Boyer Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program Endowment

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To honor Nobel Laureate and UCLA professor Paul Boyer we are establishing an endowment to permanently fund summer undergraduate research fellowships.

The department has over 1,000 undergraduate biochemistry majors, and each year these talented students apply for a limited number of summer research fellowships. Once this endowment is fully-funded, it will provide summer undergraduate research fellowships every year to four UCLA undergraduate biochemistry majors who will perform research in the laboratories of UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry faculty.

UCLA Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry Paul D. Boyer, who shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions to understanding the way all organisms get energy from their environments and process it to sustain life and fuel their activities, passed away on June 2, 2018 at age 99. In his honor, Boyer’s former postdoc Professor Richard Cross, a professor emeritus of biochemistry and molecular biology at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, established the Paul Boyer and Rich Cross Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships. In 2019, four undergraduates were able to conduct summer research in chemistry and biochemistry laboratories thanks to these fellowships. 

This year, Cross made a significant contribution and pledge to the fund, now known as the Boyer Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program, which has been supplemented by Professor David Eisenberg, Distinguished Professor & the Paul D. Boyer Chair at UCLA, and his wife Lucy Eisenberg; former Boyer postdoc Dr. Michael Gresser, owner and founder of Clarity Therapeutics Consulting, and his wife Hannelore Gresser; the Boyer Family; and Xtandi Royalties (thanks to Professor Mike Jung). These collective resources have enabled us to set up an endowment. Our goal is to raise additional funds such that we are able to support four undergraduate summer researchers every year.   

“I’m delighted that we can honor Paul – a remarkable scientist, mentor, colleague, friend and human being,” Cross said.

We are reaching out to members of our department, donors, alumni, and friends with the opportunity to support this important endeavor, and humbly ask you to consider a gift of any size. 

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Recipients of the inaugural Boyer Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships at the 2019 UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry Departmental Awards ceremony with Vice Chair for Education Professor Ben Schwartz – Melton Zheng (faculty advisor Professor Roy Wolman), Wenzhe Chen (faculty advisor Professor Joseph Loo), and Clarissa Pham (faculty advisor Professor Robert Clubb). Fellow Xinran “Michele” Tang (faculty advisor Professor Roy Wolman) is not pictured.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,