College of Chemistry

Public Health and Chemistry join forces to reimagine chemistry education for sustainability

October 4, 2019

Team BuildingHow can the makers of Goretex produce waterproof gear without toxic perfluorinated chemicals? How might an enzyme found in plants and fungi help Levi Strauss & Co. keep their brand of khakis wrinkle-free? Is it possible to make an effective sunscreen that doesn’t damage coral reefs? A novel collaboration between the School of Public Health and the College of Chemistry through the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry (BCGC) is leading the nation in reimagining chemistry education to reduce waste, develop safer chemicals, and achieve sustainability.

Terry and Tori Rosen donate $25 million for new College of Chemistry building

October 16, 2019

Doug Clark, Terry Rosen, Tori Rosen

Alumnus Terry Rosen, the CEO of Arcus Biosciences, and his wife, Tori, have donated $25 million to the College of Chemistry for a building to be named in honor of Terry Rosen’s beloved mentor and former chemistry dean, Clayton Heathcock. Rosen, who obtained his Ph.D. in 1985 while working in Heathcock’s lab, has fond memories of the four years he spent at UC Berkeley and decided that naming a building after Heathcock was a great way to say, ‘Thank you.’

From bomb to the moon: Harold Urey, alum and Nobel laureate of principles

October 14, 2019

Harold Urey

Harold Urey also worked for the Manhattan Project. But by contrast, the Nobel-prizewinning chemist distanced himself from nuclear weapons development after the war. His search for science beyond defence work prompted a shift into studying the origins of life and lunar geology. Now, the absorbing biography The Life and Science of Harold C. Urey by science historian Matthew Shindell uses the researcher’s life to show how a conscientious chemist navigated the cold war.

Science bridges international borders

October 9, 2019

Carlos BustamanteIn the mid-1970s, Professor of Chemistry, Physics and, Molecular and Cell Biology Carlos J. Bustamante, left Peru to go to graduate school in the US. He intended to return, but political and economic turmoil prevented that. He wound up staying for a postdoc. He then joined the chemistry faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where he works on single-molecule manipulation and detection.

Why this UC Berkeley gene therapy spinout is targeting a $100 million IPO

October 9, 2019
David Schaffer

The company, called 4D Molecular Therapeutics Inc., doesn't expect to put its first three experimental single-shot cures for a range of diseases into clinical trials until next year. Yet it already has key partnerships with well-known drug makers Roche, AstraZeneca plc and gene therapy pioneer uniQure NV. Founders David Schaffer, The Hubbard Howe Jr. Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering, and Dr. David Kirn have worked on so-called "viral vectors" — the protein shells ridden by viruses to skip through the body — since before the company was formed in 2013. In gene therapy, those vehicles are engineered to remove the disease-triggering part of a virus and used instead to carry correct versions of genes to replace mutated genes.

If accepted to the MSSE program, can I defer admission until Spring?

The MSSE program is currently approved to admit students in the Fall of each year. There may be opportunities in the future to offer students greater enrollment and completion flexibility. 

How is this program different from a combined BS/MS (also known as a 5th-year Master) program?

The Molecular Science and Software Engineering (MSSE) online part-time professional Master's Degree program focuses on providing its students with specialized knowledge and the ability to apply such knowledge in the areas of software engineering, high-performance computing (HPC), molecular science, big data analytics, and entrepreneurship. The Department of Chemistry at UC Berkeley does not currently offer any combined BS/MS degree. The MSSE is the only master’s degree it accepts students into. 

The Periodic Table Is Turning 150. Please Clap!

October 2, 2019

Periodic table

Berkeley chemist John Arnold fell under the table’s spell while still a high school student in Lancashire, England. For Arnold, now a professor and undergraduate dean of the College of Chemistry, Mendeleev’s creation has a magic about it. “It really is, I think, one of the greatest scientific accomplishments of all time,” Arnold says. “We can relate things that happen in our lives every day to that one simple, two-dimensional picture.”

CNRS 2019 Innovation Medal awarded to alum Vance Bergeron

September 26, 2019

Vance Bergeron

Alum Vance Bergeron (Ph.D. '93, ChemE) is a specialist in the physico-chemical properties of soft matter and passionate about cycling. After a traffic accident in 2013, Bergeron had to face becoming a quadriplegic. Now, he is working in the field of neuro-rehabilitation where he has launched a research program that brings together researchers, doctors and people affected by disabilities to expand on people's recovery.

Our changing atmosphere: evidence that demands a verdict

September 25, 2019

Jeffrey Reimer

Many people are only aware of climate change by way of public discourse and social media. Drawing on recent scientific papers organized for a course that he teaches at Berkeley, Jeffrey Reimer, Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, demonstrates in this lecture how the atmosphere is changing, that humans are the cause, and that there are consequences. These consequences may be viewed in the context of Earth's historical carbon cycles, which demonstrate what the Earth will look like unless we consider every possible means to decarbonize the atmosphere.