Yartsev named Sloan Research Fellow

Professor Michael Yartsev was named a 2017 Sloan Research Fellow. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation selected 126 outstanding U.S.
and Canadian researchers as the recipients of the 2017 fellowships, honoring early-career scholars whose achievements mark them as the
next generation of scientific leaders.

Kumar lab sheds new light on cellular stress fiber networks

New research from Professor Sanjay Kumar’s lab uncovers fundamental design principles of how cells and tissues define and maintain their structure, combining sophisticated micropatterning technologies to engineer cell shape, laser nanosurgery to cut individual stress fibers with light and probe their internal structure, and mathematical modeling. Cell shape is critical in development, wound healing, stem cell differentiation, and cancer, among other processes. The lead author is bioengineering PhD student Elena Kassianidou .

Arkin will lead new NASA Center

Professor Adam Arkin will lead the new NASA Center for the Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space (CUBES), a Space Technology Research Institute to advance research into an integrated, multi-function, multi-organism bio-manufacturing system to produce fuel, materials, pharmaceuticals and food on long-term space missions.

Three faculty named Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigators

The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub has announced it’s inaugural class of 47 faculty investigators from UC Berkeley, UCSF and Stanford, including three Berkeley Bioengineers. Professors Dan Fletcher, Amy Herr and Aaron Streets are among the 13 Berkeley faculty who will receive up to $1.5 million each over the next five years to conduct cutting-edge biomedical research.

Connolly Lab wins safety award

Professor Steven Conolly’s lab has won the 2017 Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award in the Large Physical Sciences Lab category. Winners were selected based on consideration of the lab’s safety inspection results, internal safety communications, and collaboration with EH&S and Department Safety Coordinators.

Arkin and Keasling break ground on the IGB

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab began construction of the Integrative Genomics Building (IGB), which will house researchers from the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute with those from the Systems Biology Knowledgebase under one roof. Bioengineering professors Adam Arkin, Director of Kbase, and Jay Keasling, Biosciences Associate Laboratory Director, were on hand for the groundbreaking.

Mofrad lab on the cover of ACS Nano

Research from Professor Mohammad Mofrad’s lab, “Bacterial Networks on Hydrophobic Micropillars”, made the cover of the journal ACS Nano this issue.

Healy Lab featured on Futurism

Healy Lab’s heart-on-a-chip technology is the subject of a video feature at Futurism.

Amy Herr is first Faculty Director of Bakar Fellows

Professor Amy Herr has been named the the inaugural faculty director of the Bakar Fellows Program at UC Berkeley. The program fosters faculty entrepreneurship in the STEM+ fields including Engineering, Computer Science, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Architecture, to help professors translate their ground-breaking discoveries into practical solutions and contribute to Berkeley’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Herr was a member of the first class of Bakar Fellows in 2012.

BioE students featured in MEng newsletter

Bioengineering MEng students Sneha Balan and Nick Engel are featured on page 4 of the Winter MEng newsletter, for their Early Cancer Detection project and Alumni Innovation Award. Nick is also on the cover.

Arkin lab method may save lives during blood transfusion

After severe trauma, some patients in shock develop impaired coagulation. This is difficult to diagnose in crisis and makes blood transfusions dangerously challenging to manage. Professor Adam Arkin and collaborators have used dynamic modeling to demonstrate a method for calculating each patient’s transfusion requirements using only laboratory values that can be easily and quickly obtained in the emergency setting. This personalized information could help hospitals save lives at risk from acute traumatic coagulopathy and massive transfusion mortality.

Two alums in 2017 30 Under 30!

Congratulations 2013 PhD Tim Downing and 2009 BS Tim Wang, both named to the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30!
Downing, now a professor at UC Irvine, was recognized for his work examining how extracellular signals can influence the final fate of cells. Wang, now a PhD student at MIT, is the cofounder of KSQ Therapeutics, a drug company that uses his work with the gene-editing technology CRISPR to look for new drugs.

BioE startup helps clean tech rise again

Lygos, a synthetic biology company founded by BioE PhD alumni Jeffrey Dietrich and Eric Steen, was featured in a New York Times article on the resurgence of companies using biology to produce cheap, safe and natural materials for fuel, cosmetics and other goods.

Liepmann lab student wins capstone award

Master of Engineering student Nicholas Engel won the Alumni Innovation Award at this year’s Fall Capstone Expo!

BioE startup Lygos raises $13 million

Lygos Biotech, founded by PhD alumni Jeffrey Dietrich and Eric Steen, has raised $13 million in Series A funding to continue their work producing high-value specialty chemicals through synthetic biology. Their process uses domestic sugars instead of petroleum for chemical production, and has already resulted in the world’s first bio-based production of malonic acid.