MentorConnect is a resource for U of L faculty and students who have specific mentoring questions that are not addressed by the materials on this site. The Mentor Advisory Board--composed of faculty from across the departments who have been nominated by their mentees and recognized for their mentoring excellence by the Graduate School's Outstanding Mentoring Award--will answer questions from faculty and students who have questions or concerns about their own mentoring relationships. All questions submitted through the MentorConnect form will be screened by SIGS staff and forwarded to an Advisory Board member suited to answer the question. In the event that the Advisory Board members are unable to answer the question, SIGS staff will conduct research and attempt to put the faculty or student in contact with someone who can better assist them.

The MentorConnect Advisory Board

Aruni Bhatnagar photoDr. Aruni Bhatnagar

Aruni Bhatnagar, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine, the Smith and Lucille Gibson Chair, and Director of the Diabetes and Obesity Center at University of Louisville. His core research interest relates to the process of lipid peroxidation and how the products generated by oxidized lipids contribute to heart disease, atherogenesis, and the cardiovascular complications of diabetes.  He has also maintained an active interest in the area of environmental cardiology, which is the study of environmental pollutants and their impact on heart disease.  His current research interests also extend to the mechanisms of obesity and diabetes, and how these conditions increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Over the course of his research he has had the pleasure of working with and mentoring over 30 junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. Part of his role as the current Director of the NCRR-funded Diabetes and Obesity Center is to mentor junior faculty and help train them to become independent investigators and to oversee the training of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

Allan G. Farman photo

Dr. Allan G. Farman

Dr. Allan G. Farman is Professor of Radiology and Imaging Science, Department of Surgical and Hospital Dentistry, The University of Louisville School of Dentistry with Clinical Professorship in Diagnostic Radiology and an Adjunct Professorship in Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology in The University of Louisville School of Medicine. He is also Honored Guest Professor of Peking University in Beijing, China. Dr. Farman, in addition to being a Dentist, holds a PhD in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and a DSc in Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology and holds active specialist practicing licenses in the USA (Kentucky), the United Kingdom, and South Africa. Dr. Farman has served as President both of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (2009-11) and of the International Association of DentoMaxilloFacial Radiology (1994-97), and is founder and organizer of the International Congress and Exposition which held its 18th consecutive annual meeting in Pisa, Italy in 2012. Dr. Farman is founding Chair of DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine international Standards Committee) WG 22 (Dentistry), a voting representative to the DICOM Committee, and a member of the American Dental Association Codes Advisory Committee.  Dr. Farman has several scientific editor positions including being Deputy Editor of the International Journal of Computed Radiology and Surgery, Associate editor of Oral Radiology, and Radiology Editor for the Journal of Craniomandibular Practice. He was Radiology Section Editor of Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, 1988-96 and 2005-09. He has published over 400 scientific papers and co-authored or co-edited more than 20 books and proceedings. He has mentored and directed more than 50 Masters and Doctoral students.

Thoughts on Mentorship: First is to listen to where the student has been previously and where they want to go in the future. On this basis the potential graduate student is referred to colleagues presenting a better match ... or discussions continue on where the student might fit within the range of themes that can be achieved in my lab/clinic. The potential student then is given challenges in terms of taking online human subject research (CITI) and privacy courses (HIPAA for Research), as well as library research to find a research question that can fill dearth of existing knowledge or has potential to answer a controversy. An unbending protocol is then developed with criteria for achieving mastery clearly stated. Data entry sheets are developed before the study is commenced and the statistical methods determined up front. Then it is up to the student to perform the work under periodic direction.

Claudio Maldonado photoDr. Claudio Maldonado

Claudio Maldonado, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, and Department of Surgery.  He obtained a BS, MS and PhD degrees from the University of Louisville.  Dr. Maldonado was the first men’s and women’s Head Soccer Coach at the University, and served in this capacity for 15 years before becoming a faculty member in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine.  During his tenure in Cardiology, he investigated mechanisms involved in the genesis of cardiac arrhythmias and ischemia/reperfusion injury.  He later moved to the Division of Plastic Surgery in the department of Surgery, where he became Co-Director of the Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory. Dr. Maldonado was involved in pre-clinical drug studies that eventually led to the first successful hand transplants in the world.  Currently his research has focused on developing novel therapies to protect tissues from ischemia/reperfusion injury occurring during surgical procedures such as organ transplantation or cardiopulmonary bypass.  Over the years his laboratories have been a cultural melting pot with lots of international flavor. In addition to Americans, Post-Docs from China, Russia, India, Argentina, Colombia, Germany, Turkey, Iran, Bosnia, Guatemala, Netherlands and Albania have been trained.  Dr. Maldonado is a founder and president of EndoProtech, Inc, a small company commercializing therapies developed in his laboratory. He serves as a reviewer in various medical journals, and is a member of the immunology NIH Study Section that reviews SBIR applications.

Dr. Maldonado has mentored several Post-Docs, PhD and Masters students, and in 2011 received the University’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor of Doctoral Students Award.  He enjoys teaching and seeing his students become successful in life.  His mentoring philosophy to maximize graduate student productivity is to treat students as you would want to be treated, and immediately place them in a learning environment where they feel more like a colleague contributing to a research team, rather than functioning as an inexperienced trainee.

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To ask a question to the MentorConnect Advisory Board, please fill out the form here.