News from Chemistry, Fall 2001

by Judith Klinman, Chair

A s I begin the work of finalizing my contribution to this newsletter, it is in the aftermath of the terrorist acts of September 11th. I know that all of us feel an enormous amount of sadness and uncertainty in the shadow of these events.


I know how great the sadness is for those of us fortunate enough not to have lost any family members or friends. The grief for those whose loved ones are gone is beyond comprehension. My step-daughter lives in Soho, close to the World Trade Center, and witnessed the second plane crash and the collapse of the towers. She says that this event will change her life, hopefully in meaningful ways.

I feel the need to apologize for the “chattiness” of what follows, but it was begun before the attack and is in the spirit of focusing on the positive qualities of our work and lives in the Department of Chemistry.

The beginning of the fall semester saw the usual hum that accompanies the arrival of new students, the return of the “wondering” professors from their summer travels. Physically, the outside of the College of Chemistry still resembles a war zone; however, the noise level has abated on the south and east ends of the Chemistry complex and we think that the worst of the retrofitting disruption may be past.

Within the Department we are excited by the arrival of our new faculty members. Jay Groves has moved into his renovated labs on the first floor of Lewis. Despite a few crises, which have included a delay in installing his sinks (hard to do experiments in a lab without sinks!) and a break in a pipe on the second floor, Groves’ students are undeterred.

A floor above Groves (and the site of the recent leaky pipe), Michael Marletta and his group have moved into a beautiful suite of new laboratories. Lewis Hall now houses the nucleus of the biophysical/biochemical research in the Department and contains the laboratories of Mathies, Tinoco, Groves, Marletta and myself. Jamie Cate, a structural biologist, has also arrived to take up his new appointment as 50 percent Chemistry and 50 percent Molecular and Cell Biology and is located in Chemical Biodynamics. Matt Francis joined the organic division of the Department and is on the 7th floor of Latimer. Although John Kuriyan has not yet moved his laboratory to Berkeley, his wife is already in residence and is living in Brad and Penny Moore’s house.

We have also recruited two first-rate lecturers to the Department: Dr. Kim Stigers-Lavoie, who received her Ph.D. with Paul Bartlett and will participate in the Chem 3A/B series, and Dr. Michelle Dousky, who has recently come to Berkeley from the mid-west and will be involved in Chem 1A and B.

Last spring we saw the retirement of Norm Phillips, Ken Sauer and Arlyn Myers. A party was held to celebrate the impressive contributions of each of these people to the Department. Norm Phillips and Ken Sauer both received the prestigious Berkeley Citation at Commencement. Happily, all three of these people will continue in the Department, pursuing research, some teaching and writing.
Dean Heathcock poses with retirees Simon Goren (Chemical Engineering), Norman Phillips, Arlyn Myers, and Ken Sauer.

I am sad to tell you that Professor Paul Bartlett has decided to retire from the Department in June 2003. Paul has been a presence in the Department for almost thirty years, making impressive contributions to drug design and enzyme catalysis. He also has served in numerous administrative positions that include the Chair of the Budget Committee and, of course, as my predecessor as Chair of the Department. Many of us, and perhaps some of you who are reading this article, will be attempting to convince Paul to change his mind!

On a personal note, let us congratulate Kristie Boering and Ron Cohen on the birth of their new son, Milo, and send our wishes to Bob Harris for a speedy recovery from his open-heart surgery.

The Chemistry Department staff has also undergone some important changes with the retirement of Betty Rancatore from her position as MSO. Betty was honored with the Berkeley Citation for her long, outstanding career of service to the University. I personally want to thank Betty for helping me survive my first year as Chair. Rebecca Pauling has also left the Department after ten years of service. She is now the Student Affairs Officer in Integrative Biology and is sorely missed. Our new MSO, Joel Nice, has had his “trial by fire” and is doing splendidly.

Recruitment for next year will focus on physical and organic chemistry. Although space is at a premium, creative steps by Dean Heathcock have insured that we will be able to actively recruit in several areas. Although the retrofitting of Hildebrand Hall is expected to be completed by next spring, this space will be occupied by faculty in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Division of the Molecular and Cell Biology Department until completion of the new Stanley Hall Replacement Building, expected in 2005.

One of the goals of my next year as Chair is to increase the diversity within the Department. We are making a special effort during this recruitment season to assure that talented women and under-represented minorities view Berkeley as an attractive place to pursue their careers. Despite proposition 209, the environment on campus is supportive, recognizing that we cannot afford to overlook any underutilized sources of creativity and scientific vision. In light of her interests in this area, Professor Angy Stacy was an outstanding choice of Chancellor Berdahl for the newly created position of Associate Vice Provost for Diversity. She will be splitting her time between this administrative post and her Departmental teaching and research for the next several years. I want to thank her for agreeing to remain as Vice Chair for Teaching and wish her success in her new undertaking.

In keeping with tradition, many of our faculty have been honored recently: Nacho Tinoco, Mike Marletta and Ken Raymond were elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; John Kuriyan was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Bob Bergman received the ACS Leete Award, Clayton Heathcock the ACS H.C. Brown Award, Don Tilley the ACS Organometallic Award and Jean Fréchet an Arthur C. Cope Scholars Award. Carolyn Bertozzi received the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry and two teaching awards: the coveted UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award and the Donald S. Noyce Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Also, both Jeff Long and Peidong Yang were honored with Sloan Fellowships, Jay Groves with a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award, Matt Francis with a Dreyfus New Faculty Award and Kristie Boering with a Packard Fellowship. Among Peidong Yang’s many awards this year are an NSF Career Award and the ExxonMobil Solid State Award.

editor@cchem.berkeley.edu

College News

 

 

We are excited by the arrival of our new faculty members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paul Bartlett will retire in June 2003. He has served in many posts, including Chair of the Chemistry Department.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the goals of my next year as Chair is to increase the diversity within the Department.