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Spring 2004


Dean's Desk

News from Chemical Engineering

News from Chemistry

Commencement 2004

Alumni Relations

Alumni Association News

Class Notes

Alumnus Profile: David Soane

Alumni Questionnaire

Faculty Highlights

RNA Research in the College

Update on BP Collaboration

Life on Mars: Mathies

Chakraborty and Alivisatos honored

Faculty Profile: Robert Harris

Faculty Profile: Clayton Heathcock

King and Prausnitz retiring

College and Campus News

University Updates

Berkeley Newscenter




all NewsJournals

Alumni Association News


Alumni Association Chair Rebecca Zuckerman

Dear Fellow Alumni,

I am honored to be serving as the Chair for the Alumni Association’s Steering Team. My predecessor, Steve Sciamanna, did a great job as chair for the previous seven years... (seven years!?). I appreciate the assistance I’ve received from Clayton Heathcock, Jane Scheiber, and Camille Olufson. They are great to work with, and they each have done so much for the college.

G. N. Lewis Era
The alumni of the G. N. Lewis Era held their annual gathering the Thursday before Big Game, as is their tradition. Although the numbers are sadly declining, there was still an enthusiastic turnout of some 45 alumni, who heard a talk on cell recognition by Professor John Kuriyan and a medley of Big Game songs rendered by the Cal Men’s Octet.

Cupola Era event
The annual Cupola Era luncheon took place on Saturday, February 28. Professor Arup Chakraborty spoke about his research on modeling complex systems to a group of over 45 alumni from 1945-1962. Everyone had fun catching up with old friends and learning about the latest happenings in the college.

Real World Engineering
A new event for the College this year, held on February 12 and co-sponsored with the College of


Mark Kubinec (Ph.D. ’94, Chem) holds chemistry demonstrations for Cal Day

Engineering’s Alumni Association, was “Real World Engineering.” Geared toward current undergraduates in the various engineering subdisiplines, the program featured alumni panelists in the various disciplines talking about their careers and answering students’ questions about their fields. We are grateful to our alumni speakers—Larry Perry (B.S. ’56), Clint Holzwarth (B.S. ’79) and Steven Chan (B.S. ’01)—who drew an audience of some 45 undergraduates, mostly chemical engineers.

Cal Day
Cal Day, the campus’s annual open house, was held on April 17. Two of our outstanding staff scientists, Mark Kubinec (Ph.D. ’94) and Lonnie Martin, wowed a crowd in Pimentel Hall with their prowess at chemistry demonstrations. Associate Dean Herbert Strauss discussed the college’s three undergraduate programs to an overflowing group of more than 200 prospective and newly admitted students and their parents.

Prior to the lectures, students from AXE and AIChE led tours through several chemistry and chemical engineering labs so that the newly admitted students could see where, if they choose Berkeley, they would be working. The AIChE students also hosted a much-appreciated complimentary barbecue. And we had a couple of the undergraduate advisors available for questions, which seemed to be very much appreciated by the crowd. It was a successful event, and the college is hopeful of continuing to attract the best and the brightest students.

Albert Wu (PhD. ChE, ’88) attended Cal Day with his daughter (a potential future Bear) and his wife.

Connecting with Young Alums
To further connections to the college with our current students and young alumni, we recently hosted a “Sushi and Champagne” reception on April 21 for all alumni from the graduating years of 2000 and beyond, as well as all undergraduates and graduate students of the class of 2004. It was a really fun evening, with more than 80 alumni, graduating students and faculty in attendance. Big thank you’s go to Marissa Drouillard (B.S.Chem, ’00) and Steven Chan (B.S.ChE, ’01,) for all of the work they did. We look forward to having the alumni association continue this celebratory event next year. It’s a great networking opportunity!

Nano on Campus

Speaking of networking opportunities, the college co-hosted the “berkeley nsanotechnology forum 2004: the future of nano, your future in nano” on May 1.The caliber of the distinguished speakers from the nanotechnology field was fantastic. The speakers included chemistry professor and Director of the Molecular Foundry at LBNL Paul Alivisatos, (Ph.D. ’86). We hope that this will be the first of many “nano events” on the Berkeley campus. Meanwhile, we continue to co-sponsor the MIT-Stanford-UC Berkeley Nanotechnology Forums 2003-04, held mainly in the Stanford area. Check the college’s website for the latest info.

CHEMillennium Era
As we go to press, the recently established CHEMillennium Alumni Era group (1980-1999) is preparing for their second annual event on Wednesday, May 26. This event will include a network reception and a time to socialize with old friends, colleagues and faculty, followed by a panel discussion by two inspirational professors: Kevan Shokat (Ph.D. ’91, Chem) and Rachel Segalman. Shokat, a Professor of Chemistry with a joint appointment at UCSF, is doing very interesting work in the elucidation of proteins involved in signal transduction and cell cycle pathways, and Segalman, new to the chemical engineering department, studies the relationship between morphology and properties in plastic electronics.

Homecoming, October 16
We’re beginning to plan for our fall events. On Saturday, October 16, Homecoming & Parents’ Weekend, the college will feature Assistant Professor Dirk Trauner discussing “Chemical Synthesis and Synthetic Biology.” Please join us in the Tan Hall lobby from 8:30-9:00 a.m., prior to Professor Trauner’s lecture, for complimentary pastries and coffee drinks from ‘Travelin’ Joe’s’ espresso cart! (Did you hear that there is now a place to get coffee drinks and pastries in the college complex? The “Coffee Lab”—in part of Professor Y.T. Lee’s old lab—opened last year and I’m told is a welcome sight to students, faculty and staff. I’m not sure how this affects Café Roma…)

I look forward to a great 2004-05 academic year. I encourage you to join both the college’s alumni association and @cal (Berkeley’s online community) via the college’s home page
( Also, please do let us know what types of programs and events would be most appealing and beneficial for you!

Best Regards,
Rebecca Zuckerman, Ph.D. ’00, Chem

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