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Of Note

Matthew Disney Named Scripps Florida Outstanding Mentor

Professor Matthew Disney has been named the 2017 Outstanding Mentor at Scripps Florida. The award, announced at Research Fest on Oct. 27, was based on a Scripps Florida Society of Research Fellows (SF-SRF) mentor survey of graduate students and research associates. SF-SRF presented Disney with an engraved plaque at ResearchFest on Oct. 27.

The award honors the considerable dedication of faculty who consistently and enthusiastically serve as effective mentors to graduate students and postdocs. Previous winners include faculty members Laura Niedernhofer, Christoph Rader, Courtney Miller and Derek Duckett.

Disney has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry since 2010. In the survey, his mentees described him as “supportive” and “encouraging.”

“Anyone who knows Matt knows how passionate and excited he is about science not only in his own lab but in all of the labs here at Scripps,” said TSRI Graduate Student Alicia Angelbello. “This passion and enthusiasm is exactly what makes him such a good mentor and is why he constantly pushes all of us to do the best science that we can do.”

Disney’s research focuses on finding new ways to intervene in diseases previously thought to be “undruggable” or hard to treat. His lab’s research has led to new strategies for treating ALS, triple negative breast cancer, myotonic dystrophy type 2 and more.

Disney said he tries to lead by example in the lab. “Every day I try to have each person in lab answer a question and do that rigorously,” he said. “Frankly, I just try to learn from the students and our collective experiences and be ourselves. Science is hard and I am pretty intense, but the lab is a lot of fun.”

“Science is amazing and what a wonderful opportunity we have here at TSRI to do ground breaking science, and that’s because of the people," added Disney. 

Disney’s previous awards include the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry and the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award. For more information on his research see:

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Professor Matthew Disney (Photo by Andrii Monastyrshyi)