Winter 2019 Distinguished Lecture

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Professor Joanna Aizenberg (Harvard) visited UCLA on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, to give the Winter 2019 Distinguished Lecture.

Over 300 faculty, students, and researchers attended Aizenberg’s lecture titled “Actuated ‘hairy’ surfaces: En route for adaptive, homeostatic materials” in the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute auditorium.  A photo gallery from the event can be viewed here and select photos can be viewed below. 

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Aizenberg giving her Distinguished Lecture – “Actuated ‘hairy’ surfaces: En route for adaptive, homeostatic materials”.

Dr. Joanna Aizenberg is the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Director of the Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology and Platform Leader in the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.  She pursues a broad range of research interests that include biomimetics, smart materials, wetting phenomena, bio-nano interfaces, and self-assembly. She received the M.S. degree in Chemistry from Moscow State University, and the Ph.D. degree in Structural Biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science. 

At the lecture, Department Chair Professor Catherine Clarke gave the welcoming remarks and Aizenberg was introduced by her collaborator Professor Paul S. Weiss, UC Presidential Chair and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Materials Science & Engineering at UCLA. After the lecture Clarke presented Aizenberg with an engraved crystal plaque. A reception followed the lecture. In the afternoon, prior to her lecture, Aizenberg had lunch with postdocs and graduate students from chemistry and biochemistry labs.

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Department Chair Professor Catherine Clarke (left) gave the welcoming remarks and Professor Paul Weiss (right) introduced Aizenberg.

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Over 300 faculty, students, and researchers attended Aizenberg’s lecture in the CNSI auditorium.
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(Left) After the lecture, Clarke presented Aizenberg  with an engraved crystal plaque. (Right) At the reception following the lecture, UCLA Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Dr. Ximin He (a former postdoctoral research associate in Aizenberg’s group) with Aizenberg.

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At the reception following the lecture – Paul Weiss, Sarah Tolbert, Aizenberg, Dean of Physical Sciences Miguel Garcia-Garibay, Anne Andrews, and Ric Kaner. 

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Postdocs and graduate students had lunch with Aizenberg at the UCLA Faculty Center – (from left) Isaura Frost (Weiss lab), Sofia King (Tolbert lab), Dr. Julia Stauber (Spokoyny lab), Aizenberg, Zhaoyang Lin (Duan lab), Stephanie Aguilar (Kaner lab), Dan Estabrook (Sletten lab). Photo courtesy of Dan Estabrook.

About The Distinguished Lecture Series

The UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry Distinguished Lecture Series is a department-wide colloquium in a special week once per quarter when there are no other seminars in our department. Since beginning the series in 2013, we have invited some of the world’s most accomplished and engaging scientists to speak and their lectures have consistently encouraged thought-provoking conversations and ideas – Nobel Laureate Frances Arnold (Caltech), Barry Honig (Columbia), Nobel Laureate Roger Kornberg (Stanford), Harry Gray (Caltech), Francois Diederich (ETH Zurich), Yi Lu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Sharon Hammes-Schiffer (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), JoAnne Stubbe (MIT), Douglas Rees (Caltech), Kimberly Prather (UCSD, Scripps), Jacqueline Barton (Caltech), Nobel Laureate Thomas Cech (University of Colorado, Boulder), David Baker (University of Washington), Victoria Orphan (California Institute of Technology). In lieu of a Fall 2018 Distinguished Lecture, George Whitesides (Harvard) gave the 2018 John D. Roberts Lecture followed by a piano tribute to Roberts by David Schuster (NYU). 
The Spring 2019 Distinguished Lecture by Zhenan Bao, K.K. Lee Professor of Chemical Engineering, and by courtesy Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, and Director of Stanford Wearable Electronics Initiative (eWEAR), will take place on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, at 4 p.m. in the CNSI auditorium followed by a reception in the lobby at 5:00 p.m


The lectures are open to the public. While the research covered in the lectures is meant to appeal to a broad range of chemists and biochemists, the lectures also include a general introduction to the research for those who are further separated in research expertise. For more information, visit the Distinguished Lecture series website.

Article and photos by Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.