Inaugural Alumni Legacy Awards

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The first four women to receive PhDs from the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry were honored at the 2018 Departmental Awards Ceremony on April 9th.

The Inaugural Alumni Legacy Awards were presented to Dr. Audree Fowler (BS ’56, Ph.D. ’63), Dr. Atsuko Fujimoto (Ph.D. ’63), Dr. Margaret Holzer (Ph.D. ’64), and Dr. Kate Murashige (Ph.D. ’62). The award honors distinguished UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry alumni who have received a graduate-level degree from UCLA, in recognition of their achievements in life, and generous support and service to the university.

Department Chair Prof. Catherine Clarke (center) with the 2018 Alumni Legacy Award recipients – Dr. Atsuko Fujimoto, Dr. Margaret Holzer, Dr. Audree Fowler, and Dr. Kate Murashige. The women are holding their Ph.D. theses.

About the 2018 Alumni Legacy Award Recipients

Dr. Audree Fowler received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UCLA in 1956 and Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1963. She retired from UCLA in 1999 and built a research career which includes over 80 publications, and made strong connections with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Molecular Biology Institute, the Department of Biological Chemistry, the UCLA Protein Microsequencing Facility-where she served as director for 15 years-, and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is one of five founding members of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities, which is now an international organization of 1,100 members.  She remained active after retirement through her dedicated service.  Select examples includes service on the board of directors of UCLA Women & Philanthropy and the executive board of the Iris Cantor UCLA Women’s Health Center. A strong supporter of the basic sciences, the performing arts, and medicine at UCLA, Dr. Fowler demonstrated her devotion to the College of Letters and Science again by establishing the Audree V. Fowler Graduate Fellowship in Protein Science, administered by the Molecular Biology Institute. Since inception in 2008, there have been 30 Fowler Fellows.

Dr. Atsuko Fujimoto received her B.A. in Natural Science at the International Christian University (ICU), Japan in 1958; Ph.D. in biochemistry from UCLA in 1963; and M.D., from UCLA in 1969.  She was Board certified in Pediatrics in 1974 and Triple boarded in Medical Genetics: Clinical Genetics, Clinical Biochemical Genetics, and Clinical Cytogenetics.  Dr. Fujimoto had a career in practice of clinical medical genetics at Los Angeles County – University of Southern California Medical Center as Chief of the Genetics Division and has authored 56 basic science and clinical publications. Her accolades include the Fulbright (Japan) and Distinguished Alumni of the Year from ICU.  Dr. Fujimoto is married to Akira Fujimoto, with whom she established the Roberts. A. Smith Graduate Award for the Study of Biochemistry. The Fujimotos have also sponsored a study room in the Centennial Collaboratory, which will renovate the old Chemistry Library into a state-of-the-art study, lecture, and meeting space for the thousands of students who take courses in our department. Lastly, they are proud parents of one son, two grandsons and one great granddaughter.

Dr. Margaret Holzer received her B.A., in chemistry from Wellesley College in 1958, and Ph.D. in biochemistry from UCLA in 1964. She had a career in academia in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Her interest in curriculum development and pre­university level preparation led to service on the statewide test generation team for the Golden State Chemistry Exam. In addition to chemistry, she has been involved with her church. Since retirement Dr. Holzer has been an active volunteer at the Getty Center Museum, served on the Board of Directors of CSUN’s Association of Retired Faculty, and has continued to pursue he lifelong interest in photography.

Dr. Kate Murashige

received a B.A. in chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis in 1956, and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from UCLA in 1962.  Dr. Murashige taught undergraduate chemistry at the American River College and College of San Mateo for 15 years. During this time, she also attended the Santa Clara University School of Law at night and earned a J.D., summa cum laude, in 1977. After doing the “next case” for a couple of years, she was able to get into patent law just in time for the blossoming of biotech industry. Some of the patents she prosecuted have led to great funding for the University of California. Dr. Murashige’s select recognitions include the Chambers Lifetime Achievement award and election as a Fellow of AAAS.  She has practiced both in house at Syntex and Genentech; and in law firms, including, Ciotti & Murashige; and wound up as a partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP. Dr. Murashige and her husband, Chris Zones have three children and four grandchildren.

Clockwise from top left: 1963 Graduation – Joe Pinto, Audree Fowler, Atsuko Fujimoto, Garth Reid & Meg Holzer; 1960 Dinner at a biochem conference with Charles West, Margaret Holzer, Garth Reid, Atsuko Fujimoto, guest, Audree Fowler, Joe Pinto, Roberts Smith & Dan Atkinson; Atsuko Fujimoto, Audree Fowler and Margaret Holzer at the 2016 Seaborg Medal Award Dinner; Kate Murashige; 1968 College of San Mateo faculty photo of Kate Murashige.