Click here to read the latest announcements about awards received by our faculty

Dust Particles New process of analysis helps scientists understand planet formation

Ming-Chang Liu, professor of earth, planetary, and space sciences (EPSS), and his postdoc Andreas Hertwig, and other collaborators discovered a new way to analyze how planets have formed from smaller particles.

The research focuses on how fast dust-particles had the ability to turn into much larger solids. They found that the dust coagulation was a very efficient process, and it was the first time these samples could be analyzed at such high precision.

Read more here.

Terence Tao, professor of mathematics at UCLATerence Tao praised as one of the greatest mathematicians

Terence Tao, UCLA mathematics professor is praised as “one of the greatest mathematicians of our time” and that his blog is “like a modern-day da Vinci’s notebook” by Popular Mechanics. 

The article focuses on Tao’s most recent blog post about the Collatz Conjecture. Tao’s research on the Collatz Conjecture says that any counterexamples to the rule are going to be incredibly rare, but this doesn’t mean the problem is solved.

Read more about the Collatz Conjecture and Tao’s great research here.

Andrea+Ghez+black+hole+artBlack hole at the center of our galaxy appears to be getting hungrier

Andrea Ghez, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, is the co-senior author on the newest research on our galaxy’s black hole. It appears to be taking in an unusually large amount of interstellar gas and dust, making it much brighter than usual, and researchers are trying to figure out why.

The paper about the study was led by the UCLA Galactic Center Group, which Ghez leads, explains how the researchers analyzed more than 13,000 observations of the black hole. The paper was published in Astrophysical Journal Letters and covered by many news channels: CNN, USA Today, CBS News, Popular Science, etc.

Read more here.

James Rosenzweig

UCLA Physicist honored with a research award from the Department of Energy

James Rosenzweig,  UCLA distinguished professor of physics, has been selected to receive one of 13 research awards from the U.S. Department of Energy for work in particle accelerator science and technology.

Rosenzweig’s project, will be supported by a grant of $2.8 million over three years, concerns theoretical and experimental studies in accelerator physics, with applications touching a wide variety of interdisciplinary science.

Read more here.


UCLA Physicist honored by the Department of Energy

Thomas Dumitrescu, assistant professor of Physics and Astronomy, has been awarded the Department of Energy Office of Science Early Career Award. The award provides university researchers with about $150,000 per year in funding to cover summer salary and research expenses for five years.

Dumitrescu’s research focuses on several aspects of quantum field theory, including applications to particle and condensed matter physics, supersymmetry, string theory and mathematical physics.

Read more here.

Eric Scerri

UCLA expert on the Periodic Table featured in New York Times

Eric Scerri, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and expert of the periodic table, was involved in the conversations around upending the periodic table.

Scerri, and some of his colleagues interested in the history of chemistry, recently held a symposium at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in order to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the periodic table. This meeting, as well as the philosophical underpinnings of periodic classification, were recently the focus of an in-depth feature article in the New York Times that has been reprinted in newspapers and websites across the world.

Read the article here.

Chemistry professor wins 2019 American Chemical Society Award

Hosea Nelson, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has been named the recipient of the 2019 American Chemical Society’s Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award. This award honors excellence in organic chemistry.

Neslon’s research focuses on the discovery of chemical reactions that will enable the efficient and environmentally benign syntheses of fuels, materials, and medicines. Nelson will be presented the award next August at the society’s fall meeting, where he will present a research lecture.

Read more here.

T-FLO for membrane filtration

New technique for membrane filtration

Richard Kaner, UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry professor, is the senior author on a new study that may improve treating wastewater, desalination processes, and conducting kidney dialysis. All of these processes use a membrane filter that separates unwanted substances from important ones. UCLA researchers have developed a new technique called thin-film liftoff.

This new technique will offer a more effective and energy efficient membrane production. This is the first major improvement for this process in over 30 years.

Read more here.

Clarke and Warmack

New insights on Alzheimer’s from UCLA Biochemists

UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry professors and students, David Eisenberg, Rebeccah Warmack, Steven Clarke, Tamir Gonen, and Jose Rodriguez, have made leeway on what goes on inside a brain as Alzheimer’s progresses. There is a small protein beta amyloid, known as a peptide, that plays a role in Alzheimers. Warmack found that a specific version of this peptide contains a second molecular zipper that was not known to exist before this study. This second zipper is very hard to pry apart and forms a kink, which they believe plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

The great thing about this discovery is that with the knowledge of what goes on, researchers can now think about ways to solve it!

Read more here.

Kuo-Nan Liou changing the world of climate projection

Kuo-Nan Liou, a Distinguished professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, has spent his career conducting forward-thinking and future-focused research on climate change and projection. From his work with colleagues in the Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering (JIFRESSE) which Dr. Liou founded in 2006, he and his associates have been awarded a three year, $2.1 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Program Office to improve climate models.

Other than this recent work, Dr. Liou has had ground breaking research published in various research journals over the past few years including for his work on man-made aerosols effecting ice clouds, and ways to improve China’s poor air conditions.

Read more here.

Eric ScerriNBC News and UCLA Chemistry professor look into the history of the periodic table

Eric Scerri, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, shares the insights of the history of the periodic table with NBC news as the periodic table celebrates the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the periodic table. The periodic table provides an organized way to study the facts of chemistry.

Scerri will also be speaking at the 4th International Conference on the Period Table, which he helped organize, this month.

Click here to read more.

Andrea Ghez

Andrea Ghez questions Einstein’s general theory of relativity with a star orbiting a black hole

Andrea Ghez, professor of Physics & Astronomy, and her research team tested Einstein’s theory of relativity with a comprehensive test of general relativity near the monstrous black hole at the center of our galaxy as a star orbited it. They found that the theory of relativity stands true for now, but shows some vulnerability, as it cannot explain gravity inside a black hole.

This research has been featured in CNN, Forbes, NBC,, National Geographic, and many more!

Click here to read more.

CNSI Photo

American Chemical Society honors UCLA Nanoscience

As UCLA celebrates its’ centennial year, the American Chemical Society celebrated some of the great achievements of UCLA researchers and partners nationwide in a special issue of ACS Nano. UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry faculty Professors Anne Andrews, Sarah Tolbert, Jeffrey Zink, and Paul Weiss were among the co-authors of the editorial titled “Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at UCLA”.

The editorial highlights UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) and the interdisciplinary work UCLA does here and even within the entertainment industry of Los Angeles.

Click here to read more.

Iron Platinum Nanoparticle

Atomic motion is captured in 4D for the first time

A UCLA-led team, with physics professor, Jianwei Miao, as the senior author, gained a never-before-seen view of nucleation. As they saw the atoms rearrange at 4D atomic resolution, they discovered something that proved the classical theory of nucleation wrong. The researchers observed that the nuclei formed irregular shapes, unlike stated in the classical theory. They also found that there was no sharp boundary, as explained by the classical theory, and more!

The findings were published in the journal Nature, after collaboration with researchers nationwide from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Buffalo, and University of Nevada, Reno.

Click here to read more.

Dimitri Professor discusses the importance of mathematics with BBC News

Dimitri Shylakhtenko, UCLA math professor and the Director of Pure and Applied Mathematics, discusses both the importance of teaching and learning mathematics. He admits there is a flaw in how it is taught, he states “if you see math as a style of thinking instead of memorization, it becomes a life skill that enables everything.”

This BBC article, titled “What’s the right age to quit maths?” was based on recent rebellions from New York art students as they are forced to take math classes until they leave school. However, professors like Shylakhtenko were brought together here to prove that math is important for any career, and as long as it is taught in a less abstract way, it will be a vital tool to any person.

Click here to read more.

X-ray binary

New discovery about binary star systems was featured by the American Astronomical Society

UCLA physics and astronomy graduate student, Alexander Stephan, recently published research featured by the American Astronomical Society. He shows that when binary stars are under the influence of a nearby supermassive black hole, two things can happen: they may be torn apart or become closer than ever.

Ultimately, the researchers found that after a few hundred million years, 75% of binary systems have been torn apart by gravitational interactions, and of the remaining 25% they either merge or become very close binary systems.

Click here to read more

UCLA Math video wins National Science Foundation competition

At the 2019 National Math Festival, the National Science Foundation announced the winners of its NSF We are Mathematics  Video Competition, and UCLA was one of them! Marcus Roper’s Lab submitted MycoFluidics: The Math of Fungal Adaptation, depicting how researchers use mathematical models to show how fungi build “highways” that solve the problems of congestion.

The competition was an opportunity for the research community to showcase mathematical sciences research using video storytelling that is accessible to a broad audience.

To watch the video, click here. 

William Duke

Math Conference to honor William Duke

While any birthday is an exciting time for many, UCLA Department of Mathematics professor William Duke will be honored on his 61st by the Forschungsinstitut für Mathematik (FIM), also known as the Institute of Mathematical Research, with a conference bringing more than 200 mathematicians from around the world together.

Arithmetic, geometry, and modular forms: a conference in honour of Bill Duke will be held from June 17-21, 2019 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich to celebrate not only Duke’s birthday, but also his everlasting contributions in arithmetic of modular forms that many mathematicians have used as a basis for their own research.

Click here to read more. 


UCLA research outlines the evolution of math and physics of the geosciences

Michael Ghil, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences faculty member, has provided the world of science with a paper on “A century of nonlinearity in the geosciences.” Ghil points out a small selection of the key nonlinear achievements from math and physics in the geosciences, from fluid dynamics to applications related to geophysical turbulence.

