R. Bryan Miller Symposium

2016 plenary speaker, Professor Thomas Hoye along with invited speakers and planning committee members.

2016 plenary speaker, Professor Thomas Hoye, along with invited speakers and planning committee members. (Photo by TJ Ushing)

17th Annual R. Bryan Miller Symposium
March 16-17, 2017
UC Davis Conference Center

The Miller Symposium celebrates Professor Bryan Miller's pioneering research, which laid the groundwork for the current thriving research programs in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the Department of Chemistry at UC Davis. Top speakers from the world of chemical biology will share cutting edge research results and perspectives on the future of biologically relevant chemistry research.

Click here to download the flyer

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Mini Symposium: Chemistry & Biology of Aging 

2:00pm - 4:00pm

Cynthia McMurray, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
Bradford Gibson, Buck Institute for Research on Aging and Amgen Discovery Attribute Sciences
Steven Clark, UCLA, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
David C Hughes, UC Davis, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior

4:00pm - 5:00pm Alumni Speaker

Babak Borhan, Michigan State University, Synthetic and Bioorganic Chemistry

5:00pm - 6:30pm ACS Poster Session and Opening Reception

Friday, March 17, 2017

9:00am - 4:00pm

Emily P. Balskus, Harvard, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Shota Atsumi, UC Davis, Department of Chemistry
Francis Gosselin, Genentech Research & Early Development
John Mulcahy, SiteOne Therapeutics
Emma Parmee, Merck & Co.


Arthur Wellman, Arthur Wellman Law Offices

4:00pm - 5:30pm Plenary Speaker (FREE ADMISSION)

Dirk Trauner, New York University, Department of Chemistry

Plenary Speaker - Dirk Trauner

Professor Dirk Trauner

Dirk Trauner was born and raised in Linz, Austria, studied biology and chemistry at the University of Vienna, and received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the Free University, Berlin. He then pursued a PhD in chemistry under the direction of Prof. Johann Mulzer, with whom he moved to the University of Frankfurt and then back to Vienna. Following a mandatory stint in the Austrian Army, he became a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. Samuel J. Danishefsky at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. After two great years in New York City, Dr. Trauner joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, where he rose through the ranks to become an Associate Professor of chemistry (with tenure). He was also appointed as a member of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In the summer of 2008, he moved to the University of Munich, where he served as a Professor of Chemical Biology and Chemical Genetics. On March 1, 2017 he became the Janice Cutler Chair of Chemistry at New York University. He also holds a position as an Adjunct Professor of Neuroscience at the NYU Langone Medical School.

The broad objective of Prof. Trauner’s research is to demonstrate the awesome power of chemical synthesis with challenging target molecules and to use it toward the establishment of synthetic biological pathways. He is well known for his pioneering contributions to Optogenetics and Photopharmacology, using synthetic photoswitches to confer light-sensitivity to a broad range of biological targets. The chemical tools he developed are particularly useful in neuroscience and cell biology but also hold promise as precision therapeutics. Despite his extensive forays into biology and physiology Dr. Trauner remains an organic chemist at heart, as evidenced by the synthesis (and anticipation) of almost 100 natural products.

Dirk Trauner has been awarded the 2016 Emil Fischer Medal, the most prestigious award for an organic chemist in Germany and the 2016 Otto Bayer Award. He is a Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is also the recipient of the Kitasato Medal, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, an ERC Advanced Grant, and the Austrian Chemical Society Award for the best thesis in 1997. He sits on the editorial board of Natural Product Reports and the editorial advisory boards of ACS Central Science and ACS Chemical Neuroscience. His students have taken positions at many leading pharmaceutical companies and universities.