Home News Brief UCI’s annual Lauds and Laurels gala honors three from Bio Sci

UCI’s annual Lauds and Laurels gala honors three from Bio Sci

The UC Irvine Alumni Association (UCIAA) has presented Lauds and Laurels since 1971, honoring outstanding members of the UC Irvine community for their service to the university, the community or their profession.

Luis Mota-Bravo, Ph.D., Director of Outreach, Research Training and Minority Science Programs (MSP) in the School of Biological Sciences was honored for Outstanding University Service. Arthur Lander, M.D., Ph.D., Donald Bren Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology was honored for Faculty Achievement in the School of Biological Sciences and Richard Thompson, class of 1973, was named Distinguished Alumnus.

The awards are the UCIAA’s highest honor and recipients are recognized at a formal ceremony each spring. In addition to honoring UC Irvine’s best, the generous participation of alumni and friends in the Lauds and Laurels program allows the UCIAA to award more than $85,000 annually in scholarships to meritorious undergraduate and graduate students so they may pursue their educational goals at UC Irvine.

Here’s a little more about the outstanding School of Biological Sciences honorees for Lauds and Laurels 2013:

Outstanding University Service: Luis Mota-Bravo, Ph.D., Director of Bio Sci Outreach and Minority Science Programs


Dr. Mota-Bravo is responsible for the full scope of the MSP programs in the School of Biological Sciences including program direction, development, funds generation, administration and personnel management. As a direct result of Dr. Mota-Bravo’s work, the School of Biological Sciences at UCI is recognized as a national leader in the development of programs to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities in biomedical sciences and the school has the largest proportion of under-represented students on campus. In addition, Dr. Mota-Bravo has been directly responsible since 2001, as Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI, for bringing to the campus over $21 million in competitive federal grants. Within the past few years alone, he has developed several funded programs including National Institutes of Health – Minority Biomedical Research Support, the second largest training grant at UCI, which supports graduate and undergraduate students.

Faculty Achievement: Arthur Lander, M.D., Ph.D., Donald Bren Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology


Dr. Arthur Lander is a recognized leader in the emerging field of systems biology whose research has helped identify underlying causes for some cancers and birth defects. Dr. Lander identified the gene for Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS), a disabling, multisystem, genetic disease that affects one in 10,000 children and, along with research collaborators at UC Irvine, created animal models that are being used to find ways of preventing and treating it. Dr. Lander holds appointments in both developmental & cell biology and biomedical engineering at UC Irvine and is founding director of the campus’s Center for Complex Biological Systems. In addition, he chaired the Department of Developmental & Cell Biology from 2000 to 2007, and has been a UC Irvine faculty member since 1995. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Distinguished Alumnus: Richard Thompson, class of 1973


Rick Thompson has spent over 35 years in the biomedical device industry, founding and leading companies through all stages of development including leading corporations through complex federal regulations and helping them garner remarkable investment funding and becoming successful enterprises. Thompson’s performance as a business leader and a scientist are a testament to his natural abilities and reflect well the knowledge he attained through his undergraduate education here in BioSci. In addition, Thompson has been an active member of the School’s Dean’s Leadership Council (DLC) where he provides valuable input at every meeting, reviews scholarship candidates on behalf of the DLC and volunteered to advise doctoral students who chose careers outside academia.

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