One of the newest faculty members at UC San Diego—Suckjoon Jun, an assistant professor of physics and molecular biology—has won a $1.6 million award from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. This is the first award given to a UC San Diego recipient from the foundation, which was established by the co-founder of Microsoft to support high-risk, high-reward ideas in science. Jun’s effort is one of five awards announced by the foundation last week to projects “that aim to unlock key questions in the areas of cellular decision making and modeling dynamic biological systems.”
“I am hoping to develop tools and methods that will ultimately help us answer some of the most fundamental questions in biology,” said Jun. “I am deeply grateful to the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation for believing in young scientists pursuing big, but risky, questions.”
Learn more about Jun's plans for the award.
Adrian Ioana, an assistant professor of mathematics, studies von Neumann algebras, ergodic theory and group theory. In 2012, the European Mathematical Society recognized his contributions, among them the solving of a long-standing conjecture, with their annual prize. Ioana holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Bucharest and earned a doctorate from UCLA.
Eva-Maria Schötz Collins, an assistant professor of physics and biology and one of the first new faculty recruited to participate in UC San Diego’s research initiative in Quantitative Biology, investigates the role physical principles play in living systems. She studies organisms with incredible regenerative powers, such as planaria and hydras, which can reconstruct two entirely new, complete animals when cut in half. By combining stem-cell biology with the mechanics of tissues and statistical physics, she has developed a unique experimental system characteristic of the emerging cross-disciplinary approach called quantitative biology.