September 26, 2008 Meeting
Joint with the Chemistry Department of Loyola University
and the Chicago Chemists' Club
Richard B. Silverman
John Evans Professor of Chemistry,
Department of Chemistry,
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology,
Center for Drug Discovery and Chemical Biology,
Northwestern University
Richard Silverman

“Drug Discovery: Ingenuity or Serendipity?”

Date:  September 26, 2008
Location:    Loyola University
Chemistry Department / Flanner Hall
1068 W. Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, IL

Cost:  $10.00 for members of ACS and their guests, $10.00 for non-members,
     $10 for students or unemployed

Register now on line

Dinner reservations are required and should be received in the Section Office via phone (847-647-8405), fax (847-647-8364), email (, or web by noon on Tuesday, September 23.   PLEASE HONOR YOUR RESERVATIONS.  The Section must pay for all dinner orders.  No-shows will be billed. 

REGISTRATION 4:30 to 6:30 P.M. Flanner Hall lobby
POSTER SESSION 4:30 – 6:30 P.M. Loyola chemistry student research Flanner Hall lobby
PRE-DINNER FORUM 4:30 to 5:30 P.M. Diversity Programs in Industry and Academe
JOB CLUB 5:00 - 6:00 P.M.
PRE-DINNER TALK 5:30 - 6:30 P.M.
DINNER 6:30 - 8:00 P.M. At the Simpson Living Center, south of Flanner Hall across Sheridan Rd.
AWARDS PRESENTATION 8:00 P.M.  Winners of the high school scholoarship examination.

General Meeting Speaker, 8:15 PM

Topic: “Drug Discovery: Ingenuity or Serendipity?”

Abstract:  To the non-expert in the field of medicinal chemistry, it is generally believed that drug discovery is a routine process involving much rational thought and scientific cleverness. This lecture will focus on common approaches taken by medicinal chemists for the discovery of drugs and will include a discussion of how several popular drugs work. The question of whether drug discovery is rational and ingenious or occurs by serendipity will be entertained. The design and process involved in the discovery and licensing of Lyrica™, a relatively new drug for the treatment of neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and epilepsy, which was invented by the speaker, will be discussed.

Biography:  Richard Silverman is the John Evans Professor of Chemistry and member of the Center for Drug Discovery and Chemical Biology at Northwestern University. He received his B.S. degree in chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University in 1968 and his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from Harvard University in 1974 (with time off for a two-year military obligation from 1969-1971). After two years as a NIH postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of the late Professor Robert Abeles in the Graduate Department of Biochemistry at Brandeis University, he joined the chemistry faculty at Northwestern University. In 1986 he became Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology. In 1996 he was named the Arthur Andersen Professor of Chemistry for a period of two years, in 2001 he became the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, and in the fall of 2004 he was named the John Evans Professor of Chemistry.

Awards include DuPont Young Faculty Fellow in 1976, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in 1981-1985, a NIH Research Career Development Awardee 1982-1987, Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists in 1985, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1990, an Arthur C. Cope Senior Scholar Awardee of the American Chemical Society in 2003, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Penn State in 2008. He is the recipient of several teaching awards, including the E. LeRoy Hall Award for Teaching Excellence and the Excellence in Chemistry Education Award from the Northwestern University Chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity in 1999, the Northwestern University Alumni Teaching Award in 2000, and the Charles Deering McCormick Chair in Teaching Excellence in 2001.

Professor Silverman is the inventor of LyricaTM (pregabalin), marketed worldwide by Pfizer for refractory epilepsy, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and (in Europe) for generalized anxiety disorder. He has published 242 research articles, holds 39 domestic and foreign patents, and has written four books (one translated into German).

Pre-Dinner Speaker, 5:30 PM

Topic: Using Math = Understanding Chemistry.   Is this a valid equation?

Patrick L. Daubenmire
Center for Science and Math Education and Dept. of Chemistry
Loyola University of Chicago

Abstract:  Among chemistry professionals there is consensus that the tools of mathematics are essential to building an understanding of chemistry. College and universities administer entrance exams for chemistry that are based on solving math problems. Chemical education research supports a correlation between logical reasoning ability for solving math problems and a readiness to learn principles of chemistry.

Once in chemistry students may choose to rely on their mathematical ability to pass the course. Instructors can reinforce this behavior. Chemical concepts are introduced using definitions with mathematical formulas (e.g. density, D = m/V). Class lessons proceed with sample problems solved with mathematical steps. Similar problems are then assigned for homework. Test questions, maybe with variations from sample and homework problems, often only require the repetition of an algorithm to be solved correctly. In this mode many students can earn above average and excellent performance grades in a course. Many of those students, though, cannot demonstrate knowledge of the chemical concepts underlying the problems.

Using only mathematically-based approaches limits students’ exposure to only one viewpoint of matter – the symbolic representations. Incorporating the macroscopic perspective and the particle nature of matter with the symbolic representations can foster students’ understanding. Encouraging students to synthesize these viewpoints and explain their reasoning on tests can further deepen this knowledge.

This talk will focus on classroom and research examples of utilizing these multiple perspectives during instruction and on tests and quizzes.

Biography:  Patrick Daubenmire came to Loyola in the fall of 2005 after teaching high school chemistry for ten years at Blakefield Jesuit High School in Baltimore, MD. At Loyola, Patrick has taught introductory chemistry to science majors as well as action research to both high school and middle school teachers. He has undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Theology from St. Louis University, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Education from the Catholic University of America.

Currently, Patrick is the project lead for Loyola's participation in Chicago's High School Transformation project, one of the largest and most comprehensive educational efforts undertaken in any urban school district.

Map and Directions

Parking: Enter the campus at the intersection of Kenmore and Sheridan Road and bear to the left.  Parking is available at the parking deck next to Flanner Hall for a $6.00 charge.  Enter the garage at the entrance marked “Faculty, Students, Guests, Visitors.”  When leaving the garage, first purchase an exit parking ticket at the pay station machine located near the garage stairs and elevators.


Simpson Living Center

An excellent dinner will be in the nearby Simpson Living Center and is served cafeteria style. The cafeteria provides a large variety of items on an all-you-can-eat basis. A portion of the cafeteria will be reserved for ACS attendees. Dinner admission tickets are obtained at the ACS registration table in Flanner Hall for a flat charge of $10.00 per person. No discounted dinners for students, retirees or unemployed.

Dinner reservations are required and should be received in the Section Office via phone (847-647-8405), fax (847-647-8364), email (, or website by noon on Wednesday, September 24. PLEASE HONOR YOUR RESERVATIONS. The Section must pay for all dinner orders. No-shows will be billed.

Updated 9/11/08