By Jacob Taylor

Adam Wende, Ph.D., associate professor of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, is a recipient of this year’s 2023 Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship.

The Dean's Excellence in Mentorship Award recognizes full-time regular UAB faculty members who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments as mentors of graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows.

Wende joined the Department of Pathology in 2013 as an assistant professor. As a researcher, he has explored the regulation of metabolism and mitochondrial function with a specific focus on glucose utilization in heart and muscle. He is well-respected by his peers and his dedication to his students is evident in his support of their work and academic advancement and achievements. Mentoring has always been a part of his career.

gradDr. Adam Wende with some of his many trainees (left) and with Graduate School Dean Dr. Shadi Martin (right). (Photos courtesy the Graduate School.) Grad Deans Mentor Award

“Mentorship is one of the most important themes in my career, both the mentors I’ve had and the mentor I want to be,” he says. “I have tried to mold myself into someone who provides his trainees with the guidance they need while providing the freedom to discover themselves.”

To date, this approach has worked—all of Wende’s direct graduate or postdoctoral trainees who have applied for external funding have received it.

“I have been very fortunate to have had all these great trainees and I look forward to continuing to mentor,” he continues. “My first nearly 10 years as an independent investigator have been fruitful in this regard and I hope to continue as a mentor who is understanding, supportive, and provides an environment for his trainees to excel.”

Leaders in Wende’s division agree he is a strong supporter of those who seek his mentorship.

“Adam is a passionate and dedicated mentor who continuously strives to develop a research lab environment where trainees can pursue rigorous and impactful research,” says Rakesh Patel, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pathology. “By all research output metrics (fellowship funding, publications and selection for presentations at scientific conferences), his trainees excel, underscoring Adam’s mentoring skills and commitment to their career development and success.”

“Adam has consistently proven to be an outstanding mentor and advocate for his trainees,” says Ralph Sanderson, Ph.D., Director of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biology. “As a primary mentor, his trainees have had six NIH fellowships and two American Heart Association fellowships. This remarkable record of trainee success speaks to the time and commitment that Adam has for his trainees and to his personal commitment to their success.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Adam Wende on his achievement and recognition for his contributions and mentorship of his students.