Matthew Ellinwood is an associate professor of animal science whose excellent ability to form meaningful relationships with his students has transformed lives and careers. A comparative medical geneticist, Ellinwood is considered an international expert on mucopolysaccharidoses – a group of fatal pediatric neurodegenerative diseases. Since coming to ISU – where his maternal grandparents met in the Department of Animal Husbandry in the 1920s – in 2004, his research and teaching has focused on companion animal and murine models of human genetic disease. He has 39 peer reviewed publications and recently served as director of graduate education for ISU’s neuroscience program. But Ellinwood derives his greatest satisfaction, he says, from mentoring undergraduate students in veterinary science and genetics research. “Dr. Ellinwood embodies the characteristics of a true educator,” his nominator wrote, “but also represents the very heart of inspiration and mentorship at Iowa State University. He motivates students to utilize their strengths to the best of their abilities and to pursue their dreams with a level of passion they previously believed to be impossible. His compassion, intelligence, and constant drive to help students in need are matched by few, if any. In this respect, he is a truly unique individual.”
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