Organic Chemistry Conferences
There are two in-department conference/symposium events for organic chemistry graduate students.
The annual Beak-Pines Organic Area Allerton Conference is held at beautiful Allerton Park, an English-style estate located approximately 20 miles southwest of Champaign. The all-day conference is attended by all faculty members, students and postdoctoral researchers in the organic chemistry area. One student from each research group presents research projects in the old library of the Robert Allerton House. Two more students from each group present their work in the form of a poster. Lunch is enjoyed in the grand dining hall, and after lunch, there is free time to wander through the more than 5,000 acres of forest and prairie along the Sangamon River. The park features formal English gardens and over 100 outdoor sculptures. At the end of the afternoon session, the Seemon Pines Award is given to the most outstanding presentation and the two best posters.
This biennial fall symposium celebrates research at the frontiers of organic chemistry in the general areas of synthesis, bioorganic and materials chemistry. This unique symposium is organized by a committee of graduate students representing each organic chemistry research group. The five speakers are chosen by the organic chemistry graduate students at large and the student representatives on the committee serve as their hosts for the weekend. The symposium concludes with a round-table discussion in which the speakers are asked to respond to questions from the audience concerning non-technical aspects of academic chemistry careers.
The symposium began in 1990 and has been sponsored since 2000 by the R. W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute (now Janssen Pharmaceuticals). The 2014 symposium was sponsored jointly by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Medivation, Inc. In 2015 and 2016, alumni Peter Senter (PhD, ’81) and Terry Balthazor (PhD, ’75) each established endowments to support the 2016 symposium as well as future symposia, and in 2022 Dr. Balthazor made an additional gift to ensure the continuation of a biennial symposium in perpetuity.