This paper was chosen to be part of AGU’s “Research Spotlight” section for bringing a broad overview of the development and application of such concepts that have brought researchers from numerous disciplines to the geosciences.

Click here to read more. 

Michael Jung

UC Investments honor chemistry professor for innovative life saving drug

Michael Jung, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is the researcher at the forefront of the largest-ever technology transfer deal involving a University of California invention. UCLA sold the royalty rights to Jung’s compound that has created a drug for treatment of prostate cancer to Xtandi for $1.14 billion.

The annual UC Investments report, Innovate, honored Jung for this achievement and gave a glimpse of exciting research developments for the future. Jung mentioned his most recent life-changing project, a small molecule that promotes hair growth.

Click here to read more in Innovate


Inspired by spider webs, UCLA researchers create water vapor capture system

UCLA engineers and mathematicians designed an effective water vapor capture system that could be used to produce clean, fresh water, or to recycle industrial water. This method could also be used to produce clean water from the evaporation of high salinity wastewaters or from the steam escaping from cooling towers.

The researchers reported that this method has 200% increase in efficiency compared to existing technologies designed to capture water vapor. The study was published in Science Advances.

Click here to read more and see it in action. 

Lowry Christofk and Jung

UCLA licenses technology to combat hair loss to company founded by faculty

UCLA professors Heather Christofk, William Lowry, and Michael Jung discovered a compound that, while testing in research mice, enabled hair follicle stem cells to promote lactate production, and thus, hair growth.

With this discovery, the technology and compounds have been licensed by UCLA to Pelage Pharmaceuticals, a startup company founded by the three professors. Here they plan to improve and develop new drugs for people with baldness or alopecia.

Click here to read more. 

Graphic of carbon simulations

New insights help clarify inner workings of Earth

Two new studies show that carbon and ice take exotic forms that could help scientists understand the composition of Earth’s core and other planet’s cores across the galaxy. Craig Manning, Natalia Solomatova, and other researchers found that high pressure deep inside the Earth may have driven vast stores of carbon into the core while setting the stage for diamonds to form. Until now it was not clear whether or not Earth had locked away even more carbon than is in the atmosphere.

Researchers from around the nation came together for this discovery. It led to two new papers published in the journal of Nature and one in Nature Communications.

Click here to read more. 

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences students discover an elegant explanation for electrostatic structures

Postdoctoral AOS students Xin An and Jinxing Li, with Jacob Bortnik as their faculty adviser, recently found an explanation to the unknown phenomenon of electrostatic structures. These structures are only seen in the electric field and have an effect on particles, which accelerates them in a chain to high energy radiation belts.

With the technology, research, and colleagues at UCLA, plus funding from NASA/H- TIDeS program, An and Li discovered parallels in these structures to whistler-mode chorus waves. This explanation has enlightened the science community by finding a connection between two structures that previously were not known to be related. 

Click here to read more. 

Casey Jennifer

Chemistry faculty sweep 2019 teaching awards

From teaching assistants to Senate Faculty to Non-Senate Faculty, three UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry faculty members were lauded by Distinguished Teaching Awards.

Professor Anastassia Alexandrova was recognized with the award for Senate Faculty. Alexandrova brings the utmost respect and admiration to the scholarship of teaching. She is known for her ability to capture a student’s attention and make them enthusiastic about theoretical chemistry. Read more here.

Graduate student Katherine Winchell was selected for the 2019 Distinguished Teaching Award for Teaching Assistants. After graduating in 2015, Winchell developed and taught a course on teaching students about the available clean and renewable energy and volunteers with the California NanoSystems Institute’s nanoscience outreach program. She hopes to continue to teach at undergraduate institution to improve the chemistry curricula. Read more about her amazing accomplishments here.

Most recently, Jennifer Casey, who received her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2014, joined these astounding women with the 2019 Distinguished Teaching Award for Non-Senate Faculty for her active-learning techniques that help engage students and foster their confidence. She has taken a large role in the Chemistry 192A class which is a stepping stone for aspiring science high school teachers, showing her admiration for education. She has a commitment not only to education but also growth and excellence. Click here to read more.

Alex Arnold receives award

Climate Science student awarded UC President’s Award for Outstanding Student Leadership

Alex Arnold, a graduate student studying climate science in the Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, was given this honor for her exceptional leadership in student mentorship and building pathways to STEM higher education for underrepresented students. She has been a huge part of the creation of Environmental Justice and First Nations, an inclusive academic collaboration with Navajo Technical University.

Arnold also plays a large part in both the Organization for Cultural Diversity in Science and the Center for Diverse Leadership in Science at UCLA. Janet Napolitano, the University of California President, chose Arnold along with one student from UCSD for embodying what the UC system stands for: student activism and public service.

Click here to read more. 

Liu, Rodriguez, and Sletten

Chemistry teams discover a novel use for perfluorocarbons

Chong Liu, an assistant professor of Chemistry, is a pioneer in artificial photosynthesis, a concept which mimics natural photosynthesis in order to synthesize chemicals from water and air – all generated by renewable electricity through solar panels.

Liu, graduate student Roselyn Rodrigues, and Chemistry & Biochemistry professor Ellen Sletten combined their knowledge in order to overcome some of these limitations. The Sletten group had discovered the use of perfluorocarbons and a polymer to create nanoemulsions. Liu brought this idea to bacteria, and it worked, converting carbon dioxide to a useful chemical.

Click here to read more.

Michael Jung

UCLA Professor named UC Presidential Chair in Medicinal Chemistry

Michael Jung, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was named UC Presidential Chair in Medicinal Chemistry. A leader in the field of synthetic organic and medicinal chemistry, Jung was bestowed with the prestigious chair created by the Chancellor’s office to honor UCLA’s most accomplished faculty.

Jung has developed two molecules that are being used to treat thousands of men who have serious forms of prostate cancer. In 2017, Jung and his wife, Alice, endowed the Michael and Alice Jung Chair in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery to enable UCLA to hire a faculty member who will conduct drug discovery research with the goal of producing effective new pharmaceuticals.

Click here to read more.

Blue Dawn Team

UCLA students touch space with a microgravity experiment

The Bruin Spacecraft Group aims to solve questions of space science and foster a community of space scientists at UCLA.  The students used their passion and knowledge to create an efficient fluid pump without moving parts. This type of pump is ideal for moving various liquids on the International Space Station.

The students created a magnetic pump, with a weight of less than one pound, and tested it both on ground and in space. Their pump was aboard Blue Origin’s reusable rocket when it launched on May 9, making it the first space payload developed and built entirely by a UCLA student group.

Click here to read more.


Organization for Diverse Leadership in Science pioneering outreach and inclusivity

In the efforts to diversify the STEM fields of universities all across the nation, OCDS was created almost ten years ago in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department, but has since become a wide-spread STEM organization to promote multiculturalism and inclusion in the field, especially at the graduate level.

OCDS is led by graduate students who are in turn advised by a long-time faculty mentor, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Miguel García-Garibay, who is also dean of the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences.

Click here to read more about OCDS.

Snow falling

UCLA scientists create new device that generates electricity from snowfall

The device is the first of its kind, is inexpensive, small, thin, and flexible. The device provides its own power, and can tell you how much snow is falling, the direction it is falling, and the direction and speed of the wind. And it was developed by UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry professor Richard Kaner and his research group.

The technical name of the device is a snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator, or a snow TENG. It generates a charge through static electricity and produces energy from the exchange of electrons. Since snow is positively charged and gives up electrons, when it comes in contact with silicone, a negatively charged material, it produces a charge that the device captures and then produces electricity.

Click here to read more.


UCLA graduate student discovers the farthest inbound long-period comet ever detected at record distance from the sun

UCLA Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences (EPSS) Graduate Student Man-To Hui has discovered the farthest active comet ever, at 25.8 times the distance from the Earth to the sun (which is the definition of an astronomical unit, or AU). Hui’s research on Long Period Comet C/2010 U3 (Boattini), , breaks the previously held record by Hui in a collaboration with UCLA Professor David Jewitt — Hui’s Ph. D adviser — in their 2017 research for distant active comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) at 23.7 AU.

“The most profound implication is that the direction of the comet’s tail is totally unexpected without the inclusion of the third additional force, the Lorentz Force,” Hui said. The other two are conventional solar radiation pressure and the local solar gravity. The Lorentz force is a combined force between the electric and magnetic fields acting on a point charge that is moving. As the solar wind pushes against the materials liberated from the surface of a comet, we experience an ion tail which is one of the two tails comets typically have; the other is the dust tail.

Hui’s research utilized data from telescopes that had imaged the same field Boattini was in.“Comets truly are time capsules and icy remnants from the early formation of the solar system and an important component for planetary scientists is to understand why they become active at such large distances,” said Dave Milewski, a fourth year Ph.D student in Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences.

The accompanying archival image is of comet C/2010 U3 (Boattini), taken by UCLA Professor David Jewitt at the W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawaii Island with the 10-meter telescope in Hawaii on January 30, 2011. The Keck Telescope is  operated by a partnership between the University of California, Caltech and the University of Hawaii.

Read the article published in The Astronomical Journal here.

Alireza Moshaverinia and Paul Weiss

UCLA researchers develop new class of membranes to regenerate tissue and bone

A team of UCLA  researchers, including Paul Weiss of chemistry and biochemistry, as a co-lead author, have created a reliable method of therapy for bone regeneration with biological and mechanical features that can be adjusted based on treatment needs.

