Alumni News

The American Chemical Society announces 2020 Awards

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.

ExxonMobil and Mosaic Materials explore new carbon capture technology

August 27, 2019

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.

Alumna JoAnne Stubbe named 2020 Priestley Medalist

August 26, 2019

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.

2019 Reaxys PhD Prize winners announced

July 30, 2019

2019 Reaxys PhD Prize winnersFive UC Berkeley Ph.D. students have been announced as finalists of this year's Reaxys PhD Prize. The Prize celebrates innovative and rigorous research by ambitious young chemists. The Review Committee examined over 360 entries from around the globe to arrive at the 45 finalists.

Alum explores the costs of doing business in space

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,

Frances Arnold: from graduate student to Nobel Laureate

March 3, 2019

Frances ArnoldIn the early 1980s, the lab of College biomolecular engineer Harvey Blanch brought together an adventurous group of young researchers and launched them on long and successful careers. One of them, Caltech professor Frances Arnold, has won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her discoveries in the directed evolution of enzymes. Arnold is the fifth woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry since it was first awarded in 1901.

How a botched train robbery led to the birth of modern American criminology

May 1, 2019

Edward Oscar Heinrich

Following a huge manhunt to capture three train robbers, authorities called in an up-and-coming forensic scientist Edward Oscar Heinrich (BS, 1908, Chem), a UC Berkeley lecturer and alumnus, to help solve what became known as the "Last Great Train Robbery." He didn’t know that the case would put him on the map as a pioneer in modern American criminology .

Alumna Geraldine Richmond to speak at Commencement

April 9, 2019

Geraldine Richmond

Alumna Geraldine Richmond (Ph.D. '80, Chem with George Pimentel), Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon will speak at this year's College of Chemistry commencement in May. Her research examines the chemistry and physics that occurs at complex surfaces that have relevance to important problems in energy production, environmental remediation and atmospheric chemistry.

Meet Frances Arnold, Teenage Rebel Turned Nobel Laureate

March 28, 2019

Frances Arnold

At 15, she was a class-skipping, catch-me-if-you-can maverick hitchhiking to D.C. to protest the Vietnam War. Looking back on those years now, Frances Arnold says, “Fifteen is one of those terrifying ages, where you’re frustrated because you know something’s wrong, but you have no idea how to fix it. So I did what I could, which is protest. “But as I’ve gone through my life,” she continues, “I know that it’s my responsibility to fix it. I’m much better at fixing things than protesting.”

Alumna Emily Derbyshire looks for malaria’s vulnerabilities

March 4, 2019

Emily DerbyshireAs alumna Emily Derbyshire was wrapping up her PhD in 2008 at UC Berkeley's College of Chemistry and considering where to do her postdoc, Derbyshire gravitated toward malaria. “It was a problem that was not getting a lot of attention at the time,” despite its large human impact, she says. That’s what led her to dissecting mosquito throats: the idea was to head off malaria when it first invades and transforms within a host’s liver cells, which the parasite needs to do in order to proliferate and move on to the next stage in its life cycle, infecting red blood cells.