Rita Colwell
Rita Colwell
Distinguished University Professor , University of Maryland
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Biography

 

Rita R. Colwell is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and president of CosmosID, Inc. Her interests are global infectious diseases, water, and health. She has authored or coauthored 20 books and more than 800 scientific publications.

She was director of the National Science Foundation, cochaired the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Science, chaired the board of governors of the American Academy of Microbiology, and served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington Academy of Sciences, American Society for Microbiology, Sigma Xi, International Union of Microbiological Societies, and American Institute of Biological Sciences. 

Dr. Colwell has been awarded 63 honorary degrees from institutions of higher education and received Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star (2005), the US National Medal of Science (2006), Stockholm Water Prize (2010), and Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize (2018) of Singapore. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Canada, Royal Irish Academy, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Philosophical Society. A geological site in Antarctica, Colwell Massif, was named in recognition of her work in the polar regions.

She got her BS in bacteriology and MS in genetics from Purdue University, and her PhD in aquatic microbiology from the University of Washington.

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