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Charles Mckenna News

Raymond Stevens (right) and Peter Kuhn’s laboratories will bring a cohort of approximately 50 researchers to USC. Their labs will be housed in the new USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, which broke ground on Oct. 23. Photo by Ryan Young.

USC Dornsife Recruits Renowned Leaders in Molecular Research

October 23, 2014

Raymond C. Stevens and Peter Kuhn have been named Provost Professor of Biological Sciences and Chemistry and Dean’s Professor of Biological Sciences, respectively. The announcements were made by Provost Elizabeth Garrett…

Chemistry major Beatriz “Abril” Lopez-Bermudez works in the laboratory of Brent Melot, assistant professor of chemistry (right). Melot’s team is researching ways to produce safer, higher-voltage and more compact batteries. Photos by Pamela J. Johnson.

Big Boost for the Bench

October 9, 2014

For Beatriz “Abril” Lopez-Bermudez, advancing energy efficiency is a cause near and dear. Growing up in Ayotla, a suburb of Mexico City, her family home and entire neighborhood were often without electricity for…

Screening methods at Calibr include the use of sophisticated robotics seen here — making it possible to process thousands of experiments daily. Photo courtesy of Calibr.

Industry and Academe Team Up

May 22, 2014

The California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr), a nonprofit organization founded by renowned chemical biologist Peter Schultz, has launched a research collaboration with USC Dornsife. The partnership will expedite…

Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement winner Simon Levin of Princeton University accepts his award during a banquet and ceremony at The Four Seasons Los Angeles in Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 25. Photo by Steve Cohn.

From Obstacles to Opportunities

May 1, 2014

How to balance growing economically with green responsibilities? Simon Levin draws from an unlikely source. “We are faced with insurmountable opportunities,” Levin quotes Pogo, the possum in the 20th century comic…

"Sustainability means something different within each discipline, but there's a common understanding of the bigger issues we face," says Provost Professor of Psychology and Business Wendy Wood, who is among those leading the USC Dornsife Sustainability Task Force.

The Task at Land (and Sea and Air)

February 7, 2014

It’s 5 p.m. so you grab your keys and cell phone and head home. As you hear the click of your office door lock shut, you realize you’ve neglected to turn off the light and your computer. But there’s no…

USC Dornsife's Charles McKenna and Myron Goodman research crystal structures for the repair enzyme, DNA polymerase beta (seen here). The enzyme contains an inhibitor molecule (shown in yellow) which forms a complex with DNA. It is designed to selectively block polymerase beta DNA synthesis to kill cancer cells, while ensuring survival of normal cells. Image courtesy of Boris Kashemirov.

Killing Cancer

October 16, 2013

Chemotherapy offers cancer patients hope of a cure, or at least of remission. The problem with the treatment is that all too often a hard-won remission is only temporary. “A typical pattern is that people take the drug,…

Professor Hanna Reisler of chemistry presents her keynote address at the recent WiSE Research Horizons symposium held in her honor. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Hanna Reisler Celebrated

April 2, 2013

Speaking at a recent symposium held in her honor, USC Dornsife’s Hanna Reisler recalled the early days of USC’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program. At the time, women with tenured or tenure-track…

Candy Hwang, chemistry doctoral student in USC Dornsife, is depicted in a video she created with USC School of Cinematic Arts animators, which picked up two awards in a recent National Science Foundation competition. Titled, <em>The Secrets of Nitrogenase</em>, the video breaks down the complex science behind the nitrogenase enzyme.

The Little Enzyme That Could

December 12, 2012

The cute kiddie cartoon shows an animated Candy Hwang wearing a white lab coat jotting down data on her clipboard. But the 90-second video is not child’s play. Called The Secrets of Nitrogenase, it clearly and concisely…

For a National Science Foundation competition, USC Dornsife doctoral student Candy Hwang and her team have created a 90-second video-animated presentation of their research on nitrogen.

Jumping Off the Page

October 29, 2012

Candy Hwang, a second-year doctoral candidate in chemistry and National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow, has swapped the written page for animation. Hwang of USC Dornsife entered “Creating the…

Charles McKenna, professor of chemistry and vice dean for natural sciences in USC Dornsife (third from left), wears his decoration recognizing him as a <em>Chevalier</em> (Knight) in the <em>Ordre des Palmes Académiques</em> (Order of Academic Palms), with (from left) incoming USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay; USC Executive Vice Provost Michael Quick; and Chi Mak, professor and chair of chemistry in USC Dornsife. Photo courtesy of the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles.

Academic Accolades from France

September 28, 2012

Charles McKenna, professor of chemistry and vice dean for natural sciences in USC Dornsife, has been named a Chevalier, or Knight, in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms) by the prime minister of…