Professors Ellen Sletten and Hosea Nelson are two of five UCLA assistant professors selected to receive prestigious 2018 Sloan Research Fellowships.
Profiles of the UCLA 2018 Sloan Research Fellows, in which they discuss what they will use their fellowships for and what makes them excited to come to work everyday, can be found on the UCLA Physical Sciences website.
Excerpted from UCLA Newsroom (by Stuart Wolpert):
Five young UCLA professors are among 126 scientists and scholars from 53 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada selected today to receive 2018 Sloan Research Fellowships. UCLA is tied for third — behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UC Berkeley — in the number of faculty honored this year by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which selects early-career scientists and scholars who are rising stars of science.
“The Sloan Research Fellows represent the very best science has to offer,” said Adam Falk, president of the Sloan Foundation. “The brightest minds, tackling the hardest problems, and succeeding brilliantly — fellows are quite literally the future of 21st century science. A Sloan research fellow is a scientist to watch.”
UCLA’s 2018 recipients are:
Nelson, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, focuses his research on the discovery of new chemical reactions that will enable the efficient and environmentally benign syntheses of fuels, materials and medicines. He and his research team take an interdisciplinary approach, exploring chemical concepts that lie at the interface of organic synthesis, inorganic chemistry and molecular biology. Their research was published in the journal Science in 2017, in which they reported a new chemical reaction to convert the common greenhouse gas methane into useful chemicals that could be used to prepare new fuels or therapeutics. Nelson was an inaugural member of Chemical and Engineering News magazine’s Talented 12 in recognition for his achievements as a graduate student, postdoctoral scholar and assistant professor. In October of 2017, he was among 18 outstanding young scientists in the United States to be awarded Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
Sletten, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry who holds the John McTague Career Development Chair at UCLA, develops molecules, methods and materials to enhance the visualization and delivery of therapeutics. Her research involves an interdisciplinary mix of organic synthesis, chemical biology, self-assembly, polymer synthesis, fluorous chemistry, photophysics and nanomedicine. Sletten and her group reported in 2017 bright fluorophores for the shortwave infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition (fluorophores are fluorescent chemical compounds), facilitating safe, rapid, optical diagnostics at new depths. They also reported in 2017 enhanced nanomaterials for light therapy by exploiting the unique properties of perfluorocarbons (chemicals composed of only carbon and fluorine). These works set the stage for personalized medicines.
Winners of Sloan Research Fellowships receive a two-year, $65,000 award to support their research. The fellowships are intended to enhance the careers of exceptional young scientists and scholars in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics. The philanthropic, New York–based foundation was established in 1934.
The other UCLA faculty to receive Sloan Research Fellowships are Professors Daniele Bianchi (Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences),Jingyi “Jessica” Li (Statistics), and Carolyn Parkinson (Psycology). To learn more, read the full UCLA Newsroom article.