Meetings and Events

International Women’s Day Event
March 8, 2021
7:00—8:30 pm
Via Zoom

Featured Speaker: Prof. Heather Maynard, Ph.D.
Synthesis of Glycopolymers and Mimetics for
Therapeutic Protein Delivery

Abstract: Therapeutic proteins are challenging to transport and store, and thus the majority must be refrigerated or frozen. Proteins exposed to these conditions and others such as mechanical agitation often lose activity. This can be harmful or even fatal for patients that take the medications and can also increase costs because of the requirement of the cold chain. Thus, polymeric materials that are capable of stabilizing biomolecules at room temperature and to agitation are of significant interest. This talk will focus on new polymeric materials to address this important problem. Well-defined polymers were synthesized by controlled radical polymerization and ring opening polymerizations. These were tested in their ability to stabilize proteins to room temperature, elevated temperatures, mechanical agitation, and pH changes when added as excipients. Side chains derived from Nature and others from known excipient classes were compared and contrasted, and the mechanisms of stabilization were investigated. Grafting to and grafting from synthetic strategies were utilized to prepare protein conjugates of these polymers, and in vivo testing showed that the polymers significantly increased blood circulation times (i.e. pharmacokinetics) in addition to retaining protein activity after exposure to high temperatures. Synthesis, stabilization properties, and application of the polymers to treat diabetes and chemotherapy will be presented.

Biography: Heather D. Maynard is the Dr. Myung Ki Hong Professor in Polymer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Maynard is a worldwide leader in the area of protein-polymer conjugates, which are important therapeutics for a variety of diseases. She develops new synthetic methods to make the materials, invents new polymers to improve properties such as stability, and demonstrates preclinical efficacy of her conjugates with an eye towards translation for human health. Maynard also works in the area of smart materials for precision medicine: materials that respond to disease states in the body. Maynard’s research and teaching have been recognized by numerous awards including the American Chemical Society Arthur Cope Scholar Award, Fulbright Specialist Award, Seaborg Award for Outstanding Research in Chemistry, National Science Foundation Career Award, Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching and the UCLA Student Development Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award. Maynard is both an American Chemical Society Polymer Chemistry and Polymer Materials: Science and Engineering Fellow. She is also a Leverhulme, Kavli Frontiers, and Royal Society of Chemistry Fellow and was a member of the United States Defence Science Study Group from 2016-2017.

Maynard received her B.S. with Honors in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1992, Masters in Materials Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1995, and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 2000 for research in the group of Nobel Prize winner Robert H. Grubbs. She was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral fellow with Jeffrey Hubbell at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) from 2000-2002. Dr. Maynard joined the UCLA faculty as an Assistant Professor in August 2002 as the first Howard Reiss Career Development Chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and as a member of the California NanoSystems Institute. Maynard is now a Full Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Director of the National Institutes of Health funded Chemistry Biology Interface Training Program and Associate Director for the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.

Registration: If you’d like to register for this talk, please email Nancy Paradiso at You will receive a return email with the link for the Zoom presentation.


Picture a Scientist!

Viewing Dates:
March 25 to March 27

Zoom Discussion: March 28, 2021
2:00 pm to 4:00

PICTURE A SCIENTIST chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries – including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists – who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all. 

Registered participants will view the documentary anytime between March 25th and March 27th and then participate in the Zoom discussion on March 28th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Participants receive a link and password that will give access to the virtual showcase via Vimeo. Each participant logs in on their own time (anytime between March 25 and March 27th, an unlimited number of times) to view the film.

Registration: If you’d like to register for Picture A Scientist, email Nancy Paradiso at You will receive a return email with the link and password for the showcase as well as the link for the Zoom Discussion on March 28th.


2020 High School Olympiad

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, ACS will be hosting the local section High School Olympiad online again this year. National ACS is using the ACS Learning Center (hosted by Moodle) to host the Local Section Exam as well as Part I of the National Exam. All students who intend to take the National Exam must be registered by February 1, 2021 in order to take the Local Section and National exams. Interested students should send an email with their names, email addresses, school name and address and teacher’s name and email address (or the teacher should send the information for the school) to Nancy Paradiso at no later than January 27, 2021 so we can register them with National ACS by February 1st. Details will be emailed to registered students.

The process will require students to enroll in a “course” in the ACS Learning Center. They will receive an enrollment key from us that will link them to our Section cohort. Students will login to the ACS Learning Center using the code. There will be a demographics survey and practice test to get used to the testing environment, and they will take the test online. Both the Local Section Exam and the National Exam will be proctored so students will need a web cam and a stable internet connection, as well as a smart phone, smart pad, lap top or desktop to participate. We need volunteers to help proctor the Local Section Exam. If you’d like to volunteer to proctor online, please email Nancy Paradiso at

The Local Section exam will take place online on Saturday, March 27, 2021. The National Exam will be in two parts. There will not be a lab portion again this year. All the students who qualify from the Local Section Exam will take Part I of the National Exam on Saturday, April 17, 2021. The top 200 students nationally will take Part II of the National Exam on Saturday, April 24, 2021. Participating students for the National Study Camp will be notified by May 3, 2021.

The good news is that we are not charging for the test this year. Because of that, we cannot offer cash prizes for our highest scoring students, but we will still recognize our top students with certificates at our Educational Awards Program in May.

If you have any questions, please email Nancy Paradiso at or Dr. Gerald Delker at We look forward to your schools participating again in our Local Section High School Olympiad.


Mentoring/Tutoring Program
for Title I Students

The Southern California Section is forming a Committee to offer mentoring/tutoring to students in Title I schools that are interested in taking the ACS High School Olympiad on March 27, 2021.  While this workshop will be geared to the High School Olympiad, the goal is to reach students who have an interest or aptitude for science and help it grow.

The first meeting will be held via Zoom on Saturday, January 16th from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.  The continuing Zoom meetings are planned for each succeeding Saturday until the Olympiad.  They will focus on different areas of chemistry.  Depending on interest, we will continue after that.

Please see the announcement above with further details about the Olympiad. If you have students interested in the Mentoring Program, please ask them to email Nancy Paradiso at by January 14, 2021 to RSVP.  The Zoom link will be sent to registered students.

If you have any questions about mentoring or tutoring (including to volunteer to tutor), please email Dr. Edye Udell at   We look forward to having your students take advantage of this special tutoring opportunity.