Libby King and Yves Chabu Win Faculty Awards

The Division congratulates to Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) King and Dr. Yves Chabu on being selected for two of faculty awards by the College of Arts and Science. 

The awards recognize faculty who demonstrate excellence in research, teaching, and service. The awards were announced by Dr. Cooper Drury, Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Science, during the “State of the College” address on 9 March.

“These are the most prestigious awards given out by the College, and to have two of our faculty honored in one year shows what a remarkable impact they make,” shared Professor David Schulz, Director of the Division. 

Dr. Elizabeth King Named Associate Professor of the Year

King is a quantitative geneticist who is blazing an exciting trail with the use of multiparent populations to investigate the genetics and evolution of complex traits. Her research, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, has implications for understanding the connections between the genome and the different features of organisms. As a quantitative biologist, she recognizes the importance of math in science, and a major teaching goal for her is to provide students with positive experiences and to combat ‘fear of math’ that is all too common even among science majors. She does this in many creative ways, including hosting a weekly DataPhiles group.

Where King stands out amongst her peers is in her record of concrete achievements to support inclusion, diversity, and equity, writes Professor Paula McSteen in her nomination letter. “Libby actively works to create a culture that is welcoming to all students -- in her lab, her classroom, and across the department as a whole,” writes McSteen. Her contributions and service in this area are creative, diverse, and broad and include the development of a formal climate survey to assess how well the Division of Biological Sciences fares in terms of inclusion and equity; the creation of a departmental library focused on social justice; and the creation of a series of YouTube videos that showcase the diverse science that occurs at Mizzou and the many identities of the scientists who undertake the research.

Dr. Yves Chabu Named Assistant Professor of the Year 

Since Chabu joined the Division of Biological Sciences in 2017, he has established a thriving research program focused on mechanisms of cell-cell communication during development and tumor progression. His approach of understanding the fundamental biology of human diseases, combined with his translational research, is leading to novel insights into how best to confront cancer. His work is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as the Midwest Biomedical Accelerator Consortium (an NIH supported program).

Chabu has gained a reputation as an enthusiastic and engaging teacher and mentor and, to date, he has trained 3 Ph.D. students, 3 postdoctoral fellows, 13 undergraduates, and 1 postbaccalaureate scholar in his laboratory. He attributes his success to these "incredibly motivated" scholars.

“Yves is motivated to be a well-rounded teacher and scholar that is focused not only on his excellent research program but also on building a department that excels,” shared Dr. Jim Bircher in his nomination letter. "He is forward-thinking and passionate about helping develop the department into a collaborative scientific community that excels in both research and teaching."