The Biomedical Sciences Building at UC San Diego’s School of Medicine is shown in this photo from Aug. 12, 2019. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)

Four UC San Diego researchers have been awarded 2021 Sloan Research Fellowships, which honor “extraordinary” early career scientists in the U.S. and Canada, the university announced Tuesday.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded the fellowships each year since 1955 to recipients “whose creativity, innovation and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of scientific leaders.” A total of 140 faculty from UCSD have been awarded the fellowships.

The new Sloan Research Fellows from UCSD are:

  • Anela Choy, assistant professor of biological oceanography, who studies the structure and function of open ocean and deep-sea food webs;
  • Brandon Seward, assistant professor of mathematics, who studies combinatorial, geometric and entropic aspects of actions of countable groups, with a focus on the divide between amenable and non-amenable groups;
  • Sheng Xu, assistant professor of nanoengineering, who studies single-crystal halide perovskites that have enhanced electronic and optoelectronic properties to build next-generation solar cells, light emitting diodes and optical sensors; and
  • Joel Yuen-Zhou, assistant professor of chemistry/biochemistry, who leads a group that develops theoretical and computational tools for polariton chemistry — a subject addressing how to use optical cavities to control molecular processes.

“Being named a Sloan Research Fellow is a remarkable achievement and I’m delighted that four of our early career faculty members were named to the 2021 list of honorees,” said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “From biological oceanography to mathematics, nanoengineering to chemistry, this year’s recipients truly capture the stimulating breadth of research initiatives featured across the UC San Diego campus.”

More than 1,000 researchers are nominated each year for 128 fellowship slots. Winners receive a two-year, $75,000 fellowship which can be spent to advance the fellow’s research.

Fifty-one fellows have received a Nobel Prize in their respective field, 17 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, 69 have received the National Medal of Science, and 20 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics, including every winner since 2007.

Fellows from the 2021 cohort are drawn from 58 institutions across the U.S. and Canada, from large public university systems to Ivy League institutions and small liberal arts colleges.

Candidates must be nominated by fellow scientists. Winners are selected by independent panels of senior scholars on the basis of a candidate’s research accomplishments, creativity and potential to become a leader in his or her field.

–City News Service