From Richard Ressler
Title: Supporting the fight against the proliferation of chemicals weapons through cheminformatics
Speaker: Stefano Costanzi, Department of Chemistry, American University
Date: Tuesday November 2nd, 2021
Abstract: Several frameworks at the national and international level have been put in place to foster chemical weapons nonproliferation and disarmament. To support their missions, these frameworks establish and maintain lists of chemicals that can be used as chemical warfare agents as well as precursors for their synthesis (CW-control lists). Working with these lists poses some challenges for frontline officers implementing these frameworks, such as export control officers and customs officials, as well as employees of chemical, shipping, and logistics companies. To overcome these issues, we have conceptualized a cheminformatics tool, of which we are currently developing a first functioning prototype, that would automate the task of assessing whether a chemical is part of a CW-control list. This complex work, at the intersection between chemistry and global security, is a collaborative project involving the Stimson Center’s Partnerships in Proliferation Prevention Program and the Costanzi Research Group at American University and is financially supported by Global Affairs Canada.
(1) S. Costanzi, G.D. Koblentz, R. T. Cupitt. Leveraging Cheminformatics to Bolster the Control of Chemical Warfare Agents and their Precursors. Strategic Trade Review, 2020, 6, 9, 69-91.
(2) S. Costanzi, C. K. Slavick, B. O. Hutcheson, G. D. Koblentz, R. T Cupitt. Lists of Chemical Warfare Agents and Precursors from International Nonproliferation Frameworks: Structural Annotation and Chemical Fingerprint Analysis. J. Chem. Inf. Model., 2020, 60, 10, 4804-4816