UC President Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings Fellows

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Postdoc Borna Zandkarimi (Alexandrova group), PhD student David Boyer (Eisenberg group), and alum Marco Messina (PhD ’19 Maynard and Spokoyny groups) have been selected to participate in the 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in June 2021.

The Lindau Nobel Laureate fellows were chosen in a multi-step process that required an essay, letters of recommendation, an evaluation of their research accomplishments, and approval by the Lindau Meetings organization in Germany. A work group of UC administrators and faculty winnowed down the list of candidates, which was then approved by the UC President Michael V. Drake and UC Chief Investment Officer Jagdeep Singh Bachher, who conceived of the fellowships after having attended the Lindau Meetings himself.

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“There is no better investment than in the promise of young minds intent on making our world better. Our office hopes to sponsor this fellowship for many years to come and to continue to be inspired by the accomplishments and caliber of UC students and postdoc researchers who may one day win a Nobel Prize themselves,” Bachher said in a 2020 UC Pressroom article about the fellowships.

Borna SmallDr. Borna Zandkarimi received his Ph.D. in chemistry at UCLA in 2020 under the direction of Professor Anastassia Alexandrova. He obtained his M.S. in 2017 from the University of Minnesota, and a double B.S. degree in chemistry and chemical engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Iran. Zandkarimi’s awards and honors include a 2020 UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship and a 2019 UCLA George Gregory Fellowship. He is currently conducting research in the Alexandrova lab.  

Boyer SmallDavid Boyer is a sixth-year Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology (BMSB) graduate student in Professor David Eisenberg’s group. He is recipient of the 2020-21 Charles E. and Sue K. Young Graduate Student Fellowship Award. Boyer was one of 20 young scientists chosen for inaugural class of the UC President’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings Fellows in 2020, but was unable to attend the meeting due to the pandemic.

Messina MarcoAlumnus

Dr. Marco Messina

 (Ph.D. ’19 Chemistry) conducted research with the groups of Professor Heather Maynard and Alex Spokoyny at UCLA. He is now a UC President’s and Aduro-Berkeley Postdoctoral Fellow at University of California, Berkeley, conducting research with Professor Christopher Chang.

According to the meeting organizers, due to the ongoing pandemic and the associated travel and contact restrictions, there will be significantly fewer participants onsite compared to previous Lindau Meetings, but the plan is still to have a hybrid meeting in June 2021. The scientific program with lectures and panel discussions as well as other formats will be composed of a mixture in which the panelists come together both in the Inselhalle in Lindau and virtually from many other parts of the world. 

The scientific chairpersons of the meeting will decide on the basis of a weighted randomized selection who of the invited young scientists will ultimately be able to come to Lindau. This will ensure that a diverse group of scientists from all disciplines and as many nationalities as possible will be able to participate. About one fifth of the young scientists from all over the world initially selected to attend the 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting are supposed to participate onsite in Lindau, whereas all the others will attend the event online. 

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