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McClellan Awarded Outstanding Undergraduate Mentor Award

April 30, 2011

Columbia, MO — Andrew McClellan was presented the 2011 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award as part of MU’s Spring Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum.

McClellan is a professor of biological sciences. His research projects include operation of neural networks in the brain and spinal cord that control locomotor function, computer modeling of neural networks, calcium imaging of neuronal activity in locomotor networks, cellular studies of functional neural regeneration following spinal cord injury, factors that promote neurite outgrowth and synapse formation of neurons in cell culture and biomedical instrumentation.

“It is a wonderful honor to receive an Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award,” McClellan said. “I owe this largely to the many excellent undergraduate students who have performed research in my laboratory over the years, including the students who nominated me this year.”

Among the students that McClellan has been mentoring is senior Kylie House, who has been conducting research on the different rates of behavioral recovery in lamprey with rostral or caudal spinal cord transections.

“As I began to spend more time in Dr. McClellan’s lab, I noticed how accepting he was of my questions, which encouraged me to want to become more involved in the research process and learn more about what I was researching,” House said in his nomination of McClellan for the award. “Looking back, it is easy to see what an integral figure Dr. McClellan was in my realization that I too could be a scholar, and I will always be grateful for the experiences I had in his lab.”

Kellie Kreher, who worked with McClellan on research into the organization of the locomotor command system in lamprey, credits him with making students feel comfortable in the research process.

“I feel that my involvement in undergraduate research has been a defining experience, and the reason it has been so positive is because of Dr. McClellan,” Kreher said in her nomination. “He has been an essential part of my academic career at the University of Missouri.”

McClellan also mentored Taylor Pancoast on research looking into whether growth cone morphology contributes to axonal growth rate.

“Dr. McClellan gets to know every student as an individual, not solely as a student,” Pancoast commented. “He initiated the idea of having ‘lab events,’ which are social get-togethers outside of the lab where we go to interact with other students at a more personal level.”

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Source: Office of Undergraduate Research

Related research strengths:
Behavior, Cell Biology, Neurobiology
Related categories:
Awards, Undergraduate Studies