Monday, December 30, 2019

Tough times at antibiotics companies

Via Twitter, this New York Times article on antibiotics firms: 
...“Unlike expensive new cancer drugs that extend survival by three-to-six months, antibiotics like ours truly save a patient’s life,” said Larry Edwards, chief executive of the company that makes Xerava, Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals. “It’s frustrating.” 
Tetraphase, based in Watertown, Mass., has struggled to get hospitals to embrace Xerava, which took more than a decade to discover and bring to market, even though the drug can vanquish resistant germs like MRSA and CRE, a group of resistant bacteria that kills 13,000 people a year. 
Tetraphase’s stock price has been hovering around $2, down from nearly $40 a year ago. To trim costs, Mr. Edwards recently shuttered the company’s labs, laid off some 40 scientists and scuttled plans to move forward on three other promising antibiotics....
I'm ready to declare market failure on antibiotics, and move both R&D, manufacture and stockpiling to the government, sigh... 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!



Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy 2020. Back on Monday.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 504 research/teaching positions and 44 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 504 research/teaching positions and 44 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On December 18, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 513 positions.

Open threads: firstsecondthirdfourthfifthsixthThe current one is the seventh open thread. 

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Newest Periodic Bagel episode: Nessa Carson, mistress of robots


Fifth episode of The Periodic Bagel, with guest Nessa Carson ((@SuperScienceGrl), robots, the UK and the "Dear Guido" letter. For the latter segment, it is NOT child-friendly language.

Rate and review us on iTunes!

Feel free to ask questions, add comments and suggestions for guests and topics in the comments.

More abandoned labs causing problems

Via Twitter, this rather distressing story: (nb link has annoying autoplay) 
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It appears now the mercury spill that was first noticed in a Walmart parking lot in west Houston is now widespread, affecting more locations. We now know that law enforcement officials believe suspect Christopher Melder broke into the former Geochem building in the 1400 block of Brittmoore sometime during Dec. 13. 
It is believed the 19-year-old father of two children stole 11 pounds of mercury and put it in his backpack. Law enforcement sources said he then tried to sell the mercury in small batches for $20 each. He managed to sell it twice. 
Around 60 people were decontaminated as a precaution following the discovery of the heavy metal mercury at a west Houston shopping center located in the area of Westview Drive and West Sam Houston Parkway. 
Sources added he was also playing with the mercury, which is how it ended up in the Walmart parking lot, near the Sonic, and now, at the McDonald's and bathrooms inside the Walmart. Authorities also believe it may have made its way into a Bucky's convenience store in the area.
You really wonder how much this kid had to search through the building before he found the mercury...

Friday, December 20, 2019

Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2018 edition

From the NSF's Survey of Earned Doctorates, the latest data, which is for the class of graduates during the 2018 calendar year. First, the demographic data (tab 58): 

All doctorate recipients (number): 2,810
Sex (%): Male 62.0 / Female 38.0 / Unknown 0.0
Citizenship (%): U.S. citizen or permanent resident 60.9, Temporary visa holder 36.4, Unknown 2.7
Marital status (%): Never married 43.6, Married 34.8,  Marriage-like relationship 10.5, Separated, divorced, widowed 1.4, Unknown 9.7
Bachelor's in same field as doctorate (%): 72.8
Master's earned (%): 36.1
Age at doctorate (median years): 28.9
Time to doctorate (median years): From bachelor's 6.3, From graduate school start 5.8, From doctoral program start 5.3

Now, their destinations (tab 59): 

Definite postgraduation study: 924 (36% of respondents to this question)
Definite employment: 772 (30% of respondents to this question)
Seeking employment or study: 830 (32% of respondents to this question)
Other: 66 (3% of respondents to this question)

Definite postgraduation study (%): Postdoc fellowship or research associateship 96.1, Other or unknown 3.9
Definite employment (%): Academe 19.3, Government 4.9, Industry or business 70.3, Nonprofit organization 1.7, Other or unknown 3.8
Primary activity (%): R&D 67.6, Teaching 17.3, Management or administration 3.8, Professional services 10.7, Other 0.5

Median starting salaries for those employed (does not count postdoctoral appointments) (tab 49): 

Total: $85,000
Academe: $51,250
Industry or business: $95,000
Government: $72,000
Nonprofit organization: $58,500
Other or unknown: $54,500

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 500 research/teaching positions and 39 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 500 research/teaching positions and 39 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On December 18, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 513 positions.

Open threads: firstsecondthirdfourthfifthThe current one is the sixth. This post will be the seventh open thread, opening on December 17.

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 84 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 84 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 28 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 28 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, December 16, 2019

Seattle's Infectious Disease Research Institute lays off scientists

Via the New York Times:
The future of a tuberculosis vaccine and research into other neglected diseases is in limbo after a Seattle institute abruptly laid off about one-third of its researchers, citing a financial crisis. The sudden staff cutbacks late last month at the Infectious Disease Research Institute have baffled many of the scientists — who were also working on a vaccine for leprosy and research into tropical diseases. 
The layoffs on the day before Thanksgiving also put in jeopardy federal grants for the scientists’ work. This fall, the National Institutes of Health awarded a contract of up to $45 million to the nonprofit and other collaborating institutions to study the body’s immune response to tuberculosis over several years... 
...The 26-year-old Seattle research institute has often struggled financially. It has scrambled to close a gap between research grants from federal and private sources and its overhead costs, and has operated at a loss for years. The founder, Steven G. Reed, stepped down earlier this year from his role as chief executive after years of turmoil in which executives and board members resigned over their dissatisfaction with his leadership.
Sad news for all of these scientists. Best wishes to them, and to all of us. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Spotting fake pills

