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In chemistry labs, the protective glass doors that enclose the vent hoods often serve as note boards. Photo by Elena Zhukova.

College of Chemistry News & Highlights

Robert E. Connick

Robert E. Connick (1917-2014)
(College of Chemistry)
Professor Robert E. Connick, esteemed professor emeritus of chemistry and alumnus of the College, has died at the age of 97. He passed away peacefully at his home in Kensington, CA, on Thursday, August 21.

cartoon of scientist by Leif Parsons

U.S. science suffering from booms and busts in funding
Academic research is a major reason the United States remains a leader in medicine and biotechnology; but the future of NIH funding is uncertain.

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Football, concussions and brain disease
C&EN reporter Lauren K. Wolf explains how scientists are racing to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a specific kind of brain trauma in athletes, including some NFL players, who experience repeated head injuries.

Keith Alexander and PDP students

PDP enrolls largest class to date
(College of Chemistry)
This fall, 30 students will start CBE’s Product Development Program, the largest class in the eight-year history of the program.

Berkeley Lab physicist Eric Norman

No Fukushima radiation found in coastal areas
(LBNL News)
Recent tests on a variety of Pacific plants, animals, seawater, and salts have come up clean.

Extremophiles thriving in thermal springs

Going to extremes for enzymes
In the age-old nature versus nurture debate, College of Chemistry Dean Douglas Clark is not taking sides. In the search for enzymes that can break lignocellulose down into biofuel sugars under the extreme conditions of a refinery, he has prospected for extremophilic microbes and engineered his own cellulases.

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Debunking the Megalodon myth (featuring Sam Kean)
Best-selling author Sam Kean stops by Reactions this week to debunk the myth of the Megalodon, the 50-foot super shark that, despite what "Shark Week" may lead you to believe, is long-extinct.

Shannon Ciston

CBE lecturer Ciston nominated to attend NAE symposium
(College of Chemistry)
CBE lecturer Shannon Ciston has been selected to attend the NAE's Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium.

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Chemistry grad student wins NSF fellowship to work on BEACON project
Cohen lab grad student Alexis Shusterman was awarded a graduate fellowship from NSF to work on BEACON, places second in the ACS chemistry champions contest.

Ron Cohen

Berkeley air-monitoring project wins White House nod
(UC Berkeley News)
The White House has given a public nod to a ground-breaking UC Berkeley air-monitoring project and its new collaboration with a Colorado public media platform, which aims to build a citizen-science story-corps to help monitor carbon emissions in the Bay Area.

Paul Alivisatos accepts ALS ice bucket challenge
(Berkeley Lab / YouTube)
Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge issued by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, complete with a dousing by astrophysicist and Nobelist Saul Perlmutter, and biologist Mina Bissell, using water from the San Francisco Bay.

Is MSG bad for you?
(ACS Reactions)
Reactions debunk MSG myths and explain why the scientific consensus is that this flavor enhancer, known for its savory umami flavor, is perfectly safe for the vast majority of people.

ARWU logo

Berkeley Chemistry ranked #1 in the world by ARWU
The Center for World-Class Universities in Shanghai has released its 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities — placing Berkeley in the top spot for Chemistry.

Sally Pusede

Air quality in San Joaquin Valley improving
(LBNL News)
Study shows controls to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions are working.

Earth's magnetic fields

NMR using earth’s magnetic field
(LBNL News)
Berkeley Lab Researchers demonstrate ultra low-field nuclear magnetic resonance with an optical magnetometer.

Jay Keasling with children in a village outside Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo by Gabrielle Tenenbaum)

Semisynthetic artemisinin anti-malarials reach African children
(College of Chemistry)
1.7 million treatments of semisynthetic artemisinin have shipped to Africa, where they will treat malaria sufferers.

Bionic liquids

Bionic liquids from lignin
(LBNL News)
New results from the Joint BioEnergy Institute pave the way for closed loop biofuel refineries.

Chris Chang

Of metal heads and imaging
(LBNL News)
Berkeley Lab Researchers developing unique molecular probes for the study of metals in the brain.

David E. Wemmer

Wemmer takes the reins as new chair of chemistry department
(College of Chemistry)
Chemistry professor and former executive associate dean David E. Wemmer is the new chair the Department of Chemistry. On July 1, Wemmer took over from Dan Neumark, who had chaired the department for four years.

Long and Xiao

Cagey material acts as alcohol factory
(LBNL News)
Berkeley Lab researchers convert ethane to ethanol with an efficiency that could cut natural-gas refining costs.

Jay Keasling

On Capitol Hill, Keasling calls for ‘national initiative’ to boost bioengineering
(UC Berkeley News)
UC Berkeley professor and synthetic-biology pioneer Jay Keasling was on Capitol Hill Thursday, stressing the need for a federal strategy to ensure continued U.S. leadership in a field he said can yield significant medical benefits for people throughout the world, “and even save lives.” 

Judith Klinman

Klinman wins Mildred Cohn Award
(College of Chemistry News)
Emerita chemistry professor Judith Klinman has won the 2015 Mildred Cohn Award in Biological Chemistry.

Heino Nitsche

Heino Nitsche 1949-2014
(College of Chemistry News)
Chemistry professor Heino Nitsche died unexpectedly and peacefully in his sleep at his home in Oakland early in the morning of Tuesday, July 15. He was 64 years old.

John Hartwig

Hartwig wins Janssen Pharmaceutica Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis
(College of Chemistry News)
Chemistry Professor John Hartwig has been awarded the 2014 Janssen Pharmaceutica Prize for Creativity in Organic Synthesis. The prize will be delivered after the lecture Hartwig will give at a symposium on Thursday, July 17, at the Belgian Organic Synthesis Symposium (BOSS).

Catalyst Magazine available online
(Catalyst Magazine)
Read the latest issue of Catalyst Magazine online, or check out our new flipbook version below.

eCHEM 1A, Mark Kubinec

Innovative Chemistry 1A video repository is online!
(UC Berkeley College of Chemistry)
Chemistry 1A course content is now available free of charge in an easy-to-navigate, open-access video repository. The content was developed by professor Alex Pines and instructor Mark Kubinec, with the support of the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation.