Lippmann receives award for excellence in mentoring graduate students

Ethan Lippmann, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and biomedical engineering, has received an Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award.

Ethan Lippmann

The award is presented to three faculty members across the Colleges and Schools at Vanderbilt that offer graduate degrees. It recognizes individuals who seek to ensure their graduate students excel in meeting program expectations, secure exceptional research experiences, and are prepared through career and professional development opportunities to advance their careers beyond graduate school.

Lippmann was nominated by G. Kane Jennings, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and Director of Graduate Recruiting. He said his reasons for nominating Lippmann included the professor customizing his approach for each student’s goals; promoting the professional development of his students; and taking on many undergraduate students to provide his graduate students opportunities to develop their own mentoring skills.

Yajuan Shi, Ph.D., is a former grad student under Lippmann who wrote a letter supporting his nomination. She said Lippmann fostered an environment of intellectual curiosity, encouraged students to pursue innovative research ideas, and supported them in building strong professional relationships with experts in their field.

“To get all mentees better trained, he even prepared us with his customized grant writing workshop to guide us through the research proposal writing and submitting process,” said Shi. “I strongly believe that Ethan’s exceptional commitment to mentoring and his efforts in creating a positive lab environment have not only shaped my educational journey and that of many others as scholars and professionals but have also contributed significantly to the positive and collaborative culture within our academic community at Vanderbilt.”

Emma Neal, Ph.D., said Lippmann helped her gain a deeper appreciation for how vital multidisciplinary collaboration is for tackling any problem in science.

“Dr. Lippmann made it clear from the beginning that collaboration was a core value of our lab, and every project we tackled benefited from it,” said Neal, who also wrote a nomination letter. “I’m preparing to enter residency now, and so much of my professional identity within medicine has been shaped by carrying forward the belief that collaboration is essential for developing meaningful solutions. I feel unequivocally better equipped moving into this next professional phase of my life because of his mentorship.”

Earlier this year, Lippmann won a Collaborative Pairs Pilot Project Award from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) to create a more effective way for the immune system to fight against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.


Contact: Lucas Johnson,