Mar 11, 2021
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Undergraduate researchers Luke Elissiry, Garrett Kukier and Andy Nguyen receive awards at the 2021 Koret UC LEADS Research and Leadership Symposium.
 
The online symposium took place on Saturday, March 6, 2021. “These scholars competed against many talented individuals from across the state, so this is no small feat,” said Dr. Fernando Gomez, Assistant Director, UCLA Undergraduate Research Center – Sciences.
 
Chemistry & Biochemistry undergraduate researchers Luke Elissiry, Garrett Kukier, and Andy Nguyen
 
Luke Elissiry, a chemistry senior conducting research in Professor Chong Liu’s group, took one of the three top honors in the Physical Sciences and Mathematics competition for his work in Professor Christopher Chang's group at the University of California, Berkeley during summer 2020. His presentation was titled “Tuning Second Coordination Sphere Interactions in Iron Pyridyl Complexes to Enhance Catalytic Properties”. Elissiry also received a Campus Leadership Award for his commitment to leadership and scientific outreach.
 
Garrett Kukier, a chemistry junior conducting research in Professor Ken Houk’s group, also took one of the three Top Honors in the Physical Sciences and Mathematics competition for his presentation titled "Violations? How Nature Circumvents the Woodward-Hoffmann Rules and Promotes the Forbidden Conrotatory 4n+2 Electron Electrocyclizations". 
 
Andy Nguyen, a biochemistry senior conducting research in Professor Margot Quinlan’s group, received Honorable Mention in the Biological Sciences competition for his presentation titled “Investigating the Binding of Spire/Myosin-V in Drosophila Melanogaster”.
 
According to Assistant Dean Dr. Robert Hamm, Chair of the UC LEADS Executive Steering Committee, this year’s symposium was a celebration of science and scholarship, but it also celebrated the remarkable perseverance exhibited by our UC LEADS scholars over the last year. Click here for a list of all the award recipients.
 
Next year’s Koret UC LEADS Research and Leadership Symposium will take place in person at the University of California, San Diego in March 2022. 
 
Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.