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Lian named 2020 Faculty Mentor

The Office of Undergraduate Research is pleased to announce that Dr. Ian Lian is the 2020 Faculty mentor

Ian Lian with Students
Dr. Lian (far right) with undergrad researchers


Lian, the sixth faculty member recognized awarded the Office of Undergraduate Research’s most prestigious award, is an associate professor of biology, selected for his outstanding achievements mentoring undergraduates in research and creative activities.

“I was honored to be nominated by my colleague for the award and was pleasantly surprised for receiving it,” Lian said. “It's definitely a highlight of my professional career.”

The award is given to the faculty member who demonstrates a history of supporting undergraduate students in their research efforts including publishing research, attending conferences and meetings and contributing to students’ overall professional development.

Lian, one of five nominees, began supporting undergraduates early in his career. “I started my involvement in research while I was an undergrad student at the University of California at San Diego and was benefited from this experience tremendously,” said Lian. “One of the main reasons I joined LU is its unique balance in teaching and research, which allows me to conduct research and pass on this experience to the students through the mentoring activities.”

During his years at LU, Lian and his undergraduate apprentices are regularly participants at the highly selective Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium organized at Rice University.  He has trained Beck fellows and McNair scholars.  One of his research groups was selected to participate at the prestigious 2015 Posters on the Hill event hosted by the Council of Undergraduate Research at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Lamar University students have been selected to participate in this event only three times in the history of this event.

“Dr. Lian has inspired many students to achieve great academic performances,” said Cristian Bahrim, professor of physics and active director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.

“Without any hesitation I can say that Dr. Lian is one of the finest faculty mentors Lamar University ever had. I am very happy that he received this high recognition from the Advisory Board members of the Office of Undergraduate Research.”

And Lian’s research and mentoring efforts continue. One of his current research focuses is on the characterization of metastatic potentials of cancer cells by establishing novel biomechanical markers. Two of his undergraduate students -Nicolas Nikoloutsos and Tyler Neslon – have been involved in this project which has resulted in two separate peer-review papers.

“Both students were co-authors this year on these papers,” said Lian. “Considering that many graduate student’s thesis are not publishable at such a professional level, even at the master’s level, I believe it's a significant achievement for Lamar University’s undergraduate research effort.”