Symposium History

About Bryan Miller

R. Bryan Miller (1940-1998) received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Washington and Lee University in 1962 and his doctorate from Rice University in 1967.

Professor Miller joined the UC Davis faculty in 1968, establishing a research program focused on organic chemistry and natural product synthesis. Professor Miller rapidly established a reputation as an imaginative researcher, a sterling teacher, and an extraordinary mentor to students at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He rose through the ranks to full professor, and served as chair of the Chemistry Department from 1985 to 1990. In this capacity, he oversaw a period during which the Department grew dramatically in numbers, diversity, and stature. His guidance and wisdom enabled a remarkable group of young scientists to successfully embark upon their careers. These individuals now make up a core of outstanding faculty upon which the Department continues to build.

In 1990-91, Professor Miller took a position as a visiting scientist in the Chemistry Division of the National Science Foundation, and from 1992 to 1995 he served as an NSF program officer. In this setting as well, his experience and advice were of enormous value to young chemistry faculty nationwide who were applying for grants to get their own research careers underway.

Upon his return to full-time service at Davis, Professor Miller was appointed chair of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate in 1997, in which capacity he worked closely with faculty and campus administrators on such major policy issues as time-to-degree enrollment planning, improvement of the undergraduate curriculum and support of faculty research needs. Professor Miller made a lasting impact on the University in this role as a knowledgeable, dedicated, and hard-working public servant.

At the end of his career, Professor Miller, an expert in synthetic organic chemistry, was pursuing cutting-edge research in environmental chemistry and remediation processes, and the design and synthesis of compounds with enhanced anti-cancer properties. He was truly the forerunner of the current thriving research efforts in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the Department. It is in a spirit of recognition of his achievements in research and teaching, and gratitude for his selfless service to the University and to the larger Chemistry community that we dedicate this annual symposium to the memory of Professor R. Bryan Miller.

Plenary Speakers

2017 Dirk Trauner (New York University)
Thomas Hoye (University of Minnesota)
2015 Laura Kiessling (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
2014 Carolyn Bertozzi (UC Berkeley)
2013 Kendall Houk (UCLA)
2012 JoAnne Stubbe (MIT)
2011 Chi-Huey Wong (Academia Sinica Taipei)
2010 Christopher Walsh (Harvard Medical School)
2009 Stuart Schreiber (Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT)
2008 Peter Dervan (CalTech)
2007 Ronald Breslow (Columbia University)
2006 Robert Grubbs (CalTech)
2005 Madeleine Joullie (University of Pennsylvania)
2003 Larry Overman (UC Irvine)
2002 Clayton Heathcock (UC Berkeley)
2001 Steve Weinreb (Pennsylvania State University)
2000 Gilbert Stork (Columbia University)

Academic Speakers

Clark Lagarias (UC Davis)
Shana Kelley (University of Toronto)

Chi-Huey Wong (Academia Sinica Taipei)
Kendall Houk (UCLA)
Jason Hein (UC Merced)
Sheila David (UC Davis)

Justin Siegel (UC Davis)
Michelle Chang (UC Berkeley)

Mark Kurth (UC Davis)
Bradley Moore (Scripps Oceanography)

David Goodin (UC Davis)
Richmond Sarpong (UC Berkeley)

Annaliese Franz (UC Davis)
Anna Mapp (Michigan)

Heike Wulff (UC Davis)
Brian Stoltz (CalTech)

Jared Shaw (UC Davis)
Jack Taunton (UCSF)

Marisa Kozlowski (University of Pennsylvania)
Eric Kool (Stanford University)

Xi Chen (UC Davis)
Keith Woerpel (UC Irvine)

Dean Tantillo (UC Davis)
Justin DuBois (Stanford University)

Industrial Speakers

Sanjeev Redkar (President & CEO, CBT Pharmaceuticals)
James Callahan (Manager, Medicinal Chemistry Stress & Repair, GSK)
John Kulp (Founder & CEO, Coniferpoint)

Michael Bartberger (Principal Scientist, Amgen)
Jeff Zablocki (Gilead)
Daniel Poon (Senior Investigator, Novartis)

Andrew Stamford (Director, Merck)
Bradley Morgan (Vice President, Cytokinetics)
Makonen Belema (Principal Scientist, Bristol Myers Squibb)

Mark Anderson (CSO, NovaBay)
Sundeep Dugar (President & CEO, Sphaera Pharma)
Bryant Yang (Senior Scientist, Amgen)

Heinz Moser (Vice President of Chemistry, Achaogen)
Mark Rosen (Senior Scientist, Johnson & Johnson)
Jack Scott (Associate Principal Scientist, Merck)

Gregory Vite (Director, Oncology Chemistry, Bristol-Myers Squibb R&D)
Gary Flynn (Research Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology, U. Arizona)
Bary Hart (Associate Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Medivation)

