Teacher-Scholar News

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We bid farewell to former Teacher-Scholars Agape Awad and Christian Beren and we welcome new Teacher-Scholar Daniel Nasrallah. 

Our Boyer/Cram/Libby Teacher-Scholar program allows postdoctoral scholars to experience research and teaching at the same time as a way to prepare them for future faculty or research positions.

“We commend Agape and Christian for their extraordinary teaching and research during their time at UCLA,” said Department Chair Neil Garg. “I wish each of them the very best in what I know is a very bright future.”

Awad Agape

In June 2020, Dr. Agape Awad (2018-20 Paul D. Boyer Teacher-Scholar, C. Clarke group) started a new position as a Lead Scientist at the Quality Biology Laboratory at Edwards Lifesciences in Irvine, CA.  Edwards Lifesciences is a global leader in Cardiovascular medical technology and Critical Care and surgical monitoring, with 40 locations worldwide. Awad will be located at the Headquarters of the company and will develop new methods that are regulatory and FDA compliant to validate cardiovascular medical devices for patient therapy.  

Beren ChristianIn August 2020, Dr. Christian Beren (former Willard F. Libby Teacher-Scholar, Gelbart/Knobler group) will start a position as an assistant teaching professor at the Colorado School of Mines in Chemistry. At Mines, Christian plans to teach a combination of general chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry/biophysics courses. Beren says that he is looking forward to this new opportunity but will miss all of the amazing people he got to know well over his time at UCLA.

Daniel Highres

This summer, Dr. Daniel Nasrallah (2020-21 Donald J. Cram Cram Teacher-Scholar) will join our Teacher-Scholar program. Nasrallah will be mentored by Professor Neil Garg. Nasrallah received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2014. He went on develop new methodologies in synthetic organic chemistry with Professor Corinna Schindler at the University of Michigan where he received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2020. Starting in the Fall 2020, he will teach CHEM 30BL – Organic Chemistry Laboratory I during the 2020-21 academic year, while performing research in the Garg laboratory.

Our 2019-2022 Teacher-Scholar Instructors, Dr. Marlius Castillo (Cram Teacher-Scholar, García-Garibay group) and Dr. Anish Nag (M.S. ’15, Ph.D. ’19) (Boyer Teacher-Scholar, Gelbart group) will continue to teach undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry courses and conduct research in the 2020-21 academic year.

About the Boyer/Cram/Libby 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. The department is currently recruiting outstanding candidates for three open Assistant Adjunct Professor positions in the Boyer/Cram/Libby Teacher-Scholar program. The deadline to apply is September 1, 2020. Learn more here.

About our Former Teacher-Scholars
Our Teacher-Scholars are some of the best and brightest teachers and researchers in their fields and, as much as we are sad to bid them farewell, we know they will go on to make important contributions to world.

Dr. Shuming Chen (2016-2019 Cram Teacher-Scholar, Houk group) On July 1, 2020, Chen will begin her independent career as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Oberlin College in Ohio in July 2020. Prior to that she was conducting research full-time in the Houk group as an assistant adjunct professor.

Dr. Jacquelin Kammeyer Woodford (our first 2016-2019 Boyer Teacher-Scholar, Maynard group) is now a Lecturer in Chemistry at Wellesley College. 

Dr. Zhao Li (our first 2016-2019 Libby Teacher-Scholar, Lin group) is now a visiting professor of chemistry at Pomona College. Li received UCLA’s prestigious 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award.

Dr. Sharon Neufeldt (our first 2013-2016 Cram Postdoctoral Teacher-Scholar, Houk group) is now an assistant professor of chemistry at Montana State University. Neufeldt received the department’s 2015 Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching. She recently received a prestigious 2020 Cottrell Scholar Award.

Dr. Rachel Prado (2017-2020 Cram Teacher-Scholar, Bouchard group) returned to her home state of Alabama to accept an organic chemistry and biochemistry lecturer position at Auburn University.

Dr. Roshini Ramachandran (2017-2020 Boyer Teacher-Scholar, Spokoyny group) is now the Assistant Director of Curricular Initiatives at UCLA’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching.  She continues to teach undergraduate courses for the department and will be teaching CHEM 3 – Material World in the Fall 2020.

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