Assistant Professor Kaoru Saijo was named a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, which supports promising early-career scientists’ work relevant to the advancement of human health.
Professor Ehud Isacoff will lead a team of researchers who received a $21.6 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a light field holographic microscope the size of a sugar cube. The device will read the activity of up to a million neurons in the cerebral cortex and write activity patterns to those neurons to generate sensory perception that replaces lost vision or serves as a brain-machine interface for control of an artificial limb.
Assistant Professor Polina Lishko was named a Rose Hills Innovator by the UC program that supports distinguished early-career faculty, providing seed support for innovative research with exceptionally high scientific promise in STEM.
Assistant Professor Helen Bateup received the Society for Neuroscience Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development Award, which recognizes originality and creativity in neuroscience research.
Professor Marla Feller was elected to the rank of Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, for her outstanding, influential, original discoveries in neuroscience.
Assistant Professor Hernan Garcia and Assistant Adjunct Professor Jacob Corn each received a National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, which supports “highly creative and exceptional scientists with bold approaches to major challenges in biomedical research.” Dr. Garcia also received a Hellman Fellows Fund Award for showing great distinction in his research.
Assistant Professor Evan Miller received the NeuroNex Innovator Award for “research on chemical and genetic methods to measure and manipulate neurons with light.”
Professor Susan Marqusee received the Arthur Kornberg and Paul Berg Lifetime Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences in recognition of her outstanding achievements in research in medicine and the biosciences. While Dr. Marqusee is an expert in the field of protein folding, her work impacts many areas of biomedical research, ranging from the physical chemistry of macromolecules to the design of therapeutics that prevent the aggregation of proteins, which can lead to devastating diseases such as Alzheimer's. This award was established in 2010 and celebrates the lifetime career achievements of Stanford University School of Medicine alumni in the biomedical sciences.
Assistant Professor Stephen Brohawn received a New York Stem Cell Foundation Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Award, which supports bold, innovative scientists with the potential to transform the field of neuroscience; and a 2017 McKnight Scholar Award – one of the most prestigious honors that an early-career neurobiologist can receive.
After departmental and Campus Budget Committee review, David Savage was granted tenure. Congratulations Associate Professor Savage!
Professors Russell Vance and Eva Nogales's research revealing the structure of the inflammasome, which is used by the immune system to signal the onset of an attack by a pathogen, was published in the journal Science. The proteins involved form a ring, and the detailed structural information helps to understand why it is difficult for bacteria to evolve to avoid detection by this system, as well provides new insight into potential strategies for protection from pathogens. Read more about their study here.
Professors Abby Dernburg, Rebecca Heald, Eva Nogales, and Jeremy Thorner were named as ASCB Fellows by the American Society for Cell Biology. They are recognized for their lifetime achievements in advancing cell biology.
Professor Michael Botchan was named Dean of the Division of Biological Sciences in the College of Letters and Science for a five-year term.
Assistant Professor Roberto Zoncu was awarded the first Shurl and Kay Curci Foundation (SKCF) Scholars Award, and will use the funding to identify new ways to treat cancer and understand why certain cancer drugs become ineffective over time.
Assistant Professor Stephan Lammel was named a 2017 Rita Allen Foundation Scholar for research that holds exceptional promise for revealing new pathways to advance human health, and received a Hellman Fellows Fund Award for showing capacity for great distinction in his research.
MCB Visiting Scholar Ian Gibbons received the prestigious Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine, awarded each year by the Shaw Prize Foundation in Hong Kong.
Professor Emeritus Edward Penhoet was honored with the 2017 Fiat Lux Faculty Award from UC Berkeley and the Cal Alumni Association for contributions that advance the University’s philanthropic mission and transform its research, teaching, and programs.
Professor John Ngai was reappointed for an additional five-year term as the Coates Family Endowed Chair in Neuroscience. Dr. Ngai will also lead the UC Berkeley team of investigators working in collaboration with the Allen Institute for Brain Science to create an atlas of cell types in the mouse brain to serve as a basis for understanding how the human brain functions in health and disease.
Professor Jennifer Doudna was honored with the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research for her discovery of CRISPR-Cas9. Dr. Doudna will also lead a research team with UCSF and Sandia National Laboratories to develop better ways to insert gene-editing molecules into living cells.
She and her former graduate student, Sam H. Sternberg, recently co-authored a book about the CRISPR-Cas9 discovery. Read more about the book, A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution, here.
Professor Emeritus of Cell and Developmental Biology Satyabrata Nandi passed away peacefully at his home in Berkeley on July 29, 2017 at the age of 86. He received his PhD in Zoology from UC Berkeley in 1957 after just three years and joined us as a faculty member in 1990. Dr. Nandi made significant contributions to breast cancer research and was recognized by the Indian Ambassador to the US as one of the most outstanding Indian American scientists in the country. His research and teaching career spanned over 40 years and he is still remembered fondly in the department.
Graduate students Melissa Locke, in the Thorner lab, and Taryn Sumabat, in the Hariharan lab, received Cancer Research Coordinating Committee Fellowships that provide full stipend and fees for one year.
Christopher Duncan-Lewis, a graduate student in the Glaunsinger lab, received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study that supports exceptional graduate students who have the potential to be leaders in their fields.
Graduate students Luke Ferro, in the Yildiz lab, and Corey Webster, in the Feller lab, received Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award Fellowships from the National Institutes of Health that support pre-doctoral students with supervised research training leading toward a PhD.
Lindsey Young, a graduate student in the Hurley lab, received a National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award. This prestigious award helps talented graduate students transition into research postdoctoral appointments with opportunities for career development.
Armbien Sabillo, Harland lab, received one of the 2017 SACNAS Student Presentation Awards for his work, titled "A Novel Role for the Neural Plate during X. Laevis Muscle Formation”.
GGD – Florentine Rutaganira, a postdoctoral fellow in the King lab, was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Hanna Gray Fellow, which offers funding to cover postdoctoral and assistant professor transitions to scientists who have the potential to become leaders in academic research.
NEU – Silvio Temprana, a postdoctoral fellow in the Adesnik lab, was named a Pew Latin American Fellow in the Biomedical Sciences. After completion of the fellowship, awardees receive additional funding to return to Latin America and launch their own research labs.
BBS – Fuguo Jiang, a postdoctoral fellow in the Doudna lab and a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellow, works on elucidating the detailed molecular mechanism of the CRISPR/Cas 9 system used in genome editing and gene regulation in eukaryotic organisms.
CDB – Justin Crest, a postdoctoral fellow in the Bilder lab and a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow, has demonstrated that the basement membrane, a seldom-studied extracellular structure that surrounds most animal organs, can impose shape on organs through patterned mechanical properties.
GGD – Amy E. Shyer, a postdoctoral fellow in the Harland lab, works at the interface of biology and the physical sciences, and her groundbreaking experimental contributions have provided new ways to frame vertebrate morphogenesis.
IMP – Isabella Rauch, a postdoctoral fellow in the Vance lab, led a series of collaborative studies describing how intestinal epithelial cells detect invasive bacterial pathogens and coordinate protective immune responses.
NEU – Nicolas Pegard, Adesnik lab, developed a new optical system for the control of neural activity in the brain with millisecond precision, new imaging microscopy, and a new approach to optogenetics.