Banner
Please help us to support the Atkinson/West fund for graduate and undergraduate students.
Give now button

The Daniel E. Atkinson & Charles A. West Prizes in Metabolic Biochemistry are presented to undergraduate and graduate students to recognize their excellence in this area. Fellowship funds will also be available to support summer research in departmental Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty labs for undergraduate and graduate students in this field. These awards were established to honor two UCLA chemistry faculty who were largely responsible for the development of biochemistry within the department. Atkinson and West arrived at UCLA in 1952 and joined Max Dunn, who at that time was the only biochemist in the department. By the time they retired in the early 1990s, there were 18 biochemistry faculty members, and Atkinson and West had played major roles in recruiting most of them! Both Atkinson and West were exceptionally valued by their faculty colleagues, the students in their laboratories, by the national and international research communities, and by the multitude of undergraduates they taught. These awards were inaugurated to honor the significant contributions of both men to research, education, and the strength of the UCLA academic community.


Donations from the following former students, colleagues, and friends of
Atkinson and West made these awards possible:
  • Laura and Arthur Brecher (PhD 1956) in memory and appreciation of Professor Max Dunn, who as head of Biochemistry in 1952, hired Atkinson and West
  • Audree Fowler (BS 1956, PhD 1963)
  • Chris Zones and Kate Murashige (PhD 1962)
  • Akira and Atsuko Fujimoto (PhD 1963, MD 1969)
  • Christen Upper (postdoc, 1963-1966)
  • Stanley Green (PhD 1964)
  • Margaret Holzer (PhD 1964)
  • Shirley and Kenneth Jones (PhD 1965)
  • Betty and Thomas Reilly (PhD 1966)
  • Patrick Murphy (PhD 1967)
  • Nancy Bigler in memory of William Bigler (postdoc, 1968-1970)
  • Mary and James Hageman (PhD 1968)
  • Sandra (BS 1969) and Larry (PhD 1970) Barnes
  • Catherine Lu Liao (PhD 1969) and Cheng L. Liao (PhD 1969)
  • Ruth and Barrie Logan (postdoc, 1969-71)
  • Anne Ehret (PhD 1970)
  • William James Ball (PhD 1972)
  • Terry and Russell Frost (PhD 1972)
  • Minhee and Terrence Green (postdoc, 1972-1975)
  • Anna A. DePaoli-Roach and Peter J. Roach (postdoc, 1972-1974)
  • Sherry Olson and Garn Wallace (PhD 1972)
  • Mary Walker-Simmons (PhD 1974)
  • John Brady (BS 1976, PhD 1983)
  • Susan Hirano (PhD 1976)
  • Deborah Hansen and Michael Stekoll (PhD 1976)
  • Eric Bean (BS 1977, PhD 1982)
  • Jay Mellon (PhD 1977)
  • Gloria Turner (Research Staff, 1978-2010)
  • Robert Uffen (Visiting Faculty, 1978-79)
  • Melissa Wang Chun and Alein Chun (BS 1979, MS 1985, PhD1994)
  • Susan Kaiser-Glembotski and Chris Glembotski (PhD 1979)
  • Jane Shen-Miller (Research Chemist, 1979-84)
  • Robert Coates (postdoc, 1980)
  • Kathleen Yanagimoto and Yasushi Ogawa (BS 75, PhD 1981)
  • Cecilia and Edwin S. Kamemoto (PhD 1982)
  • Susan (BS 1982) and Gordon Plotkin (BS 1982, PhD 1988)
  • Faith Curtin and Philip Koch (PhD 1983)
  • Jonathan Lowenson (BS 1983, PhD 1991)
  • Joy (BA 1985) and Bruce Morimoto (BS 1984, PhD 1988)
  • Angela Wandinger-Ness (PhD 1985) and Scott Ness (PhD 1985)
  • Donald Jin (PhD 1986) Irena Mendez (postdoc, 1986-1990)
  • Olivia Bermingham-McDonogh (PhD 1987)
  • Bruce Fellows (CPh 1987)
  • Augusto Lois (PhD 1988)
  • Michael and Karen Wickham (PhD 1988)
  • Patricia Okubara (PhD 1992) and Christopher Mau (PhD 1994)
  • Yueying Ren (PhD 1993)

UCLA Faculty:

  • Jane and Kyle Bayes
  • Sarah Gardner and James Bowie
  • Catherine and Guillaume Chanfreau
  • Catherine and Steven Clarke
  • Joanna and Robert Clubb
  • Jody Reichel and Albert Courey
  • Lucy and David Eisenberg
  • Nina and William Gelbart
  • Carolyn and Charles Knobler
  • Sabeeha Merchant
  • Jennifer and Craig Merlic
  • Christopher and Arlene Russell, in honor of Carol West
  • Gudrun and John Wasson
  • Marjorie Bates and Richard Weiss
  • Melissa and Todd Yeates
  • Helo and Jeffrey Zink
Corporate Supporters:
  • Genentech, Inc.

