News

July 6, 2020

BeArS@home lab demos

A new program called BeArS@home will customize interactive lab experiments that have historically been available only in the classroom for online learning by College of Chemistry undergraduate students this fall. When the COVID-19 pandemic kept students away from campus this spring, Berkeley’s Department of Chemistry had to scramble to keep the laboratory sections working. Now they are getting serious and building the real thing.

Paul Alivisatos

Paul Alivisatos, an internationally renowned chemist who holds joint appointments with the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley, has been awarded the 2021 Priestley Medal, the highest honor of the American Chemical Society. Alivisatos is the eighth College of Chemistry scientist to win the award.

July 1, 2020

Center for Genetically Encoded Materials

A team of institutions led by UC Berkeley has been awarded a $20 million research grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue breakthrough technologies towards new medicines and innovative materials. The effort brings together a team of chemists, biologists, engineers, and data scientists to tackle a “Holy Grail” problem in the chemical sciences: how to synthesize truly sequence-defined chemical polymers, oligomeric molecules possessing both a pre-determined, diverse sequence, and a defined length.

June 30, 2020

STEM research

The innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) has awarded a new research project in the College of Chemistry that is looking at the effects of COVID-19 on STEM mentoring. Headed by Laleh Coté, and including fellow PIs Anne M. Baranger, and Colette Flood, the funding is part of a new IGI Rapid Research Response grant.

COVID-19 saliva based test

Scientists from the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI), the same UC Berkeley group that rapidly popped up a state-of-the-art COVID-19 testing laboratory in March, are now trialing a quicker way to obtain patient samples: through saliva. Saliva, collected in the same way companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com get samples for DNA genealogy analysis, can be gathered without medical supervision, and that saves time, money and precious PPE.

June 25, 2020

Teresa Head-Gordon

Teresa Head-Gordon, Chancellor's Professor of Chemistry, Bioengineering, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, joins three colleagues from Berkeley Engineering who have received funding from the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute for COVID-19 projects.

June 24, 2020

Jeffrey Long

The College of Chemistry is pleased announce that Professor Jeffrey Long has received a 2020 award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. The Society annualy recognizes leaders in various fields of chemistry around the world. This year, the Society acknowledged over 80 individuals and teams for their exceptional achievements in advancing the chemical sciences through their work in everything from education and research, to innovation, policy and volunteering.

Omar Yaghi

The College of Chemistry at UC Berkeley is pleased to announce that Professor Omar Yaghi has received the 2020 Sustainable Water award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. The Society annualy recognizes leaders in various fields of chemistry around the world. This year, the Society acknowledged over 80 individuals and teams for their exceptional achievements in advancing the chemical sciences through their work in everything from education and research, to innovation, policy and volunteering.

June 23, 2020

Kwabena Bediako

Kwabena Bediako has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science to receive funding for new research in his lab. The program, now in its 11th year, is designed to fund projects over five years to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years.

June 18, 2020

Lloyd Ferguson

Dr. Lloyd Noel Ferguson (B.S., '40; Ph.D. '43, Chem) was a brilliant chemist, a dedicated teacher and mentor, and an ardent supporter of young black people who were entering the fields of chemistry and chemical engineering. Dr. Ferguson had to regularly fight racisim as he naviagted his way through his education and career. Dr. Ferguson was the first Black person to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, only three years after earning his undergraduate degree.

June 10, 2020

shut down STEM

On June 10, 2020, under the banners of #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM, scientists around the world call for non-Black scientists to step back from their usual work to educate themselves and develop concrete actions to promote change. “Wednesday June 10, 2020 will mark the day that we transition into a lifelong commitment of actions to eradicate anti-Black racism in academia and STEM,” the organizers say. “Your plan should include an actionable goal, steps you will take to reach your goal, and metrics/indicators you will look for to know whether you are successfully moving towards your goal.”

June 3, 2020

David Chandler

Professor Emeritus Robert Harris introduces us to David Chandler's personal lifelong passion; his love of art.

May 26, 2020

cracking the hydrocarbon bond

The most common chemical bond in the living world — that between carbon and hydrogen — has long resisted attempts by chemists to crack it open, thwarting efforts to add new bells and whistles to old carbon-based molecules. Now, after nearly 25 years of work by chemists at the University of California, Berkeley, those hydrocarbon bonds — two-thirds of all the chemical bonds in petroleum and plastics — have fully yielded.

May 21, 2020

Naomi Ginsberg

Naomi Ginsberg, professor of chemistry and physics at UC Berkeley, credits her love of learning as the driving force behind her unusual academic journey. In her first year of college, she studied engineering because it was, as she explains it, “technical, but also creative.” However, a summer research internship studying magnetic resonance—a backbone of modern medical imaging— opened her eyes to creative problem solving in basic science.

shield the. bay

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to escalate in the United States, healthcare providers across the country are dealing with a shortage of personal protective equipment, which has left many workers on the frontlines vulnerable to catching and transmitting the virus. In the Bay Area, an initiative called Shield the Bay is aiming to address this PPE crunch.

May 19, 2020

COVID-19 drug discovery

Thanks to Fast Grants, a rapid funding program activated six weeks ago, a group of seven COVID-19 research projects has started at UC Berkeley that could turn up new diagnostic and potential treatments for the infection within months. One project is being lead by Daniel Nomura, a professor of chemistry, molecular and cell biology, and nutritional sciences and toxicology. He is working with a group of investigators, and fellow professors, planning to use innovative chemical biology approaches to develop novel therapeutics against COVID-19.

smokestacks

In new research reported in Nature, an international team of chemical engineers have designed a material that can capture carbon dioxide from wet flue gasses better than current commercial materials. One way to ameliorate the polluting impact of flue gases is to take the CO2 out of them and store it in geological formations or recycle it; there is, in fact, an enormous amount of research trying to find novel materials that can capture CO2 from these flue gasses.

May 13, 2020

green disinfectants

With cleaning and sanitizing products flying off the shelves and handwashing jingles becoming ubiquitous, we'd like to consider the chemistry of micro-organism control. There are many ways to effectively remove pathogens, including coronavirus, from surfaces. Most of these products use one of three basic mechanisms to chemically control bacteria and viruses.

April 29, 2020

Evan Miller

The College of Chemistry is pleased to announce that UC Berkeley Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology Evan Miller (Ph.D. ’09, Chem) has been named a 2020 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar. Faculty are chosen for this prestigious national award who are within the first five years of their academic careers, have created an outstanding independent body of scholarship, and are deeply committed to education.

April 28, 2020

Dean Toste

Dean Toste, the Gerald E.K. Branch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley, and a faculty scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division at Berkeley Lab has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original chemical research. This year, the academy selected 120 new members and 26 international members during the annual meeting on April 27. Membership in the academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be afforded to a U.S. scientist or engineer.