Two UH Manoa Researchers Elected as Fellows to the American Academy of Microbiology

University of Hawaiʻi
Jim Manke, (808) 956-6099
External Affairs & University Relations
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Posted: Jun 13, 2002

The scientific community honored two professors and researchers from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa when they elected the two to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM).

Edward G. Ruby, PhD, professor and senior researcher, and Margaret McFall-Ngai, PhD, professor and research scientist, work at the Pacific Biomedical Research Center at UH Mānoa. Their research on marine animals developed an important model in studying the intimate relationship between microbes and their hosts.

"Elections are a very selective process," said Andrea Lohse, manager at AAM. "It‘s fairly remarkable that they have collaborated so extensively and were elected to the academy together; yet each is recognized as an extremely distinguished scientist in his/her own right."

Ruby is honored for work that has bridged the sciences of microbiology, animal development and animal ecology in landmark studies of the bacterium Vibrio fischeri and the bobtail squid that relies on it for the light to evade predators. He is well respected for his knowledge and leadership. Just this year he was a lecturer at Iowa State University and at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).

McFall-Ngai, a zoologist, has provided major contributions to microbiology. Her landmark work has shed new light on critical questions and concepts in microbiology like symbiotic relationships, beneficial bacteria, and a variety of processes involved in infections. She‘s received many commendations including the University of Hawai'i Regents Medal for Excellence in Research for 2002. She has been with UH Mānoa for the past three years.

Members of AAM are elected by their peers through a highly selective, annual evaluation process and admitted to Fellowship based on records of leadership and outstanding, original work that has advanced the microbiological sciences. Academy Fellows represent 35 countries and all subspecialties of microbiology, including basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry, and government service. Ruby and McFall-Ngai are two of only 1,700 scientists elected to Fellowship in the 47-year history of the organization.

The mission of AAM is to recognize scientific excellence and foster knowledge and understanding in the microbiological sciences. The AAM is the honorific leadership group within ASM, the world‘s oldest life science organization with more than 43,000 members.