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David Oupicky, Ph.D. - Outstanding Mentor of Graduate Students

Image with caption: David Oupicky, Ph.D.

David Oupicky, Ph.D.

David Oupicky, Ph.D., professor and Parke-Davis Chair in Pharmaceutics for the UNMC College of Pharmacy, will receive the Outstanding Mentor of Graduate Students at the annual Faculty Senate Awards ceremony, at 3 p.m., April 23, in the Durham Research Center Auditorium.

Dr. Gold to speak at meeting

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., will give his annual address to the faculty, titled "Healthcare 2050," at the annual faculty meeting at 3 p.m., April 23, in the Durham Research Center Auditorium. A reception hosted by Chancellor Gold will follow the event.

The ceremony will be broadcast through ZOOM and can be accessed from desktop computers or at the following sites at UNMC's non-Omaha campuses:

  • College of Nursing-Lincoln, Room 336
  • College of Dentistry-Lincoln Dixon Auditorium, Room 1145
  • College of Nursing-Kearney, Health Science Education Complex, Room 102
  • College of Nursing-Norfolk, Room 189
  • Scottsbluff - College of Nursing, Regional West Medical Center, Room B132

  • Name: David Oupicky, Ph.D.
  • Title: Professor and Parke-Davis Chair in Pharmaceutics
  • Joined UNMC: 2013
  • Hometown: Prague, Czech Republic

How many graduate students do you work with?
I have had five excellent students graduate from my lab in the last 12 months and currently work with six Ph.D. students.

What are the greatest rewards of mentoring?
Like in life, the greatest rewards of mentoring consist of a series of smaller successful steps along the personal and professional growth of the students. Getting a Ph.D. in the U.S. is a long process (perhaps too long) but the upside is that one spends significant amount of time observing and shaping the growth and maturation of each student with all the important milestones along the way. The first paper, getting a summer internship, being selected for a podium presentation, passing the comprehensive exam, and finding a fulfilling job after graduation -- these are all the simple joys and greatest rewards of mentoring.

Describe a moment when you realized your influence made a difference in someone's career.
Each student is unique and there have been many such moments, and all of them are equally important for me. My hope is that I have made at least a small positive difference in the lives and careers of all my students. I find the moment when students start seeing "the big picture" and start owning their research projects as one of the most important milestones in their growth into independent scientists.

List three things few people know about you.

  • My grandparents had a small farm with pigs, chickens and geese. I spent most of my childhood summers there with my brother and sister.
  • I was a good football (soccer) player in my youth and played on my hometown team.
  • I have no musical talent whatsoever.

Faculty awards

The Faculty Senate recognizes faculty for meritorious teaching, service or mentoring at its annual meeting.

Awardees are:

Outstanding Teacher Award

Outstanding Faculty Mentor of Graduate Students Award

  • David Oupicky, Ph.D., professor & Parke-Davis Chair in pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy
  • Wallace Thoreson, Ph.D., vice chair of research & professor, ophthalmology and visual sciences, College of Medicine

Outstanding Faculty Mentor of Junior Faculty Award

  • Birgit Khandalavala, M.B.B.S., associate professor, family medicine, College of Medicine
  • Samuel Pirruccello, M.D., professor, pathology/microbiology, College of Medicine

Spirit of Community Service Award

  • James Jenkins, D.D.S., assistant professor, adult restorative dentistry, College of Dentistry

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