Sometimes, it’s a funky-looking “i” in the red Eli Lilly and Company logo that tips Mike Dalton off to fraud. Or an irregular dimple pattern on the tinfoil wrapper. Crooks who mass-produce counterfeit pharmaceuticals are creative and ambitious, peddling billions of dollars of fake drugs around the world... 
“When you have a product that is high-demand and high-priced, that’s going to be a drug counterfeiter’s target,” Dalton says. “It’s not hard to make a tablet. Counterfeiters can do that very easily.” 
The internet is a boon to con artists. Websites lure customers with heavily discounted prices. The fake drug’s packaging looks convincing, and serial numbers can be faked. Sometimes, the tampered meds contain traces of the original substance, according to chemist Christa Mulkey, a 27-year Lilly veteran who works in Dalton’s lab. “A lot of time, they want something in it because they want return customers,” she says....
Pretty interesting article - glad someone is doing this.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Newest Periodic Bagel episode: Professor Feier Hou, Western Oregon University



Fourth episode of The Periodic Bagel, with guest Dr. Feier Hou (@happykitten62) of Western Oregon University, who talks with us about cats, crystals and Chinese academia.

Rate and review us on iTunes!

Feel free to ask questions, add comments and suggestions for guests and topics in the comments.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Younger UK industrial chemists express concerns about pay

Nessa Carson, a synthetic organic chemist, says she is “extremely lucky” to be working for a big pharmaceutical company in southeast England. Since she moved back to the UK in 2017, after completing a master’s degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Carson says she has seen many friends and colleagues leave chemistry because of a job market that offers young chemists fewer opportunities for exciting science or financial gain than they had hoped for.... 
...The mood in the UK among early-career chemists who actually want to do chemistry is somber. Disappointed by the roles the job market has to offer, chemistry graduates say they are feeling undervalued and underpaid. Many are threatening to leave the country for better opportunities elsewhere. 
Some researchers, however, say they find little passion in working for a CRO. “It’s safe to say that where I am working, nobody at the junior level is particularly happy with their jobs,” says [Redacted], a medicinal chemist who, to protect her job, asked that her full name not be used. 
[Redacted] works for a large CRO in east England that hires chemists on fixed-term contracts. This means job security is low for everybody, she says. “Half the people I work with are [University of] Cambridge graduates, fantastic chemists, but that doesn’t matter. The company offers them no help with career progression.” Earlier this year, the company laid off 15 chemists, then hired another 15 a few months later, she says. 
Another young chemist, [Redacted2], moved to England from Spain for grad school at a public university in the northwest. Like [Redacted], he asked that, to protect his job, his full name not be used. [Redacted2] picked up plenty of job offers in the UK after completing his PhD, but he rejected them all because of the low salaries on offer. 
“Perhaps my expectations were high because I did my PhD on a Marie Curie scholarship, which is roughly double the normal PhD salary in the UK,” [Redacted2] says, referring to a scholarship granted by the European Commission. “But in any case, the offers I got in the UK were about 40% lower than the ones I received in [continental] Europe.”
Sad to hear things aren't going so well for younger UK chemists. Regarding CROs, it's not a surprise to me that people don't find the work particularly enjoyable - "owning" a project is one of the reasons that people get into research, and the CRO model really messes with that in a fundamental way. Here's hoping things improve. 

Last week's C&EN

A few of the articles from the most recent issue of Chemical and Engineering News:

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 493 research/teaching positions and 36 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 493 research/teaching positions and 36 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On December 11, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 502 positions.

Open threads: firstsecondthirdfourthfifth. The current one is the sixth.

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 84 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 84 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 28 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 28 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, December 9, 2019

Good ol' abandonment of chemicals in Illinois

Lawrence D. Rutledge, 57, of Belleville, Illinois, has been sentenced to five years of federal probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $335,934.87 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“U.S. EPA”) for clean-up expenses associated with his illegal storage of hazardous waste in St. Clair County, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Steven D. Weinhoeft, announced today. 
Rutledge pleaded guilty to the charge in July.
In 1997, Rutledge started a business called Advanced Asymmetrics, Inc., to synthesize specialty chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry. The business was located inside a commercial building at 109 South Kossuth Street in Millstadt, Illinois, in close proximity to a residential area and a senior living home. Over time, Rutledge accumulated numerous containers of chemicals and chemical waste at the Millstadt facility. Sometime around 2011, Rutledge stopped paying the county property taxes on the Millstadt facility, and over the next few years, the electrical service and the water service (both water supply and sewer) to the facility were shut off. 
In August 2015, employees of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (“Illinois EPA”) and the U.S. EPA entered the facility and discovered hundreds of containers with labels indicating the presence of acids, caustics, and other chemicals, as well as hazardous waste. Some of the metal containers had rusted, and crystallization had started to occur on metal surfaces. Some had even fallen over and broken open. Sodium cyanide, which is extremely toxic, was stored within one inch of a container containing acid, presenting the potential formation of cyanide gas. Investigators also discovered a container labelled as a shock-sensitive picric acid, which is highly explosive.
So it's pretty clear that Advanced Asymmetrics did not do well. It's my understanding and broad experience that it takes a lot to get criminally prosecuted by USEPA, so I imagine this is an egregious case. So here's my question for discussion: when companies go bust like this, what happens with the chemicals? Clearly, the organization is financially responsible, but what happens when the company doesn't have any cash? Who pays for Veolia to show up? 

Friday, December 6, 2019

Always time for a glassblowing video



From the Richmond Standard (which is apparently funded by Chevron), an article about Chevron Richmond's glassblower:
...For 20 years, (Marianna) Pittner has been the go-to glassblower at the Chevron Richmond Technology Center (RTC), where she is tasked with creating a wide variety of custom glass apparatus for a fleet of ambitious chemists.  From a sizable workshop equipped with torches, lathes and oodles of glassware of varying heat sensitivities, Pittner repairs and creates beakers, test tubes and a host of other glasswear that Chevron scientists need in their quest to modernize the production of transportation fuels, lubricating base oils and other related products. The fuel additive Techron, for example, is one of the more widely known inventions created at the RTC. 
On a daily basis, chemists drop into Pittner’s workshop with requests to create custom glass pieces of varying specifications. At times, she’ll create pieces straight from examples that chemists draw by hand in notebooks. Often, she’ll meet with chemists to come up with blueprints for designs that solve problems in the research process, such as creating glass apparatus that manipulate direction of flow and temperature of the solutions undergoing tests. 
“I will never tell the chemist I can’t do that,” Pittner said. “I will figure it out; I enjoy the discovery. You have be very logical and problem-solving to make it in this field.” 
 Every chemist should have a great glassblower to help them. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Job posting: Formulation & Characterization Group Lead, Catalent, Madison, WI

Via Twitter, this position:
Position Title: Supervisor, Formulation and Characterization Group
Location: Madison, WI
***Please note that relocation assistance is available for the right candidate*** 
Position Requirements: 
The responsibility of the Formulation & Characterization Group Lead would be inclusive of the following tasks:
  • Manage Madison Formulation & Characterization Group (4 direct reports)
  • As a member of the Analytical Development Leadership Team, collaborate with clients to deliver world class formulation and characterization studies.
  • Develop and train junior formulation and characterization scientists.
  • Enhance value of formulation, stability, and characterization studies performed in Madison to clients through high-value add activities
Education or Equivalent:
  • Ph.D. in Chemistry or related field with at least 5 years of industry experience
  • MS in Chemistry, or related field with at least 7 years of industry laboratory experience
  • B.S/B.A. in Chemistry, or related field with at least 7-10 years experience in a laboratory environment
Experience: 
  • Thorough understanding of the origins of protein stability, degradation, and folding and the various factors that can affect proteins during the pharmaceutical development process.
  • Expertise in the wide range of analytical techniques applied to formulation and stability studies; Mass Spectrometry expertise desired. 
  • Experience in formulation development for proteins, not limited to antibodies, highly preferred
  • Experience in both drug substance and drug product development.
  • Experience in the statistical analysis and interpretation of formulation and stability data to drive decisions.  Proficiency in JMP and/or R preferred.
  • Excellent technical writing skills, and experience with authoring protocols, reports, and procedures for regulatory submissions
  • Experience mentoring and training junior staff
Link to full position here. Best wishes to those interested.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Bet Chemours did not mention Mark Ruffalo in its forward guidance

An interesting comment from Wall Street about the new movie Dark Waters about the PFOA story in West Virginia: 
The movie “Dark Waters” about the effect of deadly chemicals in West Virginia is “very damaging” for DuPont de Nemours Inc., Wall Street analysts at Fermium Research wrote in a report before its theatrical debut on November 22. 
Analyst Frank Mitsch -- who watched a sneak preview -- thinks that “Dark Waters” will probably be a hit film and may cast a shadow over DuPont shares and the entire chemical industry. The movie focuses on DuPont and Chemours Co.’s already-settled litigation over perfluorooctanoic acid production. 
DuPont’s shares fell as much as 2.7% on Friday in New York, while broader market inched higher. 
“We can see a scenario where interest in DD from individual investors (85% institutional ownership according to Bloomberg) dissipates, though also a broader concern for the chemicals sector given the negative portrayal,” he added.
The number of companies targeted by Hollywood biopics over the years is actually pretty high, but it's amusing to think about the effects of a movie on a stock price...

(Anyone seen the movie? I'm planning on streaming it at some point in the future.)  

If you're going to steal secrets, don't get caught redhanded

From this week's Chemical and Engineering News, the latest in the IP theft world (by Marc S. Reisch):
A federal grand jury in St. Louis has indicted former Monsanto researcher Haitao Xiang for stealing crop productivity algorithms with the intention of handing them over to a Chinese government research institute. After Xiang quit his job in June 2017, he downloaded the algorithms to a micro-SD card, according to the indictment. He then purchased a one-way ticket to China; federal officials stopped him at the airport and seized the card. If convicted, Xiang faces up to 15 years in prison and a $5 million fine on each of several espionage charges, and up to 10 years for each of several trade secret theft charges.
Important caveat: ham sandwich. I wonder how they caught him, and how they knew this was happening? It will be interesting to see what happens to Mr. Xiang. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 484 research/teaching positions and 34 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 484 research/teaching positions and 34 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On December 4, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 486 positions.

