Marraffini and Tavazoie recognized for excellence in teaching

Classroom competence. Luciano Marraffini (top) and Sohail Tavazoie received teaching awards for their leadership of classes on microbial pathogenesis and the molecular biology of cancer, respectively. The awards were presented at the Convocation luncheon.

Classroom competence. Luciano Marraffini (top) and Sohail Tavazoie received teaching awards for their leadership of classes on microbial pathogenesis and the molecular biology of cancer, respectively. The awards were presented at the Convocation luncheon.

Two Rockefeller faculty members were honored at the Convocation luncheon with this year’s Distinguished Teaching Awards: Assistant Professor Luciano Marraffini and Leon Hess Assistant Professor Sohail Tavazoie. It is the 10th year that the awards, which recognize excellence in and dedication to the university’s educational environment, have been given to Rockefeller faculty members. Dr. Marraffini, head of the Laboratory of Bacteriology, and Dr. Tavazoie, head of the Elizabeth and Vincent Meyer Laboratory of Systems Cancer Biology, were recognized for their passion and commitment to education at Rockefeller.

Dr. Marraffini assumed a leadership role in 2012 for the successful Microbial Pathogenesis course, which entails a three-hour lecture and discussion focusing on the molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions and pathogenesis of representative bacterial, fungal and protozoan diseases. The course brings Rockefeller and Cornell faculty and guest speakers to the classroom. Dr. Marraffini is now organizing the 2014 course.

Dr. Tavazoie was co-organizer of the Molecular Basis of Cancer course with Titia de Lange in 2009, a course which he then took over in 2011 and 2013. The course is designed to teach modern concepts in the regulation of growth control and its significance to cancer. The format consists of a weekly, two-hour lecture followed by informal discussion over lunch.

“Requirements are rigorous for these courses, in terms of what is asked of students and what is asked of the teacher,” says Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Rockefeller’s president. “Luciano and Sohail are recognized for their commitment to the education of young Rockefeller scientists, in the laboratory and in the classroom.”