Faculty Educator of the Month: April 2014

Dr. Nicholas E. Navin

Dr. Nicholas E. Navin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics (tenure-track) and the Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (dual appointment) and a faculty member at The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston (GSBS), has been named the April 2014 Faculty Educator of the Month.

Dr. Navin is a member of the Genes & Development Ph.D. program in the GSBS, in which trainees receive instruction in biomedical research of molecular mechanisms that regulate cellular differentiation and growth as well as mechanisms of development of cancer and other diseases. In this program, Dr. Navin has been the organizer of the Genes & Development Bioinformatics Workshop Series since 2012.

In addition, Dr. Navin has been the leader and an Instructor for the Introduction to Bioinformatics course, also since 2012. Along with Drs. Ken Chen and Arvind Rao, Dr. Navin created this course to fill the need for a bioinformatics course for biology students. He also was a Lecturer for the Fundamental Mechanisms of Cancer Biology course in 2012.

Dr. Navin also has classroom experience outside the GSBS. For example, he was a U54 Lecturer for the Genomics and Cancer Biology course at the University of Puerto Rico in 2013. That same year, Dr. Navin also was an Invited Lecturer for the Cancer Genomics course at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

In addition, Dr. Navin currently supervises one postdoctoral fellow, two M.D./Ph.D. students, and two graduate students, and he has supervised four other trainees over the past 3 years. He also has served on 12 graduate thesis committees at the GSBS.

Over the past 2 years, Dr. Navin has been a session chair for three national meetings. Moreover, he was an organizer for two of those meetings. Just since 2009, Dr. Navin also has been invited to give talks at 26 meetings in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Dr. Navin has been honored for his research, most recently with the Wilson S. Stone Memorial Award and T.C. Hsu Endowed Faculty Research Award in Genetics and Cell Biology in 2013. In 2012, he was the Nadia’s Gift Foundation Innovator recipient for the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award, which recognizes pioneers in cancer research. Dr. Navin also received the Young Investigator Award from Genome Technology in 2010.

Dr. Navin received his Ph.D. degree in molecular genetics from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Stony Brook University in 2010 after serving as a computational biologist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for a year. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 2011, after which he came to MD Anderson in his current position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics (tenure-track) and the Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (dual appointment).

Since coming to MD Anderson, Dr. Navin has been the principal investigator for six funded research projects. He also holds a U.S. patent for a method of counting nucleic acids. Furthermore, Dr. Navin has been a reviewer for 12 publications. Since 2003, he has written 18 articles published in peer-reviewed journals.