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Andrew Muroyama and Fabian Rivera-Chávez Selected to Receive Hellman Fellowships

February 12, 2024

By Mario Aguilera

UC San Diego School of Biological Sciences Assistant Professors Andrew Muroyama and Fabian Rivera-Chávez have been awarded Hellman Fellowships by the University of California.

The Society of Hellman Fellows was founded in 1995 by Chris and Warren Hellman. The Hellman Fellows Program bestows awards up to $50,000 to support early career faculty “who show capacity for great distinction in their research and creative activities.” The funds allow these faculty members to take risks, gather necessary data and to complete research that will take their academic careers to the next level, according to the Hellman Fellowship Program.

Andrew Muroyama headshot

Andrew Muroyama

Muroyama, who joined the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology in 2021, studies the coordinated actions of individual cells and their resulting biological forms. His lab is interested in understanding the ways that cells encode and spread information to regulate the development of organs. Specific studies focus on plant tissues and the evolutionary pathways behind their formation. These studies hold implications for agricultural innovations for increasing crop yields as well as identifying mechanisms that control common cellular modules that could provide new avenues for regenerative medicine.

Fabian Rivera-Chavez headshot

Fabian Rivera-Chávez

Rivera-Chávez arrived at UC San Diego in 2020 with appointments in the Department of Molecular Biology (School of Biological Sciences) and Department of Pediatrics (School of Medicine). Under the Hellman Fellowship, he will study cholera, which disproportionately afflicts children with severe diarrhea, and the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, which causes the disease. Since breast milk is known to reduce the risk of cholera illness, Rivera-Chávez’s lab will use animal models to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which breast milk components protect from infection and disease. Hellman Fellowships support activities that will enhance the individual’s progress towards tenure. Faculty recipients are qualified if they have served at least two years at the assistant professor rank. More information and a listing of UC San Diego Hellman Fellows is available at the Society of Hellman Fellows page. — With information from the UC Hellman Fellowship Program.