2018 UCLA Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Scholars Award Ceremony

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Chemistry & Biochemistry postdoctoral fellows and faculty were honored at the 2018 UCLA Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Scholars Award Ceremony on September 25th.

At the ceremony, which honors UCLA’s postdoctoral scholars and their mentors for their important contributions to the university’s interrelated missions of research, teaching, and service, Dr. Duyoung Min (Bowie group) and Dr. Calin Plesa (Kosuri group) were two of six postdoctoral scholars to receive the Chancellor’s $7,500 Award for Postdoctoral Research.  

Dr. Jonathan Axtell (Spokoyny group), Dr. Marc Garcia-Borràs (Houk group), and Dr. Steven Jonas (P. Weiss group) received $1000 Honorable Mention awards. Chemistry & Biochemistry Professors James Bowie, Vice Chair of Academic Personnel for the department, and Michael Jung, Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, received honorable mentions for Postdoctoral Mentoring Awards. Vice Chancellor Michael Levine and Dean of UCLA Graduate Division Robin Garrell, a professor of chemistry, presented the awards. 

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Vice Chancellor Michael Levine and Dean of UCLA Graduate Division Robin Garrell with (left) Dr. Duyoung Min and (right) Dr. Calin Plesa.  

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Dr. Jonathan Axtell (left) and Dr. Steven Jonas (right) received Honorable Mention Awards. Borras PDA 18
Dr. Marc Garcia-Borras received an Honorable Mention award.  Garcia-Borras with the Houk group members.

Min received the award for his development of methods that allowed him to investigate the folding of the most complex proteins ever examined experimentally.

Plesa received his award for his contribution to developing DropSynth, a low-cost method for building thousands of DNA sequences (genes) in a single reaction. These gene libraries can serve as input to assays in which many DNA encoded hypotheses are tested together, significantly increasing the scale at which we can make and test biological hypotheses. 

The nominees represented many disciplines at UCLA, from the basic and applied sciences to the professional schools, the social sciences, and the humanities. 

A photo gallery from the event can be viewed here, and video from the event can be viewed here.