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1. HELPING CHEMISTS FIND JOBS IN A TOUGH MARKET. 2. TOWARDS A QUANTITATIVE UNDERSTANDING OF THE QUALITY OF THE CHEMISTRY JOB MARKET.
A researcher in Queen’s University’s chemistry department who admitted two months ago to dosing a fellow chemist with a compound principally used to induce cancers in lab animals was given the equivalent of a seven-year prison sentence on Tuesday.
Twenty-six-year-old Zijie Wang pleaded guilty in Kingston’s Ontario Court of Justice in late October to administering a noxious substance to a post-doctoral fellow in his research group with intent to endanger the man’s life or cause bodily harm and a related charge of aggravated assault arising from the same circumstances.
Justice Allan G. Letourneau — after a period of deliberation following sentencing submissions in early November from Wang’s lawyer, Brian Greenspan, and assistant Crown attorney Janet O’Brien — decided the Crown’s recommendation of seven years, minus pretrial custody was the more appropriate term. Accordingly, he gave Wang enhanced credit on the 250 days he’d already spent in pretrial custody, counting it as equivalent to 375 days already served, and sentenced him to a further 2,180 days in prison, or a week and a bit short of six years.
Justice Letourneau, in his reasons for sentence, which he did not read in open court, was not satisfied that Wang “has sincere remorse.”Read the whole thing here. It's awful.
1. Failure of your quality unit to ensure that quality-related complaints are investigated and resolved.
Your firm received a complaint from a customer on June 6, 2018, after an unknown peak was detected during residual solvents testing for valsartan API manufactured at your facility. The unknown peak was identified as the probable human carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Your investigation (DCE-18001) determined that the presence of NDMA was caused by the convergence of three process-related factors, one factor being the use of the solvent [redacted]). Your investigation concluded that only one valsartan manufacturing process (referred to as the [redacted] process in your investigation) was impacted by the presence of NDMA.
However, FDA analyses of samples of your API, and finished drug product manufactured with your API, identified NDMA in multiple batches manufactured with a different process, namely the [redacted] process, which did not use the solvent [redacted]. These data demonstrate that your investigation was inadequate and failed to resolve the control and presence of NDMA in valsartan API distributed to customers....
...Your response states that NDMA was difficult to detect. However, if you had investigated further, you may have found indicators in your residual solvent chromatograms alerting you to the presence of NDMA. For example, you told our investigators you were aware of a peak that eluted after the [redacted] peak in valsartan API residual solvent chromatograms where the presence of NDMA was suspected to elute. At the time of testing, you considered this unidentified peak to be noise and investigated no further. Additionally, residual solvent chromatograms for valsartan API validation batches manufactured using your [redacted] process, with [redacted] in 2012 ([redacted], and [redacted]) show at least one unidentified peak eluting after the [redacted] peak in the area where the presence of NDMA was suspected to elute....It's never good when other people can find evidence in your own data that you missed....
A University of Arizona chemistry professor has filed a class-action lawsuit alleging gender discrimination in pay and promotions at the Tucson campus.
Dr. Katrina Miranda, a tenured associate professor in the school's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, claims in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Nov. 29 that there's a pattern of systematic discrimination against female faculty members in UA's College of Science. "Dr. Miranda has suffered substantial pay disparities as compared to her male counterparts, and the university has failed to promote her in an equivalent manner to these male peers," the lawsuit says.
Miranda has worked at the university since 2002 and received tenure in 2008. The Arizona Board of Regents is named as the defendant in the lawsuit, as the board oversees UA.
...The lawsuit estimates Miranda was underpaid by $9,000 to $36,000 per year from 2016 to 2018 compared with male professors of "similar or lesser seniority and performance." Miranda was paid about $100,000 for the 2017-18 academic year, while a male chemistry professor made $130,500 despite joining the university and getting tenure the same year as Miranda, the lawsuit claims. Another male chemistry professor with one year of experience more than Miranda made more than $136,000, according to the court filing.It will be interesting to see how this proceeds in court. (Isn't professor pay at public universities public? I wonder at what point this lawsuit went from "I think this is unfair" to "I'm gonna call a lawyer.")
Centuria Foods is hiring a Director of Science and R&D for our new operations in northern Nevada. If you want to make a strong impact on a thriving company that is still in its startup growth stage, this position at Centuria may be for you. It will be challenging as goals, roles, and projects will be shifting as priorities change based on internal and external factors. This means you can and will need to adapt quickly, prioritize and begin new projects based on your own initiative, and communicate effectively with colleagues that do not necessarily think or speak as you do.
Please review the requirements below. We are admittedly looking for a rock star. But if you happen to have the listed skills, we want to speak with you.
Strong applicable scientific knowledge: Must have hands-on experience in large scale separation science, including the principles of partition, distillation and chromatography. An understanding of cross flow filtration and countercurrent chromatography desired.
Problem solver: Must show adaptability to handle the random issues that plague complicated equipment.
cGMP: Is well versed in cGMP regulations as per ICH Q7 guidelines.
Aptitude for solving problems when working with equipment: Having experience in the construction and/or maintenance of large scale process equipment is preferred.
Safety is key: Have knowledge of state and federal OSHA regulations, and must demonstrate a commitment to safe practices.
Communication skills: The successful candidate must be able to translate complex concepts to non-scientist colleagues.
Leadership skills: Will be expected to lead the hiring for personnel in his/her group and train and manage them to excel.
Curiosity: Can cite past accomplishments showing natural curiosity to learn new subject matter and solve hard problems.
Startup experience: Can thrive in the controlled chaos of a startup environment
Preferred background: BS/MS process engineer or chemist from the biotech, pharma, or petrochemical industries
CompensationMarket or above market salary depending on experienceLink here. Best wishes to those interested.
Stock options at one of the strongest industrial hemp CBD companies in North America
Full health benefits and vacation
C16 Biosciences seeks an outstanding chemical engineer to lead our fermentation-based bioprocess efforts and to successfully scale this process from the bench to demonstration scale.
C16 Biosciences makes lab-grown palm oil. Palm oil is a bedrock component of the modern economy ($60B/yr market size, found in 50% of consumer goods), but its production drives massive amounts of deforestation, extinction, and greenhouse gas emissions. We provide a sustainable alternative to palm oil by using microbial fermentation to convert sustainable carbon streams into lipids which match or beat the performance of palm oil. We are a Y Combinator and venture capital backed company based in Somerville, MA. The successful candidate will lead the development, optimization, and scaling of our full bioprocess.
The primary focus in this role will be to lead the fermentation of sustainable carbon streams using C16 Bioscience’s proprietary microbial strains. Responsibilities include:
Problems caused by low water levels on the Rhine River have gone from bad to worse for German chemical companies.
BASF says it has closed its toluene diisocyanate facility in Ludwigshafen, Germany—several hundred kilometers up the Rhine from the North Sea—because record low water levels are preventing barges from delivering enough raw material. BASF says it had to shut the polyurethane chemical plant despite transferring as many shipments as it can from the river to pipeline, trucks, and rail. Restarting the plant will depend on improved water levels, BASF says, adding that it has no plans to shut any other plants.
The low water is affecting many German chemical companies dotting the Rhine as well as firms further upriver in Switzerland. Rather than recover from low flow during a dry summer, river levels have continued to drop...Uh, wow.
What's the job market like for chemists? Dude -- it's always bad.*
How bad is it? How the heck should I know? Quantifying the chemistry job market is what this blog is about. That, and helping chemists find jobs.
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(*For the literal-minded, this is a joke. Mostly.)