Cheryl J. Briggs, Integrative Biology
Indirect Effects of Colonization of Native Insects onto Non-native Plant Species in California.
Professor Briggs received her Ph.D. in Biology from UC Santa Barbara, where she was the recipient of the Lancaster Medal for best Ph.D. thesis of the year and she received her M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University. On her appointment as Assistant Professor in 1996 at UCB, her dean remarked: "Outside recommendations carry the superlatives that one wishes to see in new faculty at early stages of their careers because they suggest that her contributions are fundamental ones that will influence her field." One reviewer commented that "Quite simply, exciting science happens when she is around". Her Hellman project involves a pilot study to gain preliminary evidence abut the prevalence of apparent competition between non-native and native species and the frequency with which non-native species act as a refuge from parasitism for herbivorous insects. Hellman funds will provide graduate and undergraduate research assistance, materials, supplies and travel to field sites to UC reserves.
Matthew Welch, Molecular and Cell Biology
Regulation of Actin Nucleation and Actin Based Motility by the Wiscott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein.
Prior to his appointment at UCB in 1998 as Assistant Professor, Welch received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from UCB and is the recipient of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Special Fellowship and a NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship. One reviewer concluded that Welch is "extremely bright,
a very clear thinker and highly critical, ...honest and forthright," adding that he ranks "among the very best postdoctoral fellows" he has experienced. Welch's Hellman project goal is to elucidate the role of two specific proteins in actin nucleation and actin polymerization-based motility, which may lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents to treat human disease. The Hellman Award will cover graduate research assistance, purchase costs for a computer as well as chemical, biochemistry, microscopy, molecular biology and tissue culture supplies.
David Schaffer, Chemical Engineering
Chemically Engineering Adeno-Associated Viral Vehicles for Enhanced Gene Delivery
Professor Schaffer received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in April of 1998, and was appointed as an Assistant Professor at Berkeley the same year. He is involved in building a research program that applies engineering principles to problems in cell biology and bioengineering. One reviewer remarked "Dave's skills in pursuing independent research are exceptional
(he) possesses the qualities necessary for outstanding success in academic research and teaching, and has the potential for growing into a leader in biological aspects of chemical engineering." In his Hellman project, Schaffer's research will attempt to merge chemistry and biology in order to enhance viral gene delivery vehicles, as this interdisciplinary approach may lead to new, highly effective molecular medicines. The Hellman Award will allow the purchase of a critical cooled CCD camera, which will interface with the microscope, along with funds for production and materials.
Peidong Yang, Chemistry
Professor Yang received both his Ph.D. and M.A. in Chemistry from Harvard University and is an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and recent recipient of the Research Innovation Award. His Berkeley appointment began in 1999, at which time his department chair remarked "Each of the outside reviewers comment in detail on his research accomplishments, the significance of which can be gauged by his publication record, which is truly astounding for someone at this stage in his career." In his Hellman project, Yang will study the self-assembly of uniform oxide and gold nanorods with variable aspect ratios (the ratio of length/diameter). As noted in his proposal, "if these one dimensional nanoscale building blocks can be ordered and rationally assembled
they will offer fundamental scientific opportunities." The Hellman Award will cover graduate assistance, electron microscope expenses, Chemical Society Meeting travel expenses, and chemical supplies.
Khalid Mosalam, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Innovative Rehabilitation and Computational Modeling of Monumental Structures Using Polymer Composite Systems
Prior to his appointment at Berkeley in 1997, Professor Mosalam received his doctorate at Cornell University, with his doctoral thesis awarded Best Student Paper by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. A significant contributor to the field of structural engineering through his research, he has integrated, in a balanced and innovative manner, advanced concepts related to experimental methods, computational mechanics, structural analysis and reliability. One reviewer noted that "in terms of intellectual capability and knowledge of structural mechanics, he (Professor Mosalam) is among the top 5 doctoral students in structures whom I have known in 20 years at Cornell." His Hellman project centers on a major challenge to the structural engineering community: to resolve the conflict between conservative preservation of structural integrity of vulnerable yet valuable buildings considered unsafe in their present status, and salvaging maximum architectural heritage. Hellman funds will provide both graduate and undergraduate research assistance, cover construction and testing of specimens, and travel and publication costs.
Antje Hofmeister, Plant and Microbial Biology
Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Development
Professor Hofmeister received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from Philipps University in Germany where she received the Lise-Meitner Prize from the German Ministry of Arts and Sciences and the Thesis prize from the German Society of Microbiology. Appointed Assistant Professor at Berkeley in 1997, she is highly regarded by senior colleagues. One reviewer stated, "Hofmeister is simply the best of the best." Hofmeister's Hellman project proposes research that will generate new, basic knowledge about the molecular mechanisms that generate cellular diversity and will provide new insights into how soil microorganisms respond to changes in their environment. The Hellman Award will provide for a postdoctoral researcher, conference travel, the purchase of a Spectrophotometer and DNA Thermal Cycler, and other expenses.
