Posts byPiper Klemm

May 2013 upcoming graduate student deadlines

WestgateHDR_012Does it ever feel like you only hear about important deadlines when it is too late? I frequently feel that way, so in this series, I am going to remind graduate students of some upcoming deadlines, as I did for Science Exchange in Graduate Student Award and Conference Opportunities and Innovative Research Awards for Young Investigators.

These upcoming funding, conference, and award deadlines are focused on the graduate student audience; however, many may also apply to postdocs, undergraduates, or young faculty as well. Profiled below is funding to attend the Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, the American Chemical Society (ACS) Meeting, a grant for public outreach of Analytical Chemistry, an Organic Chemistry Graduate Fellowship, and the ACS Western Regional Meeting.

The three pieces of entrepreneurship: opportunity recognition, opportunity assessment, and opportunity realization

DSC_0099In today’s world, especially living in the San Francisco Bay area, everyone has his or her stereotype of what an entrepreneur is. Are they someone who wears a hoodie? Someone who eats pizza and plays video games at work at 3 am? Or someone else who neglects all for her garage laboratory? They might be entrepreneurs, but at the real heart of entrepreneurship are three things: the ability to identify or recognize opportunity, the ability to review or assess opportunity, and last but not least, the ability to successfully execute and realize opportunity. While these tasks seem straightforward on paper, the skills you need for each one are very different, and it is difficult to be good at all of them. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to excel at all three, all at the same time.

Piper Promotes: DrinkEntrepreneurs, Thursday, January 10, 2013

DrinkEntrepreneursAre you interested in starting a science business? DrinkEntrepreneurs SF is having a social gathering Thursday, January 10, from 6-10 pm at 111 Minna Gallery (near Montgomery Bart). This is a monthly gathering for entrepreneur-minded people. It usually reaches capacity at 111 Minna, so they recommend to come early.

The event is free, RSVP here:

Herradura Tequila will be sponsoring a tequila tasting and drink specials.

DrinkEntrepreneurs is currently a monthly gathering in 30 cities around the world including Paris, London, Brussels, and throughout the United States. This month is an exception, but meetings are generally on the first Thursday of the month.

111 Minna Gallery is currently featuring the works of John Waguespack.

RSVP on Facebook here.

Piper Promotes: Iota Sigma Pi Holiday Party, December 5, 2012

Iota Sigma Pi, the National Women’s Honors Society in Chemistry, is having a Holiday Party Potluck on December 5th, 2012 at 8 pm. If you are interested in attending, please email to RSVP. Along with the potluck will be a white elephant gift exchange with the theme of food/beverage.

ISP will be holding a membership meeting on Friday, December 7, at 12 pm in Bixby North. This meeting will be for election of a new Historian/Social Chair and President, as well as discussion of ISP Awards. If you are interested in applying for an Award or wish to run to be an officer of ISP, email

Iota Sigma Pi is a national honors society and was founded at Berkeley, the Hydrogen Chapter, in 1902. The organization highlights the accomplishments of female chemists through their awards and promotes friendship and mentorship of female chemists of all levels. If you are interested in becoming a member of ISP, membership criteria are here and a Spring Induction will be held in April. ISP also does practice GRSs, GRCs, and Quals; if you are interested in scheduling a practice, email

Piper Promotes: Flu Shots, November 29 at the Tang Center

Is there nothing worse than missing science because you’re sick?

The Tang Center at UC Berkeley is having a Flu Clinic to provide influenza vaccinations on Thursday, November 29, 2012 from noon-5:30 pm. The service is open to the campus and community, no appointment is necessary, and drop-ins are welcome. Flu shots are free to students with UC SHIP health insurance (what grad students have) or $25 for the community.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. The vaccine takes about two weeks to build antibodies and protect an individual against the flu. Flu shots now will protect against the peak of flu activity, generally occurring in January and February. Perhaps most awesomely, it’s a chance to see evolution in action!

For more information, visit University Health Services online-

Piper Promotes: Dr. Giacomo Chiari Lecture, Monday, November 19, 2012

Dr. Giacomo Chiari of the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, California will give the November 19, 2012 Applied Science and Technology (AS&T) Colloquium entitled “From King Tut to Michelangelo: applications of science to cultural heritage.” The seminar will be from 4-5 pm in Sibley Auditorium in Bechtel, with refreshments served at 3:45 pm.

Dr. Chiari is from Carmognola, Italy and pursued his chemistry studies at University of Turin, where he became a Full Professor of Applied Mineralogy. He has been studying art since the late 1960s from archaeological dig sites all around the world. He joined the Getty Institute in 2003.

Piper Promotes: BSR editors interviewed on KALX

This Friday, November 16, 2012, the Berkeley Science Review will be interviewed on 90.7 KALX, the Berkeley radio station from noon to 12:30 pm. They will be featured on Spectrum, a thirty minute Science and Technology show airing at noon on alternating Fridays. Spectrum explores scientific research and technology development through interviews with leading practitioners at UC Berkeley and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Blog editor Adam Hill, Editor-in-Chief Sebastien Lounis, and author Lindsay Glesener were interviewed by KALX. They talked about the upcoming issue of the magazine, and in particular, Lindsay’s new article and the process that goes into writing one. They also talked about the BSR blog and the process that goes into making each day’s post.

