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Current Miller Senior Fellows
Raymond Jeanloz photo

Raymond Jeanloz
Miller Senior Fellow, 2011 - 2016
Earth & Planetary Science
E-mail: jeanloz[at]berkeley.edu
Earth & Planetary Science
491 McCone Hall
4767Campus

Raymond Jeanloz' research combines static (diamond-anvil) and dynamic (shock-wave and ramp) compression methods to characterize the properties of materials at high pressures, and the nature and evolution of planetary interiors. His work with students and associates has included: documenting that perovskite-structured Mg-silicate is the predominant material making up Earth's interior; providing the first experimental constraints on the temperature at our planet's center; discovering evidence that Earth's rocky mantle and liquid iron core react chemically, with the core-mantle boundary being one of the most dynamic regions of the planet; determining that Fe ions collapse in size due to spin transition in minerals of Earth's deep mantle; and showing that high temperature significantly reduces the pressures at which helium and hydrogen-helium mixtures become metallic fluids deep inside planets. His group is currently using the largest laser in the world to characterize the internal properties of most planets now known, the giant and super-giant planets recently discovered outside the Solar System. In addition to basic research in planetary geophysics, he is active in science-based policy.

Additional Terms
Miller Professor, Fall 1992, Geology & Geophysics

Barbara Meyer photo

Barbara Meyer
Miller Senior Fellow, 2013 - 2018
Molecular & Cell Biology
E-mail: bjmeyer[at]berkeley.edu
Molecular & Cell Biology
125B Koshland Hall
3204Campus

Barbara J. Meyer received her B.A. degree in biology from Stanford University and her Ph.D. degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University, where she studied with Mark Ptashne. Her postdoctoral work with Sydney Brenner was conducted at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. Prior to joining the faculty at U.C. Berkeley and becoming an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Barbara was a tenured faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a member of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences.

Barbara's research addresses fundamental aspects of chromosome behaviors and cell fate decisions during development using the nematode C. elegans: how chromosomes fold and align to achieve proper gene expression, cohesion, and segregation; how gene expression is coordinately regulated across an entire X chromosome; how regulatory gene hierarchies control developmental decisions and thereby dictate alternative cell fates. Her studies of X-chromosome gene expression through the process of dosage compensation have revealed a mechanistic link between higher-order chromatin structure and crossover control during meiosis. Barbara's studies of nematode sex determination reveal mechanisms by which chromosome number is counted and developmental pathways switched on or off. Her work has strong implications for the evolution of regulatory gene hierarchies that control developmental and the evolution of mechanisms that control chromosome-wide gene expression.

Saul Perlmutter photo

Saul Perlmutter
Miller Senior Fellow, 2010 - 2015
Physics
E-mail: saul[at]lbl.gov
Physics
429 LeConte Hall
7300Campus

Saul Perlmutter's research is primarily motivated by questions of what our universe is made of and how it works, and he approaches these questions using astrophysics measurements. His work with supernovae, which was intended to measure the deceleration of the universe's expansion due to gravity (in other words, "weighing the universe"), turned out to see an acceleration. This unexpected result suggests that most of the universe may be primarily (~75%) made of a previously unknown energy -- now called "dark energy" -- that is accelerating the expansion. This dark energy is a new mystery, raising many new questions: What is the physics behind it? Is it vacuum energy? Does it behave as Einstein's cosmological constant or has it been evolving with redshift? Dr. Perlmutter thinks we have an excellent chance to make progress on answering these fundamental questions in the next few years. We are aggressively extending our research with SNe in several programs that range from the nearby universe to the most distant observable SNe. In addition, we are also exploring complementary astrophysical techniques. For example, weak lensing, a technique that is rapidly maturing, allows us to measure the growth of structure in the universe, and infer properties of dark energy (as well as dark matter). Another direction being pursued is baryon acoustic oscillations, which lets us tie the perturbations of the CMB to the low redshift universe.

It is too soon to know what these methods will reveal about dark energy. It might turn out to be something completely unexpected and this would be even more exciting.

Gabor Somorjai photo

Gabor Somorjai
Miller Senior Fellow, 2009 - 2014
Chemistry
E-mail: somorjai[at]cchem.berkeley.edu
Chemistry
D58 Hildebrand
1460Campus

Dr. Somorjai's research interests are in the field of surface science. His group studies the structure, bonding, and reactivity at solid surfaces on the molecular scale. This knowledge is utilized to understand macroscopic surface phenomena; adsorption, heterogeneous catalysis, and biocompatibility on the molecular level. To this end, he also develops instruments for nanoscale characterization of surfaces. These include sum frequency generation surface vibrational spectroscopy (SFG), high pressure scanning tunneling microscopy (high pressure STM) and high pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (ambient pressure XPS). Studies of catalytic reactions on single crystals, nano-particles, or other well-characterized surfaces are carried out. The rate and product distribution of catalyzed reactions are correlated to surface composition, valency, and atomic structure. As part of these studies, hydrocarbon reactions on platinum and rhodium single crystal surfaces are investigated. Monodispersed metal nanoparticles in the 1-10 nm range are synthesized in solution and deposited on oxide films as two-dimensional arrays using the Langmuir-Blodgett technique and used as model catalysts. Encapsulation of metal nanoparticles in mezoporous oxide channels is used to produce high surface area catalysts that exhibit high reaction selectivity. Polymer surfaces, both hydrophobic and hydrophilic are utilized to study the adsorption, structures and transformations of amino acid and polypeptide monolayers.

Additional Terms
Miller Professor, 1977 - 1978, Chemistry

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