2018 Glenn T. Seaborg Medal Events

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Two giants in the science of electron cryo-microscopy were awarded the 2018 Glenn Seaborg Medal in recognition of their crucial contributions to the field.

Professor Emeritus Robert Glaeser (University of California, Berkeley) and Dr. Richard Henderson (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology) developed cryo-electron microscopy for high resolution structure determination of large protein assemblies. Henderson was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (shared with biophysicists Jacques Dubochet and Joachim Frank) for his work.

A symposium titled “The Revolution in Electron Cryo-Microscopy,” a poster session, and an evening banquet were held in the medalists’ honor on Saturday, November 10, 2018, on the UCLA campus.

The Glenn T. Seaborg Medal was established in 1987 and given annually by the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to honor individuals for their significant contributions to chemistry and biochemistry.

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2018 Seaborg Medalists Richard Henderson (left) and Robert Glaeser (right) with David Eisenberg (center).

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Click on photo montage above to view photo gallery.

The afternoon symposium featured talks by Professor Jose Rodriguez (UCLA), who was introduced by his former postdoctoral mentor and the Seaborg Symposium organizer Professor David Eisenberg; Professor Elizabeth Villa (UC San Diego), who was introduced by Professor Juli Feigon (UCLA); Glaeser who was introduced by Professor Tamir Gonen (UCLA); and Henderson, who was introduced by Professor  Z. Hong Zhou (UCLA).  Over 250 people attended the event held at the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI).  

A poster session by chemistry and biochemistry postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students was held as part of the symposium in the CNSI lobby.

Following the symposium, a reception and dinner were held at the UCLA Luskin Center.

Serving as the master of ceremonies for the dinner, 2013 Seaborg Medalist Professor Kendall Houk (UCLA) welcomed the more than 150 guests to the event.  

In his remarks, Houk acknowledged the other Seaborg Medalists at the dinner, Dr. Ralph Bauer (1992 Seaborg Medalist) and his wife Charlene, and Professor David Eisenberg (2004 Seaborg Medalist) and his wife Lucy.  He also introduced three of the four recipients of the Inaugural Alumni Legacy Award, the first women to receive Ph.D.s from the department: Dr. Audree Fowler, benefactor of Graduate Fellowships in Protein Science; Dr. Atsuko Fujimoto with her husband Akira Fujimoto, who funded the Roberts Smith Award for Biochemistry; and Dr. Margaret Holzer, a UCLA Ph.D. and longtime faculty member at Cal State Northridge.  Also present at the dinner was 2013 Nobel Laureate and UCLA alum Professor Randy Schekman ‘71 (UC Berkeley) with Professor Sabeeha Merchant (UC Berkeley/UCLA).

UCLA Graduate Division Vice Provost and Dean Robin Garrell presented a slide show reflecting on the life and career of Glenn T. Seaborg, the graduate and lifelong friend of UCLA, after whom the Seaborg medal is named. 

Poster Session Chair Professor Joseph Loo introduced the judges, Adjunct Assistant Professor Agape Awad and Assistant Professors Justin Caram and Chong Liu, who announced the poster session award winners.

Eisenberg then presented the 2018 Glenn T. Seaborg Medals to Glaeser and Henderson.

Photos from the event can be viewed below, and the full photo gallery is available here.  

The department wishes to thank the generous support of the following donors whose donations made the Seaborg events possible: Gilead, Carolyn and Charles Knobler, Kathy R. Bailey, Atsuko and Akira Fujimoto, William and Nina Gelbart, Kendall N. Houk, Charles and Carolyn Knobler, William W. Price, II, Emil and Hanna Reisler, Melville and Irene Sahyun, Stan Schein and Mae Greenwald. 

To learn more about the Seaborg Symposium visit www.seaborg.ucla.edu.

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Professor Robert Glaeser and Dr. Richard Henderson.

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Professor Jose Rodriguez (UCLA) and Professor Elizabeth Villa (UC San Diego).

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Professors Juli Feigon, Tamir Gonen, and Z. Hong Zhao introduced Villa, Glaeser, and Henderson. 

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In the CNSI lobby, a poster session by postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students was held before the symposium and during the afternoon break.

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(Left) 2013 Seaborg Medalist Professor Kendall Houk made the welcoming remarks. (Right) UCLA Graduate Division Vice Provost and Dean Robin Garrell presented a slide show reflecting on the life and career of Glenn T. Seaborg.

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(Left) Three of the 2018 Legacy Award recipients Dr. Atsuko Fujimoto, Dr. Margaret Holzer, and Dr. Audree Fowler. (Right) 1992 Seaborg Medalist Professor Ralph Bauer and his wife Charlene.

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(From left) Alumna Linda Tunstad and Carlos Gutierrez (Cal State LA faculty members), Robin Garrell, Ken Houk, and Hosea Nelson. (Right) UC Berkeley faculty Sabeeha Merchant and 2013 Nobel Laureate and UCLA alum Randy Schekman.

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Poster session Chair Joseph Loo introduced the judges who announced the awards: Agape Awad, Chong Liu, and Justin Caram.

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Poster session winners with judges: (from left) Julia Stauber, Chong Liu, Yaqiang Wang, David Reilley, Anish Nag, Jeannette Bowler, Omar Ebrahim, Justin Caram, Agape Awad, Joseph Loo.

Photos by Reed Hutchinson. Article by Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.