Friday, September 21, 2018

Hotel coffee cups

A list of small, useful things (links):
An open invitation to all interested in writing a blog, a hobby that will bring you millions thousands hundreds tens of dollars joy and happiness. Send me a link to your post, and I'd be happy to put it up.

Have a good weekend!

Request: your favorite laptop bag

I need your help. I bought this Samsonite laptop bag (17 inch) sometime last year. It's beginning to fall apart now. It gets daily use and has been to other continents and back, and for something that I paid less than fifty bucks for, it's not a bad value.

However, the stitching on the main strap is beginning to fall apart at the seams, which makes taking this bag to Europe and the like a little risky. Anyone have a suggestion for a great laptop bag? Needs to be able to hold a ridiculously large laptop (14 inch screen) and a raft of paper that never gets looked at, and also a couple of larg-ish notebooks.

Readers, what do you use? (I'm pretty set on a laptop bag, as opposed to a laptop backpack.) I'd like not not buy one for a while, so my wallet is a little more open than normal. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 205 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself) has 205 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 6 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 6 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

Job postings: medicinal chemistry, Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA

From the inbox, two positions at The Broad Institute: 
Research Scientist II - Organic Chemistry (Ph.D. w/"3+ years of research experience beyond postdoctoral training in an academic or industrial setting") 
We are looking for a highly motivated and talented chemist within CDoT to support advancement of compounds from PRISM screening. The PRISM multiplex screening platform efforts are yielding many hits with provocative predictive biomarkers and patterns of sensitivity.  This position will be part of a multidisciplinary team challenged with identifying the targets and mechanism of action of these hit compounds, and advancing the compounds to later stages of drug discovery.  
Ideally you will have experience establishing SAR for chemical probes and having contributed to project teams at early stages from Target and Hit Identification through Lead Optimization. You will work closely with other chemists, cell biologists, biochemists, structural and biophysical scientists and pharmacologists. Having dual reporting structures into Chemistry and Translation Science, you will play a key role in driving projects forward within CDoT at the Broad Institute.
Also, this Group Leader position (Ph.D., w/7+ years of research experience in an industrial setting):
We are looking for a highly motivated scientist to lead and mentor a team of medicinal chemists focused on discovering novel small molecule therapeutics across a diverse disease portfolio. The successful candidate will join The Center for the Development of Therapeutics and lead a team of professional scientists at the interface of industry and academia.  
The candidate will work closely with biochemists, structural and biophysical scientists, cell biologists and pharmacologists, to rapidly progress therapeutic projects in partnership with academic scientists and industrial partners. The successful applicant will have the unique opportunity to impact both the strategy and execution of multiple therapeutic programs driven by the novel genetic and biological insights being discovered at the Broad Institute.
More Broad Institute positions here. Best wishes to those interested.  

The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List: 32 positions

The Computational Drug Discovery Chemistry Jobs List has 32 positions. This list is curated by Joel Walker. 

19 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 19 new positions posted for September 18.

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 223 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 223 positions.

Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hmmmmm, the economy

California: "Housing market falters for fourth straight month", Inventory up 17.2% YoY 
California’s housing market dropped below the 400,000-level sales benchmark for the first time in more than two years as high home prices and eroding affordability combined to cut into housing demand, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today... 
....While home prices continued to rise modestly in August, the deceleration in price growth and the surge in housing supply suggest that a market shift is underway,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “We are seeing active listings increasing and more price reductions in the market, and as such, the question remains, ‘How long will it take for the market to close the price expectation gap between buyers and sellers?’”  
...Statewide active listings rose for the fifth consecutive month after 33 straight months of declines, increasing 17.2 percent from the previous year. August’s listings increase was the biggest in nearly four years. 
What does the economy look like for you? Are we close to the top, or is there still room to grow? I'm feeling like things are either near the top, or it's past us. Readers, what do you think?  

This week's C&EN

From this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 278 positions

The 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 278 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

On September 14, 2017, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 254 positions.

Interested in how this is tracking overall? Check out these sweet graphics done by Andrew Spaeth.

Want to see pre-September discussion? Check out the pre-September open thread. Current discussion is on the September open thread. 

