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Joseph Lucas and Miao-Ping Chien Win Kamen Prize

June 20, 2014

By Kim McDonald

Joseph Lucas and Miao-Ping Chien

Joseph Lucas and Miao-Ping Chien

Joseph Lucas and Miao-Ping Chien, who received their doctorates from UC San Diego this year, have won the 2013-2014 Kamen Prize, established in 1978 by the friends and family of Martin Kamen, a former chemistry professor, to recognize the outstanding thesis in biochemistry defended each year at UC San Diego. A cash prize of $1,500 will be awarded to each recipient and each will separately present Martin D. Kamen Lectures in the fall quarter.

The two were selected from 16 nominees from the Division of Biological Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry by a selection committee that “was greatly impressed with the consistent, excellent quality of the submitted dissertations.”

Lucas, from Professor Cornelis Murre's laboratory in the Division of Biological Sciences, won the prize for his dissertation "Motion of the immunoglobulin heavy chain locus as it relates to V(D)J recombination." Chien, from Professor Nathan Gianneschi's laboratory in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, won for her dissertation "Programming nanoparticles with DNA, peptides and enzymes.

Martin D. Kamen was an emeritus chemistry professor at UC San Diego. He was the co-discoverer of carbon 14 while at UC Berkeley in the early 1940s and came to UC San Diego in 1960, where he continued important work on photosynthetic transport proteins until his retirement. He passed away in 2002.