Lectureship established in honor of Judith Klinman 

Judith Klinman

“I arrived at UC Berkeley in 1978 as the first woman in the physical sciences …. Over the many years that I have been pursuing science, my laboratory has made observations that go against mainstream thinking. I have had to learn to trust my intuition and stick to my guns!” 

   —Judith Klinman

Thanks to the generosity of four alumni who did their research in the lab of Judith Klinman, a new College lectureship has been established in her honor. Alumni Susan Miller (Ph.D. ’83, Chem), Sophie Wang (Ph.D. ’90, Chem), Natalie Ahn (Ph.D. ’85, Chem), and Roseanne Wincek (B.S. ’04, Chem) wanted to celebrate the community that Judith has built over her time at Berkeley and the impact that she has had on her students. Susan, Natalie and Sophie were the first and second graduate students, and the first foreign graduate student from China, to receive Ph.D.s in Judith’s lab. Roseanne was one of the few undergraduate students who did research with Judith. 

Sophie Wang and Judith Klinman.

Sophie Wang announced the lectureship at the 80th birthday symposium held in Judith’s honor last year.  “Judith was such an incredible role model for us inspiring the men and women in her lab. It has been so wonderful to have her in our lives,” Sophie said. 

The early days at the lab: Front row (l to r): Susan Miller, Judith Klinman, Matt Krueger. Back row (l to r) Julie Bertolucci, Monica Palcic, Jim Mangold, and Marty Farnum.

Susan Miller agreed, “We have all been so inspired by Judith. We appreciate her scientific rigor, and the challenge and curiosity she shared with us. We wanted to create this lasting acknowledgement in perpetuity to honor and recognize her tremendous contributions to science and mentorship bringing so many people into the scientific world.”

Roseanne Wincek in the blue shirt, third from right.

Judith is known for her research on enzyme catalysis. She was the first female professor to join the physical sciences at UC Berkeley in 1978, where she is now Professor of the Graduate School and Chancellor’s Professor. In 2012, she was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama which is the highest scientific honor bestowed by the United States.

Judith with Natalie Ahn when Natalie was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in 2018.