Patricia Burchat honored for mentoring women in science

Patricia Burchat
Patricia Burchat

PATRICIA BURCHAT, the Gabilan Professor and chair of the Department of Physics, will receive the 2010 Judith Pool Award for mentoring young women in science from the Northern California Chapter of the Association for Women in Science this month. Supporting letters commended Burchat as a mentor and a role model. In particular, nominators noted that she is a passionate teacher, inspiring scientist and caring mentor. Among the praise she received from students and postdocs:

“Pat’s a great role model who makes time to answer questions and give honest, thoughtful and exceedingly useful advice.”

“Pat has always made an effort to discuss my progress and offer professional development advice. Working with Pat has made me a better scientist, teacher and mentor.”

The Judith Pool Award is named for one of the first women to be promoted to full professor in the Stanford School of Medicine. Pool’s lab was noted for having developed a purification process from human plasma for one of the clotting factors that is used to treat hemophilia.

The award is given to a woman who is relatively senior in her research career, has distinguished herself in science and is an inspiring mentor.

Burchat joined Stanford as associate professor in 1995 from the University of California-Santa Cruz. Among her many awards is the university’s Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, which she won in 2007. Burchat’s research interests focus on fundamental physics: What is the universe made of? What are the laws of physics that govern the fundamental constituents of the universe? She has been a key player in a number of accelerator-based particle physics experiments that probe the fundamental interactions, especially the “weak” interaction. She is beginning a new research effort on a large survey telescope to map the dark matter in the universe as a probe for understanding the nature of dark energy.