Dr. Matthew N. Rasband, professor and Vivian L. Smith Endowed Chair in Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, has been awarded the Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health. This award recognizes those who have shown superior mentorship and training that is critical to the development of future scientists.
Awardees must be nominated by trainees, or those with first-hand knowledge and experience of an individual’s mentorship. The award’s steering committee noted that
Rasband’s nominations stood out for the descriptions of his thoughtful approach to mentorship, impact on trainees’ successes and influence on trainees to one day become mentors themselves. Rasband, awarded within the mid-career category, is one of seven awardees recognized from three different career stages.
The characteristics that are considered during the award process include actively engaging with and investing time in mentee’s scientific and professional development, challenging mentees to fulfill their potential through completion of research projects, leading by example and actively educating in the conduct of rigorous experimental approach, analysis and data interpretation.
As part of the award Rasband will receive $100,000 in the form of a supplement to an existing NINDS grant to support continued efforts of fostering the career advancement of trainees.
Rasband’s focus on mentorship is also reflected in his roles as director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Baylor College of Medicine and as Director of an NIH-funded training grant to support graduate education in the Neurosciences. Dr. Rasband and his trainees have made important contributions to the molecular mechanisms underlying the functional organization of axons in health and disease.
After hearing of his selection, Dr. Rasband stated, “Although I am honored to have received this award, it is very important to me to acknowledge that mentoring is not a solitary activity! I wouldn’t have been selected if I didn’t have amazing students, postdocs, and colleagues to work and collaborate with. I couldn’t be more proud of their achievements and I look forward to watching them continue to accomplish amazing things.”
This annual award is named in honor of former NINDS Director Dr. Story Landis. Landis generously provided her time and energy to support countless scientific investigators as they navigated the professional landscape of biomedical research.