University of California, Berkeley   |  College of Natural Resources 

A Newsletter for Faculty, Students, Staff and Friends of the Department

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Issue No. 10  

November 2012
In This Issue ...
Famed Researcher Interviewed
Coates Lab Hosts Irish Visitor
Regents Lecture in January
PMB Party; Remaining Seminars

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Videos at PMB

Our new Facebook Page 


A Revealing Portrait of Research -- Andrew Benson Interview
  PMB Professor Bob Buchanan recently
Andrew Benson
Students will be "very interested" in how Benson made his discoveries
interviewed Biochemist Andrew Benson, an expert in organic chemistry who discovered how CO2 functions in plants.
  How plants use carbon dioxide is at the heart of biology, but it wasn't until Benson ('39) got together with Melvin Calvin, a UC Berkeley chemistry professor, in the years following World War II, that the process was elucidated.
  The new video, hosted by Bob Bob Buchanan, entitled "A Conversation with Andrew Benson: Reflections on the Discovery of the Calvin-Benson Cycle," captures Benson's perspective on this collaboration.

Read more and view the video and interview transcript at


Coates Lab hosts Visitor from Ireland


  Professor John Coates recently gave a young scholar the 
Aisling Leavy in Coates Lab
Aisling Leavy visited the Coates Lab in November
opportunity to work in a laboratory.
  Aisling (pronounced Ashling) Leavy, 15, from Dublin, has a strong interest in biology, particularly microbiology and biotechnology, and was able to experience lab life for several weeks during the Fall Semester.
  Aisling said she was impressed with how nice everyone in the lab is, and really enjoyed the hands-on research she was able to be involved in. She was able to connect with mentors from the start, and participated in authentic biofuels research.
  Plant & Microbial Biology has a long history of introducing students to research. Undergrads are also welcome in our labs and are able to do real research in real labs, finding out about real-world applications for biology.


Former Chief Scientific Officer of Celera to Give Lecture     

Please mark your calendars now to attend a lecture by Dr. Thomas White, former Chief Scientific Officer of Celera. He will be on campus January 24, 2013 for the Regents Lecture, hosted by the Department and the College of Natural Resources.


Title of the talk is:

    "Genomic Medicine: The Development, Economic and Ethical Challenges of Translating Basic Research into Clinical Practice"


The lecture will be in 105 Stanley Hall on Thursday, January 24, from 6-7:30 pm, with a Reception immediately following from 7:30-8:30 pm. 


Etcetera ... Important News and Tidbits of Information! 


The deadline to apply for the department of Plant & Microbial Biology Graduate Program for Fall 2013 admission is Dec. 2, 2012. For more information please visit: 


SAVE THE DATE - Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 - for the PMB Holiday Party, 4-8 pm, Alumni House, UC Berkeley Campus. Open to department faculty, students and staff only. Contact for more information.


Other important dates: Grad Student Interview Weekend 1-24 through 1-27-13 (faculty interviews on 1-25-13); PMB Spring Party 5-3-13; PMB Retreat 9-13-13. 


Final seminar in the Fall 2012 Seminar Series: Shuqun Zhang on 11/28/12, University of Missouri, hosted by Sheng Luan. The Anne Pringle seminar, originally scheduled for 12/5/12, has been cancelled. For more information please visit


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The PMB newsletter is produced by the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, UC Berkeley.

Professor Robert Fischer, Department Chair

N. Louise Glass, Associate Chair

Dana Jantz, Chief Operating Officer 

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