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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


Devaraj Lab Designs New Method to Tag RNA
A team of researchers from Professor Neal Devaraj's Lab in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego have developed a versatile new method for tagging RNA. The team used a bacterial enzyme that recognizes a specific hairpin turn in RNA to make their tagging system. Using chemical links, they developed a system that can attach a variety of molecules to PreQ on the outer curve of the hairpin turn, so that the RNA is tagged with something useful, such as fluorescent die or a molecular handle that allows the visualization within the cell. Their research article was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Professor Wei Xiong Receives DARPA 2015 Young Faculty Award
Wei Xiong, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego, has received the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) 2015 Young Faculty Award (YFA). The award provides funding of up to $1 million to further Dr. Xiong's research developing new spectroscopic techniques for observing ultrafast processes in nanomaterials, more specifically, revealing the relationship between molecular conformation and charge separation dynamics in nano-energy materials by surface sensitive multidimensional spectroscopy.

Professor Rommie Amaro to Lead New Consortium Launched by UC San Diego & TSRI to Create Virtual Cell
UC San Diego and The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) announced the formation of The Visible Molecular Cell Consortium (VMCC), a collaborative effort to assemble and simulate a virtual model of a cell. Rommie Amaro, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC San Diego and Arthur Olson, professor of molecular biology at TSRI, will jointly direct the consortium. The collaboration leverages existing strengths at both institutions to create 3D virtual cells down to the atomic level of detail. VMCC will offer fellowship funding for a dozen graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to work on collaborative projects across multiple disciplines that build bridges between the campuses. Organizers believe insights into cellular behavior gained from the collaboration will be applicable across many scientific fields. Directors' Amaro and Olson have scheduled their first workshop for Friday, October 2, 2015. Researchers interested in learning more about the consortium can direct inquiries to visiblemolecularcell@gmail.com.

Distinguished Professor Vicki Grassian Joins UC San Diego Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is pleased to announce the addition of new faculty member Vicki H. Grassian, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemisty, Nanoengineering and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Dr. Grassian's primary research interests include surface chemistry of environmental interfaces, heterogeneous atmospheric chemistry, climate impact of atmospheric aerosols, and environmental and health aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology. She is currently Co-Director of the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment (CAICE), a National Science Foundation Center for Chemical Innovation, a role in which she will continue at UC San Diego. Grassian is a Fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and AVS – a Society for the Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces and Processing. She has received numerous awards for her research including the National ACS Award for Creative Advances in Science and Technology (2012), the Midwest ACS Award (2014) and the RSC John Jeyes Award (2014).

Tezcan Lab Engineers the First Metal-Organic Framework Constructed from Protein Building Blocks
A team of researchers from the Tezcan Lab in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego have successfully engineered a protein to self-assemble with metal ions and organic linkers to form the first ternary protein-based metal-organic framework (MOF). Their work introduces a new strategy for the rational design of protein crystals as well as a new class of hybrid materials that combine the ability to design, fine tune, and crystallize MOFs with the chemical and structural versatility of proteins. The new materials could be useful for protein drug delivery, new types of biocatalysts, and molecular electronic devices. The research team included Professor Akif Tezcan (Principal Investigator), Dr. Pamela Sontz, Postdoctoral Scholar, Jake Bailey (Graduate Student) and Sophia Ahn (Undergraduate Student). Their research article was published in Chemical & Engineering News and the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), selected as the ACS Editors' Choice by ACS Publications Group, and the Top Most Read Article in JACS in August 2015. To view the full research article click here

GAANN Fellowship Program Awarded $1.1 Million From U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education's Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Program awarded UC San Diego's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry $1.1 million over the next three years to fund its GAANN Fellowship Progam. The award assists the Department in its efforts to attract and retain the most talented graduate students, particularly those from underrepresented groups, and to prepare them to engage in innovative research and teaching careers in the chemical sciences. The funding enables ten GAANN Fellowships to be awarded, in each of the next three years, to continuing doctoral-level students who meet the program eligibility criteria. For additional information, including application deadlines, please click here

Seth Cohen Wins American Chemical Society's 2016 Cope Scholar Award
The American Chemical Society (ACS) named Professor Seth Cohen, faculty member, and former Chair, in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego, as a recipient of the 2016 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award. One of ACS's top national honors, the Cope Scholar Award is presented annually to 10 chemists in recognition and support of excellence in organic chemistry. The award includes $5,000 and a $40,000 unrestricted research grant. Professor Cohen was recognized for his pioneering research associated with the discovery and application of metalloprotein inhibitors targeting diseases ranging from cancer to heart disease to HIV to biohazard infections. He will be honored at the Fall 2016 ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia. Congratulations Seth!


Message from the Chair

Partho Ghosh, Chair

Faculty Spotlight

View profile for Kim Albizati
Kim Albizati

Chemical Education

View profile for Rommie Amaro
Rommie Amaro

Computational Chemistry and Biophysics

View profile for Timothy Baker
Timothy Baker

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

View profile for Stacey Brydges
Stacey Brydges

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

View profile for Michael Burkart
Michael Burkart

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

View profile for Thomas Bussey
Thomas Bussey

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

View profile for Seth Cohen
Seth Cohen

Bioinorganic and coordination chemistry. Metalloprotein inhibitors and supramolecular materials.

