Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Molecular Sciences Software Institute launches open-source data sharing project for COVID-19

May 26, 2020

COVID-19 research

The Molecular Sciences Software Institute has launched an open-source website that will allow biomolecular scientists from around the world to share computer-aided drug-testing simulations targeting the protein at the center of COVID-19. Under the leadership of Teresa Head-Gordon, the MolSSI team started work on the COVID-19 website about a month ago, after scores of scientists began discussing ways to share simulation modeling data they had on the coronavirus.

US News ranks CBE graduate program #2 in country

March 19, 2020

US News and World Report ranks CBE #2

The College of Chemistry at UC Berkeley is pleased to announce that the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) has been ranked number two in a tie with Caltech in the 2021 U.S. News and World Report list of best chemical engineering graduate schools in the United States. MIT was in first place.

New technique ‘prints’ cells to create diverse biological environments

March 18, 2020

University of California, Berkeley, researchers have created a new technique that utilizes photolithography and programmable DNA to rapidly “print” two-dimensional arrays of cells

With the help of photolithography and a creative use of programmable DNA, UC Berkeley researchers have created a new technique that can rapidly “print” two-dimensional arrays of cells and proteins that mimic a wide variety of cellular environments in the body — be it the brain tissue surrounding a neural stem cell, the lining of the intestine or liver or the cellular configuration inside a tumor. This technique could help scientists develop a better understanding of the complex cell-to-cell messaging that dictates a cell’s final fate.

The power of change in science

March 9, 2020

women trailblazers

Guided by CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna, a formidable entrepreneur in her own right, C&EN profiled 15 women working in the Chemical industry in academics and startups in C&EN's 2020 Trailblazers. Four of them are affiliated with UC Berkeley's College of Chemistry. They have collectively launched more than 30 start-ups aimed at developing treatments for rare diseases, building better batteries, and more. They’re chemical scientists at the top of their game. They’re role models building and mentoring teams. And yes, they’re badasses. They live by the motto “Nobody ever got anywhere by listening to no.”

Jay Keasling talks to Japan's NHK World about Synthetic Biology

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.

Introducing our new faculty members and their lab groups

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.

Newly granted CRISPR patents boost UC’s U.S. portfolio to 10

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.

Frances Arnold turns microbes into living factories

May 28, 2019

Frances Arnold. Photo by Erika Gerdemark for The New York Times.Instead of synthesizing new biochemicals from scratch, the Nobel Prize-winning chemist puts nature to the task — with astonishing results.

PASADENA, Calif. — The engineer’s mantra, said Frances Arnold, a professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, is: “Keep it simple, stupid.” But Dr. Arnold, who last year became just the fifth woman in history to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is the opposite of stupid, and her stories sometimes turn rococo.

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.

Douglas Clark receives award for excellence in biochemical engineering

May 6, 2019

Douglas Clark

Dean Douglas Clark has been awarded the prestigious D.I.C. Wang Award for Excellence in Biochemical Engineering for 2019 from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).