Home > General History > The Ten Campuses > Berkeley >


Formatted version

Berkeley: Departments and Programs

Bacteriology and Immunology
A Department of Bacteriology and Pathology at the University was established in 1911 under the chairmanship of Dr. Frederick P. Gay. The department, as a part of the medical school, was housed in a building on College Avenue and ministered largely to the needs of medical students. Under the leadership of Dr. Karl F. Meyer, chairman from 1924-1946, and with the collaboration of Drs. Max S. Marshall, Ivan C. Hall, Anthony J. Salle, and Theodore D. Beckwith, the offerings in bacteriology were broadened and research programs were initiated in several areas of microbiology.

In 1928, Drs. Meyer and Marshall transferred the medical courses to San Francisco and an academic department was created in the College of Letters and Science, with quarters in the Life Sciences Building. In 1931, Dr. Albert P. Krueger joined the staff and shortly thereafter Drs. Beckwith and Salle moved to the Los Angeles campus. During the 1930s, undergraduate instruction consisted of a course in general bacteriology, one in pathogenic organisms stressing the broader aspects of host-parasite relationships, a brief course in pathology, and an undergraduate project course in research. Graduates participated in the research programs of their instructors.

The 1940s saw the acquisition of several faculty members: Drs. Michael Doudoroff, Sanford Elberg, Jacob Fong, Roger Stanier, and Edward Adelberg. A vigorous growth in the department's activities took place; instruction and research were expanded to include virology, ecology, morphology, the biochemical patterns of microbial life, immunology, genetics, and experimental pathology. Through effective expansion of the group system, it was possible for a candidate in microbiology to work with any member of the group and to obtain a degree in microbiology regardless of the departmental affiliation of his sponsor.

A Naval Medical Reserve Unit was established in 1934 and during World War II it operated laboratories in the Life Sciences Building, specializing in aerobiology. Subsequently, the unit expanded into the Naval Biological Laboratory, Naval Supply Center, Oakland, where its unique facilities made it a valuable part of the University.

The arrival of Dr. John H. Northrop, Nobel Laureate, in 1949, ushered in a new phase of departmental development. Dr. Stewart Madin became a staff member in 1951 to foster work in experimental pathology and animal virology and microbiology. Through Drs. Doudoroff and Stanier there developed a close collaboration with the group in molecular biology; this was strengthened by the appointment of Dr. Alvin J. Clark in 1962. The need for additional faculty members interested in pathogenic microorganisms and immunology was recognized when Drs. John Phillips and David Weiss joined the staff in 1957. Dr. Gunther Stent was appointed in this same year to intensify the departmental activities in virology. Additional emphasis on immunology and immunochemistry resulted in the appointments of Drs. Leon Wofsy and Benjamin Papermaster in 1964; it was further reflected in the department's designation as the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology. In July, 1965, the medical microbiologists left the department to join the faculty of the School of Public Health.

The departmental chairmen between 1946-1965 were Drs. Albert Krueger, Sanford Elberg, Edward Adelberg, Roger Stanier and Jacob Fong. source

Biochemistry, until 1948, was taught on the Berkeley campus mainly in the Department of Biochemistry of the medical school (which moved to San Francisco in 1958), although an introductory course in plant biochemistry was given in the Department of Plant Nutrition (later, agricultural biochemistry) in the College of Agriculture, and some aspects of bacterial biochemistry were taught in the Department of Bacteriology. In 1948, a new Department of Biochemistry was organized in the College of Letters and Science under the chairmanship of Wendell M. Stanley, who had just joined the Berkeley faculty. This new department and the Department of Agricultural Biochemistry moved in 1951 into the Biochemistry and Virus Laboratory. Later (1956), these two groups were combined under the chairmanship of Esmond E. Snell. In the summer of 1964, the department occupied the new Biochemistry Building on the northwest comer of the campus.

The Berkeley department started with eight faculty members and about 12 undergraduate students. The faculty gradually grew to a total of 18 and the student enrollment was increased to 90 undergraduate majors, 70 graduate majors (most of whom prepared for the Ph.D. degree), and 20 postdoctoral fellows receiving advanced research training. The department in 1965 offered 23 undergraduate and graduate courses with a total enrollment of 1,100 students. The number of students enrolled in biochemistry courses rose rapidly in the 1960s because of the increasing applications of this discipline in other biological sciences and probably also because of the fundamental and widely publicized discoveries in biochemistry.