Open threads: firstsecondthirdfourthfifth. This will be the sixth open thread on December 4, 2019. This thread closed at 12:25 PM Eastern on December 17. The next thread is the seventh.

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 84 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 84 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 28 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 28 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, December 2, 2019

Job posting: Sr. Scientist, Process Chemistry, Firmenich, Newark, NJ

From the inbox, this position at Firmenich in Newark, NJ:

Key Responsibilities:
  • Research & development of chemistry pathways towards Firmenich molecules
  • Industrialization of the newly developed processes
  • Generating ideas to improve the economic and environmental efficiency of our manufacturing processes and implementing them from lab to production
  • Actively contribute to global project teams with R&D, Engineering, Operations
  • Support of the existing production processes through deep involvement in daily operation of Firmenich largest chemical plant
  • Contribute to technology transfers between Firmenich manufacturing plants as well as with external partners
  • Supervision of lab associates
Requirements:
  • PhD in Organic Chemistry or closely related field with preferably undergraduate training in Chemical Engineering
  • 8+ years of industrial process chemistry/chemical development experience, preferably in specialty/fine chemical industry
  • Strong knowledge of modern synthetic organic chemistry, catalysis & process chemistry
  • Hands-on experience at least in synthetic chemistry and separation operations like fractional distillation
Link to position here. Best wishes to those interested. 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Every year, I am incredibly thankful for my family, my friends, my community (physical and online) and my job. This year, I am very thankful for my wife and her devotion to our family.

I am also thankful for you, my readers and commenters. Thank you for your reading, your advice, your e-mails and your brilliant, insightful comments. I am truly blessed.

[An additional note: if you would ever like to meet for a cup of coffee or a beer, please reach out to my e-mail address. I often find myself in unexpected places these days, and I love to meet readers of the blog.]

My family and I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving and if you're not in the United States, a happy Thursday and Friday! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Chemical Activity Barometer is stable in November

Well, this is better than a kick in the shins:
The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), was stable (0.0 percent change) in November on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis following a 0.3 percent decline in October. On a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, the barometer was off 0.2 percent (3MMA). 
The unadjusted data showed a solid 0.6 percent gain and was driven by increases among all four components. The diffusion index rose to 59 percent in November. The diffusion index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored. The CAB reading for October was revised upward by 0.16 points and that for September by 0.18 points. 
"The CAB signals slow gains in U.S. commerce into mid-year 2020," said Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC. 
The CAB has four main components, each consisting of a variety of indicators: 1) production; 2) equity prices; 3) product prices; and 4) inventories and other indicators.
It's hard to make a judgment based off a single indicator, but in this case, I think that "no news is good news" and that our expectations about an economic downturn in 2020 do not seem to have much data to bolster them. That said, dreams of massive chemical industry employment increase don't have much backing either. 

Warning Letter of the Week: Dollar Tree edition

From an epistle from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to the President and CEO of Greenbrier International, Inc dba Dollar Tree (emphases mine):
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspected your corporate headquarters, Greenbrier International, Inc. (Greenbrier) (FEI 3005269673) at 500 Volvo Parkway, Chesapeake, Virginia, from January 14 to 18, 2019 after FDA inspections revealed violative conditions at multiple foreign drug manufacturers that supplied drugs to your distribution network. Firms inspected by FDA included contract manufacturers used to manufacture Dollar Tree's Assured Brand drugs…. 
...Our inspection and review of import data revealed the following: 
2. lmport records reviewed indicated that your firm received various [redacted] and [redacted] drug products from Hangzhou Zhongbo Industrial Company, Ltd., FEI 3008229416, from October through December of 2018. An inspection of Hangzhou Zhongbo Industrial Company, Ltd. in April of 2018 revealed significant CGMP violations, including the failure to test each batch of drug for conformance with specifications prior to release (21 CFR 211.165(a)). As a result of this and other violations, Hangzhou Zhongbo lndustiial Company, Ltd. was placed on Import Alert 66-40 on September 28, 2018 and was issued a warning letter on November 27, 2018. FDA copied your COO on the outgoing warning letter.... 
...We also note that Greenbrier has, at various points in time, used contract manufacturers and suppliers with histories of significant drug CGMP violations. For example, our inspections revealed that beyond the facilities detailed above, your firm has used the following contract manufacturers and suppliers: 
2. Bicooya Cosmetics Limited, FEI 3010671652, which was issued a warning letter on August 11, 2017. This firm was also placed on Import Alert 66-40 on June 29, 2017, for, among other things, not testing finished drug products prior to distribution and for rodent feces found throughout the manufacturing facility. FDA copied your COO on the warning letter.
What’s a little rodent feces between friends? 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Newest Periodic Bagel episode: Dr. Sarah Cady, Iowa State University


Third episode of The Periodic Bagel, with guest Sarah Cady (@sarahdcady) of Iowa State University, who talks with us about magnets, civic engagement and cranberry sauce.

Rate and review us on iTunes!

Feel free to ask questions, add comments and suggestions for guests and topics in the comments.

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 482 research/teaching positions and 32 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 482 research/teaching positions and 32 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On November 70, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 476 positions.

Open threads: first, second, third, fourth, fifth (current).

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

Postdoctoral position: Ploegh lab at Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School

From the inbox:
The Ploegh lab at Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School is looking to hire a postdoctoral researcher with experience in chemistry. We conduct research at the interface of chemistry and cell biology/immunology. Interested applicants should visit the lab website: ploeghlab.com for further information. Please provide a CV, letter of interest, and a brief proposal on how your expertise could contribute to work in the Ploegh lab. These documents should be sent for review by email: http://ploeghlab.com/contact/
Best wishes to those interested. 

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 84 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 84 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 28 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 28 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, November 25, 2019

Plastic being used as fuel for fires in Indonesia

Not such great news via the New York Times:
...More than 30 commercial kitchens in Tropodo, a village on the eastern side of Indonesia’s main island, Java, fuel their tofu production by burning a mix of paper and plastic waste, some of it shipped from the United States after Americans dumped it in their recycling bins. 
The backyard kitchens produce much of the area’s tofu, an inexpensive and high-protein food made from soy that is an important part of the local diet. But the smoke and ash produced by the burning plastic has far-reaching and toxic consequences. 
Testing of eggs laid by chickens in Tropodo, a village of 5,000 people, found high levels of several hazardous chemicals including dioxin — a pollutant known to cause cancer, birth defects and Parkinson’s disease — according to a report released this week by an alliance of Indonesian and international environmental groups.
If you read the article further, it sounds like a lot of this plastic waste comes from recycling in the United States that was diverted into the paper streams. That's not good news for anyone, especially the people eating this tofu. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 470 research/teaching positions and 30 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 470 research/teaching positions and 30 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On November 20, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 468 positions.

Here's a link to the first open threadhere's a link to the secondHere is a link to the third open thread, which will close on Tuesday at 12 PM Eastern. Here is the fourth open thread, which will close on Tuesday at noon Eastern. This will be the 5th open thread, which will open on Tuesday, November 19 at noon Eastern.

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 83 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 83 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 28 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 28 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, November 18, 2019

Henderson State chemistry professors charged for making meth

The authorities charged two chemistry professors in Arkansas on Friday in connection with the production of methamphetamine. 
The instructors, Terry D. Bateman, 45, and Bradley A. Rowland, 40, were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and using drug paraphernalia, the Clark County Sheriff’s Department said. Meth is a highly addictive drug that can be manufactured illegally with chemicals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
Mr. Bateman and Mr. Rowland are associate professors of chemistry at Henderson State University, a liberal arts school of about 3,500 students in Arkadelphia, about 70 miles southwest of Little Rock. 
The professors went on administrative leave as of Oct. 11, Tina V. Hall, a university associate vice president of marketing and communications, said on Sunday. 
Ms. Hall said that the school’s Reynolds Science Center had been closed on Oct. 8 because of “a report of an undetermined chemical odor.” Testing revealed an elevated presence of benzyl chloride in a lab, she said.
I wonder what got into these professors? 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Periodic Bagel, Episode 2: Alex Goldberg and Chemjobber, guest: Stuart Cantrill


Second episode of The Periodic Bagel, with guest Stuart Cantrill of Nature Chemistry, who speaks to us about peer review, open access and his gin collection.

Rate and review us on iTunes!

Feel free to ask questions, add comments and suggestions for guests and topics in the comments. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Warning Letter of the Week: lost in the move edition

A missive from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to the president of Bingbing Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd (emphasis mine):
1.    Your firm failed to maintain written production, control, or distribution records specifically associated with a batch of a drug product for at least one year after the expiration date of the batch (21 CFR 211.180(a)). 
You manufactured drugs at your Wuhan facility at Building [redacted], No. 5, Kangda Street, Longyang Avenue, Hanyang District, Wuhan, and then transferred drug production to your Hubei facility and closed the Wuhan facility. Your firm failed to maintain manufacturing records, raw material and finished product testing records, retain samples, stability samples, and other CGMP records for your over-the-counter (OTC) [redacted] drug products manufactured at your Wuhan facility. During the inspection at the Hubei facility, you stated that you lost CGMP manufacturing documentation and drug product samples during the transfer of your manufacturing facility from Wuhan to Hubei in May 2018.
Yep, happens all the time in moves. You put your batch records in the box, the box gets loaded onto a truck, stuff gets moved around, it gets lost! 

Job postings: Flow/Organic Chemist, and Analytical Chemist, CONTINUUS Pharmaceuticals, Woburn, MA

From the inbox, an analytical chemist and a flow chemist for CONTINUUS Pharmaceuticals in Woburn, MA:
Analytical chemist (BS/MS): CONTINUUS is looking to hire a full-time analytical chemist to work on the analysis of samples (mainly HPLC) from continuous manufacturing processes for small-molecule pharmaceuticals. This represents a unique opportunity to become involved in the development of next generation drug manufacturing technologies as a key member of a fast-growing company. The individual must thrive in a fast-paced environment, be adaptable and motivated by the opportunity to learn new technologies.  
Flow chemist (PhD): CONTINUUS Pharmaceuticals is seeking a highly qualified flow chemist who will be responsible for developing creative solutions for small molecule drug candidates manufactured via continuous processing. This scientist will provide process analytical technology and continuous manufacturing expertise, devising synthetic routes and developing new technologies to enable continuous processing. 
Full ads here and here. Best wishes to those interested. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 463 research/teaching positions and 29 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 463 research/teaching positions and 29 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On November 13, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 458 positions.

Here's a link to the first open threadhere's a link to the secondHere is a link to the third open thread, which will close on Tuesday at 12 PM Eastern. This will be the fourth open thread, which will close on the Tuesday after it reaches 200 or more comments.

UPDATE: thread closed at 6:53 PM Eastern, new thread here.

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

Postdoctoral position: chemical biology of natural products, Burkhart Lab, UCSD, La Jolla, CA

From the inbox, a postdoctoral position at UCSD:
Postdoctoral Position in Chemical Biology of Natural Products The Burkart lab is seeking a natural product scientist to support chemical and structural biology studies of biosynthetic enzymes. Applicants should have a Ph.D. (or anticipated) in chemistry, biochemistry, or microbiology and have experience with molecular biology of metabolic pathways in Streptomyces or related microorganisms. This is a paid, full time, postdoctoral position based in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the main campus of University of California, San Diego in La Jolla, CA. For immediate consideration please send a cover letter and resume to Prof. Michael Burkart at mburkart@ucsd.edu. 
Best wishes to those interested. 

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 83 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 83 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 28 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 28 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, November 11, 2019

Student burned in high school chemistry class in alcohol fire

It happened again:
GREENSBORO, N.C. — A Western Guilford High School student is in the hospital after an explosion in her chemistry class Wednesday. Aimee Green, 16, is a junior at the high school. She is listed in good condition at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, according to a spokesperson. 
“Please pray for our beautiful daughter Aimee Green. She was in chemistry today, and the teacher was doing an experiment. It went badly and exploded. The explosion went right onto Aimee, and caught her hair, face, chest and arm on fire,” Aimee’s mom, Alicia Coverston Green, wrote on Facebook. 
The experiment involved ethanol, alcohol and salt, Green said. 
Green said her daughter was admitted to the burn ICU on Friday for fluid resuscitation, pain control and wound care. 
Another student was injured but not as badly, officials with the school district said.
Other reports indicate that it could not be confirmed that the student was wearing PPE.

A reminder that the American Chemical Society's Committee on Chemical Safety "recommends that the “Rainbow” demonstration on open benches involving the use of flammable solvents such as methanol be discontinued immediately due to extreme risk of flash fires and flame jetting."

Friday, November 8, 2019

View From My Hood?: Frankfurt, Germany edition

(got a View from Your Hood submission? Send it in (with a caption and preference for name/anonymity, please) at chemjobber@gmail.com; will run every other Friday.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

There are more than 20 times as many chemical manufacturers in China as the US

Via a very interesting article in The New York Times Magazine on DEA efforts to stem the fentanyl trade, this remarkable description of the Chinese chemical industry: 
According to the State Department, China has between 160,000 and 400,000 chemical companies operating legally, illegally or somewhere in between — an expansive estimate that reflects both the vastness of the industry and the scarcity of the information available. Some of these facilities manufacture tons of chemicals every week, or more than a million pills per day. In 2016, the industry made up 3 percent of China’s national economy, with over $100 billion in profits annually. Most of these companies are members of the vast pharmaceutical underclass, pumping out huge quantities of inexpensive generic drugs and pharmaceutical ingredients. It’s a low-cost, low-profit business, but the barriers to entry are minimal, and the market is immense: The basic pharmaceutical ingredients that China produces are needed by more advanced drug companies everywhere in the world — including the United States — for synthesis into more complex and profitable medicines. 
The agency responsible for overseeing production of drugs and detecting malfeasance in China is understaffed and overwhelmed: As of 2017, there were around 2,000 inspectors at the agency, and they conducted a total of only 751 inspections that year, a minuscule figure compared with the enormousness of the industry. In the United States, law enforcement and prosecutors have the tools to react quickly to the rise of new copycat drugs that could be used for illicit purposes. Under the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act, passed in 1986, any new compound that is “substantially similar” to an already banned, or scheduled, drug can be treated as if it were chemically identical. But chemicals banned in the United States often remain legal in China, where the process for controlling chemicals is slow and cumbersome, especially for substances like fentanyl that exist in the purgatory between legitimate pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs.
By comparison, an EPA web page last updated in 2016 indicates there are 13,500 chemical manufacturing facilities, with 9000 companies that own them. That's quite a difference. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 447 research/teaching positions and 28 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 447 research/teaching positions and 28 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On November 6, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 450 positions.

Here's a link to the first open threadhere's a link to the second. Here is a link to the third open thread, which will close a week from today. 

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 79 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 79 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 28 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 28 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, November 4, 2019

What is this layoff season going to look like?

Because I don't fully understand the rhythms of the American corporate machine just quite yet, it has taken me a number of years to fully understand why we have layoffs in November and December, around the time of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Nowadays, I better understand that it is about third quarter results, and the reactions of corporate officers to either a good year (no layoffs, ideally) or a bad year (start cutting jobs now.) It's November now, and here we go with Amgen (via FiercePharma): 
As Amgen rides the wave of hype and hope for its early-stage KRAS effort as well as other cancer assets in its pipeline, this is pushing out its work on neuroscience. 
To that end, the biopharma company is looking to slim down its efforts in that area, which could see nearly 200 jobs at risk, as it moves away from its neuro work in Cambridge, and focuses more on its R&D on the West Coast. 
Also, from last month in the Philadelphia Inquirer
Merck, the international pharmaceutical giant, announced mass layoffs that will hit its sales personnel based in suburban Philadelphia. 
About 500 people affiliated with Merck’s offices in Lansdale and Upper Gwynedd will lose their jobs in permanent reductions in force, the company said in a required letter it filed Wednesday with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry... Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson said it planned to eliminate 297 employees at its Wayne facility, in a similar letter sent to the Department of Labor.
Overall, according to Challenger, Gray and Christmas's layoff report, layoffs in the pharmaceutical industry are up 4.6% this year from 2018. We'll have to see how this goes. At the same time, Friday's jobs report numbers were pretty decent (via The New York Times): 
The American jobs engine has been beaten and battered, but it just keeps chugging along. 
Employers added 128,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said Friday, and revisions to prior months’ data tacked on another 95,000. The figures for October would have been stronger had it not been for the strike at General Motors, which shaved close to 50,000 workers from the employment rolls, and for the layoff of some 20,000 temporary census workers. 
The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.6 percent, still near a half-century low.
If we're going to have a classic recession, we'll see decreases in jobs in November and December. While my intuitions are entirely leaning towards the thought that there will be a recession of some kind next year (i.e. visible declines in the topline jobs numbers and/or negative quarters of GDP), we haven't seen those signs yet in the broader economy. It will be very interesting to see if we see evidence of declines in hiring in the chemistry/pharma market.

