Seth M. Cohen, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was recognized “for distinguished contributions in the field of inorganic chemistry, particularly in small molecule inhibitors of metalloproteins in biology and disease, and metal-organic framework materials.” Cohen is a leader in the design, synthesis and evaluation of inhibitors of metalloproteins—protein molecules, such as hemoglobin, that require metal ions for their function. A number of metalloproteins are associated with diseases ranging from heart disease to cancer to anthrax infections. Using fundamental principles of inorganic chemistry, Cohen and his colleagues have developed inhibitors that better target the metal active sites of these proteins.
Mark H. Thiemens, dean of the Division of Physical Sciences and distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, “for distinguished contributions in a wide range of topics, particularly for pioneering work in atmospheric chemistry, solar system evolution, quantum chemistry, and discovery of the mass-independent isotope effect for ozone.” Thiemens is an atmospheric chemist. The chemical techniques he and his colleagues developed in the laboratory have been used to probe a wide variety of problems—from particulate and ozone pollution in our atmosphere to climate change to questions about the prospects of life on Mars and the origin and evolution of life on earth.
With your work, a new branch of chemistry was born," Alain Fuchs, President of the French National Center for Scientific Research, said before he pinned the insignia on Guy Betrand, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, in a ceremony held before his colleagues. The award is the highest national decoration in France, a distinction that recognizes eminent personalities who have contributed significantly to the development of relationships with France.
Fuchs led a delegation from France who came to celebrate an agreement to create an international chemical research center here and are meeting with faculty in many scientific disciplines across campus.
Under the recently signed four-year agreement, UC San Diego will provide $1.5 million to establish the UCSD-CNRS Joint Research Chemistry Laboratory, a research unit in UC San Diego’s Division of Physical Sciences’ department of chemistry and biochemistry. CNRS will supplement the facility with additional funds each year, as well as pay for the salaries of French researchers working at the laboratory. Read more about the center and Betrand's work.