2020 Senior Foote Fellows

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Third-year organic chemistry graduate students Jason Chari, Cooper Jamieson, Chris Jones, and Ishika Saha have been named the 2020 Senior Foote Fellows.  

The Senior Foote Fellowships support our most outstanding third-year graduate students upon completion of their qualifying examination for their Ph.D. degree and the Junior Foote Fellowships support our most promising applicants to our graduate program. All Foote Fellows are chosen by the UCLA organic chemistry faculty. In addition to be honored, all Foote Fellows receive a stipend spread out between two academic years.  

In the last two years, six Junior Foote Fellows were selected as a means to encourage them to attend UCLA for their graduate work for the Ph.D., and they are now in the midst of their first or second year in our chemistry program: Angel Mendoza (2018-2020), and Ana Bulger, Nik Burton, Allison Hacker, Matthew McVeigh, and Laura Wonilowicz (all 2019-2021).

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The 2020 Senior Foote Fellows – Jason Chari, Cooper Jamieson, Chris Jones, and Ishika Saha.

The Christopher S. Foote Fellowship in Organic Chemistry was established in 2005 by his former co-workers and UCLA colleagues to honor UCLA organic professor Dr. Christopher S. Foote on his 70th birthday. Foote (pictured above) and his wife, Professor Judi Smith, donated the remaining funds needed to fully fund the endowment. Sadly, Foote passed away soon after the fellowship was established. His 43-year academic career at UCLA established Foote as one of the world leaders in the field of physical organic chemistry.

On February 13, 2020, Professor Gonzalo Cosa from McGill University will give the 2020 Christopher S. Foote Lecture in the Court of Sciences, room 76 at 4:00 p.m. His lecture will be followed by a dinner where Cosa and the newest Foote Fellows will be honored and recognized. Many of the Foote family members will be at the lecture and dinner.

UCLA is fortunate to benefit from the continuing outstanding service and support of Smith, who was the Dean of Undergraduate Education and the Founding Dean of the UCLA Herb Albert School of Music. 

About the 2020 Senior Foote Fellows

Jason%20Chari%20%28002%29 246Jason Chari is a third-year organic chemistry graduate student working in Professor Neil Garg‘s laboratory. His graduate studies are focused on using arynes and other strained organic molecules to manipulate the structure of metal-centered photosensitizers. Jason was raised in Newton, Massachusetts and received his bachelor’s degree in biostatistics in 2017 from Cornell University. While there, he worked under Professor Song Lin on the electrochemical synthesis of amino acids. Additionally, he conducted research with Professor Katherine Maloney, using statistical learning to investigate the capricious nature of a soft corals that produce bioactive compounds.

Jamieson%2C%20Cooper 246Cooper Jamieson was born in New York, New York and raised in San Luis Obispo, California. In 2016, he received a B.A. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Art from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. After graduation, Cooper moved to far-West Marfa, Texas to assist in the fabrication of Robert Irwin’s artwork Untitled (dawn to dusk) and work in art conservation at the Chinati Foundation. Now, Cooper works under the direction of Professors Kendall Houk and Yi Tang and studies enzyme catalyzed pericyclic reactions in fungal biosynthesis.

Jones%2C%20Chris 2 246Chris Jones was born and raised in Rochester, NY. After high school, he spent four years serving in the U.S. Navy. Upon leaving active duty, Chris went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering at California State University, East Bay. He subsequently completed his master’s degree in chemical engineering at San Jose State University. While earning his degrees, Chris worked at Sandia National Laboratories, where he researched novel materials for advanced energy storage and conversion technologies. Currently, Chris is a third-year organic chemistry graduate student working in Professor Hosea Nelson’s laboratory, where his research focuses on the structural characterization of small molecules using advanced crystallographic and electron diffraction techniques.

Saha%2C%20Ishika 246Ishika Saha was born and raised in Kolkata, India. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Durham, England, where she received an integrated masters MChem degree under the supervision of Professor Ian Baxendale. While there, her research focused on the synthesis and reactivity of 3-benzalphthalide derivatives towards bioactive heterocyclic compounds. Ishika is now a third-year organic chemistry graduate student in Professor Patrick Harran’s laboratory. Her research is focused on generating in silico libraries of macrocyclic composites, towards identifying and evaluating lead candidates of virtual screening.  

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.