Postdoc empowers others through science

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | October 26, 2017

Image with caption: Eric Tom, Ph.D., teaches undergraduate students at Metropolitan Community College.

Eric Tom, Ph.D., teaches undergraduate students at Metropolitan Community College.

As he developed a stronger appreciation for science literacy over the past year, Eric Tom, Ph.D., realized that education is key.

So, when Dr. Tom heard about an opportunity to teach undergraduate students for an academic quarter at Metropolitan Community College, he jumped at the opportunity.

"As scientists and professionals we have a responsibility to promote understanding and share the benefits of our training with a broader audience," Dr. Tom said.

Dr. Tom is a postdoctoral research associate working in the lab of Melissa Teoh-Fitzgerald, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at UNMC.

He studies the role of reactive oxygen species within the tumor microenvironment and its contribution to the progression of breast cancer.

Education, he said, empowers people to think critically and make rational, better qualified decisions.

He wanted to be a part of empowering others through science.

Dr. Tom taught several sections of introductory microbiology at Metro's Elkhorn campus between Sept. 7 and Oct. 3. He also participated in course labs.

"My mentor gave me valuable critiques for designing exam questions and tips in lesson portioning, which is really important for successfully teaching a course," he said.

The best part, Dr. Tom said, was the students' enthusiasm and drawing parallels between concepts learned to how those techniques are applied in order to answer questions about human health and disease.

The experience not only expanded his skillset but has piqued his interest in an academic career teaching a course at an undergraduate university.

"The next step is to teach the entire course as an adjunct professor at a local undergraduate college. I'm looking into this," Dr. Tom said.

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Carol Tom
October 26, 2017 at 10:57 AM

Eric, great job, always moving forward. You deserve the the best. Carol Tom

Karen Hankins
October 26, 2017 at 9:17 AM

Eric, Wonderful article and happy to hear about your teaching experience. The best is yet to come for a very deserving person.

Josh Souchek
October 26, 2017 at 8:55 AM

Nice write up. Good work, Eric!

Ming-Fong Lin, Ph.D.
October 26, 2017 at 7:32 AM

Hi Eric, Great job! I am very happy for you. Also a Great mentor.