Hofmann Award 2015

Professor Christopher Chang,

University of California, Berkeley, USA

van der Donk

   Molecular imaging approaches to studying

    transition metal signaling


   University of Zürich, Irchel Campus,
   Department of Chemistry

   5th of October 2015



Christopher Chang received his B. Sc. and M. Sc. degrees at the California Institute of Technology in 1997, where he worked with Professor Harry Gray on the electronic structures of metal-nitrido and metal-oxo salen complexes. After spending a year as a Fulbright scholar at the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg with Professor Jean-Pierre Sauvage in the area of chemical opology, he received an NSF and Merck predoctoral fellowship obtaining his PhD in 2002 under the supervision of Professor Dan Nocera. His thesis focused on the application of proton-coupled electron transfer as a mechanistic platform for developing catalytic oxygen reduction and evolution reactions. He stayed at MIT as a Jane Coffins Childs postdoctoral fellow with Professor Steve Lippard from 2002 to 2004, working on zinc sensing for neuroscience applications. In 2004 he began his independent career as a member of the chemistry faculty at UC Berkeley, where his group’s research interests are centered around Chemical Biology and Inorganic Chemistry.

Professor Chang’s research contains the core disciplines of chemical biology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and molecular biology, focusing on the fundamental design and synthesis of new molecules and materials for targeted applications. His group develops new chemical tools for molecular imaging and activity-based protein profiling to discover and study novel chemical signals in biology, with a particular focus on neuroscience. His work in inorganic chemistry aims to design catalysts for energy conversion and solar fuels merging concepts and components of molecular inorganic chemistry with biology and material science. These catalysts operate in environmentally-green, aqueous conditions.

His work has already received numerous distinctions and awards including the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award (2004), American Federation for Aging Resesarch Award (2005), Arnold and Mabel Beckman Young Investigator (2005), National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2006), Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering (2006), Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (2007), Paul Saltman Award, Metals in Biology Gordon Research Conference (2008), Amgen Young Investigator Award (2008), Hellman Faculty Award (2008), Bau Award in Inorganic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2008), Technology Review TR35 Young Innovator Award (2008), Astra Zeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award (2009), Novartis Young Investigator Award (2009), ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (2010), SBIC Early Career Award (2011), Wilson Prize, Harvard University (2011), Miller Research Professor (2011-2012), ACS Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry (2012), RSC Award in Transition Metal Chemistry (2012), ACS Nobel Laureate Signature Award in Graduate Education (2013), Noyce Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2013), and Baekeland Award, ACS New Jersey Section (2013).