Professor Horgen Named Teacher of the Year

Dr. Horgen

Annually in the spring, HPU graduating students are asked to nominate candidates for the Teacher of the Year award. Professor of Chemistry David Horgen, Ph.D., was named the 2017 HPU Teacher of the Year. He was presented the award by 2016 HPU Teacher of the Year Margo Bare, retired professor of social work.

Horgen, who is the chair of the chemistry and biochemistry program, joined HPU in 2000. His major research interest is in marine natural products chemistry. He is the head of HPU’s Shared Instrumentation Facility, which has been funded by the National Institute of Health since 2002. One of the research team’s accomplishments is the discovery of new biological activity for a naturally occurring marine compound, waixenicin A, which is produced by a soft coral that grows only in Hawai‘i. It may be a resource for finding new therapies for cancer and stroke.

Additionally, these biomedical research laboratories — known as INBRE — support instructional lab courses and increase undergraduate and graduate student research opportunities. Under the mentorship of this year’s teacher of the year and his biomedical faculty colleagues, nearly 100 students have participated in INBRE research projects and 40 undergraduates have coauthored scholarly presentations and manuscripts.

One of the participants in the student instrumentation-mentoring program that Horgen organizes said, “Programs like this have given students like myself not only a remarkable opportunity to get involved in what the Chemistry department has to offer, but the ability to make ourselves marketable in our field, with experience many other schools cannot offer their students.” This graduating senior has been accepted to a competitive summer research experience program at a graduate school of biomedical sciences, and she thanks Horgen for his support. This student is one of the many students he has impacted.