The Medical Faculty Council (MFC) has honored Stephen Miller, PhD, Judy Gugenheim Research professor of Microbiology-Immunology, and John Kessler, MD, Ken and Ruth Davee Professor of Stem Cell Biology, with its 2013 Mentor of the Year Awards.
Part of the Ninth Annual Lewis Landsberg Research Day, this year’s recognition ceremony begins at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, inside the John Hughes Auditorium.
“The Mentor of the Year Award is designed to honor faculty who embody both the letter and spirit of mentoring,” said Carl Waltenbaugh, PhD, professor in microbiology-immunology and MFC president. “This year’s honorees, Drs. Kessler (clinical) and Miller (basic science) are recognized not only as outstanding scientists, but also for their roles in fostering the careers and professional growth of junior faculty.”
Established in 2008, the annual award was expanded in 2010 to recognize faculty in both clinical and basic science.
“Mentorship is a critically important component in establishing a successful and productive basic and translational science-oriented research career,” said Miller, professor in microbiology-immunology and dermatology. “It is critical to have young, bright, and enthusiastic pre- and post-doctoral students in an active research lab to bring in fresh ideas, provide inspiration to the faculty mentor, and to be the point people for actually carrying out the mechanics of the research plan.”
A group of faculty representing all 26 medical school departments, the MFC chooses the mentors of the year based on nominations by mentees.
“Helping to build careers is one of the most rewarding parts of this profession,” said Kessler, professor in neurology and molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry. “The impact you can end up having is far greater than any legacy one person can leave. I think the thing I am probably proudest of in my time here is the cadre of young, exceedingly talented people that I have had the good fortune to bring to this medical school.”
“Overall, being a good mentor is as rewarding to the faculty member as it is to the trainee,” Miller said. “It is a critical part of our job to inspire, train, and equip younger generations of scientists to become successful researchers in both academic and biotech arenas.”
Research Day 2013 will feature an expanded group of speakers during its opening program, which begins at 1 p.m. on April 4 in the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Building’s Hughes Auditorium. The day kicks off with “Building a Mitotic Spindle,” presented by keynote speaker Ronald J. Vale, PhD, professor and vice chair of cellular and molecular pharmacology at the University of California-San Francisco. The session will also feature the presentation of the MFC Mentor of the Year Awards.