Vladislav Belyy

2015 Hellman Graduate Awardee


UC Berkeley

Belyy studies how the molecular motor dynein powers biological processes such as correctly positioning chromosomes during cell division and carrying cellular cargos to their destinations.

Vladislav Belyy was inspired to pursue his Ph.D. in the Graduate Group in Biophysics in part to continue the legacy of his parents’ interrupted academic studies. His parents were on their way to establishing scientific careers when the USSR collapsed, ending government funding for basic research. Belyy was 11 years old when his family immigrated from Russia to the United States.

“In pursuing a purely academic career, I feel that I am buoyed by their dreams as much as my own,” he says.

“As I continue my academic career, I will try my best to inspire as many people as I can to be inquisitive about the world around us, much as the people who have been so influential in my life have inspired me.”

Belyy is currently trying to understand how dynein, the motor protein in cells, influences biological processes such as cell division. He hopes that the Hellman Graduate Award will allow him the time and resources to publish his projects prior to graduation.

“In an increasingly competitive academic climate, receiving funding from an independent source…is not only rewarding and motivational — it also allows one to be bolder and more independent in their research,” Belyy says.