2021 Cottrell Scholar

Posted on

Caram small

Professor Justin Caram is named as one of 25 Cottrell Scholars for the quality and innovation of his research program and his academic leadership skills. 

Caram will receive a $100,000 award for his project “Chemical Physics Informed Design of SWIR Emissive Molecules”. 

“In these challenging times, more than ever, science needs young faculty with fresh ideas and a commitment to student success,” said RCSA President & CEO Daniel Linzer. “The 2021 class is a diverse, dedicated, and welcome addition to the Cottrell Scholar community.” For more information about the award, read the press release.

“Justin is an excellent colleague, a creative and careful researcher and an inspired and conscientious

teacher and mentor,” said Department Chair Professor Neil Garg. “Support from the Research Corporation Cottrell program will greatly advance his science and set him on an exciting future trajectory.”

Since starting at UCLA in July of 2017 Caram has begun developing a world-class research program focused on developing new spectroscopies and materials with a focus on addressing fundamental questions in chemical photophysics. “Justin’s creativity and fearlessness in developing new methods to address highly relevant questions in chemical design is impressive,” Garg said. “His considerable interest in reforming our general chemistry for life scientist course sequence is an area where he has distinguished himself in service to the university, exceeding even our high standards for junior faculty. Justin has already taken crucial steps toward offering improved and targeted evidence-based interventions toward improving underrepresented minority participation in science. The Cottrell award will both recognize Justin’s current efforts and enable him to build on this crucial work.”

Caram earned his A.B. degree in chemistry from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Chicago. After doing his postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he joined the Chemistry faculty at UCLA in 2017. Caram is the founding member of the new Center for Quantum Science and Engineering (CQSE), and a faculty fellow of the Center for Diverse Leadership in Science (CDLS). In 2020, he received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation.

To learn more about Caram’s research, visit his group’s website.

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