Christine F. Wildsoet, Optometry
The How and Why of Ocular Growth Regulation: Some Lessons from the Chick and Their Significance for Human Myopia (Short-sightedness)
Professor Wildsoet received her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Queensland in 1992 prior to her appointment to UCB in 1999. She is specifically interested in Myopia, including animal models and human myopia and refractive development research. Frequently an invited speaker at international conferences and congresses, Wildsoet also impressed her reviewers as one of just a few individuals who lead the field in animal myopia work. Her Hellman project, using chicks as models who share a finely tuned mechanism for regulating ocular growth with humans, is of significance due to the increase of human myopia, which can lead to blindness. Wildsoet cites that in some Asian communities, the prevalence of myopia is as high as 90%. Hellman funds will cover the purchases of a Keratron Scout topographer, a Power refractomer and other lab equipment.
Ying Qing Chen, Biostatistics
Statistical Analysis of Long-term Progressive Schizophrenia Deterioration
Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. of Philosophy, from Johns Hopkins University where he received the Margaret Merrell Award for Excellence in Student Research. He is also the recipient of the Thomas Charlmers Award for Best Student paper at the Society for Clinical Trials in 1999. His appointment to UCB as Assistant Professor began in 1999. One reviewer commented: "Chen is very bright, energetic and ambitious
a hard worker
. and would probably rank in the upper third of our graduate students in terms of academic promise." Another wrote: "Chen has been one of the top graduate students in this department over the past five years." The goal of this Hellman project is to develop quantitative methods for detection of the pattern of schizophrenia progression and develop user-friendly computer software to implement the quantitative methodologies. This is significant because, as Professor Chen notes, "the development of appropriate methodologies and tools are falling behind; results based on inappropriate techniques can be misleading, and more seriously, the consequences can lead to incorrect clinical decision making or public health policy making." The Hellman Award will cover graduate research assistance, travel and supplies.
Carolyn Huie Hofstetter, Education
Test Accommodations for English Language Learners: Do They Yield Valid Inferences?
Prior to becoming an Assistant Professor at Berkeley in 1998, Dr. Hofstetter received her Ph.D. in Education from UCLA and her M.A. in Political Science from San Diego State University, and she was a Spencer Fellow while at UCLA. Her "solid understanding of design and analysis issues" supports her interest area in methodology of research with an emphasis on evaluation. One reviewer believed Hofstetter to be "one of the very best graduate students from UCLA over the last three decades." Another remarked Hofstetter is "a model of intelligence. She has a bold personality, limitless creativity, and solemn goals for achievement." Her Hellman project will focus on the administration of one test accommodation where non-technical, linguistically difficult terms and grammatical constructions in the math section have been identified and simplified for English language learners. Hellman funds will provide graduate research assistance, honorariums, software and supplies.
Arts and Humanities
Kate van Orden, Music
Music and Military Virtue in Early Modern France
Dr. van Orden received her Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Chicago and has been awarded a Townsend Center Junior Faculty Fellowship, a President's Research Fellowship and an AAUW Fellowship prior to her UCB appointment as Assistant Professor in 1996. Dr. van Orden's research in the connections of music and power in the late sixteenth century are considered potentially very important to her field. One reviewer remarked, "I am convinced that Kate van Orden is going to be one of the outstanding musicologists of her generation." Her Hellman project will allow her to continue her research, which studies the "humanizing" of the French military aristocracy at the end of the Resistance. "Overall, my approach turns musicology toward history and anthropology, taking music to be an active shaper rather than a passive reflector of culture
" Hellman funds will allow for updated computer equipment, as well as research and publication expenses.
David S. Lee, Economics
Empirical Analyses of Unionization and its Economic Consequences: Evidence from Union Representation Elections
Dr. Lee received his Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University and has received Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation prior to his appointment at UC Berkeley in 2000. Lee's specific interest lies in labor economy and he is described by one reviewer as "
an exceptional talented and promising young economist." In his Hellman proposal, Dr. Lee will address the influence of unionization on the survival of business establishments; determine if there is evidence that unionization alters employment levels; and determine if unionization alters output and productivity and a firm's valuation in the stock market. Hellman Funds will allow computer data processing, software, research assistance, and other assorted expenses.
Kaipeng Peng, Psychology
Culture and Cognition
Professor Peng received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Psychology from the University of Michigan before joining the Berkeley faculty in 1997. This year, he was nominated to the U.S. National Committee on Psychological Science by the American Psychological Association. His research focuses on the interface between cultural, social, personality and cognitive psychology. One reviewer described Peng as "one of the brightest social psychologists I know
a truly original thinker, both theoretically and methodologically." Dr. Peng's Hellman project is "designed to employ a common theoretical framework that human ethnicity are social and cultural creations, and will test hypotheses about the depths and scopes of differing cultural backgrounds on cognitive processes." The Hellman Award will provide funding for lab equipment, subject fees, travel and research assistants.