View profile for Robert Continetti
Robert Continetti

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

View profile for John Crowell
John Crowell

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

View profile for Edward Dennis
Edward Dennis

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

View profile for Neal Devaraj
Neal Devaraj

Biomimetic Chemistry, Molecular Imaging, Electrochemistry

View profile for Jack Dixon
Jack Dixon

Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Dual=specific Phosphatase, PTEN

View profile for Daniel Donoghue
Daniel Donoghue

Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors (FGFRs) in Human Cancer

View profile for Joshua Figueroa
Joshua Figueroa

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

View profile for Michael Galperin
Michael Galperin

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

View profile for Gourisankar Ghosh
Gourisankar Ghosh

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

View profile for Partho Ghosh
Partho Ghosh

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

View profile for Nathan Gianneschi
Nathan Gianneschi

Bioorganic chemistry, Supramolecular Chemistry, Bionanotechnology, Materials, Synthesis

View profile for Kamil Godula
Kamil Godula

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

View profile for Thomas Hermann
Thomas Hermann

RNA as a Drug Target.

View profile for Patricia Jennings
Patricia Jennings

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 Simpson Joseph
Simpson Joseph

Molecular Mechanism of Protein Synthesis

View profile for Judy Kim
Judy Kim

Biophysical chemistry: Spectroscopic studies of membrane protein folding and dynamics

View profile for Elizabeth Komives
Elizabeth Komives

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

View profile for Clifford Kubiak
Clifford Kubiak

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

View profile for Andrew Kummel
Andrew Kummel

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

View profile for Katja Lindenberg
Katja Lindenberg

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

View profile for James McCammon
James McCammon

Statistical mechanics and computational chemistry, with applications to biological systems

View profile for Mario Molina
Mario Molina

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

View profile for Tadeusz Molinski
Tadeusz Molinski

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

View profile for Ulrich Muller
Ulrich Muller

Evolution of catalytic RNAs, and the Origin of Life

View profile for Joseph O'Connor
Joseph O'Connor

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

View profile for Stanley Opella
Stanley Opella

NMR structural studies of proteins in membranes and other supramolecular assemblies

View profile for Francesco Paesani
Francesco Paesani

Theoretical chemical physics of complex interfaces of relevance to the environment

View profile for Charles Perrin
Charles Perrin

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

View profile for Robert Pomeroy
Robert Pomeroy

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 Kimberly Prather
Kimberly Prather

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

View profile for Arnold Rheingold
Arnold Rheingold

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

View profile for Jeffrey Rinehart
Jeffrey Rinehart

Inorganic, materials, and magnetochemistry

View profile for Michael Sailor
Michael Sailor

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

View profile for Barbara Sawrey
Barbara Sawrey

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

View profile for Amitabha Sinha
Amitabha Sinha

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

View profile for Michael Tauber
Michael Tauber

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

View profile for Susan Taylor
Susan Taylor

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

View profile for Faik Tezcan
Faik Tezcan

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

View profile for Emmanuel Theodorakis
Emmanuel Theodorakis

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

View profile for Mark Thiemens
Mark Thiemens

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

View profile for Navtej Toor
Navtej Toor

Structure and Function of Introns and Retroelements

View profile for Yitzhak Tor
Yitzhak Tor

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

View profile for William Trogler
William Trogler

Inorganic chemistry: polymer chemistry; nanomaterials.

View profile for Roger Tsien
Roger Tsien

Chemical biology; design, synthesis, and application of molecular probes of biological function

View profile for Robert Tukey
Robert Tukey

Environmental toxicology: The role of environmental and chemical toxicants on gene expression

View profile for Elizabeth Villa rodriguez
Elizabeth Villa rodriguez

Structural Cell Biology, Cryo-Electron Microscopy, Multiscale modeling

View profile for Wei Wang
Wei Wang

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

View profile for John Weare
John Weare

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

View profile for Haim Weizman
Haim Weizman

Chemical education, Bioorganic chemistry

View profile for Roy Wollman
Roy Wollman

Spatio-temporal signaling control of biological self-organization. Signaling networks in innate immunity. Microscopy; Mathematical modeling; Computational image analysis; Systems Biology.

View profile for Wei Xiong
Wei Xiong

Investigation of charge transfer mechanism in nanomaterials with novel ultrafast spectroscopies

View profile for Jerry Yang
Jerry Yang

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

View profile for Joel Yuen zhou
Joel Yuen zhou

Theory at the interface of chemistry, condensed matter, and materials physics

View profile for Brian Zid
Brian Zid

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

Events and Seminars

10/08/2015 (Thu) at 12:00 PM
Biochemistry Seminar
Professor Christopher A. Voigt
Cello: A Programming Language for Cells
10/09/2015 (Fri) at 11:00 AM
Inorganic Seminar
Professor Gael Gautier
Porous Silicon in Microelectronics: From Academic Studies to Industry
10/12/2015 (Mon) at 11:00 AM
Department Colloquia
Professor Nathan Gianneschi
Seek, Destroy and Heal: Enzyme-Responsive Nanoparticles as In Vivo Targeted Delivery Systems
10/13/2015 (Tue) at 02:00 PM
Physical/Analytical Seminar
Professor Ryan P. Steele
Vibrational Signatures of Electronic Properties in Energy
10/13/2015 (Tue) at 04:00 PM
Department Colloquia
Professor Haim Weizman
Education Beyond the Classroom: Experiments with Visual Communication
10/15/2015 (Thu) at 12:00 PM
Biochemistry Seminar
Professor Melissa Moore
10/15/2015 (Thu) at 12:00 PM
Biochemistry Seminar
Professor Roger Sunahara