This method is proven to be a reliable therapy for periodontal disease, a disease that affects nearly half of Americans ages 30 or over. This is a chronic, destructive disease that can lead to bone and tooth loss.  These membranes have the ability to prolong the delivery of useful drugs, it is also expanding beyond periodontitis treatment to other wound healing needs.

Click here to read more and read the published study here.

Sensor on glove

UCLA scientists develop fire-retardant sensors for safety gear in harsh environments

Richard Kaner, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry was the lead researcher on this study. Kaner worked with other UCLA researchers and faculty at two other universities to design this self-extinguishing motion sensor and power generator. The device is no bigger than a quarter, may be embedded in shoes or clothing worn by workers in harsh environments.

The device, called the fire-retardant triboelectric nanogenerator, can detect when wearers are in danger or disabled because it can sense the difference between various movements, like walking, running, jumping, and stillness. Current triboelectric nanogenerators cannot withstand harsh environments, thus this one is made of a carbon aerogel that is light weight and stable in high temperatures.

Click here to read more.

Galactic chimneys in Milky Way

UCLA astronomer discovers exhaust vents for vast energies produced at Milk Way’s center

Mark Morris, UCLA professor of astronomy and astrophysics, was a co-author of a study that found two exhaust channels,they called “galactic center chimneys”, that seem to funnel matter and energy away from the cosmic fireworks in the Milk Way’s center. The researchers used a satellite that detects cosmic X-rays because X-rays are emitted by extremely hot gas, they are useful for mapping energetic environments in space.

These discoveries may provide insight for why some galaxies are bursting with star formation whereas others are dormant. Although, our galaxy is not that extreme, the Milk Way’s center provides an up close look at what might be happening in galaxies that are more energetic. This recent research study is posted in the Journal Nature.

Click here to read more.

Big Bang Theory cast and UCLA students join in an 8-clap

‘The Big Bang Theory’ to support twice as many UCLA students

As the popular television show ‘The Big Bang Theory’ nears its final season on air, the Big Bang Theory Scholarship Endowment, that funds scholarships for low-income UCLA students who are pursuing degrees in the STEM fields, has announced that they will be doubling the amount of students they award each year, from five to ten.

The first group of Big Bang scholars, who will graduate this spring, were given the opportunity to visit the set of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and meet the cast. The cast recognized the students’ hardwork and achievements. Mayim Balik, who plays Amy on the show, is a UCLA alumna and was especially proud of this class and the connection she has to them.

Click here to read more.

Putnam Logo

UCLA math students rank 3rd nationwide in Putnam Math Competition

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is an annual math competition for undergraduates that challenges the problem solving skills of the prestigious mathematics students. The questions cut across various disciplines and make students think outside the box. UCLA offers courses such as Math 100 that prepares its’ students for such a challenge.

The UCLA 2018 Putnam team ranked 3rd out of 568 institutions, one of the best results in UCLA history, matching that of 1968 and 2012. Twelve of the top 500 students nationwide were UCLA student competitors. This includes Xiaoyu Huang and Kaiqi Zhu, who each received a prize for ranking in the top 27 nationwide. Huang will also receive the Basil Gordon Prize, as the top scorer among UCLA students.

Click here to read more.

Adeyami Adebiyi

UCLA Postdoctoral Researcher received the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellows Award

Dr. Adeyemi Adebiyi, a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA, who received his PhD from the University of Miami in 2016, was just selected as University California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow. Over 900 people applied to this award and only 32 across all of the UC campuses were selected.

Adebiyi’s current research focuses on the impact of atmospheric dust on regional and global climate and this Fellows Award honors the hard work he has put in. The President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program aims to advance excellence through faculty diversity, and Adebiyi exemplifies that excellence!

Click here to read more about the Fellowship Program.

Gavin and Ignacio

Local eighth grade student wins science fair with the help of UCLA’s Molecular Instrumentation Center

Gavin Loughran, eighth grader at a nearby middle school, contacted Dr. Ignacio Martini, the director of the MIC here at UCLA, who gave Gavin access to a UV/vis spectrometer, which ultimately helped him win his science fair.

Gavin was interested in whether or not colored glass would absorb UVA rays and, if so, which color worked best. He realized his experiment would need more advanced instruments than were provided at his school, which is when he reached out to Dr. Martini for the help.

Click here to read more.

Palu Earthquake aftermath

UCLA study classifies Indonesia’s devastating 2018 earthquake as a rare ‘supershear’

Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor Lingseng Meng and a team of UCLA scientists have spent months analyzing the speed, timing, and extent of the 2017 Palu earthquake. They ultimately found that the earthquake was unusually fast and identified it as a supershear – recognized by the rupture in the earth’s crust moving very fast along a fault, causing up-and-down or side-to-side waves that shake the ground. This immense shaking ultimately caused a multitude of landslides and liquefactions.

Click here to read more more.

Guillaume Chanfreau

UCLA Chemistry professor awarded $1.97 million to study gene regulation

Guillaume Chanfreau, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, received the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for his research.

The funding will go toward his research on how genes regulate after transcription, how cells mediate RNA quality control, and how dysfunction of enzymes in RNA degradation can lead to human diseases.

Click here to read more more about this work.


UCLA Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences group spearhead a study on oil dispersion in the ocean

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences professor Marcelo Chamecki and his research group have been working with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative for five years on a study about the chemical dispersants during the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in 2010. The team has produced a simulation model to follow patterns of the total oil mass, which seems to indicate vertical mixing and biodegradation.

Click here to read more.

Vladimir Vassiliev and the gamma-ray telescope

UCLA Physics and Astronomy professor leads development of first-of-its-kind telescope for gamma-ray astronomy

Since 2012, Physics & Astronomy professor Vladimir Vassiliev has served as principal investigator on the Schwarszchild-Couder Telescope, which has the ability to study gamma rays in the sky with 10 times better sensitivity than current telescopes. It will help give insight to extreme environments in the universe.

The Schwarszchild-Couder  is part of the Cherenkov Telescope Array project that will construct the world’s largest and most sensitive gamma-ray observatory with 118 telescopes. Click here to read more on UCLA’s contribution, and click here for information on the construction of the Schwarszchild-Couder Telescope.

Quasar Image

Two UCLA astronomers use split images to understand how fast the universe is expanding

Physics and Astronomy professor Tommaso Treu and Simon Birrer, a UCLA postdoctoral scholar, have used split images of quasars to understand the Hubble constant, a number that relates the distances to the redshifts of galaxies. This is a question that has been disputed for nearly a century by astronomers.

Treu and Birrer turned to quasars as a light source to measure that hasn’t been used in other science calculations. The team is continuing to search for more quasars to include their precision. Meanwhile, their work has been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Read more about the research here.

Margaret Kivelson

Margaret Kivelson wins Royal Astronomical Society 2019 Gold Medal

Kivelson, professor of earth, planetary, and space sciences, is awarded this gold medal for her  “lifetime of outstanding achievement in understanding planetary magnetospheres and their connections to the planets they surround,” according to the society.

Kivelson has accomplished a lot for the space science community that has set her apart; she discovered the ocean inside Europa and the magnetic field around Ganymede — Jupiter’s largest moon; she also co-authored a book that is now educating large communities of young space scientists, and much more.

Read more about this amazing accomplishment here.

DIYnamics Project

UCLA’s DIYnamics group create affordable and fun science education instrument

Jonathan Aurnou, a UCLA professor of earth, planetary and space sciences and founder of the project, noted that part of his hope in this project was to make science accessible for all, and make younger students realize that science is not beyond their abilities.

The device is a do-it-yourself tool to help students of all ages learn about geophysical fluid dynamics in the climate, atmosphere, and ocean. All of the parts can be bought for about fifty dollars and the group has put together a website and YouTube channel to instruct teachers and students how to put it together and provides lesson plans.

Read more here. 

Wirtanen Comet (Credit: NASA)

UCLA Physics and Astronomy Professors observe comet with newly developed technology

Ian McLean and Michael Fitzgerald, Physics and Astronomy faculty, are among those observing the comet Wirtanen from the W.M Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

McLean was the principal investigator of the original Near-Infrared Spectrograph in 1999. Fitzgerald is currently the principal investigator of the observatory’s improved Near-Infrared Spectrograph that provides crisp and clear images of the comet that have never been seen before.

Read more here. 

InSight lander illustration

NASA’s InSight landing brings first piece of UCLA to the surface of Mars

Three UCLA researchers had reason to celebrate heartily as NASA’s Insight lander touched down on Mars.

Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor Chris Russell and his team built the first magnetometer to touch down on Mars. He and fellow EPSS professor Caroline Beghein along with EPSS researcher Peter Chi are also part of the data analysis team studying Marsquakes.

Click here to read more

2018 AAAS Fellows

Four Physical Sciences faculty named American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows

Six UCLA faculty members- four from the division of Physical Sciences were named AAAS 2018 Fellows for their scientifically or socially distinguished work to advance science.

Heather Maynard, Neil Garg, Xiangfeng Duan, and Carla Koehler, all professors of Chemistry and Biochemistry, are honored by this recognition and what it means for their career, their students, and their research. We asked them about how they got to where they are and what this fellowship means to them for their future endeavors.

Read more here. 

