Roy Curtiss III, a scientist at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).
"During his career, Roy Curtiss has had a profound impact on the discipline of microbiology," said Dr. John Young, Chair of the ASM Lifetime Achievement Award Selection Committee. "He was a pioneer at the start of the recombinant DNA era, developing safe E. coli strains that could be used for gene cloning. He has also uncovered novel aspects of bacterial pathogenesis and used this information to develop attenuated Salmonella-based vaccines that are effective against a myriad of human pathogens."
"Roy's achievements and lifelong dedication to life science research, education and innovation are remarkable," said Biodesign Institute Executive Director Dr. Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D. "His fundamental work on microbial pathogenesis coupled with a passion to tackle the dire challenges of combatting infectious diseases in the developing world make him a stellar example of the translational research mission of the Biodesign Institute."
Winners of ASM's Lifetime Achievement Award are a small and select group Curtiss is only the 20th member to receive the distinction. "I was stunned to be included in this group of awesome scientists," said Curtiss, Director of Biodesign's Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology and Professor of Life Sciences in the School of Life Sciences at ASU.
Curtiss stresses that microorganisms have had a profound effect on his career as well as on all earthly life. "We derive all of our energy from bacteria that invaded early cells maybe 2 billion years agothe mitochondria. All photosynthesis is due to bacteria invading early plant cells," he says.
Of course, microbes have a notorious dark side as well, accounting for a staggering 35-40 percent of all human deaths every
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Arizona State University