Nandita Garud, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, has been named a 2021-2022 UCLA Hellman fellow and is a recipient of a microbiome, neurobiology and disease award from Scialog. Both distinctions recognize Garud for her research on methods of quantifying genomic data in the microbiome. 

In early 2020, the Hellman fellows fund provided an endowment to UCLA to establish the UCLA Society of Hellman Fellows, which provides research support for assistant professors who show capacity for great distinction in their research.

The inaugural Scialog microbiome, neurobiology and disease initiative brought together more than 50 scientists from a variety of disciplines to propose research to help transform understanding of the gut-brain axis at the chemical, microbial and immunological level.

Garud, along with her collaborator Will Ludington, a biology professor at the Carnegie Institution for Science, received one of the six awards given to multidisciplinary teams from the United States and Canada. Garud will receive $55,000 from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group and the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation for winning the Scialog award.