November 2018 – Message from the Chair


Greetings KLS Members,

As we transition from October to November, it’s officially election time! If you haven’t already voted for ACS president, you have until October 31st. Our own KLS ballots for Chair-Elect will be sent out by email one week prior to our November 15th meeting (or you can attend the meeting to cast your vote in person.) Dr. Kevin Miller of Murray State University has thrown his hat in the ring for Chair-Elect, offering to serve as the newest
member of the KLS Executive Committee. In addition to elections, this month we’ll be recognizing our 2018 award winners for the Howard Huyck Outstanding High School Chemistry Teacher Award, the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award, and
the Outstanding Professional Researcher Award. We even have three 50- and 60- year ACS members to announce! Don’t miss this fun evening of networking and celebrating the wonderful accomplishments of our diverse and talented local section members.

Kind regards,


Meeting October 18th

October 2018 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting
The University of Tennessee at Martin
Brehm Hall
574 University St, Martin, TN

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Demo Registration 5:30-6
Dinner 6:00 pm
Business Meeting 6:40pm
Demo Show 7:00 pm

All events will beheld in Brehm Hall Room 258.

Most accessible parking lots will be Fine Arts or the Chemistry/Library Lot. Directions: Turn on Mt Pelia Road from University St (Hwy 431). Brehm Hall is behind the Fine Arts Building, the first building on the left.

Dinner: Catered BBQ and sides ($10 per person, $5 for students)

Program: Chemistry Demonstration Show by SMACS Chapters and Student Group

National Chemistry Week (NCW) Web Banner

Click link for pictures of the event.

October 2018 – Message from the Chair


Greetings KLS members,

Next week, as a prelude to National Chemistry Week, we will be meeting for our annual SMACS Demo Show at UTM.  Please join us for this fun & interactive event!

Also, If you haven’t already marked your calendars, please note these upcoming dates:

  • Friday October 19th is the deadline for our section award nominations.  Nomination forms are available at:, and can be submitted by email.
  • Thursday November 15th, we will hold our last meeting of the calendar year at Bethel University where we will elect our next Chair-elect and announce award winners.

See you next week,

September 2018 – Message from the Chair

Greetings KLS members,

Last month I had the pleasure of jointly representing our section at the 20th annual ACS ChemLuminary Awards ceremony in Boston. What fun it was!! We won two awards this year: Fostering Interactions Between Local Sections & Student Chapters – for involving students in the SMACS groups with our science centers, and Outstanding Performance by a Local Section – Small Size Category Award – for our ongoing children’s science center activities, hosting a Nobel Prize Gala, celebrating National Chemistry Week, and participating in Earth Day activities.  Thank you to everyone who continues to contribute to making our section great!

As we look to the fall meeting line-up, please mark the following dates on your calendar:

  • Oct 18th: National Chemistry Week Demo Show @ UTM
  • Fri Oct 19th: Deadline for submitting professional & student award nominations.
  • Thu Nov 15th: KLS Elections & Awards @ Bethel U.

Finally, I know that the November elections might seem far away, but we are actively looking for who might serve as our next Chair-Elect.  If you would like to run (or nominate a colleague for the position) please contact me!

Best regards,


Meeting September 20th

September 2018 Kentucky Lake Section Meeting
Union University
1050 Union University Drive
Jackson, TN 38305

Thursday, September 20th, 2018
Dinner @ 6:00 pm, Presentation @ 7:00 pm

All events will be held in the Carl Grant Events Center on campus
Directions and maps:

From U.S. Highway 45 Bypass, take Union University Drive west to Walker Road. Turn left on Walker Road. The Grant Center is on your left after passing the Welcome House gate and student housing on the left.

Dinner: Choice of Greek Chicken or Beef Brisket, Salad, Cheesy mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, and Chocolate Explosion with ice cream

Program: Learning to Abandon Assumptions and to Ask the Right Questions or A Mild, Metal-Free Method for the Synthesis of Fused Azaheteroaromatics

Dr. E. Blake Watkins, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry,
Union University College of Pharmacy

Bring your children to attend the Science Center!


Carbolines and fused-pyridine heterocycles are ubiquitous structural motifs prevalent in natural products, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, materials and ligand scaffolds, thus highlighting the significance of such structures. Among the isomeric α-, β-, γ-, and δ-carbolines, the most abundant framework in nature is β-carboline. β-Carboline-containing structures possess a wide array of pharmacological properties, including anti-inflammatory, anti-Alzheimer, antimalarial, antibacterial, antitumor, anti-HIV and others. Current procedures require multi-step syntheses or extended preparation of starting materials in order to prepare these isomeric structures.  Our interest in metal-catalyzed, C-H functionalization reactions compelled us to explore the synthesis of these agents in a much more economical manner, particularly in regard to the use of metal catalysts/additives and the number of synthetic steps.  The current status of this project and its application to the synthesis of a wide variety of variously substituted pyridines will be presented, with particular attention paid to agents of pharmacological interest

Speaker Biography:

Blake Watkins speaker photo

Blake Watkins serves as Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Founding Chair of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at Union University.  He completed his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Chemistry at Union and received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Georgia under the direction of Professor Robert S. Phillips.  After doing postdoctoral work at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry under Professor Mitchell A. Avery, he worked as a Research Scientist and Research Assistant Professor in drug discovery and natural products synthesis.  In 2008, he returned to Union to help start the College of Pharmacy.  His current research interests include synthetic method development with application to natural products and drug discovery.

Click link for pictures of the event.


March 2018 – Message from the Chair

Greetings KLS Members,

This month we will be hearing from Dr. Elizabeth Thomas, a visiting professor at Berea College. Dr. Thomas is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and spent 6 years working as an organic chemist at Eli Lilly. Those of you who enjoy pharmaceutical chemistry won’t want to miss this event!
See you next week,


Don’t forget: The 41st Annual Area Collegiate Chemistry Meeting is April 7th at UT-Martin.  Deadline to submit for oral or poster presentation is April 3rd.

February 2018 – Message from the Chair

Greetings KLS Members!

February may be the shortest month in the calendar, but there’s double the opportunity for you to meet and mingle with other chemistry enthusiasts this month!

For our regularly scheduled meeting, we’ll be hearing from Dr. Bikram Subedi, professor at Murray State University.  Dr. Subedi specializes in the development of analytical methods to analyze chemical contaminants in water and will discuss the application of these methods toward quantifying illicit drug use within communities.

The following week, on Tuesday February 27, an ACS “program-in-a-box” event Opiods: Fighting Addiction With Chemistry will take place.  This topic is incredibly timely, and the program promises to be engaging and informative.  Dr. Rebecca Brown will be hosting at WKTCC in Paducah, KY, and Drs. Abigail Shelton and Robbie Montgomery will be hosting at UTM in Martin, TN.  If you would like to attend, please contact one of them for more details.

Kind regards,

~ Dr. Genessa Smith, Chair

January 2018 – Message from the Chair

Greetings KLS Members! With the turning of the calendar from 2017 to 2018, we once again find ourselves in a new year of KLS programming and leadership. Please join me in welcoming Kevin Revell as our new chair-elect. Kevin is already hard at work planning the spring program—stay tuned for more details!

This month’s speaker—Dr. Kevin Miller—is one of our own and I know that you won’t want to miss the opportunity to come hear why he was selected for the 2017 KLS Outstanding Professional Member Award. Dr. Miller specializes in organic and polymer chemistry at Murray State University and will be talking about applications of dynamic bonds in polymers.

As we enter the new year, I’d especially like to encourage you to be proactive in your KLS involvement. Whether that looks like attending monthly meetings, participating in committee work, helping with the kids’ science centers, fostering interest in National Chemistry Week, or designing a completely new KLS activity—opportunities abound! If you are particularly ambitious, you can spearhead an application for up to $3,500 in ACS funding through the Innovative Project Grant program. Application deadlines occur twice yearly: January 18th and June 30th.

Best wishes for a wonderful start to 2018.

~Genessa, KLS Chair