluidized beds. His contributions on fluidization regime, circulating fluidized beds, fluidized bed combustion and gasification, and reactor modelling are shown by his 200+ publications, many awards, and numerous invited speeches at conferences. Under his leadership, the University of British Columbia established an internationally renowned laboratory for studying fluidized bed combustion and behaviour. Grace has received many awards including the highest award to a chemical engineer, the R. S. Jane Award. A scholarship has been created in his name to permanently recognize his contribution to the University of British Columbia. Terrence William Hoffman, FCIC Hoffman graduated in chemical engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada, obtained an honours degree and an MSc from Queen’s University, and then completed a PhD in chemical engineering at McGill University. He was a founding member of the department of chemical engineering at McMaster University, and its very young chairperson. He helped this academic institute to be the first to develop computer process simulation. He also made important contributions to the fields of heat transfer and fluid dynamics. 38 L’Actualité chimique canadienne

He took his talents and ideas to Polysor Ltd. in Sarnia, ON, which at that time was a major producer of synthetic rubber and polymer materials. As part of the corporate research group, Hoffman led the development of research activities and founded the computer applications group comprised of an advanced control group, an simulation/modelling group, and an artificial intelligence group. These were some of the first efforts of this kind in the chemical industry. Hoffman joined Dynamic Matrix Control Group (DMCC) in Houston, TX, where his ideas helped in the installation of process control systems for petroleum refineries and chemical processes. He returned to Sarnia, under contract to DMCC, to the Suncor refinery to construct process models for the reformer and benzene/toluene/xylenes recovery (BTX) systems, and to implement on-line optimizers. Hoffman took advantage of the opportunity to conceive, develop, install, and make successful new pioneering technology. This technology has resulted in the development of systems and materials that have benefited the petroleum and chemical industries tremendously, and by extension Canadian industry, and society at large. Kenneth C. Porteous, FCIC Porteous graduated from McGill University with a BSc in chemical engineering. He subsequently received an MSc and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware. He worked for Cyanamid of Canada Limited as a process analyst and then moved to Syncrude Canada’s research department. He was appointed manager of planning and economics before being promoted to director of corporate planning where he was responsible for the economic justification of all major capital projects and for providing costeffective systems and computer services for the entire company. The scope of such projects in the oil sands of Alberta is of course, somewhat awe-inspiring in terms of their size, complexity, and overall importance for Canadians in general. Porteous then elected to return to academe, joining the University of Alberta as professor of chemical engineering. In addition to teaching, he was responsible for developing the Centre for Cooperative Education. Porteous has also found time to contribute to engineering across Canada through the CSChE. First as director and then as president, he brought the same vision and leadership to this constituent society of the EIC.

mai 2004

Sparking Student Interest in Careers The Ottawa CIC Local Section sponsored a successful Student Career Night in the Montpetit Building at the University of Ottawa on March 16, 2004. The event provided an opportunity for over 70 students in chemical engineering and chemistry to meet and mingle with local chemists and chemical engineers. The professionals spoke about their academic and work experiences and key decisionmaking points. They also discussed current and emerging opportunities in both professions and tips for seeking, gaining, and keeping employment. Guest speakers from various fields (e.g. environmental, intellectual property) and sectors (e.g. academic, government, private) along with students and members of the local CIC/CSChE chapter were in attendance. Speakers included Rob Triebe, senior project manager, Jacques Whitford; Matthew Cox, supervisor, process engineering, Iogen; Renata Jovanic, graduate student, University of Ottawa; Anh Thu Lauzon, director of intellectual property, National Defence; Guylaine Bussières, process engineer, Iogen, and Gale Thirlwall-Wilbee, student affairs and career services manager, CIC national office. The Section wishes to thank Caroline Ladanowski, MCIC, and Katie Morse, ACIC, for arranging this event.

Local Fundraising The Edmonton CIC Local Section is raising funds by selling the must-have laboratory safety book entitled, Laboratory Health and Safety Guidelines, 4th Edition, to people in the Edmonton Local Section region. For each book sold, the Edmonton CIC Local Section will receive a sales commission that will be used to support local programs and activities. For more information, contact Wendy Lam, Edmonton CIC Treasurer, at The Edmonton CIC and CSChE Local Sections have also been busy hosting events for the chemical community. The CIC Section hosted the Edmonton instalment of the 2003 Maxxam Lecture Award on March 17, with Jed Harrison of the University of Alberta presenting his award lecture, “Microchip Technologies for Biochemical Analysis.” Bruce Peachey, MCIC, presented, “Water Balances and Climate Change” at the CSChE Section’s chemical engineering student night on March 23.

