Celebrating our undergraduate and high school student researchers

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On July 24, 2018, the department hosted a reception for all undergraduate and high school students who conduct research in faculty labs. 

Select photos from the event can be viewed below and a photo gallery from the event can be viewed here.

The student researchers gathered with their faculty mentors, graduate student and postdoc mentors, and other faculty and students at the reception in the Hershey Hall Grand Salon. Department Chair Professor Catherine Clarke thanked the researchers for the outstanding research they have been conducting at UCLA.

There are over 120 undergraduate students, recent graduates, and high school students participating in research in our department this year. Many of the students are here all year long and others are here only for the summer through various summer research programs, fellowships, or internships.

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Department Chair Professor Catherine Clarke gave the welcoming remarks at the event.

Through the UCLA Summer Programs for Undergraduate Research we have several visiting undergraduate summer researchers including six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Scholars, two Amgen Scholars, one MARC Scholar and two iGEM Scholars.

We also have 41 UCLA scholars who were able to conduct research this summer thanks to the following 2018 Departmental Summer Research Fellowship Awards: Daniel Kivelson Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships, Johnson Summer Undergrad Research Fellowships, Whitcome Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships, and Raymond & Dorothy Wilson Research Fellowships.  

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(Left) Vice Chair for Undergraduate Education Professor Yung-Ya Lin with CSST Scholars (from left) Zisheng Zhang,Yuhao Yan, Zedao Liu, Chengjie Qiu. (Right) Jeremy Shek (iGem Scholar), Marina Faragalla (undergraduate researcher), Jose Castellon (graduate student mentor).

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(Left) HBCU scholars Aziza Frank, Diane Ingabire, Sena Tay, Adoni Dowridge, and Symone Thompson with Professor Ellen Sletten. (Right) CSST scholars Ainan Geng, Huiqi Ni, and Jingyu Wang.

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(Left) Gelbart/Knobler group members Lucia Cabrales-Melendez (Rio Hondo Community College Scientific Exchange Program Scholar), Nina Le (Undergraduate Researcher), Teacher-Scholar Dr. Christian Beren, Professor Chuck Knobler. (Right) Loo group members Dr. Rachel Loo, visiting professor Dr. Xinhua Guo, Tianyang Gao (CSST Scholar), and Professor Joe Loo. 

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(Left) Aanand Patel, HBCU Scholar Andrea Chaney, Sam DeMaris, Professor Margot Quinlan, Joseph Ong, Kivelson Fellow Emma Carley.  (Right) Undergraduate researcher Ying Zhou (CSST Scholar), Yiyi Yao (graduate student mentor), and Sarah Eguchi (undergraduate advisor).

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(Left) Kosuri group members Jaime Contreras (undergraduate researcher), Jeremy Shek (iGem Scholar), John Lee (undergraduate researcher), Cliff Boldridge (graduate student mentor), and recent graduate Joyce Samson. (Right) Bouchard group members Cyrus Kiamanesh (Kivelson Undergrad Summer Research Fellow), Jeff McCormick (graduate student mentor), and Clarissa Olivar Magallanes (MARC Undergraduate Researcher, UC Santa Barbara) with friends.

We have several undergraduate summer research scholars visiting through fellowships they received from their home institutions including 13 Cross-disciplinary Scholars in Science and Technology program (CSST) scholars visiting from several Chinese universities, three Santa Monica College/UCLA Summer Research Scholars, one IROP Scholars visiting from Imperial College London, and one Rio Hondo Science Exchange Scholar. 

On Thursday, August 16, 2018 a poster session for the UCLA Summer Programs for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) will take place from 2:00-5:00 pm in the UCLA Neuroscience Research Building (NRB) Auditorium. This poster session will be the culminating experience for our eight week visiting student researchers in SPUR programs. The poster session for SPUR students in the 10 week program will take place on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 from 2:00-5:00 pm in the UCLA California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) Lobby. Please be sure to stop by and support our visiting summer undergraduate researchers!

Not only is summer research experience typically one of the most meaningful parts of an undergraduate education, it also enables students to pursue science research rather than having to accept a summer job in an unrelated field (e.g. Starbucks, etc.).  For many students, experiencing research in a lab is a real game-changer — many who previously thought they were headed to pharmacy, medical, or dental school, realize how exciting research is, and begin to consider research as a career.  

By conducting research during the summer, students gain skills that help them in their lab courses and, as a result, they excel in classes they may have previously dreaded. They develop a network of friends and colleagues who can be very helpful when looking for employment and discovering other opportunities.  

It was thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends that the department was able to support so many undergraduate summer research fellows this year. We would love to continue to grow these funds and award even more fellowships next summer in 2019. Contributions of any amount are welcome, and will be matched (1:1) by Department Jung funds! An award of $3000 supports one UCLA undergraduate for an entire summer of research. For more information please visit our giving website.  

Photos by Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.