The Stanford Graduate Fellowships Program in Science and Engineering first awarded fellowships in 1997. The program was initiated by Gerhard Casper, then President of Stanford University, and is designed to support the University's commitment to attract the very best graduate students and to reduce its dependence on federal funding for Ph.D. training. The fellowships are available in the natural sciences, mathematics, statistics, engineering, the basic sciences in the School of Medicine, and those social sciences, including education, which are now dependent on federal assistantship support for their doctoral students.
Over the years, over 900 Stanford Graduate Fellows students have conferred their PhD at Stanford University.
SGF recipient RHIJU DAS used a video game to unlock the mysteries of RNA and went on to join the Stanford faculty. This video celebrates the 15th anniversary of the SGF program and the generous donors who made it a reality.
Gregor Bieri, 2012 SAP Stanford Graduate Fellow is one of the authors of a study focusing on microglia — the brain’s immune cells, one of whose functions is to remove pathogens. The study found dramatic differences in the levels and quality of these cell types in the brains of people sufferng from Alzheimer's. Read more details in the September 4th issue of Inside Stanford Medicine.
Laura Erban, 2010 William R. and Sara Hart Kimball Stanford Graduate Fellow has been researching aresnic contamination of ground water in Vietnam. Read about her findings in the August 9 issue of the Stanford Report.
Three SGFs are among the winners of the 2013 Centennial Teaching Assistant Awards. The award recognises outstanding instruction by teaching assistants. Edison Yu, (shown, left) (2005 Sequoia Capital Fellow) received the award for Economics. Robert Arthur, (2010 David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellow) received his award for Civil and Environmental Engineering teaching and Linus Park, (2006 Charles H. Kruger Fellow) received his award for his work as a TA in Mechanical Engineering.
Jongmin Baek, 2010 Alcatel-Lucent Fellow and doctoral candidate in Computer Science, is one of the authors of a recent study which found that hearing loss from loud explosions may be reversible. Read a summary of the research in this July 1 2013 issue of Stanford Medicine.
Hailiang Wang (2009 Henry Fan Fellow) and Guosong Hong - both from the Department of Chemistry - are among the co-authors of a paper, published in the journal Nature Communications which describes their team's creation of an advanced zinc-air battery. Their zinc-air model has higher catalytic activity and durability than similar batteries made with platinum and other costly catalysts. Their discoveries could lead to the development of a low-cost alternative to conventional lithium-ion technology widely used today, the researchers said.
Daniel Madigan (2007 Benchmark Fellow) is part of an interdisciplinary team who discovered a way to trace the migration patterns of juvenile Pacific bluefin tuna for the first time. By analyzing the levels of cesium-134 and cesium-137 (the signature radioisotopes from the Fukushima reactor accident) in young fish found in California waters they were able to determine conclusively that these were fish which originated in the area around Fukushima. The population of Pacific bluefin tuna has been decimated in recent years (they are currently estimated to be only 4% of their historical levels), and the researchers hope that this information can be used in conservation efforts.
Matthew McDowell (2008 Chevron Fellow) is one of a team of Stanford scientists who have developed inexpensive silicon-based electrodes that dramatically improve the charge storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries. Their findings are detailed in this Nature Communications article.
Ashwin Atre (Robert L. and Audrey S. Hancock Fellow) is one of a team of Stanford engineers who have developed a new metamaterial i.e. an engineered material that exhibits properties not found in the natural world. With adjustments, the team believe this metamaterial could lead to developing a "perfect lens" for a microscope or even invisibility cloaks. Their findings are detailed in this Advanced Optical Materials article and summarized in this May 6th article in the Stanford Report.
Gary Shambat, 2008 Sequoia Capital Stanford Graduate Fellow and doctoral candidate in Electrical Engineering, is one of the scientists involved in the development of a new type of nanobeam device which can be inserted into living cells. The implications for research and treatment are described as "stunning" in this February 19, 2013 article of the Stanford Report.
