Welcoming New Faculty

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The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry welcomes Roy Wollman, who has joined the department’s Biochemistry Division as an associate professor. 

Roy was recruited through the QCBio faculty hiring initiative and holds a joint faculty position in our Department and in the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology. His office and laboratory are located in the renovated QCBio space on the 5th floor of Boyer Hall.

Roy received a B.Sc. in Biology and Statistics and Operations Research magna cum laude from Tel-Aviv University, Israel in 2003. As a graduate student at the University of California, Davis, Roy worked with physicist Alex Mogilner, a pioneer of quantitative biology, on several fundamental problems related to cell polarity and mitosis, and he received his Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology in 2008. During his graduate studies Roy also learned to build microscopes, and extend their capabilities by contributing to the software code (micromanager) that is used to control the instrument’s functions. Roy contributed to several experimental, theoretical, and computer modeling studies, and also wrote an influential review on the power of mechanistic models for the analysis of complex data. Indeed his broad expertise in imaging forms the basis of his research and his expertise in teaching the Physiology summer course at the Marine Biology Laboratories in Woods Hole, MA for several years.  

In 2008 Roy joined Prof. Tobias Meyer’s group as an NIH and NSF postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemical and Systems Biology at Stanford University. There he discovered a mechanism of coordinated oscillation in cortical actin and calcium that explained conflicting data in the field. These cycles allow actin to stabilize the cell and, in a controlled manner, then to allow vesicle secretion. 

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Members of the Wollman team in the hallway between their two lab spaces: (from left) Alok Kumar Maity, L. Naomi Handly, Anna Pilko, Roy Wollman, Thanutra (Bu) Zhang, Amit Kumar KC, Jason Yao and Ryan Lannan. Not pictured is Rob Foreman. Note the innovative curved glass wall on the right.

In 2012 Roy joined the faculty of UC San Diego as an assistant professor, first in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and then also in the Department of Developmental and Cell Biology. In four short years he published several high impact papers, received a number of NIH grants that push the envelope in understanding how the heterogeneity of cellular responses combine to produce fundamental biological functions in wound healing, inflammation, and immune activation.  Roy also distinguished himself as an educator and pioneer of a new quantitative biology graduate specialization, which involves an innovative “hacker’s laboratory class” that is poised to have lasting impact on how we train interdisciplinary graduate students.

Members of his UCSD lab who have joined him here at UCLA include staff researcher and lab manager Dr. Anna Pilko, postdoctoral researcher Dr. Amit Kumar KC, and graduate students L. Naomi Handly, Jason Yao, Rob Foreman, Ryan Lannan, and Thanutra (Bu) Zhang.  Postdoc Dr. Alok Kumar Maity joined the lab after the move to UCLA.

To learn more about Roy’s research, visit his group’s website.

We welcome Roy Wollman and his team to UCLA!

The Wollman lab is hosting an informal gathering on Friday, September 9th at 5:00 p.m. in the Boyer Hall patio.  All are welcome to attend!