April 19, 2021

School of Medicine Faculty Award Winners

Congratulations to Dr. Guido Ferrari for being a recipient of this year’s School of Medicine Faculty Awards. Dr. Ferrari was one of six faculty members to receive the Research Mentoring Award.  The Research Mentoring Awards recognize faculty members in the School of Medicine for excellence in research mentoring.  Excellence can be demonstrated in many ways such as by the accomplishments of individual mentees, by programs implemented by the mentor, or by exceptional creativity in mentoring.

Mentorship is one of the most important components in developing one’s career. A good mentor is knowledgeable, honest and accessible. They offer words of encouragement and provide guidance and constructive feedback. A good mentor values the mentoring relationship and has a personal interest in the growth and development of their mentee. A good mentor is respectful, enthusiastic and values the initiatives and perspectives of others. A good mentor leads by example.

In honor of this recognition, we would like to share what makes Dr. Ferrari a good mentor to those whose lives he has touched at Duke.

“I am consistently impressed with the passion and commitment to training new scientists and early stage investigators that Guido brings to all he does. Guido continues to prioritize training and mentorship of new scientists, students, and early stage investigators. In leading training programs, Guido is exuberant as he guides trainees in their learning and encouraging them to excel. He also encourages us as teachers to engage in meaningful ways with each trainee. His enthusiasm and dedication to others is contagious and many who have worked with him go on to pay forward.”- Georgia Tomaras, PhD, Professor of Surgery

“Guido has always been at the forefront of thinking about how to better students in Africa, to create a channel and career path for young aspiring African immunologists to become involved in vaccine monitoring and research. He has fostered unique ways of interacting and promoting group discussions and along with his passion and keen sense of fun, the students become incredibly stimulated and invigorated...He represents an ideal role model as someone who is committed to service and the betterment of others...He is an exceptional leader with enormous creative spirit and has profoundly influenced the lives of many African scientists, including myself.” – Clive Gray, PhD, Adjunct Professor of the Department of Immunology

“Dr. Ferrari fosters a space where all can thrive, creating opportunities for everyone to challenge themselves, and encouraging growth and exploration. In periods of transition and moments of insecurity, one needs a lighthouse to guide you through the dark. Guido shines his light through all the fog and makes you believe that you possess this power to shine too.” -  Mrs. Missy Gilbert

“I am never scared to ask him for further explanation if I do not understand, or express my thoughts if I do not quite agree with what he said. Communication is a critical component of mentoring, and Guido does an excellent job communicating with me.” - Junsuke Nohara, PhD student

“Dr. Ferrari is consistently encouraging, thoughtful and steadfast in his efforts to make sure we have the resources and guidance we need. ... Out of all the people I spoke to about my situation, Dr. Ferrari was one of the most impactful in helping me decide my next steps. He was caring, listened to my concerns, and talked me through my options. ...He genuinely cares about the well-being of each trainee, both in their science and personal lives." - Stephanie Langel, PhD

“Dr. Ferrari is regarded as one of the most outstanding and dedicated mentors at Duke.” - Barton Haynes, MD, Frederic M. Hanes Distinguished Professor of Medicine

“…the scheduled 30-min conversation with Dr. Ferrari turned into an hour-long fruitful discussion about career development and work-life balance as an academic. His advice is always honest, insightful, and always in the best interest of his trainees.”- Stella Berendam, PhD

“Guido has provided countless opportunities for my growth, and mentorship as I progress in my scientific career. From the beginning, he took my interests into account and allowed me to run with projects which I was interested in and aligned with my goals. He has been careful to provide me with important opportunities to network with senior investigators in our field and encouraged me to present my research at local and international meetings” - Dieter Mielke, PhD

"Throughout my experience as Dr. Ferrari’s mentee, I found that my voice has always had equal weight with him. Any question, comment, suggestion or idea of mine has been heard, considered, and responded to or acted upon with equal thought, urgency, and consideration by Dr. Ferrari —regardless of whether I was a first-year technician, a trainee, or a faculty colleague. Dr. Ferrari approaches mentorship with generosity and selflessness, and does not hesitate to put his mentees interests or needs ahead of his own. He strives to make sure his mentees are recognized for their achievements, both within our institution and among our larger research community." - Justin Pollara, PhD, Associate Professor of Surgery

“Guido is committed to shaping the future minds of science, serving as an incredible mentor to many young individuals in our institution. He is truly dedicated to helping trainees develop instrumental skills in order to make them more successful in the future.” – Maria Blasi, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine

"Arriving at DHVI in August of 2016, I had mixed emotions, with fear and uncertainty being the dominant ones.  Shortly after starting my position as a postdoc, I was honored to be awarded the T32 fellowship and this is where Guido’s mentoring impacted me the most. Guido has been so instrumental in my career at DHVI; his mentoring improved my presenting skills, taught me how to think more abstract rather than concrete and when I feel like I am not competent enough to be a postdoc at DHVI, conversations with Guido erases those thoughts.  His mentoring plays a major part in how I have managed to stay afloat in my career." - Letitia Jones, PhD

“His sincere interest in those around him exemplifies how a true mentor should interact with his mentees.” - David Murdoch, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine

“He consistently treats each member, from the most junior to the most senior, with equal amounts of respect.” -  Mrs. Sherry Stanfield-Oakley

“Dr. Ferrari has led our lab by example in how to be respectful of each other and our work while achieving the best results possible. His leadership causes a person to recall why the work they are doing is important and how impactful it is.” - Mrs. Nicole Rodgers

“I have a deep appreciation of Guido’s passion for mentoring junior scientists. He has given a lot of his time to mentorship for many years, often traveling across the globe to lead workshops and develop new relationships that result in long-term productive collaborations. Many young trainees and junior scientists (and some senior scientists) have benefited from his mentorship.” - David Montefiori, PhD, Professor of Surgery

“Guido is the colleague any junior faculty member would love to have as they navigate the challenges of mentoring trainees and developing their research program. His wisdom and guidance that he imparts on you also comes with humor to lift your spirits.” – Wilton Williams, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine

“...the most valuable thing is that Guido continues to teach me how to be a good mentor...” - Michael Anthony Moody, MD, Professor of Pediatrics

"Dr. Ferrari has been an integral part in our planning and execution of the “Taking Science to the Streets” sessions, along with many other Journal Club and DTMP activities for many years. He truly is the epitome of what it means to be a fantastic mentor and has a true passion for helping others grow and succeed both personally and professionally." - Mrs. Whitney Edwards

“Dr. Ferrari created an environment in which trainees were encouraged to look beyond just completion of their research proposal but rather use the T32 training period as a broader opportunity to develop skills essential for progression towards independence as a researcher”. Whether you are working to go to graduate school, medical school, or become a principal investigator, Dr. Ferrari will help you achieve your goals.” - Deng Madut, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine

"...despite being incredibly busy, Dr. Ferrari has always been available to provide feedback for my presentations, abstracts, manuscripts, and grant proposals. Another strength is his honest and effective communication with his mentees.” - Ria Goswami, PhD  

“Dr. Ferrari’s feedback and suggestions during my research presentations has been very helpful. Also his suggestions on courses/conferences to attend have been spot on!” ­- Charles Burns, MD