History

On March 18, 1929, the first chemistry class met at UCLA’s Westwood campus, six months before the official opening of the campus. The 125 students enrolled in Chemistry 1A were the first to receive instruction in the class taught by Professor Hosmer W. Stone (pictured right). The original chemistry building was being built at UCLA’s Vermont campus but it was destroyed by a suspicious fire on January 3, 1929. Rather than rebuilding from the ashes (classes were to start in March), the chemistry department was moved to the Westwood campus to be housed in what is now Haines Hall (pictured left). Read more here.

This group photo of members of UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry was taken on July 31, 1952 in front of Haines Hall before the move to Young Hall that same year. Click here to see the photo legend.

A Half Century in Chemistry at UCLA 1932-1983 by Professor Francis E. Blacet (PDF)
Francis Blacet (1899-1990) joined the chemistry faculty at UCLA in 1932, served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry from 1948 to 1956, and as Dean of the Division of Physical Sciences until his retirement in 1966. 

The Making of an Institute: The MBI at UCLA - 1960-1978 by Professor Richard Dickerson (PDF)
The history of how the Molecular Biology Institute (MBI) at UCLA came about. Richard Dickerson (1931-) is a Professor Emeritus of the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and served as the second Director of the MBI from 1983 to 1994.  
 
Alumnus Glenn T. Seaborg '34 (1912 - 1999) was one of the most remarkable and influential chemists of the 20th Century. After completing undergraduate studies in Chemistry at UCLA in 1934, he began graduate work in nuclear chemistry at Berkeley and received a Ph.D. in 1937. He joined the faculty at Berkeley as instructor in 1939. In 1951, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. After serving as Director of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory from 1946-58, he accepted the position of Chancellor at UC Berkeley. In 1961, he was named Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, a position he held for ten years. Dr. Seaborg held the unique distinction of having element 106, Seaborgium, named after him. UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry honors Dr. Seaborg at the annual Seaborg Symposium and Medal Dinner.  
 
Professor Emeritus Paul Delos Boyer (1918 – 2018) shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for research on the "enzymatic mechanism underlying the biosynthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)" (ATP synthase) with John E. Walker. He joined the UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty in 1963. In 1965, he became the Founding Director of the Molecular Biology Institute and spearheaded the construction of the building and the organization of an interdepartmental Ph.D. program. Boyer was Editor or Associate Editor of the Annual Review of Biochemistry from 1963-1989. He was Editor of the classic series, "The Enzymes"