Meet Outstanding Mentor of Graduate Students Irving H. Zucker, Ph.D.

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Irving H. Zucker, Ph. D.
Irving H. Zucker, Ph.D., professor and chairman of cellular and integrative physiology, is one of two UNMC faculty members who will receive Outstanding Mentor of Graduate Students Awards at the Annual Faculty meeting on April 25.

Below, Dr. Zucker reflects on what it means to mentor graduate students.

  • Name: Irving H. Zucker, Ph.D.
  • Title: Professor and chairman, department of cellular and integrative physiology
  • Joined UNMC: 1972
  • Hometown: New York (Da Bronx)

How many graduate students do you work with?
It depends. At any given time I have between one and three. Right now I have three.

What are the greatest rewards of mentoring?
Watching students develop, grow and mature into someone that's more independent than when they started. Helping to give them confidence to promote their own ideas.

Describe a moment when you realized your influence made a difference in someone's career.
This is hard to say because I don't consciously think about doing that. So there might be many subliminal influences that I am not aware of. However, I was extremely gratified and believe I played a role in the career decision of a high school and undergraduate student, Sumit Kar, who first worked in my lab while in high school and then as an undergraduate at Creighton University. He published two outstanding papers in very good journals and is now in the M.D./Ph.D. program at The University of Wisconsin. During his tenure in my lab he received several regional and national awards. Most of it was his drive and motivation but I like to think I played a role in his development.

List three things few people know about you.

  • I was president of The American Physiological Society in 2008-2009;
  • I love to cook and like Italian wine; and
  • I have four adorable grandchildren.


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    July 14, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Congratulations Dr. Zucker, glad to have been your student.

    Urmi Basu
    April 10, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    Congratulations Dr. Zucker!!! I feel honored to have such great person in our department.

    Erin Rosenbaugh
    April 10, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Congratulations to Dr. Zucker! This a a very well deserved award. I have appreciated his involvement on my Supervisory Committee and his leadership in the Cellular and Integrative Physiology Department.

    Laura Shafer
    April 10, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    When I first came to UNMC years and years ago, I had an interview with Dr. Zucker for a job I was wholly underqualified for. Yet, he still took the time to give me a "real" interview, was nothing but gracious and helpful, and even bought me a cup of coffee! His impact as a mentor and professor reaches further than his students.

    Lauren Luger
    April 10, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    nice article! Congrats Dr. Zucker! ;-)