Centenary Lecture in honor of Nankai University

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Professor Ken Houk recently visited Tianjin, China to give a special lecture to commemorate Nankai University’s 100th birthday.

In honor of Nankai University’s birthday, Houk gave a special lecture titled “How Chemical Reactions Occur” on September 23, 2019. “UCLA is not the only international university celebrating their centennial this year!” he said.  “Nankai University, which is located in Tianjin not far from Beijing, is also 100 years old this year!” An article about Houk’s lecture was featured on the Nankai News Network.

According to Houk, Nankai University has many connections to UCLA. “I have had twelve graduate students, postdocs, visiting faculty and undergraduates from Nankai in my group,” he said. “They included two outstanding postdoctoral researchers, Fang Liu, now a Professor at Nanjing Agricultural University, and Zhongyue Yang, a postdoctoral fellow at MIT. This summer, Xiaosong Xue, Associate Professor at Nankai, and three superb undergraduates, Chenxi Lu, Bo Li, and Qianzhen Shao were all pushing back the frontiers of science on many projects with my group.”

Houk Lecture

Before the lecture, Professor Chen Jun presented Houk with a certificate for “The Speaker of the 100-year-old Nankai Grand Lecture” and Professor and Academician Li Zhengming presented Houk with a 100-year anniversary badge of Nankai University. Photos courtesy of Nankai University.

This is the third lecture that Houk has given at Nankai University in the past 11 years. UCLA’s Saul Winstein Professor of Organic Chemistry, Houk has pioneered the use of computer calculations and simulations to study organic chemistry and to predict chemical reactivity that will have important applications in industry and in therapies for fighting disease. To learn more about Houk’s research, visit his group’s website.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.