Teacher-Scholar News

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Dr. Mackenzie Anderson

We are pleased to welcome alumna Mackenzie Anderson (BS ’17, MS ’19, PhD ’22, Kaner group) as the department’s new 2022-25 Willard F Libby Teacher-Scholar.

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.

A true Bruin, Anderson received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry-materials science from UCLA in 2017, her masters in chemistry in 2019, and her Ph.D. in chemistry in June 2022 under the direction of Professor Richard Kaner

Starting in the Fall 2022, Anderson will teach sophomore organic chemistry (Chem 14C) for life science majors, while performing research in the Kaner laboratory.  Her thin film composite research focusses on the removal of Boron and Salt from a variety of aqueous feeds and her polymer research focusses on polybenzimidazoles and polyetherepoxides.

Our current Teacher-Scholars, Dr. Kristopher Barr (2020-21 Libby Teacher-Scholar, P. Weiss group), Dr. Daniel Nasrallah (2020-21 Donald J. Cram Teacher-Scholar, Garg group) and Dr. Huiling Shao (2021-2022 Cram Teacher-Scholar, Houk group), will continue to teach undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry courses and conduct research in the 2022-23 academic year.

Our Paul D. Boyer Teacher-Scholar is currently vacant.

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. Agape Awad (2018-20 Paul D. Boyer Teacher-Scholar, C. Clarke group) In 2020, Awad started a new position as a Lead Scientist at the Quality Biology Laboratory at Edwards Lifesciences in Irvine, CA, where she develops new methods that are regulatory and FDA compliant to validate cardiovascular medical devices for patient therapy. 

Dr. Christian Beren (2018-20 Willard F. Libby Teacher-Scholar, Gelbart/Knobler group) – In 2020, Beren started a position as an assistant teaching professor at the Colorado School of Mines in Chemistry, where he teaches a combination of general chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry/biophysics courses.

Dr. Marlius Castillo (2019-2021 Cram Teacher-Scholar, García-Garibay group) In 2021, Castillo began a visiting instructor position in the Department of Chemistry and Physics at the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).

Dr. Shuming Chen (2016-2019 Cram Teacher-Scholar, Houk group) – Chen will began 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. Anish Nag (2019-2021 Boyer Teacher-Scholar, Gelbart group) – In 2021, Nag started a new position as Process Development Scientist-Drug Product Technology at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, where his position is within the pre-pivotal stage manufacturing group and involves process optimization of drug candidates. In 2021, Nag received the department’s prestigious Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching.  

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.