ACS New York Section

Academe Industry Committee

2008 Annual Report

Richard M. Goodman, Chair



      The Academe Industry Committee activities embody one of the tenets of the charter of the American Chemical Society, “…to encourage in the broadest and most liberal manner the advancement of chemistry in all its branches; the promotion of research in chemical science and industry  In 2008 this aim was achieved by the committee in stellar fashion with the convening of a symposium on November 1, 2008 entitled “Interfacial Chemistry Used in Medical Applications”.   In preparation for the symposium the Academe Industry Committee met during the summer at the Westchester campus of what is now the Polytechnic Institute of NYU in Hawthorne.  The committee members, consisting of Richard M. Goodman, Chair, Mary Cowman, Gandharva Padmanabhan, and David Cormode, decided on a program to emphasize the role of interfacial chemistry in both fundamental and practical applications.  During the early September time-frame the speakers were recruited for a symposium to be held on November 1.  

      The New York Section Office sent out a follow-up notices to potentially interested members in mid-October.  As of the Friday before the meeting, 22 persons had registered.  The meeting space, the Butcher Suite at the Pace University Campus Center in Pleasantville had an excellent continental breakfast prepared.  One of the scheduled speakers Dr. Narendra Desai from Wyeth did not attend because he was unable to get clearance to give his presentation hence,  the program went forward with the three remaining speakers, Dr. David Cormode of Mt Sinai Hospital, Dr. Stavroula Sofou of NYU Polytechnic University and Dr. Abu Serajuddin of St John’s Pharmacy School.  Twenty people attended the presentations.  

David P. Cormode, Ph. D. of Mount Sinai delivered a talk on “Nanoparticles and surfaces for anion sensing and medical imaging”.  The presentation highlighted the growing importance of nanoscale structures in the production of new pharmaceutical and diagnostic agents.  The focus of his talk was on medical imaging that is carried out with selective agents tethered to the surface of inorganic substrates such as gold, iron oxide or quantum dots that induce contrast in images obtained in X-ray, MRI and fluorescence imaging in the treatment of heart disease.

Stavroula Sofou, PhD of Polytechnic Institute of NYU gave a presentation entitled “Lipid membrane heterogeneities controlled by pH: basic studies and potential applications of lipid-based drug delivery carriers”.  She explained how lipid rafts can be assembled in nanometer- and micron-sized domains, as occurs in cells.  Such synthetically assembled domains could be employed for drug delivery vehicles that are responsive to their environment.

Lastly, Abu Serajuddin, Ph.D. of St. John’s University gave an address entitled “Development of surfactant and lipid-based solid dispersion and solid micro emulsion preconcentrates for oral delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs”.  The fact that most modern drugs are essentially water insoluble is a revelation to many outside of the pharmaceutical industry.  As presented in this talk the science of developing and evaluating surfactants and lipid-based systems for drug delivery represents an intellectually and technically challenging undertaking.  Importantly, it underscored the power of fundamental research in industrial laboratories.

The presentations were followed by extensive question and answer sessions that extende to 15 minutes for each of the speakers.  In fact, the size of the symposium proved to entirely appropriate to accommodate detailed discussions between the presenters and audience members.  The symposium set a high standard for future events in this format.

Drs. Stavroula Soufu, Gandharva Padmanabhan, Mary Cowman, Abu Serajuddin, Richard Goodman,
David Cormode and Mihaela Leonida