News

September 10, 2018

William LesterDr. William Alexander Lester, Jr, Chemist & Educator for University of California, Berkeley was selected as Top Chemist Educator of the Year for 2018 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the field.

September 7, 2018

Wine, photo by Timur Saglambilek | PexelsWine is demystified in the recently published ebook 'Understanding Wine Chemistry', a Special Mention awardee in the 2018 OIV awards. Authored by Andrew Waterhouse, who attained his PhD in organic chemistry from UC Berkeley, and is also currently a wine chemist at the University of California, Davis.

quantum blue pigmentIn an underground lab in California, scientists have created a new hue called Quantum Blue. Fifth-year Ph.D. chemistry students Arunima Balan and Joseph Swabeck are on the trail to the blueset blue. Paul Alivisatos, Samsung distinguished professor of nanoscience and nanotechnology opened up his lab and assigned Balan and Swabeck to work on the fascinating problem of creating the new pigment color using quantum dot technology with artist Olga Alexopoulou.

industrial sootThe longstanding mystery of soot formation, which combustion scientists have been trying to explain for decades, appears to be finally solved, thanks to research led by scientists at Sandia National Laboratories. This groundbreaking work was published in 'Science' magazine with involvement from scientists at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley Lab.

September 6, 2018

Enrique IglesiaUC Berkeley Faculty member Enrique Iglesia, Theodore Vermeulen Chair Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been awarded the 2018 William H. Walker Award for Excellence in Contributions to Chemical Engineering Literature from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

September 5, 2018

Gladstone Press Release

Jennifer DoudnaBiochemist Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, is moving part of her research efforts to the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, where she will launch new collaborations that will help advance this breakthrough technique to solve some of humankind’s most intractable diseases.

September 4, 2018


Virginijus Šikšnys, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle CharpentierCRISPR-Cas9 inventor Jennifer Doudna, a UC Berkeley professor of chemistry and of molecular and cell biology, was awarded the 2018 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience today in Norway during a gala ceremony hosted by King Harald V. She shared the prestigious honor with her colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier, now at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany, and another early CRISPR researcher, Virginijus Šikšnys of Vilnius University in Lithuania.


Lisa Johnsen LittlejohnLisa Johnsen Littlejohn was a lifelong resident of the Bay Area and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1977. She worked for the University of California system, first at the U.C. Office of the President in Oakland, and then in the Chemistry Department at U.C. Berkeley, where she worked as an administrative specialist for Professor Phill Geissler. She will be honored during the annual memorial service at UC Berkeley Sepetember 10th.


Yuan-Tsan ChiaDr. Yuan-Tsan Chia (M.A. Chem ’55, Ph.D. Chem ’58) has left a bequest of $1.1 million to the College of Chemistry in honor of Professor Robert Connick who she studied with for her Ph.D. Chia was the first woman to join the Central Research Department at DuPont working there for more than thirty years. She obtained a number of patents, collaborated on noteworthy projects including improvements to the manufacturing processes for synthetic fibers, plus development of various Teflon and Kevlar applications.

August 30, 2018


Switzer brothers demonstrate DayGlo colorsToday DayGlo pigments color everything from traffic cones to tennis shoes, but back in the 1930s it was barely used at all. Though Joe and Bob Switzer can lay claim to commercializing fluorescent pigments, they were far from the first people to discover the phenomenon. By the time Joe and Bob created their homemade paint, scientists had already spent years in the laboratory exploring the chemical makeup of glowing substances.

August 29, 2018


Industry researchBASF, the world’s largest chemical company, underwrites research at various campuses in California through the California Research Alliance (CARA). The four-year-old effort, centered at UC Berkeley and including nine other California schools, supports research at the intersection of cutting-edge science and commercial opportunity.

August 28, 2018

Advanced Light Source

Efficient H2O Production graphicScientists formulated and characterized a graphene-based electrocatalyst that potentially makes the production of hydrogen peroxide more selective, efficient, and cost effective.

August 27, 2018


Peer Tutoring ProgramLast spring anytime you walked into the Undergraduate Advising Center at the College of Chemistry there was a lot of activity going on. The new Undergraduate Peer Tutoring program was in action with students dropping by throughout the day to get help with concepts and problem solving for their classes.

August 24, 2018


metal-organic frameworkUC Berkeley researchers have developed a modular metal-organic framework with the highest electron charge mobilities ever observed. A research team led by Jeffrey Long has developed a technique for making an electrically conductive MOF that could also be used to improve the conductivity of other MOFs.


CRISPER, Jennifer DoudnaBiochemist Jennifer Doudna, a pioneer of the Crispr gene-editing technology that’s taken Wall Street by storm says the field is probably five to 10 years away from having an approved therapy for patients.


ChemUNITY clubStudents organize new club to address issues around underrepresentation at the college. Club activities planned include creating study groups, bringing in corporate speakers and helping club members consider application for, and navigate the pipeline to, graduate school.

August 23, 2018


UC Berkeley No 1UC Berkeley remains the nation’s top public university, according to this year’s Academic Ranking of World Universities, or ARWU. The UC Berkeley Department of Chemistry was also named the best in the world in the rankings.

August 21, 2018


Richmond Sarpong research teamVicky Benzing (Ph.D. Chem ’86) always wanted to fly. While pursuing her first passion for Math and Chemistry, she earned her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at UC Berkeley. At the same time she also earned her private pilot certificate. Benzing went on to fly as a hobby while she built her successful career in the tech industry working for Tektronix, Sharp and Novellus Systems (which was bought by Lam in 2012.). Her passion for flying took over as a second career when she retired from Novellus Systems in 2012.

Berkeley News

A student pipetting in the summer course on CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing. (Kevin Doxzen photo)For three weeks in July and August, 30 undergraduates took a summer course to learn how to use the revolutionary gene-editing technology in preparation for jumping into the research lab while still students.

August 16, 2018

Huimin Zhao and John Hartwig(image: Huimin Zhao and John Hartwig) Researchers have developed a new method that aids in the process of making valuable compounds by using a unique combination of catalysts.