UCLA Chemistry Lab

Physical Sciences faculty ranked among the worlds most influential scientific researchers

In Clarivate Analytics list of the most highly cited researchers, 41 are from UCLA, and 10 of them are Physical Sciences faculty.

Jeffrey Zink, Edward Wright, Terence Tao, Stanley Osher, Saveeha Merchant, Peter Kareiva, Richard Kaner, Wotao Yin, Kendall Houk, and Xiangfeng Duan were ranked in the top one percent in their fields for producing widely cited studies.

Click here to read more.

Christopher Russell

Chris Russell celebrates 50 years since receiving his PhD from UCLA

Russel, professor of geophysics and space physics in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, received his PhD in December 1968 and hasn’t left UCLA since.

Russell has published over 1,800 scientific papers and worked on ground-breaking space missions, including Apollo 15 and 16; the Pioneer Venus Orbiter; Galileo; Cassini; and the recent Mars InSight Mission. He is also the principal investigator on Dawn, NASA’s mission to the dwarf planet of Ceres and the asteroid, Vesta.

Read more here.

Ellen Sletten

Ellen Sletten is awarded National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award

Ellen Sletten, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, awarded a $1.5 million five year grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Sletten utilizes physical organic chemistry to find new therapeutic and diagnostic technologies, the research she was awarded for is titled “Bioorthogonal host guest chemistry for tandem imaging and therapy.” This research focuses on creating new methods to treat diseases with specific metabolic features.

Click here to read more.

Researchers: Nelson, Gonen, Martynowycz, Jones, and Rodriguez

UCLA Scientists develop new technique that could accelerate drug discovery

A group of UCLA scientists developed a new technique that will allows researchers to use small molecule samples in order to determine the structures of organic molecules.

This team is led by Christopher Jones, a chemistry and biochemistry graduate student, and a team of 4 other UCLA chemistry and biochemistry researchers: Hosea Nelson, Tamir Gonen, Michael Martynowycz, and Jose Rodriguez.

This new development could speed up the processes for drug development and manufacturing.

Read more here.

Aradhna Tripati pictured center

Aradhna Tripati speaks at East Los Angeles College Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Tripati, an Associate Professor of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences; and Director and Founder of UCLA’s Center for Diverse Leadership in Science, was honored as the keynote speaker in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for East Lost Angeles College’s new Physics and Earth Sciences building on November 13th.

Professor Tripati encouraged those present to strive in STEM. She aimed to inspire them to transfer to complete STEM courses at the upper-graduate level and ultimately use these skills in the growing job market.

Read more here.

Professor Juli Feigon

UCLA Researchers discover drug that could fight brain cell death for those with Alzheimer’s disease

Many biochemistry students and faculty, including professor Juli Feigon, have worked with other UCLA researchers to discover a drug that could block the protein that kills brain cells in Alzheimer’s disease.

The drug ALI6 was the most promising drug the researchers found in shielding the brain cells from the protein that attaches to and kills them. The team cultured mouse brain cells and exposed them to the toxic b-amyloid proteins, then treated some cells with ALI6 and compared levels of cell death between groups. This is a step in the right direction for Alzheimer’s disease prevention.

Click here to read more.

Lingsen Meng

Lingsen Meng and other UCLA scientists are improving our understanding of earthquakes

Current research by UCLA scientists is groundbreaking for understanding how the earth moves below us. Lingsen Meng, assistant professor of Geophysics, proposes a new system of forecasting earthquakes.

Meng offers a new system of in-ground sensors that would warn us of possible earthquake activity and connect researchers to a network that would alert them of motion in populated urban areas.

Read the recent publication on the Evolution of Earthquakes and the studies being done to improve our safety here.

Chris Regan

Chris Regan leads research on previously invisible electronic activity of devices

Chris Regan (Professor in Physics and Astronomy) is developing technology that may allow scientists and engineers to watch molecule activity inside electronic devices, i.e. smartphones, and computers. This information would ultimately help improve functionality of such devices.

Previously, electron microscopes did not have the ability to see this electronic activity. This breakthrough was published in Physical Review Applied.

Click here to read more about this discovery.

Daniele BianchiDaniele Bianchi co-authors study on deoxygenation of northwest Atlantic waters that has Canada concerned

Professors worldwide joined Bianchi (Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Faculty) to produce the recent Nature Climate Change study, focusing on deoxygenation in the northwest Atlantic because of changing ocean currents. Due to this, the Gulf of St. Lawrence is warming and losing oxygen faster than almost any other ocean.

This research has raised great concerns in Canada about species ecosystems and other environmental effects. This area of the Gulf Stream is rich in biodiversity, but these discoveries show risks to many of the bottom dweller animals and may soon displace them as the oxygen levels worsen over time.

Click here to read the article about Bianchi’s Nature Climate Change study.

Click here to read Canada’s reaction to this discovery.

UCLA-led physics-chemistry team wins $2.7 million award for quantum computing

A research team from UCLA, USC, Caltech and Harvard, led by Wesley Campbell, UCLA associate professor of physics, has been awarded a three-year $2.7 million U.S. Department of Energy Quantum Information Science Research Award.

The emerging, multidisciplinary field of quantum information science is expected to lay the foundation for the next generation of computing and information processing, as well as many other innovative technologies. With this funding, faculty in chemistry and physics will develop and study “molecules functionalized with optical cycling centers,” accelerating research into next-generation chemical systems for quantum information storage and processing.

The grant to the UCLA-led team was one of 27 grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science to develop new quantum materials. The awards were made in conjunction with the White House Summit on Advancing American Leadership in Quantum Information Science. Click here to read more.

Margaret Kivelson and her pioneering planetary science profiled in The New York Times

The breakthrough research and discoveries by Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor Margaret Kivelson were put in the spotlight by a recent profile in The New York Times entitled, “How Do You Find an Alien Ocean? Margaret Kivelson Figured It Out”.

Kivelson’s many accolades include election to the National Academy of Sciences and receiving the Kuiper Prize from the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences, which recognizes and honors outstanding contributors to planetary science. Most recently, Kivelson was announced as the recipient of the European Geosciences Union’s 2019 Jean Dominique Cassini Medal, “bestowed to scientists who have achieved exceptional international standing in planetary and space sciences, defined in their widest senses, for their merit and their scientific achievements.”

Click here to read the article about Kivelson on The New York Times website (which offers a limited number of free articles per month per reader).

Click here to watch a video of Kivelson delivering a distinguished lecture for EPSS this spring.

Ellen Sletten receives prestigious $1.5 million New Innovator Award from National Institutes of Health

The NIH Director’s New Innovator Award supports unusually innovative research from early career investigators. Sletten, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, received the award for her proposal on new methods to image and treat diseases that have distinct metabolic features.

The High-Risk, High-Reward Program, created to support the work of exceptionally creative scientists, is supported by the NIH Common Fund. 58 New Innovator Awards were made in 2018 and a total of 89 grants were awarded across the program.

“This program supports exceptionally innovative researchers who have the potential to transform the biomedical field,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “I am confident this new cohort will revolutionize our approaches to biomedical research through their groundbreaking work.”

Click here to read more.

First satellites built entirely at UCLA are now in orbit

Click below to read two stories about the ELFIN cubesats, which successfully launched aboard the Delta II rocket on Sept. 15. The satellites were built by more than 250 undergraduates over five years and will be contributing important data to the study of space weather.

We have liftoff of student-built satellites (includes a video of the successful rocket launch on Sept. 15)

UCLA students launch project that’s out of this world (includes video of the making of the satellites and some of the students behind the project)

Neil Garg named inaugural Kenneth N. Trueblood Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Award-winning educator and researcher Neil Garg has been selected as the first professor to hold UCLA’s Kenneth N. Trueblood Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Biochemistry.

The Trueblood chair was established in 2017, funded by a gift from the estate of the late Kenneth and Jeanie Trueblood, with matching funds from the department of chemistry and biochemistry and the office of Miguel García-Garibay, dean of the division of physical sciences in the UCLA College.

Click here to read more about this and other endowed chairs within the Physical Sciences.

Zeeshan ParvezUCLA Marine veteran and materials chemistry student will help make soldiers safer

Zeeshan Parvez plans to use his studies in materials chemistry to help protect others against improvised explosive devices.

Parvez mentioned how these improvised explosive devices are some of the most dangerous things on the battlefield, and regardless of what war is going on these explosives will remain. He has come back to UCLA to study material chemistry in hope to keep the military safer in the future.

Read more here.

UCLA-led team develops new system for tracking chemicals in the brain

UCLA and Columbia University researchers have developed a new method for tracking the activities of small molecules in the brain, including the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

“Understanding the fundamentals of how neurotransmission occurs will help us understand not only how our brains work, but what’s going on in psychiatric disorders,” said Anne Andrews, the study’s lead author, a UCLA professor of psychiatry and chemistry.

The research, which was published in the journal Science, is part of the BRAIN Initiative, a collaboration among government, private industry, nonprofits, and colleges and universities. Click here to read more.

UCLA ranked No. 1 public university by U.S. News & World Report

UCLA tops the list of U.S. public universities in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings, which were published Sept. 09.

UCLA also shined in category-specific rankings published as part of the report. UCLA was ranked No. 1 for economic diversity among the top 25 universities, based on the number of undergraduate students receiving Pell Grants (36 percent at UCLA). In addition, the publication chose UCLA as the No. 1 public institution among the “best colleges for veterans” and No. 4 among all universities, which is up one spot from 2018.

