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Aerial view of UCSD campus looking South

Geisel Library - Nobel Laureates at UCSD

Discovery of new atmospheric reaction garners prize

Urey Hall Addition

Pacific Hall

Natural Sciences Building

The crystal structure of a group II intron in the pre-catalytic state

Geisel Library Walk

York Hall

Structure of an inhibitor of hepatitis C virus protein synthesis bound to its target in the viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) genome

ANCA probe staining amyloid plaques derived from Alzheimer’s-related Aβ peptides fluoresces as green and as yellow when derived from prion proteins (PrPSC)

Price Center

Generation of bio-resistive surface coatings on amyloids inhibits harmful protein-amyloid interactions associated with Alzheimer disease

Proposed schematic models of the interfacial binding surface of four different members of the Phospholipase A2 superfamily

Urey Hall and Pacific Hall

Characterization of the "inhibitor binding pocket" in the catalytic domain of the calcium-independent phospholipase A2 with residues within a 5 A raidus of the inhibitor shown

A Crystalline Singlet Phosphinonitrene: a Nitrogen Atom Transfer Agent

Mayer Hall

Drug candidate in orange envelope bound to UPPS

Possible binding modes for phospholipase A2 via its membrane interaction site, another allosteric site, and its catalytic site


Professor Francesco Paesani Winner of the 2017 Legacy Lecture Award
Professor Francesco Paesani Winner of the 2017 Legacy Lecture Award! The Legacy Lecture Award is a faculty award sponsored by Scholars Society that is 100% nominated and voted for by students based on the professor they most want to hear speak about the topic: “If this was your last lecture, what would you want to say to the world?” For more information click More details.

Marc Riera-Riambau receives 2017 Molecular Sciences Software Institute Software Fellowship
Marc Riera-Riambau receives 2017 Molecular Sciences Software Institute Software Fellowship. The Molecular Sciences Software Institute will serve as a nexus for science, education, and cooperation serving the worldwide community of computational molecular scientists – a broad field including of biomolecular simulation, quantum chemistry, and materials science. The Institute will spur significant advances in software infrastructure, education, standards, and best-practices that are needed to enable the molecular science community to open new windows on the next generation of scientific Grand Challenges, ranging from the simulation of intrinsically disordered proteins associated with a range of diseases to the design of new catalysts vital to the global chemical industry and climate change. The award will enable the computational molecular science community to work together to leverage its diverse capabilities that will reduce or eliminate the gulf that currently delays by years the practical realization of theoretical innovations. Ultimately, the Institute will enable computational scientists to tackle problems that are orders of magnitude larger and more complex than those currently within our grasp, and will accelerate the translation of basic science into new technologies essential to the vitality of the economy and environment. For more information click More details.

Professor Seth Cohen receives UC San Diego 2017 Sustainability Award
The UC San 2017 Sustainability Awards recognized individuals and groups that have made the campus more sustainable. Hosted by the campus Sustainability Office, the awards honored six recipients for their efforts to share information about and prioritize sustainability in UC San Diego’s education, research, planning, and operations and outreach programs. “This year’s Sustainability Award recipients have gone above and beyond to support and advocate for practices and procedures that meet campus and community needs while maintaining UC San Diego’s commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Gary C. Matthews, Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Planning. “I would like to thank the awardees for their dedicated, innovative and positive contributions to campus sustainability.” For more information click More details.

Professor Wei Xiong received 2017 DARPA Director’s fellowship
Prof. Wei Xiong received the prestigious 2017 DARPA Director’s fellowship. This is an award on top of the 2015 DARPA Young Faculty Award, which only a few best scientists from the YFA recipients were chosen by the DARPA Director for this fellowship. Prof. Xiong and his group are going to develop interface sensitive ultrafast molecular microscope to visualize energy material interfaces, with chemical, conformation, temporal and spatial resolutions. This research will provide fundamental molecular physics insights on how complex energy materials works.

UC San Diego Chemists Create the Ultimate Natural Sunscreen
Chemists, materials scientists and nanoengineers at UC San Diego have created what may be the ultimate natural sunscreen. In a paper published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Central Science, they report the development of nanoparticles that mimic the behavior of natural melanosomes, melanin-producing cell structures that protect our skin, eyes and other tissues from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. “Basically, we succeeded in making a synthetic version of the nanoparticles that our skin uses to produce and store melanin and demonstrated in experiments in skin cells that they mimic the behavior of natural melanosomes,” said Nathan Gianneschi, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, materials science and engineering and nanoengineering at UC San Diego, who headed the team of researchers. The achievement has practical applications. “Defects in melanin production in humans can cause diseases such as vitiligo and albinism that lack effective treatments,” Gianneschi added. For more information click More details.