The department offered separate introductory courses (both lecture and laboratory) for major students in biochemistry and for students in other biological sciences. These courses were usually taken during the senior year because of the extensive prerequisites in the biological and physical sciences. At the graduate level, a number of lecture courses covered in-depth several important aspects of biochemistry, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, enzyme synthesis and control, mechanisms of enzyme action, and physical biochemistry. Two graduate laboratory courses provided extensive experience in the use of basic research techniques.

Research was an important activity of the department; several members of the faculty held joint appointments in research units of the University, such as the Agricultural Experiment Station, Virus Laboratory, and the Hormone Research Laboratory. During 1965, some 53 papers, based upon research done in the department,were published in scientific journals. The scientific contributions of members of the faculty were recognized by a variety of honors and awards. source

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is now a division of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. See also Molecular and Cell Biology.

There is no history currently available for this department.

Biophysics Program
There is no history currently available for this program.

Biostatistics Group
There is no history currently available for this program.

Instruction in botany was first offered (1869-70) at Berkeley by Joseph LeConte as part of a course in natural history and was continued in this form through 1874-75. Botany then came under the aegis of agriculture, where it was taught first by Eugene Hilgard (1876-82) and subsequently by Edward L. Greene, as a part-time employee from 1882-84, and as a full-time faculty member from 1885-89.

A separate Department of Botany was established for year 1890-91 in the College of Natural Science. In 1891-92, the curriculum included five courses taught by a faculty of one professor, one instructor, and one assistant. The development of the University Herbarium and the creation of a garden of native plants were both begun.

Greene resigned his faculty post in 1895. He was replaced as professor of botany and chairman of the department by William A. Setchell, who continued in that role for 39 years, retiring at the end of June, 1934.

The curriculum for 1896-97 comprised 17 courses, including special studies, advanced and graduate studies, botanical seminary, and the first offerings in plant physiology and cytology. By this date, the faculty consisted of one professor, one full-time instructor, and one half-time instructor.

There was steady progress without extensive curricular changes between 1897 and 1920. Enrollment increased and there was some parallel increase in the size of the faculty. A general lecture course, begun in the 1890s with an enrollment of from 100 to 200, had increased to nearly 1,000 by 1922. Research and class instruction in cryptogamic botany, taxonomy, cytology and histology prospered, while plant physiology waned. Following World War I, enrollment increased greatly in all courses, and plant physiology was reestablished. By this time the staff consisted of six faculty members and eight to ten teaching assistants. In 1930, botany moved from the Botany Building and the Palmer House to the newly opened Life Sciences Building.

Upon Setchell's retirement in 1934, a major revision of curricula in plant science for the entire campus was promulgated by an administrative committee. Duplications in course offerings were eliminated, and some courses with their instructors were transferred from agriculture to botany. In this way plant physiology was notably strengthened, and the department acquired its next two chairmen, Dennis R. Hoagland (1934-36) and Alva R. Davis (1936-42; 1945-47). The general policy was established that basic plant science would be taught in botany, and the applied phases would be taught in agriculture and forestry.

In the 1960s, more attention was given to presenting botany as a cultural subject for the general student, and a course in general biology was developed in cooperation with the Department of Zoology.

After World War II, the department enjoyed sizable increases in faculty and by the mid-1960s, comprised 13 faculty members, 27 teaching assistants, and seven nonacademic employees. The extensive expansion and improvement of its space and laboratory equipment was no less remarkable. The chairmanship passed through the hands of Lee Bonar, Lincoln Constance, Adriance Foster, Leonard Machlis, Ralph Emerson, and back to Machlis. The early excellence in the fields of crytogamic botany (Setchell, Nathaniel Gardner, Bonar, George Papenfuss), cytology (Thomas Goodspeed), morphology and anatomy (Foster, Johannes Proskauer), and taxonomy of vascular plants (Willis Jepson, Herbert Mason, Constance) was maintained and balanced by strong developments in physiology (Machlis, John Torrey, Roderic Park, Daniel Branton), experimental mycology (Emerson, Melvin Fuller), genecology (Herbert Baker), biosystematics (Robert Ornduff), developmental morphology (Watson Laetsch), and histochemistry (William Jensen). source

Botany is now a part of the Department of Integrative Biology.

Buddhist Studies Program
There is no history currently available for this program.

Business Administration
See Colleges and Schools, School of Business Administration.

Copyright © 1999-2005
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Last updated 06/18/04.