2021 & 2022 Senior Foote Fellows

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Five outstanding organic chemistry graduate students have been named Senior Foote Fellows – two for 2021 and three for 2022.

Andrew Kelleghan and Anthony Spearman were named 2021 Senior Foote Fellows and Ana Bulger, Matthew McVeigh, Billy Treacy have been named the 2022 Senior Foote Fellows.  

The Senior Foote Fellowships are awarded to our most outstanding organic graduate students in their third year upon completion of their qualifying examination for their Ph.D. degree. Foote Fellows are chosen by the UCLA organic chemistry faculty. In addition to be honored, all Foote Fellows receive a stipend for two academic years.  

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2021 Senior Foote Fellows: Andrew Kelleghan and Anthony Spearman, 2022 Senior Foote Fellows: Ana Bulger, Matthew McVeigh, and Billy Treacy.

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.

The 2022 Christopher S. Foote Lecture will take place in the near future. The lecture will be followed by a dinner where the speaker and the newest Foote Fellows will be honored and recognized. (Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Foote Lecture was not held in 2021.)

UCLA is fortunate to benefit from the continuing outstanding service and support of Smith, who was a faculty member and chair of the Department of Physiological Sciences, then Dean of Undergraduate Education and the Founding Dean of the UCLA Herb Albert School of Music. 

About the 2021 Senior Foote Fellows

KelleghanAndrew Kelleghan received his B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018, where he carried out research under the advisement of Professor Phillip Messersmith. He then moved to UCLA where he is currently a fourth-year organic chemistry graduate student in Professor Neil Garg’s group. His graduate studies primarily focus on developing catalytic, asymmetric reactions of strained intermediates.

SpearmanAnthony Spearman was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he did his undergraduate research with Professor Alex Lippert working on the synthesis of fluorophores in the visible region. Anthony is currently a fourth-year organic chemistry student working in Professor Ellen Sletten’s group. His research is focused towards the design of polymethine dyes that absorb and emit in the shortwave infrared region.

About the 2022 Senior Foote Fellows

Bulger%20croppedAna Bulger

 was born and raised in Maynard, Massachusetts. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from Westmont College in 2019, where she performed research under the mentorship of Professor Amanda Silberstein. She then began her graduate studies at the UCLA where she is currently a third-year organic chemistry student in Professor Neil Garg’s group. Her graduate research is focused in the areas of asymmetric nickel-catalyzed transformations of amides and in probing the reactivity of strained intermediates. 

McVeighMatthew McVeigh was born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Houston, Texas. In 2019, he received his B.S. in Chemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. There, he worked under the tutelage of Professor Eric Anslyn, where he investigated the mechanism behind aniline-catalyzed hydrazone formation. He is currently a third-year organic chemistry graduate student in Professor Neil Garg’s group, where he works on developing new synthetic methodologies that leverage strained cyclic allenes with transition metal catalysis.

TreacyBilly Treacy was born in Rochester Hills, Michigan and was raised in Rogers, Arkansas. He received his B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Mathematics from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2019. There, he worked under Professor Marcey Waters and Professor Michel Gagné investigating how peptide catalysts can exploit non-covalent interactions to perform acyl transfer catalysis. Billy is currently a third-year organic chemistry student in the groups of Professor Kendall Houk and Professor Heather Maynard where he is working toward developing novel organometallic reagents for cysteine arylation.

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