Physicist Named a 2017 CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar

UC Riverside's Nathaniel Gabor is one of only 15 exceptional early career investigators to receive the prestigious two-year appointment this year

Nathaniel Gabor is an assistant professor of physics at UC Riverside.Photo credit: CIFAR.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Nathaniel M. Gabor, an assistant professor of physics at the University of California, Riverside, has been named an Azrieli Global Scholar by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). Gabor, an expert on bio-inspired solar energy, joins 14 other 2017 CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars.

The CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program funds and supports researchers within five years of their first academic appointment, helping them build research networks and develop leadership skills.

“I am very excited to be a part of the new cohort of CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars,” Gabor said. “The interactions I had with many of the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars have dramatically changed the way I think about so many important topics. I thank the Department of Physics and Astronomy for supporting the adventurous research I have conducted over the last four years, especially those colleagues who have been open to new ideas and have contributed their clear thought.”

Gabor earned his Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is interested in the discovery of new quantum phenomena in atomically thin electronic materials, such as graphene, boron nitride, and tungsten diselenide. He joined the UC Riverside faculty in 2013.

As a 2017 CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, he will join close to 400 of the world’s best researchers who are addressing some of the most interesting and important questions facing the world today. He will receive $100,000 in research support and join one of CIFAR’s 12 research programs for two years. He will have the opportunity to be mentored by the world’s top researchers in his area of research and forge new collaborations with CIFAR fellows and other CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars. He will also exchange ideas with leading knowledge users across sectors, including policy-makers, business leaders, and practitioners.

“Nathan is one of best interdisciplinary physicists I have gotten to know,” said Umar Mohideen, the divisional dean for physical and mathematical sciences and a professor of physics at UC Riverside. “He has a unique ability to bring physical insight into problems in fields outside physics, such as biology. What is more amazing is that he takes the problem to his lab to develop it further, and then comes through with the next development. This award will allow him to share his talent and excitement for science with an international audience.”

Members of the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program’s second cohort come from the United States, Canada, India, Ghana, and Italy. Their research interests include solar cell technology, understanding the norms that govern cooperation, machine learning, black holes, and identifying the biological imprint of stress across generations.

“One of CIFAR’s highest priorities is to nurture the careers of the next generation of emerging research leaders,” said CIFAR President and CEO Alan Bernstein. “The future of research depends on young people, and their energy and innovative thinking is key to developing new approaches for the challenges facing our world today. We are thrilled to provide opportunities for these emerging research leaders.”

The recipient of a 2017 NSF CAREER award, Gabor has also received a Cottrell Scholar Award, the highest award granted to junior faculty by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.

The total research funding from these recent awards to his Quantum Materials Optoelectronics lab totals nearly $700,000.

The CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program is supported by the Azrieli Foundation, which funds scientific and medical research, higher education, youth empowerment and school perseverance, Holocaust education, music and the arts, architecture, and quality of life initiatives for people with developmental disabilities. Support for the program is also provided by the Love Family Leadership Development Fund.

Established in 1982, CIFAR is a global research organization comprised of nearly 400 fellows, scholars, and advisers from more than 130 institutions in 17 countries. CIFAR is supported by the governments of Canada, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. Funding also comes from Canadian and international partners, as well as individuals, foundations, and corporations.

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