Chinese American Chromatography Association Provides Networking, Career Support, and a Sense of Community

November 20, 2014
Yan-Bo Yang
E-Separation Solutions

When one walks into either a chromatography research laboratory at a university or a chromatography testing or R&D laboratory in a North American company, one may notice one common factor: A significant number (more than 50%) of researchers are of Chinese origin. This was not the case 25 years ago.


When one walks into either a chromatography research laboratory at a university or a chromatography testing or R&D laboratory in a North American company, one may notice one common factor: A significant number (more than 50%) of researchers are of Chinese origin. This was not the case 25 years ago. When I attended the HPLC International Conference at Paris in 1986, I found only a small number of Chinese chromatographers. Over the last 20–30 years, the number of Chinese separation scientists has grown enormously both at universities and in the workplace. This change has prompted interest in networking events and regular gatherings. During the 1998 HPLC conference in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Chao Yan of Unimicro Technologies, , Dr. Yung-Lin Chen of Agilent Technologies, and Dr. Yan-Bo Yang of BioPharmaDev. organized an informal lunch gathering. About 150 people attended, including Prof. Yukui Zhang, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Prof. Peter Carr of the University of Minnesota. Later on, more and more chromatographers approached me and expressed interest in further gatherings and the formation of an association.


In 2008, I was honored to initiate the formation of the Chinese American Chromatography Association (CACA). This was strongly supported by Prof. Zhang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Prof. Ed Yeung of Iowa State University, Dr. Frank Yang of Acutech Scientific, and other elite separation scientists. We elected three officers: Dr. Yan-Bo Yang as president, Dr. Michael Ye as treasurer, and Ms. Helen Gu as secretary. The initial executive committees included Dr. Ning Mu, Dr. Tingyu Li, Dr. Stacey Ma, Prof. Yeung, Dr. Yung-Lin Chen, Dr. Chuping Luo, Ms. Helen Gu, Dr. Wu Chen, Dr. Frank Yang, Dr. Ye, Dr. Jerry Wang, Prof. Zhang, Dr. Chao Yan, and me. The association was officially formed on May 12, 2008, at a dinner gathering held during the HPLC 2008 conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The first sponsorship check from Sepax Technologies enabled us to cover the cost of dinner for the student attendees and to open our association’s bank account. With the support of Agela Technologies and the efforts of our webmaster, Dr. Baomin Xin, and Pingyue Jiang, we established the CACA website (www.ca-ca.org).

Several CACA committee members at the Chinese American Chromatography Association dinner at Pittcon 2014.


CACA is a not-for-profit organization with three objectives. The first is to share technical information in the field of separation science (particularly in chromatography) and laboratory practice in the United States and internationally. The second is to provide a network for sharing experiences and helping each other in career development. Third, we provide a forum for interacting and developing cooperative relationships with other Chinese separation science–related organizations in other areas of the world, particularly in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Because of the broad geographic locations of the members, the activity format focuses on gatherings at major international conferences (for example, the HPLC and Pittcon conferences). The website (www.ca-ca.org) serves as the main platform for sharing information. To register as a member visit the CACA group on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1857030). While members of the association are mainly Chinese scientists from all separation-related fields in the United States, separation scientists from other nationalities and other parts of the world are also very welcome to join. Membership is on a voluntary basis and free of charge.


Since its formation six years ago, CACA has grown significantly. More elite chromatography scientists have become involved and joined the executive committee, including Dr. Andy Alpert, Dr. Tao Jiang, Prof. Xiang Zhang, Dr. Baomin Xin, Dr. Huqun Liu, Dr. Perry Wang, and Dr. Yun Mao. Of note is that, without being executive committee members, Prof. Fred Regnier of Purdue University, Prof. Guowang Xu of the Dalian institute of Chemical Physics, Prof. Hanfa Zou of the Dalian institute of Chemical Physics, Dr. Michael Dong of Genentech, Dr. Ke Hu of LabTech, and Prof. Milton Lee of Brigham Young University have strongly supported and contributed to the growth of the association. We now have more than 600 members from both academia and industry. We have also established good collaborative relationships with other organizations, such as the Chromatography Society of China, the Sepu network in China (http://www.sepu.net/), CASSS, and LCGC.


CACA has successfully organized more than 10 workshops and dinner events at Pittcon and HPLC conferences with many invited speakers from both academia and industries presenting inspiring speeches. The presentations have covered a broad range of topics — including personal experiences of living, studying, and working in the US; communication skills; entrepreneurship; advice for Chinese scientists studying and working in US; career development; science,technology, and policy development in China; and research activities of major chromatography laboratories, institutions, and individual scientists in China. The networking dinner events are typically held in nice Chinese restaurants. While enjoying delicious Chinese food, the attendees can network and find opportunities for employment and internships. We have also been a supporting organization for the HPLC International Conferences.

Attendees at the Chinese American Chromatography Association dinner at the HPLC 2010 conference.


A critical part of CACA’s establishment and success can be attributed to our generous sponsors, many of whom continue to sponsor CACA every year. There are too many to list here, however, so please visit CACA’s website to acknowledge them. These sponsors have made it possible for us to organize the events and provide financial assistance to students attending.


The current CACA executive committee, led by Dr. Ye (President), Dr. Jiang (President Elect), Prof. Xiang Zhang (Secretary), and Dr. Wu Chen (Treasurer), is dedicated to CACA’s continual growth and development. CACA belongs to all of us. You are all encouraged to get involved and make CACA stronger. We can use this platform to network and learn from each other.


Please visit CACA’s website (www.ca-ca.org) for more information and join the CACA LinkedIn group at (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1857030).


Cheers!
Yan-Bo Yang, Ph.D.
Founding President, Chinese American Chromatography Association (CACA)
President/CEO, BioPharmaDev, Inc. (http://biopharmadev.com/)