Friends:

  • Vicki Broach and Timothy Kelley, in honor of Carol West
  • Minette Beckner, Nancy Jo Dunn, and Ellen Teng, in honor of Carol West

Daniel Atkinson Professor Daniel E. Atkinson
Professor Emeritus Daniel E. Atkinson In more than 90 publications with his students, Atkinson's research pioneered the field of metabolic regulation. This work allowed for the development of the concept of "energy charge", now a main topic of biochemistry textbooks. He was also responsible for our present understanding of the biological role of the urea cycle in pH regulation. Students in our Chemistry and Biochemistry 153C course are still delighted to hear how his findings, initially challenged by the old guard, made their way into mainstream biochemistry. His classic 1977 monograph published by Academic Press "Cellular Energy Metabolism and its Regulation" presented a global view of the logic of metabolism and is still widely read and acclaimed. In a 2005 review, John Duncan wrote that "... anyone wanting a readable introduction to the classic ideas of metabolic regulation could scarcely find a better place to start". In a 2013 review, Ralph Osgood remarked that it was a "great book still many years later from a great scientist" with a touch of "delicious heresy". Atkinson recognized the power of personal computers early on, and in 1987 published "Dynamic Models in Biochemistry: A Workbook of Computer Simulations Using Electronic Spreadsheets". At UCLA, Atkinson trained over 30 Ph.D. students and over 20 postdoctoral fellows and visiting faculty. With his wife Elsie, Atkinson has retired to Corvallis, Oregon.
Professor Emeritus Charles A. West
Recognized internationally for his expertise in the biosynthesis and regulation of plant hormones and secondary metabolites of the isoprenoid family that are important for resistance to disease, the research in West's laboratory provided an understanding of how stress responses in plants allow them to deal with pathogens in their environment. In more than 80 papers published with over 50 Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows, West opened new areas of research in how antibiotic phytoalexins are made, especially those that protect plants from fungal invasion. West was more than generous with his time and was one of UCLA's most trusted and beloved administrators. He served as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Acting Dean of the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences. He was always sought after to be a member and chair Academic Senate, College, and Department committees, and his wisdom and expertise was often called upon in chairing faculty search committees and award committees. He was directly involved in recruiting many of the UCLA biochemistry faculty including bringing Paul Boyer to UCLA from Minnesota. He stayed active at UCLA after retirement, serving on the Phi Beta Kappa Council, and the Executive Board of the UCLA Emeriti Association. West and his wife Carol retired to Houston, Texas in 2016. On July 21, 2017, Carol died peacefully at her home at the age of 88 following a stroke. Carol was active in the UCLA community for decades and she will be dearly missed by all those who knew her. Her obituary can be viewed here.
Charles West

Words of praise and appreciation from former students and colleagues:

"Drs. Atkinson and West were wonderful teachers who impacted many students with their insights in fundamentals of biochemistry."Larry D. Barnes, Ph.D.

"It was a privilege to be taught by Drs. Atkinson and West as a graduate student and to observe their love of science, integrity and genuine concern for students and colleagues." - Russell G. Frost, Ph.D.

"Charlie and his wife, Carol, were extraordinary in making all the young scholars and students passing through the Department at UCLA adapt and feel right at home. I shall always remember him as a tremendous example of a kind, humane, thoughtful and positive influence on those he came in contact with. Dan Atkinson was similarly inspiring." - Terrence R. Green, Ph.D.

"It was a privilege and an honor to be a member of Dr. West's lab in the early 1970s. I am forever indented to Charlie and the Dept. of Biochemistry for the excellent education and experience I received while at UCLA. I owe thanks to Dr. Atkinson as well who served on my thesis committee." Susan S. Hirano, Ph.D.

"Both Prof. Atkinson and West were so kind and patient with me (and with all their students), that I am forever grateful to them for their help and guidance." - Cheng Liao, Ph.D.

"Dan and Charlie are the definition of great mentors. The foundation they provided continues to shape the scientist I am today."Bruce H. Morimoto, Ph.D.

"Both of these distinguished teachers played an important role in my development as a scientist. Dan Atkinson was a concerned teacher and role model. Charlie was my thesis advisor, mentor and living example of the joy of research." - Patrick J. Murphy, Ph.D.

"I appreciate your seeking to memorialize these two great scientists and wonderful people." - Peter J. Roach, Ph.D.

"Working with Charlie West was one of the best periods of my life." – Karen A. Wickham, Ph.D.


grou
From left - Atkinson West fund supporters with recipients of the 2017 Daniel E. Atkinson and Charles A. West Biochemistry Undergraduate Prizes in Metabolic Biochemistry – Prof. Audree Fowler, undergraduate Nguyen Pham (C. Clarke group), masters student Jason Gosschalk (Clubb group), Department Chair Prof. Catherine Clarke, Joy Morimoto, Dr. Bruce Morimoto, Prof. Steven Clarke, Dr. Jonathan Lowenson.
Atkinson West Prize winners 2016
From left - The 2016 graduate student recipients of the Daniel E. Atkinson and Charles A West Dissertation Awards Megan Sjodt with her thesis advisor Prof. Robert Clubb and Andrea Hadjikyriacou with her thesis advisor Prof. Steven Clarke. The 2016 undergraduate recipients of the Daniel E. Atkinson & Charles E. West Biochemistry Undergraduate Prize in Metabolic Biochemistry Hei Tong "Nikki" Lam with her research advisor Prof. and Chair Catherine Clarke and Thao Luong who conducted research in Prof. Carla Koehler's group before graduating.

Contributions to the fund can be made online using the button below or by check payable to the "UCLA Foundation" with "Atkinson/West Fund" in the memo line and mailed to Professor Steven Clarke, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 607 Charles E. Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095. Questions about the fund may be directed to Steven Clarke, clarke@chem.ucla.edu, 310-825-8754.

Give now button