Please check back with us soon for the 2020 Speaker Information.

2019 Speaker Information

Plenary Lecture

Shanti Swarup, Ph.D.


Dr. Swarup, Associate Fellow, joined PPG in 1988 as a chemist at the Coating Innovation Center in Allison Park, PA, and has held positions of increasing responsibility during his tenure in Research and Development.

Throughout his nearly 31-year career at PPG, Dr. Swarup has been a creative scientist, mentor and asset to PPG and the Science and Technology organization. He has made numerous contributions that have helped create many-many commercial products with higher performance, less environment impact, worker safety, productivity improvement, energy conservation, and lower cost than prior generation of products. The breath of his polymer contributions spread in the OEM, refinish, industrial, packaging, photochromic, adhesive and sealants, and mobility sectors and brought more than $9 billion in cumulative sales to PPG.  He is named inventor on 525 global patents and publications including 80 granted U.S. Patents and more than 30 pending.

Dr. Swarup has received numerous PPG internal and external awards. These include, 2008 PPG President Award for developing etch resistance clear coat. President Award is the highest honor PPG grant to a project which brings significant sales to the company. His research has been presented to a number of conferences and earned PPG several R&D100, PACE, Surcar, and     ACS Hero of the Chemistry Awards. In 2016, he was inducted into life-long prestigious PPG Collegium, an organization of PPG Innovator leaders for significant technology development and commercialization. This year, he was the receipient of the ACS Nation Award in Applied Polymer Science.


Innovations in Polymer Synthesis and Application in Automotive Coatings

In recent years the automotive industry has adopted compact process painting process to reduce energy consumption, CO2 generation and operating costs. One such compact process is known as high solid 3-Wet, and it has been published that the 3-Wet process has reduced CO2 emission by 15-25%, VOC emissions by 10%, and process time by 20-25%. Other painting process is known as waterborne basecoat 1 and waterborne basecoat 2, where the primer layer and the bake associated with it has been completely eliminated. The later process not only further reduced these parameters but also reduced the footprints of the new plants. PPG has developed unique polymer architectures which enabled successful launches of these technologies with improved appearance compared to previous painting processes. In this talk, innovations in polymer synthesis and their application in new automotive painting processes will be discussed in great details.

Keynote Lecture

Phil Baran, PhD
Department of Chemistry
The Scripps Research Institute – California Campus


Phil Baran was born in 1977 in Denville, New Jersey. He received his B.S. in chemistry from NYU in 1997, his Ph.D. at The Scripps Research Institute in 2001, and from 2001-2003 he was an NIH-postdoctoral fellow at Harvard. His independent career began at Scripps in the summer of 2003. He currently holds the Darlene Shiley Chair in Chemistry. Phil has published over 200 scientific articles and has been the recipient of several ACS awards such as the Corey (2015), Pure Chemistry (2010), Fresenius (2006), and Nobel Laureate Signature (2003), and several international distinctions such as the Hirata Gold Medal and Mukaiyama Prize (Japan), the RSC award in Synthesis (UK), and the Sackler Prize (Israel). In 2013 he was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, in 2015 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2016 he was awarded the Blavatnik National Award, and in 2017, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, USA.  He has delivered hundreds of lectures around the world and consults for numerous companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb (since late 2005), Boehringer-Ingelheim, AstraZeneca, DuPont and TEVA, and is a scientific advisory board member for Eisai, Abide, and AsymChem. In 2016 he was appointed as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He co-founded Sirenas Marine Discovery (2012) and Vividion Therapeutics (2016) and in 2013 he co-authored The Portable Chemist’s Consultant, an interactive book published on the iBooks store along with his graduate class in Heterocyclic Chemistry (viewable for free by anyone on iTunes University). Outside of the lab, Phil enjoys spending time with his wife Ana and three young children (Lucia, Leah, and Manuel).


Translational Chemistry

There can be no more noble undertaking than the invention of medicines. Chemists that make up the engine of drug discovery are facing incredible pressure to do more with less in a highly restrictive and regulated process that is destined for failure more than 95% of the time. How can academic chemists working on natural products help these heroes of drug discovery – those in the pharmaceutical industry? With selected examples from our lab and others, this talk will focus on that question highlighting interesting findings in fundamental chemistry and new approaches to scalable chemical synthesis.

Student Speakers


Kunal Khanna (Walter Research Group)

Emily Mordan (Bailey Research Group)

Chemical Biology

Matthew Henley (Mapp Research Group)

Stephanie Chun (Narayan Research Group)

Chemical Education

Eleni Zotos (Shultz Research Group)


Corey White (Lehnert Research Group)


Alan McLean (Kopelman Research Group)


Janelle Kirsch (Wolfe Research Group)

Marc Becker (Schindler Research Group)


Danielle Sofferman (Sension Research Group)