Sian Tzi Patterson PhD
Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in Life Sciences Award
Affiliation(s): Department of Biochemistry
Context(s) for Award: Lecture and lab courses offered in the Department of Biochemistry through Arts and Science – BCH210H, BCH242Y, BCH370H, BCH371H, BCH471Y.
Dr. Patterson is a lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto. She is involved with undergraduate teaching in both lecture and laboratory courses, as well as the coordination of the department’s online biochemistry course, SCS2472: Biochemistry with a Medical Perspective. Dr. Patterson is also a Course Co-Director for MNU111Y: Metabolism and Nutrition, a 10-week course offered in the first year of the Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) program at the University of Toronto. Dr. Patterson obtained her B.Sc. from the University of Guelph and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto where she examined the role of molecular chaperones during erythroid development. She has had extensive laboratory experience in both academia and the pharmaceutical industry, including placements at Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. and McNeil Consumer Healthcare. Her main focus as a lecturer is to improve on the quality of education both in the class and online. Sian has received three teaching awards as well as the David A. Scott award from the Department of Biochemistry, and has facilitated teaching workshops for TAs as well as faculty at the University of Toronto.
Curiosity – this encompasses my entire approach to teaching and learning. It is what I strive for each day, driving what I do, the interactions I have with others, and is the one thing I hope my students leave with at the end of their university experience. This relentless quest for knowledge has resulted in the nickname
‘the Questionator’ by those close to me. I teach in order to pass along the knowledge and skills that I have learned but more importantly, to drive the curiosity of others so that they may seek out more information and become active lifelong learners.