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Randy Hampton Receives Sixth College Outstanding Faculty Award

July 30, 2020

By Mario Aguilera

Randy Hampton
“He is very passionate and dedicated about teaching, and he clearly exhibits this to his students every time. He goes above and beyond to ensure that his students thoroughly understand his lectures, and he also cares about our well-being. Professor Hampton is an amazing individual and is truly inspiring.”

Anonymous student in one of Professor Randy Hampton’s biology classes.

Biological Sciences’ Randy Hampton, a professor in the Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, has been awarded the Sixth College Outstanding Faculty Award.

The honor is bestowed annually through an anonymous survey of graduating Sixth College seniors.

In notifying Hampton of the award, Sixth College Provost Lakshmi Chilukuri noted that she has worked with students over the years who have taken his class. “I can attest to the fact that you are inspiring and popular for the simple reasons that you care that students learn, that they exercise their curiosity and that they get their facts straight,” said Chilukuri. “Many students included heartfelt comments on your passion for teaching and for their learning, your wisdom and generosity in sharing it, and your genuine caring for their success.”

Many students noted Hampton’s engaging and energetic teaching style, while others remarked about his enthusiasm for the subject matter.

Hampton teaches a one-year series of large classes, including “Metabolic Biochemistry” (fall), “Biology and Medicine of Exercise” (winter) and “Nutrition” (spring). The series starts with cellular chemistry, transitions through movement and ends up looking at the health and societal problems underlying the global food supply. Students who take all three classes jokingly refer to themselves as “Randy Survivors.”

“He is a professor that is very passionate about his class,” said one student. “He make lectures fun and interesting with his upbeat style of teaching. He always provides the materials necessary for the students to succeed in his class. As a Randy Survivor I have taken his classes 3x and would do it all over again.”

Future plans for courses include biology for non-majors, integrative medicine co-taught with doctors and possibly a participative exercise physiology laboratory course. In his laboratory, Hampton researches a variety of questions concerning how cells selectively destroy proteins. Current research directions include cellular management of misfolded proteins, lipid signaling and the dynamics of the endoplasmic reticulum and other organelles.

Hampton has been teaching at UC San Diego since 1995. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed postdoctoral work at UC Berkeley.