It is with great sadness that we note the passing of retired UNC Biology Professor Dr. Patricia J. Pukkila on June 20, 2019. Dr. Pukkila was a faculty member in the department from 1979-2013. Her research lab pioneered the use of the mushroom Coprinopsis cinereaas as a model system for investigating chromosome dynamics during meiosis, the cell division process necessary for sexual reproduction. Dr. Pukkila was also the founding director of the Office for Undergraduate Research. In 2015, UNC released a fascinating video focusing on her contributions to inquiry-based education and undergraduate research as part of the “Good to Great” series with Chancellor Emeritus James Moeser.  Watch the vdeo >> Also, her inspiring story titled “Champion of Undergraduate Research: Pat Pukkila has transformed the Carolina experience” appeared in an issue of “Carolina Arts & Sciences”.  Read the A&S article >>

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