Kaustubh Datta, Ph.D. - Outstanding Mentor of Junior Faculty

April 23, 2018

Image with caption: Kaustubh Datta, Ph.D.

Kaustubh Datta, Ph.D.

Kaustubh Datta, Ph.D., professor, biochemistry and molecular biology, College of Medicine, will receive the Outstanding Faculty Mentor of Junior Faculty Award at tomorrow's annual faculty meeting at 4 p.m. in the Durham Research Center Auditorium.

  • Name: Kaustubh Datta, Ph.D.
  • Title: Professor, UNMC Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Joined UNMC: 2011
  • Hometown: Kolkata, India

With how many junior faculty members do you work?
Ten.

What are the greatest rewards of mentoring?
It is always rewarding to share knowledge and experience with others. The greatest thing that can happen is if that sharing makes a difference in somebody's life.

Describe a moment when you realized your influence made a difference in someone's career.
I am fortunate to know many talented young people who are contributing immensely to the field of biological research. One such person is Dr. Michael Muders, who is a pathologist trained in Germany. Michael has a keen interest in cancer research. I met Michael when he came to the Mayo Clinic to gain research experience. During our conversations, I convinced him to work with me in the field of prostate cancer.

As a clinician, it was initially difficult for him to understand the basic cell-based research that our laboratory used. I remember those long hours of discussions that we frequently had when the research was not going in the direction that we anticipated. At the end, Michael did a splendid job and was able to publish several first-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Most importantly, he decided to return to Germany and continue his clinical practice. Alongside that, he established his own laboratory to do both basic and translational research on cancer. Since then, we have collaborated on many research projects and have mutually benefited.

I am extremely glad to tell that this year, Michael received the Rudolf-Becker Professorship for Prostate Cancer Research at the Institute of Pathology in the University of Bonn Medical School. Now, he leads the department of prostate cancer research in his institute.

List three things few people know about you.

  • Pink Floyd is my favorite western band.
  • The book that has a deep influence in my life is "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
  • A freshly brewed coffee at any time always makes me happy.

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