Rockefeller University is best known for its innovative research. But the courses it offers, and the teachers who lead them, are no less impressive. Two such faculty members were honored at this year’s Convocation luncheon with Distinguished Teaching Awards: Daniel Mucida, assistant professor and head of the Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology, and Agata Smogorzewska, assistant professor and head of the Laboratory of Genome Maintenance.
Dr. Mucida, who joined Rockefeller in 2010, is co-organizer of two courses. The immunobiology class is a two-hour weekly lecture and discussion featuring Rockefeller faculty and guest speakers discussing their research. Students write an original research proposal and review proposals from their peers. Experiment and Theory in Modern Biology introduces first year graduate students to the methods and principles behind current biological research.
Dr. Smogorzewska is a 2002 Rockefeller graduate and joined its faculty in 2009. The next year, she took the helm as organizer of Mammalian Genetics, a weekly, two-hour lecture and discussion that covers modern genetic tools including RNAi screening and genetic engineering using TALENS, human gene mapping, mouse genetics and human disease modeling, ethical issues in modern genetics and many other topics.
“Daniel and Agata’s willingness to organize these rigorous courses is a real testament to their commitment to teaching and mentoring the next generation of young scientists,” says Marc Tessier-Lavigne, the university’s president. “Their commitment to teaching is an inspiration.”