I consider educating and training the next generation of chemical scientists to be my primary contributions to science and research. Early in my career, teaching, research and service were segmented into three separate components of my professional identity. Indeed, even my appointment was defined as 40% research, 40% teaching and 20% service. Since moving to UC Davis in 2001, my teaching, research, and service roles have evolved into one central mission: to promote scientific excellence through collaborative exchange and strategic partnerships and to train the next generation of chemists arming them with the necessary skills to be successful scientists in interdisciplinary and multicultural settings. I have found the drug discovery process to be a powerful training platform for young scientists that spans choosing important health problems and learning the molecular details of disease to identifying viable chemical targets and inventing methods for making specific chemical compositions. Creativity is essential at every stage of the drug discovery enterprise, as biological pathways, molecular interactions and chemical processes are reimagined and innovated.


  • 1981 – 1985 UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, BS, Chemistry
  • 1985 – 1990 UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, Ph.D., Organic Chemistry


  • 1990 – 1992 NIH Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dept. of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • 1992 – 1998 Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • 1998 – 2001 Associate Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • 2000 – 2001 On-Site Consultant, Internal Disease Unit, Roche Bioscience Palo Alto, CA (Sabbatical Leave)
  • 2001 – present Professor, Dept. of Chemistry University of California, Davis
  • 2009 – 2011 Associate Vice Provost-Outreach and Engagement, University of California, Davis
  • 2011 – 2013 Chair, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Davis
  • 2013 – 2014 Director, Division of Chemistry, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA

Honors & Awards

  • 2015 – present Scientific Advisory Board, GlycoNet, Canada
  • 2013 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2009 Fellow, American Chemical Society
  • 2006 Board of Editors, Organic Reactions
  • 2003 – 2016 Associate Editor, Journal of Organic Chemistry
  • 2003 Chair, Carbohydrates Gordon Conference
  • 2001 Vice Chair of Carbohydrates Gordon Research Conference
  • 1999 GenCorp 1999 Technology Achievement Award
  • 1999 Horace S. Isbell Award, ACS, Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry
  • 1998 Alfred P. Sloan Fellow
  • 1997 Eli Lilly Academic Awardee
  • 1997 University of Arizona, College of Science, Innovation in Teaching Award
  • 1997 University of Arizona, Five Star Faculty Nominee
  • 1996 NSF Career Award
  • 1995 University of Arizona, Mortor Board Outstanding Faculty Service
  • 1989 Saul Winstein Dissertation Awardee, UCLA
  • 1987 Teaching Award, UCLA
  • 1985 American Institute of Chemists Award
  • 1984-1985 University President’s Fellowship, UCLA