We congratulate UCI faculty members Franklin Dollar and Chang Liu who have been selected as 2016 Sloan Fellows, a significant distinction for early career scientists. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced the awards on Feb. 23.
Franklin Dollar, assistant professor in physics and astronomy, specializes in plasma physics, and is a member of the Dry Creek Band of Pomo Indians. His lab studies the interaction of light at extremely high intensities with the fourth state of matter, plasma. There is a potential for these sources to have wide-reaching applications including medical physics and fusion energy, as well as the potential for probing the fastest and smallest events in the known universe. Dollar was recognized previously by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society as the 2015 Most Promising Scientist.
Chang Liu, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, specializes in computational and evolutionary molecular biology. He is researching the genetics, biochemistry and mechanistic aspects of an autonomous DNA replication system. He and his team have engineered an orthogonal DNA replication (OrthoRep) system so that core properties of DNA replication can be freely manipulated in vivo. This system has a number of interesting properties that have potential for applications in biotechnology and gene therapy.
Dollar and Liu are among ninety scientists and economists who received fellowship awards from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation of New York to help develop their careers. Awarded in eight scientific and technical fields—chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics—the Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded in close coordination with the scientific community.
The 2016 winners are working at 43 universities, colleges and research institutions in the United States, and two in Canada. They were selected from among 400 candidates nominated by senior university scholars. The Sloan Foundation began the program in 1955 and has awarded $40 million to nearly 2,000 scientists. The fellowship program is intended to encourage research by young scientists when they are entering their most creative period.