You can listen to the Podcasts here.

Piper Promotes: Rock the Vote Concert, November 3, 2012

SUPERB, the Student Union Program, Entertainment, and Recreation Board at UC Berkeley, is hosting a Rock the Vote Concert on November 3 from 7-10 pm on Memorial Glade. The concert is free and features Super Mash Bros., Classixx, and Mystery Skulls. Though this isn’t an exclusively science event, voting is critical to the future of the democratic system that lead to the great science we have today.

SUPERB is a student-run, non-profit branch of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) at the University of California – Berkeley dedicated to providing entertainment for the campus and community. Founded in 1964, SUPERB has 9 departments – General Management, Concerts, Films, Games, Sneaks, Comedy, Marketing, Web, and Art.

#ChemCoach: Graduate Student in Inorganic Chemistry

What do scientists really do on a daily basis? Twitter user @SeeArrOh has organized a “carnival” across science blogs, called #ChemCoach. This event is oriented towards showing people the different jobs that chemists have, and how they got there. See other #ChemCoachs here. Here is my contribution:

My current job:

I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Chemistry at University of California, Berkeley, working on inorganic coordination chemistry in Professor Kenneth N. Raymond’s laboratory.

Piper Promotes: Iota Sigma Pi Lunch with Professor Tom Maimone, October 26, 2012

source: Berkeley CoCIota Sigma Pi, the women’s honors society in chemistry, is hosting a brown bag lunch with synthetic chemistry Professor Tom Maimone on October 26 at 12:30 pm in Bixby North. The monthly ISP meeting will precede the lunch from 12-12:30 pm. Bring your own lunch and some additional snacks will be provided.

Professor Tom Maimone is a new addition to the College of Chemistry this summer, joining the organic chemistry faculty as an Assistant Professor; he currently holds the Cupola Era Chair. Professor Maimone received his B.S. in Chemistry from Berkeley researching with Prof. Dirk Trauner, his Ph.D. in Chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute with Prof. Phil Baran, and was the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein  Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Prof. Steve Buchwald. He is the recipient of  the Elsevier Reaxys Ph.D. Prize, the Roche Excellence in Chemistry Award, the Pfizer ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Award, a Bristol-Myers Squibb Graduate Fellowship, and the Erich O. & Elly M. Saegebarth Prize in Chemistry.

Iota Sigma Pi is a national honors society and was founded at Berkeley, the Hydrogen Chapter, in 1902. The organization highlights the accomplishments of female chemists through their awards and promotes friendship and mentorship of female chemists of all levels. For more information, email If you are interested in becoming a member of ISP, membership criteria are here and a Fall Induction will be held in early December. ISP also does practice GRS, GRC, & Quals- if you are interested in scheduling a practice, email

Piper Promotes: QB3 Postdoc Seminar Series, Fridays 4:30-5:30

QB3 hosts a Postdoc Seminar Series on Fridays from 4:30 to 5:30 pm in 106 Stanley Hall before the QB3 social hour. Beer, soda, and snacks are provided. All are welcome to attend and learn about research going on in the postdoc community at QB3. It is an excellent way to present and spread the word about your research and also meet new colleagues and get to know the QB3 Postdoc community.

They are looking for postdocs to present 20 min talks about their research in a fun setting; email Mary Matyskiela ( and Ian Wallace ( for more information.

To join the QB3 postdoc listserv, please please contact QB3-Berkeley Communications Director Jan Ambrosini,, 510-666-3309.

Piper Promotes: QB3 Award for Innovation Ceremony, Thursday, October 18, 2012

On Thursday, October 18, 2012 from 4:00 to 5:15 pm, the Awards for Innovation, sponsored by Deloitte and QB3 will be presented. The Awards for Innovation go to the student, post-doc, staff scientist or team from UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, or UC San Francisco that has made the greatest innovation in the area of human health.

The five finalists have been chosen and you can see videos of them on the QB3 Youtube channel. The finalists were chosen by judges from industry, venture capital, and academia. The winners are being chosen by UC students, faculty and staff. You can make your vote for a winner on the QB3 Facebook Page.

The ceremony will include five-minute talks by each of the five finalists, a keynote with Steve Beckwith, Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies at the University of California, Office of the President, and the award presentation by Matthew Hudes, the U.S. Managing Principal for Biotechnology at Deloitte.  A reception will follow the ceremony. Registration is free and available here.

Piper Promotes: Gilbert Newton Lewis Memorial Lecture, October 23, 2012

On October 23, 2012, from 4-5 pm, the College of Chemistry will host the annual Gilbert Newton Lewis Lecture in the Pitzer Auditorium, 120 Latimer Hall. The Lewis Lecture for 2012 will be given by Professor Mostafa A. El-Sayed from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Georgia Institute of Technology. Professor El-Sayed will speak on “The big potential of very small – plasmonic nanoparticles meet biology in the cancer cell.”

G. N. Lewis (1875-1946) was a Professor of Physical Chemistry at University of California, Berkeley. He is known for his namesake, the Lewis dot structure, as a description of his discovery of the covalent bond. Additionally, he is behind Lewis acid and base theory, and coined the term “photon.”

