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Ahmadian Fellowship

Dr. Maryam Ahmadian Memorial Summer Fellowship Program

Summer research fellowships are available in Metabolic Disease for deserving and committed UC San Diego undergraduates focused on obesity, diabetes, and related disorders. Ten week stipends will be available for selected candidates to work in laboratories at UCSD or the Salk Institute led by principal investigators who are members in good standing of the UCSD Diabetes Research Center.

How to Apply

Applications should be emailed to:

Applications deadline to submit has been extended to March 15, 2024

Please attach a curriculum vitae and a one-page personal statement that includes information about research experience, interests, and goals. Candidates will be selected and matched with faculty researchers based on research interest, commitment, experience, and academic qualifications.

About Maryam Ahmadian, PhD

Maryam Ahmadian, PhD

Maryam Ahmadian graduated from UC San Diego in 2004 with a B.S. in Biochemistry as a Regents Scholar. After discovering a passion for research while working in a laboratory as an undergraduate, she attended graduate school at UC Berkeley, receiving her Ph.D. in 2010 in Metabolic Biology. Working under the supervision of Professor Hei Sook Sul, she made seminal contributions to our understanding of how fat cells are regulated, publishing several ground-breaking studies in the highest impact journals.

In 2011, she joined the laboratory of Ron Evans at the Salk Institute, where she continued to excel in studying the basic aspects of fat cell biology, explaining how living organisms respond to cold stress. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in 2014, but nevertheless advanced scientific knowledge and published several impactful papers in top international journals-- a testament to her determination and commitment as a scientist.

In 2017, she joined the Saltiel laboratory as an Assistant Professor. Maryam led a dedicated group of students and postdoctoral fellows, continuing to study the underlying basis of obesity and type 2 diabetes. During her short career, Maryam won numerous awards and fellowships, and traveled throughout the world to present her work at scientific conferences. As an outstanding scientist, excellent collaborator, wonderful teacher, and thoughtful leader in the field, she was well on her way to developing an international reputation.


Dr. Maryam Ahmadian Memorial Endowment

To provide financial support, through research scholarships for students to pursue research opportunities within the Diabetes Research Center. Contributions to the fund can be made at:

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2023 Fellowship Recipients

Congratulations to the Recipients of 2023 Dr. Maryam Ahmadian Memorial Summer Fellowship Program!

We are pleased to announce the third class of Ahmadian Scholars for the summer of 2023. After receiving over a dozen applications from stellar candidates, six UC, San Diego undergraduate students were selected to participate in the research program. These six students will carry out research projects in the laboratories of Diabetes Research Center investigators this summer.

  • Farid Rezayat

    Farid Rezayat

    Farid Rezayat is a junior studying Human Biology with a minor in Human Rights and Migration at UC San Diego. Over the summer, he will continue to work with Dr. Yuliya Skorobogatko to investigate the role of GTPase RalA in energy expenditure by brown adipose tissue. Outside of the lab, Farid is a refugee shelter volunteer, a medical assistant, and the Co-Chair of the Health Outreach Program (HOP). He hopes to pursue a career in medicine.

  • Jennifer Shin

    Jennifer Shin

    Jennifer Shin is a sophomore at UC San Diego studying human biology and has been researching the specifics of iron metabolism in mice closely studying liver cells with Steph, a PhD student, in the Gordts Lab. Jennifer is interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, in medicine or dental. She is also training to be an EMT and hopes to start volunteering at dental clinics. Outside of school, Jennifer loves design, social media, taking photos, dancing and listening to kpop, and enjoying various yummy foods. And finally, Jennifer wants to dedicate the honor of this fellowship to her father who passed away battling pancreatic cancer last year.

  • Zhengyang (Sunny) Zhu

    Zhengyang (Sunny) Zhu

    Zhengyang (Sunny) Zhu is a junior at UCSD majoring in general biology and a minor in cognitive science. Sunny has developed an interest in metabolic research and human physiology while conducting research at the Webster lab, as well as, taking courses in cancer and endocrinology. Sunny hopes to pursue a future career in clinical research. Outside of the lab Sunny enjoys food from different cultures, geopolitical news, and fantasy genre books.

  • Angela Liu

    Angela Liu

    Angela Liu is a third-year undergraduate majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology at UCSD. In Dr. Amit Majithia's laboratory this summer, she will be studying the role of Roof plate spondin 3 (Rspo3), a cofactor in the Wnt signaling pathway, in the pathophysiology of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Outside of the lab, she enjoys doing yoga, going on walks, and attending concerts.

  • Cindy Xu

    Cindy Xu

    Cindy Xu is a third-year undergraduate at UCSD majoring in General Biology and minoring in Environmental Science. Over the summer, she will study the inflammatory roles of insulin in adipocytes. Outside of research, Cindy enjoys working out and practicing martial arts. She is one of the founders of Triton Flex, a fitness club at UCSD, and part of the executive board of UCSD Wushu. 

  • Yu (Ericsson) Cao

    Yu (Ericsson) Cao

    Yu (Ericsson) Cao is a junior majoring in General Biology with a minor in Hebrew Language/Literature and Political Science. Over the summer, he will continue working in the Saltiel Lab to further investigate the role of RalA and various other proteins in metabolic diseases. He is also passionate about the connections between metabolism and the human oral microbiome. In his free time, Ericsson likes to learn different languages, and he is currently an active member of the Chinese Drama Club.