Konstantinidis To Receive Skerman Award for Microbial Taxonomy from the WFCC

The World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) recently announced Dr. Kostas Konstantinidis, assistant professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech, as the recipient of the Skerman Award for Microbial Taxonomy. The Skerman Award recognizes excellence in taxonomic research and contributions to the discipline by a scientist under the age of 40.

The Skerman Award was established in honor of Professor V. B. D. Skerman and the contributions he made to bacterial taxonomy, the establishment of the WFCC World Data Centre for Microorganisms (WDCM), as well as the development of the WFCC. The purpose of the award is to encourage taxonomic research by young microbiologists and to reward excellence in taxonomic research as well as significant contributions made to the discipline. This year, an international panel considered six high quality applications for the award, and Dr. Konstantinidis was unanimously selected for the honor. As the recipient of the Skerman Award, Dr. Konstantinidis will attend the Twelfth International Congress for Culture Collections (ICCC 12) in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil from September 26-October 1, 2010, where he will deliver the Skerman Award Lecture on his research.

Dr. Kostas Konstantinidis joined the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech as an assistant professor in November 2007. He earned his B.S. in agriculture sciences from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in the Center for Microbial Ecology. Dr. Konstantinidis’ research interests are at the interface of genomics and computational biology in the context of microbial ecology with the overarching goal to broaden understanding of the genetic and metabolic potential of the microbial world. Advancing our knowledge on these issues is essential for a better understanding of the microbes that power, by and large, the biogeochemical cycles that sustain life on Earth and cause or control important diseases in humans and animals. Dr. Konstantinidis is a member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) and the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP).

The WFCC is a multidisciplinary commission of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) and a federation within the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS). The WFCC is concerned with the collection, authentication, maintenance and distribution of cultures of microorganisms and cultured cells. Its goal is to promote and support the establishment of culture collections and related services, to provide liaison and set up an information network between the collections and their users, to organize workshops and conferences, publications and newsletters and work to ensure the long-term perpetuation of important collections. Additional information about the WFCC can be found at: http://www.wfcc.info/index.html.