Have questions, suggestions, or concerns?

Program Directors:

Mailing Address:

Siebel Scholars Foundation
1300 Seaport Blvd., Suite 400
Redwood City, CA 94063


(650) 299-5260

2016 UCSD Siebel Scholars Announced

UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

October 13th 2015

San Diego, Calif., Oct. 13, 2015 -- Five engineering graduate students from the University of California, San Diego from across the Departments of Bioengineering and NanoEngineering have been named 2016 Siebel Scholars. The Siebel Scholars program recognizes exceptional students at the world’s leading graduate schools of business, computer science, and bioengineering and provides them with a financial award for their final year of studies. With the Class of 2016, the Siebel Scholars program has expanded to engage outstanding leaders in the field of energy science. 

Three of the five Siebel Scholars are affiliated with the Department of Bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, which is first in the nation for biomedical engineering, according to the 2010 National Research Council (NRC) rankings. The other two Siebel Scholars are affiliated with the Jacobs School's Department of NanoEngineering.

These students are part of a growing group of faculty, students and researchers within the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering who are working with interdisciplinary partners to institute meaningful change through engineering.

Siebel Scholars 2016 at UC San Diego

Amay J. Bandodkar

Amay J. Bandodkar is a fourth year doctoral candidate in the Department of NanoEngineering at the University of California San Diego. His research interests lie in the development of wearable electrochemical devices. He completed his undergraduate work at the Indian Institute of Technology-Banaras Hindu University (India) with a focus on biosensors and has been involved in several academic and industrial projects in India, Germany, and the US. Over the past 6 years he has published 23 peer-reviewed articles (H-index = 10, Citations = 325) and has been a reviewer for international journals. He was inducted as a Gordon Fellow in 2014 in recognition of demonstrated leadership in the engineering profession and is also the recipient of the 2015 Interdisciplinary Research Award (UC San Diego).

Brian Luk

Brian Luk is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego. He received his BS degree from Stanford University, majoring in Materials Science & Engineering with a focus in Bioengineering. Now, as a member of Dr. Liangfang Zhang’s nanomedicine lab, Brian is performing novel research on cell membrane-coated nanoparticles for the treatment of a variety of diseases, including cancer, bacterial infections, autoimmune diseases, and cardiovasculardiseases. He was awarded the Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) from the National Institutes of Health to support his graduate studies. As a graduate student, Brian has authored almost 20 papers in high impact peer-reviewed journals such as Nature Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials, and Nano Letters. In the future, Brian hopes to continue developing innovative strategies and technologies to address pressing health issues around the world.

Douglas McCloskey

Douglas McCloskey received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. He graduated with Magna Cum Laude Honors while participating in the campus wide honors program and competing in Division 1 NCAA Men’s Tennis. Douglas is now pursuing his Ph.D. in the department of Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego. His research involves using a systems biology approach to understand the biochemical drivers of adaptive laboratory evolution in microorganisms. Douglas specializes in acquiring and analyzing metabolomics and fluxomics data using LC-MS/MS, integrating multi-omics data with metabolic networks of metabolism for deeper biological insight, and developing front-end and back-end software for the rapid dissemination and visualization of such data. After graduation, Douglas plans to continue the development of multi-omics data analytics and software that aid in the cell factory design process to produce fine and commodity chemicals from environmentally friendly and renewable resources.

Seth Parker

Seth Parker received his B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his research under the direction of Dr. Xuedong Liu involved identifying and characterizing novel cancer therapeutics. Seth is now a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Bioengineering at UC San Diego advised by Dr. Christian Metallo. Seth’s predoctoral research focuses on understanding the impact of specific mutations on cancer cell metabolism. His research in this area has been published in journals such as Nature, Cancer Research, and Molecular Cell. Seth has received funding through training grants from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and the National Cancer Institute. Seth also served as the social chair for the Bioengineering Graduate Society and is involved in the Interfaces and Multi-Scale Biology Graduate Program. In his free time, Seth enjoys outdoor activities from camping to rock climbing and is an avid home brewer.

Elaine Skowronski

Elaine Skowronski is a Ph.D. student in NanoEngineering at UC San Diego. Under the guidance of Dr. Michael Heller, she designs assays with the potential for translation as point-of-care diagnostics. Elaine couples charge-changing fluorescent peptide substrates with gel electrophoresis to rapidly measure disease-related enzyme activity in whole blood. She also utilizes electrokinetic techniques to capture protein and nucleic acid biomarkers for disease diagnostics. She validates the clinical utility of her assays by collaborating with researchers at multiple institutions. In the laboratory, Elaine trains and mentors undergraduate and graduate students, two of whom have completed their M.S. in Bioengineering. Outside of the laboratory, Elaine has competed in the NSF Innovation Corps as the entrepreneurial lead of a team exploring the commercialization of assays developed in Dr. Heller’s laboratory. Elaine is a recipient of the Cancer Researchers in Nanotechnology Fellowship and the San Diego Fellowship.

About Siebel Scholars

The Siebel Scholars program was founded in 2000 by the Siebel Foundation to recognize the most talented students at the world’s leading graduate schools of business, computer science, bioengineering, and energy science. These include: Carnegie Mellon University; École Polytechnique; Harvard University; Johns Hopkins University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Northwestern University; Politecnico di Torino; Princeton University; Stanford University; Tsinghua University; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, San Diego; University of Chicago; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Pennsylvania; and University of Tokyo. Today, our active community of over 1,000 leaders serves as advisors to the Siebel Foundation and works collaboratively to find solutions to society’s most pressing problems. For more information about the Siebel Scholars program, please