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Rita Rossi Colwell

Rita Rossi Colwell, American microbiologist, former federal agency administrator, medical educator.

Background

  • Colwell, Rita Rossi was born on November 23, 1934 in Beverly, Massachusetts, United States.

  • Education

    • Bachelor of Science in Bacteriology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1956. Master of Science in Genetics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 1958. Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography, University Washington, Seattle, 1961.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1987. Doctor of Science (honorary), Hood College, 1991. Doctor of Science (honorary), Purdue University, 1993.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), University Surrey, England, 1995. Doctor of Science (honorary), University Bergen, Norway, 1999. Doctor of Science (honorary), Coastal Carolina University, 1999.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), University Maryland, Baltimore, 1999. Doctor of Science (honorary), St. Mary's College, 1999. Doctor of Science (honorary), Michigan State University, 2000.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), Washington College, 2000. Doctor of Science (honorary), University Connecticut, 2000. Doctor of Science (honorary), Williams College, Massachusetts, 2000.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), State University of New York, Albany, 2000. Doctor of Science (honorary), University Ancona, Italy, 2001. Doctor of Science (honorary), George Washington University, 2001.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), Washington University, St. Louis, 2001. Doctor of Science (honorary), California Polytechnic Institute, San Luis Obispo, 2001. Doctor of Science (honorary), Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, 2001.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), University Newcastle, United Kingdom, 2001. Doctor of Science (honorary), Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York, 2002. Doctor of Science (honorary), University Queensland, Australia, 2002.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), University Glasgow, 2002. Doctor of Science (honorary), Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, 2002. Doctor of Science (honorary), Tuskegee Institute, 2003.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), University Illinois, 2003. Doctor of Science (honorary), Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, 2003. Doctor of Science (honorary), University Delaware, Newark, 2003.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), Arizona State University, Tempe, 2004. Doctor of Science (honorary), Georgetown University, Washinton, 2004. Doctor of Science (honorary), St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, 2004.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), Smith College, Northapmton, Massachusetts, 2004. Doctor of Science (honorary), University Massachusetts, North Dartmouth, 2004. Doctor of Science (honorary), Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, 2004.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), Cedar Crest College, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 2004. Doctor of Science (honorary), Pennsylvania State University, 2004. Doctor of Science (honorary), Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 2005.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), Chatham College, Pittsburgh, 2007. Doctor of Science (honorary), Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, 2007. Doctor of Science (honorary), University Arkansas, Little Rock, 2008.

      Doctor of Science (honorary), Richard Gilder Graduate School, America Museum Natural History, New York, 2009. Doctor of Science (honorary), University New England, 2009. Doctor of Science (honorary), University Toledo, 2009.

      Doctor of Laws (honorary), Notre Dame College, 1994. Doctor of Laws (honorary), University Nebraska, 2003. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), University Alabama, 2001.

      Doctor of Letters (honorary), Arizona State University, 2004. DHC (honorary), University Naples, Italy, 2006. Doctor of Philosophy (honorary), University Oslo, 2008.

    Career

    • Genetics laboratory research assistant Purdue University, 1956—1957. Research assistant University Washington, 1957—1958, predoctoral associate, 1959—1960, assistant research professor, 1961—1964. Assistant professor biology Georgetown University, Washington, 1964—1966, associate professor biology, 1966—1972.

      Professor microbiology University Maryland, College Park, 1972—1998, vice president for academy affairs, 1983—1987, director Center Marine Biotechnology, 1987—1991, founder, president Biotechnology Institute, 1991—1998, Distinguished University professor, since 2004. Director National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia, 1998—2004. Chairman Canon United States Life Sciences, Inc., Rockville, Maryland, since 2004.

      Distinguished University professor Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Public Health, Baltimore, since 2004. Pres, Chief Executive Officer CosmosID, Inc., Bethesda. Member National Science Board, 1984—1990.

      Honorary professor University Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 1988, Quindao University, China, 1995. Member science advisory board Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Tennessee, 1988—1990, 1993—1996. Member advisory committee Food and Drug Administration, 1991—1992, member food advisory committee, 1993—1996, member science board, since 1996.

    Major achievements

    • Achievements include research in marine biotechnology, marine and estuarine microbial ecology and survival of pathogens in aquatic environments. Discovery of the source of the bacterium that causes cholera (Vibrio cholerae) to plankton in rivers and estuaries in Bangladesh. Currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues, including safe drinking water for both the developed and developing world.

    Works

    Membership

    Fellow: American Association for the Advancement of Science (chairman section biological science 1993-1994, president 1995, chairman board 1996, Carey award 2001), Bangladesh Society Microbiology (foreign honorary), Marine Technology Society (member executive committee 1982-1988), American Academy Microbiology (chairman board governors 1989-1999), Canada College Microbiologists, Washington Academy of Sciences (board managers 1976-1979, president 1996-1998), Graduate Women. Science; member: National Academy of Sciences (council member since 2008), American Philosophical Society, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Society General Microbiology, International Council of Scientific Unions, American Society Limnology & Oceanography, American Society Microbiology (honorary. President 1985, Fisher award 1985), United Kingdom Society Applied Microbiology (honorary), French Society Microbiology (honorary), Israeli Society Microbiology (honorary), Australian Society Microbiology (honorary), World Federation Culture Collections, Society Indsl Microbiology (board governors 1976-1979, Charles Thom award 1998), International Council of Scientific Unions (member executive board 1993-1996), American Institute Biological Sciences (board governors 1976-1982, president since 2008), International Union Microbiol.

    Society (vice president 1986-1990, president 1990-1994), World Federation Culture Collections, Royal Society of Canada, Explorers Club (Lowell Thomas award 2000), Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Delta Epsilon, Sigma Xi (national president 1991, Annual Achievement award 1981, Research award 1984), Delta Gamma (Delta Gamma Rose award 1989).
    Rita Rossi Colwell
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    Born November 23, 1934
    Nationality
    • 1956
      Purdue University
    • 1958
      Purdue University
    • 1961
      University Washington
    • 1987
      Heriot-Watt University
    • 1991
      Hood College
    • 1993
      Purdue University
    • 1995
      University Surrey
    • 1999
      University Bergen
    • 1999
      Coastal Carolina University
    • 1999
      University Maryland
    • 1999
      St. Mary's College
    • 2001
      University Ancona
    • 2001
      George Washington University
    • 2001
      Washington University
    • 2001
      California Polytechnic Institute
    • 2001
      Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute
    • 2001
      University Newcastle
    • 2002
      Mercy College
    • 2002
      University Queensland
    • 2002
      University Glasgow
    • 2002
      Weizmann Institute Science
    • 2003
      Tuskegee Institute
    • 2003
      University Illinois
    • 2003
      Dartmouth College
    • 2003
      University Del.
    • 2004
      Arizona State University
    • 2004
      Georgetown University
    • 2004
      St. Joseph's University
    • 2004
      Smith College
    • 2004
      University Massachusetts
    • 2004
      Bates College
    • 2004
      Cedar Crest College
    • 2004
      Pennsylvania State University
    • 2005
      Rutgers University
    • 2007
      Chatham College
    • 2007
      Skidmore College
    • 2008
      University Arkansas
    • 2009
      Richard Gilder Graduate School
    • 2009
      University New England
    • 2009
      University Toledo
    • 1994
      Notre Dame College
    • 2003
      University Nebraska
    • 2001
      University Alabama
    • 2004
      Arizona State University
    • 2006
      University Naples
    • 2008
      University Oslo
    • 1956 - 1957
      Genetics laboratory research assistant, Purdue University
    • 1964 - 1966
      assistant, professor biology Georgetown University
      Washington, United States
    • 1972 - 1998
      professor, microbiology University Maryland
      College Park, Maryland, United States
    • 1991 - 1998
      professor, microbiology University Maryland
    • 1998 - 2004
      director, National Science Foundation
      Arlington, Virginia, United States
    • 2004
      chairman, Canon United States Life Sciences
      Rockville, Maryland, United States
    • 2004
      Distinguished University professor, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Public Health
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
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