Department of Chemistry welcomes new faculty

May 10, 2019

Matthew Francis, Chair of the Department of Chemistry at UC Berkeley, is pleased to announce the addition of two new faculty members joining the College in July. Alanna Schepartz will join the faculty as the T. Z. and Irmgard Chu Distinguished Chair in Chemistry and as a professor in Molecular and Cell Biology. Schepartz is currently the Sterling Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology at Yale University. Michael Zuerch will join the College as an Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry.  Zuerch is currently a Max Planck Research Group Leader at the Fritz Haber Institute, Berlin.

About Alanna Schepartz

Alanna SchepartzProfessor Schepartz received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1987. Her laboratory studies the mechanism and function of cellular molecules and machines and applies this knowledge to design new molecules with useful or novel activities. 

Specific areas of interest include:

  • The development and application of fluorogenic small molecules to study protein allostery and information transfer in live cell context
  • The development of HIDE probes to monitor organelle function, dynamics, and interactions at super-resolution in live cells for extended times
  • Wholesale re-engineering of the translation machinery to synthesize sequence-defined chemical polymers such as a/ß-peptides, polyketides, polyaramids, and polyolefins
  • The application and optimization of a novel delivery vehicle to efficiently traffic macromolecular therapeutics into the cytosol and nucleus of mammalian cells.

Among her many distinctions, Schepartz is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the ACS Journal Biochemistry.

A list of her research publications is available here>

About Michael Zuerch

Michael ZürchDr. Zuerch received his Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat) in physics at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany in 2014. His dissertation was on the topic Coherent High-Resolution Imaging of Artificial and Biological Specimens using Compact Ultrafast Extreme Ultraviolet Sources

His current research interests include: 

  • Attosecond transient absorption spectroscopy in solid-state materials with special attention to two dimensional quantum materials (ultrafast carrier dynamics, linear and non-linear optical response, strongly correlated materials) 
  • High-resolution imaging in the XUV and soft X-ray spectral range (coherent diffraction imaging, ptychography, digital in-line holography) 
  • Combination of ultrafast time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy and time-resolved X-ray diffraction for multimodal investigation of non-heterogenous samples with special attention to magnetic materials 
  • Microscopy with singular light beams (vortex beams) in the visible and XUV
  • Nonlinear X-ray diffraction microscopy using Free-electron lasers for advanced investigations on nanostructured materials.

A list of his research publications is available here>