Click here to read more.

UCLA is No. 1 U.S. public university in Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education survey

2018 marks the second consecutive year UCLA was rated the top U.S. public university by the WSJ/THE analysis.

According to the report, UCLA “offers opportunities for inquiry, discovery, and
education — and yet is a close community that provides a sense of belonging.”

Click here to read more.

UCLA shares National Science Foundation grant to diversify STEM faculty nationally

UCLA is among six collaborating institutions that were together awarded $10 million over five years from the National Science Foundation to develop new educational models and programs that will increase diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and careers. Click here to read more.

Professor in Physics & Astronomy quoted in PC Magazine

Professor Paul Hamilton is quoted in an article spotlighting the 60th birthday of U.S. Department of Defense agency DARPA.

Hamilton received a DARPA Young Faculty Award from the agency to further his research on matter wave interferometry, which may find a future in applications to detect gravitational waves and navigation alternatives to the Global Positioning System.

Click here to read more.

Chemistry & Biochemistry professor Jose Rodriguez named one of C&EN’s Talented Twelve

Jose Rodriguez picked up structural biology first as a hobby. In his free time while working on a Ph.D. in molecular biology at UCLA, he collaborated with a physics professor on a problem critical to how biologists process X-ray crystallography data.

Now, as a UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry professor, Rodriguez is using a relatively new structural biology technique to investigate proteins that clump together. These aggregating proteins are associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and he hopes that understanding their atomic-level details will pave the way to treatments.

C&EN’s Talented 12 program identifies and celebrates young chemists who are just beginning to put their innovative and transformative ideas into practice. Being recognized can serve as a launching pad for the Talented 12 to gain recognition for their ideas, find funding and collaborators, and become the leaders of the future. Click here to read more.

UCLA professor plays key role in historic mission to the sun

UCLA space physicist Marco Velli took his place in history as part of the monumental Parker Solar Probe mission, which successfully launched on Aug. 12. The aim of the expedition, which has been 60 years in the making, is to take the Parker Solar Probe into the the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, to collect data that will help scientists better understand the corona and solar wind, which directly affects Earth.

Velli’s role as observatory scientist was to ensure that all the instruments work effectively in the harsh solar environment. Faculty and students at UCLA will be among the first to receive and analyze data from the probe. Click here to read more.

UCLA scientists explain principles behind the superpowers of Ant-Man and the Wasp

In the latest episode of the new Marvel University web series, scientists from the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute discuss whether amazing powers like changing size or emitting bio-electric energy blasts can be explained by science versus science fiction. Click here to read more and watch the episode.

Three UCLA scientists contribute to study that could change perception of how early universe evolved

University of California astronomers, including three from UCLA, have resolved a mystery about the early universe and its first galaxies.

Astronomers have known that more than 12 billion years ago, about 1 billion years after the Big Bang, the gas in deep space was, on average, much more opaque than it is now in some regions, although the opacity varied widely from place to place. But they weren’t sure about what caused those variations.

Research by UC scientists addressing this question has been published in the Astrophysical Journal. Click here to read more.

Velli’s role as observatory scientist was to ensure that all the instruments work effectively in the harsh solar environment. Faculty and students at UCLA will be among the first to receive and analyze data from the probe. Click here to read more.

New study by UCLA EPSS researcher illuminates behavior of chorus waves

Observations of Jupiter’s magnetosphere in the 1990s provided a unique opportunity to understand how magnetic fields interact with particles and how moons of Jupiter can change the environment of the gas giant. One of the most surprising and fascinating discoveries about the moons of Jupiter was made by UCLA’s Margaret Kivelson – a professor emerita in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences – and her team, who found the internal magnetic field on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede in the 1990s.

Now, a researcher at UCLA has led a study expanding upon those discoveries with new relevance for the science behind understanding plasma waves. Click here to read more.

Dean of Physical Sciences shares his student experience at conference preparing underrepresented students for graduate school

Dean Miguel García-Garibay was one of several presenters at the National McNair Scholars Conference, which was recently held at UCLA for the first time and drew 250 students from across the country who have been selected for the competitive program. At the conference, the dean spoke about his years as a truck driver and other unexpected avenues that led him to becoming a professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

The McNair Research Scholars program provides research and application preparation resources for first-generation college students with financial need or members of groups that are underrepresented in graduate education. Click here to read more.

UCLA professor’s research finds that understanding how animals perceive space may have implications for diagnosing and treating neurological diseases

Mayank Mehta and colleagues in his laboratory are pioneering the use of virtual reality to determine how neurons make mental maps of space and the cellular basis of learning and memory.

Mehta – a professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy as well as of  neurology and neurobiology – believes that if scientists better understood how the hippocampus perceives space and time, they could figure out how to better diagnose and treat debilitating neurological diseases that impair many forms of learning and memory. Click here to read more.

Researchers discover finding that may lead to new ways to convert petroleum waste into useful compounds

Professors and students in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have discovered a chemical reaction in which non-classical carbocations play key roles. This reaction might someday be used to process petroleum into useful compounds.

The results, published July 27 in the journal Science, underscore the importance of non-classical cations — ions with fewer electrons than protons, and thus a positive charge. The findings also offer a new reaction to process alkanes, chemicals found in methane and propane gases that are notoriously hard to convert to other products. Click here to read more.

A tribute to UCLA professor emeritus and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Boyer

Click here to read the tribute in Science magazine, which was written by distinguished professor of biochemistry David Eisenberg, who was a longtime colleague of Boyer at UCLA.

Researchers discover natural product that could lead to new class of commercial herbicide

Using a technique that combines data science and genomics, the team found the new herbicide by searching the genes of thousands of fungi for one that might provide immunity against fungal poisons. The study, which was published in Nature, also points to the potential for this genomics-driven approach to be used in medicine, with applications ranging from new antibiotics to advanced cancer-fighting drugs.

Yi Tang, the study’s co-principal investigator, is a UCLA professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and of chemistry and biochemistry. Click here to read more.

UCLA researchers discover potential reason for unusual atmospheric wave on Venus

The Daily Bruin reported on research by Thomas Navarro, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences (EPSS) and Gerald Schubert, professor emeritus in EPSS. The two co-authored a paper on their research behind a huge, bow-shaped wave on Venus that has puzzled planetary scientists for years.

The researchers’ findings were recently published in the journal Nature Geoscience.  Click here to read more.

UCLA-led center receives $9.75 million to improve rechargeable batteries

An energy research center led by UCLA has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of its Energy Frontier Research Centers and awarded a four-year grant of $9.75 million. The center’s director is Professor of Chemistry and Biochemsitry Sarah Tolbert, who is also a professor of materials science and engineering at UCLA Samueli School of Engineering. With the funding, the new UCLA-led Synthetic Control Across Length-scales for Advancing Rechargeables center will help accelerate research on new types of chemistry and materials for rechargeable batteries. Click here to read more.

UCLA research finds warming temperatures have a negative effect on fertility, birth rates

According to research by UCLA environmental economist Alan Barreca, hot weather reduces chances of getting pregnant — and the problem is expected to get worse because of global warming. Click here to read more.

Two UCLA chemists selected as 2018 Pew scholars

Chemistry & Biochemistry professors Hosea Nelson and Jose Rodriguez are among 22 Pew scholars in the biomedical sciences selected out of 184 nominations to receive four-year, $300,000 grants from the foundation.

This honor provides funding to outstanding young researchers whose work is relevant to the advancement of human health, and the grants will advance their explorations of biological mechanisms underpinning human health and disease. Click here to read more.

Team of UCLA students places fifth in the annual Putnam examination

UCLA placed fifth in the country on the most recent round of the annual William Lowell Powell Putnam Mathematics Competition. In December, 35 UCLA students participated in the grueling six-hour test. Five students – Ni Yan, Emre Girgin, Alex Pascadi, Konstantin Miagkov and Xiaoyu Huang – received honorable mentions for placing in the top 100 students in the country. Yan received the Elizabeth Lowell Putnam award for the highest ranked female in the country and Girgin received the Basil Gordon Prize for the top scorer among UCLA students.

According to the students, their success can be attributed in large part to Ciprian Manolescu, UCLA professor of mathematics who chooses the team each year. Click here to read more about the dynamic teamwork between students and their professor.

Study by UCLA professor and team unlocks the inner workings of telomerase, which plays key roles in aging, cancer

Chemistry & Biochemistry professor Juli Feigon is senior author of a study illuminating the deepest scientific understanding yet of the once-mysterious enzyme telomerase, whose catalytic core — where most of its activity occurs — can now be seen in near atomic resolution. The report was published in the journal CellClick here to read more.

In memoriam: Paul Boyer, 99, Nobel laureate in chemistry

UCLA Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry Paul Boyer, who won the 1997 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his pioneering research on how adenosine triphosphate, or ATP — the cellular energy that drives all biological reactions — is formed, died June 2 at age 99. Read more about Boyer’s trailblazing work in the UCLA Newsroom, the Los Angeles Times, Chemistry World, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

On Hawaiian research trip, UCLA students got early look at Kilauea eruption

The trip was the beginning of a quarter-long capstone course for students in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, and the culmination of a geophysics degree at UCLA. In the past, students have also been to the San Andreas Fault on the Carrizo Plain in central California; Long Valley Caldera, near Yosemite; an area that stretches from Acapulco on the Pacific coast to Tampico on the Gulf coast of Mexico; the Andes in Peru; and Mount Etna in Sicily, trips partly funded by generous donations.

