Christopher J. Chang

Current Fellow

Fellow: Awarded 2021

Field of Study: Chemistry

Competition: US & Canada


Chris Chang is the Class of 1942 Chair Professor of Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, and the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at UC Berkeley. He is a chemist that studies metals in biology, medicine, and energy. His laboratory has developed activity-based sensing (ABS) as a general technology platform to enable innovations in imaging, proteomics, and drug discovery. These new chemical tools have identified copper, hydrogen peroxide, and formaldehyde as signals for regulating processes spanning neural activity and neurodegeneration to cancer and fat metabolism, opening a field of transition metal signaling. The discovery of copper as a cell signal establishes a new paradigm for metals in biology, expanding the roles of redox transition metals beyond static active site metal cofactors to metalloallostery. His laboratory has also advanced artificial photosynthesis through the development of molecular catalysts for sustainable electrosynthesis for hydrogen production and CO2 reduction that mimic enzyme biocatalysts or heterogeneous materials catalysts, as well as hybrid systems that merge design concepts from molecular, materials, and biological catalysts.

Photo Credit: Michelle Chang