• By Dana Sparks

Science Saturday: Rocketing ahead

December 30, 2017

Dr. Jan van Deursen in the lab working with his graduate studentUnder his mentor’s watch, a graduate student prepared for a career in research while seeking ways to combat the effects of aging.

When describing his training as a research scientist, Bennett Childs, a newly minted Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology, refers to “trajectory.” The terminology fits. He rocketed to prominence as first author on a paper chosen by Science magazine as a 2016 discovery of the year. An April 2017 graduate of Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Childs appears headed skyward, fueled by passion, intellect and the support of mentors, such as Jan van Deursen, Ph.D.

“I think he has a tremendous future ahead of him,” says Jan van Deursen, Ph.D., chair of Mayo’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Rochester, Minnesota, who has mentored dozens of young scientists.

If scientists are multistage rockets, mentors tend to be the first stage, providing the initial boost that gets a student off the ground. Young researchers often build on the work of their mentors, adding their own thrust to go farther. Drs. Childs and van Deursen are a prime example. Read the rest of the article on Discovery's Edge.
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