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Young scientists to meet with Nobel laureates

June 27, 2013

UC Davis scientist selected to meet with Nobel laureates

Top: Aimee Bryan, a doctoral student in inorganic fundamental chemistry, in her lab. Bottom: Pablo Zamora, a senior scientist in plant genomics, outside the Plant Reproductive Biology greenhouses. (Karin Higgins and Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

Two young scientists from UC Davis have been selected to meet with 35 Nobel laureates — including Steven Chu, Paul Crutzen and Robert Grubbs — to discuss some of the world's most pressing problems.

Aimee Bryan, a doctoral student in inorganic fundamental chemistry, and Pablo Zamora, a senior scientist in plant genomics, are among about 600 young researchers chosen from more than 20,000 applicants worldwide to participate in the 63rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in chemistry in Lindau, Germany, June 30 to July 5.

"This is an amazing opportunity," said Bryan, who grew up in Fairfax, Va., and received her bachelor's degree in biological sciences from The Master's College in Santa Clarita, Calif. "I get to meet living history. I get to meet people who have forever changed the field of chemistry because of their hard work, their research and their discoveries."

Bryan and Zamora, recognized as one of Chile's 100 young leaders in 2012 by the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, will attend lectures by Nobel laureates, participate in roundtable discussions with the laureates and other participants and enjoy informal conversations.

"This is an honor that recognizes the outstanding scholarship at UC Davis," said Jeffery Gibeling, vice provost for Graduate Education and dean of Graduate Studies. "Aimee and Pablo will have wonderful opportunities to contribute to the meetings and exchange ideas with Nobel Laureates and some of the brightest minds in their generation's scientific community."

Bryan, who works in the lab of Philip Power, a distinguished professor of chemistry at UC Davis, examines the magnetic properties of new compounds.

She has support from the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program and was a finalist in the program's contest for fellows to explain in a video how their research could help shape the future. 

Both Bryan and Zamora know the meetings could lead to wonderful intellectual, career and collaboration opportunities.

Zamora is a Latin American liaison with the Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture at UC Davis. He works in the lab of UC Davis plant sciences professor Alan Bennett, where he focuses on the molecular mechanisms involved in the interactions between plants and their environment.

Zamora is interested in exchanging ideas with colleagues in other branches of chemistry and asking what the laureates see ahead. "I would like to ask how they see the future,” he said. “What is the way they see the world going?"

Zamora was recognized as the most outstanding doctoral student in chemistry and biology at the University of Santiago, Chile, where he earned a doctoral degree in biotechnology and bachelor's and master's degrees in biochemistry.

About UC Davis

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

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