Young UC scientists to learn from Nobel laureates

The University of California today (April 20) announced its second class of UC President’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings Fellows, an extraordinary group of 30 young scientists selected from the 10 UC campuses and three national laboratories to attend invitation-only lectures and small seminars with some 40 Nobel laureates from around the world.

This year marks the 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, an annual event in Lindau, Germany. The UC fellows program, funded by UC Investments and UC’s National Laboratories, began last year.

“These highly accomplished and diverse fellows to the Lindau meetings serve as UC ambassadors to the global scientific community,” said President Michael V. Drake, M.D. “They have been given a rare opportunity to directly engage not only with Nobel laureates, but with global peers equally passionate about scientific discovery. I anticipate that we, and the world, will benefit from the connections made and ideas sparked at this gathering of great minds.”

Due to safety precautions associated with the coronavirus pandemic, this summer’s meeting — to be held from June 27 through July 2, 2021 — will be a mix of interactive virtual and in-person events. While some 600 university students and postdoctoral fellows from around the world usually attend the event, this year only about 120 young scientists will be randomly selected to participate in person. The remainder will do so virtually.

“Enabling these promising UC scientists to partake in this unique and likely life-changing event is a sound investment in our collective future,” said UC Chief Investment Officer Jagdeep Singh Bachher, who conceived of the fellowships after having attended the Lindau meetings himself. “I’m already inspired by the accomplishments of these UC students and postdoc researchers. They may one day win a Nobel Prize themselves.”

“This year, UC’s national laboratories embraced the opportunity to send postdoctoral fellows to Lindau,” said Craig Leasure, vice president for national laboratories. “Their selection clearly demonstrates that these laboratories attract some of the best young scientists in the world.”

The UC fellows — graduate students, postdocs and one undergraduate — were chosen in a multistep 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, including a Nobel Prize winner, winnowed down the list of candidates, which was then approved by Drake, Bachher and Leasure.

This year’s UC President’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings Fellows from the 10 UC campuses are:

  • Noorsher Ahmed, UC San Diego
  • Donovan Argueta, UC Irvine
  • Emily Bulger, UCSF
  • Aki Chaffin, UC Davis
  • Abrar Choudhury, UCSF
  • Taylor Cool, UC Santa Cruz
  • George Degen, UC Santa Barbara
  • Joel Finbloom, UCSF
  • Brendan Fincle, UC Irvine
  • Marco Garcia Noceda, UC Riverside
  • Christian Guerreo-Juarez, UC Irvine
  • Deepika Gunasekaran, UC Merced
  • Ryo Higuchi-Sanabria, UC Berkeley
  • Marco Messina, UC Berkeley
  • Daniela Nachmanson, UC San Diego
  • Laura Pritschet, UC Santa Barbara
  • Samuel Teicher, UC Santa Barbara
  • Arabella Young, UCSF
  • Borna Zandkarimi, UCLA
  • Wujie Zhang, UC Berkeley
  • Elizabeth Ziola, UC Irvine

Those participating from the national laboratories are:

  • Charles Abolt, Los Alamos National Lab
  • Oluwatomi Akindele, Lawrence Livermore National Lab
  • Andrew Bartlow, Los Alamos National Lab
  • Lindsay Bassman, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
  • Sara Dumit, Los Alamos National Lab
  • Matthew Reid Edwards, Lawrence Livermore National Lab
  • Wei Jia Ong, Lawrence Livermore National Lab
  • Marlene Turner, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
  • Michael Whittaker, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab