DIBS News

'Brilliant Teacher' Receives Prestigious Award from Duke Medical Students

March 12, 2018

Medical students honor Dr. Len White for teaching, dedication

Picture of Dr. Len White

Leonard E. White, PhD, winner of prestigious 'Golden Apple' award

Len White, PhD, Associate Professor in Neurology and DIBS Faculty Network Member, has received the 2018 Duke Medicine Golden Apple Award for Preclinical Science Faculty.

The award, presented March 10 during the annual School of Medicine Student-Faculty Show, is the most prestigious teaching award presented by the Duke University School of Medicine student body to recognize physician-teachers that the medical students feel have played an exceptionally effective and dedicated role in their education. This honor is awarded by the Davison Council, the student government organization for the medical school, reflecting the nominations and votes of all four classes of medical students.

White teaches in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program in the medical school. He also leads the education team of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and is the associate director of undergraduate studies in neuroscience; co-director of the Brain and Society theme of Duke’s Bass Connections initiative; and associate director for integrated human biological sciences of the Master of Biomedical Sciences program. He directs neuroscience courses for medical students and undergraduates at Duke and leads workshops on the structure and function of the human brain.

White’s training and scientific practice have made him a recognized expert in the structure of the human brain, the organization of the visual parts of the brain, and the influence of experience on brain development in early life. He is a co-author and co-editor of a major textbook of neuroscience and a digital atlas of the human central nervous system.

White is well-known for his dedication to students of all levels, extraordinary knowledge base, and his commitment to the field of Neurology. In addition to teaching in the medical students and undergraduates, he organizes and presents a well-regarded, free Massive Open Online Course through Coursera. As one MOOC participant, who gave the course a five-star rating, noted: “Dr. Len White is a brilliant teacher. His subject is difficult but his tutelage is thorough. … His pedagogy sets a standard and is demanding but oh so rewarding.” His Coursera MOOCs are followed by more than 100,000 people in over 190 nations.

A December profile from the Department of Neurology provides additional insights into Dr. White’s teaching and publishing career.

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The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences is a scientific institute with a collaborative spirit and a commitment to education, service and knowledge across disciplines. We encourage creativity, taking risks, sharing ideas and working together.

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