UC San Diego News Center


2012-2013 Hellman Faculty Fellows Announced

Rommie Amaro will use the Hellman Faculty Fellow award to launch a research-oriented diversity and outreach initiative in her lab.

A total of $487,500 has been awarded to the 2012-2013 Hellman Faculty Fellows at the University of California, San Diego. The award supports 22 junior faculty members in their research and scholarly work as they strive for tenure with the university.

Rommie Amaro, assistant professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, plans to use her award to launch a new research-oriented diversity and outreach initiative in her lab called CompChemBioCAMP. The goal of the camp is to recruit and retain women in chemistry and the physical sciences. “It is my ultimate hope that this program will help change the gender landscape of these fields at local, national and international levels,” she said.

The Hellman Fellowship Program was established at UC San Diego in 1995 with a gift of $2.5 million from Chris and Warren Hellman. Last year, the Hellman Fellows Fund made an additional grant of $2.4 million, providing continued support for the program. Its purpose is to provide financial support and encouragement to young faculty who show capacity for great distinction in their research and creative activities.

“The Hellman family’s generosity and confidence in our young faculty during the past 16 years has had a profound impact on the scholarship of over 225 Fellows, while facilitating the knowledge they have contributed to their fields and enriching the intellectual fabric of this campus,” said Suresh Subramani, UC San Diego’s executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Warren Hellman

For faculty just starting their career, obtaining funding for scholarly activities in which one does not yet have extensive preliminary results can be very difficult, explained Amaro. Funding from the Hellman Fellowship will help Amaro and the other fellows to accomplish scholarly work that will establish their credibility as a faculty member. Private support, like the Hellman Fellowship, helps UC San Diego to attract and retain the nation’s top professors and researchers.

 “Support, such as the Hellman award, is important because it provides critical early-stage funding for research and other initiatives that will ultimately allow junior faculty to reach their full potential in terms of scientific impact,” added Amaro. “I am honored to be selected as a Hellman Fellow and very grateful for their generous support.”

The 2012-2013 Hellman Faculty Fellows are:

In Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering

  • Rommie Amaro, chemistry and biochemistry
  • Alina Bucur, mathematics
  • Kamalika Chaudhuri, computer science and engineering
  • Juan Del Alamo, mechanical and aerospace engineering
  • Carolyn Kurle, section of ecology, behavior and evolution
  • Ulrich Muller, chemistry and biochemistry
  • Francesco Paesani, chemistry and biochemistry
  • Navtej Toor, chemistry and biochemistry
  • Jie Xiang, electrical and computer engineering

In Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Claire Adida, political science
  • Saba Bazargan, philosophy
  • Joseph Hankins, anthropology
  • Sara Kaplan, ethnic studies
  • Nancy Kwak, history
  • John McMurria, communication
  • Thomas Medvetz, sociology
  • Paul Niehaus, economics
  • Katharina Rosenberger, music
  • Daphne Taylor-Garcia, ethnic studies
  • Irina Telyukova, economics
  • Kalindi Vora, ethnic studies
  • K. Wayne Yang, ethnic studies

UC San Diego’s Studio Ten 300 offers radio and television connections for media interviews with our faculty, which can be coordinated via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). To connect with a UC San Diego faculty expert on relevant issues and trending news stories, visit