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Laura D. Mydlarz is a Professor in the Department of Biology. She obtained her PhD in 2004 from the University of California at Santa Barbara in marine natural products. At the completion of her PhD research she realized she wanted to shift her research focus from what services marine organisms can provide society, to what she could do to help imperiled coral reefs. This made Dr. Mydlarz a perfect fit for a post-doctoral research position at Cornell University, where she studied the immune responses of sea fan corals. This line of work is continued in her own lab at UT Arlington, where she has trained 7 graduate students and over 45 undergraduate students. She has received several NSF grant awards for her research, and authored over 30 publications in the field of coral immunity and eco-immunity. Her current lab focus is to understand the mechanisms of immunity that lead to different disease susceptibilities of different coral species.
Dr. Mydlarz has been teaching at UT Arlington for 12 years and has taught Cell Physiology, General Biology for non-majors and Marine Biology. She has been part of several unique programs to engage students in hands on experiential teaching. She is also the Associate Chair of Biology and is working to make changes in the curriculum to support student success initiatives. She has been awarded the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016, The UT Regents Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2017 and inducted into the 2018 Academy of Distinguished Teachers class. She is particularly proud of receiving the University Award from the Tech Titans, the largest technology trade association in Texas, for a program she co-created with the Chemistry department to encourage and support students in choosing technology-related disciplines.