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Student Spotlight


Click here to view past recipients for all award programs below.


ACS Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Recognition Program Recipients

Congratulations to the 2022 recipients of the ACS Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Recognition Program. We are proud to recognize the talented graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in:

  1. Mentoring
  2. Promotion of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect
  3. Promotion of Research Safety

Visit the ACS Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Recognition Program page to learn more about the program and criteria for nominations. 

Here are our grads that have been recognized:


Promotion of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect

Promotion of Research Safety


Raymond Berkeley

(Debelouchina Lab)


Stephanie Mora Garcia

(Grassian Lab)



Conor O'Herin

(Cohen Lab)


Frida Daum Urey Fellowship

This endowed fellowship is a tribute to Frieda Daum Urey who, along with her husband, Nobel Laureate Harold Urey, played a prominent role in the development of the San Diego campus community. 

Congratulations to 2024 Winner Leonel Jimenez Barrios for winning the Frieda Daum Urey Fellowship!


ARCS Foundation Fellowship

ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation of San Diego is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization founded and administered by women who support American leadership and aid advancement in science and technology. Their mission is to address the country’s need for scientists and engineers by providing unrestricted funding to help our country’s brightest U.S. graduate Scholars. They sponsor talented, motivated American students at top research universities in San Diego.

Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Winner Daniel Milshteyn

Merkin Graduate Fellows Program

Established with the support of Dr. Richard Merkin, the Merkin Graduate Fellows Program provides UC San Diego graduate students with an opportunity to conduct research in fields related to translational medicine abroad. Merkin Graduate Fellows will work with researchers and clinicians across the world, aiming to advance medical research and clinical applications, while also developing their own careers. Merkin Graduate Fellows will have an opportunity to design their own education abroad experience, with the length of 3-6 months at an international location. Awardees must present at the annual Merkin Graduate Fellows Summit, in addition to documenting their research and experience.

Congratulations to the Winter 2024 Merkin Graduate Fellows Program Recipient!


A. Anand Ojha (Amaro Lab)


Bruno Zimm Prize

The Bruno Zimm Graduate Prize is named for UC San Diego Professor of Chemistry Bruno Zimm, a pioneer in the study of the biophysical properties of nucleic acids and proteins. The prize is given to a full-time Ph.D. student whose research is in the area of chemistry and biochemistry, and whose research is exceptionally meritorious and particularly deserving of recognition. The prize is made possible through a gift from Larry S. Millstein, Ph.D. (Chemistry, '87), and his wife Robin Taylor.

Congratulations to the 2022-23 Bruno Zimm Prize Recipient!

Etienne Palos

(Paesani Lab)

Teddy Traylor Awards

This merit-based award is to recognize research excellence and was set up by Dr. Traylor's colleagues and friends to honor his memory. The $3000 award is used to assist bright, young investigators to pursue their studies and to travel to scholarly meetings. 

Congratulations to the 2022-23 Teddy Traylor Award Recipients!

Sally Burke

(Continetti Lab)


Anand Ojha

(Amaro Lab)

Alexander Hoffnagle

(Tezcan Lab)

Juan Perez-Sanchez

(Yuen Zhou Lab)




NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Congratulations to our graduate students, recipients of the 2022 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship!

Jonathan Galica
(E. Romero Lab)
Wesley Hatcher
(E. Romero Lab)
  Rylan Rowsey
(N. Romero Lab)
Amalia Villagran Suarez
(Leschziner Lab)
Nathan Tran
(Ferguson Lab)
Lydia Weddle
(Kubiak Lab)
Karla Rojas Garcia
(Grassian Lab)
Adrian Wong
(Budin Lab)

 Congrats to the following students for being selected as honorable mentions for the NSF-GRFP: Sarah Narehood (Tezcan Lab), Roxanne Nauman (N.Romero Lab), Sam Marchant (Debelouchina Lab)

Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry established the Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship to recognize research excellence. This prestigious fellowship provides one quarter of fellowship support (stipends and fees), as well as an additional $3,000 bonus for the Fellow to use towards research support.

