NEWS FROM UCLA PHYSICAL SCIENCES

 

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

 

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.


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.


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.


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.

Dr. Eusebio Juaristi of El Colegio Nacional with UCLA professors Jose Rodriguez, Hilke Schlichting, Miguel García-Garibay, Mark Handcock, Suzanne Paulson and Jean Turner.

Dr. Eusebio Juaristi of El Colegio Nacional with UCLA professors Jose Rodriguez, Hilke Schlichting, Miguel García-Garibay, Mark Handcock, Suzanne Paulson and Jean Turner.



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.