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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.

graduate student instructor awards

Each year, a number of graduate students from the College work as instructors in undergraduate courses to gain experience for future careers in academia. The Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award honors a unique group for their outstanding work in the teaching of undergraduates. The recipients are nominated from within their teaching departments. The UC Berkeley GSI Teaching & Resource Center provides the award recipients with certificates of distinction and normally would host a celebratory ceremony in the spring.

April 23, 2020

Richmond Sarpong

The College of Chemistry is pleased to announce that Richmond Sarpong, UC Berkeley Professor of Chemistry and Executive Associate Dean of the College of Chemistry, has been named a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. This year, the Academy has elected 276 artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, non-profit, and private sectors. Sarpong joins fellow members singer Joan Baez and writer Ann Patchett in the 2020 cohort.

April 19, 2020

Omar Yahgi

Scientific Advances transform our lives in miraculous ways. For chemistry and UC Berkeley Professor Omar Yaghi, his pioneering work has already impacted countless lives and will continue shaping the development of mankind for centuries to come. He’s published more than 300 scientific articles, which are referenced so frequently that he is among the top five most highly cited chemists in the world.

April 14, 2020

William Lester

Professor Emeritus William Lester, a chemist, and educator at the University of California, Berkeley, was recently inducted into the exclusive Hall of Fame for 2020 by the International Association of Top Professionals. He will be recognized at a ceremony in December, 2020.

April 8, 2020

pollution drops in Bay Area

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- A single image helped alert the world to a once-in-a-lifetime side effect of the COVID-19 crisis. It was a satellite map, showing a dramatic drop in pollution levels over China after the country began to effectively quarantine its population. Shortly afterward Ron Cohen, Professor of Chemistry and of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Berkeley, predicted a similar effect here in the Bay Area.

April 6, 2020

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program is a prestigious grant awarded annually by the National Science Foundation to approximately 2,000 students pursuing research-based Master's and doctoral degrees in the natural, social, and engineering sciences at US institutions. This year, 17 graduate students and four undergraduate students from the College of Chemistry have received 2020 fellowships.

March 31, 2020

CO2 capture technology

If humans ever hope to colonize Mars, the settlers will need to manufacture on-planet a huge range of organic compounds, from fuels to drugs, that are too expensive to ship from Earth. University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) chemists have a plan for that.

March 27, 2020

Bay Area air quality improves as people forced to stay home

Fewer vehicles on the road and the slowing world economy has lead to blue skies over the world including the Bay Area, China, and Italy. Locally, every day since March 14, the EPA Air Quality Index has reported all nine Bay Area counties bathed in green on its color scale, for good quality air. It’s rare to have so many consecutive clean-air days. And last week, air-quality sensors that measure particulate matter showed the lowest average readings of any week so far in 2020 — down 21% in Oakland, 36% in San Jose and 41% in San Francisco from the week before.

scientists look for COVID-19 treatment

UC Berkeley and UCSF Professor Kevan Shokat, along with members of his lab, have joined with other scientists around the world in a unique research project under the auspices of the Quantitative Biosciences Institute Coronavirus Research Group (QBI) spearheaded by UCSF Professor Nevan Krogan. The international team is testing an unusual new approach to identify potential antiviral drugs with proven efficacy to treat SARS-Cov-2 infections. Given the world crisis, the strategy of testing known/approved drugs could help reduce the numbers of deaths in the near term while the world health community battles the epidemic.

March 24, 2020

College of Chemistry goes online

The growing coronavirus pandemic compelled campus officials to halt all lectures and most in-person classes as of March 10. Faculty and lecturers were caught off guard. Few had experience teaching online courses. Most had to scramble to learn how to deliver lectures via Zoom or through b-Courses or other teleconferencing services and to pick up tricks from colleagues about how to be remotely engaging. By March 13, the campus canceled all in-person classes too, throwing a wrench into the interactive training critical in many fields.

March 16, 2020

film review of 'Human Nature

How many newspaper stories, magazine features and TV segments have been produced so far that marvel at the revolutionary capabilities of CRISPR while giving almost no idea at all how the gene-editing discovery actually works? Those who lament the state of science journalism should take note of 'Human Nature', in which Adam Bolt and helpful scientists offer an easily understood introduction to techniques often described with head-scratching phrases like "it's a word processor for DNA!" A cogent, wide-ranging look at both the discovery and the nascent, soon-to-be-giant fights humans are having over it, the documentary should be welcomed in its limited theatrical release and will be even more useful on video.