Sarah Kucenas, Ph.D.

Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship
Photo of Sarah Kucenas, 2018 Landis Mentoring Award Winner
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Dr. Kucenas’ lab investigates the role of glia, brain cells traditionally thought of primarily as support cells, but have recently been shown to play roles in cellular communication, development and many diseases. Dr. Kucenas’ trainees emphasized her ability to lead by example, particularly in helping them understand how to balance and achieve all of their personal and professional goals. Dr. Kucenas’ mentoring approach focuses on encouraging trainees to “get out of the box,” make big contributions to the field and to strive for creative solutions to problems. Students all describe as a highlight of their training Dr. Kucenas spending many hours sitting with them at the bench to analyze and discuss their data. Dr. Kucenas was described as providing both high-caliber constructive criticism and incredible support, treating all in the lab as equals, so that each trainee was pushed to achieve the highest possible goals.