SERMACS 2013 Careers in Chemistry Undergraduate Symposium Speaker Biographies Dr. Dennis C. Liotta is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry at Emory University. Prof. Liotta
received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1974 from The City University of New York under the direction
of Dr. Robert Engel and completed his post-doctoral training at The Ohio State University under the
direction of Dr. Leo A. Paquette. Dr. Liotta has been a faculty member at Emory University since
1976. In that time he has received virtually every major award the University gives. These include, inter
alia, the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award, the Emory University Distinguished Faculty
Lecturer Award, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, this highest Award given at Emory. He was also
selected as one of Emory’s 175 History Makers and has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from
Queens College and The University of Queensland, Australia.
Dr. Liotta is currently the Executive Director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development, as well as the
co-director of the Republic of South Africa Drug Discovery Training Program. He also serves as Editor-in-
Chief of ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. He was recently inducted into the Medicinal Chemistry Hall of
Fame. His other awards include the Uncommon Courage Award from his Alma Mater, Queens College
and (with Raymond Schinazi) the Biomedical Industry Growth Award, given by the Georgia Biomedical
While at Emory, Dr. Liotta has authored over two hundred and thirty research publications and over
seventy issued US patents. During the past three decades he has also developed a great deal of
experience in the discovery and development of pharmaceuticals and during that time has served as a
consultant to many major pharmaceutical firms, including Merck, Glaxo, Burroughs Wellcome,
Boehringer Ingelheim and Johnson & Johnson. He is (or has been) a member of the Scientific Advisory
Boards (SAB) and Board of Directors (BOD) of several biopharmaceutical companies including: Triangle
Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Gilead Sciences, SAB Chair), Altiris (scientific founder, SAB and BOD
member), Pharmasset (acquired by Gilead Sciences, scientific founder and SAB member), iThemba
Pharmaceuticals (scientific founder, SAB Chair and BOD member), NeurOp (SAB and BOD member) and
FOB Synthesis (BOD member). In addition, he is the inventor of record for several clinically important
agents, including FTC (Emtriva®, Emtricitabine), 3TC (Epivir®, Lamivudine), Reverset® (DPC-817, D-D4FC),
Racivir®, Elvucitabine® (L-D4FC) and MSX-122.
J Gavin MacDonald, PhD
PhD in Organic Chemistry (University of Strathclyde, Scotland UK)
Postdoctoral fellow with Professor A. Padwa (Emory University, Atlanta, GA)
Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor D. Harp (McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Roswell GA. Senior Research Fellow
• 166 US patents (record for K-C in its 140-year history)
• Inventor of technology that formed a new business for K-C
• Inventor of technologies in several launched products
I have enjoyed the freedom to explore ideas and emerging technologies that have leveraging potential
to improve existing or to create new products for the company. Technologies used have included
polymer and cellulose chemistry, electron beam, UV curing, adhesives, dyes, nanoparticles,
microparticles, additives, stabilizers. I have used these techologies with an entrepreneur’s eye for
applications in diagnostics, healthcare, hygiene, convenience and novelty.
Renée A. Stein is Chief Conservator for the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University where she
oversees treatment and preventive care, teaches courses on conservation, as well as col aborates with
students and faculty on research. Ms. Stein is Principle Investigator for the 5-year Project for
Interdisciplinary Teaching and Research Relating Art Conservation and Science funded by the Andrew W.
Mel on Foundation. Her current research projects include the use of cyclododecane as a temporary
consolidant for porous substrates, the deterioration mechanism associated with color loss in ancient
Egyptian faience, and the characterization of green pigments found on ancient Egyptian objects. Ms.
Stein earned a Master of Science in Conservation specializing in objects from the Winterthur/ University
of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. She was a Mellon Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art/
The Cloisters, and has worked in conservation laboratories in the United States and Italy. She is a
Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation.