Frank Brown (Senior Vice President and CSO, Accelerys)
Hing Sham (Senior Vice President, Elan Pharmacuticals)
Wendy Young (Associate Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Genentech)

David Smith (Principal Research Scientist, Roche Palo Alto)
Neil Moss (Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Boehringer Ingleheim)
David Kimball (Senior Vice President, Chemistry & Preclinical Chemical Development, Pharmacopeia)

Cheryl Grice (Principal Scientist, Team Leader, Hit-to-Lead Chemistry, Drug Discovery, Johnson & Johnson)
Dinesh Patel (President & CEO, Arete Therapeutics)
David Floyd (Executive Vice President & CSO, Pharmacopeia)

John Piwinski (Vice President, Chemical Research, Schering-Plough)
Michael Morrissey (Executive Vice President of Discovery, Exelixis)
Joel Barrish (Vice President, Inflammation Chemistry, Bristol-Myers Squibb)

Alumni Speakers

2017 Babak Borhan (Michigan State University; UC Davis Ph.D. '95)
Makoto Masumo (Micromidas; UC Davis Ph.D. '06)
2014 John MacMillan (UT Southwestern; UC Davis Ph.D. '04)
2013 Michael Dappen (Elan; UC Davis postdoc)
2012 Ravindra Pandey (Roswell Park Cancer Institute; UC Davis postdoc & visiting scientist)
2011 John Conboy (University of Utah; UC Davis B.S. '91)
2010 Steve Farmer (Sonoma State; UC Davis B.S. '94, Ph.D. '02, postdoc '03-05, lecturer '05-06)

Mini-Symposium Speakers

2017 - Chemistry & Biology of Aging
David Hughes (UC Davis)
Cynthia McMurray (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
Steve Clarke (UCLA)
Bradford Gibson (Amgen)

2016 - Computations in Chemical Biology & Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Eric Martin (Novartis)
Angelica Fierro Huerta (Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Santiago, Chlie)
Felice Lightstone (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
James Fraser (UCSF)

2014 - Genomics & Proteomics
Richard Michelmore (UC Davis)
Oliver Fiehn (UC Davis)
Ian Korf (UC Davis)

2013 - Innovations in Drug Design & Development
Bruce Hammock (UC Davis, Entemology)
Fredric Gorin (UC Davis, Neurology)
Kit Lam (UC Davis, Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine)

Angelique Louie (UC Davis, Biomedical Engineering)

Student Award Winners

R. Bryan Miller Graduate Fellowship

2017 Stephanie Hare (Tantillo group) 
 Nhu Nguyen (Tantillo group)
2015 Michael DiMaso (Shaw group)
2014 Hsiao Hsieh (Gervay-Hague group)
2013 Jared Moore (Shaw group)
2012 Gorkem Gunbas (Mascal group) and Osvaldo Gutierrez (Tantillo group)
2011 Nadine Hanhan (Franz group)
2010 Nema Hafezi (Mascal group)
2009 Michael Lodewyk (Tantillo group)
2008 Richard Carpenter (Kurth group)
2007 Selina Wang (Tantillo group)
2006 Seth Dixon (Kurth group), Patrick Berget (Schore group), Eric Du (Gervay-Hague group)
2005 Chris Dicus (Nantz group) and Christopher Meadows (Gervay-Hague group)
2004 Laiqiang Ying (Gervay-Hague group) and Mako Masuno (Molinski group)
2003 Sung Hee Hwang (Kurth group)
2002 John MacMillan (Molinski group) and Mariuska Reynoso-Paz (Schore group)
2001 Patrick Kelly (Nantz group) and Robert Sammelson (Kurth group)
2000 Karl Bailey (Molinski group) and Michael Lizarzaburu (Nantz/Kurth groups)

Francesca Miller Undergraduate Award

2017 Alexandra Greb (Olson group) 

R. Bryan Miller Undergraduate Award

2015 Anisha Rajavel (David group)
2014 James Lucas (Siegel group)
2013 Molly Fensterwald (Shaw group)
2012 Amy Atherton (Shaw group)
2011 Liana Hie (Chen group)
2010 Henry Wedler (Tantillo group)
2009 Gregory Chin (Shaw group)
2008 Sidra Ayub (Nambiar group) and Evan Horn (Gervay-Hague group)

Best Poster Award

2017 Alexandra Greb (undergraduate, Olson group) and Heesung Shim (graduate, Wulff group)
 Terry O'Brien (Tantillo group) and Jackson Zhu (Kurth group)
2015 Stephanie Hare (Tantillo group)
2014 Nicolas Ball-Jones (Franz group)
2013 Kathryn Tucker (San Francisco State University)
2012 Paige McKibbin (David group)
2011 Phil Painter (Tantillo group) and Nohemy Sorto (Shaw group)
2010 Ashkaan Younai (Shaw group)
2009 Nadine Hanhan (Franz group)