Gareth Denyer wins Life Technologies Education Award

23 February 2012

Associate Professor Gareth Denyer, from the School of Molecular Bioscience, has won the 2012 Invitrogen Life Technologies Education Award from the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

TheInvitrogenLife Technologies Education Award recognises outstanding achievement in education in biochemistry or molecular biology, especially innovation and creativity in education.

Associate Professor Denyerwill receive his award at theComBio conferenceto be held on 23-27 September 2012 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. As part of the award, he will give the main presentation of the Education Symposium at ComBio.

"I'm very humbled to win the Life Technologies Education Award and feel somewhat guilty to get the award because I think that there are several people in my School who are better teachers than me!" said Associate Professor Denyer.

"The buzz that I get from teaching comes from helping students who are struggling. To be the person that enables a student to finally understand a concept that has troubled them for perhaps years is an amazing thing."

Winning the award for his excellent teaching based on his philosophy of focusing on practical teaching outcomes and a minimum of teaching jargon, Associate Professor Denyer is passionate about being creative and experimenting with his teaching. He shows leadership in designing courses, administration and, most recently, the introduction of electronic lab notebooks and student portfolios.

"My teaching philosophy has been shaped by several people who have inspired me and provided guidance along the way in my career, including academics at the University of Oxford where I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and here at the University of Sydney, where I have worked for more than 20 years," said Associate Professor Denyer.

"I've been inspired by the various ways that these academics provide a sensitive and inspiring education, so I find the modern trend of judging teachers largely by scholarship and pedagogic research unfortunate. I am passionate about judging teachers by how well they teach.

"Therefore, I am really grateful to theAustralian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biologyfor choosing me for the Education Award and I hope it will encourage others who want to enjoy and be effective in their teaching to do so through creativity, experimentation and reflection."

In his presentation at the Education Symposium at ComBio, Associate Professor Denyer will present on his most recent teaching innovations, including the ePortolio/eNotebook, the classes that he and colleagues have set up to build students' confidence in criticising the research literature, the anti-plagiarism solutions that they use in exams and the narrated meta-lectures which provide commentaries on lectures similar to the producer commentaries that come with a movie DVD.

As part of the Invitrogen Life Technologies Education Award, he will also be sent to an international conference of his choice with a significant focus on education.

"I am hoping to attend the conference associated with the ePortfolio system that we are using as a surrogate electronic Lab Notebook. I hope to be able to convince the authors of that software to make changes that will enable the ePortolio system to work as a modern eNotebook which can be used in many other disciplines and even in the real research lab environment."

Read moreabout the Invitrogen Life Technologies Education Award and other Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology awards on the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology website.

Media enquiries: Katynna Gill, 02 9351 6997,