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ACS AMA: Hi, we’re Raychelle Burks and Brandon Presley. Ask us anything about being U.S. Young Observers at the 2017 IUPAC General Assembly & World Chemistry Congress in Brazil earlier this month.
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ACS AMA Hi—we’re Raychelle Burks and Brandon Presley. We recently attended the 2017 IUPAC General Assembly and World Chemistry Congress, held July 8-14 in São Paulo, Brazil, as part of the U.S. Young Observers program. I’m Raychelle Burks, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. I’m an analytical chemist with crime lab experience and am focused on creating low-cost colorimetric sensors for detecting chemicals of forensic interest, including explosives and illicit drugs. My group utilizes smart phones, along with image analysis, to maximize the field readiness of developed sensor systems for potential use by crime scene analysts, law enforcement, and military personnel. I earned my B.S. in chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa, my M.S. in forensic science from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and my Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. I’m also passionate about science communication and serve on the advisory board of Chemical & Engineering News and UnDark Science Magazine. I’m Brandon C. Presley, a Ph.D. candidate studying analytical chemistry at Temple University. I earned my bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2010 from Temple University. I am employed as the Team Leader in the Abuse-Deterrent Formulations department at NMS Labs where I manage technical projects and conducts in-vitro testing for major pharmaceutical organizations. I’ve worked previously as a forensic chemist and bench chemist in clinical and forensic toxicology; I was also employed as a chemist at Intertek Testing Services. I have served at Temple University as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and joined the adjunct chemistry faculty in 2017. I was recently recognized as a Future Faculty Fellow by Temple University. I’m a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and an Associate Member of the Division of Chemistry and Human Health in the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). My research interests include determining the metabolic profiles of novel drugs of abuse as well as determining Quantitative Structure-Retention Relationships (QSRR) of various classes of compounds. IUPAC is the global authority on chemical nomenclature and terminology—including naming of new elements in the periodic table—as well as setting other standards for measurement and other critically-evaluated data. Established in 1977 to foster interactions with internationally acclaimed scientists, the IUPAC Young Observer Program sends U.S. Observers under the age of 45 from industry, academia, and national laboratories to the IUPAC World Chemistry Congress and General Assembly, held every two years. The program aims to introduce the work of IUPAC to a new generation of researchers and to provide them with an opportunity to address international scientific policy issues. To help support participation of U.S. Young Observers, ACS is helping us share our experiences, learnings, and how the Congress and GA are helping to advance our scientific interests, priorities, networks, and careers. Learn more about our and our fellow Young Observers’ experiences in this blog post . Ask us anything about being an IUPAC Young Observer, using technology for science communication, presenting at international chemistry conferences, or balancing a career with pursing advanced education. We will be back at 12:30 p.m. EDT (11:30 a.m. CDT, 9:30 a.m. PDT, 4:30 p.m. UTC) to answer your questions. 12:30pm We’re here to answer questions until 1:30pm ET! 1:30pm Thanks, y’all! We’re signing off!