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Raised in Altadena and Pasadena, California, Clarke did his undergraduate work at Pomona College in Claremont, studying with Professor Neal Cornell. He graduated with a BA in Chemistry and Zoology with magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Honors. He spent the summer of after his junior year as an NIH Undergraduate Fellow in the laboratory of Peter Mitchell in Cornwall, England studying amino acid transport in mitochondria. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard University in 1976 working as an NSF Fellow with Professor Guido Guidotti on membrane protein-detergent interactions and the identification of the major rat liver mitochondrial polypeptides as enzymes of the urea cycle. He returned to California to do postdoctoral work as a Miller Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, with Professor Daniel Koshland, identifying membrane receptors for bacterial chemotaxis. He joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry and the Molecular Biology Institute at UCLA in 1978. He directed the UCLA Cellular and Molecular Biology Training Program from 1988-2018 and the UCLA Molecular Biology Institute from 2001 to 2011.

He has been a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, in the Department of Pathology at the University of Washington, and in the Department of Biochemistry and the Center for Structural Biology at Vanderbilt University.

His achievements have been honored by the American Chemical Society Ralph F. Hirschmann Award in Peptide Chemistry, a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health, a Senior Scholar Award in Aging from the Ellison Medical Foundation, the William C. Rose Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and by selection as the 107th Faculty Research Lecturer at UCLA. He is a recipient of the UCLA Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award, including the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching.

Phone: (310) 825-8754
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