Photo by mikejuinwind123 [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by mikejuinwind123 [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Three University of California professors, including a computer scientist from Irvine, each won a $250,000 unrestricted prize Tuesday in recognition of their research and outstanding promise early in their careers.

It’s the first time that all three winners of the 2015 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists have hailed from one university system, according to the UC Office of the President.

Syed Jafar, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at UC Irvine, “won the physical sciences and engineering award for his discoveries in interference alignment that challenge the design of wireless networks,” according to UC officials.

The other winners were:

— Christopher J. Chang, a professor of chemistry and molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley, and;

— Edward F. Chang, an associate professor of neurological surgery and physiology at UC San Francisco and co-director of the Center for Neural Engineering & Prostheses at UC Berkeley and UCSF.

The annual awards recognize emerging scientists who are making significant advances in chemistry, life sciences, physical sciences or engineering. The awards are administered by the New York Academy of Sciences on behalf of the Blavatnik Family Foundation.

“To have the University of California sweep the Blavatnik awards with three of our best young scientists is evidence of the continuing research excellence of our public university system,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “On behalf of the entire UC community, we couldn’t be more delighted.”

—City News Service

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