McFall-Ngai wins $1M, plans to transform biology education

Margaret McFall-Ngai, director of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center (PBRC), has been awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) professorship grant. HHMI professors are accomplished research scientists who are deeply committed to making science more engaging for undergraduates. With this honor, McFall-Ngai will receive $1 million over five years to develop innovative approaches to teaching undergraduate science.

She plans to develop an entirely new concept of a biology curriculum for UH Mānoa and other institutions of higher learning. The ideal curriculum will engage leading researchers in the education of future biologists, as well as introduce those in other STEM disciplines to biology.

McFall-Ngai’s research laboratory focuses on two areas: the role of beneficial bacteria in health using the squid-vibrio model; and the biochemical and molecular “design” of tissues that interact with light. She is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and National Academy of Sciences, and has been heavily involved in promoting microbiology as the cornerstone of the field of biology.

Read more about is in the UH System News.