Plenary Speakers

Chemistry, Biology & Health

Professor Kelly Chibale

Professor Kelly ChibaleDepartment of Chemistry
University of Cape Town
South Africa

Kelly Chibale is a full Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where he holds the Neville Isdell Chair in African-centric Drug Discovery & Development. He is also a Tier 1 South Africa Research Chair in Drug Discovery, founding Director of the extramural South African Medical Research Council Drug Discovery & Development Research Unit at UCT, Founder and Director of the UCT Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3D and a Full Member of the UCT Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine.

Kelly obtained his PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of Cambridge in the UK (1989-1992) with Stuart Warren.  This was followed by postdoctoral stints at the University of Liverpool in the UK (1992-94) with Nick Greeves and at the Scripps Research Institute in the USA (1994-96) with KC Nicolaou. He was a Sandler Sabbatical Fellow at the University of California San Francisco (2002), a US Fulbright Senior Research Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2008) and a Visiting Professor at Pfizer in the UK (2008).

In 2018 Kelly was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the top 50 World’s Greatest Leaders and in 2019 he was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African magazine.  In 2020 he was named as one of the world’s top 60 most inspirational leaders in the pharmaceutical industry (one of the world’s top 20 inspirational medicine makers in the field of small

molecules) on The Medicine Maker’s 2020 Power List. Kelly also serves on Editorial Advisory Boards of the American Chemical Society (ACS)’s Accounts of Chemical Research, ACS Infectious Diseases and Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Amongst other awards, he is a recipient of the Gold Medal of the South African Chemical Institute for 2018 and held a University of Leeds (UK) Cheney Visiting Fellowship (2017-2018).

Education & Science Communications

Professor Melanie Cooper

Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education
Michigan State University
United States

Melanie Cooper is the Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education and Professor of Chemistry at Michigan State University. Her recent research includes the development and assessment of chemistry curricula based on theories of learning and evidence about how people learn, the impact on student learning, and how students perceive these transformed curricula. She was a member of the leadership team for the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and has served as a member on the National Academy of Sciences Board on Science Education (BOSE), and for reports on Discipline Based Education Research (DBER), and Undergraduate Research Experiences (URE). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has received a number of awards including the Royal Society of Chemistry Education Award, the American Chemical Society Award for Achievement in Research on Teaching and Learning in Chemistry, the Norris award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching of Chemistry, the Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award from the Society for College Science Teaching, and was awarded an honorary D.Sc. from the University of South Florida. She earned her B.S. M.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Manchester, England.

Green Chemistry

Professor Márcio Weber Paixão

Centre of Excellence for Research in Sustainable Chemistry
Federal University of São Carlos

Professor Ma´rcio Weber Paixão received his BSc in Chemistry in 2003 from the Federal University of Santa Maria, UFSM, Brazil. In 2007, he completed his PhD under the supervision of Prof. A. L. Braga (UFSM – Brazil) and co- supervision of Professor Dr. Ludger Wessjohann (Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry – IPB Halle – Germany), working with catalytic enantioselective methodologies. He immediately started postdoctoral studies at the University of São Paulo (Brazil) and then at the Center for Catalysis, University of Aarhus, DK, where he worked under the guidance of Professor. Karl A. Jørgensen. In 2010 he started his independent career at the Federal University of São Carlos, Brazil. In 2012 he worked as a visiting professor in the Group of Professor Carlos F. Barbas III at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). From 2016 to 2017 he had a sabbatical research stay at the University of California Berkeley with Professor F. Dean Toste. His research interests focus on the development of new catalytic methodologies.

Materials & Nano Chemistry

Professor Teri Odom

Professor Teri OdomDepartment of Chemistry
Northwestern University & Nano Letters

United States

Teri W. Odom is Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Chemistry Department at Northwestern University. She is an expert in designing structured nanoscale materials that exhibit extraordinary size and shape-dependent optical and physical properties. Odom has pioneered a suite of multi-scale nanofabrication tools that have resulted in plasmon-based nanoscale lasers that exhibit tunable color, flat optics that can manipulate light at the nanoscale, and hierarchical substrates that show controlled wetting and super-hydrophobicity. She has also invented a class of biological nanoconstructs that are facilitating unique insight into nanoparticle-cell interactions and that show superior imaging and therapeutic properties because of their gold nanostar shape.

Odom is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) and a Fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Physical Society (APS), and the Optical Society of America (OSA). Select honors and awards include: the RSC Centenary Prize; the ACS National Award in Surface Science; a Research Corporation TREE Award; a U.S. Department of Defense Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship; a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship at Harvard University; an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award; the MRS Outstanding Young Investigator Award; the National Fresenius Award from Phi Lambda Upsilon and the ACS; an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship; and a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering.

Odom was founding Chair of the Noble Metal Nanoparticles Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and founding Vice-Chair of the GRC on Lasers in Micro, Nano, Bio Systems. She was an inaugural Associate Editor for Chemical Science and founding Executive Editor of ACS Photonics. She is Editor-in-Chief of Nano Letters. Odom’s Personal Story of Discovery was featured by ACS Publications.