Main Content

Neuroscientist researcher and educator recognized with UMMC's first Regions Bank TEACH Prize

Published on Monday, May 27, 2013

By: Jack Mazurak at 601-984-1970 or

Published in Press Releases on May 27, 2013
JACKSON, Miss. – Dr. Kimberly Simpson, a neuroscientist and associate professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences, this month received the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s inaugural Regions Bank TEACH Prize.

The Toward Educational Advancement in Care and Health Prize includes a $10,000 check and recognizes a faculty member who engages students, challenges them intellectually and demonstrates dedication to the craft of education.

“Kim is very deserving of this award – the Medical Neurobiology course is widely recognized by our medical students as one of the best courses in the preclinical curriculum,” said Dr. Michael Lehman, professor and chair of neurobiology and anatomical sciences.

As director of the school’s medical neurobiology course for first-year medical students, Simpson has made student engagement, hands-on and non-traditional learning priorities.

In the lecture portion of the course, she added clinicians to a roster of clinical and patient-volunteer speakers who help bring hospital experiences into the classroom. As well, second- and third-year Ph.D. students in the Program in Neuroscience participate as teaching assistants, giving them valuable experience they may use in their careers.

In a laboratory review session of the course, Simpson and her colleagues conduct twice-a-week sessions with three interactive stations where professors sketch brain structures, summarize cases with a TV monitor and play a Jeopardy!-like review game.

Simpson holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience and lives with her husband and two children in Brandon. It’s appropriate that Simpson should be the award’s first recipient, said Dr. Robin Rockhold, professor of pharmacology and UMMC deputy chief academic officer.

“The University of Mississippi Medical Center is justifiably proud of the quality of our educators, but has never before been able to appropriately recognize the true excellence in education that characterizes our faculty,” he said.

“For the first time in the history of the Medical Center, the TEACH Prize, supported by the generosity of Regions Bank, permits us to do so.” 

The prize will be awarded annually.