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William Gelbart and Miguel Garcia-Garibay with medal

"Viruses, from
Self-Assembly to Vaccines"

On Saturday, November 18, 2017,
the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
awarded the 2017 Glenn T. Seaborg Medal to

Professor William Gelbart
UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

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2017 Symposium Speakers
Catherine F. Clarke
  Catherine F. Clarke, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Welcoming Remarks
  Avinoam Ben-Shaul, Ph.D.
Archie and Marjorie Sherman Professor of Theoretical Chemistry
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

"Modeling DNA and RNA In and Out of Viruses"

Donald Hilvert, Ph.D.
Professor, Chemistry and Applied Biosciences,
ETH Zürich
"Design and Evolution of Supercharged Protein Containers"

Jack Johnson
  John (Jack) Johnson, Ph.D.
Elden R. Strahm Professor of Structural Virology,
Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology,
The Scripps Research Institute
"Bacteriophage Maturation: The Anatomy of a Molecular Machine"
  Anne Moscona, Ph.D.
Sherie L. Morrison Professor of Immunology, Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Microbiology & Immunology, and Physiology & Cellular Biophysics,
Columbia University Medical Center
"Early Steps of Infection by Paramyxoviruses"
Hong Zhou
  Z. Hong Zhou, Ph.D.
Director, Electron Imaging Center for Nanomachines (EICN), CNSI
Professor, UCLA Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics

"3D cryoEM comes of age: seeing atoms in proteins and genomes of viruses"
  William Gelbart, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
"Viruses, from Self-Assembly to Vaccines"
Catherine F. Clarke
  Catherine F. Clarke, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Closing Remarks
Professor William Gelbart's Biography
Professor Gelbart was trained as a physical chemical theorist, obtaining his BS at Harvard University (1967) and his PhD at the University of Chicago (1970), working on molecular spectroscopy theory. After two years of postdoctoral work – 1971 at the University of Paris and 1972 at UC Berkeley – he joined the Berkeley faculty in 1972, continuing his researches on the quantum theory of photochemistry. Prof. Gelbart moved to UCLA in 1975, switched fields, and became a leader in the then‐emerging field of "complex fluids", contributing significantly to the statistical mechanical theory of liquid crystals, polymer solutions, colloids, and self‐assembling systems. Fifteen years ago he became deeply intrigued by viruses and, with his colleague Charles M. Knobler, established a laboratory to investigate simple viruses outside their hosts and isolated in test tubes. This work, along with that of several other groups in the States and Europe, helped launch the burgeoning field of "physical virology". Prof. Gelbart's interdisciplinary research has been recognized by many awards, including the 1991 Lennard‐Jones Medal of the British Royal Society, a 1998 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2001 Liquids Prize of the American Chemical Society, election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009, and endowed lectureships at the University of Leeds (England) (1988), the Curie Institute (Paris) (1999), Case Western Reserve University (2002), Cornell University (2006), Carnegie Mellon University (2010), and the University of Pittsburgh (2012). At UCLA he won the 1996 University Distinguished Teaching Award, and served as Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry from 2000 to 2004. In 2016 he was recognized by a festschrift issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry and by an international workshop in his honor, entitled "Self-Assembly, from Atoms to Life". Prof. Gelbart is currently UCLA Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute and Molecular Biology Institute at UCLA. He is married to author and Occidental College history professor Dr. Nina Gelbart and they have a son and a daughter and three grandchildren.
About the Glenn T. Seaborg Medal
Young Seaborg  
The Glenn T. Seaborg Medal was established in 1987 by the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to honor individuals for their significant contributions to chemistry and biochemistry. The medal is awarded annually. The recipient is chosen by the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry Executive Committee. Dr. Seaborg's life, work and contributions are best characterized by one word - excellence.

To learn more, please read Dr. Seaborg's biography. For a list of previous Seaborg Medal recipients please visit the previous recipients webpage.
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