On May 7, the department held it’s annual All Faculty Meeting virtually via Zoom. MCB faculty came together to celebrate their successes, thank colleagues for their service, welcome new faculty, and discuss issues affecting the department. This year there was a record turnout with approximately 80 faculty attending.
MCB’s response and operational adaptations to SARS-CoV2/COVID-19, a timeline for resuming research, and the state of the campus and department budgets were among the topics discussed. Many MCB labs have pivoted their labs to SARS-CoV2/COVID-19 research. Diana Bautista, Hillel Adesnik, and Stephan Brohawn, who are collaborating, presented their most recent work on screening for FDA-approved compounds that disrupt currents from ion channels encoded in the viral genome. Xavier Darzacq shared updates on a project students from his and Robert Tjian’s lab began – making hand sanitizer for distribution to needy populations throughout the Bay Area. Dirk Hockemeyer and Fyodor Urnov spoke about the Innovative Genomics Institute’s screen for SARS-CoV2 and their efforts to increase local testing opportunities for UC Berkeley students, the City of Berkeley, and front-line workers around the state. New faculty Andrea Gomez (NEU), Alanna Schepartz (BBS), Ellen Lumpkin (CDB), Samantha Lewis (CDB), and Yvette Fisher (NEU) were introduced in breakout sessions. Donald Rio (MCB Co-Chair), Eva Nogales (BBS Division Head), and David Bilder (Head Graduate Advisor) were recognized for their service.
The All Faculty Meeting is a vital forum for input on critical decisions. It’s one of the few occasions when the entire faculty is together. MCB divisions meet regularly throughout the academic year but not with one another, and this meeting serves to connect faculty from all five divisions.
NEU = Neurobiology division
BBS = Biochemistry, Biophysics & Structural Biology division
CDB = Cell & Developmental Biology division