Fall 2016 New & Noteworthy

New & Noteworthy

Faculty News

Assistant Professor Gloria Brar
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Assistant Professor Gloria Brar was named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, which supports promising early-career scientists in the health sciences.

Professor David Drubin
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Professor David G. Drubin has been appointed the Ernette Comby Chair in Microbiology, established in 2004 with a unitrust from Robert A. Hoolhorst, who graduated from UC Berkeley in ‘38.

Assistant Professor Dirk Hockemeyer
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Assistant Professor Dirk Hockemeyer was named a Pew-Stewart Scholar for Cancer Research, which supports promising early career scientists whose research will accelerate discovery and advance progress toward a cure for cancer.

Professor Jennifer Doudna
Photo: Keegan Houser
Professor Jennifer Doudna is the recipient of the 2016 Dickson Prize in Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the 2016 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science, and the 2016 Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics.

Assistant Professor Helen Bateup
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Assistant Professor Kaoru Saijo
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Assistant Professors Helen Bateup and Kaoru Saijo were each awarded a 2016-2017 Hellman Fellows Fund award, instituted to support assistant professors who show capacity for great distinction in their research.

Professor Michael Rape
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Professor Michael Rape received a 2016 Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientists in the Life Sciences “for his fundamental discoveries related to ubiquitylation."

Professor Michael Marletta
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Professor Michael Marletta was elected as a new member of the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States.

Professor Randy Schekman
Photo: Elena Zhukova
Professor Randy Schekman received the 2016 Fiat Lux Faculty Award from the Cal Alumni Association, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to advance the University’s philanthropic mission and transform its research, teaching, and programs.

Assistant Professor Stephen Brohawn
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Assistant Professor Evan Miller
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Assistant Professors Stephen Brohawn and Evan Miller received Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Awards in the Neurosciences. Brohawn also received the 2016 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award.

Professor of the Graduate School Robert Zucker
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Professor of the Graduate School Robert Zucker was awarded the 2017 Sir Bernard Katz Award for Excellence in Research on Exocytosis/Endocytosis.

Professor Kathy Collins
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Professor James Hurley
Photo: Roy Kaltschmidt
Professor Kathy Collins and James Hurley were named 2016-2017 Bakar Program Fellows and will receive support to foster faculty entrepreneurship in the STEM+ fields.

Professor Eva Nogales
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Professor Eva Nogales was given the honor of presenting the ASCB Keith Porter Lecture on December 4, 2016 in San Francisco.

Associate Professor Diana Bautista
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Associate Professor Lin He
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Associate Professors Diana Bautista and Lin He have been named 2016 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholars.

Emeritus Professor Mu-Ming Poo
Photo: Dustin Aksland.
Professor Emeritus Mu-Ming Poo has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Gruber Neuroscience Prize for his pioneering and inspiring work on synaptic plasticity.

Graduate Student & Postdoctoral Scholar News

Anita Emmerstorfer-Augustin
Anita Emmerstorfer-Augustin, a new postdoc in Jeremy Thorner’s lab, received a prestigious two-year Erwin Schroedinger Fellowship from the Austrian Science Foundation.

Peter Walentek
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Peter Walentek, a postdoctoral researcher in Richard Harland’s lab, received a K99/R00 NIH Pathway to Independence Award, designed to foster the transition of new investigators to research independence and starting their own labs.

Thornton Thompson
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Thornton Thompson, an MCB graduate student in David Raulet’s Lab, received a Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional National Research Service Award for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (F31), awarded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Matthew Akamatsu
Qingqing Wang
Postdoctoral scholars Matthew Akamatsu, in David Drubin’s lab, and Qingqing Wang, in Donald Rio’s lab, have been named 2016 Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows. This award program supports scholars with the highest potential for success in independent academic careers in chemistry and the life sciences.

2016 MCB Outstanding Postdoctoral Fellow Awards

Emily Guinn
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Emily Guinn, in the Marqusee lab, developed a new technique to address a fundamental question in protein folding using a combination of chemical denaturants, mechanical force, and mutagenesis.

Robin Harris
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Robin Harris, in the Hariharan lab, has made spectacular advances in our understanding of the mechanisms that determine the capacity of an organism to regenerate.

Hugo Tapia
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Hugo Tapia, in the Koshland lab, discovered that in yeast the synergistic action of a simple sugar and an evolutionarily conserved, intrinsically disordered protein are sufficient to provide complete tolerance to desiccation.

Meghan Koch
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Meghan Koch, in the Barton lab, conducts research demonstrating that mice instruct the developing immune systems of their offspring by supplying antibodies in breast milk that bind commensal microbes.

Melanie Gainey
Photo: Mark Joseph Hanson
Melanie Gainey, in the Feldman lab, studies inhibitory neurons and how they implement homeostatic regulation of network activity in the cerebral cortex.

In Memoriam

Erica Pederson
MCB staff member Erica Pederson passed away on May 1, 2016. She was a much-loved and-dedicated member of the DNA Sequencing Facility Team. She contributed tremendously to the expansion of the facility’s services and instrumentation, as well as to the creation of a training manual and updating of standard operating procedures. She was known as a conscientious, skillful, and meticulous worker who also helped organize numerous seminars and workshops and acted as the record-keeper of all the events for the facility.

Professor of the Graduate School Howard Schachman
Photo: Peg Skorpinski
Professor of the Graduate School Howard Schachman passed away on August 5, 2016 at the age of 97. He was an influential biochemist and political and social activist who spoke on issues ranging from scientific misconduct to the commercialization of academia. He was renowned worldwide in the field of protein structure and he also studied virus structure. He was trained as a physical biochemist and employed the ultracentrifuge and other developing tools to gain understanding of how enzymes control protein activity. Dr. Schachman was known for his sense of humor and his dedication to teaching and mentorship of students, which he continued until this year.

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