(June 9, 2021) Professor Webster Santos was recently named a recipient the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, awarded by the Graduate School as part of Graduate Education Week, held annually in late March. The Graduate School awards one faculty mentor per college with this award, and nominations come from students and alumni.

Prof. Santos was nominated by now-graduated student, Dr. Justin Grams, who wrote that Santos encourages his students to write for publications as lead authors, and most of his students graduate with three or more first-author publications. First authorship helps demonstrate that the author is a “major contributor both intellectually and in work performed for the project”, said Grams. By encouraging his students to write as first authors, as well as working with them to ensure that their work is ethical and meets rigorous standards, Santos sets up his students for future success. Dr. David Bryson, alumnus and senior scientist at Beam Therapeutics, wrote that “[Santos] was a role model that proved to be one of the most consequential mentors I’ve had in my career of scientific research,” adding that even nine years post-graduation, he still feels the influence of Santos’ standards in his own mentorship and research.

Santos’ lab focuses on the application of organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry to develop novel therapeutics. You can read more about their work here: https://www.santosgroup.chem.vt.edu