MacIver takes 2004 Cox Medal
M. Bruce MacIver, associate professor of neurophysiology in the Department of Anesthesia at the School of Medicine, will be honored with the 2004 Allan V. Cox Medal at ceremonies to be held June 12 in Kresge Auditorium.
The Cox Medal is awarded annually to a faculty member who has established a record of excellence directing undergraduate research over a number of years. It may also go to a faculty member who has done an especially outstanding job with just one or two undergraduates whose work is unusually superior.
The citation for MacIver's award acknowledged his "long-standing and widely acknowledged commitment to undergraduate research and lifelong mentoring that has moved students from initial exposure to cutting edge work to careers in their own biomedical laboratories."
The citation also noted that MacIver had fostered independent thinking "in a supportive, but intellectually rigorous, research environment that encourages the development of scientific thinking as well as technical virtuosity, training which has garnered prestigious awards for his students."
The citation credited MacIver for "transforming undergraduates in his laboratory into researchers who, along with him, are defining the field of neurophysiology and contributing to therapeutically relevant research in the area of anesthesia; for inspiring students to pursue medical and research careers motivated by intellectual excitement and humanitarian service; for demonstrated commitment to support the efforts of women who seek to pursue medical research; and for modeling a life of balance, intellectual excellence, and compassion."
The Cox award was established in memory of the late Allan Cox, a professor of geophysics and dean of the School of Earth Sciences. He is widely known as the co-discoverer of magnetic-field reversals.
The memo soliciting nominations for the Cox Medal referred to the fact that "in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was Cox, more than any other Stanford faculty member, who extolled the virtue of research programs such as that pioneered at MIT. He encouraged professors to adopt the same goals and provide similar opportunities to undergraduates here. His energy led to increased funding and support for faculty-student collaboration in research."
MacIver received a master's degree in pharmacology in 1981 and a Ph.D. in neuroscience in 1985, both from the University of Calgary. He joined Stanford's Anesthesia Department in 1987, serving first as a postdoctoral fellow then, from 1991 to 1998, as an assistant professor (research). He was promoted to associate professor of neurophysiology effective July 1998.
MacIver serves on the admissions committee of the Interdepartmental Neurosciences Graduate Program. His accomplishments have gained wide recognition through published work in journals such as Anesthesiology, Journal of Neuroscience, and The Journal of Neurophysiology, and through invited lectures at national and international meetings. His research has been continuously funded for more than 10 years by National Institute of Health research grants for studies of the effects of anesthetic agents.
Professor MacIver's main research focus is on the cellular, synaptic and molecular mechanisms of action of central nervous system (CNS) drugs, with the long-term goal of providing physiological background information required to design safer and more effective anesthetics and analgesics. The MacIver lab utilizes electrophysiological recording techniques and selective pharmacological probes to investigate the sites and mechanisms of action for CNS active agents.