Celia Schiffer honored for mentoring in STEM

Massachusetts Society for Medical Research to honor the UMMS scientist in a ceremony on Biomedical Sciences Day

Date Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Celia Schiffer, Ph.D.UMass Medical School scientist Celia Schiffer, PhD, has been selected by the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research as the recipient of the 2016 Mentoring Award for excellence in mentoring of STEM trainees. An educator being recognized for her research and for her teaching, mentorship and leadership in bringing underrepresented minorities and women into science, Dr. Schiffer, professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology and director of the UMMS Institute for Drug Resistance, will be recognized at the Society’s annual Biomedical Research Day Honors program in Boston on Oct. 21.

“Dr. Schiffer has singlehandedly had an extraordinary impact here at the institutional level, addressing our priorities to support and promote diversity and minority inclusion and advancement with tremendous generosity, thoughtful support and strategic guidance for mentees throughout her career,” said Jean King, PhD, associate provost for biomedical research, director of the Center for Comparative Neuroimaging, and professor of psychiatry, radiology and neurology. “Celia is artfully deliberate in making her mentoring effective, deploying an action plan focused on specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-specific goals to provide her mentees the skills to become successful and themselves become mentors to others.”

With mentorship an integral component of her internationally recognized research program to battle drug resistance, Schiffer has personally mentored 40 scholars including PhD students, postdoctoral associates and non-tenured faculty. Many members of her diverse laboratory team have gone on to successful careers in medicine and science. In 2015 Schiffer was named a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. She received the UMass Medical School’s Outstanding Mentoring to Women Faculty Award in 2010 and, most recently, in 2016 she was honored by the inaugural Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring.

The Massachusetts Legislature designated Oct. 21 as Massachusetts Biomedical Research Day to recognize the contributions biomedical research makes to the health and well-being of the citizens of the commonwealth and people around the world. Each year on Biomedical Research Day, the Society honors researchers, educators, business leaders and public officials who have provided significant new knowledge, leadership and support in biomedical research. Schiffer is one of four honorees this year who will speak about their passion for their work and where it may lead, following the keynote address from Massachusetts Life Sciences CenterCEO Travis McCready.

In 2012, Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education, dean of the School of Medicine, and executive deputy chancellor and provost at UMMS, was recognized by the MSMR on Biomedical Sciences Day for his research and leadership in therapeutic gene therapy.

By Sandra Gray
UMass Medical School Communications