Students Present at American Chemical Society Symposium | Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Students Present at American Chemical Society Symposium

February 28, 2021

The Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society is a professional organization of approximately 4,500 chemists in the greater Chicagoland area. The local branch of the national ACS, the largest scientific society in the world, covers Illinois counties: Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, and DuPage, plus the Indiana counties of Lake and Porter.

Ariela Asllani and Jackson Grotke showcased their abstract, Design of SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors by computer-aided drug design. They selected a fragment from the COVID Moonshot database (x2600) as a starting point to design new compounds. New compounds were created using molecular simulation software such as SeeSAR, and their binding affinities were computed. ADME prediction websites, such as AdmetSAR and SwissADME, were then utilized to calculate the new compounds’ pharmacokinetic and physicochemical properties. The newly designed compounds improve such aspects as binding affinity, torsion angles, ligand lipophilicity efficiency, and pharmacokinetic properties.

Emma Darbro presented her investigation on the Antimicrobial properties of Ginkgo Biloba. She used different combinations and methods of extraction and testing procedures. Then, she determined that methanol extracts of Ginkgo leaf and ethanol extracts of Ginkgo produced the best results for her study.  The extract was tested against different ESKAPE pathogens, the most successful cases being Bacillus subtiliis and Acinetobacter baylyi. Results showed that Ginkgo Biloba has medicinal properties that could help kill certain bacteria.

The February 2021 Newsletter highlights the Symposium Day; visit:

To learn more about the local Chicago section of ACS, visit