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UC San Diego Physicist Named 2020 Cottrell Scholar

February 20, 2020 | By Cynthia Dillon

Elena KosloverElena Koslover. Photo by Michelle Fredricks

Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), America's first foundation dedicated wholly to science, has named a diverse group of 25 early-career scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy as recipients of its 2020 Cottrell Scholar Awards. UC San Diego’s Elena Koslover is among the awardees. She and the others will receive $100,000 for the distinction.

The assistant professor of physics at UC San Diego was selected for her work, the “Physics of Cellular Distribution Networks: Morphology and Transport in the Endoplasmic Reticulum.” In the Department of Physics, Koslover and her group specialize in biophysics, particularly the physical modeling of eukaryotic cells. These are cells found in protozoa, fungi, plants and animals that contain a nucleus and other specialized structures, surrounded by a plasma membrane.

“The Cottrell Scholar Awards honor junior faculty who have already emerged as leaders in terms of both research and teaching,” said Dean of UC San Diego Physical Sciences Steven Boggs. “We congratulate Professor Koslover for this prestigious achievement.”

Cottrell Scholars are considered leaders in integrating science teaching and research at a top U.S. research university, a degree-granting research institute, or a primarily undergraduate institution, and are chosen through a rigorous peer-review process.

Photo courtesy of RCSAPhoto courtesy of RCSA

“The quality of the applicants and the many terrific proposals we receive can make it difficult to choose,” said RCSA Senior Program Director Silvia Ronco. “We look for innovative ideas that are likely to make a positive impact on science and on the education of tomorrow’s scientists.”  

Once designated a Cottrell Scholar, several additional levels of competitive funding become available to develop initiatives to enhance science education or promote career growth.

New and established Cottrell Scholars also meet each year to share insights and inspiration at the Cottrell Scholar Conference. This year’s event, to be held July 8-10 in Tucson, Ariz., will focus on cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset through research and educational activities.

In addition to teaching and research, Koslover finds time to lead an early morning science club at Carmel Creek Elementary School in San Diego each month.

For a full list of this year’s Cottrell Scholars, visit the RCSA website.