Chancellor's Fellows Awards

The Chancellor’s Fellows Program honors outstanding faculty members early in their careers. Honorees each receive a one-time award of $25,000 to be used for research, teaching or service activities. Chancellor’s Fellows awards are supported by private contributions to the UC Davis Annual FundParents Fund and Davis Chancellor's Club Fund.


Chancellor’s Fellows Award Recipients


2021-2022 Fellows


John Albeck
Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences

His research explores the mechanisms of cellular signaling in the cells of mammals, with a focus on how signaling and metabolism are intertwined in normal cells and in those with diseases, especially cancer. Among peer researchers and colleagues, he is regarded as a leader in the emerging field of single-cell systems biology, and his work has provided a framework to explain how tumor cells respond to their microenvironment, which may lead to more effective therapeutic strategies.


Ching-Hsien Chen
Associate professor, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine; and Comprehensive Cancer Center, UC Davis Health

As a researcher, she has a passion for understanding and improving the treatment of cancer and fibrosis. She has been successful in developing robust and productive research programs to discover useful, novel biomarkers for several key molecular complexes associated with oncogenesis and fibrogenesis. These biomarkers are developed with the goal to predict treatment outcomes of patients undergoing clinical trials with combined inhibitors specifically targeting aberrant oncogenic signaling.


Gerardo Con Diaz
Associate professor, Science and Technology Studies, College of Letters and Science

He studies how law and policy shape the digital world. His research examines the history of computing and the role of intellectual property law in forming digital technologies. He is the author of the prize-winning book Software Rights: How Patent Law Transformed Software Development in America. He is currently at work on a book about copyright in the internet era.


Carrie Finno
Associate professor, Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine

She is an equine internal medicine specialist and veterinary geneticist, and also serves as the director of the Center for Equine Health. Her research focuses on companion animal genetics, particularly the genetic and environmental risk factors associated with equine neuromuscular diseases. She is currently testing whether early long-term vitamin E intervention might slow or prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.


Evgeny "Eugene" Gorskiy
Professor, Department of Mathematics, College of Letters and Science

His work crosses multiple fields of mathematics. As a doctoral student at Moscow State University, he applied tools from algebraic geometry, which deals with curves and parabolas, to knot theory, which studies how curves can be tangled or untangled by crossing over each other. Knot theory can be used to describe a wide variety of natural phenomena, from the paths of subatomic particles or how DNA is packaged in a cell to the shapes of solar flares.


Michele La Merrill
Associate professor, Department of Environmental Toxicology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

A toxicologist who is also affiliated with the Genome Center, Comprehensive Cancer Center and Environmental Health Center, she addresses how environmental exposure to chemicals during key developmental stages can impact people’s risk for metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, and cancer. Her innovative approach combining human epidemiology, animal models and cell culture has produced valuable findings about endocrine-disrupting chemicals and the factors that increase people’s vulnerabilities to them.


Marina S. Leite
Associate professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering

She is internationally known for her research on functional materials for applications ranging from solar cells to photonics. Her group is particularly interested in identifying and controlling the physical and chemical phenomena that lead to degradation in perovskites, a promising class of highly efficient photovoltaic materials, which convert light into energy. They also exploit novel materials to further control the electromagnetic spectrum, which could have implications ranging from color displays to space exploration to photocatalysis and other clean energy technologies.


Barbara Linke
Associate professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering

She is known for her work in green and energy-efficient manufacturing and abrasive machining processes. To make product design and manufacturing more sustainable, her lab studies concepts of sustainable and smart manufacturing, physical principles of manufacturing processes like grinding, milling and three-dimensional printing, and part quality, which includes distortion, surface integrity and 3D surface topography.


Gerardo Mackenzie
Associate professor, Department of Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

A nutritional biochemist, he researches the role of diet and lifestyle in cancer development and prevention. He explores dietary interventions, such as the ketogenic diet that has gained attention for its anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory potential in combination with standard-of-care chemotherapy as a novel treatment for pancreatic cancer. He also looks at the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the link between obesity, inflammation and cancer.


Danny C. Martinez
Associate professor, School of Education

He researches the education, linguistic experiences and broader identities of Black, Latinx and other nondominant youth. His work documents — largely through ethnographic methods — linguistic practices in schools, teacher reflexivity and youth communication. His exceptional work has advanced goals and practices aimed at increasing diversity and equity at multiple levels.


Mijke Rhemtulla
Associate professor, Department of Psychology, College of Letters and Science

A quantitative psychologist, she studies the interface between psychological research questions and the statistical models that are used to answer them. Her work examines how observed measurements of psychological concepts can be linked to statistical representations of those concepts, and what goes wrong when popular methods are applied incorrectly.


Jaroslav Trnka
Associate professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Letters and Science

He specializes in elegant geometries that help us understand interactions between elementary (subatomic) particles — such as quarks and the Higgs boson — that are the building blocks of everything in nature. His work focuses on scattering amplitudes, a type of mathematical object for computing the probabilities that different particles will interact. The results give theoretical predictions for the results of real-world experiments such as those at the Large Hadron Collider.


View a full list of past recipients.