The LCGC Blog: From Petrochem to Cannabis and Beyond: ISCC and GCxGC 2019 is Poised to Please

As we close in on a little more than a month to go before the 43rd International Symposium on Capillary Chromatography and the 16th GCxGC Symposium (ISCC & GCxGC 2019;, May 12 – 17 in Ft. Worth, Texas, my excitement burgeons. All of the groundwork has been laid to provide forums for presenting and discussing the latest advances in capillary and comprehensive separations science.

As we close in on a little more than a month to go before the 43rd International Symposium on Capillary Chromatography and the 16th GCxGC Symposium (ISCC & GCxGC 2019;, May 12–17 in Ft. Worth, Texas, my excitement burgeons. All of the groundwork has been laid to provide forums for presenting and discussing the latest advances in capillary and comprehensive separations science. As we finalize the program, I would like to share some highlights of the conference, and encourage you to join us. The early-bird registration date is April 5th and poster abstract submissions are also still being accepted until that date.

One of the hallmarks of ISCC & GCxGC is exceptional opportunities for continuing professional development and education. On Sunday, May 12th, conference participants can bolster their understanding of GCxGC techniques, with a one-day short course on the fundamentals and recent advances of this rapidly advancing technology. Course instructors are a collection of power-house researchers and educators in the field, including the 2019 GCxGC Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Prof. Peter Tranchida, from the University of Messina. Prof. Tranchida will be accepting his award and talking about his current and past research efforts on Monday. 

As GCxGC kicks off on Monday, those attendees who wish to learn more can also select from a variety of half-day short courses. Sample preparation for capillary chromatography will be taught by a world-class educator, Prof. Nick Snow from Seton Hall University. Basics of HPLC will be taught by Dr. Lee Polite of Axion Labs. Lee makes a living teaching short courses and he is the best at taking complex concepts and communicating them affectively to novice and experienced practitioners alike. A course on the use of ionic liquids in analytical chemistry will be taught by Len Sidisky of Millipore-Sigma and Prof. Dan Armstrong, conference co-chair and Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. As the varied uses of ionic liquids continues to grow; you can finally get caught up on how these fantastic materials are advancing a myriad of measurement sciences. Finally, a newcomer to the ISCC short course program, will be a course on capillary LC by Prof. James Grinias of Rowan University and Dr. Justin Godinho from Advanced Materials Technologies. Capillary LC is at the forefront of state-of-the-art developments in liquid phase separations, and this is the best place to step onto the learning curve and to acquire new knowledge about a rapidly expanding technique. 

The short courses will level the playing field for newcomers to the various separation science techniques; they will provide the necessary background to better follow and understand the exceptional number of oral and poster presentations given during the week. Further opportunities for open discussion and discourse will be provided through (new to this year’s conference) – three panel discussions on GCxGC technology and advances, practical aspects of GC column selection, and quo vadis capillary LC. Experts from industry and academia will be on hand to discuss the current state-of-the-art and to answer your questions.

Generally, parallel sessions of a wide range of key opinion leaders and emerging thought leaders presenting their work across all manner of application boundaries – petrochemistry, fragrance and flavor, food science, environmental analysis, bio-omics, and consumer product analysis, among others – will be flanked by plenary and keynote talks from the best researchers and presenters in the world. Plenary talks by Dr. Chris Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Prof. Fred Regnier of Purdue University, and Prof. Jonathan Sweedler of University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign define the edge of research in environmental forensics, new separation technologies, and biomarker discovery. The Marcel Golay Award winner, Prof. Richard Smith from Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, will regale attendees with his advances to microchip-based ion mobility technology and applications. The Giorgio Nota Award winner, Prof. Milton Lee from Brigham Young University, will tell us all about the advantages and opportunities of moving to small-scale and portable LC systems, and the technology behind the capability.

Given the interest and progression of cannabis research in the United States and abroad, I am very pleased to announce one of our joint ISCC & GCxGC speakers, Dr. Simone Rochfort from AgriBio (Melbourne, Australia), who will speak about unraveling the cannabis metabolome. I saw her speak earlier this year at a conference in Australia, and I was quickly convinced that Simone is a world leader in cannabis research. She graciously agreed to come over to the States to share her work and experiences characterizing both the terpene and cannabinoid content of over 70 distinct cultivars of cannabis under carefully controlled growth conditions. This talk will also be supported by a full oral session on cannabis research in the GCxGC symposium, as well as featured poster presentations.


Take a look through the preliminary programs online and I think you will be as excited as I am to spend a week learning about the latest in separation science and the problems that are being solved. More than 80 oral presentations and over 100 poster presentations (currently) will provide something for everyone. We have record-breaking interest in attending this year’s symposia, but there is always room for more. Submit your poster abstract now and plan to attend the conference.

Besides the formal scientific program, we have taken steps to provide a unique vendor exhibit. We have nearly doubled the number of exhibitors compared to the 2017 meeting. These include, not only the big names and leaders in separations hardware, software, and supporting technologies you would expect, but also a whole cadre of start-up technologies. These start-ups are breaking new ground in areas including microchip GC, portable micro-LC, ultra-fast GC, and spectroscopic detection for GC. Come learn first-hand from the innovators in the industry about how new solutions can make your analytical work faster, more sensitive, cheaper, and more effective. Of course, we could not put on such an exceptional show without the help of our vendor sponsors and university partners. Thank you! Please visit for full details on the vendor exhibitors and sponsors. Several of them will be offering you free breakfast and lunch to learn about their recent offerings.

Last, but not least, we cannot have good scientific interaction without a great social program. The conference will be held in historic downtown Ft. Worth, within walking distance of many cultural attractions, unique dining experiences, and night-life. The conference banquet will be held at the iconic Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Cantina – a restaurant serving traditional delectable Mexican food and drink in an unparalleled garden-dining atmosphere. Other cocktail hour and happy hour events will provide ample opportunities for attendees to network and rub elbows world leaders in academic and industrial research.

Lest you forget, it is really easy to get to Ft. Worth. The Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport is one of the most efficient hubs in the world – it is hard not to find a direct flight there from virtually anywhere in the world. Couple that with the warm and welcoming atmosphere of Texas in May, and you have the all the ingredients for an enjoyable and rich scientific and social experience. Now is the time to make plans to join us!

Kevin A. Schug is a Full Professor and Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at The University of Texas (UT) at Arlington. He joined the faculty at UT Arlington in 2005 after completing a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Virginia Tech under the direction of Prof. Harold M. McNair and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Vienna under Prof. Wolfgang Lindner. Research in the Schug group spans fundamental and applied areas of separation science and mass spectrometry. Schug was named the LCGC Emerging Leader in Chromatography in 2009 and the 2012 American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry Young Investigator in Separation Science. He is a fellow of both the U.T. Arlington and U.T. System-Wide Academies of Distinguished Teachers.