Previous Gilbert Newton Lewis Lecturers have included Professor Jean M. J. Frechet, 2011 (UC Berkeley), Professor Ahmed Zewail, 2010 (Nobel Prize Winner, California Institute of Technology), Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, 2009 (Nobel Prize Winner, University of Strasbourg), Professor Martin Karplus, 2004 (Harvard University), and Professor Harry Gray, 2003 (California Institute of Technology).

Piper Promotes: PIEP Presents Current and Future Trends in Industry, September 27, 2012

The final 2012 Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (PIEP) event will be a seminar on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm in Stanley Hall, Room 105. Speaking on “Current and Future Trends in Industry” will be a panel of the following:

Dr. Keith Yamamoto, Vice Chancellor for Research, UCSF. Dr. Yamamoto received his Ph.D. in Biochemical Sciences from Princeton and started as an Assistant Professor in 1976 after a Post-Doctoral Fellowship there. He is currently the Executive Vice Dean for Research at the School of Medicine at UCSF (since 2004) and the Vice Chancellor for Research (since 2011). His awards include The Endocrine Society Edwin B. Astwood Award (2012), UCSF Postdoctoral Scholars Association Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award (2010) , and 10 Influential People to Watch in Biomedical Policy, Nature Medicine (2008).

Dr. Natasha Aziz, Director of Research Operations and Academic Relations, Novartis (Emeryville). Dr. Aziz received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from University of Virginia and did her Post-Doctoral work at the DNAX Research Institute. She has been in Investigator at Novartis since 2003 and moved to her current position of Director of Research Operations and Academic Relations in 2010.

Dr. Douglas Crawford, Associate Director of QB3. Dr. Crawford received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UCSF. Crawford is also a founder and managing director of Mission Bay Capital, an $11.3M seed-stage venture fund that seeks to make pivotal early-stage investments in bioscience companies emerging from UC. He is a board member of Redwood Biosciences (observer), Delpor, and the BayBio Institute.

Dr. Stan Mainzer, Director of Business Development, Genencor.

Piper Promotes: Masters & PhD Career Fair & On-Campus Recruiting for Grad Students & PhDs, September 20, 2012

Two events are upcoming on the Berkeley Campus catered to finding jobs with advanced degrees. The first is the Masters/PhD Career Fair, which is September 27 from 12 pm until 4 pm in the MLK Jr. Student Union building in the Pauley Ballroom. The event already has 47 employers lined up and is designed specifically for advanced degree holders in a range of disciplines.

To prepare for that, the Career Center is offering Preparing for the Masters & PhD Career Fair and On-Campus Recruiting for Grad Students & PhDs, which is designed to help students get the most out of this chance to meet and talk with recruiters, scientists, and hiring managers. The Preparing seminar is Thursday, September 20, 2012 from 5: 00 PM to 6: 30 PM, Rm 212 Career Center (2111 Bancroft Way next to the big car wash). Questions such as how to transform your CV into a resume and what types of questions to ask if you are interested in a company will be addressed.

The Preparing workshop is free, but pre-registration is suggested. To reserve your slot, login to Callisto (, click on the “Events” tab on the top menu, select “Career Center Programs and Workshops” and search for the Preparing workshop under “Graduate Student & PhD Programs.”

For more information, contact Andrew Green, the Berkeley Ph.D. counselor at the Career Center at 2-1714 or encourages students to check out the On-Campus Recruiting (OCR) system as well.

Piper Promotes: ISP seminar with Dr. Wendy Young (Genentech)

On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 from 4-5 pm, Iota Sigma Pi, the national honors society for women in chemistry, is kicking off their seminar series with Dr. Wendy Young. Dr. Young is the Associate Director of Discovery Chemistry at Genentech and her talk is entitled “From Then to Now: Lessons Along the Way.”

Dr. Young has a B.S. from Wake Forest University, a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Princeton University, and did her Post-Doctoral work as an American Cancer Society Post-Doctoral Fellow at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Young is the author of over 25 peer reviewed papers. She started at Genentech in 2006 in her current role, which directs a team of medicinal chemists toward the development of small molecule drug candidates for immunology and oncology applications.

Piper Promotes: San Francisco Zoo II Fur Ball Launch Party, September 11, 2012

San Francisco Zoo II is holding their annual Fur Ball Launch Party on September 11, 2012 at Reed & Greenough (3251 Scott Street  San Francisco, CA 94123) from 6-8 pm.

Zoo II is a social club of young professionals dedicated to expanding conservation, awareness, providing and encouraging financial support of the San Francisco Zoo, while connecting to others in the community and enjoying a variety of social activities. All Zoo II contributions and proceeds from events and parties support the Zoo’s animals, programs, and people.

Members of the Zoo II Committee include current & former Berkeley graduate students- Piper Klemm (Vice President & Fur Ball Co-Chair), John Weinstein (Membership Chair), Deborah Wang (Secretary), & Michael Winter (Treasurer).

The Fur Ball is Zoo II’s signature social event and gala that will be held at the San Francisco Zoo on Friday, October 19, 2012 from 8:30 pm until midnight. The VIP Reception (6:30-8:30 pm) includes a private champagne reception in the lion house, a chance to interact with Animal Rescue Center (ARC) animals, and ride the Dentzel Carousel. General Admission includes an open bar, appetizers, raffle, live auction, and dancing to DJ Kelly in the Great Hall. Tickets: & RSVP on Facebook here.

