San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Convention Center
October 19-22, 2022


SERMACS 2022 Workshops

The SERMACS 2022 Organizing Committee is delighted to present several interesting and useful workshops covering an assortment of timely topics. If you are interested in one or more of these workshop, please enroll during the registration process.

Climate Science (Virtual Pre-Meeting Workshop)

Dr. Bassam Z. Shakhashiri and Dr. Jerry Bell, Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Saturday, October 15, 11:00 AM 

REGISTRATION: The registration Link for this pre-conference worksop is shown below. Registration is required and a confirmation email will provide the ZOOM link and an option to save to your calendar.

You can also click the “Workshop Registration” button below for registration. You can also download the beautiful workshop flyer clicking the “Workshop Flyer” button below.

Abstract:  “What we do in our chemistry classrooms and research laboratories can have profound effects on the minds of students, staff, and the campus community. What we do outside the classroom in reaching the public-at-large can also influence attitudes and behavior. Let us all strive to: reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for daily life needs; adopt a diet with less stress on natural resources; address the economic impacts of climate change; engage in civil and respectful conversations about all matters affecting the quality of life locally and globally; and demand government action locally and nationally to preserve and improve the quality of water, land, and air. Let us become better at connecting chemistry to society.”

Audience: Two-hour virtual workshop on climate change. The workshop is aimed at college faculty and high school teachers, but we welcome everyone with an interest of deepening their understanding of the science of climate change and in helping affect meaningful change

Green Chemistry Workshops

Wednesday, October 19, 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM, Room 209-A/B 

Dr. Juan Colberg, Pharmaceutical Sciences Small Molecules, WRDM, Pfizer Inc.

Green Chemistry Workshop

This workshop will be focusing on education on, green innovation, the use of safer chemistry, greener processes, and cost savings. In this workshop we will have presentations on various topics involving the application of green chemistry in the development drugs. The workshop will include breakout sessions to give participants the opportunity to apply their knowledge of green chemistry in case studies.

The format of the workshop in addition to discussion on the  basic application of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry, will also include applications of novel, greener technologies of interest to the Pharma and Chemical Industry. Among the technologies to be discussed are:

Biocatalysis: The use of enzymes in drug manufacturing has seen resurgence in recent years thanks to enzyme engineering, resulting in highly-active and versatile biocatalysts that enable highly efficient processes. In addition, due to the chiral nature of enzymes, these catalysts are particularly well-suited for the generation of chiral centers in the products, which is of special interest in the pharmaceutical industry. Several examples will be discussed.

Flow chemistry: Most of the current processes under development or at the commercial stage in the pharmaceutical industry are run in batch mode. One reason for this is familiarity – process chemists are more familiar with batch processing and the large investment made over years in the existing batch process infrastructure at pharmaceutical plants. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that processes on flow have many advantages over batch mode, including improved safety when dealing with unstable reagents, smaller investments in equipment, lower solvent consumption, and efficient heat removal from exothermic reactions. The pharmaceutical industry and academic institutions are investing heavily in this technology to manufacture drugs “on-demand” and reduce cost, in addition to improve carbon footprint. Introduction of this area and applications to Pharma will be discussed. 

Catalysis using non-precious metals: Catalysis is one of the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry and is frequently used in the synthesis of drug candidates. Unfortunately, most of the metals currently used in catalysis are precious metals, such as palladium, iridium, rhodium, platinum, and ruthenium. Besides cost, a concern related to the use of these metals is their toxicity, which requires extensive purification protocol to bring levels down to acceptable values with the concomitant increase in waste, as well as their long-term supply due to their scarcity in the Earth’s crust.

The Pharma Industry has embarked in ambitious programs to replace those precious metals with more sustainable alternatives, such as iron, nickel and copper. These three metals are abundant, inexpensive, and display lower toxicity than precious metal catalysts, which contribute to turning catalysis into an even more attractive technology for the synthesis of drug candidates. Discussions around success stories and future work will be included in this workshop.

Practical Green Chemistry Tools and Techniques for Research & Development Scientists

Wednesday, October 19, 1:30 – 5:00 PM, Room 209-A/B 

Dr. Isamir Martinez, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, and ACS Green Chem Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable members

This workshop will equip industry-based R&D chemists and engineers as well as graduate students with practical GC tools, methods, and metrics. The content of this workshop will cover green chemistry basics through to the most recent innovative tools and metrics widely used in the pharmaceutical industry.  The workshop will be tailored toward scientists and engineers working in batch chemical operations in common use within the pharma industry, but the tools may be applied to other allied chemical industries.

 What you will learn:

Fundamentals of green chemistry and engineering.

Tools that the pharma industry routinely uses to optimize their synthetic chemical processes.

How to use these tools to make “greener” decisions in synthetic drug design and process development.

Real-world applications from experienced pharma industry process development chemists.


Graduate students (chemists and chem engineers) and industrial scientist

ACS Career Pathways™ Workshops

Finding Yourself: Identifying a Career that Matches your Strengths and Values

Wednesday, October 19, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM, Room 208-C

1Finding Yourself: Identifying a Career that Matches Your Strengths and Values allows you to self-assess your career values and strengths.   Participants will also learn how the four sectors of chemistry employment compare and contrast.  This course will also help you determine which sector best aligns to your values and strengths and plan your next steps to obtaining an ideal position.

Networking: How to Get Started

Wednesday, October 19, 3:45 – 4:45 PM, Room 208-C 

Networking: How to Get Started will help participants utilize networking to enhance their job search. Participants will also learn which types of questions to create a natural flow in a networking conversation.   The course will also help you create a networking plan to locate and obtain your ideal job in the federal government.

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