Tavina Offutt named 2016-2017 UC San Diego Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Member
Tavina Offutt named 2016-2017 UC San Diego Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Member. Tavina Offutt is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation work is centered on gaining insight into the dynamics of proteins that are implicated in cancer, and harnessing this knowledge to the end of drug discovery. Since proteins are dynamic in nature, it is important to understand these dynamic characteristics in targeting them with drug molecules. Computational tools such as of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations can provide snapshots of how the atoms within the protein move over time. These MD conformations can provide insight into the function of proteins, and reveal novel “druggable” pockets. Her research utilizes MD to model the flexibility of two important cancer targets: protein kinases and p53. Using these models, her research assesses if including different MD snapshots enhances virtual screening against potential protein kinase inhibitors. She also uses MD to understand how p53 behaves when cancerous, and how its normal function is restored in the presence of a drug candidate. Her long-term goal is to understand how the conformational landscapes of proteins under normal conditions and in diseased states differ. For more information click More details.

Jennie Chen Wins 2017 Exemplary Staff Employee of the Year Award
Jennie Chen, a financial analyst in the business office of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is the recipient of a 2017 Exemplary Staff Employee of the Year Award. This annual campus award recognizes professional and support staff from across all Vice Chancellor and Health System areas who have demonstrated exemplary service and made other significant contributions to the UC San Diego and San Diego communities. Since joining the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2013, Chen has provided exceptional contributions in building relationships, leadership and university practices. She has managed complex financial projects with integrity, excellence and commitment, going above and beyond requirements to ensure her faculty members have the information they need to make decisions affecting their laboratories, staff and students. “Jennie has been at the forefront of developing and implementing financial best practices in department and has played a key role in simplifying and streamlining business processes,” said Steven Ford, Chief Operating Officer for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “Always thinking about the needs of those around her, she shares her expertise with fund managers in the department, giving them the tools and knowledge they need to succeed.” In addition to her outstanding fund management within the department, Chen serves as a FinancialLink instructor and member of the FinancialLink Advisory Group, where she contributes to the development of university-wide financial applications. In support of the university’s public service mission, she also volunteers for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County program and The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank. For more information click More details.


Faculty Spotlight

View profile for Amaro, Rommie
Amaro, Rommie

Computational Chemistry and Biophysics

View profile for Baker, Timothy
Baker, Timothy

Macromolecular, cryoelectron microscopy and three-dimensional, image-reconstruction techniques.

View profile for Brydges, Stacey
Brydges, Stacey

Chemical Education: Development of context-rich curriculum; Use of collaborative learning strategies in large lectures; Communication of chemistry

View profile for Burkart, Michael
Burkart, Michael

Natural product synthesis/biosynthesis, Biological chemistry and enzymology, Metabolic engineering.

View profile for Bussey, Thomas
Bussey, Thomas

Chemical Education: Visual Literacy in Science, Biochemistry Education, Nano Science Education, K-20 Professional Development, and STEM Career Development

View profile for Cohen, Seth
Cohen, Seth

Bioinorganic and coordination chemistry. Metalloprotein inhibitors and supramolecular materials.

View profile for Continetti, Robert
Continetti, Robert

Dissociation dynamics of transient species, three-body reaction dynamics, novel mass-spectrometric methods

View profile for Crowell, John
Crowell, John

Materials chemistry, surface kinetics of metals/semiconductors, CVD, photo-induced deposition, thin-film spectroscopy.

View profile for Dennis, Edward
Dennis, Edward

Biochemistry: phospholipase A2, signal transduction in macrophages, lipid maps, prostaglandin regulation, mass spec of lipids and proteins.

View profile for Devaraj, Neal
Devaraj, Neal

Biomimetic Chemistry, Molecular Imaging, Chemical Biology

View profile for Dixon, Jack
Dixon, Jack

Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Dual=specific Phosphatase, PTEN

View profile for Donoghue, Daniel
Donoghue, Daniel

Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors (FGFRs) in Human Cancer

View profile for Figueroa, Joshua
Figueroa, Joshua

Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry: Synthesis, Small Molecule Activation and New Transformations.

