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So far Lauren Mason has created 240 blog entries.

Congratulations to Oliver Shao for being awarded the Best Paper Award at the IEEE Conference on Computational Imaging Using Synthetic Apertures

Oliver Shao has been awarded the Best Paper Award for his paper titled “Multi-Modal Extreme-Ultraviolet Reflectometer: Solving Inverse Problems in Nanostructure Metrology” at the 2024 IEEE Conference on Computational Imaging Using Synthetic Apertures. Congratulations, Oliver!

Congratulations to Anya Grafov for being awarded the Best Poster Award at the IEEE Magnetics Summer School in Taipei

Anya Grafov was awarded the Best Poster Award at the 2024 IEEE Magnetics Summer School in Taipei for her poster titled, “Probing Ultrafast Spin Dynamics with Extreme Ultraviolet High Harmonics”. Congratulations, Anya!

Congrats to Gordana Dukovic for Being A Recipient of the 2024 National Brown Investigator Award

The Brown Institute for Basic Sciences at Caltech today announced the 2024 class of Brown Investigators. The cohort, the first selected through the newly formed Brown Institute for Basic Sciences, comprises eight distinguished mid-career faculty working on fundamental challenges in the physical sciences, particularly those with potential long-term practical applications in chemistry and physics. Each investigator will receive up to $2 million over five years.

The Brown Institute for basic Sciences at Caltech was established in 2023 through a $400-million gift to the Institute from entrepreneur, philanthropist, and alumnus Ross M. Brown (BS ’56, MS ’57).

Caltech and Brown share a common purpose: advancing fundamental science discoveries with the potential to seed breakthroughs that benefit society.

Gordana Dukovic, professor of chemistry, University of Colorado Boulder, will develop methods for chemical structure determination of biomolecules bound to inorganic nanoparticles—materials that could be useful for the conversion of solar energy directly into new chemical bonds.

Congrats to Skylar Sherman for Being Awarded a 2024 Department of Chemistry Fellowship

Skylar Sherman, a graduate student in Gordana Dukovic’s group at CU Boulder, was awarded a fellowship from the Department of Chemistry that will fund research for the spring semester and summer. Congrats Skylar!

Congrats to Alex Stevens for Being Awarded a 2023 Whitcome Pre-doctoral Fellowships in Molecular Biology

Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology (BMSB) graduate students Andrew Goring (Clubb/Loo groups) and Alexander Stevens (Zhou group) have been awarded prestigious Whitcome Pre-doctoral Fellowships in Molecular Biology for 2023-24. The fellowship will provide them support in the form of tuition/fees, a monthly stipend and travel funds.

Alex Stevens received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Arizona State University, where he researched G protein-coupled receptor structures in the lab of Professor Wei Liu. In the fall of 2019, Alex joined the Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology (BMSB) graduate program under the tutelage of Professor Hong Zhou.

Alex’s graduate work leverages the recent advancements in cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) to resolve high-resolution structures of the proteins that drive assembly and replication in double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses. Because dsRNA is alien to eukaryotes and thus a powerful inducer of the antiviral response, these viruses have evolved to transcribe nucleotides at transcriptional enzymatic complexes (TECs) within their proteinaceous capsids which simultaneously undergo large architectural changes. Alex investigates this dynamic within complex dsRNA viruses, like the economically important aquareovirus, to determine how their TECs and capsids change throughout their lifecycle. He has also characterized a minimally complex dsRNA virus which he plans to use as a model to probe the rules of intracellular replication amongst these ubiquitous pathogens.

Alex is passionate about deepening our understanding of disease and hopes to contribute to the discovery of therapies that improve people’s lives and wants to improve the manner in which we conduct science so it may realize all its promises to stakeholders. After receiving his PhD, Alex plans to pursue research roles uncovering the mechanisms underpinning pathogenesis of harmful microbes and hopes to one day branch into science policy. “UCLA gave me the perfect environment to collaborate with preeminent scholars, learn techniques from the leading edge of my field, and produce impactful work, and I look forward to applying what I’ve learned to my future work.”

About the Whitcome Fellowships

In 2005 UCLA received an $8,000,000 bequest from the estate of Philip Whitcome.  Dr Whitcome received his Ph.D. in 1974 from the Molecular Biology Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program and went on to a stellar career in the biotechnology industry. His gift allowed the establishment of the Whitcome Fellowship Program designed to attract highly talented students to a unique graduate training environment that emphasizes rapid progress toward groundbreaking scientific discoveries.

Congrats to Alexander Stevens for Being Awarded a 2022 Audree V. Fowler Fellowship in Protein Science

Graduate students Cody Gillman (Gonen lab), Declan Evans (Houk lab), Troy Lowe (Backus lab), Ashley Julio (Backus lab), and Alex Stevens (Hong Zhou lab) have been selected as 2022-2023 Fowler Fellows.

