University of Virginia chemical engineering alumnus James Tang has been named one of the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science’s two 2021-2022 Philip A. Parrish Postdoctoral Fellows. Since completing his Ph.D. in 2019, Tang has worked as a postdoctoral researcher in associate professor of chemical engineering Bryan Berger’s lab.

In Berger’s lab, Tang studies the genetic structures of “accessory proteins” in the SARS-CoV2 virus to understand how the proteins interact with the host’s immune system. These accessory proteins, so called because they play an indirect role in the virus’ function, may prevent or enhance the effect of other proteins that influence the host’s immune response to infection. Tang’s research is contributing to a growing body of knowledge that biomolecular researchers can use to develop immunotherapies for COVID-19.

The second 2021-2022 Phil Parrish fellow is UVA alumnus Andrew Jones (Ph.D. in electrical engineering, 2020), who works with Joe Campbell, Lucian Carr III Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, in Campbell's photonic devices group. The award was established in 2017 in memory of Parrish, a former interim vice president and associate vice president for research at UVA. Candidates must have a full-time appointment in UVA Engineering during the year covered by the fellowship and have produced significant and meaningful scholarship. Applicants are evaluated based on their publication and presentation record, honors and awards, and grants.

Prior to joining the Berger lab, Tang was a Ph.D. student researcher in assistant professor of chemical engineering Kyle Lampe’s biomaterials lab.