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Molecular biosciences professor wins mentoring award

Monday, February 02, 2015

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS — James Orr, University of Kansas professor of molecular biosciences, recently received the Joan S. Hunt Distinguished Mentoring Award from the Kansas Institutional Development Award Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE).

K-INBRE is a multidisciplinary program to enhance Kansas' research capacity through faculty development, retention and infrastructure, as well as inspire undergraduate researchers to pursue careers in biomedical research. Ten campuses in Kansas and northern Oklahoma are part of this initiative.

The Joan S. Hunt Distinguished Mentoring Award was established in 2012 to recognize upper-level faculty for their mentoring success. The award honors Hunt's commitment to mentoring by recognizing K-INBRE past and present faculty who have made outstanding contributions to the states of Kansas and Oklahoma mentoring students, postdocs and faculty.

“Jim has been an incredibly valuable member of the K-INBRE for many years,” said Douglas Wright, principal investigator for K-INBRE and professor of anatomy and cell biology at KU Medical Center. “Jim served as the K-INBRE undergraduate coordinator at KU from 2007-2012, but he has been a mentor for many students much longer than that. We are honored to present him with this award to recognize not only his continued commitment to mentoring students, but to thank him for his hard work and dedication to K-INBRE.”

Orr joined the KU faculty in 1975. He has trained and mentored more than 60 undergraduate students, 12 graduate students and three postdoctoral fellows at KU and Haskell Indian Nations University.

Robert Ward, current K-INBRE undergraduate coordinator and associate professor at KU, said, “The leadership that Jim has provided to thousands of students in the classroom and laboratory inspired me to nominate him for this award. Jim is truly is an inspirational mentor and is well deserving of this honor.”