News

September 4, 2019

MOA signing

The College of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, the People’s Government of Meishan, Lanzhou University, and the West Hope Tequ Group signed a memorandum of agreement to explore the development of a new graduate institute in Meishang, China on September 4, 2019. The College of Chemistry’s participation would be to offer advice to Lanzhou University on this new graduate institute.

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 2, 2019

Alumni in the news

What is most notable about the array of stories we see about our alumni is the variety of disciplines and research they are involved in. From changing our fundamental understanding of how DNA works, to discovering new elements on the periodic table, and the exploration of the chemistry in paint restoration, here are some fascinating recent articles we've spotted.

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 30, 2019

Clayton Radke

Clayton Radke, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UC Berkeley has been awarded the Ruben Medal by the International Society for Contact Lens Research. The medal is awarded by a vote of the previous recipients to an individual who has made outstanding contributions in the field of contact lens-related research.

August 29, 2019

Arlene Blum

Among the technical and sometimes arcane-seeming debates at this year’s meeting of the International Code Council was one that grew surprisingly emotional: whether building codes should allow the use of polystyrene insulation not treated with flame retardant in foundations, below a 3.5-inch concrete slab. According to Dr. Arlene Blum, at stake was a larger argument about whether some volatile elements, including bromine, are safer for human health if they’re part of longer chains of molecules.

August 28, 2019

Ellen Pawlikowski

Ellen M. Pawlikowski (Ph.D. '81, ChemE) has been named the Judge Widney Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering. General Pawlikowski, whose appointment at USC becomes effective this fall, will be a Judge Widney Professor, a title named for one of USC’s founders, Judge Robert Maclay Widney, and reserved at USC for eminent individuals from the arts, sciences, professions, business, and community and national leadership.

August 27, 2019

Markita Landry

By using nanomaterials to create new tools, Markita Landry reckons she can crack open new areas of science. Landry, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, is harnessing the chemical and physical properties of nanomaterials to do things like deliver DNA to plants and measure signaling molecules in the brain.

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.”

ExxonMobile announces deal with Mosaic Materials

Sometimes solutions to complex, wide-ranging challenges can fit in the palm of your hand. That is certainly true with a developing technology that could help bring carbon capture to scale around the world. Invented at the University of California, Berkeley and supported by a group of entrepreneurial scientists at Cyclotron Road, these breath-mint sized pellets efficiently adsorb carbon dioxide from emission sources.

August 26, 2019

American Chemical Society logoThe American Chemical Society has announced their 2020 award recipients. College of Chemistry faculty, students and alumni are being honored at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in conjunction with the ACS Spring National Meeting in Philadelphia.

JoAnne Stubbe

Alumna JoAnne Stubbe (Ph.D. '71, Chem), the Novartis Professor of Chemistry and Biology, emerita, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will receive the 2020 Priestley Medal, the American Chemical Society’s highest honor.

August 22, 2019

Richmond Sarpong

Until this year Robert Harris and Robert Bergman have been esteemed colleagues at the College. Recently however, when they were at an event discussing an interview Bergman had done with Professor William Lester, they made a very interesting personal discovery. Their lives had more than crossed as children living in Chicago’s Hyde Park. In fact, they had lived about 100 yards from each other across an alleyway.

August 20, 2019

Jose Roque

Jose Roque, a PhD student in the chemistry lab of Professor Richmond Sarpong, has been awarded a 2019–2020 Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) Graduate Fellowship in Synthetic Organic Chemistry. BMS fellowship awardees are chosen based on the fellow's demonstrated academic and research achievements as well as the potential for significant future accomplishments.

August 14, 2019

Richmond Sarpong

Jay Keasling, Professor, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and JBEI’s Chief Executive Officer, was featured in NHK World’s interview program “Direct Talk”. Keasling, a pioneer of synthetic biology, talks about the impact that this interdisciplinary technology can have in people’s lives as well as addresses its safety concerns.

August 12, 2019

Richmond Sarpong

The discovery that carbon atoms act as a marker of time of death transformed everything from biochemistry to oceanography – but the breakthrough nearly didn’t happen. Martin Kamen had worked for three days and three nights without sleep. The US chemist was finishing off a project in which he and colleague Sam Ruben (B.S. ' Chem; Ph.D. '38, Chem), had bombarded a piece of graphite with subatomic particles. The aim of their work was to create new forms of carbon, ones that might have practical uses. Willard Libby (B.S. '31, Chem; Ph.D. '33, Chem) of Chicago University figured out that the radioactivity generated by carbon-14 could be exploited to tremendous advantage.

August 7, 2019

Richmond Sarpong

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science has announced this year’s selection of scientists to receive Early Career Research Program funding. David Limmer, UC Berkeley Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been chosen as one of 73 scientists from across the country for his project entitled: Understanding and Controlling Photoexcited Molecules in Complex Environments.

August 6, 2019

Richmond Sarpong

In a new virtual collection from ACS Central Science, recently published articles about new research into reticular chemistry are highlighted. Omar Yaghi, The James and Neeltje Tretter Professor of Chemistry, pens the introduction.

Some of the topics covered in the issue include: electric field response of MOFs; PolyCOFs; porous aromatic frameworks; improving the mechanical stability of MOFS using chemical caryatids; computational design of functionalized MOF nodes for catalysis; porous molecular solids and liquids; and rapid, elective heavy metal removal from water by MOFs/polydopamine composite.

August 2, 2019

The bacterial enzyme Cas9 is the engine of RNA-programmed genome engineering in human cells. (UC Berkeley graphic by K. C. Roeyer)

The University of California has received two new patents for use of the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 technology, increasing its gene-editing patent portfolio to 10. Five more are expected to be issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the end of the summer.

The patents were awarded today to UC and its co-patentees, the University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, who co-invented CRISPR-Cas9 with UC Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna.

July 30, 2019

The cost of doing business in spaceThe world already benefits greatly from space technology, especially in terms of communications, positioning services, Earth observation, and economic activity related to government-funded space programs. With an explosion of more than 2,000 commercial space companies, including those building communications satellites, orbital launch vehicles, and rovers for the Moon and Mars, the world’s commercial space capabilities are quickly expanding beyond our satellite industry,