Faculty Mentor of the Week - Dr. Fondufe-Mittendorf

Week 4: September 18, 2017- September 22, 2017
Dr. Yvonne Fondufe-Mittendorf - College of Medicine

As an assistant professor of molecular and cellular biochemistry, Dr. Fondufe-Mittendorf has mentored a total of six students, two of which were a part of UK’s SPIRIT program from Saudi Arabia this summer. She, like any outstanding mentor, is passionate about her research and assures her mentees are as well.
Dr. Fondufe-Mittendorf says, “I feel very blessed having students who come in not knowing anything about a molecular biology lab and by the end of their training, they have blossomed into scientists, asking pertinent questions about their project. I try to have an open door policy where students are not afraid to make mistakes and are allowed to be creative and hardworking.” Moving from Cameroon to Germany, Dr. Fondufe-Mittendorf herself participated in research. She accredits her devotion to her mentees to her first mentor, who explained lab procedures and equipment without making her feel foolish. “This is what I hope to pass on to the mentees that come into my lab - Science can be fun, if we have open discussions and not worry so much about our fears and mistakes.
My ultimate goal is to generate excitement in science,” she says. In her mentees, Dr. Fondufe-Mittendorf, looks for students who are driven and passionate. When asked about her experience with the UK Spirit program, Dr. Fondufe-Mittendorf said “I strive to ensure that everyone is welcome to my lab, especially minority students. I strive for the lab to have a collegial atmosphere. I have trained so far three female SPIRIT students and my hope is to instill in them the idea that they too can be good scientists, with the will and drive, nothing should stand in your way."
Read more at: https://biochemistry.med.uky.edu/users/ynfo222