UT Southwestern’s Postdoctoral Association (PDA) has selected Dr. Sean Morrison, director of Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI), to receive the 2020 Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring Award.
The award recognizes extraordinary mentorship and honors faculty members who have provided outstanding commitment, guidance, and support to postdoctoral researchers. Every year, the honoree is chosen by a PDA award committee that reviews nominations received from their postdoctoral peers.
“We were deeply impressed with the nominations that we received for Dr. Sean Morrison. They all emphasize that Dr. Morrison is the true epitome of what a good mentor should be. He is very supportive, involved, always available, open to new ideas, scientifically brilliant, and has generated a lab atmosphere where postdocs feel valued and encouraged to step up to their full potential,” said Dr. Stephan Daetwyler, President of the PDA and a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Dr. Reto Fiolka, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and in the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics.
Throughout his career, Dr. Morrison has mentored 38 Ph.D. students or postdoctoral fellows who have completed their training, nearly all of whom have stayed in science. Most have gone on to tenure-track faculty positions and many others have taken leadership positions in biotechnology companies or private research institutes.
“Thank you to the Postdoctoral Association for this recognition,” said Dr. Morrison, who is also Professor of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with many talented people in my lab over the past 20 years I want every person in my lab to succeed and work hard to facilitate that,” he said. “One of the most satisfying things in science is the opportunity to build lifelong relationships with trainees and to watch them succeed in independent careers.”
Dr. Morrison is the second CRI faculty member to receive this award. Last year, Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, professor at CRI and Chief of the Division of Pediatric Genetics and Metabolism at UTSW, was presented with the 2019 Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentoring Award. Together, these awards recognize the high-quality training environment within CRI.
As part of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, which celebrates the contributions postdocs make to research and discovery, Dr. Morrison will speak about his 20-year career mentoring students and postdocs on Thursday, Sept. 24, from 1-2 p.m.
Dr. DeBerardinis holds the Joel B. Steinberg, M.D. Chair in Pediatrics and is a Sowell Family Scholar in Medical Research.
Dr. Morrison is a member of the National Academies of Science and Medicine and a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Scholar in Cancer Research. He holds the Kathryne and Gene Bishop Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Research at Children’s Research Institute at UT Southwestern and the Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics.