In the words of the Department Acting Chair, colleagues, and her students, UW BIOE celebrates Dr. Suzie Pun, an exemplary mentor, a valued teacher, an outstanding research leader, a congenial colleague, and a mother of twins. She has had a profound and lifelong influence on her students as well as the faculty and staff who work with her. Dr. Pun’s research focuses on the development of delivery vehicles for therapeutic and imaging applications, with an emphasis on vectors for nucleic acid delivery.
Her work spans basic mechanistic studies to highly translational studies, including key application areas of high clinical need, namely, cancer, hepatic diseases such as hemophilia, and CNS diseases such as stroke, ALS and Alzheimer’s. Dr. Pun has chaired 13 graduate students’ Supervisory Committees, and 6 have graduated so far (5 Ph.D. and 1 MS).
According to these students, she “provides strong scientific support, but also takes an active interest in [our] career goals and personal wellbeing.” She also supports her students’ industry and academic career paths. In addition to graduate students, Suzie has successfully mentored 12 postdoctoral fellows, 43 undergraduates, and 2 high school students since arriving at UW in 2003.
One undergraduate writes, “Dr. Pun invests a significant portion of her attention and time on [her] undergraduates, despite being already extremely busy advising the graduate students.” Her “selfless leadership and her emphasis on collaboration within the lab, [helped me] view other lab members not just as my mentors and colleagues, but also as my second family.”