Mireille Kamariza (left) and Jaimie Marie Stewart (right) will join UCLA Samueli next
year as assistant professors.
Jul 28, 2022
From the UCLA Samueli Newsroom
The UCLA Samueli School of Engineering is proud to welcome two outstanding scholars
to the Bioengineering Department — Mireille Kamariza and Jaimie Marie Stewart — who
will join the school next year as assistant professors. Kamariza’s research focuses
on low-cost health care diagnostics and Stewart’s research focuses on the development
of programmable RNA materials.
“Professors Kamariza and Stewart are among the brightest scholars in their respective
emerging fields, and we are very happy they’ll be joining us,” said Song Li, chair
and a professor of the Bioengineering Department at UCLA Samueli. “Our students, fellow
faculty, the UCLA community and society at large will benefit from their research,
teaching and service.”
Their recruitment is part of the school’s Mentor Professor Program, an initiative now in its second year designed to hire faculty who are experts in
their fields and who have a demonstrated record of, or who show exceptional promise
for, mentorship of students from underrepresented and underserved populations.
Mireille Kamariza is a chemical biologist whose research focuses on infectious disease, including developing
low-cost, point-of-care diagnostics. As a doctoral student at Stanford University,
she developed a technology that helps to detect and diagnose tuberculosis at the point-of-care,
for which she was awarded a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to test the device.
Kamariza is currently a Harvard Junior Fellow working with well-known computational
biologist Pardis Sabeti at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. She will join UCLA
Samueli as an assistant professor of bioengineering in January 2023.
A native of the Republic of Burundi, Kamariza immigrated to the United States and
attended San Diego Mesa College. She later transferred to UC San Diego for her bachelor’s
degree in biochemistry, where she pioneered a mentorship program for transfer students.
Kamariza has demonstrated her efforts in diversifying representation in science, technology,
engineering and mathematics (STEM) through similar initiatives, and she intends to
continue pushing for more equity and inclusion in scientific academia. She received
her master’s degree from UC Berkeley and Ph.D. from Stanford University, both in cell
biology. Among other accolades, Kamariza was recognized as one of the World’s Most
Powerful Women by Fortune Magazine in 2017 and was named one of Chemical & Engineering
News’ Talented 12 in 2020.
Jaimie Marie Stewart is developing RNA technologies for molecular detection and regenerative medicine.
Her research focuses on understanding and exploiting the structural and functional
complexity of RNA to build RNA materials using principles of biophysics, chemistry
and engineering. She is currently a Life Sciences Research Foundation postdoctoral
fellow at Caltech, where she works on the design, synthesis and characterization of
DNA and RNA structures for the detection and separation of biomolecules. Stewart will
join UCLA Samueli as an assistant professor of bioengineering in July 2023.
Stewart serves as the RNA Editor for the textbook Art of Molecular Programming and is a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for Caltech’s Division
of Engineering and Applied Science. She has received several awards and honors, including
the 2019 Ford Postdoctoral fellowship and recognition as a fellow by the Intersections
Science Fellows Symposium in 2021. She received her B.S. in bioengineering with a
concentration in cell and tissue engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago
and her Ph.D. in bioengineering from UC Riverside.
About San Diego Mesa College
San Diego Mesa College is a fully accredited, comprehensive college committed to equity
and excellence. We honor our diverse community of students, faculty, professional
staff, and administrators who collaborate to foster scholarship, leadership, access,
and innovation in an inclusive learning environment. By promoting student learning
and achievement that leads to degrees and certificates, transfer, workforce training,
and lifelong learning, we empower our students to reach their educational goals and
shape their future. Among the largest community colleges in California, Mesa serves
25,000 students per year, 25% of whom are full-time. Mesa offers nearly 200 associate
degree and certificate programs and is one of 15 California community colleges offering
a four-year baccalaureate degree. Mesa ranks as San Diego’s top transfer institution,
is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), an Asian American and Native American
Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI), and a Military Friendly School, serving
nearly 2,500 veterans and their families. www.sdmesa.edu.
Find San Diego Mesa College on Social Media:
Youtube: youtube.com: sdmesacollege
LinkedIn: San Diego Mesa College
Find Mesa College President Dr. Ashanti T. Hands on Social Media
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PrezHandsTwitter: www.twitter.com/prezhandsLinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ashanti-hands-ed-d-209a75a/Instagram: www.instagram.com/prezhands
Tags: UCLA, assistant professor, Equity Champion of Higher Education, Alumni