transform="translate(188.000000, 15.000000)"

P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

Share 0

Nairi Hartooni, 2016

PhD, UCSF

Nairi Hartooni is an immigrant from Iran

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UCSF

Born in Tehran, Iran, Nairi is a member of a minority of Armenians who have lived in Iran for centuries. Her parents, who were the first generation to live outside of their familial village and receive a formal education, noticed that post-revolution Iran would not fairly offer their daughter educational opportunities. Thus, they moved to Glendale, California where Nairi grew up surrounded by immigrants seeking a better life.

Despite their financial struggles and language barrier, Nairi and her family often visited local museums, the observatory, and the public library for free educational events. Through these visits, Nairi became fascinated by biology and thus began her journey in pursuing a career as a research scientist.

As an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, Nairi was a Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholar and double-majored in molecular biology and toxicology. While at Berkeley, she conducted research in plant evolution and worked several jobs to fund her undergraduate career including a position at the state’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch. Nairi started the Toxicology Student Association and designed an outreach program called the Lead Education Awareness Program at Berkeley to address an issue she noticed at work. The group conducted several outreach efforts including a day of K-12 public science education at the local science museum.

Now, Nairi is pursuing a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology in the Tetrad Program at the University of California, San Francisco. In the laboratory of David O. Morgan, she studies regulatory processes in cell division with particular interest in the enzymology of the anaphase-promoting complex. Remembering the importance public science education has had in her journey, she continues to be involved with outreach efforts. 

Education
  • BS Molecular Environmental Biology & Molecular Toxicology | University of California Berkeley 2011
Awards
  • Elks National Foundation Scholar, 2007-2011
  • Regents and Chancellor's Scholar, UC Berkeley, 2007-2011
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 2016
Related Articles
09.12.16

2016-2017 Edition: The New American

The New American features stories about Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows making an impact across sectors and across the country. Read about immigrants and children of immigrants and how they are giving back to the United States.

Read More
06.16.16

Happy Father's Day: Honoring Immigrant Dads

Whether it was their love of learning that helped shaped our own, their endless work that allowed us to pursue our dreams, or the values that they passed down—immigrant dads are a special kind of dad who deserve their own special recognition. Happy...

Read More
04.18.16

Slideshow: The 2016 Fellows With Our Full Page Ad In The New York Times

We asked all of the 2016 Fellows to take a photo with the New York Times full-page ad announcing the new class of Fellows. We encouraged them to take photos in an imortant place or at their university, and we also told them to have fun with it. Here...

Read More
04.12.16

Announcing the Paul & Daisy Soros Class of 2016

We're delighted to announce The Paul & Daisy Soros Class of 2016. The 30 new Fellows are all immigrants or the children of immigrants. They will each receive up to $90,000 in funding for the graduate program of their choice. In addition, each new...

Read More
04.11.16

By the Numbers: Infographics Exploring the 2016 Fellow Class

Dream Mentors. Immigration Status. Religion. Favorite Cities, Sports and Apps. Find out what the 2016 Fellows had to say!

Read More