The annual CTSI Poster Session took place on September 16 and was a festive gathering to honor Scholars and mentors from CTSI’s Research Education, Training, and Career Development Core, CTSI-Ed, and share their work.
Scholars from CTSI-Ed programs shared their research with faculty, other Scholars, mentors, community members, family, and friends, and heard from Bruce Blazar, MD, Director of CTSI, and David Ingbar, MD, Director of CTSI-Ed. The evening was also an opportunity for University members to connect with community and scientific judges, who determined the winners of Travel and Community awards.
During the program, three University of Minnesota faculty members received awards for outstanding mentorship. Mentors were nominated by their mentees and colleagues. Each candidate was evaluated based on their research guidance, motivational skills, insight to career development, training record, and their personal research accomplishments.
- Mentor of the Year: Jeff Bishop, PharmD, MS, BCPP, FCCP
- Biostatistician and Informatician Mentor of the Year: Rachel Isaksson Vogel, PhD
- Outstanding Junior Mentor: Beshay Zordoky, MSc, PhD
Dr. Jeff Bishop is an associate professor in the Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry.
Dr. Bishop’s work focuses on examining genetic relationships with symptom improvement, side effects, and cognitive effects of medication. Dr. Bishop also provides clinical and didactic education to pharmacy and medical trainees. He has worked with 24 mentees to date, including undergraduate and predoctoral students, as well as junior faculty.
Excerpts from nominations
“With Dr. Bishop’s continuous support, open and meaningful communication, and guidance throughout each step of my research journey, I truly believe I gained a lot more out of my Melendy/Peters research than I would have otherwise.”
“Besides providing valuable instructions for my research training, Dr. Bishop’s passion for my career development is also embodied in teaching me how to convey my research ideas and promoting me among other researchers.”
“The educational, professional, and spiritual mentorship I have received from Dr. Bishop continues to assist me with building self-confidence necessary for my future academic and professional journey.”
“Dr. Bishop has developed a distinctive training environment, which places special emphasis on building and advancing trainees’ knowledge and skills within the translational research setting.”
“I am confident Dr. Bishop will continue to develop successful Scholars who themselves will become excellent mentors based on their experiences with him, thereby continuing his legacy of excellence in mentorship.”
“Jeff makes every effort to connect his passion for discovering new knowledge with the application of this knowledge to specific patient cases. In this way, he enriches the mentee’s understanding of the translational application of their research question to clinical care.”
Dr. Rachel Isaksson Vogel is an assistant professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health.
Dr. Vogel is dedicated to research in women’s cancer and is currently the Masonic Cancer Center’s Women’s Health Research Scholar. She is interested in outcomes research and cancer survivorship. She is closely involved in the design of observational and clinical studies within the Department and serves as a statistical consultant and mentor to the faculty, fellows, and residents. Despite being early in her career, Dr. Vogel has worked with five mentees, two of whom are CTSI-Ed Scholars.
Excerpts from nominations
“As a mentor at the same academic level, she is often the person whom I seek when my research seems to be failing. She is the friend who commiserates with me, but the mentor who helps me to identify where the research is truly failing and helps me to re-focus and continue moving forward.”
“Although she is only three years into her appointment as Assistant Professor, she has accomplished more than most in her position, both in her personal research and to advance the research of her colleagues and trainees.”
“Rachel has provided support in many aspects of my research, whether it be through her direct involvement or guiding me towards the right person to help me with the problem I am working on. My experience is not unique and this is an important way to acknowledge Rachel’s contributions to the development of a very active and productive research program.”
“Dr. Vogel has been the main biostatistician serving the Department of Ob-Gyn for many years and has elevated our research program to levels that would not have been possible without her. Several professors at the University who have highly successful research programs have informed me that Dr. Vogel is their go-to biostatistician and choose to work with her on their projects.”
Dr. Beshay Zordoky is an assistant professor in the Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology.
Dr. Zordoky’s research focuses on cardio-oncology and the quality of life of cancer survivors. He is a former PreK Scholar and current K-R01 Scholar. In addition to mentoring our summer scholars, he volunteers his time to participate on panels and other activities for scholar programs. Dr. Zordoky has worked with 10 mentees who range in their academic career from undergraduate to post-doctoral.
Excerpts from nominations
“I can say without a doubt that I could not have achieved what I have in my first year as a PhD student and during the CTSI A-PReP program if I had not been mentored by such an incredible professor as Dr. Zordoky.”
“Dr. Zordoky deserves to be recognized because of his incredible work as an educator, a lab mentor, researchers, and also as an academic advisor. He is the ideal model of a scientist I would like to be in the future.”
“Dr. Zordoky’s confidence in my ability to perform experiments and his patience in explaining why they were done are critical mentor qualities that helped my success in the lab. ...He has always pushed me to think three steps ahead so that if asked, I am well-prepared to answer in his absence.”
“In my career, I have worked with and mentored many faculty. Very few have the combination of scientific acumen and teaching and mentoring skills that Beshay exemplifies.”
About the awards
CTSI has recognized outstanding mentors since 2012, the first year the Mentor of the Year award was given. The program has since expanded to recognize outstanding junior mentors in 2014 and biostatistician and informatician mentors in 2015.
CTSI’s mentorship approach
Scholars in CTSI’s seven research career development programs are paired with a research mentor or mentors, who provides early-career researchers with dedicated guidance and support. Scholars include students, trainees, and junior faculty. Faculty interested in becoming research mentors are encouraged to complete a brief interest form. CTSI offers a free, nationally used online mentor training module to train and prepare researchers for effective mentorship.