2024 Bakar Prize recipients target skin disease, spintronics and tree bark

March 12, 2024

Five UC Berkeley faculty members have been awarded the 2024 Bakar Prize, which is designed to give a boost to campus innovators as they translate their discoveries into real-world solutions.

This year's winners are trying to engineer probiotics to treat skin disease, improve treatments for heavy metal contamination, design ultra-compact lasers and spintronic computer memory and find ways to use bark as a construction material.

The prize is given annually to former Bakar Fellows and provides additional resources to ensure a successful transition of their technology from academic research to industry applications. Now in its 12th year, the Bakar Fellows Programs has supported 74 Faculty Fellows and 70 Innovation Fellows as graduate students or postdoctoral fellows. The program continues to attract and support innovative research teams that are committed to moving their basic research discoveries into real-world applications.

James Analytis, professor and the Charles Kittel Chair in physics: In memory computing, a fully spintronic approach

As a 2021 Bakar Spark Award recipient, Analytis investigated how exotic quantum phenomena, specifically the spin of electrons, could be used for novel communication and quantum electronic applications. One key realization of that research was that spin transport only works effectively in insulating ferromagnets. He subsequently focused on one such material known to have the relevant properties at room temperature, and created designs for spin gates, spin memory and spin logic. For his Bakar Prize project, he plans to fabricate in-memory computing chips based on spin, which should have broad applicability because they are robust and energy efficient, consuming thousands of times less power than current chips.

Read more about this year's recipients below >

Berkeley News