Education People

Professor Larry Snyder receives Excellence in Teaching award

Timothy Holy, PhD, Larry Snyder, MD, PhD, Krikor Dikranian, MD, PhD
Timothy Holy, PhD, Larry Snyder, MD, PhD, and Krikor Dikranian, MD, PhD, at the neuroscience awards ceremony August 19, 2022

Washington University’s neuroscience community recognizes the remarkable dedication of Dr. Larry Snyder, MD, PhD, to training future leaders in neuroscience with the 2022 Award for Excellence in Teaching. Snyder, Professor of Neuroscience at the School of Medicine, has been a co-director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program, a course master for Systems Neuroscience, and a mentor for dozens of students and postdoctoral researchers. He shares the award with Yehuda Ben-Shahar, PhD, Professor of Biology at Washington University.

In remarks during the awards ceremony on August 19, 2022, Timothy Holy, PhD, the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Professor of Neuroscience, said Snyder is recognized for his “selfless dedication to the program, for his endless faith in the ability of each student to achieve mastery, and for his willingness to devote as much time as needed to help students reach their goals.”

There are priceless moments when you can visibly see the fireworks going off in the heads of his students.

Timothy Holy, PhD

From 2012 to 2017, Snyder served as the co-director of the DBBS PhD Program in Neurosciences at WashU, and at various times has picked up additional roles including qualifying exam director and course director. He even took on being the director of two courses that ran in the same semester. It was “an absolutely massive commitment,” said Holy, “and under his watch the program thrived.” For more than a decade, Snyder was the Course Master of the Systems Neuroscience class, in which he used the Socratic method to lead students through their discoveries. “There are priceless moments when you can visibly see the fireworks going off in the heads of his students, and those moments make a major contribution to training the neuroscientists of whom we in the Neuroscience Program can be very proud,” said Holy. Snyder continues to contribute to medical education through the Gateway Curriculum.

“Years ago, when I looked at Larry’s leadership role in graduate and medical student education, I thought, how come this man is not formally acknowledged for his contributions?” said Krikor Dikranian, MD, PhD, who nominated Snyder for the teaching award. A committee of past winners selected this year’s recipients. During the ceremony, Dikranian, Professor of Anatomy in Neuroscience, compared Snyder to the famous Roman wise man Cato. “Among themselves his students speak affectionately of him as the philosopher of the neuroscience program,” said Dikranian.

2022 Neuroscience Community Awards

  • Excellence in Teaching (faculty): Larry Snyder and Yehuda Ben-Shahar 
  • Excellence in Teaching (student): Rosie Dutt and Adalee Lube 
  • Excellence in Mentoring (faculty): Celeste Karch and Aaron DiAntonio
  • Excellence in Mentoring (trainees): Bridget Matikainen-Ankney and Igor Luzhansky 
  • Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (faculty): Tracey Hermanstyne
  • Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (student): Jennifer Lawrence