M. Scott Shell, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at UC Santa Barbara, is among this year's winners of Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Shell is among 126 fellowship winners announced today by the Sloan Foundation.
The two-year fellowships are awarded to researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their fields. UCSB faculty members have received 15 Sloan Fellowships in the past eight years.
Shell's research focuses on the use of molecular simulation and theory to understand multiscale, hierarchical interactions in complex biomolecular systems, with a specific focus on folding and design principles in proteins and peptides. In particular, his research group develops general methods for predicting peptide structure and self-assembly behavior. The group is designing new approaches for linking simulations and theories across multiple length and time scales in fundamental, rigorous ways.
Sloan Fellows may use their two-year, $50,000 grants to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are of most interest to them, and they are permitted to use fellowship funds in a variety of ways to further their research. Funds are awarded directly to the Fellow's institution. This year's winners are drawn from 51 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada.
Historically awarded in seven scientific fields –– chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, evolutionary and computational molecular biology, neuroscience, and physics –– the fellowships were expanded this year to include awards to eight young researchers working in the ocean sciences. The new field was added in recognition of the extraordinary work performed by scientists during the 10-year Census of Marine Life.
Administered and funded by the Sloan Foundation, the fellowships are awarded in close cooperation with the scientific community. To qualify, candidates must first be nominated by their peers and are subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.