Aug 15, 2019
Teacher-Scholar Instructor News
This year we welcome two new Teacher-Scholars and bid farewell to four former Teacher-Scholars. 
 
In July 2019, Dr. Marlius Castillo (Cram Teacher-Scholar) and Dr. Anish Nag (M.S. ’15, Ph.D. ’19) (Boyer Teacher-Scholar) joined our Teacher-Scholar Instructional faculty. They were chosen from a competitive pool of many applicants. Our 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. Dr. Castillo is mentored by Dean of Physical Sciences Professor Miguel García-Garibay and Dr. Nag is mentored by Professor William Gelbart.   
 
Our four current Teacher-Scholars - (front row, from left) Drs. Marlius Castillo, Christian Beren, Anish Nag, and Agape Awad. (Back row, from left) Department Chair Professor Neil Garg, Dean of Physical Sciences Professor Miguel García-Garibay, Professors William Gelbart and Catherine Clarke, former Teacher-Scholar Dr. Zhao Li.
Our four current Teacher-Scholars - (front row, from left) Drs. Marlius Castillo, Christian Beren, Anish Nag, and Agape Awad. (Back row, from left) Department Chair Professor Neil Garg, Dean of Physical Sciences Professor Miguel García-Garibay, Professors William Gelbart and Catherine Clarke, former Teacher-Scholar Dr. Zhao Li.
 
We Bid Farewell to Four Former Teacher-Scholars 
Dr. Shuming Chen (former Cram Teacher-Scholar, Nelson Group) completed her three-year service as a Teacher-Scholar this year and is now conducting research full-time in Professor Ken Houk’s group as an assistant adjunct professor. In August 2019, Professor Zhao Li (former Libby Teacher-Scholar, Lin group), recipient of UCLA’s prestigious 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award, joined the faculty at nearby Pomona College as a visiting assistant professor of chemistry. Also, in August 2019, Dr. Rachel Prado (former Cram Teacher-Scholar, Bouchard group) returned to her home state of Alabama to accept an organic chemistry lecturer position at Auburn University. In March 2019, Dr. Roshini Ramachandran (former Boyer Teacher-Scholar, Spokoyny group) joined the UCLA Center for The Advancement of Teaching (CAT) as academic administrator for curricular review and revision.  
 
Former Teacher-Scholar Instructors Drs. Shuming Chen, Zhao Li, Rachel Prado, and Roshini Ramachandran.
 
“We thank Shuming, Zhao, Rachel and Roshini for their dedicated service to the department,” said Department Chair Neil Garg. “I wish each of them the very best in what I know is a very bright future.”
 
Our 2018-2021 Teacher-Scholars, Dr. Agape Awad (B.S. ’13, M.S. ’14, Ph.D. '18) (Boyer Teacher-Scholar, C. Clarke group) and Dr. Christian Beren (Ph.D. ’17) (Libby Teacher-Scholar, Gelbart/Knobler group) will continue to teach undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry courses and conduct research in the 2019-2020 academic year.
 
About our 2019-2022 Teacher-Scholar Instructors
 
Dr. Marlius Castillo (Cram Teacher-Scholar, García-Garibay group)
A native of Venezuela, Marlius received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela in 2008. She then went on to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas to study and synthetize fluorescent dyes with Professor Sergei V. Dzyuba in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She received her Ph.D. in 2019 with a focus in organic chemistry and spectroscopy. As a graduate student, Marlius was first author on two published research papers and co-author on four published papers. She was the recipient of a 2018-19 Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC) graduate research grant at TCU for her project titled “Ratiometric molecular rotors for determining phase-transitions of gels, waxes, and polymer films”. Marlius joined UCLA in August 2019 as a Cram Teacher-Scholar. She conducts postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Professor Miguel García-Garibay, studying synthesis and applications of fluorescent molecules, and starting in the Fall of 2019, Marlius will teach Structures of Organic Molecules (Chemistry 14C).
 
Dr. Anish Nag (Boyer Teacher-Scholar, Gelbart group)
A native of India, Anish received a combined B.S. and M.S. (hons.) in Industrial Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to study in the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry where he received a M.S. degree in chemistry in 2015 and a Ph.D. in chemistry in 2019, under the supervision of Prof. Catherine F. Clarke. While doing his graduate research, Anish became keenly interested in working on interdisciplinary research bridging the areas of synthetic organic chemistry, bio-organic chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology. As a graduate student, Anish co-authored four published research papers.  His awards at UCLA include a 2019 Pfizer-UCLA Dissertation Award, a 2018 John Stauffer Research Award, and a 2016 Hanson Dow Excellence in Teaching Award. Anish joined the UCLA faculty in August 2019 as a Boyer Teacher-Scholar. He conducts postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Professor William Gelbart, continuing to widen the horizons of his scientific curiosities and expertise by conducting multi-disciplinary research that involves the study of viruses and virus like particles (VLPs) in novel therapeutics. In particular, Anish is attempting to target ovarian cancer utilizing a combination of self-replicating RNA therapeutics and small molecule anti-tumor treatments via VLP based drug delivery systems. Starting in the Fall of 2019, Anish will also teach Organic Reactions (Chemistry 14D).
 
About the Teacher-Scholar Program
The Teacher-Scholar positions honor UCLA Chemistry & 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 Teacher-Scholars are expected to serve for three years, with the initial appointment for one year, plus the possibility of renewal annually. They are expected to teach three one-quarter undergraduate chemistry or biochemistry courses during a given academic year and conduct postdoctoral research with a sponsoring faculty member in the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. 
 
Our first 2013-2016 Cram Postdoctoral Teacher-Scholar, Professor Sharon Neufeldt, who conducted research in Professor Ken Houk's group, is now an assistant professor of chemistry at Montana State University. Our first 2016-2019 Boyer Teacher-Scholar, Dr. Jacquelin Kammeyer, who conducted research in Professor Heather Maynard’s group, is now visiting lecturer at Wellesley College.
 
Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu