Alivisatos named interim director of Berkeley Lab, replacing Chu

Chemist and nano-crystal expert has been deputy director of the lab since 2007

| 28 January 2009

UC President Mark Yudof has appointed Paul Alivisatos interim director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), replacing Steven Chu, former director of the laboratory, who was sworn in as U.S. Secretary of Energy on Jan. 21. The lab is managed for the Department of Energy by the university.

The appointment takes effect immediately, though it is subject to confirmation by the full UC Board of Regents at its meeting next week.

Alivisatos, who holds a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Berkeley and a B.A. in chemistry from the University of Chicago, has been a faculty member at Berkeley since 1988; he is currently the Larry and Diane Bock Professor of Nanotechnology and a professor in the departments of materials science and chemistry. Prior to this appointment he was LBNL's deputy director, serving as the lab's chief research officer, overseeing the discretionary research budget, key research initiatives, and technology-transfer functions.
In addition, he assisted Chu in developing the overall strategic direction and institutional planning for the laboratory. He is a leader of LBNL's Helios solar-research initiative, where he is spearheading groundbreaking research on artificial photosynthesis and photovoltaic technology.

From 2005 to 2007, prior to being named deputy director of LBNL, Alivisatos was associate laboratory director for physical sciences. From 2002 to 2008 he was director of the materials-sciences division, and from 2001 to 2005 was director of the Molecular Foundry.

A widely published researcher, he is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The university expects to announce a national search for a new LBNL director soon.