Candidate Statements for 2013

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Statements for candidates for the Executive Committee for 2013 are as follows.



Jean Osterman, M.S.

Before graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I spent several years working as a research assistant for the Southern Coastal Water Research Project working on environmental chemistry, chronic and acute bioassays, marine sampling and species identification.  Bench chemistry is pretty exciting on a rocking vessel at sea!

After earning an MS degree from the University of Wisconsin and a secondary credential from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I taught science at a local high school and in natural science education programs for several years.  After some quality time at home with my young children, I returned to work for the Analytical Services Department at JBL Scientific, which became Promega Biosciences.

There I have been fortunate to collaborate with active research groups in California and Wisconsin developing and characterizing an array of synthetic biomolecules, enzyme substrates, molecular tags, and imaging compounds used in Promega products.

On the home front, I serve on the board of Surfing for Hope, part of the Hearst Cancer Resource Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing assistance to people with cancer and their families.  I also serve on the board of my neighborhood association, and enjoy gardening, amateur astronomy, jazz, cooking, wine and a good mystery.


Ata Shirazi, Ph.D. retired in 2011 as Manager of the UCSB Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry NMR Facility where he had served since 1984. He received his Ph.D. from University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and did post-doctoral work at University of Iowa at Iowa City. He was Manager of the NMR Facility at Washington Univ. School of Medicine from 1980-82 before moving to Santa Barbara. Ata has previously served as section treasurer and for two terms on the Executive Committee.


James Pavlovich, Ph.D. has been Manager of the UCSB Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Mass Spectrometry Facility since 1994. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Cal Poly, SLO in 1985. He worked at an environmental analytical laboratory in SLO from 1985-1987. He received his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Oregon State University in Corvallis in 1993. He did postdoctoral research in the Environmental Science and Engineering Department at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. James has served as section chair, treasurer, and secretary.


Steve Contakes, Ph.D. Westmont College

Stephen Contakes is an Assistant Profesor of Chemistry at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where he teaches courses in the areas of Inorganic, Analytical, Physical, and nonmajors chemistry and engages undergraduates in research involving the preparation and characterization of photoactive small molecules and nanomolecular assemblies. He has been active with CALPACS educational outreaches since 2007, and has served the local section in various capacities including as a member of the executive council and at various times coordinator of the sections’ Chemistry Olympiad competition, National Chemistry Week events, and Earth Day outreaches.

Ashley Ringer McDonald, Ph.D. California Polytechnic Institute, San Luis Obispo

Dr. Ashley Ringer McDonald is an assistant professor of chemistry at Cal Poly. She received her Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry in 2009 from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy from 2009-2011 and has been at Cal Poly since Fall 2011. In gradate school, Dr. McDonald was very active with the Georgia local ACS section, helping organize activities for the Women’s Chemist Committee and serving as the liaison between the chemistry Graduate Student Forum at Georgia Tech and the local section.

William Sietsma, Ph.D. Amgen

Dr. Sietsema is currently Global Regulatory Lead for early development programs at Amgen.  In that role, he develops strategies for early development programs in oncology and inflammation.  Prior to Amgen, he was head of Global Regulatory Consulting and Submissions at INC Research and Adjunct Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of

Cincinnati, College of Pharmacy.

He has 28 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry.  During his sixteen years with INC Research (formerly known as Kendle), he has brought leadership to several initiatives in the fields of inflammation, skeletal disease, analgesia, gastrointestinal

disease, and women’s health.  He played a pivotal role in the rapid

development of Pharmacia’s Celebrex, which transited from beginning of Phase 2 to NDA approval in less than three years.  Ethics of pediatric research have been a particular interest of his and he has given lectures and sat on discussion panels for this topic.

He received his BA, magna cum laude, in Chemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1977 and his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1982.  He is the author of more than 35 journal articles, several book chapters, and more than 50 presentations and posters and is an inventor on four patents.  He has published four books, including Strategic Clinical Development Planning: Designing Programs for Winning Products and Preparation of the New Drug Application: Managing Your Submission in an Era of Changing Global Requirements. He is a member of the American College of Rheumatology, the American Chemical Society, the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society and serves on the advisory board of Hatton Research.  He is on the publications advisory board for Regulatory Affairs Professional Society.  He was recently recognized by R&D Directions as one of the top 20 clinical research scientists.

Kristi Lazar Cantrell, Ph. D. is currently an assistant professor of chemistry at Westmont College. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Westmont College, a master’s degree at Princeton University and a doctorate from the University of Chicago. She undertook two years of postdoctoral research at Genentech Inc., a biotech company, before returning to Westmont in the spring of 2010. Her research focus involves protein aggregation, including alpha-helical and beta-sheet fibril assembly. She has led National Chemistry Week outreach events with Westmont students on behalf of the Los Padres Section of the ACS during the past three years.