UTHSC Professor Howe Awarded National Microbiology Honor

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Martha M. Howe, PhD, Van Vleet Professor of Virology, UT Health Science Center, was honored recently with the Alice C. Evans Award for her contributions to the advancement and full participation of women in microbiology.

Martha M. Howe, PhD, Van Vleet Professor of Virology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), was honored recently with the Alice C. Evans Award for her contributions to the advancement and full participation of women in microbiology. Established by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology and supported by Roche Diagnostics Corporation, the award is presented in memory of Alice C. Evans, the first woman to be elected president of ASM. In 2000, Dr. Howe served as president of ASM, the world’s largest single biological sciences organization with 42,000 members nationally.

Dr. Howe has been a role model and mentor for many women in science through her roles as a professor, lecturer, graduate student trainer, seminar speaker, pre-submission grant reviewer, and her leadership in ASM. She has advocated for women in science as a panel member for National Science Foundation Visiting Professorships for Women, as a longtime member of the American Women in Science, and Graduate Women in Science organizations, and as a member of the American Association of University Women. She has ensured that women scientists are represented and recognized for contributions in scientific organizations, institutions and universities, and has spoken to women’s groups at multiple colleges and universities.

While at UTHSC, Dr. Howe helped establish a Committee on the Status of Women and continues to serve as co-chair of the Mentoring Subcommittee of that group. As the chair for the ASM Task Force for Reorganization of National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Sections, she promoted the inclusion of accomplished women scientists on NIH panels for various microbiology-associated study sections.

Dr. Howe, a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, has received many awards and honors, including the ASM’s Founders Distinguished Service Award and the Eli Lilly and Company Research Award.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in biology from Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa., she earned her PhD in biology and microbiology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. She went on to complete postdoctoral work at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.