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12 assistant profs share $250,000 in Hellman grants

10.11.2012

By Dateline staff

The UC Davis Hellman Fellowship Program, now in its fifth year, has given grants totaling almost $250,000 to 12 assistant professors.

Vice Provost Maureen Stanton of Academic Affairs said the program fills a "critical gap" in funding for junior faculty members. 

“Those in the humanities have limited access to support for their scholarship,” Stanton said, “and competition in engineering and sciences is so intense that many funding agencies have become more conservative and risk-averse.”

As a result, Hellman Fellows are empowered to engage in scholarship that is “innovative and potentially paradigm-altering,” she noted.

Funding comes from the San Francisco-based Hellman Family Foundation, which committed to providing $1.25 million to the campus over five years to support career advancement activities of promising assistant professors. The campus is under consideration for a new grant, and expects to know the outcome as early as November.

Under the Hellman Fellowship guidelines, each grant recipient must have completed at least two years as an assistant professor and submitted a compelling research proposal.

The 2012-13 Hellman Fellows, their academic units and their research topics:

  • Rebekka Andersen, University Writing Program — Examining the diffusion of component content management in organizations
  • Shota Atsumi, chemistry — Structural and evolutionary approaches to expand metabolism for sustainable chemistry
  • Marissa Baskett, environmental science and policy — Adaptation and dispersal in variable environments
  • Corrie Decker, history — Sex education and the politics of culture on the Swahili Coast
  • Georgia Drakakaki, plant sciences — Understanding vesicle trafficking during plant cell division using a novel inhibitor endosidin 7
  • Marc Facciotti, biomedical engineering — Development of low-cost microfluidic device for chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by next generation DNA sequencing
  • Nilesh Gaikwad, nutrition — Estrogen metablome for prediction of breast and other cancers
  • Christiana Giordano, anthropology — Migrants in translation: State practices of cultural healing in contemporary Italy
  • Kyle Joyce, political science — Endogenous shocks and international networks
  • Wesley Moons, psychology — Interracial interactions induce physiological inflammation
  • Stephen O'Driscoll, electrical and computer engineering — Location adaptive wireless power transfer for implantable medical devices
  • Louie Yang, entomology — The fitness consequences of phenological shifts in milkweed-monarch interactions

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