We rise by lifting others

Exceptional Faculty Mentors

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs would like to recognize the positive impact and importance of Rutgers' faculty members, who as mentors, have made a real difference in the lives of their postdoctoral trainees and lab members.  In an effort to recognize and promote effective faculty-postdoc mentoring relationships at Rutgers, each month we will feature an Exceptional Faculty Mentor nominated by our postdoctoral community, on both our website and weekly newsletter with the hope of inspiring others.

May 2018 | Dr. Teresa Wood, Exceptional Faculty Mentor

My greatest reward from mentoring is in helping young scientists develop their abilities to become independent and to assist in launching them towards their goals. The most exciting moments are those when my mentees realize they are capable of more than they realized!

My advice is to follow your passion and believe you can be successful if you really want to do something. Learn from people who are successful and happy in the career you are interested in doing. - Dr. Terri Wood

Dr. Terri Wood



Dr. Terri Wood
Professor and Rena Warshow Endowed Chair in Multiple Sclerosis
Dept. Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience
New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers University 
Cancer Institute of New Jersey - Newark



Terri is an exceptional postdoctoral research mentor. She has fostered a community of collaboration and allowed for an environment to push her mentees to reach their goals. From my first-hand experience, she has allowed for freedom to drive my own projects, to mentor other students, and to help with collaborations outside of the lab. She has prepared me for moving to the next step of my career and I couldn't imagine being able to do it without her. - Dr. Alison Obr, Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Terri Wood Lab members

Since the first day I joined Dr. Wood's lab, she has done her best to make me feel included in our large group and not like "the new guy." She always expresses an interest in and encourages my ideas, which I believe has helped foster my creativity as a scientist-in-training. During my coursework, Dr. Wood always put my education first and was never too demanding or expecting above and beyond what I was able to comfortably manage in the lab, allowing me to succeed in both. Even at this early point in my program, I feel that Dr. Wood's guidance has already helped me immensely in the development of my scientific skills and ideas and I feel extremely lucky for having the opportunity to have her as my mentor. - Joey Bulatowicz, Graduate Student

March 2018 | Dr. Paul Copeland, Exceptional Faculty Mentor

"Mentoring is one of those things you do not necessarily realize you need until you get it. I think once the power of good mentoring is realized, it is quite addicting, so I like to think of good mentoring practices as a beneficial communicable disease..." - Dr. Paul Copeland 

Doctor Paul Copeland



Dr. Paul Copeland
Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School





"Paul is a great mentor because he lets you learn and grow in the course of research. You learn to not only enjoy research but challenge your every experimental plan and improvise on design. His constructive criticisms both at the weekly meetings and journal clubs guides us constantly. Honestly, its under his guidance that I have truly learnt to appreciate and evaluate research." - Dr. Sumangala Shetty (former Postdoc)

Paul Copeland Research Lab

"Paul is a fantastic mentor because of what he values. Getting data, writing grants, and publishing papers are important, but he genuinely cares about teaching you to become a good scientist. That quality is what makes Paul a truly fantastic mentor." - Michael Vetick (current Lab Manager and future MD.PhD student)

"Paul has been an excellent mentor to me over the past few years. His enthusiasm for science is infectious and helps motivate me day-to-day. His dedication to his students and post docs are apparent in the time he takes to ensure they have everything they need.  He also frequently discusses career choices and trajectory as well.He brings the best out of his students without having to micro-manage them.He is very approachable with ideas, questions, and concerns. Does not put you down when he disagrees with you." - Mark Pinkerton (current Graduate Student)

"The reason I find him to be a good mentor is because he is actively available and involved in the lab. I know a lot of undergraduates who see their PI once every few months (or never) and are never able to directly interact with them. I see Paul at least twice a week and am able to receive feedback from him and present to him without having to go through a chain of postdocs first. This "approachability" makes for an environment conducive for making mistakes and learning." - Supriya Sinha (current Undergraduate Student)

"Paul has always given me encouragement to pursue my interests and time to develop my ideas. He has been very supportive throughout my career, going above, and beyond to ensure I had the tools I need to succeed not only in his lab, but also in all of my future academic and non-academic endeavors."- Dr. Aditi Dubey (former Graduate Student)