Professors Michael Jung, Sri Kosuri, Jose Rodriguez, and Sarah Tolbert are featured in the Summer 2018 UCLA College Magazine article “What if?”.
Excerpted from Summer 2018 UCLA College Magazine:
Scientists in the Division of Physical Sciences are on a quest to solve the seemingly impossible, starting by asking, “What if…?” Their answers lead to breakthroughs that are improving daily lives, preserving the health of the planet and revealing the mysteries of the Universe.
WHAT IF WE COULD STOP PROSTATE CANCER IN ITS TRACKS?
Chemistry professor Mike Jung has created molecules in his lab that have become new drugs that are allowing men with prostate cancer, the most common cancer among men in the U.S., to live longer and healthier lives. Click here to learn more.
WHAT IF EVERY SCIENTIST HAD THE TOOLS TO UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF LIFE?
Researchers led by UCLA assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry Sriram Kosuri have pioneered a new technique that could enable scientists in any typical biochemistry laboratory to make their own gene sequences for about $2 per gene instead of the current price tag of between $50 and $100 per gene. By making the process more affordable, a greater number of scientists will be able to use gene sequencing to screen for genes’ roles in diseases and important biological processes.
WHAT IF WE COULD CURE BIG DISEASES BY STUDYING THE SMALLEST THINGS?
Assistant professor Jose Rodriguez pioneered a technique called micro-electron diffraction (MicroED). His lab in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry focuses on amyloid proteins, which are responsible for neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. With MicroED, electrons can now be used to pinpoint the exact location of atoms in these disease-causing prions, offering exciting new prospects for treatment. The technique is more cost-effective and accessible, meaning scientists around the world can use the technology to collaborate in finding cures for an array of diseases. Click here to learn more.
WHAT IF WE COULD CHARGE AN ELECTRIC CAR IN FIVE MINUTES?
Professor of chemistry and biochemistry Sarah Tolbert uses chemistry to control the structure of materials from the level of atoms all the way up to macroscale, which allows her to create materials with fundamental new functionality. For example, she can make batteries that can charge in just a few minutes and window glass that doesn’t conduct heat so that it keeps the cold out in winter. Click here to learn more.
Read the full article here.