EMU Alumni Present Current Work at ACS-CERM 2022

EMU recently hosted the Central Regional Meeting (CERM) of the American Chemical Society in the Student Center, June 7-10, 2022.  The conference was organized by Dr. Harriet Lindsay and Dr. Wade Tornquist.  In a special session for EMU alumni organized by alum Will Collin, four EMU Chemistry and Biochemistry graduates gave talks on their current work.  These alumni are highlighted below.


Dr. Ian Pendleton at ACS CERM 2022Dr. Ian Pendleton attended Eastern Michigan University where he worked with Prof. Harriet Lindsay, graduating in 2012.  He then went on to University of Michigan where he worked with Prof. Paul Zimmerman and Prof. Melanie Sanford investigating the application of predictive computational chemistry techniques to organometallic transformations.  After a short tenure as a post-doc at Haverford College studying high-throughput materials science he shifted to the biotech industry working first at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and now at Relay Therapeutics.  His work now focuses on the merger of comp chem, high-throughput experimentation and artificial intelligence to build models for predicting the synthetic accessibility of unexplored chemical space.


Dr. James Grinias at ACS CERM 2022

Dr. James Grinias got his start in chromatography during his undergraduate days at Eastern Michigan University working with Prof. Heather Holmes and graduated in 2009. He then traveled to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to pursue a doctoral degree under the supervision of Prof. James Jorgenson. Grinias returned to the area in 2014 for a stint as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan before starting his independent career at Rowan University in early 2017. Dr. Grinias is now an Associate Professor with research interests involving liquid chromatography and the development of low-cost analytical instrumentation. He presented some of his groups work on the analysis of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical compounds at the CERM alumni symposium.


Jesse Wotring at ACS CERM 2022

Jesse Wotring graduated with his B.S. in Biochemistry in the spring of 2018. He interned for two summers at Cayman Chemical in the Forensic Chemistry Department. Following graduation from EMU, Jesse began his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Michigan working with Dr. Jonathan Sexton. Jesse’s thesis work involves the utilization of cell-based high-content fluorescence imaging for high throughput drug repurposing, medicinal chemistry optimization and mechanism of action elucidation. He has applied these techniques extensively to cell models for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and COVID-19. His work has resulted in the initiation of several human clinical trials and in vivo studies for repurposed therapeutics. Jesse expects to graduate with his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan within the next year.



Danielle St. Germaine

Danielle St. Germaine graduated with her B.S. in Biochemistry/Toxicology in the fall of 2011 and with her Masters in Chemistry in spring of 2014, both at EMU. She began working at Cayman Chemical as an intern in the Medicinal Chemistry Department in 2013 while finishing her master’s thesis. She soon became a full-time employee, and joined the newly formed Forensic Chemistry Department in 2015. The department quickly grew into a full Forensic Chemistry Division, where she continues to synthesize novel psychoactive substances (NPS). As an important partner to the forensic community, Cayman is dedicated to the research, development, and production of a wide variety of research and analytical tools. It is their responsibility to monitor current trends and rapidly develop standards necessary for the early detection of NPS.