Jim Maher is a Ph.D. research scientist whose laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology studies the nucleic acids, DNA and RNA, as well as cancer genetics. Maher's fascination with molecular puzzles and his own cancer experience led him to scientific research.
He serves as Vice Chair of his department, as well as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences where Mayo Clinic offers Ph.D. training for future scientists. Educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Caltech, Maher moved his research group to Mayo Clinic in 1995. He has been a strong advocate for student-centered Ph.D. training, and has been recognized by the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Dean's Recognition Award (2001) and was voted Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences teacher of the year three times.
Maher has been mentor to 19 Ph.D. students and dozens of undergraduates. Since 2004 he has served as Program Director for two nationally-competitive NIH grants supporting the research training of diverse post-baccalaureate, Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students at Mayo Clinic. Maher has also led efforts to secure funding for summer undergraduate research fellowship training for diverse students at Mayo Clinic, and helped found the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Office for Diversity.
Maher is excited by the mixture of cutting-edge research and relationship-building that characterizes academic training in basic science. Mayo Clinic has provided strong support in both areas.
He is committed to reminding the institution that the most important biomedical discoveries often come from unpredictable research results seemingly unrelated to clinical application.
Dec. 07, 2011