National Mentoring Month: Mentoring PhD Faculty at UCSF Radiology

Headshot of Sri Nagarajan, PhD, leader of the UCSF Radiology PhD faculty mentoring programIn academic radiology, mentoring is important for mentors and mentees. Both provide support and share knowledge with one another while helping mentees reach career and personal goals. The Academic Affairs Unit in the UC San Francisco Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging incorporates a formal mentorship program for junior MD and PhD faculty into our departmental structure. Mentorship in the department provides support in the areas of research, teaching, service, and professional competence, as well as aiding mentees in navigating the complexities of academic life. Sri Nagarajan, PhD, professor, leads PhD faculty mentoring.

“Success for PhD faculty in the department requires juggling and balancing many different things ranging from writing successful research grants and scientific papers, giving effective scientific presentations, establishing collaborations, creating and developing professional networks within UCSF and outside, teaching and service across multiple levels, all while maintaining a healthy work-life balance,” according to Dr. Nagarajan. “By sharing knowledge, experience and dedicated time with their mentees, our faculty PhD mentors are important to the success of junior faculty scientists as they start to establish their careers. The mentoring program in the department is creating mentoring teams to support each of our junior faculty.”

As a scientist with special expertise in biomedical engineering and integrative neuroscience, Dr. Nagarajan has diverse research interests that include work on human brain plasticity and the neural mechanisms of speech motor control. He has substantive experience in academic research and has also mentored many junior PhD faculty at UCSF Radiology. “I personally love to see my mentees thrive and actualize their passions. It is the most satisfying and rewarding part of being a mentor,” he says.

“I have had many mentors who have helped me at various stages of my career and many of them continue to help me to this day,” shares Dr. Nagarajan. These include Dominique Durand, PhD, his PhD advisor and professor at Case Western Reserve University, his postdoctoral mentors Michael Merzenich, PhD, professor emeritus and neuroscientist at UCSF and Christoph Schreiner, MD, PhD, professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) at UCSF, as well as many of his peers at UCSF and other institutions.

Learn more about the UCSF Radiology Faculty Mentoring Program.

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