Virtual Meeting: January 20, 2021 6:00 PM CST

CCDG is proud to present Fred Foster from GERSTEL, Inc. as our next speaker. This meeting will take place on WebEx. Please click here for registration.

Automation: The next critical tool for scientists’ survival during the pandemic and during recovery.

Fred Foster, GERSTEL, Inc. Baltimore, MD

The pandemic forced everyone to learn how to continue to be productive while existing in a remote environment. As scientists, we were able to quickly adapt to virtual meetings, web conferences, and online connections, however, our workloads and the samples needing analyzed did not stop. There is still laboratory work to perform that is harder to complete remotely. When the vaccines are available to all, everyone has been vaccinated, and the ever-present “curve” has finally been flattened, the brick-and-mortar work environment will open again. Once that occurs, all the work that was delayed because of shutdowns, partial work weeks, and working from home will be waiting for all of us. We will need a way to do a lot more with less resources. That is why automating as much as possible will be critical.

This seminar, given in the first month of what will hopefully be the year in which we see the light at the end of the tunnel, will discuss how GERSTEL helps its customers automate their sample preparation and sample introduction methods in order increase throughput, get through the backlog of samples, and ultimately free up resources when they are needed most. The MPS roboticPRO is a highly efficient LC or GC autosampler with extended robotic functionality. It provides reliable processing of complex tasks including automation of liquid-liquid and solid phase extraction procedures and as well as other liquid handling methods.  Syringe holders and syringes are integrated in special syringe modules, which can be exchanged automatically within a running sequence when using the MPS roboticPRO for maximum flexibility. The entire system is controlled using the proven GERSTEL MAESTRO software in a simple and efficient manner.  Examples of some of the automated sample preparation options and how they are used to provide increased productivity will be highlighted.

Fredrick D. Foster, GERSTEL, Inc., 701 Digital Dr., Suite J, Linthicum, MD 21090, USA

Contact details: 

About the presenter:

Fredrick D. Foster received his B.S in Chemistry from Juniata College and his M.S. in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Foster has more than 25 years experience in analytical and bio-analytical method development and analysis, working closely with industry and various U.S. Federal and State agencies. Application fields include clinical, food safety and environmental analysis, mainly based on HPLC and LC-MS/MS. Mr. Foster currently works as an Applications Scientist for GERSTEL, Inc. located in Baltimore, MD, helping to develop, demonstrate and train customers on automated sample preparation methods coupled to either HPLC or LC/MS/MS.

COVID-19 Update

Hello CCDG Members and Friends,

Due to the current status of COVID-19 and CDC recommendations, the CCDG board has decided to postpone in-person activities until further notice.  This includes our annual Introductory to Liquid Chromatography and Gas Chromatography courses.

Fortunately, we are continuing our lecture series in virtual space.  Our next lecture/poster session on January 20, 2021 (see website for more information) is a joint activity with the Chicago Mass Spectrometry Discussion Group.  We plan to have another lecture/poster session in the spring.

We thank you for your understanding, and we sincerely hope everyone stays safe and healthy at this critical time.

James V. DeFrancesco, PhD
CCDG President

CCDG at Pittcon

Pittcon, the world’s leading annual conference and exposition on laboratory science will be held March 1-5 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

While there, stop by the CCDG booth and be sure not to miss the 2020 Separations Community Mixer, Tuesday evening, March 3, 5:30-9:30 pm, at Buddy Guy’s Legends.

Contact your chromatography supplier listed below to score a ticket to the hottest party at Pittcon.

Call for Posters

The Chicago Chromatography Discussion Group has added a poster session at the beginning of each dinner meeting to provide an opportunity for chromatographers to present, demonstrate, and discuss their most recent achievements, practical experiences, novel ideas and challenges. The goal of the poster track is to encourage and facilitate the exchange within the chromatography community, foster collaboration, and, therewith strengthen the community as a whole.

At the end of the year, the governing board will award one poster $250 and a one year membership.

Submissions to the website should include either:

A draft of the actual poster including author(s) and affiliation(s); or

An extended abstract of the presented contribution comprising the following contents:

  • Title
  • Motivation and goals
  • Background information if needed to understand the contribution

Deadline for posters is February 7th. Our next Networking, Dinner & Presentation Meeting is Tuesday February 11, 2020

Send your submission to

Dinner Lecture, February 11, 2020

The Chicago Chromatography Discussion Group Presents:
Rich DeMuro
Waters Corporation

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Best Practices for UHPLC & UHPLC MS

Tuesday, February 11, 2020
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Mickey Finn’s Brewery
345 North Milwaukee Ave
Libertyville, IL

Get your tickets HERE

The introduction of commercially available UHPLC systems in 2004 and the rapid adoption of its methodology and instrumentation fundamentally altered the landscape of the separations laboratory.  While the rules that govern the practice of UHPLC are no different than those that govern HPLC, a much stricter adherence to those rules is necessary.  In addition, the proliferation of mass spectrometers as LC detectors has required analysts to think carefully when transferring optical detector-based methods to LCMS platforms.  This presentation will review best practices for UHPLC and UHPLC MS. Specific topics of discussion will include tubing & connections, sample diluents, solvent purity, glassware cleanliness, contaminant ions as well as other tips & tricks to make a day in the lab less stressful.

