Rae Nishi, Ph.D., Professor of Neurological Sciences at the University of Vermont (UVM), has been named the Burroughs Wellcome Director of Education at the MBL, a title that recognizes a gift to the MBL from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Nishi succeeds William Reznikoff, Ph.D., who has been the MBL Director of Education since 2010. Her appointment will begin in January 2016.
Nishi will administer and coordinate the MBL’s Discovery Courses and Special Topics Courses; workshops and conferences; and graduate and undergraduate programs with an eye toward continued expansion into year-round activities, particularly in the context of the MBL’s partnership with the University of Chicago.
“Rae’s deep experience as an educator, administrator, and scientist makes her an ideal choice to develop a new vision for all MBL educational programs,” said MBL President and Director Huntington F. Willard.
Nishi has a long association with the MBL, particularly with the Neurobiology course. She was a student in Neurobiology in 1977; course instructor from 1980 to 1984; and its co-director from 2004 to 2007. Since 2007, she has been a faculty member in the Summer Program in Neuroscience, Ethics and Survival (SPINES) course. Nishi is also a member of the MBL’s Research Awards Committee and previously served on the Whitman Center Review Committee.
At UVM, Nishi currently directs the Neuroscience Graduate Program as well as the Neuroscience, Behavior and Health Initiative. She was previously a professor at Oregon Health Sciences University. Her research has focused on neural development and nicotinic signaling. Nishi received a B.S. from Stanford University, a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and was a postdoctoral trainee in the Neurobiology Department at Harvard Medical School.