1982–1995: The Kenyon Chairship and the Kuntz and Kollman Acting Chairships


George Kenyon


Irwin (Tack) Kuntz, 1972


Peter Kollman, 1987

Collaborative research becomes the norm while research program continues to expand: protein engineering and computation docking

The department had established a research model encouraging active collaborations of faculty members within and outside the department. Indeed, the number of joint appointments—UC faculty members with primary appointments in other departments—was comparable to the number of primary department faculty appointments.

Besides those with joint appointments, there were numerous other collaborators at UCSF and beyond. Collaborations with industrial scientists were also encouraged. Some of these led to adjunct faculty appointments for local industrial scientists who were involved with teaching in our programs as well as collaborative research.

With Manfred Wolff’s retirement as department chair, George L. Kenyon, who was already working on enzymology of energy transduction in the department for several years, served as chair from 1982 to 1993, and capabilities for protein engineering and computational docking (pioneered by Irwin "Tack" Kuntz) were developed in the department. As successive acting chairs, Kuntz and Peter Kollman maintained the course of the department from 1993 to 1995.

Additional faculty members were hired in key areas:

Craik, Miller, Kahl

Charles Craik, 1980s; Susan Miller, 1990s; Stephen Kahl, 1990s

Charles Craik joined the department to spur the exciting new area of protein engineering, with proteases as an area of expertise. Susan Miller joined to further strengthen enzymology, with a particular orientation toward heavy metal toxicology. Stephen Kahl joined as our only bio-inorganic chemist: he developed boron-containing compounds for neutron capture therapy of tumors.

PhD graduate program in biological and medical informatics emerges

The Graduate Program in Biological and Medical Informatics (with another name) was initiated with significant departmental input, including program directors. Department faculty member Robert Langridge served as director of the joint UCB-UCSF Graduate Group in Bioengineering from 1992 to 1994, and many other members of the department have been involved in that program as well.

Next: 1995–2008: The James Chairship