UCLA life scientist Kirk Lohmueller was named a 2014 Searle Scholar, one of 15 exceptional scientists who has "demonstrated innovative research with the potential for making significant contributions to chemical and biological research over an extended period of time," according to  the Searle Scholars Program. He is an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.

Lohmueller, who joined UCLA's faculty last year, conducts research on the population genetics and genomics of humans and other species. He develops and implements computational approaches to interpret genetic variation data obtained from new sequencing technologies. His research focuses primarily on reconstructing population history, determining the role of natural selection in shaping genetic variation and assessing how genetic variation affects disease risk.

The Searle Scholars program received 172 applications from recently appointed assistant professors nominated by 120 universities and research institutions.

"Our scientific advisory board did a fantastic job identifying a set of bold young scientists who are bringing new technologies and new perspectives to address some of the biggest questions in the biomedical sciences," said the program's scientific director Doug Fambrough. The program is funded from the estates of Mr. and Mrs. John G. Searle. Searle was the grandson of the founder of the worldwide pharmaceutical company, G.D. Searle & Company.

Lohmueller was also awarded a 2014 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in February. For more information, visit his website.