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For a complete list of news items, see our News Archive below. 


first in biomedical design with a two-dimensional protein crystal

Chemist Makes List of Finalists for 2018 Blavatnik National Awards

The Blavatnik Family Foundation announced the 31 U.S. National Finalists who will compete for the world’s largest unrestricted prizes for early career scientists—$250,000. This year Neal Devaraj from the Department of Chemistry was among the UC San Diego finalists. Three overall winners from three categories (Life Sciences, Chemistry, and Physical Sciences & Engineering) will be announced Sept. 24 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Astrophysicist Brian Keating Talks Google

Physics Professor Brian Keating was featured on Talks at Google recently, discussing his new book “Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science's Highest Honor.” Keating explains how his quest for the Nobel Prize in Physics was stymied when his experiment, which was thought to have discovered definitive proof of the Big Bang, ended up just being space dust. His account addresses his own journey of self-discovery and how the Nobel Prize process itself is broken, diverging from the original intent of its founder Alfred Nobel.

first in biomedical design with a two-dimensional protein crystal

Chemists Fashion New Biomaterial Design

UC San Diego Chemists Francesco Paesani, Akif Tezcan and colleagues have achieved a first in biomaterial design with a two-dimensional protein crystal that switches between varying states of porosity and density. Their research was published recently in Nature Chemistry, and it could lead to new materials for renewable energy, medicine, water purification and more.


Scientists, Middle School Students Share Research Space

With the potential of human space tourism becoming an everyday reality, scientists are contemplating biological and engineering challenges currently unfamiliar on Earth. So, recent research supported by University of California San Diego Divisions of Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences, and the National Science Foundation, paired present-day scientists with future scientists to try to learn more about life in space.  

Dean's Undergraduate Awardees

Dean Recognizes Undergraduate Excellence

Dean Steven Boggs recently recognized 30 graduating seniors with the Dean’s Undergraduate Award for Excellence. The celebration, which included an awards ceremony and reception, honored outstanding Division of Physical Science students, many who came from across the globe to study at UC San Diego. Their research experiences—ranging from studying AI in mathematics to mouthless aquatic predators—is sure to lead them to career success. Congratulations to all 2018 DPS graduates!

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs with Alison Coil

Students from Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga traveled to campus to interview astrophysicist Alison Coil about the modern space industry.

The students are participants in the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs: classrooms, after-school programs and clubs around the country producing original, inspiring news reports about national and global issues.

Vicki Grassian Named ‘Chemical Pioneer’

The American Institute of Chemists has selected Professor Vicki H. Grassian as a recipient of its 2018 Chemical Pioneer Award. Grassian was selected for her significant contributions to the area of heterogeneous atmospheric chemistry and the emerging area of the environmental and health effects of nanomaterials. She will receive the award at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia. Other Chemical Pioneer Award winners include UC San Diego Professor and Nobelist Harold Urey, who received the award in 1969.

Space Scientists See Clear Skies around ‘Hot’ and ‘Salty’ Planet

It seems fitting that an astrophysicist from the University of California San Diego, a location associated with sunny days, contributed to an important cosmic breakthrough around the discovery of an exoplanet’s unique cloud-free atmosphere.

Chemists ‘Crystallize’ New Approach to Materials Science

Researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry mixed together unlikely materials to create a new hybrid form of crystalline matter that could change the practice of materials science. The findings, published online May 2 in Nature, present potential benefits to medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.

Scientists Sniff Out How the ‘Nose Knows’

The sense of smell, linked to emotion and memory in humans, is a vital way for many organisms to interact with their environments. This is why researchers at the University of California San Diego are tracking a new way to “normalize” the process of specifying odors in a smell-cluttered environment.

Physics Professor Named to Academy of Arts and Sciences

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the country’s most esteemed honorary societies and independent policy research centers, has elected three professors of UC San Diego as new members. The Department of Physics’ Ivan Schuller is one of them who will join the academy’s class of 2018.

Chemistry Alumnus Wins 40 Under 40 Award

UC San Diego recently announced the winners of its 40 Under 40 awards. The awards honor a group of rising stars across science, technology, medicine, arts, education and social justice. Among the recipients this year was Division of Physical Sciences’ alumnus Daniel Caspi (BS, chemistry, ’02) whose stellar grasp of organic chemistry helped develop a cure for Hepatitis C.

UC San Diego Physicist Flexes 'BICEP' to Introduce Controversial New Book

Astrophysicist Brian Keating will be reading and discussing his new book, "Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science’s Highest Honor” (W. W. Norton & Company; April 24, 2018), voted one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month, at UC San Diego, April 25, 5:30 p.m., in Atkinson Hall Auditorium. The program is co-hosted by the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination and the UC San Diego Library.</p

UC San Diego Chemist Stirs Hope for a New Flu Treatment

Each year people all over the world die from the flu. To protect against influenza epidemics and their potentially mortal results, medical professionals encourage vaccination. While generally effective for healthy individuals, vaccinations are less effective for the elderly, the immunocompromised and other high-risk groups. For the healthy, getting a shot doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t get the flu since current vaccinations are not full-proof. But, thanks to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s Seth Cohen, now there’s hope. 

UC San Diego's 'ZeroGDoc' Recalls Flight with Stephen Hawking

It was the flight of a lifetime for the University of California San Diego’s Erik Viirre, who embarked upon a zero gravity journey with none other than the late Stephen Hawking. 


Distinguished Professor Mario Molina Receives Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award

The 1995 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry is the third consecutive professor from UC San Diego to receive what is considered the “Nobel Prize” in air quality and climate change achievements. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to improving air quality.


Mathematics Professor Contributes to High Profile Study about Mothers who Drink While Pregnant

Lily Ronghui, Department of Mathematics and professor of family and preventive medicine, was the statistician on a high profile study published recently in the journal JAMA.


Astrophysicist Encourages Elon Musk to Boost Inclusion of Women, Minorities at Tesla

Alison Coil, associate dean of EDI, couldn't help but notice that somethign was lacking in the video footage of employees cheering during the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch—diversity. Numerous studies show that it leads to stronger companies, higher revenues and more efficiency. Coil asks: If Elon Musk can launch a rocket into space, why not boost Tesla’s staff roster with diversity?


Three UC San Diego Physicists Earn Sloan Research Fellowships

The Alfred B. Sloan Foundation, known for its support of original STEM research and those who use it to improve the world, named three faculty members from physics and one from bioengineering as 2018 Sloan Research Fellows.


UC San Diego Chemists use Light to Pinpoint Gene Expression

Armed with skill, special tools and light, Associate Professor Neal Debaraj and a group of his chemistry graduate students activated cellular gene expression with unique precision.


Adam Burgasser Contributes to New Findings about Densities of Trappist-1 Planets

Findings from a new study suggest that some planets could hold up to five percent of their mass in water--equating to about 250 times more than the Earth's oceans.


UC San Diego Mathematician's Contributions Add Up to Fellowship in New Program Honoring Women

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) has launched a new fellows program, and Department of Mathematics’ Linda Rothschild is among the first class of members. Rothschild, emerita faculty who specializes in differential equations and complex variables, was honored along with 31 other new AWM fellows, including UC San Diego School of Medicine’s Jill Mesirov. Each fellow was selected for her or his long and lasting commitment to supporting women and their advancement in the field of mathematical sciences.


Physical Sciences Adds EDI Leadership Role to Division

University of California San Diego Dean Steven Boggs has appointed Professor Alison Coil to the newly created position of Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the Division of Physical Sciences.