Biochemist Glenn Millhauser receives Outstanding Faculty Award

Glenn Millhauser
Glenn Millhauser (Photo by Shaneen Britton Acevedo)

Glenn Millhauser, distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Cruz, has received the 2017–18 Outstanding Faculty Award from the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences. The annual award is the division's highest honor for faculty achievement, recognizing combined excellence in research, teaching, and service.

Millhauser’s pioneering research on the structural and dynamic properties of proteins has led to a better understanding of human biology and diseases. Much of his recent research has focused on the role of prion proteins in neurodegenerative diseases. Prions are misfolded proteins associated with several fatal neurodegenerative diseases in both animals and people. Millhauser has also done important research on Agouti-related proteins (AgRP), which are produced in the brain and influence metabolism, appetite, and energy expenditure. Understanding AgRP mechanisms could lead to advances in treating obesity, diabetes, and other food-related disorders.

Glenn Millhauser has an outstanding record in research, teaching, and service to UC Santa Cruz and the broader scientific community, as well as locally right here in our county,” said acting dean David Belanger in a letter announcing the award. “The Outstanding Faculty Award from the Division of Physical & Biological Sciences is a richly deserved campus recognition for Glenn’s exemplary record.”

Millhauser uses advanced spectroscopy techniques in his research, and he has led efforts to acquire new state-of-the-art spectroscopy equipment for UCSC’s shared biomedical research facilities. Grants from the highly competitive High-End Instrumentation Program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have funded the purchase of two high-tech magnetic resonance spectrometers, each with unique abilities, making UCSC’s research facilities among the most advanced in California.

Millhauser is also considered one of the Chemistry Department’s top instructors. He has received two UC Santa Cruz Excellence in Teaching Awards, and he has trained 21 Ph.D. students, 8 postdoctoral researchers, and nearly 60 undergraduate researchers.

Millhauser has an exemplary record of service to UC Santa Cruz and to the broader scientific community, serving on academic senate committees, review panels for NSF and NIH, and on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He has also served the community of Santa Cruz by volunteering for outreach programs targeting at-risk youth, working with the Watsonville High School Chemistry club, arranging UC Santa Cruz campus tours, and bringing lab experiments to Watsonville students. He has also participated in the Women in Science (WISE) Lecture Series.

Millhauser joined the UCSC faculty in 1988. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he has received the prestigious Silver Medal in Biology/Medicine from the International Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Society. He earned his B.S. at California State University, Los Angeles, and his Ph.D. at Cornell University.