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2016 Outstanding Faculty Mentor: Daniel Roberts

On a Wednesday afternoon at the end of the spring semester, Daniel Roberts received some unexpected visitors to his lab. Accompanied by two of his undergraduate students, Marisa Moazen, director of undergraduate research, presented him with one of four Undergraduate Faculty Research Mentor of the Year awards.

Roberts serves as a professor and the head of the department of biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Clayton Nunn and Ahmand Mitoubsi, the two students who had nominated Roberts for the award, were present to witness the event.

“Dr. Roberts has been a wonderful mentor and role model,” said Nunn. “He readily provides guidance in a kind and keen manner, and exhibits a fine example in his clear set of values and his passionate ability to inspire. Dr. Roberts exudes a clear sense of what is important in the advancement of research, but never ceases to consider the student as an individual, taking a unique interest in helping students to develop into successful professionals.”

“The number of undergraduates interested in conducting research is growing nationwide as well as here at UT,” said Marisa Moazen, director of undergraduate research. It is important faculty mentors to enhance the classroom learning, improve communication and critical thinking. Dr. Roberts and the rest of our faculty mentors this year are truly invested in our student researchers.”

“He wants his students to learn and excel in their learning,” said Mitoubsi. “He teaches students how he thinks students should be taught. Once [his students] have learned, he wants them to show what they have learned, to [demonstrate their level] of performance. He will leave everything to answer and help any student that approaches him. It is a great honor for me to learn from such an intelligent, caring man.”

Roberts describes his laboratory as “broadly interested in the integral membrane transport proteins that mediate transport phenomena in response to metabolic need and environmental stress adaptation.”

To view his research statement and selected publications visit his faculty profile.