The 1,027th Meeting of the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society
Joint NESACS/NOBCChE Meeting
Henry A. Hill Lecture and Award Recognition
Multicomponent Reactions in the Synthesis of New Cancer Drugs
By Jacqueline Smith, Associate Professor at Bowie State University
Date: February 15, 2024
Venue: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and the Health Sciences
Richard E. Griffin Academic Center, 6th Floor
670 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Networking and Social Hour (MCPHS, Griffin Academic Center, 6th floor)
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Dinner (MCPHS, Griffin Academic Center, 6th floor)
7:30 pm – 8:00pm – Henry A. Hill Award Presentation (MCPHS, Griffin Academic Center, 6th floor)
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Lecture (MCPHS, Griffin Academic Center, 6th floor)
Advance Registration is Required for entry to this event, social hour, dinner, and lecture. Please register by noon, Tuesday, February 13th.
Bio: Dr. Jacqueline Smith is an Associate Professor at Bowie State University. Since arriving at Bowie in 2016, Jacqueline has developed a research program focused on developing small molecule probes to be used as tools to investigate disease. One of her major projects involves pioneering the use of acyclic amidines in a microwave-assisted multicomponent reaction. This rapid synthetic strategy allows undergraduate student to participate in the research using high throughput and automated technology. She is also using organic synthesis to develop bioanalytical tools that allow fluorescent detection of drug delivery. Through this work Dr. Smith has been awarded the NSF CAREER Award and Excellence in Research Award; in addition, previously winning a NSF HBCU-UP RIA.
Smith completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) where she was a part of the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Maryland College Park with Herman Sintim and conducted postdoctoral research at Georgetown University in the Drug Discovery Lab of Milton Brown. Dr. Smith is co-author on several peer-reviewed publication and has 2 US Patents.
Dr. Smith has mentored over 30 students in her lab. Dr. Smith has a passion for training and outreach and works to enhance K-16 exposure to STEM.
Abstract: Multicomponent reactions are highly useful in organic synthesis as they create complex molecules in fewer synthetic steps and require fewer purification processes. These reactions are well-known for creating aromatic heterocycles which have utility in many areas of chemistry, especially drug discovery. Aromatic heterocycles are often privileged scaffolds that show high efficacy in biological system. Therefore, the ease of access provided by MCRs allows libraries of compounds to be designed through the modulation of one or more reagents. The Groebke-Blackburn-Bienayme’ Reaction (GBBR) is a well-known MCR which has been used to form a variety of heterocyclic compounds.
In recent years several treatments for cancer have been developed. Despite these gains, the development of resistance remains a challenge. About 25% of women with ER+ breast cancer experience recurrence within 5 to 10 years of treatment. Over the past few decades, studies have shown that cancer cells exploit the body’s natural repair systems in order to avoid death. One such system is the Ubiquitin Proteasome System (UPS). This system is responsible for the degradation of mis- or unfolded proteins through the proteasome. A key component of the UPS is the valosin-containing protein (VCP). VCP is an ATPase that hydrolyzes ATP to provide the energy required for ubiquitin-tagged proteins to reach the proteasome. Small molecules have been designed to inhibit VCP by binding to its enzyme active site or an allosteric site. We have designed new compounds to target VCP through a novel microwave-assisted GBB multicomponent reaction that uses acyclic amidines. This approach allows for the derivatization of up to three aromatic rings which can produce a small library of more than 60 compounds. Molecular docking has shown that these compounds are likely to be binders of VCP and preliminary testing for enzymatic activity is underway. Ultimately expanding the scope of the GBBR will allow a variety of novel compounds to be designed as potential VCP inhibitors.
Honoring two awardees of the 2023 Henry A Hill Award for Conspicuous Service to the Northeastern Section
Jennifer L. Maclachlan, Managing Director at PID Analyzers, LLC
Bio: Maclachlan has been an active ACS member for 12 years and is the managing director at PID Analyzers LLC, a small, family-owned and -operated chemical instrument business in Sandwich, Massachusetts. In her home community of Cape Cod, she has distinguished herself by putting together many hands-on chemistry outreach events, demonstrating her strong networking, communication and team management skills.
In 2010, she organized the first Cape Cod Celebrates National Chemistry Week at a local YMCA. Assisted by her father Jack Driscoll, Ph.D., she engaged students in grades K-8 in chemistry-related hands-on activities. Encouraged and energized by this first public outreach effort, and working with colleagues from the Northeastern Section of ACS, Maclachlan put on dozens of events — to date, she has organized more than 30 science cafés. She has developed partnerships with many Southeastern Massachusetts STEM education stakeholders, and via those partnerships, she has shared her enthusiasm for chemistry with thousands of area youth and their parents and caregivers.
Maclachlan also has an active presence on social media, where she has established a strong personal brand and coaches others in doing the same. Her passion for career planning has made her a sought-after speaker at ACS meetings and by other organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Materials Research Society.
Her service to ACS also includes chairing CPRC, the committee tasked with bringing chemistry to the public, sharing the excitement of science with non-scientists and helping other ACS units communicate effectively with their constituents. She currently serves as the co-chair of the Partnership Subcommittee for the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety and the public relations chair for the ACS Division of Small Chemical Businesses.
Beyond her ACS membership, Maclachlan is an active member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), where she serves as immediate past chair of the Teen Workplace Health and Safety Committee, which she founded. She also assists with AIHA grassroots government affairs activities.
Lori Ferrins, Research Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology at Northeastern University
Bio: Dr. Lori Ferrins, a Research Associate Professor at Northeastern University, leads a medicinal chemistry research program that is focused on intractable diseases such as parasitic neglected tropical diseases, pathogenic free-living amoebae, and antimicrobial agents. Her research focuses on enhancing the translation of in vitro activity to in vivo efficacy emphasizing the importance of both phenotypic and target-driven optimization.
Beyond her research, Dr. Ferrins actively contributes to the scientific community through significant volunteer work. Serving as the MEDI Division Academic Councilor (2024-2026), Chair of the NESACS NERM2023 committee, and participation in the Norris Award Committee, and the German Exchange Committee, she showcases a commitment to shaping the future of scientific endeavors. Her leadership extends to organizational roles, including her tenure as Councilor and Director at Large for NESACS (2024-2026), exemplifying her dedication to advancing scientific knowledge and fostering collaboration within the community.