Murty S. Kambhampati - Professor of Biology

Dr. Murty S. Kambhampati is recognized as a Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring for his success preparing underrepresented minority high school students for college and undergraduate students for graduate programs through intensive research mentoring (hands-on and minds-on experience) and scientific competition (presentations at research conferences).

After earning his doctoral degree in environmental sciences from Jackson State University, Dr. Kambhampati began his career at Southern University, a prominent Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in New Orleans. Knowing the importance of teaching and research for undergraduates at an HBCU, Dr. Kambhampati developed a mentoring formula that has produced remarkable results. He uses research opportunities for undergraduates in order to:
• Build student character and confidence in skill development;
• Create opportunity channels for career development and, most importantly;
• Utilize research as a teaching tool.

Dr. Kambhampati’s mentoring methods are designed to expose students to research and the professional environment as early as possible. For students from disadvantaged backgrounds, traveling to state-of-the-art research facilities and conducting research enables them to appreciate science while providing opportunities to experience academic success, learn scientific research skills, and develop professional skills.

With the strength of his program, Southern University has received major resource support from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Education, among others.

Over the past 12 years, Dr. Kambhampati has personally mentored 65 minority biology majors in addition to several high school students. All of the students mentored by Dr. Kambhampati in that period have graduated. Of 27 graduates tracked since 2002, 71% have gone on to graduate and professional schools.

These mentoring efforts have resulted in impressive student achievements, as well. Dr. Kambhampati’s students have produced 60 research abstracts, more than 60 presentations at regional, national, and international conferences, nearly 20 student awards for excellence in poster and oral presentations, and several peer-reviewed publications as co-authors.

Dr. Kambhampati received Southern University’s 2005 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Mentoring. He currently serves as Biology Coordinator for the NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation project in Louisiana.

Two of Dr. Kambhampati’s protégés have received the National Student Role Model Award from Minority Access, Inc. for excellence in academics and research. They were the first students in Southern University’s history to receive this award.