Job posting: Ambercycle, R&D chemist, Los Angeles, CA

From the inbox, this position: 
BACKGROUND 
We are a fast-moving, high-growth chemical technology startup that is developing a process to turn old clothing into new textiles. Our highly dynamic, collaborative team is composed of the world’s brightest and most unique scientists and engineers. 
THE JOB 
We are looking for a highly motivated scientist who will develop and scale our technology for making brand new yarns from old clothing. 
You will be working with senior leadership to understand and prioritize process improvements, design experiments to make those improvements, and execute these plans in the laboratory. You will develop analytical methods for R&D as well as scale-up, and develop new products within our R&D team. You will use your chemistry know-how to work with engineers and scale-up processes.
You are detail oriented and highly enthusiastic about science and scaling a first-in-kind sustainable process. Ideally, you have a strong experimental background and commanding knowledge of physical, organic, and polymer chemistry. 
Specific techniques required: GPC/SEC, DSC, GC/MS, working knowledge of elemental analysis. Adequate safety know-how is an absolute must. You must be comfortable in a fast-paced, open environment with minimal direction.
Contact information here. Best wishes to those information.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Periodic Bagel: Alex Goldberg and Chemjobber, guest: Lisa Jarvis



Launching today is the inaugural podcast of The Periodic Bagel, with guest Lisa Jarvis of Chemical and Engineering News. Lisa speaks to us about her recent KRas cover story in C&EN as well as her strong feelings about candy corn.

Alex has done an amazing amount of work in a very fast period of time, and I am really grateful that it has turned out as well as it has. Please take a listen.

You can't subscribe to us on iTunes yet, but here's our RSS feed.

Please feel free to add comments and suggestions for guests and topics in the comments. 

51 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there are 23 new positions for October 26, 16 positions for October 20 and 13 positions for October 14.

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 29 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 29 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A teaser trailer for a new podcast



Enjoy a little snippet of a new podcast with Alex Goldberg and myself. 

Job posting: BS process chemist, Quanta BioDesign, Plain City, OH

From the inbox, a process chemist position in Plain City, OH:
Junior Process Chemist, Quanta BioDesign 
Quanta BioDesign is a research and manufacturing company committed to the development of a full range of discrete polyethylene glycol (dPEG®) PEGylation reagents for applications in diagnostics, therapeutics, peptide synthesis, oligonucleotide synthesis, and nanotechnology. 
To meet our growing business demands we are currently seeking to fill the position of a junior Process Chemist. The Process Chemist position entails being an essential part of our process and scale-up activities, supplying key intermediates, optimizing existing processes and exploring a growing range of new processes for making our unique dPEG® products. 
The process Chemist interacts with chemists both in and outside their group, and will be a vital link in the development of the dPEG® technology. As a result, excellent planning and problem-solving skills are a critical aspect of this position. Also, since this is a manufacturing position the Chemist must be capable of lifting up to 50lbs on a regular basis. 
Qualifications

  • This is an entry level position that requires a theoretical and practical knowledge of general chemistry, organic chemistry and bio-conjugation principles.
  • Candidates recently completing a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with 1-2 years of experience are encouraged to apply.
Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 434 research/teaching positions and 25 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 434 research/teaching positions and 25 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On October 30, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 436 positions.

Here's a link to the first open threadhere's a link to the second, which is the current open thread. This post will be the third open thread; the second open thread will close at noon Eastern on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.

UPDATE: This thread was closed on November 12, 2019 - the new thread is here: http://chemjobber.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-2020-chemistry-faculty-jobs-list_12.html

Postdoctoral fellowship: environmental radiochemistry, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

JOB DESCRIPTION 
The Anagnostopoulos Research Group at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Central Florida seeks to hire a postdoctoral researcher in the field of radiochemistry and environmental radiochemistry. 
This is a multi-faceted project that focuses on the oxidative dissolution of sparingly soluble radioactive phases, as well as synthesis, characterization and stability studies of mineral phases for the incorporation of anionic contaminants. 
REQUIREMENTS 
Applicants should have a Ph.D. in chemistry or closely related field. Prior demonstrated experience with spectroscopic analysis of solids and solutions (e.g. XPS, FIB, SIMS etc.) and processes such as solubility, complexation and modelling and speciation will be viewed favorably.
Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested.  

