Biological Sciences

UC Berkeley neuroscientist and nanoscientist among this year’s Kavli Prize winners

June 12, 2024

In an announcement today (Wednesday, June 12), the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters named two University of California, Berkeley, faculty members — Doris Ying Tsao, professor of molecular and cell biology, and Armand Paul Alivisatos, professor emeritus of chemistry — winners of 2024 Kavli Prizes in the fields of neuroscience and nanoscience, respectively.

2024 Q&A with the Neuroscience PhD Program graduates

June 3, 2024

Congratulations to our recent and upcoming Neuroscience PhD Program graduates: Matthew Davis, Erin Aisenberg, Katie Cording, Marisa Denkinger, Julian Bieber-Dishart, Xue Lily Gong, Madeline Klinger, Sylvia Madhow, Hayley Bounds, and Jacob Ziontz!

Read our Q&A below with some of the graduates to learn about their most interesting discoveries, future plans, and words of advice.

Seven UC Berkeley scientists elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 24, 2024

Seven UC Berkeley scientists — including a chemist, a psychologist, an engineer, two biologists and two physicists — are among 250 new members elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences today.

The Academy recognizes excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and to work together to cultivate art and science.

“We honor these artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public,...

Berkeley Letters & Science announces 2nd annual L&S Faculty Award winners

May 8, 2024

The College of Letters & Science Advisory Board has announced the recipients of the second annual L&S Faculty Awards, which recognizes and celebrates exceptional faculty in the College of Letters & Science. Awardees were selected for their exceptional scholarship, service to the College and community, and transformational teaching. These extraordinary individuals not only embody the excellence of the College of Letters & Science, but they...

Michael Botchan: A steady presence at Berkeley who drove major change

May 13, 2024

Michael Botchan is the dean of biological sciences at UC Berkeley and a professor of biochemistry, biophysics, and structural biology. On June 30, Botchan will step down as dean and start a new life as faculty emeritus in the Graduate Division and senior advisor at the Innovative Genomics Institute. The prospect of a calmer role appears to delight him.

“Being dean is a 24/7 job,” said Botchan. “I'm looking forward to...

Far from toxic, lactate rivals glucose as body's major fuel after a carbohydrate meal

May 15, 2024

As a student competing in track and field at his Parlier high school, Robert Leija was obsessed with how to improve his performance and, in particular, prevent the buildup of lactic acid in his muscles during training. Like many athletes, he blamed it for the performance fatigue and muscle soreness he experienced after intense workouts.

But as a kinesiology student at Fresno State, he was handed an out-of-print textbook that told him he had it all wrong. Lactate wasn't a danger sign that athletes had depleted their body's supply of oxygen, but likely a normal product of the...

L&S Professor Abby Dernburg elected to National Academy of Sciences

May 2, 2024

At the conclusion of its annual gathering this week, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced the election of 120 new members and 24 new international members, among them UC Berkeley's Abby Dernburg, professor of molecular and cell biology and a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Also elected was Ramamoorthy Ramesh, a professor of materials science and mineral engineering and of physics who recently took a leave of absence to serve as...

The double-fanged adolescence of saber-toothed cats

April 30, 2024

The fearsome, saber-like teeth of Smilodon fatalis — California's state fossil — are familiar to anyone who has ever visited Los Angeles' La Brea Tar Pits, a sticky trap from which more than 2,000 saber-toothed cat skulls have been excavated over more than a century.

Though few of the recovered skulls had sabers attached, a handful exhibited a peculiar feature: the tooth socket for the saber was occupied by two teeth, with the permanent tooth slotted into a groove in the baby tooth.

Paleontologist Jack Tseng...

Generative A.I. Arrives in the Gene Editing World of CRISPR

April 29, 2024

Much as ChatGPT generates poetry, a new A.I. system devises blueprints for microscopic mechanisms that can edit your DNA.

Generative A.I. technologies can write poetry and computer programs or create images of teddy bears and videos of cartoon...

UC Berkeley’s Hayley Bounds named a 2024 Schmidt Science Fellow

April 29, 2024

Hayley Bounds, a graduate student in the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, has been awarded a prestigious 2024 Schmidt Science Fellowship. This fellowship, renowned within the scientific community, seeks out the “world’s best emerging scientists who have completed a Ph.D. in natural sciences, computing, engineering, or mathematics and places them in fellowships in a field different from their existing expertise.” The program not only provides funding for the scientists’ training and research endeavors, it also fosters a community of interdisciplinary leaders. Bounds is...