This spring, students were able to put all of their theoretical knowledge into practice as they traversed volcanoes and hiked through the Hawaiian forests to gather data. Click here to read more.

Study co-authored by Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences researchers shows evidence of water vapor plumes on one of Jupiter’s moons

A paper published in Nature Astronomy offers the clearest evidence to date that there are “plumes” —eruptions of water vapor — venting from the surface of on an icy moon called Europa. Two UCLA scientists are co-authors of the study: Margaret Kivelson, professor emerita in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences (EPSS), and researcher Krishan Khurana, also in EPSS. The new research provides further support for the possibility of such an ocean, as well as evidence that there are the types of energy sources in the moon’s interior that would be required if life were to develop on the moon. Click here to read more.

Andrea Bertozzi elected to National Academy of Sciences

Andrea Bertozzi – professor of Mathematics and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Betsy Wood Knapp Chair for Innovation and Creativity, and director of Applied Mathematics – has been named a new member of the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Click here to read the official release from the National Academy.

UCLA research predicts dramatic shifts between extreme dry and extreme wet weather by end of 21st century

Research by UCLA climate scientists, published today in Nature Climate Change, projects that the state will experience a much greater number of extremely wet and extremely dry weather seasons — especially wet — by the end of the century. Click here to read more.

New technique using cryo-electron microscopy should help scientists better understand disease-causing proteins

A team led by Todd Yeates, a UCLA professor of chemistry and biochemistry, reports results that hold the promise of using cryo-electron microscopy to better understand many important proteins. The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Click here to read more.

Bacteria can pass on memory to descendants, UCLA-led team discovers

Led by scientists at UCLA – including Gerard Wong, a professor chemistry and biochemistry – an international team of researchers has discovered that bacteria have a “memory” that passes sensory knowledge from one generation of cells to the next, all without a central nervous system or any neurons. Click here to read more.

Astronomers pinpoint the farthest star ever seen

Tommaso Treu, a professor of physics and astronomy, is the co-author of research on an enormous blue star nicknamed Icarus. A quirk of nature tremendously amplifies the star’s feeble glow, allowing astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to pinpoint this celestial object more than halfway across the universe. Their study was published in Nature Astronomy. Click here to read more.

UCLA research reveals a climate future that will have wide-ranging consequences

Researchers in UCLA’s Center for Climate Science spent the past three years projecting how climate change will affect the Sierra Nevada. On April 2, the final report was released. Click here to read more.

Professor endows UCLA faculty chair in mathematics

The Department of Mathematics received a $1 million gift from Professor Emeritus Masamichi Takesaki to endow a new faculty chair in his specialty. The Yuki, Kyoko and Masamichi Takesaki Endowed Chair in Operator Algebras will enhance UCLA’s long-standing strength in the field by enabling the department to recruit and retain top professors, strengthen teaching and support collaborative research. Click here to read more.

UCLA scientists merge statistics, biology to produce important new gene computational tool

Assistant professor of Statistics Jingyi “Jessica” Li and Wei “Vivian” Li, a statistics doctoral candidate, have come up with a computational tool that increases the reliability of measuring how strongly genes are expressed in an individual cell, even when the cell is barely reading certain genes. The research was published last month in the journal Nature Communications. Click here to read more.

New study by AOS professor offers framework for how human activities may affect ocean life

Daniele Bianchi, assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, published a study in Nature Geoscience which tightens the link between ocean biogeochemistry and marine microbiology by suggesting more widespread activity of anaerobic microbes than previously thought. This activity is fundamental in the ocean by controlling the cycling of nitrogen, an element that is essential to marine life.

Anaerobic metabolism is usually thought to be confined in sediments and small pockets of anoxic waters, where oxygen is completely absent. “We suggest instead that anaerobic microbes may also thrive in vast swaths of the oxygenated ocean, within sinking organic aggregates – “marine snow” – that become anoxic, as many disparate observations have suggested. This changes the way we think of the nitrogen cycle and more generally anaerobic metabolism in the ocean, and suggests that both could respond to climate change in ways that challenge our current understanding,” Bianchi says.

An essential part of the study was developing a quantitative framework to connect microbiological processes that take place at the scale of sinking particles, and the bulk chemistry of seawater. This should be a useful step to develop more realistic models of marine life and geochemical cycles, and their response to human activities. Click here to read the paper.

New drug by Michael Jung’s group extends the lives of men with prostate cancer

Apalutamide – marketed as Erleada – was created in the lab of Chemistry & Biochemistry professor Michael Jung. It was approved by the FDA Feb. 14, 2018 for treating men who have an earlier form of prostate cancer called nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. This follows the success of another Jung lab molecule, enzalutamide or Xtandi, which has been used since 2012 to treat prostate cancer in thousands of men. Click here to read more.

Chris Russell works with NASA on exploring Chris Russellwhat science can tell us about the past

Christopher Russell, professor in UCLA’s Department of Earth, Planetary & Space Sciences, joined the Psyche expedition. An expedition looking at the 16th asteroid discovered. This Psyche asteroid, is believed to be made of metal. Russell will join scientists in the UCLA community and one member from MIT to build a magnetometer that will measure the strength and direction of the asteroid’s magnetic field.

Houk Group deciphers rare enzymatic cope rearrangement

In a recent publication in Nature Chemical Biology, Kendall Houk, distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and his group elucidated how a novel enzyme catalyzes a reaction that was heretofore known only in the lab and not known to happen in nature. Click here to read more.

UCLA scientists introduce an aurora named STEVE

Distinguished Professor Larry Lyons of the Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences is quoted in a story in The Atlantic about a new type of aurora affectionately – and now scientifically – known as STEVE. A paper on the phenomenon has been published in the journal Science Advances; recent AOS Ph.D. graduate Bea-Gallardo-Lacourt and associate researcher Yukitoshi Nishimura are authors on the paper.

UCLA led-research shows Earth may be approaching a carbon dioxide threshold for melting ice in the Arctic

A study led by UCLA Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor Aradhna Tripati, published in the journal Nature Communications, sheds light on how global climate may change as people continue emitting greenhouse gases and reveals a potential tipping point. Click here to read more.

New climate science degree extends UCLA’s commitment to environmental research and teaching

A new bachelor’s degree within the Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences is among the world’s very first major programs in climate science and will prepare UCLA students to be leaders in this critical field. Click here to read more.

UCLA receives $2 million from physicist–philanthropist Mani Bhaumik

The gift from physicist and former UCLA postdoctoral fellow Mani Bhaumik to the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences will give students new resources to advance their education. Half of the gift will help establish the Mani L. Bhaumik Graduate Fellowship in Theoretical Physics; the other half names a dedicated study and collaboration space in Young Hall. Click here to read more.

Chemistry pioneer Joan Valentine reflects on her work and career

Joan Valentine, the first female faculty member in UCLA’s Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, was recently featured in a video by her alma mater, Princeton University, where she was the first female Ph.D. recipient from its Department of Chemistry. Click here to read more.

UCLA Physical Sciences visits Mexico

Faculty from the departments within Physical Sciences were invited to present at an event hosted by El Colegio Nacional in Mexico City. The event was covered by Mexican press including El Punto Crítico, La Crónica de Hoy, and El Universal.

UCLA astronomers attempting to validate Einstein’s theory of gravity

Physics & Astronomy professor Andrea Ghez and other UCLA astronomers in her Galactic Center Group recently published a study with results that may allow the researchers to test Einstein’s theory of gravity as it approaches a black hole. Graduate student Devin Chu is the lead author of the study. Click here to read the announcement in the UCLA Newsroom, and click here to read about it on the Keck Observatory website.

Remodeled chemistry course allows for student research and publishing

The Daily Bruin reported on a revamped chemistry course which allows undergraduate students to conduct independent research and publish a paper in a science journal. The class is taught by Alex Spokoyny, an assistant chemistry professor. Click here to read more.

Four Physical Sciences faculty selected for 2018 Sloan Fellowships

Five young UCLA professors – four from the division of Physical Sciences – were among 126 scientists and scholars from 53 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada selected to receive 2018 Sloan Research Fellowships. UCLA is tied for third — behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UC Berkeley — in the number of faculty honored this year by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which selects early-career scientists and scholars who are rising stars of science.

Click here to read more about Daniele Bianchi, Jingyi Li, Hosea Nelson, and Ellen Sletten’s work and plans for their Sloan Fellowships.

UCLA professor to lead environmental bike expedition along California’s coast

Alex Hall, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, is hitting the road for a three-week, 1,000-mile trek to educate, learn, and engage with the public on climate change. UCLA is partnering with the nonprofit organization OnePulse for the California Climate Expedition, offering forty riders the chance to cruise the coastline, meet top environmental experts, and visit locations affected by climate change. Click here to read more.

Pulsating aurora mysteries uncovered with help from NASA’s THEMIS Mission

New research using data from NASA’s THEMIS mission has captured the missing link thought responsible for this phenomenon, and the findings are featured in the Feb. 14 issue of the journal Nature. THEMIS’s principal investigator is Vassilis Angelopoulos, a professor in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences. Click here to read more.

New study by mathematics professor opens doors for new investigations into nonlinear phenomena

Nature Communications has just published a study by professor of mathematics Mason Porter. In the paper, Porter explains, “We conduct direct measurements of superdiffusive energy transport in disordered granular chains. Our work represents an important and timely contribution to the study of disordered systems and nonlinear phenomena, with important ramifications more broadly in condensed-matter and statistical physics.”

