2021-2022 Seminar Series (ZOOM Link)
NOTE: For Fall 2021, all seminars will be virtual. A hybrid option is planned for Spring 2022 but subject to change.
The Philadelphia Organic Chemists' Club (POCC) is one of the oldest independent chemistry clubs in the United States and it works in conjunction with area universities and pharmaceutical companies to allow distinguished scientists to speak to a broad chemistry audience from the Philadelphia area. The organization's central purpose is to facilitate the interaction between scientists, particularly between academic and the numerous chemical and pharmaceutical companies. The POCC lectures and events provide a monthly forum.
The POCC has been actively sponsoring seminars in Philadelphia since at least 1945 (check out the archives!). Typically, the POCC meets on the last Thursday of the month, often with the speaker being hosted during the day by one of the local chemical or pharmaceutical companies. The POCC event is held in the University of Pennsylvania Chemistry Department, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour, followed by the seminar at 7:30 p.m.
2021-2022 (ZOOM link)
Thanks to all of our amazing sponsors for supporting this year's seminar series!
Meet the POCC Leadership
Chair, President of Pharmablock USA
Jing is currently president of PharmaBlock(USA) focusing on team building, process capability building and site expansion. Prior to work at PharmaBlock since 2016, Jing had over eight year API process development experience with Merck, led and supported many API development projects. She also had six years medicinal chemistry experience and advanced two molecules into clinical stage. Jing graduated from Nanjing University (China) with PhD in Chemistry, and had postdoc training with Prof Patrick Harran on total synthesis of Diazonamide A. She lives in Worcester PA, with her husband, two daughters and three furry friends. She enjoys reading, traveling and horse riding.
Contact Jing: email@example.com
Chair-Elect, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Temple University
Dr. Sarah Wengryniuk was born in Frederick, MD. She conducted her undergraduate studies at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC graduating Magna cum laude with B.S. degrees in chemistry and biology. From 2007-2012 she conducted her doctoral studies at Duke University as an NSF Graduate Fellow, under the direction of Professor Don Coltart, working on auxiliary-based asymmetric ketone alkylation. In 2012, she joined the laboratory of Professor Phil Baran at The Scripps Research Institute as an NIH Ruth L. Kirchstein postdoctoral fellow. In 2015, she began her independent career at Temple University where her laboratory has explored novel umpolung reactivities enabled by hypervalent iodine reagents. Her research and teaching efforts have been recognized with several awards including the Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, the Italia-Eire Teacher of the Year, the Robert L. Smith Early Career Professorship and an NSF CAREER Award.
Contact Sarah: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph M. Karpinski
Treasurer, Chemistry Laboratory Manager and Adjunct Instructor @ Eastern University
Joseph Karpinski graduated from Ursinus College with a bachelor’s degree in Biology, and from Lehigh University with a master's degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. After a 23-year career as a synthetic organic chemist, he has been teaching full-time since 2012. He lives in Kennett Square, PA, and has three adult children. He enjoys, golfing, reading, and winemaking.
Contact Joseph: email@example.com
Craig A. Zificsak
Secretary, Chemist @ Adesis, Inc.
Craig grew up in Wisconsin and attended UW-Stevens Point for his BS and Univ. of Minnesota for graduate school. Following a post-doc at Johnson & Johnson, he worked for 14 years in small molecule discovery at Cephalon and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Since 2018, he has been working on small molecule discovery and process development projects at Adesis, Inc. He enjoys travel and watching his son play baseball.
Contact Craig: firstname.lastname@example.org
Qishui (Tracy) Chen
Assistant Secretary, Technology Licensing Officer @ the University of Pennsylvania
Tracy is a technology licensing officer at University of Pennsylvania. At Penn Center for Innovation (PCI), she manages intellectual property protection, licensing, and commercialization for a variety of technologies in chemistry, materials science, biotechnology, and engineering. Prior to working in technology transfer, Tracy was a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University with Prof. Fraser Stoddart, studying mechanically interlocked molecules in metal organic frameworks. She interned at the Office of Innovation and New Ventures (INVO) at Northwestern, where she conducted prior art search and market analysis for new inventions. Tracy received her PhD in organic chemistry in 2015 from Columbia University (advisor: Colin Nuckolls), and her BS in chemistry from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.
Contact Qishui: email@example.com
Student Representative, Graduate Student @ the University of Pennsylvania (Smith Laboratory)
Jonathan was raised in Allentown, PA, and received his BS in chemistry from Moravian College, where he studied under the mentorship of Professor Michael Bertucci. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in the lab of Professor Amos B. Smith, III, where he studies natural product total synthesis and medicinal chemistry.
Contact Jonathan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media Director, Graduate Student @ the University of Pennsylvania (Smith Laboratory)
Derek grew up in Sunnyvale, CA and attended UC Santa Barbara for undergrad where he got a B.S. in biochemistry and a B.A. in political science. At UCSB, Derek studied under Professor Tom Pettus and investigated o-Quinone Methide intermediates as a means of making benzoxazine rings. After graduating in 2020, he now is a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania under the mentorship of Professor Amos B. Smith, III, where he works on small molecule synthesis to study and treat HIV
Contact Derek: email@example.com
Web Master, Scientist @ Janssen R & D
Chris grew up in Yorktown Heights, NY, a suburb of one of the greatest cities in the world. Chris’s interest in organic chemistry was sparked during his undergraduate studies at Stonehill College in North Easton, MA. At Stonehill, Chris worked under the mentorship of Prof. Leon Tilley and completed a targeted synthesis of a previously unknown bicyclobutane derivative, 1-(trifluoromethyl)bicyclo[1.1.0]butane. After graduating summa cum laude and valedictorian of his class, Chris moved to the University of Connecticut to perform his doctoral work under Prof. Nicholas Leadbeater. At UCONN, he worked toward developing practical methods in the areas of organofluorine chemistry, sustainable oxidative processes, and the integration of emerging technologies (continuous flow processing, microwave irradiation, etc.) in synthesis.
In 2015, he moved to Philadelphia to pursue his post-doctoral training as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow under Prof. Gary Molander at the University of Pennsylvania. At Penn, Chris’s research centered on the utilization of photoredox catalysis as an enabling technology for C–C bond construction and its application toward accessing novel fluorinated motifs. In the summer of 2018, Chris will move to Richmond, VA to join the faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Medicines for All Institute. At VCU, Chris’s group focused on reaction discovery by leveraging high throughput experimentation, computational insight, and cutting-edge equipment with the ultimate goal of developing tools to solve problems in medicinal chemistry. In the fall of 2019, he left VCU to join Janssen's new Discovery Process Research team headed by Jaume Balsells to tackle problems durectly relating to human health.
Contact Chris: Ckelly5@its.jnj.com
Join Us for Great Chemistry and Refreshments
Seminars are held at 7:30 p.m. in the Carol Hoff Lynch Hall at the Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania. Prior to that, there is a social hour, starting at 6:30 PM with pizza and other refreshments. Those interested are encouraged to come early to have the chance to interact with faculty, industrial scientists amd the seminar speaker themselves in a relaxed,friendly reception hall.