Compassion in the details

The late MIT Professor Angelika Amon, famend for her groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of how chromosomes are regulated and partitioned throughout cell division, was additionally beloved among the many MIT neighborhood for her variety and supportive mentorship of scholars.

An engaged and valued member of the MIT neighborhood, Amon handed away in late 2020 after a tough battle with ovarian most cancers. She was the Kathleen and Curtis Marble Professor in Most cancers Analysis throughout the Division of Biology at MIT, the affiliate director of the Paul F. Glenn Heart for Biology of Ageing Analysis at MIT, a member of the Ludwig Heart for Molecular Oncology at MIT, and a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Most cancers Analysis. Amon’s analysis centered on understanding the organic impacts of cell aneuploidy, or the presence of too many chromosomes, in each wholesome and cancerous cells. Her analysis additionally touched upon the relationships between cell dimension, cell development, and age.

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Care and consideration

Amon’s nominators describe intimately how she positioned a big emphasis on her college students’ lives exterior the classroom. She acknowledged that to be able to be a productive scientist, it is very important prioritize self-care; one pupil wrote that Amon emphasised how essential it was “to deal with [your] personal psychological well being first, as a result of as she put it, ‘one of the best information was produced by blissful scientists.’”

Nonetheless, Amon’s concern for her college students’ well-being went far past her need for them to be productive members of academia. Her nomination letters are full of anecdotes demonstrating how a lot she really cared about her college students as colleagues and buddies.

One nominator summed Amon up thusly: “At her core, Angelika was a tremendously beneficiant human being, and she or he by no means displayed it greater than in caring for her college students.” She “opened her residence” to have a good time the achievements of her mentees, welcomed college students into her residence for the vacations, and provided to deal with pets when a few of her group members needed to depart the nation briefly as a result of visa points.

These touching acts show, undoubtedly, that Amon’s care and consideration for her college students knew no bounds. Regardless of the circumstances, “as her pupil, you knew that you just had been valued and cared for, and that she could be your security web even while you had been struggling.”

A dynamic mentorship type

Along with ensuring her college students had been cared for and wholesome, Amon additionally acknowledged that her relationship with every pupil was not static, however as an alternative wanted to evolve and alter relying on the present circumstances.

As one nominator wrote, “one in all Angelika’s most spectacular qualities was her potential to regulate her mentoring to what I wanted on the time.” When assembly together with her college students one-on-one, Amon had a eager eye for figuring out what they wanted most; she may instinctively inform when it was applicable to push them to finish an experiment, encourage them to vary course, and even to take a step again and take time for themselves.

This instinct was doable due to the distinctive, private relationship she developed with every of her college students. Amon was meticulous about understanding and preserving observe of every pupil’s pursuits and targets, and made positive to supply every pupil with helpful alternatives tailor-made to these targets. One nominator described how Amon “used all of her private {and professional} connections (and made many new ones!) to make sure that her college students ended up the place they needed to be.”

Even after she was recognized with ovarian most cancers, Amon made it a precedence to make sure the success and happiness of her college students. She wrote out in depth plans for every of her college students to make use of within the occasion of her passing, and she or he made positive to routinely test in together with her college students about their analysis and private lives.

A superb scientist and a caring mentor, Amon by no means missed a chance to test in together with her college students and guarantee their happiness, well-being, and success. MIT Professor Li-Huei Tsai, a collaborator of Amon’s, describes Amon as being “a champion for her feminine colleagues, fellow researchers, and college students. She was very supportive in so some ways, however what struck me particularly was that she stored a watch out for individuals who won’t be doing so nicely and would work to supply the assistance they wanted.”

Amon’s college students and your complete MIT neighborhood will miss her unrelenting enthusiasm and her variety, caring methods.


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