R. David Britt Named as Winston Ko Professor in Science Leadership

Dave Britt
Distinguished Professor R. David Britt

The Winston Ko Professorship in Science Leadership has been awarded to UC Davis Distinguished Professor of Chemistry R. David Britt, a leader in the field of bioinorganic spectroscopy.

The Winston Ko Professorship in Science Leadership recognizes national or international science leadership by an outstanding faculty member in the departments of chemistry, earth and planetary sciences, mathematics, physics or statistics. Britt was selected on the basis of excellent academic merit coupled with recognition for leading a project or intellectual effort in science that will bring prominence to UC Davis.

Britt’s lab investigates the structure and function of biologically significant enzymes. His primary research tool is advanced electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Britt leads the CalEPR center, the largest center of its kind on the West Coast. Britt is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Bruker Prize, the Gold Medal of the International EPR Society, and the Zavoisky Award of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Kazan).

Longtime UC Davis professor and administrator Winston Ko and his wife Katy Ko endowed the faculty chair in the College of Letters and Science. The Kos launched the endowment with a challenge grant upon his retirement in 2013. Colleagues, friends and family of the Kos answered the challenge, helping the endowment surpass its $1 million goal in 2017.

The endowment honors Winston Ko’s 41 years of service to UC Davis and his leadership in research and education. Ko served as chair of the Department of Physics from 1998 to 2003 and Dean of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) from 2003 to 2013. (MPS was one of three separate divisions in the College of Letters and Science in 1996–2017.)

The endowment will also support the Winston Ko Public Lecture Series: Frontiers in Mathematical and Physical Sciences — a series of public lectures featuring world-class researchers. The Ko Lecture series began in 2016 with a talk by Veronika Hubeny, a UC Davis professor of physics who is probing the nature of black holes and gravity. Daniel Nocera, a Harvard professor who helped pioneer artificial photosynthesis, gave the second installment in 2017.

To support the Winston Ko Fund in Science Leadership, please make a gift online at give.ucdavis.edu/CLAS/122946.