NYU welcomes new biology professor

Nicole Brown

This year, Esteban Mazzoni joined the university staff as a professor in the Department of Biology. Mazzoni is originally from Argentina and received his undergraduate degree in education from the University of Buenos Aires. He received his doctorate degree in Developmental Genetics at NYU while simultaneously working as a teaching assistant. After receiving his degree, he researched at Columbia University’s medical center for five and a half years.

Mazzoni said he was drawn to NYU’s excellent science programs, specifically within the biology department.

“I think the biology department is full of young, energetic people,” Mazzoni said. “The wealth of expertise is a great asset.”

He also said he enjoys working in an environment that consists of undergraduate and graduate students.

CAS junior Chelsea Culbert, who worked with Mazzoni in a program at Columbia, described him as a great collaborator.

“He was a great mentor and so knowledgeable and dedicated to his research,” Culbert said. “He’ll be a great addition to the biology department at NYU.”

He said his first impressions of working at NYU have been mixed because he was once a student at the university.

“It’s a strange feeling,” Mazzoni said. “It’s familiar but new.”

He added that he is impressed with the friendliness on campus.

“It seems like people care about each other, at least in the biology department,” he said.

Along with rest of the biology department, Mazzoni is conducting research to understand the differentiation of embryonic stem cells. He said his goal is to develop protocols to create new organs from these cells.

“These cells have the potential to become every cell in the body,” he said. “We need to know how to make embryonic stem cells become the cells we want.”

Justin Blau, professor of Biology and Neural Science, said he is thrilled to have Mazzoni return to NYU.

“Esteban Mazzoni is a very creative scientist and an excellent human being,” he said. “It is not that long since he was here as a Ph.D. student, but even then, our interactions were those of colleagues rather than a mentor and a student.”

“I am delighted to have Esteban as a professor here in Biology and I expect him to make many
exciting discoveries about neural stem cells,” Blau said.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 11 print edition. Nicole Brown is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]