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Notes from the Back Row: "Making Molecules"

Douglas Smith

"I grew up cooking, waiting tables, and doing dishes in the family diner in Chicago," says Jonas Peters. These days, as Caltech's Bren Professor of Chemistry, Peters is more an executive chef than a spatula jockey: he coordinates the menu and helps dream up the recipes for new molecules, but his students whip them up and wash the glassware.


Zooming in on Single Cells

Katie Neith

Last fall, assistant professor of chemistry Long Cai received a New Innovator Award from the NIH—funding meant to both stimulate highly innovative research and support promising new investigators. Just nine months later, Cai has published the first results of his supported research.


Caltech Chemical Engineers Devise New Way to Split Water

Kimm Fesenmaier

Providing a possible new route to hydrogen-gas production, researchers at Caltech have devised a series of chemical reactions that allows them, for the first time, to split water in a nontoxic, noncorrosive way, at relatively low temperatures.



Building a Research Program from the Ground Up

Douglas Smith

What's it like to build an entire research program from scratch? It's all about becoming part of a community, according to three brand-new professors who chat about their experiences in "From the Ground Up," an article in the Spring 2012 issue of Caltech's Engineering & Science magazine.


American Chemical Society Names Caltech Chemist Sarah Reisman a Rising Star

Kimm Fesenmaier

Sarah E. Reisman, an assistant professor of chemistry at Caltech, will receive the WCC Rising Star Award today, making her one of 10 midcareer women chemists to be honored with the award in its inaugural year. The distinction, bestowed by the Women Chemists Committee (WCC) of the American Chemical Society (ACS), will be presented at the society's 243rd national meeting in San Diego and is intended to help promote the retention of women in science.


American Chemical Society Honors Shu-ou Shan

Allison Benter

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has honored Shu-ou Shan, professor of chemistry at Caltech, with this year's Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry.




Caltech Study Supports Model for Locating Genetic Damage Through DNA Charge Transport

Kimm Fesenmaier

Our genetic information is under constant attack. Luckily, repair proteins are typically hard at work, locating and fixing damaged DNA. Over the past decade, Caltech chemist Jacqueline Barton has been exploring a model that describes how repair proteins might work together in this scouting mission to efficiently home in on lesions or mismatches within the DNA. Recent results from her lab support the model.


Caltech Professor David Tirrell Named Director of the Beckman Institute

Kimm Fesenmaier

David Tirrell, the Ross McCollum-William H. Corcoran Professor and professor of chemistry and chemical engineering at Caltech, has been appointed director of the Beckman Institute.


Caltech Chemists Devise Chemical Reaction that Holds Promise for New Drug Development

Kimm Fesenmaier

A team of researchers at Caltech has devised a new method for making complex molecules. The reaction they have come up with could open up new avenues for the development of novel pharmaceuticals and natural products from chemotherapeutic compounds to bioactive plant materials such as morphine.


Caltech Faculty Receive Gates Foundation Grants for Global Health Initiatives

Katie Neith

On December 15, the Gates Foundation and Grand Challenge Canada announced over $31 million in new grants to help advance healthcare in the developing world. James Heath, Gilloon Professor and professor of chemistry, and Axel Scherer, Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics, and Physics, were among the 12 grant recipients who will be funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Caltech was the only organization to receive more than one award.