Dec 13, 2016
Atkinson West

Help us to support the Atkinson/West fund for graduate and undergraduate students. 

This fund supports both prizes and fellowships in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The Daniel Atkinson & Charles West Prizes in Metabolic Biochemistry are presented undergraduate and graduate students at the commencement ceremonies each June to recognize their excellence in this area. Fellowship funds will also be available to support summer research in departmental Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty labs for undergraduates and graduate students in this field.
 
These awards were established to honor two UCLA chemistry faculty who were largely responsible for the development of biochemistry within the department. Daniel Atkinson and Charles West arrived at UCLA in 1952 and joined Max Dunn, who at that time was the only biochemist in the department. By the time they retired in the early 1990s, there were 18 biochemistry faculty members, and Atkinson and West had played major roles in recruiting most of them!
 
Both Atkinson and West were exceptionally valued by their faculty colleagues, the students in their laboratories, by the national and international research communities, and by the multitude of undergraduates they taught. These awards were inaugurated to honor the significant contributions of both men to research, education, and the strength of the UCLA academic community.
 
 
Professor Emeritus Daniel E. Atkinson
In more than 90 publications, Atkinson's research pioneered the field of metabolic regulation. His work allowed him to develop the concept of  "energy charge", now a main topic of biochemistry textbooks. He also was responsible for our present understanding of the biological role of the urea cycle in pH regulation. Students in our Chemistry and Biochemistry 153C course are still delighted to hear how his findings, initially challenged by the old guard, made their way into mainstream biochemistry. His classic 1977 monograph published by Academic Press "Cellular Energy Metabolism and its Regulation" presented a global view of the logic of metabolism and is still widely read and acclaimed. In a 2005 review, John Duncan wrote that "... anyone wanting a readable introduction to the classic ideas of metabolic regulation could scarcely find a better place to start".  In a 2013 review, Ralph Osgood remarked that it was a "great book still many years later from a great scientist" with a touch of "delicious heresy". Atkinson recognized the power of personal computers early on, and in 1987 published "Dynamic Models in Biochemistry: A Workbook of Computer Simulations Using Electronic Spreadsheets" with David Barkley, Steven Clarke, and Dougles Rees.  At UCLA, Atkinson trained over 30 Ph.D. students and over 20 postdoctoral fellows and visiting faculty. With his wife Elsie, Atkinson has retired to Corvallis, Oregon.
 
Professor Emeritus Charles A. West
Recognized internationally for his expertise in the biosynthesis and regulation of plant hormones and secondary metabolites of the isoprenoid family that are important for resistance to disease, West's research provided an understanding of how stress responses in plants allow them to deal with pathogens in their environment. In more than 80 papers published with over 50 Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows, West opened new areas of research in how antibiotic phytoalexins are made, especially those that protect plants from fungal invasion. West was more than generous with his time and was one of UCLA's most trusted and beloved administrators. He served as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Acting Dean of the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences. He was always sought after to be a member and chair Academic Senate, College, and Department committees, and his wisdom and expertise was often called upon in chairing faculty search committees and award committees. He was directly involved in recruiting many of the UCLA biochemistry faculty including bringing Paul Boyer to UCLA from Minnesota. He stayed active at UCLA after retirement, serving on the Phi Beta Kappa Council, the Program Committee and the Executive Board of the UCLA Emeriti Association, and the Chemistry/Molecular Biology Institute Postdoctoral Awards Selection Committee. West and his wife Carol have recently relocated to the Houston, Texas to be closer to family. 
 
Many thanks to the following former students & colleagues of Atkinson & West whose generous donations made these initial awards possible:
 
Laura and Arthur Brecher (PhD 1956)
Audree Fowler (BS 1956, PhD 1963)
Kate Murashige (PhD 1962)
Akira and Atsuko Fujimoto (PhD 1963, MD 1969)
Christen Upper (postdoc, 1963-1966)
Shirley and Kenneth Jones (PhD 1965)
Stanley Green (PhD 1964)
Margaret Holzer (PhD 1964)
Thomas Reilly (PhD 1966)
Patrick Murphy (PhD 1967)
Nancy Bigler in memory of William N. Bigler (postdoc, 1968-1970)
Mary and James Hageman (PhD 1968)
Sandra (BS 1969) and Larry (PhD 1970) Barnes
Catherine Lu Liao (PhD 1969) and Cheng L. Liao (PhD 1969)
Anne Ehret (PhD 1970)
William James Ball (PhD 1972)
Terry and Russell Frost (PhD 1972)
Minhee and Terrence Green (postdoc, 1972-1975)
Anna A. DePaoli-Roach and Peter J. Roach (postdoc, 1972-1974)
Sherry Olson and Garn Wallace (PhD 1972)
Mary Walker-Simmons (PhD 1974)
John Brady (BS 1976, PhD 1983)
Susan Hirano (PhD 1976)
Deborah Hansen and Michael Stekoll (PhD 1976)
Eric Bean (BS 1977, PhD 1982) 
Gloria Turner (Research Staff, 1978-2010)
Robert Uffen (Visiting Faculty, 1978-79)
Alein Chun (BS 1979, MS 1985, PhD 1994)
Susan Kaiser-Glembotski and Chris Glembotski (PhD 1979)
Jane Shen-Miller (Research Chemist, 1979-84)
Robert Coates (postdoc, 1980)
Cecilia and Edwin Kamemoto (PhD 1982)
Susan (BS 1982) and Gordon Plotkin (BS 1982, PhD 1988)
Faith Curtin and Philip Koch (PhD 1983)
Jonathan Lowenson (BS 1983, PhD 1991)
Joy (BA, 1985) and Bruce Morimoto (BS, 1984, PhD, 1988)
Angela Wandinger-Ness (PhD 1985) and Scott Ness (PhD 1985)
Donald Jin (PhD 1986)
Irena Mendez (postdoc, 1986-1990)
Olivia Bermingham-McDonogh (PhD 1987)
Sylvia and Bruce Fellows (CPh 1987)
Augusto Lois (PhD 1988)
Michael and Karen Wickham (PhD 1988)
Patricia Okubara (PhD 1992) and Christopher Mau (PhD 1994)
Yueying Ren (PhD 1993)
 
As well as numerous members of the Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty and their spouses:
 
Jane and Kyle Bayes
Sarah Gardner and James Bowie
Catherine and Guillaume Chanfreau
Catherine and Steven Clarke
Joanna and Robert Clubb
Jody Reichel and Albert Courey
Lucy and David Eisenberg
Nina and William Gelbart
Carolyn and Charles Knobler
Sabeeha Merchant
Jennifer and Craig Merlic
Gudrun and John Wasson
Marjorie Bates and Richard Weiss
Melissa and Todd Yeates
Helo and Jeffrey Zink
 
Contributions to the fund can be made by check payable to the "UCLA Foundation" with "Atkinson/West Fund - Chair's Discretionary" in the memo line and mailed to Professor Steven Clarke, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 607 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095.
 
Questions about the fund may be directed to Steven Clarke, clarke@chem.ucla.edu, 310-825-8754. 
 
From left - The 2016 graduate student recipients of the Daniel E. Atkinson and Charles A West Dissertation Awards Megan Sjodt with her thesis advisor Prof. Robert Clubb and Andrea Hadjikyriacou with her thesis advisor Prof. Steven Clarke.  The 2016 undergraduate recipients of the Daniel E. Atkinson & Charles E. West Biochemistry Undergraduate Prize in Metabolic Biochemistry Hei Tong "Nikki" Lam with her research advisor Prof. and Chair Catherine Clarke and Thao Luong who conducted research in Prof. Carla Koehler's group before graduating.