News from the Fraser Lab

Goodbye Dan Bolon!

James Fraser
10 August 2014

salty dog

Dan Bolon, a professor at UMass Medical School, has spent the last 5 weeks visiting the lab. He has been helping us set up a deep sequencing project that will form the foundation of the iPQB/CCB Project Lab class this fall. This course, started several years ago by Joe DeRisi, aims to have students work in teams through a project-based curriculum. We have an exciting project planned - and we couldn’t be happier with the results that came out of Dan’s visit. Beyond his steady hands at the bench, we will miss his enthusiasm for the offical lab sport of squash, his journal club paper suggestions, and his rock-solid advice on future research directions. Thanks Dan, please come back soon!


The role of mobility in the substrate binding and catalytic machinery of enzymes.

James Fraser
08 August 2014

One of the most interesting and provocative papers published by Tom Alber is this gem:

The role of mobility in the substrate binding and catalytic machinery of enzymes.

This pdf includes the article and a transcript of the fun discussion that followed Greg Petsko’s presentation, featuring Tom Steitz, Hans Frauenfelder, Johann Deisenhofer, Martin Karpus and others.

A few people have asked me for this paper - because it is hard to find in print and doesn’t seem to be freely available online - so I thought I would post my scan of a hardcopy!

New Website!

Ben Barad
09 July 2014

The Fraser Lab has a new website! It should be much nicer for viewing on small screens.

Goodbye Lillian

James Fraser
01 July 2014

We celebrated Lillian, the founding member of the Fraser Lab, at the ramp. She was as sad to leave as we were to see here go:


Liz really outdid herself with some fantastic LCakes:


That were devoured by LCakes herself:




We will miss Lillian tremendously. But, we take some solace in the fact that she isn’t going far. As a student in iPQB in the fall, she can take advantage of a new slide advancer/laser pointer and some “unrestricted” shopping funds:

Laser Pointer

Tom Alber

James Fraser
04 April 2014

I can’t believe it has been a week. Tom was my mentor and one of my dearest friends. Tom fought a long battle with what was eventually diagnosed as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Tom Alber in the High Sierras

During the last few years, he showed an incredibly positive spirit as he spent time with friends, colleagues, and family - especially his three children, Josh, Emily, and Mackenzie. Tom loved the outdoors and would often show us pictures of backpacking trips in Tuolumne meadows. He treasured his final trip to Yosemite last fall. He was a scientific force, crafting manuscripts right up until the end. I will miss his optimistic spirit about science and life, and I will always be proud to be part of Team Alber.

UC Berkeley Obituary

Consider making a donation to establish an infectious disease lectureship in Tom’s name at UC Berkeley