Dear esteemed members,

This year’s National Chemistry Week theme was the Healing Power of Chemistry. The San Diego Local Section likely exemplifies this theme better than any other Local Section. This month, we feature a flagship event you will not want to miss. Join us for Process Chemistry in the Development of KRAS Drugs on Tuesday, November 7th at 4 PM at the Novartis Research Foundation. We will feature three distinguished leaders in the bio-pharmaceutical space working on developing and scaling up novel and promising therapies for cancer patients. Dr. Xiaohu Deng, Former Head of CMC at Wellspring Biosciences will deliver a presentation called, “Scaleup Efforts on the Production of the First-generation, Atropisomeric Covalent KRAS G12C Inhibitors ARS-1620 and ARS-2102.” He will be followed by Dr. Cheng Yi Chen, Vice President of Chemistry Process R&D at Mirati. For his talk, Dr. Chen will present “Adagrasib (MRTX849) Commercial Route.” The seminar will conclude with “Development of an Atroposelective Process of KRAS G12C Inhibitor GDC-6036” by Dr. Haiming Zhang, Director at Genentech. This event is free and starts with a networking hour; refreshments will be provided. Register here!

In October, we brought you two excellent seminars showcasing the inspirational ability of chemistry to improve the quality of life for humanity. Thank you to Ms. Nga Do for giving us a glimpse into the mammoth behind-the-scenes work that she and her colleagues at Pfizer undertook to bring Nirmatrelvir to market in a blistering 17 months! This seminar, as well as this month’s flagship event, is a collaboration between the San Diego Local Section and the SoCal Association for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Advancements (SABPA). I look forward to working with our SABPA colleagues to bring you more exciting medicinal chemistry-themed events. I also thank Dr. H.N Cheng for his engaging and informative presentation on plastic pollution and the current state of developments in the search for biodegradable plastic candidates, which may one day hopefully replace disposable, petroleum-based plastic. Click here to (re)watch Dr. Cheng’s presentation.

Chem Expo was also a big hit this year. Over 200 members of the public and science enthusiasts descending on Miramar College to learn about the healing power of chemistry, engage in educational hands-on projects, and watch fun demos conducted by our Local Section Student Affiliate Chapters. The University of San Diego, CSU San Marcos, UC San Diego, Point Loma Nazarene University, Mesa College, and my (awesome) Southwestern College students all did a fantastic job and had lots of fun doing it.

Also, this month is the Local Section elections, so do not forget to vote! You will receive an electronic ballot at the email address the national ACS has on file for you. As long as you are a dues-paying member, you are eligible to cast a vote for your Local Section leadership. Be on the lookout for your ballot around the 15th of the month. If you have any questions or concerns about your ballot, reach out to my colleague, Jackie Trischman (, who serves as the Local Section election coordinator.

Lastly, celebrate our last hurrah of 2023 at the End-of-Year Meeting and Holiday Party at the Butcher Shop Steakhouse on December 7th at 6:30 PM. Expect a delectable buffet-style dinner and excellent camaraderie. There, we will announce the results of the upcoming election; I will give my farewell address, and introduce my successor. Click here to register.

On that note, I will close by expressing that I am thankful for all of you, the members, who do your part to advance our discipline and make our chemically-minded community the best one in the world. I wish you and your loved ones a beautiful Thanksgiving.

With gratitude,

Juan Gonzalez

Juan Gonzalez

2023 Chair, San Diego Section of the American Chemical Society

Discord: @g-orbital