View profile for Galperin, Michael
Galperin, Michael

Electron Transport in Condensed Phases. Dissipation and Relaxation Processes. Non-equilibrium Open Quantum Systems. Molecular Electronics.

View profile for Ghosh, Gourisankar
Ghosh, Gourisankar

Biochemistry and biophysics: transcription, signaling, pre-mRNA splicing, mRNA transport, protein-protein, protein-DNA and protein-RNA interactions

View profile for Ghosh, Partho
Ghosh, Partho

Mechanisms of bacterial and protozoan pathogenesis, and host response against infectious microbes.

View profile for Gianneschi, Nathan
Gianneschi, Nathan

Bioorganic chemistry, Supramolecular Chemistry, Bionanotechnology, Materials, Synthesis

View profile for Godula, Kamil
Godula, Kamil

Nanotechnologies for analysis of glycan function during development. Glycomaterials for stem cell-based tissue regeneration.

View profile for Grassian, Vicki
Grassian, Vicki

Surface science of complex environmental interfaces: heterogeneous atmospheric chemistry of sea spray and mineral dust; aerosol impacts on climate; applications and implications of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

View profile for Hermann, Thomas
Hermann, Thomas

RNA as a Drug Target.

View profile for Jennings, Patricia
Jennings, Patricia

Biophysical chemistry: protein structure, dynamics and folding; 2, 3 and 4D NMR spectroscopy; PCR; equilibrium and kinetic-fluorescence, absorbance and circular dichroism spectroscopies

View profile for Joseph, Simpson
Joseph, Simpson

Molecular Mechanism of Protein Synthesis

View profile for Kim, Judy
Kim, Judy

Biophysical chemistry: Spectroscopic studies of membrane protein folding and dynamics

View profile for Komives, Elizabeth
Komives, Elizabeth

Structure, function, dynamics and thermodynamics of protein-protein interactions: NMR, mass spectrometry and kinetics

View profile for Kubiak, Clifford
Kubiak, Clifford

Inorganic, materials, and physical chemistry: electron transfer, catalysis, fixation and utilization of carbon dioxide.

View profile for Kummel, Andrew
Kummel, Andrew

STM/STS of gate oxides on compound semiconductors and adsorbates on organic semiconductor

View profile for Lindenberg, Katja
Lindenberg, Katja

Theoretical chemical physics: non-equilibrium statistical mechanics; stochastic processes; nonlinear phenomena; complex systems; condensed matter.

View profile for McCammon, J. Andrew
McCammon, J. Andrew

Statistical mechanics and computational chemistry, with applications to biological systems

View profile for Molina, Mario
Molina, Mario

Physical Chemistry: Gas Phase Chemical Kinetics and Photochemistry; Chemistry of Atmospheric Aerosols; Air Pollution in Megacities of the Developing World

View profile for Molinski, Tadeusz
Molinski, Tadeusz

Organic chemistry of marine natural products, synthesis, NMR, and biomedical applications

View profile for Muller, Ulrich
Muller, Ulrich

Evolution of catalytic RNAs, and the Origin of Life

View profile for O'Connor, Joseph
O'Connor, Joseph

Organotransition metal; organic; physical organic; bioorganometallic; synthetic; and inorganic chemistry

View profile for Opella, Stanley
Opella, Stanley

NMR structural studies of proteins in membranes and other supramolecular assemblies

View profile for Paesani, Francesco
Paesani, Francesco

Theoretical chemical physics of complex interfaces of relevance to the environment

View profile for Perrin, Charles
Perrin, Charles

Physical-organic chemistry: stereoelectronic effects; hydrogen bonding; isotope effects; ionic solvation; naked anions; malonic anhydrides

View profile for Pomeroy, Robert
Pomeroy, Robert

The application of analytical chemistry to forensic, environmental and industrial chemistry, then bridge these experiences into the classroom. This also includes the role technology and instrumentation play in discovery and problem solving.

View profile for Prather, Kimberly
Prather, Kimberly

Environmental, physical/analytical chemistry: gas/particle processes of tropospheric significance; mass spectrometry; laser-based analysis techniques.