Kim E. Mooney,Forensic Chemist, US Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory
I knew a long time ago (before high school) that I wanted to be involved in law enforcement in some
way, so I have had the benefit of working towards that goal before forensic disciplines "hit the
mainstream". I graduated with a BS in Chemistry and Mathematics from Dickinson College in Carlisle,
PA. I then went on to obtain a PhD in Chemistry (inorganic nanomaterials) from The George Washington
University in Washington, D.C. I followed this with a post-doc at the FBI's Counterterrorism and Forensic
Science Research Unit as part of the ORISE Visiting Scientist Program. While there, I performed research
on elemental analysis via X-ray fluorescence. Ever since the end of my post-doc, I have been working at
the US Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory in the Trace Evidence Branch. My areas of analysis are
gunshot residue and smokeless gunpowder, glass analysis and direction of force, physical fit,
miscellaneous, and soil. I am responsible for conducting examinations, preparing case files, maintaining
chain of custody on items of evidence, writing formal reports, and presenting my findings to agents,
Zsuzsanna Kuklenyik, Ph.D., Senior Research Chemist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Education: BS/MS degree in Chemical Engineering at Technical University of Budapest, Hungary. PhD
degree and Post-Doctoral research in Inorganic Biochemistry at Emory University, Atlanta.
• Serving as a leading separation science and analytical instrumentation expert.
• Developing innovative high throughput laboratory automation approaches for in chronic disease,
emergency response, infectious disease, and environmental health projects.
• Served a leading role in management of analytical services in large scale collaborative studies with
other CDC centers and government organizations.
• Demonstrated scientific accomplishments in over 20 oral/poster presentations at scientific
conferences, and in 15 lead-author and 29 co-author publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Lawrence J. DeLucas, O.D., Ph.D., D.Sc. (Hon), Professor of Optometry, Director, Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering
Dr. DeLucas is a Professor in the School of Optometry, Director of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer
Center X-ray Crystallography Core Facility, a Senior Scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
and the Director of the Structural Biology Center and Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering at
the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Vivo BioSciences, Inc. and is a founder and board
member of Soluble Therapeutics, Inc. both Birmingham-based biotechnology companies. He serves on
the Science Advisory Board for Minerva BioSciences, Inc., Space Energy, Inc., and is a Board member for
the Alabama Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Dr. DeLucas was named the Distinguished
Faculty Lecturer at UAB (October 2000), a prestigious award honoring individuals in the Academic Health
Center at UAB who have made major contributions in education, research, or service. In April 1999 he
received the Howard Heflin Statesmanship Award for Technology and in January 1999, he was
recognized as one of the scientists who could shape the 21st century in an article published by “The
Sunday Times” of London entitled “The Brains Behind the 21st Century”. Dr. DeLucas was inducted into
the National Optometry Hall of Fame in October 2002 and in February, 2011 received the UAB
Presidents Award for Excellence in Teaching.
On June 25th to July 9th of 1992 Dr. DeLucas flew as a NASA astronaut payload specialist on the United
States Space Shuttle “Columbia”, STS -150 United States Microgravity Laboratory-1. During his fourteen
day mission he participated in thirty-one different scientific and materials processing experiments. Over
the course of 14 days, he traveled more than 7 million miles and completing 221 orbits around the
Earth. After his journey, Dr. DeLucas served as Chief Scientist for the International Space Station at NASA
Headquarters in Washington, D.C. from 1994 to 1995.
Dr. DeLucas received five degrees from UAB culminating in a Doctor of Optometry degree and a
Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry. In addition, he received Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Ferris
State University (May 2002), the Ohio State University (June 1999), Il inois Col ege of Optometry (May
1998), and the State University of New York, College of Optometry (May 1997). He has published over
140 research articles in various scientific journals, co-authored and edited books on protein
crystallization and is an inventor on 28 patents describing an array of novel scientific systems and
potential new therapeutic drugs. He has been an invited lecturer at numerous national and international
scientific and professional meetings concerning research in space, biotechnology applications and
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