The study taps into the “Anderson localization” discovered in 1958 by Phillip Anderson and explained by Physics Today as, “What began as a prediction about electron diffusion has spawned a rich variety of theories and experiments on the nature of the metal–insulator transition and the behavior of waves — from electromagnetic to seismic — in complex materials.”

In the subsequent 60 years, most work on Anderson phenomena — the effect of disorder on wave propagation — has been on linear systems. The variety of scenarios in which Anderson localization occurs is staggering: it ranges all the way from electromagnetism and acoustics to areas such as quantum chromodynamics. But the investigation of such phenomena in strongly nonlinear settings is almost untouched. Porter’s study opens a panorama of both theoretical and experimental possibilities for future work. Click here to read the paper.

UCLA scientists develop low-cost way to build gene sequences

DropSynth makes it possible to produce thousands of genes at once, which could revolutionize scientists’ use of gene sequences to screen for gene’s roles in diseases and important biological processes. The approach, which was pioneered by UCLA assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry Sriram Kosuri, is described in the January issue of the journal Science. Click here to read more.

Stanley Osher elected to National Academy of Engineering

Distinguished professor of mathematics Stanley Osher is one of three UCLA faculty elected to the National Academy of Engineering, among the highest professional honors that can be accorded to an American engineer. The academy announced its 2018 class of 83 members and 13 foreign members on Feb. 7. Click here to read more.

In memoriam: Roberts Smith, one of UCLA’s first professors of biochemistry

Smith, who died Jan. 25, established a vigorous research program in biochemistry that focused on cancer biology and the biological uses of phosphorous-nitrogen linkages. Upon his induction into the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement in British Columbia in 2008, he was cited for helping to save thousands of lives over the years by pioneering the anti-viral field with the discovery of the broad spectrum nucleoside analog ribavirin now used to treat respiratory syncytial virus, hepatitis C and viral hemorrhagic fever. Click here to read more.

UCLA Meteorite Gallery acquires rare lunar meteorite

Named “La’gad,” the 185-gram meteorite was blasted off the moon by the impact of a large meteoroid and eventually made its way to the Earth, landing in North Africa’s western Sahara Desert. “This lunar meteorite is probably the most spectacular lunar meteorite in a museum anywhere in the world,” said John Wasson, the gallery’s curator and a professor of geochemistry and chemistry in the UCLA College. Click here to read more.

UCLA’s Neil Garg wins country’s leading teaching award and its $250,000 prize

California Professor of the Year Neil Garg is the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. The award, which is given once every two years, was announced today by Baylor University. The Cherry Award honors outstanding professors who are extraordinary, inspiring teachers with a positive, long-lasting effect on students and a record of distinguished scholarship. Click here to read more.

Electron microscope image of a prion nanocrystal by Callie Glynn

Electron microscope image of a prion nanocrystal. Photo by Callie Glynn.

Researchers determine atomic structure of defective prions

The Daily Bruin reported news of the latest discovery by Jose Rodriguez, a professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. Using a molecular imaging technique that Rodriguez helped to pioneer, team has determined the atomic structure of part of a protein that causes certain neurodegenerative diseases. Visualizing the prion allows other researchers to understand the basis behind prion diseases and develop therapies toward preventing and treating them.

The group’s study was published in Nature. Click here to read more.

Solar probe led by Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor prepares for launch

Principal Investigator Marco Velli is preparing for the launch of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, a mission 15 years in the making and one that will get us closer to our sun than ever before. Click here to read more.

UCLA researchers’ study of apocalyptic entertainment reveals lack of science

A new paper from UCLA researchers took a look at the history of such stories and compared them to the real, existential threats facing life on Earth to show how the gap between fiction and reality could have dangerous consequences.

“We need to change our narratives because for all the damage greed and human malfeasance might do, in the end ignorance may be our worst enemy — especially when it comes to climate shocks, which we have only just begun to understand,” said Peter Kareiva, director of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Click here to read more.

Gyroscope molecules by García-Garibay and HoukNew type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science

Led by Chemistry & Biochemistry professor and dean of Physical Sciences Miguel García-Garibay, UCLA researchers have formed a crystal out of molecules with a solid exterior and containing moving parts. The new crystal, described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first proof that a single material can be both static and moving, or amphidynamic. Click here to read more.

DropSynth by Sri KosuriChemistry professor introduces new method for building thousands of defined gene-length constructs

Science magazine has published a study by Sri Korsuri, assistant professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, announcing the success of his group’s new method DropSynth. When coupled with multiplexed functional assays, DropSynth allows for rational exploration of sequence-function relationships at unprecedented scale. Click here to read the publication in Science, and visit Kosuri’s blog here for more detailed explanation and a video illustrating the method.

RZ Piscium winking star rendering‘Winking’ star 550 light-years away may be devouring wrecked planets

A team of astronomers including UCLA Physics & Astronomy professor Benjamin Zuckerman has found evidence suggesting that the strange, unpredictable actions of a star 550 light-years away may be caused by the destruction of planets. Click here to read more.

Supermassive black hole rendering by NASAAndrea Ghez featured on new NOVA broadcast, “Black Hole Apocalypse”

Physics & Astronomy professor Andrea Ghez is featured in the new NOVA special “Black Hole Apocalypse”, which debuts at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, on PBS. Click here to read more.

UCLA professor’s research on ancient fossil microorganisms indicate that life in the universe is common

Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor J. William Schopf led a study published in PNAS announcing how new analysis of the oldest known fossil microorganisms provides strong evidence to support an increasingly widespread understanding that life in the universe is common. Click here to read more.

UCLA experts explain why California is burning in December

Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor Aradhna Tripati, along with IOES research colleagues, how the current fires came about and why they will become more common in the future. Click here to read more.

Neil Garg and students develop a new organic chemistry app

Continuing his commitment to making organic chemistry accessible and fun to learn, Chemistry & Biochemistry professor Neil Garg and a group of his former undergraduate students have created a app called Backside Attack that teaches users while they play games. Click here to read more.

UCLA chemists synthesize narrow ribbons of graphene using only light and heat

UCLA chemists have developed a new method to produce nanoribbons of graphene, next-generation structures that many scientists believe will one day power electronic devices. The research was published online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Click here to read more.

Team led by Edward Wright shares 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

The award – which honors major insights into the deepest questions of the universe and offers a $3 million prize – is being shared by the 27-member NASA Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe experimental team. Edward L. (Ned) Wright, David Saxon Presidential Chair in Physics, helped develop key data analysis techniques for WMAP. Click here to read more.

Earth nitrogen atmosphere illustrationDiscovery about rare nitrogen molecules offers clues to makeup of other life-supporting planets

Using state-of-the-art UCLA instrumentation, a team of scientists led by Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Professor Edward Young has measures how atmospheric nitrogen gives us a clue about what signatures of other planets might look like, especially if they are capable of supporting life as we know it. Click here to read more.

Miguel Garcia-GaribayThe Music and Motion of Molecular Machines: A Featured Lecture at SACNAS 2017

As a featured speaker at the 2017 SACNAS Diversity in STEM Conference, Dean Miguel García-Garibay spoke to thousands of students, faculty, and researchers about his work with molecular machinery. With careful orchestration and collaboration, these molecules – like music – can turn noise into something beautiful.

Most Cited ResearchersPhysical Sciences faculty named to list of most cited researchers

Xiangfeng Duan, David Eisenberg, Peter Kareiva, Ni Ni, Stanley Osher, Terence Tao, Edward Wright, Omar Yaghi, and Jeffrey Zink were selected by Thomson Reuters for its 2017 Highly Cited Researchers list. The Rankings and methodology behind them can be read about here.

Miguel Garcia-Garibay labMiguel García-Garibay named to NSF Advisory Committee

The dean of Physical Sciences has been appointed to the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences Advisory Committee (MPSAC). Information about the committee’s work can be found here.

Physical Sciences dean quoted in article about minorities in academia

Dean of Physical Sciences Miguel García-Garibay spoke to Chemical & Engineering News about issues facing minority chemistry professors. Read more.

UCLA study finds that relocating bus stops would cut riders’ pollution exposure

Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Suzanne Paulson found that moving bus stops away from intersections would substantially reduce the amount of pollution bus riders are exposed to. Read more.

Journal of Physical ChemistryWork by chemistry professors selected to honor Marie Curie’s 150th birthday

Publications by Anastassia Alexandrova and Sarah Tolbert, professors of Chemistry & Biochemistry, were selected by The Journal of Physical Chemistry as part of its celebration of Marie Curie’s 150th birthday. Read more.

UCLA professor part of exhibit at LA’s Broad Museum

Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Associate Professor Aradhna Tripati is featured in “#infiniteLA,” a video series produced in conjunction with acclaimed artist Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles. Watch the video here.

Studies of Saturn moon could lead to new insights about the impact of climate change

New research on Saturn’s largest moon Titan was published Oct. 9 in the journal Nature Geoscience by co-senior authors Jonathan Mitchell and Seulgi Moon, both professors of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences. Read more.

Team led by UCLA astrophysicist observes primitive comet 1.5 billion miles from the sun

Led by UCLA professor David Jewitt, the team has observed a comet at a greater distance than ever before. Read more.

