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James R. Heath

Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor and Professor of Chemistry
Contact information for James R. Heath
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B.Sc., Baylor University, 1984; M.A., Rice University, 1988; Ph.D., 1988. Caltech, 2003-.
Research Areas: Biological Engineering

Assistant: Elyse Garlock

The Heath group works on a broad variety of projects. One part of the group works in the area of solid-state quantum physics, materials science, and basic surface science, with a slight focus on energy conversion applications.

The other part of the group works on fundamental biology and translational medicine - with a clear focus on oncology. We are comprised of a diverse, talented, and highly motivated group of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Our graduate students come from the physical, organic, and inorganic areas of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and from Physics, the Caltech/UCLA joint M.D./Ph.D. program, Bioengineering, Biology, and Electrical Engineering. Our postdoctoral researchers have similarly diverse backgrounds.

Furthermore, we collaborate extensively with groups at Caltech, groups within the UCLA medical school, and groups in Seattle, Europe, Israel, and Singapore. Our labs occupy about 60% of the basement level of the Noyes Laboratory of Chemical Physics, as well as a small laboratory at UCLA devoted to translational medicine.

One thing that draws our research projects together is that we focus on the fundamental scientific bottlenecks that, if solved, can provide keys toward solving much larger problems. Those problems can be in energy conversion technologies, translational medicine, or basic oncology studies.We believe in working hard, playing hard, and that our science should be fun.

Graduate students and postdocs who leave the group move into a variety of fields. The majority continue in academics; approximately 2 postdocs a year leave the group and take faculty positions within top ranked academic departments (chemistry, physics, engineering, etc.). About half of the graduate students take postdoctoral research positions, while the other half take industrial positions in everything from small start up companies to large corporations.