UC San Diego News Center


Hellman Fellowships Provide Early-Career Funding for 12 UC San Diego Faculty Members


Warren Hellman

When the late Warren Hellman and his wife, Chris, established the Hellman Fellows Program in the 1990s, their vision was to help junior faculty take their research to the next level. Now in its 21st year at UC San Diego, the program has supported 275 fellows who show capacity for great distinction in their research and creative activities.

“The Hellman family’s generosity and confidence in our young faculty have a profound impact on their scholarship and contributions to many fields of study,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We are grateful for their continued support.”

The 2015-2016 Hellman Fellows include 12 UC San Diego faculty members who were awarded a total of approximately $500,000. The awards are designed to provide early-career funding to promising faculty as they progress toward tenure.

“Early-stage research funding is critical to ensure that exceptional young faculty members have the opportunity to realize their full potential in terms of scientific and academic impact,” said Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Suresh Subramani. “Hellman funds provide junior faculty momentum for their research and scholarly activities, which is essential to their advancement to tenure.”

The UC San Diego Hellman Fellowship Program was launched in 1995 with an initial gift of $2.5 million from the Hellman Family Foundation. To date, the foundation has committed a total of $5 million to UC San Diego for the program.

The 2015-2016 Hellman Faculty Fellows are:

Biological Sciences, Engineering, Marine Sciences and Physical Sciences:

  • Marco Aburto Oropeza, marine biology research division
  • Boubacar Kante, electrical and computer engineering
  • Darren Lipomi, nanoengineering
  • Rayan Saab, mathematics
  • Chih-Ying Su, neurobiology
  • Jennifer Taylor, marine biology research division
  • Roy Wollman, chemistry and biochemistry

Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences:

  • Marc Garellek, linguistics
  • Jillian Hernandez, ethnic studies
  • Ruixue Jia, School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Dana Murillo, history 
  • Vanesa Ribas, sociology

Established by the Hellman family in 1995, the Hellman Fellows Program is now active at 14 institutions, including UC San Diego. The program makes grants to research institutions to support the work of junior faculty on individual campuses. Each institution is responsible for selecting its awardees. More information about the program, past recipients and application criteria is available on the UC San Diego Hellman Fellowship Program website.