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The Molecular Biology Institute at UCLA

A Mission Plan Emphasizing Genomics, Proteomics and Chemical Biology

2012 MBI Postdoctoral Recognition Awards

 Sponsored by the Molecular Biology Institute and the
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

In 1999, Nobel Laureate and founding MBI Director Paul D. Boyer donated a portion of his Nobel prize to recognize outstanding research contributions from Postdoctoral Fellows.  Generous donations were also received from Mrs. Phyllis Parvin and the Parvin Foundation, Dr. James and Joan Peter, and an educational donation from Amgen, Inc.  This year’s Postdoctoral Recognition Awards ceremony was held May 9, 2012.  Nominations of outstanding candidates were solicited to honor academic excellence in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UCLA.  Seven $2,000 Research Excellence awards were presented. In addition, three of those seven received $8,000 Special Recognition Awards from our donors.  Professor Emeritus Paul Boyer presented the Boyer-Peter Award, Dr. Randy Hungate, Executive Director of Research for Amgen Inc., presented the Amgen Award, and standing in for Mrs. Phyllis Parvin, A. Eugene Washington, Dean of the Geffen School of Medicine, presented the Parvin Foundation Award.  The recipients of these three donor awards were:

Ajay Vashisht, Ph.D.
Mentor: Prof. James Wohlschlegel, Biological Chemistry
Recipient of the Boyer-Peter Award

Toh Hean Ch’ng, Ph.D.
Mentor:  Prof. Kelsey Martin, Biological Chemistry
Recipient of the Parvin Foundation Award

David Mulholland, Ph.D.
Mentor:  Prof. Hong Wu, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology
Recipient of the Amgen Award


Front Row, L to R:  Ajay Vashisht, Toh Hean Ch’ng, David Mulholland. 
Back Row, L to R:  Paul Boyer, A. Eugene Washington, Randy Hungate

The four additional Research Excellence Awards were presented to Dr. Pao-Yang Chen (Mentor: Prof Matteo Pellegrini, Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology), Dr. Peng Liu (Mentor: Prof. Ken Houk, Chemistry & Biochemistry), Dr. Mahavir Singh (Mentor: Prof. Juli Feigon, Chemistry & Biochemistry), and Dr. Sika Zheng (Mentor: Prof. Doug Black, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics).

Thanks go to the members of the Selection Committee, chaired by Prof. Jim Bowie, for their extensive efforts, to Luisa Iruela-Arispe, MBI Interim Director, for hosting the event, and to the Dean of the Geffen School of Medicine, A. Eugene Washington, for his participation in the ceremony. Thanks also to Penny Jennings for the great photos, and to Bo Tendis, Mandy Bell, and Susie Sassoon for handling all of the event details.