Each Fellow presented a talk at the Audree V. Fowler Fellowships in Protein Science Special Seminar on Tuesday, October 7, 2022.

A strong supporter of the basic sciences and medicine at UCLA, alumna Dr. Audree Fowler (B.S. ’56 chemistry, Ph.D. ’63 biochemistry) established the Audree V. Fowler Fellows in Protein Science in 2008. Fowler was Director UCLA Protein Microsequencing Facility from 1984-1999 and is a Researcher Emeritus of the UCLA Department of Biological Chemistry. She is one of the first four women to receive a Ph.D. from the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. In 2018, the women were awarded the department’s 2018 Alumni Legacy Awards in recognition of their achievements in life, and generous support and service to UCLA. “The sciences gave me a great life. Now I want to help others have access to the same opportunities I enjoyed,” Fowler explained when she established the Fowler Fellowships endowment.

Applications for the fellowships are solicited from graduate students in the Molecular Biology Interdepartmental (MBI) Ph.D. Program, Biological Chemistry, and Chemistry & Biochemistry Departments. In addition to presenting their research at a special seminar, the recipients each receive a $5,000 award.

Alex Stevens is a fourth year Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology (BMSB) graduate student in Professor Hong Zhou’s group.

Alex received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Arizona State University, where he researched G protein-coupled receptor structures in the lab of Dr. Wei Liu. Alex’s graduate work leverages the recent advancements in cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) to resolve high-resolution structures of the proteins that drive assembly and replication in double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses. Because dsRNA is alien to eukaryotes and thus a useful inducer of the antiviral response, these viruses have evolved to transcribe nucleotides at transcriptional enzymatic complexes (TECs) within their proteinaceous capsids which simultaneously undergo large architectural changes. Alex investigates this dynamic within complex dsRNA viruses, like the economically important aquareovirus, to determine how their TECs and capsids change throughout their lifecycle. He has also characterized a minimally complex dsRNA virus which he plans to use as a model to probe the rules of intracellular replication amongst these ubiquitous pathogens.

Congrats to Hong Zhou for Being Named a 2024 Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

Congratulations to professor Hong Zhou on being named a 2024 fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology! In addition to his role as a professor at UCLA MIMG, Zhou is the faculty director of the Electron Imaging Center for NanoMachines (EICN), part of the CNSI Technology Centers.

In Feb., the American Academy of Microbiology (Academy) elected 65 new fellows to the Class of 2024. Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology, the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. The Academy received 156 nominations for fellowship this year. There are over 2,600 fellows in the Academy representing all subspecialties of the microbial sciences and who are involved in basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry and government service.

Electron and Photon Detection for Microscopies

Seeing small things takes bright lights and great optics. But you still have to see something. This talk will discuss detectors for electron and X-ray microscopies: how they work, what are they challenges, and where are the opportunities. The competition is intense: the human eye has ~108 ‘pixels’ and a dynamic range of ~104 (and has a direct connection to a built-in neural processor). No camera today can match these specs (although we are getting close). The use of silicon as a sensing medium, together with the dramatic advances in microelectronics (“Moore’s law”) has transformed how we record images. Is detection a solved problem?

Congrats to Kwabena Bediako for Being Awarded a 2024 Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry

Congratulations to the Sloan Research Fellows of 2024. The following 126 early-career scholars represent the most promising scientific researchers working today. Their achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada. Winners receive $75,000, which may be spent over a two-year term on any expense supportive of their research.

Research efforts in the Bediako Group involve the mesoscopic investigation of interfacial charge transfer and charge transport in two-dimensional (2D) materials and heterostructures. We emphasize the design of materials with modular interfaces that can be controlled at atomically precise length scales to study and overcome contemporary challenges in electrochemical energy conversion and quantum electronics.

Industrial Applications of Ultrafast Lasers II: Illustrative Examples

As a follow-up to Seminar I, I will discuss specific examples of fs UPS and photovoltage experiments on industrially relevant materials and stacks. Aside from single crystal Si wafers, virtually all materials found in MOS devices, photovoltaics, oxides, organic films (OLEDs, resists) and phase change materials, are polycrystalline or amorphous. Angle integrated UPS provides high count rates that increase sensitivity useful for identifying defect state densities in materials. Specific examples described in this seminar include the Pt/HfO2/Si MOS stack, the thin film earth abundant photovoltaic Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 -CZTS,Se and its interfaces with solution deposited CdS and high work function back contact MoO3, the Al2O3 tunnel barrier deposited on Al and Si, and the phase change material TiN/GeSbTe. In each of these cases, extracting the band bending in the underlying semiconductor provided fundamental information on device performance.  An example of spectroscopy on the organic LED (OLED) AlQ3 will be given.

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