Georgi Diankov, 2008 John Stauffer Stanford Graduate Fellow, has been researching the reactive properties of the material graphene. His discovery that single sheets of graphene are 100 times more chemically reactive than double or triple sheets is detailed in this online paper at ACS Nano.
Guosong Hong, (shown, left) 2010 Abbott Laboratories Stanford Graduate Fellow and graduate student in Chemistry is part of a team of Stanford scientists that have developed a new technique for watching blood flow in living animals. Their research is detailed in a paper (first authored by Hong) in the journal Nature Medicine and also featured in a recent edition of the Stanford Report
Sarah Houts, 2008 Claudia and William Coleman Foundation Fellow and doctoral candidate in Stanford's Aerospace Robotics Laboratory, has programed a software system with possible applications ranging from monitoring icebergs for change to enabling autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to better navigate obstacles. Read about her research in this article in the Stanford Report.
Kristiaan De Greve, PhD, a 2005 Herb and Jane Dwight Fellow and currently a postdoc at Harvard, was the lead author in a recent paper in Nature. The article details the collaboration between researchers at Stanford, the University of Würzburg and Heriot-Watt University. Their findings are also discussed in a November 2012 issue of The Stanford Report.
Xin Zhou, the 2011 Gabilan Fellow was the lead author on an article in the Nov. 9th edition Science . Collaborating with Stanford Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and of Bioengineering Michael Lin, fellow graduate student Amy Lam, and research assistant Hokyung Chung, they developed a simple way to activate and track proteins using beams of light.
Kejie Fang, (shown, right) 2011 William R. and Sara Hart Kimball Fellow, is the first author of a recent paper in Nature Photonics which describes the first-ever effective control of the flow of photons using magnetic fields. Using a device created by an interdisciplinary team of Stanford physicists and engineers, the researchers were able to create a synthetic magnetic force to direct a stream of photons.
Monica Ortiz, 2008 Gabilan Fellow and currently a doctoral candidate in bioengineering, together with Drew Endy, PhD, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford, have harnesed the DNA of a paraisitic virus and used it to create a biological mechanism which can send genetic messages between cells. This exciting development is described in this paper in the September 2012 edition of the Journal of Biological Engineering.
Kirsten Frieda, 2006 Gabilan Fellow, in collaboration with Professor Steven Block used "optical tweezers" to observe the folding up of a single RNA molecule in real-time. Their use of microscopic beads as a read-out of RNA folding is unprecedented and has important implications in understanding gene regulation. Their technique has been published in the journal Science.
Johanna Nelson, postdoctoral scholar at SLAC, has been using high-power X-ray imaging to study lithium-sulfur batteries to hopefully develop viable lithium-sulfur batteries for electric cars. The co-lead authors of the study are SLAC postdoctoral researcher Sumohan Misra and Stanford doctoral student Yuan Yang, a 2009 ABB SGF fellow. The study is also co-authored by Hailiang Wang, a 2009 Henry Fan Fellow.
H. Christina Fan, a 2005 Hong Kong Alumni Fellow, was co-first author of an article under Stephen Quake, the Lee Otterson Professor in the School of Engineering and professor of Bioengineering and of Applied Physics, on the sequencing of fetal genomes. This method requires blood samples from only the mother - not the father or fetus, and so can diagnose genetic abnormalities without risk to the fetus. She was recently named one of 2012's top 35 innovators under 35
Mark Churchland, now a professor at Columbia, and John Cunningham, a 2004 Professor Michael J. Flynn Fellow, now a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, have shown that the brain activity controlling arm movement does not encode external spatial information – such as direction, distance, and speed – but is instead rhythmic in nature. Justin Foster, 2007 Texas Instruments SGF, was also an author of the paper.
Hailiang Wang, a 2009 Henry Fan Fellow, is a co-author of a study on the potential of carbon nanotubules to energize fuel cells and metal-air batteries. Platinum catalysts, which are currently used to energize fuel cells, are very expensive, and this alternative could lower the cost of fuel cell electricity production. This discovery may play an important role in many fields, including the development fuel cell cars.
For more SGF discoveries and news, go to http://sgf.stanford.edu/SGFsNews.html.