2023 The RNA Society/Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press Distinguished Research Mentor Award Winner
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The RNA Society / Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press Distinguished Research Mentor Award recognizes outstanding mentorship by our members and highlights the importance of fostering the academic and professional development of trainees in RNA research. The 2023 award goes to Dr. Doug Turner, a member at the University of Rochester faculty since 1975. Dr. Turner’s career research on RNA structure prediction has been highlighted in more than 250 publications and has led to the “Turner Rules” - used widely in RNA structure analyses. During his academic career, Dr. Turner mentored nine post-doctoral research associates and over 50 graduate students, many of whom have continued on to their own successful careers in RNA biology and other areas of science. Dr. Turner describes his mentoring philosophy as “every person is an evolving individual”. He suggests that because so much is still unknown in RNA biology, it is easy to identify problems that allow mentees to take ownership of a project and become a world expert in a particular aspect of RNA biology – this way, he provides his mentees with opportunities to investigate what interests them most. His mentees describe him as approachable, easy to talk to, and inspiring, and also fondly recall him for his infectious laugh. Dr. Turner has been a member of the RNA Society since 1995.