Symposium History

About Bryan Miller

R. Bryan MillerR. 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


Academic Speakers

2016

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

2015

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

2014

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

2013

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

2012

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

2011

  • Annaliese Franz (UC Davis)
  • Anna Mapp (Michigan)

2010

  • Heike Wulff (UC Davis)
  • Brian Stoltz (CalTech)

2009

  • Jared Shaw (UC Davis)
  • Jack Taunton (UCSF)

2008

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

2007

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

2006

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

Industrial Speakers

2016

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

2014

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

2013

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

2012

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

2011

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

2010

  • 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)

2009

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

2008

  • 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)

2007

  • 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)

2006

  • 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)
  • 2016: 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)

2012

  • Angelique Louie (UC Davis, Biomedical Engineering)


Student Award Winners

R. Bryan Miller Graduate Fellowship

  • 2018: Lee Dunlap (Olson) and Jackson Zhu (Kurth)
  • 2017: Stephanie Hare (Tantillo)
  • 2016: Nhu Nguyen (Tantillo)
  • 2015: Michael DiMaso (Shaw)
  • 2014: Hsiao-Wu Hsieh (Gervay-Hague)
  • 2013: Jared Moore (Shaw)
  • 2012: Gorkem Gunbas (Mascal) and Osvaldo Gutierrez (Tantillo)
  • 2011: Nadine Hanhan (Franz)
  • 2010: Nema Hafezi (Mascal)
  • 2009: Michael Lodewyk (Tantillo)
  • 2008: Richard Carpenter (Kurth)
  • 2007: Selina Wang (Tantillo)
  • 2006: Seth Dixon (Kurth), Patrick Berget (Schore), and Eric Du (Gervay-Hague)
  • 2005: Chris Dicus (Nantz) and Christopher Meadows (Gervay-Hague)
  • 2004: Laiqiang Ying (Gervay-Hague) and Mako Masuno (Molinski)
  • 2003: Sung Hee Hwang (Kurth)
  • 2002: John MacMillan (Molinski) and Mariuska Reynoso-Paz (Schore)
  • 2001: Patrick Kelly (Nantz) and Robert Sammelson (Kurth)
  • 2000: Karl Bailey (Molinski) and Michael Lizarzaburu (Nantz/Kurth)

Francesca Miller Undergraduate Award

  • 2018: Alexandra Greb (Olson) and Noreen Bar (Franz)
  • 2017: Alexandra Greb (Olson) 

R. Bryan Miller Undergraduate Award

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

Best Poster Award

  • 2018: Arya Azinfar (undergraduate, Olson), Shabnam Jafari (graduate, Lam), Chandrima Majumdar (graduate, David) and Christina McCulley (graduate, Tantillo)
  • 2017: Alexandra Greb (undergraduate, Olson) and Heesung Shim (graduate, Wulff)
  • 2016: Terry O'Brien (Tantillo) and Jackson Zhu (Kurth)
  • 2015: Stephanie Hare (Tantillo)
  • 2014: Nicolas Ball-Jones (Franz)
  • 2013: Kathryn Tucker (San Francisco State University)
  • 2012: Paige McKibbin (David)
  • 2011: Phil Painter (Tantillo) and Nohemy Sorto (Shaw)
  • 2010: Ashkaan Younai (Shaw)
  • 2009: Nadine Hanhan (Franz)