Funding by private foundations: the Kavli Foundation

Source: While scientists would love to spend all of their time thinking about the nuances of their experiments and impact to the community, the reality is that many scientists, especially at the senior levels, spend much of their time thinking about funding. From determining which grants would be most beneficial for their group to writing the applications to making sure every student is able to go to the conferences they want and every paper has the funding if it needs a color figure, the amount of time a scientist must spend considering funding is enormous. Without this funding and time spent, however, the alternative is to not have the money to perform the experiments or go to conferences or share your data in an open access journal such as the Public Library of Science (PLoS).

The majority of scientific funding in the United States has traditionally come from government agencies and funding bodies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), and Department of Defense (DOD). Unfortunately, as most scientists find out, government funding is not limitless and in today’s funding climate, only a small percentage of projects are being funded. Most government funding is burdened with significant red tape: agencies often require a body of preliminary results before funding, and other times require a project to have translational applications beyond basic science. Even worse, only some subfields have significant funding available, given the incentive structures in government to fund popular areas or projects with immediate impact. With federal budget cuts straining available scientific resources, the problem is only compounded.

These barriers to funding have left an opening for new ways to finance scientific research – one that is being filled by private foundations who are increasingly supportive of basic science. Projects without preliminary results (often considered “high risk”) are now finding a place amidst a growing sector of private foundations. While many such foundations exist (e.g. the Keck Foundation, Thiel Foundation, Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement), the work of the Kavli Foundation has been particularly interesting.

Piper Promotes: Non-Academic Careers in the Sciences Panel, September 6, 2012

Image courtesy

On Thursday, September 6, 2012, there will be a Panel Discussion in Stanley 105 “Non-Academic Careers in the Sciences.” The panel will take place from 6:30-8:30 pm.

Panelists include:

Eric Hudson, Ph.D.,  Senior Director at Lam Research Corporation. Dr. Hudson has his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley.

Ann Pease, J.D., Ph.D., Partner & Co-Chair of Intellectual Property Group, Dechert LLP. Dr. Pease has her Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry from UC Berkeley, as well as a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She is a member of the California Bar Association and the San Francisco Intellectual Property Law Association. Dr. Pease has been the recipient of many awards, including from Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, and San Francisco Business Times. 

Joeseph Pease, Ph.D., Senior Manager at Genentech. Dr. Pease has a Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry from UC Berkeley. In his career, he has been a Principal Scientist & Consultant for Syntex, Roche Pharmaceuticals, and is currently a Senior Manager at Genentech.

Anthony Kong, M.D., Anesthesiologist. Dr. Kong is a well-regarded board-certified anesthesiologist in Sacramento, California. Dr. Kong is a graduate of the Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California.

Piper Promotes: ISP Choosing a Research Group Panel, August 21, 2012

ISP Panel 2011 On Tuesday, August 21, from 5:00 to 6:30 pm, Iota Sigma Pi will be hosting a panel for the new first-year students, focused on how to choose a research group. The event will be held in 775 Tan. Questions will be answered and fears will be allayed!

Iota Sigma Pi is a national honors society and was founded at Berkeley, the Hydrogen Chapter, in 1902. The organization highlights the accomplishments of female chemists through their awards and promotes friendship and mentorship of female chemists of all levels. This year, the Hydrogen Chapter had three national award winners- Professor Michelle Chang (Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award), graduate student Leah Rubin (Members-at-Large Re-Entry Award), and undergraduate student Kaitlyn Weeber (Gladys Anderson Emerson Scholarship). The 2014 National Triennial Convention will be hosted by the Hydrogen Chapter in Berkeley.

Piper Promotes: Iota Sigma Pi First Year Mixer, August 15, 2012

2011 Mixer. Photo: Adam Hill, www.decaseconds.comIota Sigma Pi, the women’s honors society in chemistry, is hosting a First Year Mixer on August 15, 2012 from 6-7:30 pm in 775 Tan Hall. The annual event, to help First Years meet each other and other graduate students had close to 100 attendees last year. There will be snacks & beverages provided.

Iota Sigma Pi is a national honors society and was founded at Berkeley, the Hydrogen Chapter, in 1902. The organization highlights the accomplishments of female chemists through their awards and promotes friendship and mentorship of female chemists of all levels. This year, the Hydrogen Chapter had three national award winners- Professor Michelle Chang (Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award), graduate student Leah Rubin (Members-at-Large Re-Entry Award), and undergraduate student Kaitlyn Weeber (Gladys Anderson Emerson Scholarship). The 2014 National Triennial Convention will be hosted by the Hydrogen Chapter in Berkeley.

For more information, email If you are interested in becoming a member of ISP, membership criteria are here and a Fall Induction will be held in early December.

Piper Promotes: PIEP Seminar: Interviewing Skills and Etiquette, August 8, 2012

The Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (PIEP) at Berkeley is continuing their 2012 Seminar Series with Dawn Block, “Sweaty Palms: Interviewing Skills and Etiquette” on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 from 5:45-8:30 pm in 105 Stanley Hall.

