Boyer/Cram/Libby Postdoctoral Teacher-Scholar News

Posted on

Neufeldt Sharon small

We welcome three new Postdoctoral Teacher-Scholars and bid farewell to Sharon Neufeldt, now a faculty member at Montana State University. 

Our Postdoctoral Teacher-Scholar program allows postdoctoral scholars to experience research and teaching at the same time as a way to prepare them for future faculty positions.

Neufeld Jung 0

Farewell and congratulations to Sharon Neufeldt

Our first Cram Postdoctoral Teacher-Scholar, Dr. Sharon Neufeldt, recently left UCLA to accept a faculty position in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Montana State University.

While at UCLA, Sharon was the recipient of the 2015 Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching award. (Sharon is pictured right with Prof. Mike Jung at the awards ceremony last November.) In addition to her teaching duties, she conducted research in the group of Prof. Ken Houk where she studied organometallic systems using computational tools.

We welcome our three new 2016-2019 Postdoctoral Teacher-Scholars

Three Postdoctoral Teacher-Scholars have joined our instructional faculty this quarter – Dr. Shuming Chen, Dr. Jacquelin Kammeyer and Dr. Zhao Li.  They were chosen from a competitive pool of 53 applicants.

Chen Shuming 16 200px 0Dr. Shuming Chen (Cram Teacher-Scholar)

– Shuming received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Grinnell College and she attended Yale University for her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. She conducted research in Professor Jonathan Ellman’s group, where she worked on regio- and diastereoselective syntheses of tetrahydropyridines by way of tandem electrophilic and nucleophilic additions to dihydropyridines, discovered a novel agent for the diastereoselective epoxidation of tetrahydropyridines to provide oxygenated piperidines, highly regio- and stereoselective synthetic cascades for accessing multisubstituted and bridged tropanes via cycloaddition of unstabilized azomethine ylides, as well as a facile method for the construction of fluoropyridines using Rh(III)-catalyzed C–H functionalization.

In addition to teaching, Shuming will be conducting computational chemistry research on the elucidation of mechanisms for stereoselective chemical transformations in Prof. Ken Houk’s research group. Currently, Shuming co-teaches CHEM 30CL: Organic Chemistry Laboratory II with Prof. Hosea Nelson.

Kemmeyer Jacquline 150Dr. Jacquelin Kammeyer (Boyer Teacher Scholar)

– Jacquelin received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry from Indiana University where she was a member of the Alpha Chi Sigma Professional Chemistry Fraternity and engaged in numerous outreach events with AXE. She was also an active undergraduate teaching assistant in molecular biology and organic chemistry.

After graduating from Indiana University, Jacquelin attended University of California-San Diego for her Ph.D. She conducted research in Prof. Gianneschi’s group where she worked on developing synthetic polymer materials that display peptides for applications in delivery of peptide therapeutics, as well as imaging agents to cancerous tissue. While at UCSD, Jacquelin participated in numerous outreach events through the Society for Women in Graduate School where she hoped to increase the interest of young women and students from underrepresented minorities to pursue a career in STEM. 

In addition to teaching CHEM 30BL: Organic Chemistry Laboratory I with Prof. Neil Garg, Jacquelin will be conducting research in Prof. Heather Maynard’s group. She will be working on the development of protein polymer conjugates for the stabilization of therapeutic proteins. 

Li Zhao 16Dr. Zhao Li (Libby Teacher Scholar)

– Zhao received her Bachelor degree in polymer science from the Honor’s Program in Sichuan University (Chengdu, China). She then attended UCLA for her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry. She conducted research in Professor Yung-Ya Lin’s group where she worked on early cancer detection and targeted therapy by MR molecular imaging and nano medicine. 

During her Ph.D. study at UCLA, in addition to research, she also received rigorous training in teaching. She TAed for general chemistry, undergraduate physical chemistry, and graduate physical chemistry courses. With the strong support from the Department, she was nominated and awarded the UCLA campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award in April, 2015. 

Currently, in addition to teaching, Zhao will be conducting research on the early pancreatic cancer imaging by CA19-9 magnetic nanoparticles and active-feedback magnetic resonance in Professor Yung-Ya Lin’s research Group. The specific aims are to develop “supramolecular magnetic nanoparticles” into powerful (i) “molecular beacons” for early detection of pancreatic cancers, through sensitive imaging of magnetic nanoparticles which are bio-conjugated by CA19-9 antibody and detection by active-feedback MRI; and (ii) “molecular bullets” for targeted therapy of pancreatic cancers, through electromagnetic hyperthermia induced by coupling magnetic nanoparticles with external alternating magnetic fields and control releasing of cancer drugs.

Zhao has been teaching general chemistry courses since June, 2015, including Chem 20A (Chemical Structure), 20B (Chemical Energetics and Change), 17 (Chemical Principles), and 14A (Atomic and Molecular Structure, Equilibria, Acids, and Bases). As a physical chemist, she emphasizes true understanding and research applications in her classes to help students build up a solid foundation for their future education and career.

About the Boyer/Cram/Libby Postdoctoral Teacher-Scholar Program

The three Teacher-Scholar positions honor UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry Department Nobel Laureates Paul D. Boyer, Donald J. Cram, and Willard F. Libby and recognize their many contributions to the advancement of chemistry and biochemistry.

Boyer/Cram/Libby Postdoctoral Teacher-Scholars are expected to serve for three years, with the initial appointment for one year, plus the possibility of renewal for the second and third years. They are expected to teach three one-quarter undergraduate chemistry or biochemistry courses during a given academic year and will also conduct postdoctoral research with a sponsoring faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

The department is currently recruiting for 2017-2020 Postdoctoral Teacher-Scholars. Learn more here.