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Carolyn Bertozzi wins AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award

The award recognizes significant contributions to mentorship and to increasing diversity in STEM fields
Carolyn Bertozzi
Carolyn Bertozzi (Image credit: American Chemical Society)

Carolyn Bertozzi, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and the Baker Family Director of Stanford ChEM-H, has been awarded the Lifetime Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This award honors AAAS Members who over the span of 25 or more years have mentored significant numbers of underrepresented students working toward the completion of a doctorate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or looking to increase diversity of students pursuing and completing doctorates in STEM fields.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award, especially as a major career goal of mine has been to continuously improve as a mentor and help mold the next generation of scientists aiming to improve human health,” said Bertozzi, who is a professor in the Department of Chemistry.

Bertozzi is being recognized for her contributions to mentorship and diversity in chemistry and chemical biology through her roles as an advisor to students and postdoctoral scholars in her lab and as a leader in scientific training programs. Her career as a professor began in 1996 at the University of California, Berkeley, where she created the Chemical Biology Graduate Program, and continued when she and her lab moved to Stanford in 2015. She has advised over 170 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, including 73 women and 61 individuals from underrepresented groups.

“Carolyn wholeheartedly believes in her trainees and continues to be a fearless supporter of her students long after they have left her lab. I’m incredibly fortunate to count myself one of her mentees,” said Mireille Kamariza, a former graduate student in Bertozzi’s lab and currently a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard University.

Bertozzi founded and directs the Stanford ChEM-H Chemistry/Biology Interface (CBI) Graduate Training Program, which provides graduate students with an interdisciplinary training that extends beyond their degree-granting departments. She has grown the program to more than 90 graduate trainees, with more than half of students in the two most recent cohorts being women and nearly two-thirds of those students being underrepresented minorities.

Last year, she launched the Postbaccalaureate Program in Target Discovery, a joint effort between ChEM-H and the Innovative Medicines Accelerator to prepare recent college graduates from diverse and historically underserved backgrounds to apply for doctorate programs in the sciences. The postbaccalaureate scholars conduct two years of paid, full-time research in a Stanford lab while participating in career development workshops.

“I consider it a great privilege to be in a position to mentor brilliant and motivated young scientists, help launch their careers, and contribute to diversification of the scientific workforce,” said Bertozzi.

Bertozzi and the winners of other AAAS awards will be recognized during the virtual AAAS Annual Meeting on February 17.


Bertozzi is a member of Bio-X, the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance, the Maternal & Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI), and the Stanford Cancer Institute. She is also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 

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