Block is the Principal of Block Talent Partners, a retained search consultancy specializing in the search of executives and technical talent in the Bay Area, venture capital-funded softward and internet companies. She is the former Chief People Officer and Vice President of Talent at Commerce One, a pioneering e-commerce company, as well as a Vice President of The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Piper Promotes: The Art of Active Networking at The Box, August 6, 2012

The Box SF hosts “The Art of Active Networking” every Monday night from 6:30-9:30 pm. From their mission: “With so many people searching for jobs, shifting jobs, building their business, practice or consultancy and wanting more from life or wanting help following their passion, this event brings an amazing cross section of CEO’s, Entrepreneur’s, Chefs, Wine Makers, Retail and Gallery Owners, Models, Photographers, Art Director’s, Designers, Actors, Musicians, Real Estate Executives, Corporate Trainers, Coaches, Financial Folks and Singles.  Nearly every type of person has attended.”

Active networking focuses on how you want to develop your personal brand and how you can use the tools you have, such as networking and social media to accomplish those goals. Additionally, it is great to get your “elevator pitch” out there if you are looking for a job or trying to start-up a company.

Tickets are available here and are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. The Box SF is located on the 3rd floor of the historic 1920s William Randolph Hearst former printing plant at 1069 Howard Street (between 6th and 7th, Third Floor), San Francisco, CA 94103. For further information, contact Mark E. Sackett.

Piper Promotes: Entrepreneur Thought Leader Mentor, July 26, 2012

For the aspiring entrepreneurs,  the Chinese Information and Networking Association (CINA) and Fudan Alumni are hosting a workshop and technical conference on July 26, 2012 in Mountain View, California with Naeem Zafar and David Lane.

Zafar is a faculty member of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley teaching innovation and entrepreneurship classes. He is also currently the CEO and president of Bitzer Mobile, a company that provides that helps IT personal quickly mobilize enterprise application. He is the former CEO & President of Pyxis Technologies, former CEO of Silicon Design Systems and Veridicom, and former senior member of Quickturn Design Systems.

Lane is currently a partner of Onset Ventures, a entrepreneurship venture company getting small businesses off the ground. Prior to this, Lane co-founded Diamondhead Ventures and was a senior venture capital investment officer at the Harvard Management Company. His investments include Danger, Entercept Security Technologies, UPEK, Applied Immune Sciences, Harmonic, Kofax Image Products, TriQuint Semiconductor, NexGen, Quidel, Viewlogic Systems and Harbridge Merchant Services.

The program is as follows:

6:00pm – 6:30pm Registration and Food
6:30pm – 8:00pm Presentation and Q & A
8:00pm – 8:30pm Entrepreneurs’ Pitch and feedback by the Thought Leaders
8:30pm – 9:00pm Social Networking

The program is Thursday, July 26th, from 6-9PM, at 801 California Street in Mountain View, California. The event is $15 for non-members, $6 for students. For more information, contact Vicky Young (

Piper Promotes: Eye Exam PSA was the last time you had an eye exam?  Routine eye exams are every year for wearers of corrective lenses and two years for those who do not. Comprehensive ocular screenings for the health of your eyes check for corneal disease, diabetes, ocular tumors, cancer, hypertensive retinopathy, and much more. They will also give you an updated prescription for your glasses or contact lenses.

UC Berkeley is home to the Meredith W. Morgan University Eye Center in Minor Hall. You can schedule an appointment online here or by calling 510-642-2020. They offer comprehensive eye exams seven days a week.

Annual eye exams are covered by UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) Vision Services. Copay for the exam is $5 and your new prescription will let you pick out new glasses (one pair a year for $15 copay with SHIP, but limited options covered). SHIP also covers 50% of Lasik or PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) refractive surgeries.

Piper Promotes: PIEP Seminar Series, July 17, 2012

As the latest seminar in the Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (PIEP) Seminar Series, a part of the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association, Doug Kalish will present “What to Expect in Biotech?” on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 in 105 Stanley Hall. Light refreshments and networking will start at 5:45 in the Stanley Hall Atrium, followed by the workshop from 6:00 to 7:30 in 105 Stanley Hall, and concluded with a networking hour in the Stanley Hall Atrium.

Dr. Doug Kalish will speak on how biotech and pharma can offer scientists a variety of unique opportunities to be part of research and drug development, beyond traditional academic opportunities. Kalish used his Ph.D. in Biology to become a serial entrepreneur and now runs dougsguides, a company devoted to helping college graduates and Ph.D.s prepare and survive in the job market and the real world. You can follow Kalish on Twitter @dougsguides.

Interested participants should RSVP with the following information to and include “Biotech” in the subject line. Required information: Family name, First name; Institutional Affiliation:  UCB, CHORI, HHMI, LBL, UCSF, etc; Departmental Affiliation & Affiliate Status: graduate student, postdoc, visiting student researcher, or visiting scholar.

Every week, Piper will highlight an event or an organization on or near campus that is of interest to the Berkeley Science Review audience.

Piper Promotes: Nightlife at the California Academy of Sciences, Thursdays

Every Thursday, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco hosts Nightlife. This is a 21+ experience of the museum: cocktails are available and guests wander free, mixing with exhibits and friends. Each week features a theme, planetarium shows, and either a live band or DJ.

