Professor Jogeshwar Mukherjee was so impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of the undergraduates he met that he has been involving them more and more within his own lab’s research projects. He feels that, through research experience, his students are able to develop a sense of responsibility, learn diligence, and experience the joy of discovery. His undergraduates have pursued a number of projects, and their success has reflected well upon the entire lab’s work. Professor Mukherjee takes great pride in the number of undergraduate presentations and papers that have originated in his lab and enjoys watching his students’ confidence grow as they gain experience. UROP is proud to recognize Professor Mukherjee for the effect his mentorship has had on the undergraduate researchers he has mentored.

1. How did you develop an interest in mentoring undergraduate research or creative projects, and what type of projects have you directed?

The energy, eagerness and enthusiasm of many of the undergraduates in research led me to get them involved in various projects in our lab. Our research is primarily centered on the development of diagnostic imaging agents for biomedical use. This involves multiple disciplines such as chemistry, biology, pharmacology, imaging techniques, quantitative methods of analysis of images and studying disease models. Students are trained and assigned to a project based on their interests and major.

2. What do you look for and what are your expectations of undergraduates you select to conduct research under your guidance?

One of the primary requirements is a serious commitment to the progress of the assigned project. This includes putting in the required time, following a schedule, maintaining good written records of all experiments, excellent communication skills (both verbal and written), and a strong desire to be productive (demonstrated by presentations and publications).

3. Describe your level of engagement and style in mentoring undergraduates.

Students are provided sufficient reading material in order to understand the project in depth, the scope of the project and current state of the art. Undergraduates are trained by senior staff members in the lab and me in various techniques and procedures. Students review and follow standard operating procedures in the lab. I interact directly with the students on a regular basis in order to monitor the progress of the projects.

4. In your experience, how have your students improved or benefited as a result of their undergraduate research experience?

Students develop a sense of responsibility, learn how to persevere through unsuccessful experiments, and enjoy the thrill of discovery. They garner confidence by presenting their work at various conferences such as the UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium, Society of Nuclear Medicine, International neuroreceptor mapping meeting and others. They learn the art of writing scientific papers, preparing figures, responding to reviewer comments and see the fruit of their hard work once the paper is published.

5. What have you learned or benefited from guiding undergraduate research or creative projects?

Many of our students work hard and very responsibly. They are eager to see projects succeed and would like to see their work published, which is good for the lab as well. Our undergraduates have taken some backburner projects and turned them around as successful, federally funded projects.

6. What recommendations and advice would you give students embarking on undergraduate research or creative projects?

Students should put in the time, work hard and persevere and let the faculty know of their keen interest to get something published. Research labs provide students a rich environment where they can carry out exciting projects, express themselves and experience a workplace environment. These achievements can be of great value in future career goals.

Research Interests: Radiopharmaceutical Design & Development; PET Imaging and Quantitation; Neuroscience

Faculty Profile: http://www.faculty.uci.edu//profile.cfm?faculty_id=5942

Email: j.mukherjee@uci.edu

Past Faculty Mentors of the Month
  
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014

2013
Dec. '13 Jean Gehricke
Nov. '13 Sergey Nizkorodov
Oct. '13 David S. Meyer
Sep. '13 Kieron Burke
Aug. '13 Mahtab Jafari
Jul. '13 André van der Hoek
Jun. '13 Abraham P. Lee
May. '13 Sheryl Tsai
Apr. '13 Julia Reinhard Lupton
Mar. '13 Richard Matthew
Feb. '13 Jogeshwar Mukherjee
Jan. '13 Diane K. O’Dowd
  
2012
2011
2010
2009