Florida Southern College To Host Virtual 12th Annual Dr. John L. Spencer Symposium

January 21, 2022 3:29 PM EST

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LAKELAND, Fla., Jan. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The 12th Annual Dr. John L. Spencer Symposium will feature students and chemists at the top of their field, discussing research advances in chemistry and medicine. The symposium takes place virtually Jan. 28 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Florida Southern College's Annie Pfeiffer Chapel.

This year's symposium features alumnus Alec Bigness '19, Dr. Hans Renata and Dr. Allison Aldridge as speakers.

"I am very excited about the speakers this year," said Dr. Carmen Valdez Gauthier, Jessie Ball DuPont professor in FSC's Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics. "Alec Bigness is a thriving FSC alum and a third-year medical student, while Dr. Renata and Dr. Aldridge are chemists doing important work in the fields of chemistry and medicine. The current COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the vital role of chemistry research in maintaining the health and well-being of our global community."

Bigness graduated from FSC with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and is now a third-year medical student at University of South Florida's Morsani College of Medicine. He will speak on how chemistry is found in medicine and how his zeal for chemistry led him to his career goal of orthopedic surgery.

"Following a career path can feel like a circuitous route with endless possibilities or very little options," said Bigness. "I hope to share my passion in chemistry and detail how I discovered my future dream job."

Dr. Renata of The Scripps Research Institute focuses his research on synthetic and biosynthetic studies of natural products and biocatalytic reaction developments. Renata has a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and earned his Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute in 2013. He conducted post-doctoral studies under the guidance of Frances Arnold, winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was chosen as one of the "Talented 12" up and coming chemists by the American Chemical Society in 2021. Renata will speak on his most recent efforts in developing new approaches for the incorporation of enzymes in the synthesis of complex natural products that have shown anti-cancer properties.

The symposium will close out with "Thoughts from a Resilient and Thriving Chemist," by Dr. Allison Aldridge, a consumer safety officer with the Food and Drug Administration. Aldridge has been a chemist with the FDA for over a decade and has experience as an analytical chemist in the pharmaceutical and personal care industries. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Loyola University Chicago. Aldridge, who also serves as a career consultant and workshop facilitator, will speak on opportunities for chemists in government and industry.

To watch the virtual symposium, please head to this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85875849703?pwd=TllSU3RMYS9kNGFyUUltY1NpR3BhQT09#success  

For more information about the symposium, please call 863-680-4316 or email [email protected]

About Florida Southern College 

Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is the oldest private college in the state. The College maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 70+ undergraduate programs and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, nursing, and physical therapy. Florida Southern has a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio, is an award-winning national leader in engaged learning, and boasts 30 NCAA Division II National Championships. Florida Southern is ranked at #8 among the "Best Regional Universities in the South" by U.S. News & World Report in its 2022 "Best Colleges" guide and is included in The Princeton Review's 2022 Best 387 Colleges guide and the "Fiske Guide to Colleges 2022." The 2021-2022 Colleges of Distinction guidebook praises Florida Southern's AACSB accredited Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise alongside the College's School of Education and its Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Poets&Quants, U.S. News & World Report, Fortune, and The Princeton Review further laud the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise and the Ann Blanton Edwards School of Nursing and Health Sciences as foremost programs in the nation for business and nursing education. Home to the world's largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, FSC has appeared on The Princeton Review's top 20 "Most Beautiful Campus" national listing for 12 consecutive years. Connect with Florida Southern College. 

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SOURCE Florida Southern College



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