The Berkeley Lab community mourns the loss of Kenneth H. Downing, who died August 2 at age 72. A senior scientist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division, Downing worked at the Lab for more than four decades. He passed away at home, surrounded by his family. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 1, at 11:00 a.m. at Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church, with a reception to follow.
Biosciences Researchers Helped Lay Foundation for Nobel-Winning Cryo-EM
Several Berkeley Lab researchers contributed to the foundational work leading to the development of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), for which Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank, and Richard Henderson were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Among those cited in the Scientific Background are Biosciences’ Bob Glaeser, Ken Downing, and Eva Nogales.
Downing Recognized with MSA Distinguished Scientist Award
Ken Downing, biophysicist senior scientist in the Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging Division, has been honored as the recipient of the 2016 MSA Distinguished Scientist Award in the Biological Sciences. With the Distinguished Scientist Awards, the Microscopy Society of America (MSA) annually recognizes a preeminent senior scientist from each of the Biological and Physical Sciences who has a long-standing record of achievement during his or her career in the field of microscopy or microanalysis. Downing will be presented with the award at the Plenary Session of the Microscopy & Microanalysis 2016 Meeting on July 26, in Columbus, Ohio.
In 2010, Downing was elected MSA Fellow and recognized as a senior distinguished member of the society who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the field of microscopy through a combination of scientific achievement and service to the scientific community and the society itself.
Nature-Inspired Nanotubes That Assemble Themselves, With Precision
Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a family of nature-inspired polymers that, when placed in water, spontaneously assemble into hollow crystalline nanotubes. These nanotubes can be tuned to all have the same diameter of between five and ten nanometers, depending on the length of the polymer chain. Ken Downing, biophysicist senior scientist in the Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging Division, was part of the team that worked to develop and characterize the nanotubes, which have many potential uses, such as delivering cancer-fighting drugs inside cells or desalinating seawater. Read more at Berkeley Lab News Center.
Downing, with Dahmen and Denes, Wins Lab Lifetime Achievement Award
Ken Downing of the Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging Division is a recipient of the 2015 Berkeley Lab Prize − Lifetime Achievement Award for his scientific advances and leadership in making Berkeley Lab among the world’s forefront centers for electron microscopy. Downing, who received the award together with Uli Dahmen and Peter Denes, has been … Read more »
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