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Verne M. Willaman Gateway to the Sciences.

Miyashiro honored with Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Award

30 July 2021
Timothy Mirashiro

Timothy Miyashiro, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, has been named a recipient of the Eberly College of Science Distinguished Faculty Mentoring Award. The award was created in 2019 to honor faculty members in the college for their outstanding work in mentoring students, postdocs, and faculty.

Miyashiro was nominated “for his outstanding record in mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, including members of underrepresented/underserved groups.”

During his time at Penn State, Miyashiro has mentored 6 graduate students, 3 postdocs, and 60 undergraduate students. He mentored three undergraduate students in the Beckman Scholar Program, for which Penn State was 1 of 12 institutions selected to run by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation in 2019. The Program offers a 15-month research experience to exceptionally talented, full-time Penn State undergraduates performing research in the biological and chemical sciences. He was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Gilliam Faculty Mentor for a Penn State graduate student from 2017 to 2020.

Miyashiro studies how bacteria adapt to a host environment. Specifically, he focuses his research on the relationship between the Hawaiian bobtail squid and the bioluminescent bacteria that live within them. The bacteria produce light from within a dedicated structure in the squid called the light organ that the squid uses to camouflage itself at night. Miyashiro’s lab uses microbial genetics, confocal microscopy, and biochemistry to explore themes of cooperation and conflict among bacteria within this symbiosis.

Miyashiro has also been recognized for his teaching with the Daniel P. Tershak Memorial Teaching Award from the Penn State Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2019.

Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, Miyashiro was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Public Health from 2008 to 2012. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at the University of Delaware in 2001 and a doctoral degree in physics at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007.