SIGF Affiliated with ChEM-H
ChEM-H awards Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowships (SIGFs) at the interface of chemistry, biology, and engineering.
SIGF applications for 2023 are now closed.
The Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship (SIGF) Program is a competitive, university-wide program that awards three-year fellowships to outstanding doctoral students engaged in interdisciplinary research. Since 2016, ChEM-H has awarded six fellowships and one honorary fellowship. ChEM-H fellows are invited to join the Chemistry/Biology Interface Training Program.
Graduate students should apply for the fellowship through the Bio-X Fellowship portal. Students who are proposing research at the interface of chemistry, biology, and engineering and are interested in being sponsored by ChEM-H should select "Sarafan ChEM-H Fellowship" on their application. Please note that all students who apply will be considered for a fellowship from all three institutes (Sarafan ChEM-H, Stanford Bio-X, and the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute).
Eligible graduate students must be starting their second, third, or fourth year of a Ph.D. program on September 26, 2022 and must be officially active in a Ph.D. program by the application deadline. Proposals must be interdisciplinary (bringing together two or more separate fields of study) with at least two faculty members involved in the proposed project as mentors. Preference will be given to students who are jointly mentored by at least two faculty members who are experts in distinctly separate areas of science and technology. For additional eligibility, award terms, and policies, refer to the Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship website.
For eligibility and application questions, contact Bria Castellano (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2021 SIGF Affiliated with ChEM-H - David L. Sze and Kathleen Donohue Interdisciplinary Fellow: Tara Murty, Biophysics PhD Student & MD Student (MSTP)
Tara is a graduate student in the Department of Biophysics advised by Crystal Mackall and is pursuing her MD through Stanford’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). She integrates immunology, cellular engineering, and computational biology to understand why CAR T-cell therapy, which has revolutionized oncology through engineered targeting of molecules on previously untreatable cancers, does not work for all patients.
2020 SIGF Affiliated with ChEM-H Fellow: Justin Donnelly, Chemistry PhD Student
Justin is originally from New York, NY and attended high school at the Princeton Day School in Princeton, NJ. He attended the University of Chicago for college (B.S./M.S. ‘18) and did his undergraduate work with Professor Ray Moellering, developing a biocompatible, catalyst-free strategy to synthesize stapled and macrocyclic peptidomimetics. His primary research interests lie in molecular medicine, glycobiology, and immunology at the interface of chemistry and biology. His graduate work in the Bertozzi Group bridges chemistry, glycobiology, and functional genomics, leveraging genome-wide CRISPR screening technology in collaboration with Prof. Mike Bassik to investigate the biology of galectins. His research seeks to identify new strategies to control these immunomodulatory glycan-binding proteins, which play critical roles in inflammation and cancer progression, for potential therapeutic benefit.
2020 SIGF Affiliated with ChEM-H Fellow: Brianna McIntosh, Cancer Biology PhD Student
Brianna is a graduate student in the Cancer Biology Program advised by Prof. Jennifer Cochran in the Department of Bioengineering. She is interested in utilizing yeast display and directed evolution to engineer high affinity proteins to treat and better understand cancer progression. Her project focuses on engineering a receptor recently implicated in lung adenocarcinoma to act as a decoy receptor, sequestering overexpressed ligand in the tumor microenvironment to prevent growth.
2019 SIGF Affiliated with ChEM-H Fellow (Anonymous Donor): Daniel Mokhtari, Biochemistry PhD Student & MD Student (MSTP)
Daniel is a graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry co-advised by Polly Fordyce and Daniel Herschlag. He is developing and applying a microfluidic-based high-throughput technology to make quantitative measurements of enzyme function at an unprecedented scale. With this technology, he aims to 1) understand the molecular details of how enzymes achieve amazing catalytic prowess, 2) dissect the bases for enzyme allostery, and 3) generate foundational datasets that will train new algorithms predicting mutational effects on function. He is pursuing these aims by studying phosphatases—model enzymes central to cell homeostasis, pathogen virulence, and human disease. In addition, Daniel is pursuing his MD through Stanford’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).
2019 SIGF Affiliated with ChEM-H - Gold Family Graduate Fellow: Weijiang Zhou, Biophysics PhD Student
Weijiang is pursuing his PhD in Biophysics in the lab of professor Wah Chiu. He combines chemistry and electron microscopy to solve the structures of small molecules. He is developing a workflow for cryo-electron crystallography methodology, including sample preparation, data collection, and data processing, for solving atomic structures of small molecule nano-crystals. A high throughput and accurate methodology for atomic structure determination of small molecule crystals will impact chemical research and the pharmaceutical industry.
2018 SIGF Affiliated with ChEM-H - David L. Sze and Kathleen Donohue Interdisciplinary Fellow: Corleone Delaveris, Chemistry PhD Student
Corleone is a graduate student in the lab of Prof. Carolyn Bertozzi in the Department of Chemistry. He studies how the glycocalyx — the various sugars of glycoproteins and other glycoconjugates on the cell surface — participates in disease and how it can be engineered. He combines organic synthesis, polymer chemistry, and immunology to study and manipulate the complex network of glycan-based interactions. Specific projects include studying how influenza viral fusion is affected by bulky glycoproteins and developing glycan-based immunotherapies for cancer.
2018 SIGF Affiliated with ChEM-H - Honorary Fellow: Catherine Liou, Chemical Engineering PhD Student
Catherine is a graduate student advised by Professor Elizabeth Sattely in the Department of Chemical Engineering. She is interested in the roles that dietary plant molecules play in modulating human health and disease. While metabolites found in dietary plants have long been implicated in disease prevention, there is limited understanding about the specific mechanisms through which they interact with human physiology. Catherine is hoping to understand and quantitate these interactions using an approach that considers a controlled plant metabolome, a relevant food context, and the gut microbiome.
2017 SIGF Affiliated with ChEM-H: Winston Becker, Biophysics PhD Student & MD Student (MSTP)
Winston is pursuing his PhD in Biophysics in the lab of Professor Will Greenleaf where he studies functional RNAs and nucleic acid binding proteins. He applies high-throughput methods to make millions of biophysical measurements in parallel. Using these methods, he is interested in 1) probing the folding and catalysis of large functional RNAs to better understand how RNA can be used to form complex molecular machines and 2) examining the sequence specificity of RNA and DNA binding proteins. In addition to doing research, Winston is pursuing his MD through Stanford’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).
2017 SIGF Affiliated with ChEM-H Fellow (Anonymous Donor): Jackie Carozza, Chemistry PhD Student
Jackie studies the innate immune system and its relevance to fighting cancer in Professor Lingyin Li’s lab in the Department of Biochemistry. In particular, she is interested in the regulation of cGAMP, a newly discovered second messenger signaling molecule that activates the innate immune response. She combines chemical biology, cell biology, and immunology to understand and manipulate innate immune activation by cGAMP.
2016 SIGF Affiliated with ChEM-H Fellow (Anonymous Donor): Anna Koster, Chemistry PhD Student
Anna is co-advised by Prof. Justin Du Bois in the Department of Chemistry and Prof. Merritt Maduke in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, and splits her time between the two labs doing chemical synthesis and electrophysiology. Her project has recently evolved into studying CLC-2, which is the most abundant chloride channel expressed in the brain. She uses a combination of computational techniques, synthetic chemistry, and molecular biology to develop highly selective and potent small-molecule inhibitors of CLC-2 in order to better understand its physiological function.