Rita Colwell

2013 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement

Infectious disease expert and former Director ofColwell the National Science Foundation (NSF) Dr. Rita Colwell has been named the 2013 recipient of Sigma Xi's William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement. Since 1950, the Procter Prize has been awarded annually to a scientist who has made an outstanding contribution to scientific research and has demonstrated an ability to communicate the significance of this research to scientists in other disciplines.

Dr. Rita Colwell currently serves as Chairman of Canon US Life Sciences, Inc. and Distinguished University Professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her interests are focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health, and she is currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues in both the developed and developing world.

From 1998-2004, Dr. Colwell served as the 11th Director of the National Science Foundation. During her time in that role, she served as Co-chair of the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council. Ensuring the continued support for K-12 science and mathematics education and increasing the participation of women and minorities in science and engineering highlighted her agenda as Director. Prior to her time with the NSF, Dr. Colwell served as President of the Biotechnology Institute and Professor of microbiology and biotechnology, both at the University of Maryland.

In addition to these prestigious roles, Dr. Colwell has also held many advisory positions in both the public and private sectors. She is a nationally-respected scientist and educator, and has authored or co-authored 16 books and more than 700 scientific publications. Among Dr. Colwell's many board appointments, she has served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology, and also as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Washington Academy of Sciences, the American Society for Microbiology, and the International Union of Microbiological Societies. From 1984 to 1990, she was also a member of the National Science Board.

Rita Colwell also served Sigma Xi Society in the capacity of President from 1991-1992.

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