On Thursday, July 5, 2012, the theme is Soundwave Nightlife. It is the opening night of Soundwave, a three month art and music festival in San Francisco. Soundwave artists will present interactive features within the usual Nightlife exhibits. The band playing will be the Lumerians. Additionally, the new exhibit, Earthquake, will be open from 6-10 pm in the West Pavilion with a quake simulator. The planetarium will host a live show Science Tonight feature Earth Update at 6:30, as well as Earthquake: Evidence of a Restless Planet at 7:30 & 8:30 pm.

Tickets are $12 for non-members and $10 for members and are available here. They are available at the door, but in my experience that option involves a long line and potentially missed exhibits that fill up quickly if you don’t get there early.  RSVP on Facebook.

Every week, Piper will highlight an event or an organization on or near campus that is of interest to the Berkeley Science Review audience.

Piper Promotes: UCB Summer Science Luncheon Series

UC Berkeley is hosting a Summer Luncheon Series to discuss issues related to science graduate students. From noon-1 pm in 120 Durant Hall, the following topics will be discussed:

6/28/2012– “Social Networking & Science: The do’s and don’t’s in new media and science”

7/12/2012– “Getting started with Academics: Prelims, classes & rotations”

7/18/2012– “Networking & Career Building Strategies”

7/26/2012– “Getting Started with Funding”

8/2/2012– “Research Skills & Selecting a Research Group”

8/9/2012– “Communicating with Your Advisor to Get What You Need”

Some of these topics are aimed at a younger or later graduate student; however, most apply to graduate students at all levels. They will be great opportunities to meet other scientists outside of your specialty!

Photo credit: Brendan Abolins, Decaseconds Photography

Every week, Piper will highlight an event or an organization on or near campus that is of interest to the Berkeley Science Review audience.

Piper Promotes: Molecular Foundry Call for Proposals Due July 15, 2012

The Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has a Call for Proposals with a submission deadline of Sunday, July 15, 2012. The projected award date for selected proposals will be October 1, 2012.

The Molecular Foundry is a Department of Energy-funded program providing support to researchers from around the world whose work can benefit from or contribute to nanoscience. Calls for Proposals allow users access to many scientists and instrumentation, including the Advanced Light Source (ALS), National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM), the Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genomic Institute (JGI), and National Energy Research Science Computing Center (NERSC).

The Foundry is moving to a Spring/Autumn Call for Proposals next year, which means that there will be no Winter 2012 Call for Proposals. After the current Call for Proposals, the next call will not occur until Spring 2013.

Further information can be found at The Molecular Foundry Home Page, TMF Data-base Log in Page, and the Foundry Staff Scientists and Support Personnel. Questions should be directed to the User Program Manager ( or 510-486-4674).

The 2012 Annual Users Meeting will be October 4 & 5, 2012.

Top 10 (Free) Apps for Scientists

Like so many other scientists out there, I feel inherent guilty when I am not working. Even that minute waiting for the bus or in line for lunch. I should be reading papers and thinking about science for those precious moments I’m not physically in lab. When I need my science fix, my iPhone keeps me company. These are the 10 best science-centric apps I have found. They keep me up to date on what papers are coming out, where the public discourse is going, and tickle my general interest in science.

1. Twitter. As app that most of you probably have already, Twitter is a tremendous resource for science. Follow the prolific science tweeters; they will tweet not only their own science and publications, but also general science news and links to cool article that are either scientific themselves or about science. Top twitter recommendations to follow (besides all the relevant journals in your field): @fiainros, @DrRubidium, @BoraZ, @mbeisen, @GertyZ, @ElizabethIorns, @biochembelle, @rwluddite, @DrJenGunter, @chemjobber.

2. ACS Mobile. The ACS Mobile app automatically pulls up ACS ASAPs. You can set it to whichever ACS journals you you prefer. I personally keep Journal of the  American Chemical Soiety and Inorganic Chemistry on my phone, but the app supports any combination of the dozens of journals they publish. yYou can add papers to “My ASAPs” and reference them at will, which can be very helpful if you want to browse a couple papers of the speaker for aseminar you are about to attend. Though C&EN has its own free app, Chemical & Engineering News also has a tab in the ACS Mobile app; it’s really not necessary to have both. ACS Mobile also has a great search function, just like their website, so any portion of a citation (e.g. a partial citation from the bottom of a slide) can lead you to the full article. ACS also offers ACS MOTW, an app presenting their “molecule of the week,” along with an index of previous MOTWs.

Piper Promotes: Chemical Biology in the Bay Area: Career Day, June 15, 2012

The Chembio program at UC Berkeley is hosting a career day on June 15 in 106 Stanley Hall from 1-4 pm. A panel will speak on the different options available to those starting with a scientific background. The event will be a relaxed networking event with plenty of time for question-answering on the job hunt, postdoc search, tricks to get noticed, and what to avoid in getting to the next stage of your career. Registration is requested.

The moderator for the event is Professor Carolyn Bertozzi, the T.Z. and Irmgard Chu Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley, Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Senior Faculty Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Piper Promotes: Drink Entrepreneurs & Women Chemists Committee Meeting

This week in Piper Promotes, we have a bonus: two picks.

First: On the first Thursday of every month (this Thursday, June 7, 2012), DrinkEntrepreneurs in SF hosts a networking mixer each month for a relaxing happy hour to meet cool people. DrinkEntrepreneurs “differs from many networking events having no format, name tags, business booths, or stuffy environments. We want to promote friendship first.”

