UCSD Division Announces 2007 Undergraduate Summer Scholars

By Maureen C. Curran

Summer Scholars Poster Session
A poster session highlighting each project will be held at the end of the summer.

San Diego, CA, May 18, 2007 -- Nearly 30 undergraduates in 15 different majors have been announced as recipients of the UCSD division of Calit2's 2007 Summer Undergraduate Research Scholarships. In it's seventh year, this is the largest class ever: 29 students will work with 23 academic advisors from all across the UCSD campus.

While a wide spectrum of engineering and computer science fields is well represented, nearly half (14) of the awardees are majoring in other fields, from biochemistry and microbiology to music, visual arts, psychology and political science.

"In keeping with Calit2's multidisciplinary thrust, we encourage and recruit students from all over campus to participate," says Trey Ideker, chair of the Calit2 UCSD Student Programs Subcommittee, "This makes students aware of, and we hope interested in, the technical research done here." A complete list of awardees, their majors and advisors can be found below.

The ten-week program, which begins in late June, gives undergraduates the unique opportunity of being paid full-time student researchers actively involved in the research of their faculty mentor´s lab, hands-on work that is usually reserved for graduate students, senior researchers and faculty.

Biochemistry major Chien-Tze Jasmine Huang and Christine Pai, a microbiology major, will work Davorka Messmer, a project scientist at the Moores Cancer Center whose lab is investigating new ways of mobilizing the immune system to fight cancer.

"The two very talented students that are working with me this summer will be using various nanoparticles as carrier platforms to stimulate and target immune cells," explains Messmer, "The Calit2 scholarship will enable them to work on a new and cutting edge field where traditional immunology meets nanotechnology."

M.Kelly and D. Linquist
Class of 2006 Calit2 Summer Scholars Michael Kelly (l) and David Lindquist (r) each were coauthors of published papers about their summer's work: separate projects developing software tools which extend and enhance the classroom experience and create an active learning environment.

Messmer continues: "Furthermore, the interdisciplinary project will prepare them for future interactions and collaborations with bioengineers, chemists, biologists and physicians, which is becoming more and more necessary in science."

Bioengineering majors Man Nguyen and Seung Hyun (Chris) Kim will be working with their faculty advisor Robert Sah, a professor of bioengineering at the Jacobs School, as part of separate research teams. Each team is comprised of undergraduate students, graduate students, medical students, post-doctoral researchers, post-medical researchers and faculty from the School of Medicine.

"I look forward to advising Man Nguyen and Chris Kim in their Calit2 UCSD projects," notes Sah, "Each will be involved in the acquisition of a large amount of biological image data during biomechanical testing, and the application of modern information technology will be critical for analyzing and archiving their findings."

Advisors and scholarship awardees alike look forward to the summer. "I would like to thank Calit2 for giving us this wonderful opportunity to work and explore our areas of interest," says Man Nguyen, "I believe this will be a great preparation for me and other undergraduate students for our future careers."

The majority of the more than 140 undergraduates who have participated in the program since its inception in 2001 have been seniors. However, this is changing, as Ginny Scott, Calit2's administrative projects coordinator notes, "We have a growing number of underclassmen applying and participating. This year there are ten non-seniors, including three first-year students." Chris Kim is one of the freshmen awardees participating this summer; Man Nguyen is a junior.

The Calit2 UCSD Undergraduate Research Program has proven to have a strong positive impact on student's academic and post-graduation paths, with many finding it invaluable. The 2007 Calit2 UCSD Summer Undergraduate Scholars are:


Major Name, current year Advisor(s)
Biochemistry Chien-Tze Jasmine Huang, 4th yr Davorka Messmer
Bioengineering Seung Hyun Chris Kim, 1st yr Robert Sah
Man Nguyen, 3rd yr Robert Sah
Meena Siddiqui, 3rd yr Graeme Bydder
Sara Richardson, 2nd yr Jurgen Schulze
Jing Wu, 1st yr Tony Yang
Biology Ji-Won Youm, 4th yr Milton Saier
Cognitive Science Jason Najarro, 4th yr Ricardo Dominguez
Computer Science & Engineering Jose Garcia Moreno Torres,
exchange student from the University of Granada, Spain, 4th yr
Garrison Cottrell
William Kinsella, 4th yr Bill Griswold
Jerome Ko, 4th yr Mattias Zwicker
James Lintern, 3rd yr Beth Simon
Andrew Prudhome, 4th yr Jurgen Schulze
Electrical and Computer Engineering Richard Choi, 3rd yr Vitaliy Lomakin
James Coles, 4th yr Stojan Radic
Thomas Stahlbuhk, 4th yr Gert Lankriet
Economics and Music Christopher Schlyer, 4th yr Peter Otto
Engineering Physics Christopher Huynh, 4th yr Deli Wang
Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts John Elberson, 4th yr Steve Boyer
Justin Gutierrez, 3rd yr Miller Puckette
Trevor Muzzy, 4th yr Peter Otto
Math Jonathan Kommemi, 4th yr Michael Holst
Microbiology Christine Pai, 4th yr Davorka Messmer
Microbiology and
Political Science
Patrick Shih, 4th yr Steve Briggs
Music Rich Eakin, 4th yr Tom Erbe
Physics Jimmy Kan, 1st yr Deli Wang
Political Science Andre Niemeyer, 4th yr Scot Desposato
Psychology Maria Pestovnikova, 3rd yr Michael Cole

Related Links
Summer Scholars 2006
Calit2 UCSD Undergraduate Opportunities
Student Spectrum: website showcasing Calit2 students

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Information Sessions for Calit2 UCSD Summer Undergraduate Research Scholarships
Calit2 UCSD 2006 Summer Scholars Present Their Work