First Discovery Fellows Named

fellows chosen from neuroscience program

The Graduate Division is pleased to announce the students chosen for the inaugural cohort of UCSF Discovery Fellows. Students were selected for this honor on the basis of their leadership potential, excellence in research, community-mindedness, and communications skills.

The Discovery Fellows program was made possible by the generous gift in December 2013 from Sir Michael Moritz, and his wife, Harriet Heyman. “Our hope is that the Discovery Fellows will become outspoken advocates for UCSF’s basic science programs and for the importance of the innovative research going on at UCSF. It’s hard to imagine better ambassadors than these sparkling students,” said Moritz.

Students were initially nominated by their programs. The Discovery Fellows Faculty Advisory Board made the final selections from among the nominees. Board member Matt Jacobson said it was very difficult to choose the final fellows, because all of the nominees exemplified the combination of qualities the award is meant to recognize.  “Reading through these applications really drove home how many truly special students we have,” he said.

“I am incredibly proud of our students,” said Graduate Division Dean and Vice Chancellor for Student Academic Affairs Elizabeth Watkins.  “We are so grateful to Sir Michael and Harriet for giving us a meaningful way to recognize and reward students who demonstrate both research excellence and community spirit.”

The Graduate Division will be holding workshops to help new Discovery Fellows to grow into their role as student-ambassadors, and they will be invited to speak and present their research at Graduate Division/Discovery Program events. The Fellows will also receive $2,000 per year through the fifth year of study to support their research or travel to scientific conferences.

Moritz and Heyman contributed $30 million to the UCSF Graduate Division to ensure the future of PhD education programs in the basic sciences, creating the largest endowed program for PhD students in the history of the 10-campus University of California. UCSF matched the gift with a $25 million endowment and a commitment to raise another $5 million through donations from at least 500 donors.

In recognition of their generosity, a total of 50 students will hold Moritz-Heyman Discovery Fellowships each year. As additional lead donors make contributions to the program in the months ahead, fellowships will be added and named for the new donors.

The 2014 UCSF Discovery Fellows are:


Alec Cerchiari
Llewellyn "Trey" Jalbert
Bertram Koelsch
Christine Leon
Harrison Liu
Yekaterina Miroshnikova
Matthew Rubashkin
Lawrence Uricchio

Biomedical Informatics
Kyle Barlow
Benjamin Heineike
Laurens Kraal

Biomedical Sciences
Brittany Anderton
Andrea Cantu
Taylor LaFlam
Christine Moore Sheridan
Cameron Pitt
Hanna Starobinets
Ivan Vujkovic-Cvijin
Meghan Zubradt

Amy Chang
Jonathan Gable
Charles Greenberg
Natalia Khuri
David Paquette

Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Amy Jacobson
Crystal Nyitray
Justin Rettenmaier
Florentine Rutaganira

Developmental and Stem Cell Biology
Christina Theodoris

Neuroscience (fellows pictured)
Osama Ahmed
Ryan Dalton
Robert Lindquist
Karuna Meda
Kartik Pattabiraman
May Tran

Oral and Craniofacial Sciences
Kyle Jones

Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacogenomics
Srijib Goswami
Peter Westcott

Scott Coyle
D'Juan Farmer
Alison Leaf
Peter Littlefield
Isabel Nocedal
Courtney Schroeder
Katherine Varandas


Note: The fellows named today represent round-one selections for the program. A second, smaller round of selections will take place later this year.