This month’s festivities are at Harlot, which at 46 Minna Street is right near the Embarcadero BART station. RSVP here. Entrance is free, but you should buy your columnist a drink if you see her there!


Second: The local chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Women Chemist Committee (WCC) is meeting on Saturday, June 9, 2012 at Mills College for a lecture by Linnea Hoover, the Laboratory Supervisor at the Inorganic Chemistry Section. She will be speaking on developing water services and wastewater treatment in the east bay and formation of the EBMUD Laboratory. The lecture will take place in the Moor Natural Sciences Building at Mills College, Room 213 and will begin at 1 pm. The presentation is free, but if you would like to attend lunch with the speaker from 12-1 pm, the cost if $15. RSVP is requested to



Every week, Piper will highlight an event or an organization on or near campus that is of interest to the Berkeley Science Review audience.

Piper Promotes: Science Exchange

Science Exchange LogoHave you ever struggled to complete and experiment or that last piece of your publication puzzle because you couldn’t find the right expertise or instrument at your institution and didn’t know where to turn? This problem is becoming increasingly common as science becomes more interdisciplinary and every paper becomes more comprehensive. It is an issue that the founders of Science Exchange seek to alleviate. Science Exchange is an online Science Services Marketplace that manages the purchase of research services, vets service providers, and works with researchers to find the exact provider for their experimental needs.
Science Exchange was founded by Elizabeth Iorns, Dan Knox, and Ryan Abbott in May 2011 to open up access to expertise and instruments and improve the reproducibility of published science. They believe that through outsourcing particular scientific experiments to a research expert in that field, the science reported will stand up to the test of reproducibility more frequently. Without focusing on too many areas of science at the same time, more quality science can be accomplished and individual researchers can accomplish more.

Piper Promotes: Women Who Tech San Francisco Party, May 23, 2012

Women Who TechWomen Who Tech San Francisco is hosting a post-summit cocktail party to celebrate their annual meeting on May 23, 2012. The party is from 6 to 8 pm and is to celebrate women who rock tech and will be held at (383 Rhode Island Street (at 16th Street), 3rd Floor, San Francisco).

The evening will start with complementary drinks and tasty treats and will include great opportunities to meet some fellow techies. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information, contact Women Who Tech San Francisco.

Every week, Piper will highlight an event or an organization on or near campus that is of interest to the Berkeley Science Review audience.

Piper Promotes: Fletcher Lab Art Show, May 18, 2012

The Fletcher Lab's Art ShowThe Fletcher Lab in the Department of Bioengineering at Berkeley will host their annual art show on May 18, 2012 from 5-8 pm in the B1 Atrium of Stanley Hall. This year is the ninth annual Fletcher Lab Art Show.

I discussed the Fletcher Lab Art Show with Viviana Risca, a member of the Fletcher Lab. In the Fletcher lab’s original lab space, the only windows happened to be in the microscopy rooms and had to be covered.  As Professor Daniel Fletcher puts it, “We had quite a bit of wall space in our ‘urban cave’ but nothing much to look at.” Along with the original group of students and postdocs, he started the Lab Gallery, as it was originally called, as a way to stimulate artistic creativity, have fun, and invite others in the biophysics and bioengineering communities to get to know the Fletcher Lab a little better.

Piper’s Promotes: Bowling for Camarones Community Coalition, May 12, 2012

The Camarones Community Coalition is hosting a bowling fundraiser on Saturday, May 12, 2012 from 3 pm until 5 pm at the Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center (750 Folsom St., San Francisco- 3 blocks from Powell St. BART station).

Camarones, Ecuador is three hours from Quito in the Manabi province and is home to approximately 70 families, most of which are below the poverty line. The mission of CCC is to provide education opportunities for adults and children in the community. Their upcoming event seeks to raise funds to build a community center that will provide a location for town meetings, health services, environmental education programs, and activities for adults and children. Land for the community center has been donated by a family in Camarones.

Piper Promotes: BSR Spring Seminar featuring Maggie Koerth-Baker, May 2, 2012

Maggie Koerth-Baker will give the Spring 2012 Berkeley Science Review seminar on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 6 pm in 106 Stanley Hall. Her lecture is entitled “ Putting the Fun Back in Infrastructure: The Electric System and the Future of Energy.”

Koerth-Baker is the Science Editor of Boing Boing, one of the most-read blogs in the US. Boing Boing is an award-winning group blog focusing on technology. Carl Zimmer has called Koerth-Baker, “one of the most innovative science writers at work today.” Maggie will be promoting her recently published book, Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us.

Piper Promotes: Wharton San Francisco & QB3 Panel Discussion, April 25, 2012

On Wednesday, April 25, from 6-9 pm, Wharton San Francisco will host a join event with QB3 entitled “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Biotech Startup & Walking the Line between the University and the Venture Investor.”

The event will include a panel discussion as well as ample socializing and networking time. The focus will be on the unique challenges and issues that arise when a venture team capitalizes on intellectual property developed originally in the university setting.  Panelists will be included from the University perspective, the company perspective, and the venture capital perspective.

