Faculty Spotlight: Margot Quinlan

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Prof. Margot Quinlan

The department congratulates Professor Margot Quinlan on her promotion to the rank of full professor.

The rank of Full Professor is the highest rank that a professor can achieve (other than a named or administrative position) and is conferred upon sustained and distinguished track record of scholarly achievement within one’s university and academic discipline. 

A biochemist, Quinlan is using biochemistry, microscopy and genetic approaches to study dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton. She studies actin in developing egg and heart muscle cells, combining an in vitro understanding of the mechanism(s) of actin assembly with in vivo studies.

Quinlan joined the faculty of the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2008.  She obtained her B.A. at Reed College in 1991 and then spent two years in Germany doing research at the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg. She went to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania where she worked with Yale Goldman and received her Ph.D. in 2002. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Dyche Mullins’ group at the University of California, San Francisco until she joined the UCLA faculty in 2008.  In 2016, Quinlan was promoted to Associate Professor.  She was appointed to a one-year term as Vice Chair of Academic Personnel for the department (she has served as Vice Chair of Academic Personnel/Space Allocation since 2019.)

Quinlan received the 2022 Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching, which celebrates outstanding teaching within the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Among her many efforts to promote diversity in the sciences, Quinlan is a co-PI of the NIH-supported UCLA Maximizing Student Diversity (MSD) Program and is the faculty director of the Biomedical Sciences Enrichment Program (BISEP), a summer program in the Undergraduate Research Center (URC)-Sciences created by Professor Richard Weiss over 20 years ago. This is an intensive summer program (six weeks) for freshman underrepresented among sciences students.

In addition, Quinlan was selected as one of the inaugural faculty fellows of the Center for Diverse Learning in Science (CDLS).

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