Jamie Cate, associate professor of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology
Jamie Cate is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. A Sloan Fellow, Cate is a recipient of high-risk, high-reward grants from the NIH, and is also working with the Energy Biosciences Institute to find better ways to convert plant material into liquid biofuels. Cate's lab uses a combination of x-ray crystallography and biochemical assays to probe how living organisms convert their genetic information into the functional parts of each cell. The conversion process occurs on a cellular machine called the ribosome. Cate and his team also are studying how microbes make the enzymes that break down plant biomass into fermentable sugars. In addition to protein synthesis, Cate keeps a close eye on advances in alternative energy. He and wife Jennifer Doudna own one car (a Prius), have installed solar panels and have started a reasonable-sized vegetable garden.