Editor’s note: This post was updated July 21 with additional biographical information for each professor.

Idan Blank and Melissa Sharpe, assistant professors of psychology in the UCLA College, were selected as 2021-22 UCLA Society of Hellman Fellows.

The UCLA Hellman Fellows Program was established by the Hellman Family Foundation to support and encourage the research of promising assistant professors who show the capacity for great distinction in their research.

Blank, who received his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, joined UCLA in July 2019. He previously worked as a postdoctoral associate at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. Blank specializes in cognitive psychology, and his current research centers on language comprehension and the brain.

Sharpe joined UCLA in 2018 and her research lab is in the psychology department’s behavioral neuroscience area. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of New South Wales and then was a joint postdoctoral scholar at the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Princeton Neuroscience Institute. Her lab investigates how different neuronal regions interact to form the basis of learning experiences and how these processes go wrong in psychopathology.