Spring 2015 New and Noteworthy

new and noteworthy

Professor Nicole King
Photos by Mark Hanson
Professor Michael Rape
Professor Russell Vance
Professor Nicole King, Professor Michael Rape and Professor Russell Vance were named Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigators in 2013 in recognition of their creativity and productivity; HHMI provides long-term flexible funding that gives researchers the freedom to take risks, explore unproven avenues, and embrace the unknown. In addition, Nicole King received an honorary Doctor of Science from Lehigh University at their 2015 commencement ceremony.

Professor Jeremy Thorner
Photo: Mark Hanson
Professor Jeremy Thorner was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015 in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. He also received the 2014 Genetics Society of America Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes lifetime contributions in the field of yeast genetics and outstanding community service.

Professor Andrew Dillin
Photo: Denis Poroy
Professor Andrew Dillin will co-direct the Paul F. Glenn Center for Aging Research, a new integrated center for research on neurodegenerative diseases. Funded by $3 million from the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, the center will pave the way for novel treatments for diseases linked to misfolded proteins and/or prions.

Professor Randy Schekman
Professor Randy Schekman was named to the Institute of Medicine, one of the highest national honors in the fields of health and medicine, in 2014, just a year after winning the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Professor George Oster
Professor George Oster received the 2014 Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics, which is intended to encourage dedication to science, originality and excellence.

Professor David Weisblat
Photo: Mark Hanson
Professor David Weisblat received the UC Berkeley Leon A. Henkin Citation for Distinguished Service, which recognizes exceptional commitment to the educational development of students from underrepresented groups.

Professor Daniel Feldman
Photo: Mark Hanson
Associate Professor Dan Feldman received a 2015 UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award as well as a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, which supports exceptional investigators who are recognized as leaders in their field.

Professor Michael Levine
Professor Michael Levine received the Society of Developmental Biology’s 2015 Edwin G. Conklin Medal, which is for distinguished and sustained research in developmental biology.

Professor Helen Bateup
Photo: Mark Hanson
Professor Polina Lishko
Photo: Mark Hanson
Assistant Professors Helen Bateup and Polina Lishko were among the nine UC Berkeley faculty members who received the 2015 Sloan Research Fellowships, which are awarded to young researchers whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars and the next generation of scientific leaders.

Professor Nicholas Ingolia
Photo: Mark Hanson
Professor Elçin Ünal
Photo: Mark Hanson
Assistant Professors Nicholas Ingolia and Elçin Ünal are two of six winners of the 2015 Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award for early career scientists doing novel research into cancer.

Check out all the latest MCB news here:


Professor Russell Vance
Jaclyn Ho, Jennifer Cisson, Drew Friedmann, Wendy Ingram, Christopher Alvaro and Rebecca Lu
A new MCB Graduate Student Support Network provides peer support and guidance for MCB graduate students. The group holds events, and is constructing a website with peer-reviewed campus and community resources geared toward cultivating the emotional, physical, and mental well-being of MCB graduate students. For more information, contact mcb.grad.network (at) gmail.com.

Professor Diana Bautista
Photo: Mark Hanson
Associate Professor Diana Bautista received a 2014 Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience, which recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions by neuroscientists who have recently received their advanced professional degree.

Professor Ehud Isacoff
Photo: Peg Skorpinski
Professor Ehud Isacoff received a 2014 National Science Foundation Early Concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) Award — which is part of President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative — to develop a new optogenetics technology that uses light to tweak synapses, which will help reveal how brain cells process information during learning and memory.

Professor Nipam Patel
Photo: Mark Hanson
Professor Nipam Patel’s work on how butterflies can color their wings with pigmentless “structural color” was featured on KQED Science on December 16, 2014. Watch the video.

Professor Edward Penhoet
Photo: Mark Hanson
UC Berkeley recruited MCB Professor Emeritus Edward Penhoet, who founded Chiron Corporation, as Associate Dean for Strategic Planning to help continue building the foundation that will support the innovations and breakthroughs to come.

Professor Susan Marqusee
Photo: Mark Hanson
Professor Susan Marqusee was selected as a 2015 Biophysical Society Fellow for her work as one of the world’s top experimentalists in the field of protein folding.

Professor Eva Nogales
Photo: Mark Hanson
Professor Eva Nogales was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015 in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. She also received the Protein Society’s 2015 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions in protein science that profoundly influence our understanding of biology.

Professor Dirk Hockemeyer
Assistant Professor Dirk Hockemeyer received a 2015 American Association of Anatomists’ Young Investigator Award, which recognizes early career investigators whose research has made important contributions to biomedical science.

Professor Kaoru Saijo
Photo: Mark Hanson
Assistant Professor Kaoru Saijo has been named a 2015 Searle Scholar, which supports bold and talented early career faculty who have opened up novel approaches to answer fundamental questions in biology and the biomedical sciences.

Professor Carlos Bustamante
Photo: Mark Hanson
Professor Carlos Bustamante was one of six UC Berkeley faculty elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015, which honors leaders in their fields who have made distinct contributions to the nation and the world.

In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Professor Richard Steinhardt
Professor Emeritus Richard Steinhardt, who joined MCB in 1967 and retired in 2005, died on July 10, 2014. A neurobiologist with wide-ranging scientific interests, Steinhardt was known for discovering how calcium regulates cellular functions from oocyte activation after fertilization to plasma membrane repair.