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UCLAToday Staff

For the second year, campus leaders are honoring  the important contributions made by the approximately 900-1,000 postdoctoral fellows who provide critical research and scholarship in the sciences, engineering, humanities, social sciences and professional schools..

Welcomed by Chancellor Albert Carnesale, the postdocs, their mentors and guests gathered March 2 at the Bradley International Hall Ballroom to hear Vice Chancellor of Graduate Studies and  Dean of the Graduate Division Claudia Mitchell-Kernan and other campus leaders highlight the significance of their work. Five postdocs were also named to receive the Chancellor's Award for Postdoctoral Research.

  "You have shown yourselves to be superb researchers and scholars, committed to furthering knowledge in your respective fields," said Carnesale to the gathering. "You and your colleagues enrich virtually all  the disciplines at UCLA, from the basic and applied sciences to the professional programs, the social sciences and the humanities."

At many universities, postdocs "do not receive the  recognition they deserve. For a variety of reasons, they tend to get lost in the system," added Jim Turner, assistant vice chancellor of the Graduate Division, before the ceremony. "They're neither students nor faculty.  They're typically here for a short time, and their accomplishments may go largely unacknowledged outside of their own immediate research groups and colleagues."

But their contributions are  crucial to many laboratories, Turner added. "They make up a major workforce in the sciences. Many are doing the one-on-one mentoring that is the essence of graduate training."

Among those  postdocs receiving the Chancellor's award were Frederic Allain, in the laboratory of Juli Feigon, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Michael Bartberger, in the laboratory of K.N. Houk, Department of Chemistry and  Biochemistry; Anthony Heaney, in the laboratory of Shlomo Melmed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; William B. Moore, in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences and the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics; and Zoltan  Nusser, in the laboratory of Istvan Mody in the Department of Neurology.

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