Like many readers of the blog, I am fundamentally interested in science because of the possibility of helping people live better lives. However, if the business and intellectual property are not managed correctly, even the greatest scientific discovery in the academic setting may never actually reach the marketplace to shape the way we live.

Piper Promotes: Symposium Honoring the 100th Birthday of Glenn T. Seaborg, April 21, 2012

Glenn T. Seaborg would have celebrated his 100th birthday on April 19, 2012. In honor of his birthday and his career at Berkeley, a symposium will be held in the College of Chemistry on Saturday, April 21, 2012 starting at 8 am. Seaborg, a Chancellor of University of Caliornia, Berkeley, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1951 for “discoveries in chemistry of the transuranium elements.”

Seaborg is credited with the discovery of ten elements: Plutonium (Pu), Americium (Am), Curium (Cm), Berkelium (Bk), Californium (Cf), Einsteinium (Es), Fermium (Fm), Mendelevium (Md), Nobelium (Nb) and his namesake, Seaborgium (Sg).

He also serves as a role model for all of us to not only achieve in science, but use our achievements for common good. Seaborg advocated funding for scientific research and education, as well as working to limit nuclear arms throughout his career and serving as an advisor to ten United States presidents.

Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (PIEP) Informational Interviewing, April 18th

The Postdoc Industry Exploration Program (PIEP) is hosting a workshop entitled “Informational Interviewing” on April 18, 2012 from 5:45-7:30 pm in 105 Stanley Hall. Vegetarian food and refreshments will be served during networking time from 5:45-6:15 and the workshop will be from 6:15-7:30. With plenty of food and drinks, the social time is excellent for meeting scientists in other fields and labs and getting everyone out their lab to have some fun. At a recent workshop on how to write effective biosketches, I was able to connect with several biologists and chemical engineers.

The information interviewing workshop will be conducted by Mark Friedfeld, Assistant Director and Career Advisor at Haas Business School. Mark specializes in financial services in his capacity as career adviser but works with students from a variety of other fields. On the philanthropic side, Mark is active member of the San Francisco Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Coming Soon: Iota Sigma Pi Faculty Tea, April 6th

Iota Sigma Pi, the women’s honors society in Chemistry, is having its annual Faculty Tea on April 6, 2012 from 5-6:30 pm in Tan Hall 775. The Faculty Tea serves as an opportunity for students to interact with professors in an informal setting to discuss career paths.

Iota Sigma Pi-Hydrogen Chapter President Rebecca Murphy says that over twenty Berkeley professors will be attending the event and that the nature of the event encourages professors to tell stories and share the wisdom they wish they had known when they were students. I attended this event last year and I received a lot of candid advice from professors and leaders in industry. It has been very informative to see their perspective.

Iota Sigma Pi is a national organization founded in Berkeley in 1902. The Hydrogen Chapter at Berkeley currently has over forty active members who participate in chemistry outreach at all levels. I am a proud member of this organization and was the Hydrogen Chapter delegate to the National Triennial Convention in Cleveland, OH in 2011. Berkeley will be hosting the next triennial convetion in 2014.

Two Berkeley students recently were announced as winners of Iota Sigma Pi National Awards- Kaitlyn Weeber won Gladys Anderson Emerson Undergraduate Scholarship and Leah Rubin won the Members-At-Large Re-Entry Award. If you are interested in becoming a member or would like more information on the Tea, please email

What does a scientist look like?

Alexandra Duncan

When I’m out in a social setting relaxing, one thing that never gets old is seeing the looks on people’s faces when they discover what I do. “You’re a chemist?!?” Quick flashes of surprise and disbelief, followed by admiration and intimidation. The conversation would fall flat at this point if I let it. People rarely suspect that I’m a scientist. I understand: I don’t look anything like Albert Einstiein or Sheldon Cooper from CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. But it begs the question: What does a scientist look like?

Allie Wilkinson, a science journalist, set out to address this question and change our perceptions on her new hit blog, This is What A Scientist Looks Like. Scientists submit pictures of themselves, which are then posted to the blog. The scientists who submit photos choose how to define themselves. Some present themselves in the lab or doing field work, while others show themselves having regular hobbies during their off hours like mine with my pony, Brighton Boast A Bit and fellow BSR Blogger Adam Hill’s entry with his camera. The collection shows vividly that there is no definite form that a scientist “should” have. From the “About” section of the blog, “There is no rule that scientists can’t be multidimensional and can’t have fun.”

Adam Ruben finds humor in the lives of grad students

On Monday night, I attended the stand-up routine and book reading of Adam Ruben, author of Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School (excerpt). Ruben was able to tap into the universal experiences of graduate students to garner laughs from an audience all too familiar with being “exhausted, overworked, underappreciated, and buried in shit.”

Self-titled “recovering graduate student” Adam Ruben received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Johns Hopkins University after spending seven years in the program. He left academia to pursue comedy in such ventures as the Food Detective, The National Lampoon, NPR, and opening for Dane Cook; he also works as a microbiologist at a start-up biotechnology company.

Ruben read three sections from the book, which has been acclaimed by the graduate students who have been able to both afford it and have time to read it. (Finding a publisher is difficult when your target market has no money or time.) On the topic of grad school, Ruben said “I went to grad school in the sciences because, like many of you, I was lied to.”