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News Release

Two Jacobs School Professors Selected for Chancellor's Associates Faculty Excellence Awards

San Diego, CA, March 22, 2006 -- Bioengineering professor Bernhard Palsson and Computer Science and Engineering professor Geoffrey Voelker have been honored by UCSD with awards that honor excellence in teaching and research.

The 2006 Chancellor's Associates Faculty Excellence Awards were handed out yesterday during a ceremony in Atkinson Hall.


     CSE professor Geoff Voelker was honored
     with the award for undergraduate teaching.
        He also recently spoke at the Center for
       Networked Systems research review on
            the  "Network Vivisection" project. 
                          Length: 17:54

The annual awards, which also honor excellence in community service, highlight the important contributions of the university's most exemplary members. Voelker was cited for excellence in undergraduate teaching, while Palsson received the award for excellence in science and engineering research.

(Palsson was also cited this week as a major player in the field of comparative interactomics, one of Technology Review magazine's top 10 emerging technology fields of 2006; to read the news release, click here .)

Three other prizes were handed out. The award for excellence in graduate teaching went to Literature professor Shelley Streeby, an authority on American literature, American studies, cultural studies and theory. Psychology professor Harold Pashler received the award for excellence in research in arts, humanities and social sciences, and James Dunford, M.D. and professor of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, was cited for community service.

CSE's Geoff Voelker was selected for his "fresh teaching approach, tireless advocacy for student efforts and exceptional contributions" to his department."  Voelker has consistently received outstanding student reviews, especially from those who participate in his popular Software System Design and Implementation course. CSE 125 teams seniors in their final quarter on projects to build from scratch, over the course of ten weeks, a massively multi-player, networked computer game.

"Students love Professor Voelker's classes because he has the uncanny ability to make extremely challenging curricula contemporary, fun and exciting," said Jacobs School Dean Frieder Seible.  "He truly inspires his students to experience the thrill of engineering. The vision, commitment and extraordinary efforts Professor Voelker demonstrates through his teaching make him an exemplary member of the UCSD faculty."

Palsson Award
Bioengineering professor Bernhard Palsson won the award for science and engineering research. Recently, he spoke at the inaugural workshop of Calit2's Information Theory and Applications Center, and delivered a primer on "Systems Biology."
Length: 45:29
Bioengineering's Bernhard Palsson -- who accepted his award on video because he was committed to speaking at a conference in Europe -- was recognized for his contributions to tissue engineering strategies, as well as for his invention of a modern technology for propagation of stem cells. Beyond conducting research to improve cell separation and gene therapy technology, Palsson has also translated his projects into the launch of five start-up companies, including Oncosis (purging of occult tumor cells in autologous bone marrow transplants) Cyntellect (instrumentation for high-throughput screening and in situ cell sorting and processing), Genomatica (in silico biology), and Iceland Genomics (tracing the genetic basis for common human diseases in the Icelandic population.

"Professor Palsson exemplifies how bioengineers can contribute to the advancement of modern biology and medicine," said Seible. "His research has paved the way for new understanding of how living systems function, and he has successfully translated that understanding into practice."

Chancellor's Associates is a program for donors who give an annual leadership gift of $1,500 or more to the university. Since 1974, UCSD has recognized 100 extraordinary faculty members with Chancellor's Associates Faculty Excellence Awards.

"It is a pleasure to see this year's honorees receive the recognition they so richly deserve," said Marsha Chandler, UCSD senior vice chancellor of Academic Affairs.  "They play so many roles well -- they are teachers, researchers, campus citizens and community leaders.  Each serves as an excellent representative of the outstanding quality of our faculty."

Hal Pashler
Two of the other three Faculty Excellence Award winners collaborate closely with engineering faculty. Psychology professor Harold Pashler (above) is a co-investigator on the driver distraction and auto safety project led by ECE's Mohan Trivedi, with funding from Nissan and the UC Discovery Grant program. And the School of Medicine's James Dunford, M.D., is part of the StrokeDoc and WIISARD projects, both of which are affiliated with Calit2 and involve faculty from ECE and CSE.

About UCSD Chancellor's Associates

The UCSD Chancellor's Associates program exists as an opportunity for the university to connect with friends and supporters within the community. Through the years, the group has grown to include more than 400 alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends from across the country. Chancellor's Associates donors are recognized for their generosity in providing annual leadership gifts of $1,500 or more to be used at the Chancellor's discretion.  Chancellor's Associates gifts contribute to the $1 billion fundraisinggoal of The Campaign for UCSD: Imagine What's Next.

Media Contacts

Doug Ramsey
Jacobs School of Engineering