September 2019 Teacher Spotlight

David Moore, Ph.D., ProfessorDavid Moore, Ph.D., Professor

Why do you love teaching/mentorship? I find teaching and mentoring to be extremely rewarding. I am a huge proponent of life-long learning, and I feel true joy in helping others who are motivated to learn. It’s a symbiotic relationship — my students teach me a tremendous amount about science as seen through the fascinating and diverse lens of our next-generation of scientists.

What piece of advice do you have for mentors when in a mentorship relationship? I had excellent mentors during my training at UCSD, and I try to emulate the best aspects of their mentoring styles that match with who I am as a person. From this experience (and with some trial and error), I believe that I have arrived at my own authentic mentoring style. I encourage all mentors to find their own style that is comfortable for them. Another piece of advice is to treat your mentees as your scientific peers. Empower them, and give them credit whenever possible. When you embark on the quest for answers to unknown scientific questions together as scientific partners, your mentees will feel that respect, and their confidence and productivity will soar.

What piece of advice do you have for mentees when in a mentorship relationship? I always encourage mentees to find the topics that are most interesting to them and to pursue those interests even if they aren’t a perfect fit for what their mentor is doing. Passion is paramount, and in the era of transdisciplinary science, a mentee’s interests can often grow and expand research portfolios that benefit both the mentee and the mentor in unexpected ways!