Two faculty members of the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have been awarded a 2009 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The fellowships are awarded to “exceptional young researchers” based on their “outstanding promise of making fundamental contributions to new knowledge,” according to the New York–based foundation.

The UCLA Engineering recipients are:

Eleazar Eskin, assistant professor of computer science and human genetics. Eskin is developing techniques for solving the computational problems that arise in attempting to understand the genetic basis of human disease. One of Eskin’s projects is a high-resolution mapping of the genome of different mouse strains, which could enable researchers to narrow down potential genetic causes of disease, or susceptibility to adverse environmental effects.

Yi Tang, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. Tang is an expert on natural product biochemistry, engineered biosynthesis, biocatalysis and protein engineering, and biomaterials. Most recently, Tang has used E. coli bacteria to synthesize bacterial aromatic polyketides, an important type of natural product that includes the antibiotic tetracycline and the compound doxorubicin, which is used in the treatment of breast and other cancers.

Two other UCLA faculty members also received Sloan Fellowships for 2009, Paula Diaconescu, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Patrik Guggenberger, an assistant professor of economics.

The foundation awarded 118 fellowships to early career scientists at 61 universities in the United States and Canada. The fellows are conducting research at the frontiers of physics, chemistry, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics and neuroscience.