December 7, 2018

Alexis T. Bell

Professor Alexis T. Bell is the recipient of the 2018 NACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Catalysis sponsored and administered by The North American Catalysis Society. It is awarded biennially in even-numbered years. Bell will be honored at the closing banquet ceremonies at the 2019 North American Meeting of the Catalysis Society.

New hydrogen-powered vehicle research

Hydrogen-powered vehicles emit only water vapor from their tailpipes, offering a cleaner alternative to fossil-fuel-based transportation. But for hydrogen cars to become mainstream, scientists need to develop more efficient hydrogen-storage systems. Now, a group of scientists reporting in ACS' Chemistry of Materials have used metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) to set a new record for hydrogen storage capacity under normal operating conditions.

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.

December 5, 2018

Francis Arnold

In 2018, the Nobel Prize for chemistry went to one British and two American scientists. Professor Frances Arnold is an American chemical engineer who was awarded for her pioneering work on the “directed evolution of enzymes.” In this edition of "The Interview", Fair Observer talks to Arnold about her scholarly work, her path to success and her life after being awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

John Adams

Alum David Oxtoby (Ph.D. Chem, ’75) has been elected President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. One of the oldest institutions in America, the Academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock, and 60 other individuals who anticipated that the then young republic would need to gather knowledge and promote learning to succeed in an uncertain future.

December 4, 2018

John Adams

Alumnus John E. Adams, (Ph.D. Chem, '79) has been re-elected chair of the board of directors of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. Adams will begin his second one-year term on Jan. 1, 2019.

December 3, 2018

Nobel Laureate ceremony December 10th

This year's Nobel Laureates in science and medicine will take center stage in Stockholm on December 10th, when they receive the Nobel medal and diploma from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. This year's awardees include UC Berkeley Alumna Professor Frances Arnold of Caltech.

November 29, 2018


Researchers have pinpointed the strong acid site of a sulfated-zirconium MOF catalyst by identifying a specific molecular decoration within its structure. The work could aid studies into solid acid-catalysed reaction mechanisms as well as the development of next-generation solid acid catalysts for many industrial applications. (image: MOF 808 and MOF 808-SO4

November 27, 2018

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

Dawn Shaughnessy

The periodic table is chemistry’s holy text. Not only does it list all of the tools at chemists’ disposal, but its mere shape – where these elements fall into specific rows and columns – has made profound predictions about new elements and their properties that later came true. But few chemists on Earth have a closer relationship with the document than Dawn Shaughnessy, whose team is partially responsible for adding six new elements to table’s ranks.

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

Fall Festival fun for undergraduate students

Fall was in the air on Friday night when AICHe, AXS , ACS Berkeley, and the College of Chemistry pulled out all the stops for this year's Fall Festival. About 375 undergraduate students attended the event which turned into a great evening for some fun and friendly rivalries. Everything from a (pumpkin) pie eating contest to "pin the atom on the molecule" were available. 

November 21, 2018

Professor of Molecular & Cell Biology Jack Kirsch

It is with great sadness we report the passing of Jack Kirsch, who served as a Professor of Molecular & Cell Biology and Chemistry from 1964 to 2006 and as a Professor of the Graduate School in retirement. Jack was an esteemed scientist and a pillar of the campus community who will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him.

November 16, 2018

New periodic table

The criteria for whether a new chemical element has been discovered are set to change, a provisional report by the International Unions for Pure and Applied Chemistry (Iupac) and Physics (Iupap) has announced.

Richard SaykallyRichard SaykallyClass of 1932 Endowed Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley, will present the BESE Distinguished Lecture on Probing Complex Interfaces at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology on November 19th.

November 15, 2018

Berkelium and Californium

New research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been published in "Chemistry: a Europena Journal" about two elements discovered at Berkeley: Berkelium and Californium. Researchers show that berkelium and californium, two elements in the actinide series (elements 89 to 103), have a surprisingly stable +5 oxidation state.

November 12, 2018

image shows a rendering (gray and pink) of the molecular structure of a peptoid polymer

From water bottles and food containers to toys and tubing, many modern materials are made of plastics. And while we produce about 110 million tons per year of synthetic polymers like polyethylene and polypropylene worldwide for these plastic products, there are still mysteries about polymers at the atomic scale. 

November 10, 2018

UC Berkeley's Chemistry program ranks highly for Veterans

College Factual, a website offering advice to prospective college students and their families, has released its 2019 national and state rankings for Best Chemistry Programs for Veterans. UC Berkeley’s Chemistry program was ranked #12 out of 435 for veteran friendliness of all colleges and universities reviewed by College Factual. This puts UC Berkeley in the top 5% of all schools in the nation when it comes to offering a quality education to veterans studying Chemistry. 

November 8, 2018

Alumna Geraldine Richmond

Alumna Geraldine Richmond (Ph.D. Chem, '80) and been reappointed to the National Science Board for a second six year term. Richmond is a professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon and has held a variety of leadership positions within the scientific community.