Chong Liu selected as one of the 2017 SN 10 by Science News

The assistant professor of chemistry is one of ten early- and mid-career scientists, age 40 and under, who stand out to mentors and peers as people who will make a difference. Read more.

Nobel Laureate J. Fraser Stoddart Returns to UCLA

The UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry presented its annual Norma Stoddart Award ceremony and lectures on Oct. 2, 2017. Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, who received the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was in attendance to tell a standing room only-crowd about the remarkable woman who was his wife. Read more.

$2 million gift from alumnus establishes UCLA faculty chairs in chemistry and biochemistry

Hong came to the U.S. from South Korea in 1954 as an exchange student and graduated from UCLA in 1959 with a degree in chemistry. His gift of the two chairs will support scientific research with applications ranging from regenerative medicine to environmental sustainability. Read more.

UCLA, Japanese scientists discover new way to speed up chemical reactions

A team of scientists and engineers from UCLA and Japan’s University of Shizuoka has discovered a new mode of enzyme catalysis, the process that speeds up chemical reactions. Read more.

UCLA physicists create a new type of molecule, atom by atom

Physics & Astronomy Professor Eric Hudson and his team have pioneered a method for creating a unique new molecule that could eventually have applications in medicine, food science and other fields. Read more.

UCLA physicists propose new theories of black holes from the very early universe

Alexander Kusenko, a UCLA professor of physics, and Eric Cotner, a UCLA graduate student, developed a simple new theory suggesting that black holes could have formed very shortly after the Big Bang, long before stars began to shine. Read more.

Atmospheric scientist given highest award from the American Meteorological Society

UCLA atmospheric scientist Kuo-Nan Liou is receiving the 2018 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal. The American Meteorological Society’s highest honor recognizes outstanding contributors in the weather, water, and climate community. Read more.

Physics & Astronomy professor profiled in Quanta Magazine

The interview discusses Andrea Ghez’s pioneering use of adaptive optics to observe the center of the galaxy and asks what other discoveries she is tackling now. Read more.

New UCLA program trains students on sustainable food, energy and water management

Chemistry & Biochemistry Professor Paula Diaconescu co-leads the five-year initiative funded by a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Research Traineeship program. Read more.

Astronomers find that the sun’s core rotates four times faster than its surface

Roger Ulrich, a UCLA professor emeritus of astronomy, has studied the sun’s interior for more than 40 years and co-authored the study in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. Read more.

Pediatric physician-scientist from Paul Weiss Group wins childhood cancer research award

Steven J. Jonas, a member of professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry Paul Weiss’ group, was awarded a Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Young Investigator Grant. It’s the first such award to a UCLA pediatric physician-scientist in over 15 years. Read more.

AOS professor’s study shows that the Amazon triggers its own rainy season

Work by Rong Fu, professor of Atmospheric & Oceanic Studies, has led to a new study on the rainforest’s ecosystem and its relationship to deforestation. Read more.

UCLA launches first university-based center for diversity in environmental science

Aradhna Tripati – associate professor of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences – is leading the new group dedicated supporting scholars and professionals at all levels in the field. Read more.

Physics professor contributes to breakthrough in quantum computing

By creating a way to measure and control the energy differences of electron valley states in silicon quantum dots, HongWen Jiang and his team could bring quantum computing one step closer to reality. Read more.

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Professor in The New York Times

Alex Hall, professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, shares his expertise on California’s extreme heat with The New York Times. Read more.

Chemistry professor and his wife give $1 million to UCLA

Michael Jung, a distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and his wife, Alice, have donated $1 million toward the establishment of the Michael and Alice Jung Endowed Chair in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery. Read more.

NASA presents Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor with its highest honor

EPSS Professor Christopher Russell, principal investigator for NASA’s first detailed exploration of a celestial body inside the main asteroid belt, was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. Read more.

Chemistry professor pioneers new molecular imaging technique

Jose Rodriguez, assistant professor in chemistry and biochemistry, is working with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute on a low-cost approach to his revolutionary method for greater disease research around the world. Read more.

EPSS Professor Emerita wins American Astronomical Society’s 2017 Gerard P. Kuiper Prize

Margaret Kivelson, professor emerita in UCLA’s Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, has received the highest award presented by the society to a planetary scientist. Read more.

Award to mathematics professor will help UCLA create new math nanosystems initiative

Mathematics professor Andrea Bertozzi’s Simons Foundation’s Math + X Investigator award will help create UCLA’s new Simons Mathematical NanoSystems Initiative. Read more.

NASA selects UCLA Geology alumna for 2017 astronaut candidate class

Jessica Watkins, who earned her Ph.D. in geology from UCLA in 2015, has been selected by NASA to join the 2017 astronaut candidate class. Read more.

Mathematics major – and one of UCLA’s youngest grads – heads to Google

Graduating senior Luke Vellotti leaves UCLA with two bachelor’s degrees, one in mathematics and one in computer science. The 18-year-old is headed to Google as a software developer. Read more.

New chemical reaction developed at UCLA could yield new fuels and medications

Work by a UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry lab has resulted in exciting and more efficient chemical bonds that open the door for broad future applications. Read more.

Physical Sciences Celebrates First-Ever Emeriti Luncheon

Emeriti faculty from each of the Physical Sciences’ six departments were celebrated at a luncheon in their honor. Read more.

UCLA-led team discovers new way of probing hypothetical fifth force of nature

The work by UCLA’s Galactic Center Group, which studies stars at the center of our galaxy, has opened up a new method of looking at how gravity works. Read more.

UCLA innovator gets creative with applied mathematics

Andrea Bertozzi, professor of mathematics and director of applied mathematics at UCLA, uses math to solve real-world problems such as predicting when and where crime will happen. Read more.

Discovery of an alga’s ‘dictionary of genes’ could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine

Plant biologists and biochemists from UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco have sequenced the genome of Chromochloris zofingiensis, a green alga with biofuel and medicinal applications. Read more.

Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics names new director

Dimitri Shlyakhtenko, UCLA professor and former chair of mathematics, has been named the new director of the National Science Foundation funded institute strengthening ties between mathematics and other sciences. Read more.

UCLA team helps design biological supercapacitor

UCLA and University of Connecticut scientists have designed a battery-free implantable medical device that could make pacemakers and other instruments safer and more durable. Read more.

UCLA physicist elected to National Academy of Sciences

Claudio Pellegrini, professor emeritus of physics at UCLA, was honored with membership for his “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.” Read more.

UCLA weather expert tests link between extreme events and hotter temperatures

New research by Daniel Swain of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability clarifies how climate change influences severe weather. Read more.

UCLA Chemistry professor is finalist for Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching

California Professor of the Year Neil Garg, who has been getting large numbers of UCLA students to love organic chemistry for years, has been selected as one of three finalists for the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. Read more.

UCLA astronomer observes a dying red giant star’s final act

UCLA professor of physics and astronomy Mark Morris and an international team of astronomers have observed a striking spiral pattern in the gas surrounding a red giant star. Read more.

UCLA astrophysicists get rare peek at a baby solar system 300 light-years away

Physics and Astronomy professors Smadar Naoz and Michael Fitzgerald co-authored a study resulting from a rare glimpse into planetary evolution. Read more.


Peter KareivaPeter Kareiva shares environmental reasons to be thankful

Peter Kareiva, the director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, shared reasons to be thankful this year. Some of these reasons include: Global energy related carbon dioxide emissions held constant in 2014, the use of coal is decreasing, and U.S residents have been driving less and less since 2004! Read more here.

UCLA chemistry professor selected as the 2015 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Neil Garg, professor of UCLA’s department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was selected as the 2015 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching California Professor of the Year. This honors a few of the most outstanding  teaching and positive influence professors have on their students careers and lives.

Charles Knobler

Chemistry professor selected as American Chemical Society Fellow

Charles Knobler, UCLA Research Professor and a former chair of the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has been selected as a member of the 2013 class of the American Chemical Society’s Fellows. Read more. 

Peter KareivaNine environmental myths everyone needs to unlearn

Peter Kareiva, director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, shared on his blog nine myths about the environment that his students always seem to bring to the first lecture in his environmental science lectures each year. Read the 9 Myths here.

Andrea GhezAstronomers solve puzzle about a bizarre object in our Galaxy

Andrea Ghez, Physics & Astronomy professor, studied this unknown object in our galaxy very closely during its’ closest interaction with our black hole. It was thought to be hydrogen gas, but now Ghez believes it is a pair of binary stars that the black hole forced into one. Read more here.

Ric KanerScientists grow organic semiconductor crystals vertically for the first time

Ric Kaner and his team of materials scientists from the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA have discovered a way to improve smartphones, tablets, and computers with rapidly increasing the efficiency of semiconductors. This comes with creating an improved structure for one type of organic semiconductor, using Tetraaniline. Read more here.

Jon ChristensenAdjunct Professor discusses going carbon-neutral ‘at scale’

Jon Christensen, adjunct professor in the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, discussed the UC wide goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025. This would mean that by 2025 the hundreds and thousands of people involved within the UC system would not be contributing to climate change while at campus. Read his thoughts here.

Eric Scerri

Chemistry lecturer releases new book

Eric Scerri, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, published third book by Oxford University Press, “A Tale of Seven Elements”. Read more. 

Edson Smith

UCLA Math professor finds rare prime number

Edson Smith and his colleagues are awarded a 100,00 cash prize for finding a long sought after thirteen million digit prime number! This is the 46th Mersenne prime number, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation has funded the award. Read more here.