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August 28, 2006

Philip B. Carter Named Executive Director of Sigma Xi

Philip B. Carter RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – Philip B. Carter has been named executive director of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. He began his duties August 28 at the society’s administrative offices here. Carter comes to Sigma Xi from North Carolina State University, where he is professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology, and from the not-for-profit Merck Foundation, where he was programs director of the Merck Childhood Asthma Network.

Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is the international honor society of research scientists and engineers, with about 60,000 members and more than 500 chapters in North America and overseas. The society publishes American Scientist magazine and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering.

Carter's career in higher education spans 34 years. He joined the faculty at N.C. State as a full professor in 1982, serving from 1986-89 as associate vice chancellor for research and director of the university's biotechnology program. Recognized for teaching, research and international initiatives, he also served two years as Chair of the Faculty.

While at NCSU, Carter chaired the committee that developed the university's first guidelines on ethics in scholarship. His expertise in microbial agents, such as anthrax, led to his chairing the steering committee for the Pentagon's Military Infectious Disease Research program. A member of Sigma Xi since 1990, Carter has served as an officer for the society's N.C. State University Chapter.

"On behalf of the board of directors and, indeed, of all members of Sigma Xi, I enthusiastically welcome Philip Carter as executive director of the society," said James F. Baur, chair of the search committee and president of Sigma Xi. "Dr. Carter is a distinguished research scientist whose technical expertise, administrative experience and international perspective on science make him the ideal leader for our society."

"It is a distinct honor to be asked by the leadership of Sigma Xi to serve as the society's executive director," Carter said. "Sigma Xi enjoys a long history of accomplishment and position of importance in American science and beyond. Its future contributions toward enhancing the health of the research enterprise, addressing the ethical challenges discovery often creates, and to the public's understanding of science and technology will be even more significant. I look forward to being a part of those contributions to science and society."

A native of Chicago, Philip Carter holds a B.S. degree in biology and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Notre Dame. He served as a project leader in the immunology division of the Ames Company of Miles Laboratories, Inc. before joining the staff of the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake, New York, in 1971.

After a year as a visiting scientist at Oxford University in 1978, he joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana as an associate professor and then moved to N.C. State as a full professor in 1982. He is now professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

As a scientist and educator, Carter has represented the university's research programs in many media interviews. He has testified before Congress on patenting biotechnology and on medical research. He also has served as executive producer of the WUNC-TV show, Search, which reports on research at UNC campuses throughout the state.

In the area of public affairs, Carter assisted in establishment of, and co-chaired, a novel university-public incubator with the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce called the Business Innovation and Technology Advancement Center, Inc., which supported high-tech start-up companies. He also initiated expansion of NCSU's summer program for high school minority students in science and engineering.

He was a founding committee member of the N.C. Association for Biomedical Research and is a past corporate board chairman of the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International, Inc. Carter currently serves on advisory councils at Cornell University and the University of Bristol (UK). In 1999, he was elected a member of Common Room at Brasenose College, Oxford and was made an honorary member of the Japanese Association of Germ-free Life and Gnotobiology in 2004. He is associate editor of the scientific journal Microbial Ecology in Health & Disease.

Following postdoctoral support of studies to improve typhoid vaccines for the Armed Forces Epidemiology Board in 1971-72, Carter has served the U.S. Department of Defense in numerous capacities as a site visitor and consultant. He was appointed to the first Service-wide DoD Medical R&D review committee as an expert on bacterial infectious diseases and to the steering committee for peer review of the military's Medical Research and Materiel Command/Military Infectious Diseases Research Program (1998-present).

After testifying before the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses in 1995, he later founded the Thurman-Zumwalt Foundation, which addresses the health concerns of those serving in the military, Peace Corps and Red Cross.

Carter's research has centered on immune responses to infectious agents, especially zoonoses, diseases that are transmissible from animals to humans. He has published numerous technical papers and received millions of dollars in public and private research support. He is the co-founder of the NCSU-UNC Core Center in Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease, supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Carter was the first non-veterinarian elected to honorary membership in the Psi (North Carolina) Chapter of the Phi Zeta Veterinary Medical Honor Society. He was cited for contributions to laboratory animal medicine and later served as chapter president. He has also served as president of the Association for Gnotobiotics and the International Association for Gnotobiotics.

A past chair of the Triangle Area Research Director's Club of North Carolina, Carter is on the international board of the University of Notre Dame's Alumni Association. He and his wife Joan, former head of Math & Science at Durham Technical Community College, have two children, Richard, a physicist and materials engineer for AMD, and Ellen, a mathematics major employed by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Carter succeeds Patrick D. Sculley at Sigma Xi, who is retiring after four years with the society, during which time he oversaw construction of the new Sigma Xi Center in RTP, orchestrated advances across the scope of Sigma Xi's programs and improved fiscal stability. Prior to his service with Sigma Xi, Sculley served with distinction as chief of staff of the U.S. Army Medical Command and deputy surgeon general of the Army.

 

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