Rich DeMuro, Principal Technical Support Specialist, Waters Corporation Rich joined Waters as a Technical Support Specialist in 2008.  Based in the Chicago area, he is responsible for the regional support of Waters separation, MS and informatics platforms as well as their applications.  During his 30+ year career in the analytical instrument industry he has worked extensively with a broad range of techniques while specializing in the field of liquid chromatography.  During his time at Shimadzu from 1987 – 2007, Rich’s focus was on LC hardware/software operational support & training. That focus has been maintained at Waters while also expanding to include separations development & mass spectrometry.  Rich earned a BS in Nutrition from the University of Delaware and is a past president of the Chicago Chromatography Discussion Group

2019 Gas Chromatography School

CCDG is excited to announce the 2019 Gas Chromatography school.
September 24-26, 2019

About this Event

Co-sponsored by Roosevelt University and held on their campus, this course offers a well-designed combination of lecture and hands-on laboratory training. Students gain sufficient theoretical and practical background to perform independent work in gas chromatography.

This three day course, taught by Dr. Lee Polite from Axion, will provide instruction on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:

Introduction to Gas Chromatography

GC Inlet systems

GC capillary columns and resolution

GC split ratio

Temperature programming and electronic pressure control

GC/MS, Headspace GC, Liquid GC

Method development and quantitative analysis

GC Troubleshooting and more!

This course is AACC accredited for 20 credit hours.

Registration fee: $995 (includes text, supplies and lunches) | $500 for students

Printed course material is provided, at no extra cost to the student, by the Chicago Chromatography Discussion Group.

Location: Roosevelt University
1400 N Roosevelt Blvd
Schaumburg, IL 60173


2018-2019 President’s Report

Hello to all members and friends of CCDG. We have just wrapped up our 2018-2019 season, and throughout the year I have had the privilege of working with a talented and hard-working board to accomplish some amazing things.

This year, we changed our membership term and our sponsorship term to reflect the calendar year. This was done to help our members, as well as our board, to help keep track of renewals. We are also in the process of transitioning to a new program for membership renewal that will streamline the process of renewing membership

In the fall, we launched a brand-new website. We found this new website to be more user friendly, and enables us to keep our website updated in a timelier fashion. Our new website also allows us to share more pictures from our dinner lectures and our schools.

This year we were very excited to bring back our GC school, which was held at Roosevelt University in Schaumburg. It was a huge success with 13 students, and the instructor, Dr. Lee Polite went above and beyond for our students ensuring they left the class well informed.

Our GC school was such a success at Roosevelt University that we decided to move our LC school to the same location. Dr. Merlin Bicking once again led an outstanding course in which the students learned a great deal about liquid chromatography.

At our Young Scientist Dinner lecture, we awarded graduate student Sarah Lum with the Young Scientist Award. Her presentation on a novel way to quickly and efficiently analyze rape kits was both captivating and informative. We look forward to seeing what else Sarah will accomplish in her career.

We attended two conferences this year, the Midwest Association of Toxicology and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring in Cleveland, and the ACS Great Lakes Regional Meeting in Lisle. Attending conferences helps us to grow our organization and accomplish our motto of Sharing in Knowledge.

Lastly, we hosted four dinner lectures this year, ranging in topics from tips and tricks in gas chromatography to the challenges of teaching chromatography in a third world country. A huge thank you to all of our speakers this year, Eric Pavlich of Agilent, Gosia Medrecki, Kayla Watanabe, Sarah Lum, Dr. John Stuff of Gerstel, and Dr. Merlin Bicking of ACCTA.

Thank you all for supporting CCDG through membership, dinner lectures, or our schools, and I am looking forward to another wonderful year!


Amy Alexander
CCDG President

2019 Liquid Chromatography School

2019 Liquid Chromatography School 
May 21-May 23, 2019
Merlin Bicking, Ph.D.
Roosevelt University
1400 N Roosevelt Blvd
Schaumburg, IL  60173
20 hours of  AACC ACCENT® Credit will be awarded to the learner after completion of a short survey at the end of the course.
Registration Fee is $995 which includes textbook, supplies and lunches.

Special Student Registration Fee is $500.
Check out the Registration Link on Eventbrite for more details and be sure to follow CCDG on Facebook and LinkedIn for updates!