The American Physiological Society (APS) has selected Patricia Molina, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of Physiology at LSU Health New Orleans, as the second recipient of its prestigious A. Clifford Barger Underrepresented Minority Mentorship Award.
The A. Clifford Barger Underrepresented Minority Mentorship Award honors a member of the American Physiological Society who is judged to have demonstrated leadership, guidance, and mentorship of underrepresented minority students in the physiological sciences. The award promotes and embodies the APS goal of broad diversity among physiologists by recognizing outstanding mentors who make significant impacts on diversity in physiology.
As Director of LSU Health New Orleans’ Biomedical Alcohol Research Training Program, an NIH-funded grant that supports the training of MD and PhD pre- and post-doctoral fellows, Dr. Molina has helped trainees submit successful grant proposals. More than half of her pre-doctoral trainees obtained extramural funding under her guidance. Molina has worked to increase general recruitment and has been successful in recruiting a diverse group of trainees, including Hispanics, African Americans, females, and other individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. She has started new courses for graduate and medical students, as well as journal clubs for graduate students and weekly seminars from intramural and visiting distinguished researchers. One of her main initiatives as Physiology Department Chair has been to help junior faculty receive grant funding from major sources.
In 2016, Molina received the Aesculapian Excellence in Teaching Award from LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine. She developed the Medical Spanish Elective for students in all healthcare professions to help them develop skills needed to work with Spanish-speaking patients.
Molina has mentored two high school students, 13 undergraduates, 13 graduate students, 15 medical students, 11 postdoctoral fellows, one post-resident, and two junior faculty members. Of these, more than half are women or underrepresented minorities. She also serves as a role model in her professional societies. She has met many trainees across numerous institutions who seek her guidance. Many of her trainees have gone on to make their marks on science, medicine, and education.
Molina will be honored as the recipient of the 2018 Barger Award during the 2018 Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego in April.