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Strategic Moves, Quick Facts and Achievements


Dr Gavin W Porter Received Faculty Excellent Teaching Assistant Award 2015-16

"I get excited when my students do the work I know they can do.  I don’t like it when they take education for granted.  That’s why I’m tough.” –Sonia Braga as Mrs. Westlake, aka ‘The Dragon Lady"

Dr Gavin Porter received a BSc degree in Physiology from McGill University in 2000, and a PhD degree in Molecular Pharmacology from Emory University in 2006, studying protein-protein interactions of growth factor signaling important in cancer. From 2006 to 2010, he was a post-doctoral fellow in the Immunology Department of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. His research on antigen presentation in dendritic cells in the Journal of Immunologywas highlighted by the Faculty of 1000. 

Along with colleagues in the School of Biological Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine, Dr Porter developed two new Common Core courses: CCST9046 – The Science of the Mind-body-health Relationship, and CCST9052 – Coffee, Cigarettes, and Alcohol. His background in physiology, pharmacology and neuroscience help to inform the breadth and depth of content in these courses. He is currently developing a third new Common Core course focusing on suicide with colleagues in the Centre for Suicide esearch and Prevention, Social Work and Medicine. 

Dr Porter has taught in a wide variety of situations: English as a second language to new immigrants and refugees, both in Hong Kong and Atlanta; immunology to MD and PhD level students; neuroscience to upper level undergraduates, and now is primarily engaged in the Common Core at HKU which includes many first and second year students. Past students can attest that understanding biological mechanisms, looking at experimental data, reading primary literature, brainstorming solutions to practical biological scenarios, and multiple scientific tie-ins to daily life events, are regular features of his classes at HKU. He is also interested in gamification of learning (new workshop in Junior Science Institute forthcoming in 2017) and other educational technologies.

Dr Gavin W Porter

Dr Gavin W Porter

Faculty of Science