Gail Deerin Burd

Areas of Achievement: 
Higher Education

Honored By

Honored by: Hildebrand, John
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Leaf Tile, Medium

Dr. Gail Deerin Burd is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona. The first person in her family to go to college, she is a graduate of Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey) and earned a Ph.D. in Neurobiology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Following postdoctoral appointments at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury, MA, and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, she held a faculty position at the Rockefeller University in New York City. Her service on the faculty of the University of Arizona began in 1985.

A dedicated teacher and passionate advocate for students and their education, Gail has devoted much of her creative energy to active engagement of learners of all ages. Many undergraduate and graduate students have benefited from participation in her research program, which focuses on the structure, function and development of the olfactory system. Her courses, ranging from 'Developmental Mechanisms' to 'Science, Society and Ethics,' are praised by students. Her novel course 'Science Connection' partners teachers in Tucson public schools with university students, who take to the classroom hands-on science lessons they have prepared.

Gail's record of service and leadership sparkles. Among her many achievements have been her service as a member of the prestigious Advisory Council of the National Institute of Deafness and Communicative Disorders of the National Institutes of Health, Acting Head of the University's Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Associate Dean of the College of Science, a founding member of the Executive Committee of the University's Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, and Faculty Senator. Her admirable record in education, research and service has earned her honors including the Sinsheimer Scholars Award, the Sarlo Family Foundation Outstanding Faculty Award, and the University of Arizona Mortar Board Award, Innovation in Teaching Award, and Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award.

In 1982, Gail married John G. Hildebrand (also a professor and administrator in the University of Arizona), whose life she enriches immeasurably. Away from the University, Gail and John share a love of classical music, opera, dance and theater, as well as fine food and wine and international travel ̱ especially in Italy.