View profile for Rheingold, Arnold
Rheingold, Arnold

Inorganic chemistry: Small-molecule crystallography, synthesis of transition metal/p-block clusters

View profile for Rinehart, Jeffrey
Rinehart, Jeffrey

Inorganic, materials, and magnetochemistry

View profile for Sailor, Michael
Sailor, Michael

Nanomaterials: porous silicon, chemical and biological sensors, biomaterials, electrochemistry

View profile for Sawrey, Barbara
Sawrey, Barbara

Chemical education: development of computer-based multimedia to assist student learning of complex scientific processes and concepts

View profile for Schimpf, Alina
Schimpf, Alina

Spectroscopy, Inorganic Chemistry, Nanoscale Materials

View profile for Schmidt, Valerie
Schmidt, Valerie

Organic Synthesis, Catalysis, Organometallic Synthesis, Methodology Development

View profile for Sinha, Amitabha
Sinha, Amitabha

Experimental physical chemistry: photochemistry; laser spectroscopy; reaction dynamics of vibrationally excited molecules

View profile for Tauber, Michael
Tauber, Michael

Physical chemistry; Optical and magnetic spectroscopy; Fundamental studies of charge transport and solvation; Applications to energy conversion and energy storage.

View profile for Taylor, Susan
Taylor, Susan

Structure, Function, Dynamics, and Localization of PKA as a Prototype for the Protein Kinase Superfamily.

View profile for Tezcan, Faik
Tezcan, Faik

Bioinorganic and biophysical chemistry; Metalloprotein structure, function and biosynthesis; Biomaterials

View profile for Theodorakis, Emmanuel
Theodorakis, Emmanuel

Synthetic, Medicinal, Bioorganic and Biological Chemistry, Methods and Strategies in Natural Products Chemistry

View profile for Thiemens, Mark
Thiemens, Mark

Atmospheric chemistry: physical chemistry of isotope effects; solar system formation

View profile for Toor, Navtej
Toor, Navtej

Structure and Function of Introns and Retroelements

View profile for Tor, Yitzhak
Tor, Yitzhak

Ligand-nucleic acid interactions; Antiviral and antibacterial agents; Fluorescent nucleosides and nucleotides; Cellular delivery vehicles

View profile for Trogler, William
Trogler, William

Inorganic chemistry: polymer chemistry; nanomaterials.

View profile for Wang, Wei
Wang, Wei

epigenomics, cellular reprogramming, protein recognition, computational biology, systems biology

View profile for Weare, John
Weare, John

Physical chemistry: calculations of the dynamics of complex systems; theoretical geochemistry

View profile for Weizman, Haim
Weizman, Haim

Chemical education, Bioorganic chemistry

View profile for Xiong, Wei
Xiong, Wei

Investigation of charge transfer mechanism in nanomaterials with novel ultrafast spectroscopies

View profile for Yang, Jerry
Yang, Jerry

Bioorganic Chemistry, Molecular Self-Assembly, Molecular Synthesis, Materials Chemistry, Bionanotechnology

View profile for Yuen Zhou, Joel
Yuen Zhou, Joel

Molecular photonics: theory

View profile for Zid, Brian
Zid, Brian

Gene Expression Control During Stress; mRNA Localization to Membrane-Less Compartments

Events and Seminars

05/30/2017 (Tue) at 12:00 PM
Special Seminar
Stephen H. White
Membrane Protein Folding: Biology Meets Thermodynamics
05/30/2017 (Tue) at 04:00 PM
Physical/Analytical Seminar
Professor Cecilia Clementi
Multiscale characterization of macromolecular dynamics
06/02/2017 (Fri) at 11:00 AM
Inorganic Seminar
Professor Jim Boncella
A Unique Spin on a Popular Reaction: Metal Catalyzed Formic Acid Decomposition and Reversible Addition of Water to Transition Metal Complexes
06/05/2017 (Mon) at 11:00 AM
Organic Seminar
Professor Klaus Wanner
Design, synthesis and biological characterization of  GABA uptake inhibitors
06/05/2017 (Mon) at 11:45 AM
Thesis Defense
Camille Marissa Sultana
New tools and paradigms for the analysis of sea spray aerosols by single particle mass spectrometry
06/05/2017 (Mon) at 02:00 PM
Thesis Defense
Jessica Kathleen Peters
Structural Insights Into RNA Splicing
06/06/2017 (Tue) at 04:00 PM
Physical/Analytical Seminar
Professor John Parkhill
Quantum mechanical models with statistical effects and statistical models without quantum effects