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 76 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 76 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 28 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 28 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, October 28, 2019

UW Madison grad student died of suicide; father blames abusive boss

This is a post about an electrical engineering grad student at UW-Madison who died by suicide in 2016; if you don't want to read this, I won't mind. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Taking a chance on Boston?

A great question, via Twitter:

Is there a city in the United States (or, for that matter, the world) where you would recommend someone move to without a job to get a job in chemistry?*

My short answer: no, there isn't. My longer answer: If you HAD to move some place without a job in order to look for work in science/chemistry, I would choose either Boston or San Francisco, but still seems really risky. You might be able to move into the pool of temporary workers, but it seems that temp pay probably doesn't cover the high rents.

Readers, what say you?

UPDATE, 11 AM 10232019: Anon10:21AM helpfully reminds me that there's such a thing as "the oil and gas industry"; I agree entirely.

*There was a while back where driving to Williston, North Dakota seemed like a great place to get a job and earn some money, but I don't think there were very many chemists there...

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 417 research/teaching positions and 20 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 417 research/teaching positions and 20 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On October 23, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 420 positions.

Here's a link to the first open threadhere's a link to the second, which is the current open thread.

Job posting: assistant/associate teaching professor, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

From the inbox:
Northeastern University is seeking a full-time non-tenure track Assistant/Associate Teaching Professor in Biochemistry. Experience in teaching physical and/or analytical methods in biochemistry is preferred. Applicants should submit a CV, cover letter, teaching statement, statement describing their experiences working with diverse populations, and the contact information for three references. Applicants will be consulted before their references are contacted. All of the application information is submitted using this link:  https://careers.hrm.northeastern.edu/en-us/job/501904/assistantassociate-teaching-professor
Best wishes to those interested. 

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 67 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 67 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 28 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 28 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.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Warning Letter of the Week: gritty cracking edition

A missive from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to the Chairman & Managing Director of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited in Mumbai, India: 
Your firm failed to thoroughly investigate any unexplained discrepancy or failure of a batch or any of its components to meet any of its specifications, whether the batch has already been distributed (21 CFR 211.192). Your firm failed to ensure your investigations identify appropriate root causes and you failed to implement sustainable corrective action and preventive action (CAPA). 
a. You failed to thoroughly investigate multiple complaints of grittiness for your topical [redacted] cream USP, [redacted]%. Since November 2017, you rejected 20 batches and received at least 38 complaints about product grittiness. Product grittiness has been an ongoing formulation issue since 2010 and was a deficiency cited in the previous inspection of your facility. You proposed specific remediation for this formulation issue in your response at that time. In your response to the most recent inspection, you stated that the product grittiness issue was remediated during product reformulation in November 2018. Your response is inadequate. You did not provide sufficient data to demonstrate the robustness of the new formulation... 
d. You failed to adequately investigate more than 70 consumer complaints associated with punctures, cracks, and holes in [redacted] for various drug products including, but not limited to, [redacted] ointment USP, [redacted]%, [redacted] cream USP, and [redacted] ointment USP, [redacted]%. Your investigations failed to adequately address the scope and cause of these serious container/closure system defects and evaluate other drug products that have similar manufacturing quality signals such as complaints, or that use the same supplier. 
In your response, you stated that the root cause for the complaints was improper “handling by folding and refolding of the [redacted]” by consumers. In addition, you stated that because the complaint rate is insignificant, there is no risk to marketed batches. However, you closed more than 50 of the complaints, without CAPA to prevent recurrence of similar quality defects.
I like the "blame the root cause on the customer" approach - that's a new one.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 406 research/teaching positions and 16 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 406 research/teaching positions and 16 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On October 16, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 401 positions.

Here's a link to the first open thread; here's a link to the second, which is the current open thread.

Postdoctoral positions: synthetic organic chemistry, Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, UNC Chapel Hill

From the inbox, five postdoctoral positions at UNC-Chapel Hill:
The Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery at UNC-CH invites highly skilled and motivated synthetic organic chemists who are interested in expanding or deepening their skills, including medicinal chemistry and chemical biology, to apply for this position. The postdoctoral associate will become a member of multidisciplinary teams in an environment where his/her knowledge of organic synthesis will play a key role in advancing chemical biology and drug discovery projects. Specifically, this position will focus on the creation of high-quality in vivo chemical probes versus less explored Alzheimer Disease targets that can advance understanding of the pharmacologic intervention points most likely to lead to new drugs for this disease.
Full listing here. Best wishes to those interested. 

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 62 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 62 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 28 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 28 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, October 14, 2019

Polystyrene breaks down to carbon and CO2 in sunlight?

Via the New York Times, this fascinating new study from a team from Woods Hole: 
“We’re not calling the concerns or the actions wrong,” Christopher M. Reddy, a marine chemist at Woods Hole and another author on the study, said in an interview. “We just have a new thread to add and we think it’s significant.” 
The study was published Thursday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, a publication of the American Chemical Society, a scientific group based in Washington. 
The new study demonstrated that sunlight does even more, breaking down polystyrene into basic chemical units of organic carbon, which dissolves in seawater, and trace amounts of carbon dioxide, at levels far too low to play a role in climate change. By the end of this process the plastic has effectively disappeared from the environment. 
In the paper, the researchers described the study as “the first direct evidence” of how of sunlight can break down polystyrene in the environment into its basic chemical building blocks.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I do find it remarkable that it took so long to figure this out... (for those interested, the published article is here.