News

September 13, 2019

Paul Alivisatos and Charles Leiber

The Welch Foundation, one of the nation’s largest sources of private funding for basic chemical research, has announced that Drs. Armand Paul Alivisatos and Charles M. Lieber are the 2019 recipients of the prestigious Robert A. Welch Award in Chemistry. Highly-respected and influential leaders in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology, Drs. Alivisatos and Lieber are being recognized for their important research contributions which have had a significant, positive impact on humankind.

September 12, 2019

Rebecca Abergel

When chemist Rebecca Abergel (Ph.D. '06, Chem) and her team at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory successfully developed an anti-radiation-poisoning pill in 2014, they hoped it would never have to be used. Now the researchers are studying how that very same pill could help protect people from the potential toxicity of something else – the long-term retention of gadolinium, a critical ingredient in widely used contrast dyes for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans.

September 10, 2019

Richard AndersenIt is with great sadness that the College announces the passing of Chemistry Professor Richard Andersen. Over the span of forty years, Andersen made foundational contributions to many areas of inorganic and organometallic chemistry.

September 7, 2019

Richmond Sarpong

The Center for Computer Assisted Synthesis (C-CAS) has been chosen as a new Center of Chemical Innovation nationally this year by the National Science Foundation. Richmond Sarpong of UC Berkeley joins Olaf Wiest (center director) and Nitesh Chawla of Notre Dame, Abigail Doyle (Princeton University), Robert Paton (Colorado State University) and Matthew Sigman (University of Utah) as principal investigators to collaboratively direct research and experimentation at the C-CAS.

September 3, 2019

Shekar, Schepartz and Zuerch

This year, there will be three new lab groups forming under three new professors. Alanna Schepartz and Michael Zuerch are joining the Department of Chemistry; Karthik Shekhar will be in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. In the fall, new professors are often still in the process of moving in and awaiting new lab space setups.

September 1, 2019

Norman E. Phillips

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Professor Norman Phillips, distinguished scientist and outstanding mentor and educator. He passed away on July 25 at the age of 90. Norm's research focused on materials and solid state chemistry. His many contributions are reflected in over 200 publications and numerous awards and honors, including his induction as a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

August 28, 2019

Jacklyn Gates

So here we are, at the edge of chemistry: atomic No. 118, oganesson, the coda of the periodic table as it stands and the spot where questions of science shade into those of philosophy. Is an element really an element if it exists nowhere in nature—if it can be engineered only in a lab for a fraction of a second before it blinks out of existence? Is “discovery” the right word for such a feat? How far can scientists extend the table by mashing lighter elements into each other to create heavier ones? Is it even worth the time and trouble to do it just to add a square?

August 27, 2019

Nanoscopic mapping of lipid order in cell membranes with NR4A.

When scientists use superresolution microscopy methods on cells, they usually get just structural information like the sizes and shapes of cellular compartments. By using a new derivative of a conventional dye, researchers can now get specific nanoscale information about the chemical environment of cell plasma membranes. Such information could tell scientists about the order and disorder of the cell membranes, including about highly ordered “lipid rafts.”

July 8, 2019

Tom Maimone and Wenjun ZhangPresident Donald J. Trump has announced the newest recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.

May 29, 2019

UC Berkeley News

Jennifer Doudna holds a model of the CRISPR-Cas9 protein (white) interacting with DNA (orange and blue).The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today issued a patent to the University of California (UC), the University of Vienna and French biologist Emmanuelle Charpentier that covers methods of modulating DNA transcription using the CRISPR-Cas9 system.

March 22, 2019

University of California, Berkeley, scientists developed new Cas9 variants that could make CRISPR safer. (kirstypargeter/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

One big challenge facing the development of CRISPR gene editing for use in humans is the fear that the Cas9 "scissors" used in the technology could cause unintended off-target effects. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have come up with a potential solution: a “switch” mechanism that could keep the Cas9 enzyme turned off until it reaches its target site.

In a recent study co-authored by CRIPSR pioneer Jennifer Doudna and published in the journal Cell, the UC Berkeley team described how they used an engineering technique called circular permutation to create Cas9 variants, "ProCas9s," that allow CRISPR to be turned on only in the targeted cells.

December 20, 2018

Kwabena BediakoKwabena Bediako has been named a recipient of The Office of Naval Research (ONR) 2019 Young Investigator Award for his research in Van der Waals engineering for electrochemically tunable quantum materials.

December 7, 2018

Richard HoughtenAt this year's induction ceremony for the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame, Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies founder Richard Houghten and optometry pioneer Herbert Wertheim — two individuals of unquestionable genius — shared a surprising fact about themselves: Growing up, they each struggled with severe learning challenges that easily could have sent them on a different path.

November 27, 2018

Itay Budin and Jay KeaslingJBEI researchers gain understanding of central metabolism of bacteria and yeast species commonly used in biotechnology.

Sung-Hou KimAAAS awarded 416 of its members the distinction of Fellow this year for “their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.” Among the new Fellows from Berkeley are Allen Goldstein (Energy Technologies Area), Sung-Hou Kim (Biosciences), Susannah Tringe (Biosciences) and Katherine Yelick (Computing Sciences.)

November 26, 2018

November 6, 2018

Jnana Therapeutics

Joanne Kotze, PhD, Jnana TherapeuticsJnana Therapeutics today announced that UC Berkeley Chemistry alum Joanne Kotz, Ph.D., a company co-founder, has been named Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Kotz has served as Jnana's president since December 2017.

MOF diagram by Mathieu Provet, UC Berkeley.Metal-organic frameworks are compounds that are set to solve some tough challenges: producing water in the desert, removing greenhouse gases from the air and storing dangerous gases more safely.

October 25, 2018

Berkeley News

Jennifer DoudnaIGI researchers, including Bruce Conklin of UCSF and Jennifer Doudna of UC Berkeley, discuss the promise of CRIRSP-Cas9 'genome surgery.'

October 18, 2018

Archaea bacteria with CRISPR systems.

An ancient group of microbes that contains some of the smallest life forms on Earth also has the smallest CRISPR gene-editing machinery discovered to date.