BMS Fellows Hoskin, Kullmer to present at symposium

By Wendy Plump
Monday, Aug. 29, 2022

Princeton Chemistry graduate students John Hoskin and Cesar “Nico” Kullmer will have an opportunity to present their research at a Bristol Myers Squibb symposium next spring as new fellows in the pharma company’s Graduate Fellowship in Synthetic Organic Chemistry program.

The two chemists were chosen for the distinguished award based on their strong academic backgrounds and accomplishments. They will each receive funds towards educational costs. They will also be assigned a BMS mentor for the upcoming academic year.

G4 John Hoskin of the Sorensen Lab
John Hoskin of the Sorensen Lab.
Photo by C. Todd Reichart

Hoskin is a fourth-year graduate student in the Sorensen Lab. His most recent work includes the development of a more concise synthesis of pleurotin, a challenge that has puzzled chemists for decades. At the symposium, he intends to present on the lab’s efforts on the synthesis of pleurotin and other related benzoquinone natural products, and the evaluation of their biological profiles. 

“I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to receive this fellowship,” said Hoskin. “Some of our projects could really benefit from having an industrial perspective. 

“It will be very exciting to present to an audience composed primarily of people from the pharmaceutical sector. I expect it will be a great learning experience and a lot of fun.”

Hoskin is a 2019 graduate of Boston College, where he was under the advisement of Shih-Yuan Liu. 

Kullmer is a fourth-year graduate student in the MacMillan Lab. At the symposium, he intends to present on his research on additive mapping and efforts towards new organic methods useful for discovery chemistry.

Cesar "Nico" Kullmer of the MacMillan Lab
Cesar “Nico” Kullmer of the MacMillan Lab.
Photo by C. Todd Reichart

“I was elated to hear about the award, especially because it came at an unexpected moment,” said Kullmer, who was notified while away from campus on vacation. 

“An industrial audience emphasizes different aspects of organic methodology compared to an academic audience, so I will need to learn how to present my work in a different way to highlight its strengths and relevance,” he said. “Additionally, this alternate emphasis will lead to different questions and suggestions that will allow me to take away many new and different ideas for future directions.”

Kullmer graduated from Texas Christian University in 2018, where he was under the advisement of Sergei Dzyuba. 

Ellen Kick, chair of the BMS Graduate Fellowship Selection Committee, said, “Through this program, BMS hopes to support research in synthetic organic chemistry, an integral discipline in the discovery and development of transformational medicines.”