Neil Garg selected as a 2024 UCLA College marshal

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Prof. Neil Garg

Professor Neil Garg, the Kenneth N. Trueblood Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Biochemistry and Vice Chair of Academic Personnel in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, has been chosen to serve as the UCLA College marshal for the 11 a.m. College of Letters & Science Main Commencement Ceremony on Friday, June 14, 2024.

From UCLA Newsroom:

Celebrating the 2024 UCLA College marshals

UCLA College | 2024

Nominated and selected by the UCLA College deans for their outstanding contributions, UCLA College marshals occupy a place of honor at commencement. After heading the official party procession into the ceremony, these remarkable Bruin representatives formally begin the celebrations with their leadership.

Please join us in celebrating this year’s College marshals, who exemplify the highest ideals of UCLA:


Neil Garg

Neil Garg received a B.S. in chemistry from New York University and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. After serving as an NIH postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Irvine, he joined the faculty at UCLA in 2007. He was promoted to associate professor in 2012, full professor in 2013 and distinguished professor in 2020.

Garg is the inaugural holder of the Kenneth N. Trueblood Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Biochemistry and is vice chair for the department of chemistry and biochemistry. He also served as faculty-in-residence in the UCLA undergraduate community. In the broader community, Garg is a popular speaker and consultant for teaching, scientific and legal matters.

Be fearless, be smart and stay humble.


Amander Clark

Amander Clark is the director of the UCLA Center for Reproductive Science, Health and Education and professor of molecular cell and developmental biology. An award-winning scientist and internationally recognized expert on topics in stem cell biology and reproductive science, she is regularly invited to appear as a subject matter specialist for media outlets including The New York Times, the Economist, the New Yorker and NPR. From 2017, Clark served as department chair of molecular cell and developmental biology before becoming CRSHE director in 2022. In addition to her role at UCLA, she also serves on the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine Board of Health Sciences Policy, and in July 2023, she began her elected role as president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, a global nonprofit that promotes excellence in stem cell science and applications to human health.

My advice to our graduates: Be an inspiration to others, have no regrets, be kind and dance like no one is watching.


Gina Poe

Gina Poe has been working since 1995 on the mechanisms through which sleep serves memory consolidation and restructuring. A Southern California native who graduated from Stanford University then worked for two post-baccalaureate years at the VA researching Air Force test pilots’ brainwave signatures under high-G maneuvers, Poe earned her Ph.D. at UCLA and completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Arizona. With over 20 years of NIH-funded research on REM sleep and memory, she has worked at Washington State University, the University of Michigan and UCLA, where she is a professor and the UCLA Chuck Lorre Scholars Program faculty chair. Currently, she focuses on the role of sleep in resilience to PTSD, gaining insight into tough problems and network remodeling. Poe is dedicated to increasing diversity in neurosciences through teaching and directing local and national programs.

Congratulations, class of 2024! I cannot help but give you one last piece of advice to help you love your life and sap the marrow out of your experiences: protect your sleep-time. People who sleep as much as their body demands have more joy, more satisfying relationships, feel better about themselves and their world, stand closer to others (literally), and make better judgments and decisions. Research done right here in the neuroscience labs at UCLA show that you feel, look and do better with adequate sleep. You’ll have fewer accidents, be better able to weather the troubles that come your way, have less disease burden, be able to maintain a healthier weight, enjoy more stable relationships and be more creative and original. As you go forth to pursue your dreams, I wish you all peaceful sleep with the sweetest of dreams.