Dr Mark Sullivan - Reproductive & Developmental Biology
Meet Dr Mark Sullivan
What course do you teach on and what is your role?
MSc in Reproductive & Developmental Biology. Course Director and teacher
How has your career led you to teaching?
My career started with a BSc and PhD (both in biochemistry), which is due course led to a permanent academic lecturer position. The focus was entirely on research for the first 10 years; the next 10 years were a mixture of research and teaching (at various levels), and for the last 10 years I have been concentrating mainly on teaching - again at many different levels and on different courses.
What aspect of the course do you enjoy teaching the most?
I get the most satisfaction out of teaching complicated topics, in which I can help the students develop their thinking skills. Working with incomplete data is often needed, and careful, accurate deduction can help us understand things better. Such sessions develop independent thinking in students, which they will need in future.
What do you hope your students will go on to achieve on completion of this course?
The course equips students for whatever they wish to do next. Some wish to be researchers, meaning that they will go on to study for a PhD. Others wish to work in Assisted Reproduction (IVF), which can be an immediate job, or further training that leads to a job. For other students the skills, perspectives and approaches they learn can equip them for a wide variety of careers (medicine, forensic science or administration).
What is your favorite part about teaching at Imperial College London?
Helping students develop their full potential. As course director, I am often involved in discussions with students who are very insecure in the early weeks, and convince themselves that they cannot be successful on the course, and wish to leave. Within a year they are ready to progress to the next stage of their professional careers!