Teaching Award Honors Neuroscience Researcher
International Authority on Brain Plasticity Calls Classroom Role Rewarding
May 20, 2011
Dr. Aage Møller of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences is known around the world for his innovative research on sensory systems and neural plasticity. But back at UT Dallas, he’s known to many students simply as a terrific teacher.
Møller received the President’s Teaching Excellence Award for Tenure-Track Faculty during the annual Honors Convocation on May 13. He was selected from among more than 100 eligible faculty members who were nominated by undergraduate students. The award carries a stipend of $5,000.
Møller holds the Margaret Fonde Jonsson Endowed Chair in BBS. He and his wife, Margareta, also are donors to UT Dallas, helping establish scholarships and professorships at the school. Møller said he enjoys working with students and is pleased that his time in the classroom and labs helps move their education forward.
Dr. Aage Møller recently published a book about making rational health care choices.
“I am naturally greatly honored by this award,” he said. “I love teaching, and my students are great — I learn a lot from them. It is very rewarding to be able to help young people get the best possible start in a professional or academic life.”
Although Moller is invited to lecture on his research around the world, he still derives a great deal of satisfaction from working side-by-side with students and sharing what he has learned during a long career. He offers the following advice to young faculty members: “Provide your very best in making the topic you teach interesting. Have respect for your students, and remember that we as teachers work for the students. They have paid dearly and suffered many sacrifices to get our help in learning the basis for a professional or academic life.”
Moller received another honor recently, when he was chosen to present BBS’ first Distinguished Lecture in Behavioral and Brain Sciences. Slated to be an annual event, this lecture will be the final talk in the school’s annual colloquium series. He will present the lecture in April 2012.
The distinguished lecture is designed to recognize the distinguished careers of faculty members and to enable faculty members to hear the talks their colleagues regularly deliver to audiences around the world.
Moller said his lecture will focus on neural plasticity, a feature of the brain important for childhood development, new skill acquisition and recovery after strokes and other injuries. He recently published a book, A New Epidemic: Harm in Health Care.
Among Moller’s most important contributions to neuroscience is his development of a method to reduce the risk of serious complications from brain operations. The technique is used worldwide and known as intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring.
Dr. Bert Moore, dean of BBS, praised the teaching and research accomplishments of Moller.
“These parallel honors reflect the contributions that Aage Moller makes as a scientist, scholar and instructor,” he said. “We are very proud of his winning the President's Teaching Award, and also the recognition that our most distinguished researchers are also some of our most esteemed classroom teachers.”