Professor of Biochemistry Tom Mawhinney received the 2014 Jane Hickman Teaching Award from the MU School of Medicine. This is the first time in the 24 years of the Hickman Award that it has been given to a faculty member with a primary appointment outside of the School of Medicine.
“Over many years, Mawhinney has made major contributions to essentially every aspect of the pre-clinical education of MU medical students,” said Gerald L. Hazelbauer, Curators’ Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry. “The amount of time and energy he has devoted to medical education is staggering. As a Patient-Base Learning facilitator for the first and second year medical students he generates amazingly positive and appreciative comments from medical students. In addition, he is involved in multiple aspects of medical student examinations and in almost a countless number of important committees related to medical education.”
Mawhinney grew up in Astoria, Queens, N.Y. In 1970, he was drafted to the U.S. Marine Corps. When he was discharged in 1972, he attended Albany Medical College. There, he developed a strong interest in learning more about lungs, specifically focusing on patients with cystic fibrosis. After graduating, he came to MU. He lives in Columbia with his wife. They have two sons who also live in Columbia.
“My favorite part of teaching is the constant learning and sharing,” Mawhinney said. “I have a strong interest in my students, and I know that when they graduate, they are the best they can be.”
Mawhinney presents human and bacterial molecular genetics, biology and human respiratory lectures within the MU School of Medicine.
Biochemistry at MU is noted for research and effective instruction. The two are interwoven to provide excellence in both. Biochemistry is part of both the School of Medicine and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and the facility is shared with more than five other departments as well as with an interdisciplinary Life Sciences Center.
Mawhinney’s current projects include host glycoprotein alterations and host-pathogen interactions in chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases; co-colonization effects on microorganisms in cystic fibrosis airway infection; nutraceuticals; inhibitory effects of Amadori compounds and food products in prostate cancer; x-ray crystal structural characterization of synthesized Amadori compounds; and food, feed and biological materials analytical methods development.
The Jane Hickman Teaching Award is historically the highest recognition of excellence in medical student teaching at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Mawhinney was honored on Education Day, April 10. The goal of this award is to reward faculty members who have made sustained, outstanding contributions to medical student education at MU over a period of three or more years.