California NanoSystems Institute
CNSI
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The CNSI Pioneer Fellowship Program


The CNSI Pioneer Fellowship Program in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology was developed to encourage the most promising young scientists and engineers who will go on to lead research in nanoscience and nanotechnology during the twenty-first century. Fellows engage in creative, cross-disciplinary research projects in the following areas:

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics
  • Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Physics and Astronomy

Graduate and Postdoctoral Pioneer Program fellows work under the direction of designated CNSI faculty members. In addition to their research, Pioneer Fellows are expected to take full advantage of CNSI events and professional development opportunities, and to participate in activities that engage the public such as the CNSI education outreach program to Los Angeles area high schools.

2007 Graduate and Postdoctoral Pioneer Program Fellows

Chien-Wen (Jeff) Chang, Ph.D. was awarded the "CNSI Pioneer Post Doctoral Fellowship" to pursue postdoctoral research in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry under the supervision of CNSI member Professor Heather Maynard.

David Casero Díaz-Cano, Ph.D. was awarded the "CNSI Pioneer Post Doctoral Fellowship" to pursue postdoctoral research in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology under the supervision of CNSI member Professor Matteo Pellegrini.

Terry Kennair was awarded the "CNSI Pioneer Graduate Fellowship" to pursue graduate research in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry under the supervision of CNSI member Professor Tom Mason.

Mary Laura Lind, Ph.D. was awarded the "CNSI Pioneer Post Doctoral Fellowship" to pursue postdoctoral research in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering under the supervision of CNSI member Professor Eric Hoek.

Yunzhe(Janice) Zhao was awarded the "CNSI Pioneer Graduate Fellowship" to pursue graduate research in the Department of Physics and Astronomy under the supervision of CNSI member Professor John Miao.

In addition to research pioneer fellows are expected to take full advantage of CNSI events and professional development opportunities, and to participate in activities that engage the public, such as the CNSI outreach program to LA area schools.

Chien-Wen (Jeff) Chang, Ph.D.
CNSI Pioneer Post Doctoral Fellow
Maynard group
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
UCLA Mentor: Professor Heather Maynard

Bio:

Jeff received his B.S. in Biology National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, 1994. He received his M.S. in Radiation Biology (Group of Nuclear Medicine) National Tsing-Hua University, HsinChu,Taiwan, in 1996.
He received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics & Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in 2007. He joined Maynard group at UCLA in Fall 2007.

Proposed Postdoctoral Research at CNSI-UCLA:

My current research interests include: (1) biodegradable gene delivery carriers via controlled radical polymerization techniques and (2) cell patterning using nano-patterned cell binding peptides. The development of gene delivery carriers aims to obtain well-defined polymeric gene carriers with efficient gene delivery capability and biocompatibility. Cell patterning studies will illustrate the important relationship between nano-environmental cues and cell responses.

David Casero Díaz-Cano, Ph.D.
CNSI Pioneer Post Doctoral Fellow
Pellegrini group
Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology,
UCLA Mentor: Professor Matteo Pellegrini

Bio:

David completed his undergraduate study in Theoretical Physics at Complutense University (Spain). He started his research career at the Center of Environmental and Energetic Research in Madrid (Spain). During his research career he was engaged in several cross-disciplinary projects devoted to devising mathematical and computational models of physical and biological problems. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at Complutense University (Spain). His Ph.D. thesis was devoted towards solving mathematical problems in fracture mechanics. He joined Pellegrini group at UCLA in Spring 2007.

Proposed Postdoctoral Research at CNSI-UCLA:

David decided to move in to the amazing world of Bioinformatics and be part of Pellegrini Lab at CNSI-UCLA. They propose to utilize high throughput data to reverse engineer transcriptional regulatory networks by means of transcription factor activities. They envision that it is possible to develop dynamical models of transcriptional regulation that will improve the efficiency of current techniques. The focus is on biological processes where genome-wide time series expression are available. These models will allow us gain a genome level view of these networks and help experimentalists design targeted experiments. This is a fascinating research field where experimental and theoretical tools meet to generate new insights into the complexity of life's processes that occur at nano scale.

Terry Kennair
CNSI Pioneer Graduate Fellow
Mason group
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCLA
Mentor: Professor Thomas Mason

Bio:

Terry is from New Orleans, LA. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from Rice University in Houston, TX in 2007. While at Rice, he studied steric effects on electron transfer under Dr. Phil Brooks and chemical education with Dr. John Hutchinson. He joined Mason group at UCLA in Fall 2007 to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Proposed Research at CNSI-UCLA:

Under the guidance of Dr. Thomas Mason, Terry will create novel colloidal systems known as LithoParticles. This is achieved via UV exposure of a photoresist polymer using a specially designed mask to produce desired shapes. Once the particles are in solution, they will be used to study self-assembly, jamming, and phase transitions at the microscale.

Mary Laura Lind, Ph.D.
CNSI Pioneer Post Doctoral Fellow
Hoek group
Civil & Environmental Engineering,
UCLA Mentor: Professor Eric Hoek

Bio:

Mary Laura received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Yale University in May of 2002. In the fall of 2007, she completed her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Her dissertation research with Prof. William L. Johnson focused on evaluating high temperature elastic properties of bulk metallic glasses. She joined the Hoek group in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at UCLA in the fall of 2007.

Proposed Postdoctoral Research at CNSI-UCLA:

At UCLA, Mary Laura will study the formation and application of a new class of thin film nanocomposite materials designed to function as reverse osmosis (RO) membranes for seawater desalination. Mary Laura???s research focuses on elucidating the underlying mechanisms by which nanoparticles can be used to tailor thin film structure and morphology, and how these material properties govern the performance of nanocomposite membranes in desalination applications.

Yunzhe(Janice) Zhao
CNSI Pioneer Graduate Fellow
Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA
Miao Group
Mentor: Professor John Miao

Bio:

Janice received her B. S., Physics, from University of Science and Technology of China, P. R. China in 2007. She joined Maio group at UCLA in Fall 2007 to pursue a Ph.D. in Physics.

Proposed Research at CNSI-UCLA:

Janice's research project lies in the interplay of physics, nanoscience and biology. She is working towards improving both temporal and position resolutions in optics-physical methods for the quantitative imaging of the structures and dynamics of protein molecules in nanoscale.




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