Division News Nouvelles des divisions

Chem Ed 2003 from 8:30 Sunday morning through Wednesday afternoon, capped by the barbeque and blue grass festival Wednesday evening. Also included was the Reg Friesen Honorary Lecture by Penney Sconzo, a teacher at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA. This lecture series was started at Chem Ed 87 to

recognize Friesen’s contributions to chemical education worldwide, including his key role in initiating (with Leonard Sibley) the Chem Ed series of Conferences in 1973 at the University of Waterloo.

Photos printed with permission from Chem13 News March 2004

Chem Ed 2003 was held at the Auburn University campus, in Auburn, AL, July 27 to 31, 2003. Some 800 participants shared ideas, excitement, and enthusiasm for the teaching of chemistry. Although the official opening was on Sunday evening, July 27, there was a full menu of workshops and presentations

Better Safe Than ... Gooey! In one of their Chem Ed 2003 workshops, Pat Funk and Andy Cherkas, MCIC, showed the value of wearing goggles in the lab. May 2004

Canadian Chemical News 39

Division News Nouvelles des divisions

Behind the Fred Beamish Award The inaugural Fred Beamish Award was presented to Lars Konermann, MCIC, of the University of Western Ontario at the Ottawa CSC/IUPAC Conference in August 2003. Konermann received his PhD at the Max Planck Institute in Mülheim, Germany. He studied energy and electron transfer processes in photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes of plants. Konermann’s research interests are in the areas of protein folding, enzyme kinetics, noncovalent ligand-protein interactions, and mass spectrometry.

The Analytical Division’s new Fred Beamish Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate innovation in research in the field of analytical chemistry, in particular, where the research is anticipated to have significant potential for practical applications. The award is generously sponsored by Eli Lilly Canada Inc. and is intended for new faculty members at a Canadian university who are recent graduates.

And Who is Fred Beamish? Fred Beamish was the world’s number one authority on the analytical chemistry of the noble metals, having to his credit over 150 publications in this field, including three books and 20 critical review articles. He was a pioneer in the study of radiochemical techniques for the separation and analysis of precious metals from ores. During World War II, he was involved in the design and construction of detection devices for poison gases. Beamish was born in Hanover, ON, in 1901. He completed his MA at McMaster in 1929, was appointed lecturer at the University of Toronto in 1931, and full professor in

1946. He ascended to the title professor emeritus at the University of Toronto in 1969. But he never really retired—continuing his writings until 1974, when a serious illness terminated his work. He was a standard bearer for the recognition of the self-disciplines of analytical chemistry within the university curriculum, particularly with respect to research at the graduate level. It was his determination that led to the award of the first PhDs in analytical chemistry in Canada. Among his other accomplishments, Beamish was the first chair of the analytical chemistry division of the CSC, Canadian representative on the analytical section of IUPAC, and on the editorial boards of a number of analytical journals. He received an honorary DSc from McMaster University in 1962, was appointed fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1958, and won the inaugural Fisher Award in 1970 for his distinguished contribution in the field of analytical chemistry. A special symposium in his honour was organized by his former students at the 1975 CIC conference.

Student News Nouvelles des étudiants

4th Annual Western Canada CSCT Student Symposium

On March 12 and 13, 2004, about 41 students and staff from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and Northern

40 L’Actualité chimique canadienne

Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) gathered at the NAIT in Edmonton, AB, for a weekend symposium. Keynote speaker, Stewart Roth, president of Guardian Chemicals started off the Friday afternoon talking about his experience as a student in NAIT’s chemical technology program, and highlights of his career. Students made both oral and poster presentations on scientific topics Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. Judges from the CSCT (Tom Sutton, FCIC), Edmonton section of the CIC (Roger Cowles), and ASET (Derek Tsang and Allan Yeung), evaluated and ranked the

mai 2004

presentations. Late Saturday afternoon, the judges retired to complete their final rankings and prepared the award certificates. The students prepared for the Saturday evening awards banquet. The weekend also included social activities. On Friday evening, a mixer was held in the college’s lounge, The Nest. Coffee breaks and lunch were provided, and on Saturday evening a banquet was catered by NAIT’s gourmet cooking staff on the top floor of the tallest building on campus.

Student News Nouvelles des ĂŠtudiants

The award winners for the oral presentations were:

Ryan Pater Plasma Phoresis

Hannah Buzik Energy to Destruction

Andrea Kuzik and Holly Wiebe Farming: A Hidden Biological Danger

Janessa Klatt and Teresa Schmalzl Polystyrene Pores by SEM

Andrew Schacher Testing and Preventative Measures in Mad Cow Infected Beef

Wayne Skaret Drilling Waste Disposal

The poster award winner was Jody Procyk: Cellular Respiration.

Students who attended the symposium testified to the value and success of the weekend from their perspectives. We are very grateful to the CSCT, the Edmonton section of the Chemical Education Trust Fund of the CIC, ASET, and NAIT for personal and financial support of this important student event. Chris Meintzer, MCIC NAIT Symposium organizer

at made All of the students th NAIT and presentations from both . SAIT did a wonderful job d an All were fully prepared g profesdemonstrated outstandin e range sionalism. There was a wid s and all pic to of chemistry-related ut and t-o of them were well though ormation contained pertinent inf subjects. related to their chosen

Here’s some of what they had to say:


Angela Silva We di the co d not go for m t exper petition. W he money or e went ience. An fo met ou r expe d it most de r the c finitel t It was ations y our pr interesting . ogram t o comp s, people , and h to meet inte are ear ab r studie out th esting s. eir Hanna h Buzi



May 2004

Canadian Chemical News 41

Student News Nouvelles des étudiants

These symposiums are extremely beneficial in a multitude of ways. There has been greater student interest in the professional organizations. I feel that the generation of these symposiums was a great idea and of great value to the students and faculty of all of the institutes involved. I definitely advocate the continuation of these great opportunities. Ryan Pater

This sym p about wa osium was not ju tching fe s llow stud t present, e n b ut ts It was gr also networking. eat to he speaker’s ar the ke st y where he ory of how he go note t to is today. I that our educatio t’s nice to know n doesn’t after ou st r two yea rs at NA op I was ab IT. le to mee brush up t on my ow new people, n presen skills, an ting db ASET an ecame informed d CSCT. about


Kelly Tem pleman

Trent Hosts the 32nd SOUSCC The department of chemistry at Trent University welcomed undergraduate students from across southern Ontario to the 32nd annual SOUSCC on March 20, 2004. Despite the weather, participants, judges, and organizers agreed that the conference was a success. Prizes were awarded in each of the seven symposia. Congratulations to all participants at the conference. The judges were very pleased with the overall quality of the talks in each of the sessions. We hope that all of the presenters found the conference to be a valuable experience and an important forum for presenting their research.

Honourable Mention: Brendan Whelan, Queen’s and Andrew Leduc, University of Western Ontario Physical First: Cory Widdifield, University of Windsor Second: Danielle Dusome, Trent University and P .J. Jakupi, University of Western Ontario Third: Vishya Goel, York University

Winners at the 32nd annual SOUSCC Polymer Symposia

The award winners are as follows: Analytical First: Kiera Turck, Queen’s University Second: Rachel Chang, University of Toronto Third: Chris Stadey, Trent University

Inorganic First David Brock, McMaster University Second: Rebecca Schuler, University of Western Ontario Third: Jennifer Ross, McMaster University

Biochemistry First: Bo Cheyne, University of Waterloo Second: Alex Dickson, University of Toronto Third: Lambert Ampong, Trent University

Organic First: Kim Worsley, McMaster University Second: Jessie Blake, McMaster University Third: Kevin Van Noortwyk, University of Western Ontario

42 L’Actualité chimique canadienne

mai 2004

Polymer First: Stefanie Mortimer, McMaster University Second: Lauren Scott, McMaster University Third: Nathan Janzen, McMaster University Honourable Mention: Meghan Woods, Trent University Theoretical First: Min Soo Kim Choi, York University Second: Ivan Vinogardov, University of Toronto Third: Jarrod French, Brock University

Employment Wanted Demandes d’emploi

Student News Nouvelles des étudiants

The Conference Organizers would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support of the 32nd Annual SOUSCC at Trent University: Trent University including: Vice-President (Academic), Offices of the Dean (Arts and Sciences), the Associate Dean (Science) and the Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) Brantford Chemicals Incorporated (BCI) Bruker Optics and Biospin

PhD in Polymer Chemistry with more than eighteen years of experience looking for position in Quality Assurance (ISO 9002, TQM), Product Development (Marketing) or R&D in polymers, paints, textile auxiliaries, pigments industry. Please contact Chemist/Geologist with several graduate level courses seeking a part-time Product Development position in the Calgary area. I possess relevant research experience pertaining to elastomeric paint, stucco, detergents, asphalt emulsions and drywall joint cement compounds. I plan on taking mining geophysics next fall. Please contact David at 403-280-7706 or by e-mail at

ProSpect Scientific Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. SGS Lakefield Research Canadian Society for Chemistry The Chemical Institute of Canada’s Analytical, Organic, Physical/Theoretical and Inorganic Chemistry Divisions

Professional Directory Répertoire professionnel Section head

Chemical Education Trust Fund of the CIC CDCOU: Chemistry Department Chairs of Ontario Universities Book Prizes were provided by McGraw Hill Publishers and Oxford University Press Next year’s SOUSCC conference will be held at the University of Toronto. Details will be published in ACCN and on the CSC Web site as they become available.