Otherwise, all discussions are on the Chemistry Faculty Jobs List webforum.

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 28 positions

Welcome to the Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List, which has 28 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

Faculty positions: Biopharmaceutical Discovery Cluster Hire, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

From the inbox, a cluster hiring opportunity at the University of Delaware: 
The University of Delaware is seeking applications for several open rank tenure-track professorships as part of a multiyear hiring effort in the area of biopharmaceutical discovery. Applicants must have a doctoral or equivalent degree, documented evidence of high quality research productivity, and a strong commitment to both research and teaching. 
Applicants with research interests broadly relevant to biopharmaceutical discovery that span chemistry (e.g. chemoproteomics, molecular probes for biological imaging, metabolomics); biology (e.g. diseases of immune or tissue dysfunction) and engineering (e.g. synthetic biology, protein design, metabolic engineering) will be considered.   Successful applicants could have faculty appointments in one or more of several departments, including Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Psychological and Brain Sciences.  
...Using the Interfolio® online system at UD, , applicant should submit a) a cover letter; b) a statement of current and long-term research plans; c) a statement of teaching philosophy; d) a curriculum vitae; and e) three contact references.  Any questions can be directed to Susan Cheadle ( or to Dr. Joseph Fox (, Chair, Faculty Search Committee, Biopharmaceutical Discovery Cluster Hire University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716.  Review of applications will begin on receipt and continue until October 31st for full consideration. Positions will remain open until filled.
Full ad here. Apply here. Best wishes to those interested.   

Postdoctoral positions: Krusemark Lab, Purdue University College of Pharmacy, West Lafayette, IN

From the inbox, two postdoctoral positions with Professor Casey Krusemark.

The first position:
Applications are invited for a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Purdue University in the laboratory of Prof. Casey J. Krusemark. Highly motivated candidates skilled in one or more of the following areas: molecular biology, synthetic organic chemistry, biochemistry, enzymology, chemical biology, bioconjugate chemistry are encouraged to apply. Candidates with research experience in organic chemistry will be given special consideration. The position requires a PhD in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, or a related field of study that has equipped the applicant with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the duties of the position. The two main project areas of interest are synthesis of DNA-encoded combinatorial libraries and design of DNA-based biochemical assays. 

Applications are invited for a post-doctoral research associate in the Departments of Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Purdue University. This is a unique research opportunity involving the design and synthesis of DNA-encoded combinatorial libraries and joint mentorship by Prof. Mingji Dai and Prof. Casey J. Krusemark.

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 16 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 16 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Anthropology has quantified its faculty job market - chemistry needs to do the same

Chemistry desperately needs this fascinating analysis applied to anthropology by Professor Robert Speakman and his colleagues at the University of Georgia. We don't know these numbers for chemistry that Professor Speakman and his co-authors have established for anthropology:
Based on NSF data [6–8], we know that between 1995 and 2014 a total of 9,558 Anthropology doctorates (all subfields) were conferred in the US. According to our database, derived from the 2014–2015 AnthroGuide [25], approximately 1,989 individuals who graduated between 1995 and 2014 from a US institution were employed as tenure-track anthropology faculty at BA/BS, MA/MS, and PhD institutions in the US. These data indicate a faculty employment rate of approximately 21% for those who graduated since 1995. We acknowledge that some programs focus on PhD training for foreign nationals from Latin America, Africa, and/or Asia who then return to their country of origin to pursue academic positions. Nonetheless, it is apparent that only about 1 in 5 US-derived anthropological PhDs is successful in getting a tenure-track faculty position in a US anthropology department. 
I really like these lines from the conclusion:
...First, there is the nature of the job market, coupled with the production of too many PhDs competing for each position. Next, there is the fact that there are extreme disparities in the placement rate of certain programs over others in placing their graduates... We recognize that these revelations will be perhaps of no surprise to faculty in the trenches of departments everywhere. However, now they are quantified for all to see.
Here's hoping that chemistry will move in this direction as well. 

A headline that sums a lot up, I suspect

This is an eye-catching headline in The New York Times (by M.H. Miller), and one that I think reflects a lot of people's thinking: 
I Came of Age During the 2008 Financial Crisis. I’m Still Angry About It.
The article itself is pretty interesting in itself. The author sounds like he has quite the debt load, and that his family in Michigan isn't doing well at all. 

