Congratulation 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 is a junior studying Human Biology with a minor in Human Rights and Migration at UCSD. 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 is a sophomore at UCSD 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 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 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 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 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. 

To learn more about Maryam Ahmadian (1982-2020) and the fellowship program