Chemical Group

C. Lloyd Sarginson B.Sc. (Chem. Eng.), LL.B. Philip C. Mendes da Costa B.Sc. (Chem. Eng.), LL.B. Michael E. Charles B.Eng.Sci. (Chem. Eng.), LL.B. Micheline Gravelle B.Sc., M.Sc. (Immunology) Andrew I. McIntosh B.Sc. (Chem.), J.D., LL.B. Anita Nador B.A. (Molec. Biophys./Biochem.), LL.B. Noel Courage B.Sc. (Biochem.), LL.B. Patricia Power B.Sc., Ph.D. (Chem.) Meredith Brill B.Sc., (Chem. Eng.), LL.B.

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May 2004

Canadian Chemical News 43

Careers Carrières

Step right up! If you are an unemployed member of the CIC, you are entitled to three consecutive free advertisements in the Employment Wanted section of ACCN. Contact Gale Thirlwall-Wilbee, career services and student affairs manager. Tel.: 613-232-6252, ext. 223; Fax: 613-232-5862; E-mail:

44 L’Actualité chimique canadienne

mai 2004

Events Événements

Canada Seminars and courses May 20–21, 2004. U.S.-Canada Joint Workshop on Innovative Chemistry in Cleaner Media, Montréal, QC. Tel.: 504-398-8457; E-mail: October 4–5, 2004. ICPES—Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectroscopy, Canadian Society for Chemical Technology, Calgary, AB. Tel.: 888-542-2242; Web site: October 4–5, 2004. Laboratory Safety, Canadian Society for Chemical Technology, Calgary, AB. Tel.: 888-542-2242; Web site: November 5–7, 2004. The 15th Quebec-Ontario Minisymposium in Synthesis and Bio-Organic Chemistry (QOMSBOC), Ottawa, ON. Contact: Louis Barriault or William Ogilvie; Tel.: 613-562-5800.

Conferences May 17–21, 2004. EnviroAnalysis 2004. 5th Biennial International Conference on Chemical Measurement and Monitoring of the Environment, Toronto, ON. Web site: May 29–June 2, 2004. Strong Roots/New Branches—87th Canadian Society for Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, London, ON. Web site: June 9–11, 2004. CACD 17th Annual Meeting and NACD Region IV Meeting, Québec, QC. Contact: Cathy Campbell; Tel.: 905-844-9140; Web site: July 10–14, 2004. 15th Canadian Symposium on Theoretical Chemistry (CSTC 2004), Sainte-Adèle, QC. Web site: August 15–19, 2004. 50th International Conference on Analytical Sciences and Spectroscopy (ICASS 2004), Halifax, NS. Web site: October 3–6, 2004. Energy for the Future—54th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, Calgary, AB, Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE); Tel.: 613-232-6252; Web site:

U.S. and Overseas August 22–26, 2004. ACS Fall Meeting (2287th), Philadelphia, PA; Tel.: 800-227-5558; E-mail:; Web site: October 18–22, 2004. Fifth International Congress on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Cuban Chemical Society, Havana, Cuba. Web site: November 7–12, 2004. AIChE Annual Meeting, Austin, TX; Tel.: 212-591-7330; Web site: July 10–15, 2005. 7th World Congress on Chemical Engineering (WCCE7), IchemE and the European Federation, Glasgow, Scotland. Contact: Sarah Fitzpatrick; E-mail: August 13–21, 2005. IUPAC 43rd General Assembly, Beijing, China. Contact: IUPAC Secretariat; Tel.: +1 919-485-8700; Fax: +1 919-485-8706; E-mail:

Available at no charge: Bound copies of Analytical Chemistry, 1937–1984 E-mail cgilmore@dawsoncollege. for further information May 2004

Canadian Chemical News 45


Analytical & Environmental Chemistry Biological Chemistry Inorganic Chemistry Materials Chemistry Organic Chemistry Physical & Theoretical Chemistry

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May 2004: ACCN, the Canadian Chemical News  

Canada’s leading magazine for the chemical sciences and engineering.

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