(One of those funny aspects of Our Modern Times, it seems, is that it seems like the number of families where neither the parents nor the children are financially upwardly mobile is growing. Here's hoping my impression isn't true.) 

Friday, September 14, 2018

View From Your Hood: Jayhawk sunset edition

Credit: Julian Silverman
From @heterocat: "Somehow they get the sunsets here to match the school colors." 
(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at; will run every other Friday.)

Ten years ago: Reserve Money Market breaking the buck

Ten years ago, I barely understood money market funds, and then on September 16, 2008 (via Wikipedia):
The Reserve Primary Fund was a large money market mutual fund. 
On September 16, 2008, during the Global financial crisis of September–October, 2008, it lowered its share price below $1 ("breaking the buck") because of exposure to Lehman Brothers debt securities. This resulted in demands from investors to return their funds as the financial crisis mounted.  Normally, the net asset value of money market funds is kept at $1. 
Reserve Management had multiple other funds frozen because of this failure. It has liquidated a few funds, and post periodic updates about plans to liquidate other funds on its website.
I had been looking for work for quite some time during my postdoc - I think I knew that the economy was in trouble by that point. I have clear memories of discussing the Reserve Fund failure with my interviewer, who was kind enough to pick me up in his car.

Glad things are somewhat better now than back then. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

BREAKING: Charges dismissed against Prof. Patrick Harran in #SheriSangji case

Via Kim Christensen of the Los Angeles Times:
A Los Angeles judge has dismissed criminal charges against UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran, nearly 10 years after a staff research assistant suffered fatal burns in a laboratory he supervised. 
In what was thought to be the first U.S. criminal case arising from an academic lab accident, Harran was charged with four felony counts of willfully violating state occupational health and safety standards in the death of Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji, who died 18 days after the Dec. 29, 2008 fire. 
In June 2014, Harran struck a deferred-prosecution agreement in which he would avoid the charges if he met certain conditions for five years. He agreed to teach organic chemistry courses for college-bound inner-city students in the summers, perform 800 hours of community service in the UCLA Hospital system and pay $10,000 to the Grossman Burn Center. 
Last week at a regularly scheduled status hearing on the case, Harran’s attorney Thomas O’Brien asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George Lomeli to shorten the term of the agreement, which was to have run until June 2019. Lomeli, who had approved the original deal, granted the request. 
“Dr. Harran completed all of the conditions he was supposed to complete, so the court dismissed the matter,” O’Brien said Wednesday. 
Prosecutors objected to the dismissal. 
Sangji’s sister, Naveen Sangji, said in an email to The Times that that the family was “not informed that this was even a possibility” and should have been given an opportunity to raise its own objection. She said she learned of the decision on Tuesday, five days after Lomeli rendered it. 
“Our family had planned to be present and to speak, as is our right, at the final hearing which was to be nine months from now,” she said. The family has long contended that the deferred-prosecution agreement was little more than “a slap on the wrist” for Harran. 
Sheri Sangji, 23, was not wearing a protective lab coat when a plastic syringe she was using to transfer t-butyl lithium from one sealed container to another came apart, spewing a chemical compound that ignites when exposed to air. She suffered extensive burns and died 18 days later.
Read the whole Los Angeles Times article here. Here's coverage from a San Diego television station.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised by this, but I am rather taken aback by it, especially since there was a 5 year length for the deferred prosecution. Remarkable.

UPDATE: C&EN's summation of the legal proceedings. (article written by Jyllian Kemsley.)

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs List: 201 positions

The Medicinal Chemist Jobs list (curated by Joel Walker and myself)  has 201 positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions, but if you want to do the traditional "leave a link in the comments", that works, too.

Want to chat about medchem positions? Try the open thread.

Positions I'm not including: positions outside the United States, computational positions (this will likely change), academic positions (likely never.)

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 5 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 5 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

18 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there's 18 new positions posted for September 11.

The Process Chemistry Jobs List: 216 positions

The Process Chemistry Jobs List has 216 positions.

Want to help? Here's a form to fill out.

Want to chat process jobs? Try the open thread.