Faculty awards within Physical Sciences

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Two UCLA chemists selected as 2018 Pew scholars

Chemistry & Biochemistry professors Hosea Nelson and Jose Rodriguez are among 22 Pew scholars in the biomedical sciences selected out of 184 nominations to receive four-year, $300,000 grants from the foundation.

This honor provides funding to outstanding young researchers whose work is relevant to the advancement of human health, and the grants will advance their explorations of biological mechanisms underpinning human health and disease.

Click here to read more.


Richard Kaner wins Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2018 Centenary Prize

Richard Kaner, a UCLA distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and of materials science and engineering, has won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2018 Centenary Prize.

The award is for “outstanding contributions to solid-state synthesis, energy storage materials and super hard materials.”

Kaner also holds the Dr. Myung Ki Hong Endowed Chair in Materials Innovation within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Click here to read more.


Andrea Bertozzi elected to National Academy of Sciences

Andrea Bertozzi – professor of Mathematics and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Betsy Wood Knapp Chair for Innovation and Creativity, and director of Applied Mathematics – has been named a new member of the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Bertozzi is an applied mathematician with expertise in nonlinear partial differential equations and fluid dynamics. She also works in the areas of geometric methods for image processing, crime modeling and analysis, and swarming/cooperative dynamics.

Click here to read the official release from the National Academy.


Statistics professor honored as a leading woman in STEM

Jingyi “Jessica” Li, a UCLA assistant professor of statistics, has been selected as one of six inaugural winners of the Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM2D Scholars Award, which supports outstanding women researchers in their careers in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, manufacturing and design.

Li conducts research at the intersection of statistics and biology. She and her research team, which is called the Junction of Statistics and Biology, develop new statistical methods for understanding biological questions, especially those related to large-scale genomic data.  Click here to read more.


Paul Hamilton wins 2018 DARPA Young Faculty Award

Department of Physics and Astronomy Assistant Professor Paul Hamilton has been awarded a prestigious DARPA Young Faculty Award, which provides high-impact funding to elite researchers early in their careers to develop innovative new research directions in the context of enabling transformative DoD capabilities.

Hamilton’s group focuses on exploring a new direction for the field of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) physics using atom interferometry to probe the properties of dark matter and dark energy using laser-cooled atoms. Click here to read more.


Jeff ZinkJeffrey Zink wins Tolman Medal

Jeffrey Zink, a distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been awarded the Tolman Medal by the Southern California Section of the American Chemical Society (SCALACS).

The Tolman Medal is awarded each year by SCALACS in recognition of outstanding contributions to chemistry. These contributions may include achievements in fundamental studies; achievements in chemical technology; significant contributions to chemical education; or outstanding leadership in science on a national level.

SCALACS and UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry will host a medal presentation dinner on Tuesday, May 1 at the UCLA Faculty Center. Click here for more details.


Four Physical Sciences faculty selected for 2018 Sloan Fellowships

Five young UCLA professors – four from the division of Physical Sciences – were among 126 scientists and scholars from 53 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada selected to receive 2018 Sloan Research Fellowships. UCLA is tied for third — behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UC Berkeley — in the number of faculty honored this year by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which selects early-career scientists and scholars who are rising stars of science.

Click here to read more about Daniele Bianchi, Jingyi Li, Hosea Nelson, and Ellen Sletten’s work and plans for their Sloan Fellowships.


Alex Spokoyny named a 2018 Cottrell Scholar

Professor Alex Spokoyny of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry has been selected for the Cottrell Scholar program, which champions the very best early career teacher-scholars in chemistry, physics, and astronomy by providing significant discretionary awards.

Click here to read a UCLA Newsroom story about the award and recent publication in the journal Nature Materials, explaining how Alex and colleagues have devised a new way to create molecular interconnections that can give a certain class of materials important new properties, including improving their ability to catalyze chemical reactions or harvest energy from light.


Stanley Osher elected to National Academy of Engineering

Distinguished professor of mathematics Stanley Osher is one of three UCLA faculty elected to the National Academy of Engineering, among the highest professional honors that can be accorded to an American engineer.

The academy announced its 2018 class of 83 members and 13 foreign members on Feb. 7, 2018. Click here to read more.


UCLA’s Neil Garg wins country’s leading teaching award and its $250,000 prize

California Professor of the Year Neil Garg is the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. The award, which is given once every two years, was announced today by Baylor University.

The Cherry Award honors outstanding professors who are extraordinary, inspiring teachers with a positive, long-lasting effect on students and a record of distinguished scholarship. Click here to read more, and click here to view the public lecture that Neil delivered as a finalist for the award.


Professor of cosmochemistry receives 2018 J. Lawrence Smith Medal from Council of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor Kevin McKeegan is being awarded the Smith medal in recognition of his “contributions to understanding of the processes and chronology of the early solar system as recorded by primitive meteorites, for innovation in analytical instrumentation, and for showing that the oxygen isotopic compositions of the Earth and rocky planets and meteorites are distinctly different from that of the Sun.”

Click here to read more.


Team led by Edward Wright shares 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

The award – which honors major insights into the deepest questions of the universe and offers a $3 million prize – is being shared by the 27-member NASA Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe experimental team.

Edward L. (Ned) Wright, David Saxon Presidential Chair in Physics, helped develop key data analysis techniques for WMAP. Click here to read more.


Kuo-Nan LiouKuo-Nan Liou named foreign member of Chinese Academy of Sciences

Liou, a distinguished professor of Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, was recently elected to serve as a foreign member of China’s science academy (CAS).


Aradhna Tripati receives Geological Society of America’s 2017 Bromery Award for Minorities

The lauded professor in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Spaces Sciences was recognized for having made significant contributions to research in the geological sciences and for being instrumental in opening the geoscience field to other minorities. Click here to read her acceptance speech.


Hosea NelsonUCLA chemistry professor honored as 2017 Packard fellow

Hosea Nelson is one of 18 outstanding young scientists in the U.S. to be awarded Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering. His lab is focused on the discovery of new chemical reactions that will enable the efficient and environmentally benign syntheses of fuels, materials and medicines. Read more.


UCLA Physicist wins 2017 Feynman Theory Prize

Giovanni Zocchi was awarded the 2017 Foresight Institute’s prize, which is in honor of physicist Richard Feynman and celebrates a researcher whose work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman’s goal for nanotechnology. Read more.


Atmospheric scientist given highest award from the American Meteorological Society

UCLA atmospheric scientist Kuo-Nan Liou is receiving the 2018 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal. The American Meteorological Society’s highest honor recognizes outstanding contributors in the weather, water, and climate community. Read more.


Heather Maynard wins American Chemical Society Award

Maynard, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry and associate director of the California NanoSystems Institute, will receive the American Chemical Society’s 2018 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award honoring excellence in organic chemistry. Read more.


Steve Clarke lauded for research excellence and commitment to student training

Chemistry & Biochemistry professor Steve Clarke is receiving the 2018 William C Rose Award by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, recognizing his outstanding biochemical and molecular biological research and commitment to the training of younger scientists. Read more.


UCLA professor, UC center win national awards for promoting laboratory safety

The University of California Center for Laboratory Safety received a 2017 CSHEMA Innovation Award of Honor. Craig Merlic, an associate professor of chemistry at UCLA, is the center’s executive director. Read more.


Professor of Atmospheric & Oceanic Studies wins environmental change award

The American Geophysical Union has named David Neelin the recipient of its Bert Bolin Global Environmental Change Award. Read more.


NASA presents Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor with its highest honor

EPSS Professor Christopher Russell, principal investigator for NASA’s first detailed exploration of a celestial body inside the main asteroid belt, was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal. Read more.


EPSS Professor Emerita wins American Astronomical Society’s 2017 Gerard P. Kuiper Prize

Margaret Kivelson, professor emerita in UCLA’s Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, has received the highest award presented by the society to a planetary scientist. Read more.


Neil Garg wins Royal Society of Chemistry Higher Education Teaching Award

The world’s leading chemistry organization lauded the UCLA professor of chemistry for his outstanding teaching skills and the development of innovative materials and methods resulting in a strong positive impact on students. Read more.


The Protein Society lauds chemistry and biochemistry professor for her research

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Juli Feigon received the 2017 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award in recognition of exceptional contributions in protein science which profoundly influence our understanding of biology. Read more.


Chemistry & Biochemistry’s Jose Rodriguez named a 2017 Searle Scholar

Prof. Rodriguez develops and applies new scientific methods in bio-imaging to solve cellular and molecular structures and reveal undiscovered structures that influence chemistry, biology and medicine. Read more.