Congratulations to the 2023-24 recipients!

Sally Burke (Continetti Lab)
Jiyue Chen (Devaraj Lab)
  Quinn Cowan
(Komor Lab)
ChingHwa Ho (Paesani Lab)


Nelson Spencer (Deshmukh Lab)
Christine Stephen (Mishanina Lab)
Kailash Venkatraman (Budin Lab)
Orlova,-Angelica_Headshot.jpegAngelica Orlova (Rinehart Lab)

Lattimer Award

The Lattimer Award is given to an outstanding graduate student who seeks interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving and has a strong commitment to education. Recipients not only demonstrate promise as a stellar scientist or mathematician, but also impact others through mentorship, service, and educational outreach. 

Congratulations to the 2021-22 Recipients of the Lattimer Award!

Kyle Angle

(Grassian Lab)

Teaching Assistant Excellence Awards

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the Teaching Assistant Excellence Awards. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry bestows these awards quarterly in recognition of superior performance by teaching assistants.

Congratulations to the Winter 2024 recipients of the TA Excellence Award!


Madison Esposito 

Chem 40A Cohen 



 Jamie Lam

 Chem 43A Klosterman


Nicola Osgood

Chem 109 Muller



Congratulations to the Fall 2023 recipients of the TA Excellence Award!


Anthony Alfaro

Chem 41A O'Connor


Jeewon Chung

Chem 143 Klosterman 


Nathaniel Roethler

Chem 6A Zid 



Click here to view previous TA Excellence recipients


Fletcher Jones Dissertation Year Fellowship

The Fletcher Jones Fellowship Program, which is supported by gifts received from the Fletcher Jones Foundation of Los Angeles, offers one of the University's most prestigious and generously funded fellowships. The Fellowship is awarded to those who demonstrate financial need. 

We would like to congratulate our 2023-24 Fletcher Jones Dissertation Year Fellowship Recipient!


Chancellor's Dissertation Medal

Recipients of this prestigious award are chosen based upon the quality of academic research as determined by the impact of the research to the field and/or department; the insight, originality, and creativity shown by the author; the effectiveness of the writing, clarity, and organization of the thesis; and the soundness of the methodology and quality of the data (when applicable).

Congratulations to the 2021 Chancellor's Dissertation Medal Recipient!

Jesse Peltier

(Bertrand Lab)

Friends of the International Center Fellowship

Founded in 1961, the Friends of the International Center (Friends) Fellowship supports international education at UCSD in numerous ways, one of which is raising money for and awarding student scholarships. The fellowship awards a stipend of $2,000 to a selected number of outstanding graduate students. 

Congratulations to the 2023 recipients!

Mac Kevin Braza

(Amaro Lab)

Palliser Shomody

(Zhang Lab)

J. Yang Scholarship Program

We proudly announce that Ching-Chi Hang has been selected as the recipient of the 2024-25 J. Yang Scholarship Award!

Congratulations, Ching-Chi Hang!


American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship

We proudly announce that Lisa Liang (Corbett Group) and Tamar Basiashvili (Villa group) have been selected as the recipient of the 2023 American Heart Association (AHA) Predoctoral Fellowship!



Tamar Basiashvili

(Villa Lab)

Lisa Liang


Ford Predoctoral Fellowship

We proudly announce that the Ford Foundation and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have selected Carlos Vasquez (Komor group) as the recipient of the 2020 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship!

Congratulations, Carlos!


 Carlos Vasquez

(Komor Lab)


Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Chapter

The Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Chapter here at UCSD recognizes students who demonstrate academic and personal excellence, passion to foster an environment of support and to serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented. All in honor of Dr. Alexander Bouchet who embodied such qualities and was the first African American doctoral recipient in the United States.

Congratulations on being selected to be a member of the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Chapter (2020)!

              Jesse Peltier
             (Bertrand Lab)

Congratulations on your honorable mention of the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Chapter (2024)!

              Anand Ojha
             (Amaro Lab)