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Wednesday 6 January 2016 9:55am

Phil SheardCongratulations to BHRC researcher Associate Professor Phil Sheard who has been awarded the Otago School of Medical Sciences Distinguished Academic Teacher award for 2015.

This award recognises Associate Professor Sheard's excellence in teaching and academic activities in the Otago School of Medical Sciences, and is accompanied by a grant of $2,000 toward research and scholarly development. The OSMS contains the departments of Anatomy, Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, and Physiology, with over 100 lecturers in total.

Associate Professor Sheard was instrumental in revamping the style of teaching for level 300 neurophysiology laboratories. The new structure of these lab classes focuses on developing students scientific expertise by having them develop, test, and present their own experiments. This new focus on scientific skills has been embraced by students and lecturers alike and was a large factor in the decision to award this prize to Associate Professor Sheard.

Beyond his success in developing these new laboratories, Associate Professor Sheard is also an accomplished lecturer.

“I let them see that I am excited by this stuff, and some of that rubs off on them” he said of his overwhelmingly positive student evaluations. This year he will lecturing as part of PHSL231, neurophysiology, and PHSL341, molecular and cellular integrative neuroscience, which are offered as part of both physiology and neuroscience.

While it is clear that he is both an engaging and highly accomplished lecturer, Associate Professor Sheard's research into sarcopenia also continues to make impressive progress.

To see Associate Professor Sheard discuss his work come along to his lecture 'Understanding nerve endings and maintaining muscle tone' during brain week.

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