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12/16/11 - Donaldson honored for research

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year some 48 million Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases.

Research is the important first step in working to decrease these numbers, which is why Mississippi State faculty member Janet R. Donaldson is earning a prestigious award for her work with foodborne illness-causing bacteria.

The Charles C. Randall Lectureship Award is given annually to an outstanding young faculty member by the South Central Branch of the American Society for Microbiology.

Donaldson, an assistant professor of biological sciences, earlier this month formally accepted the honor at the organization's annual meeting. She also made a formal presentation of her work to the assembly. (For more, visit http://www.asm.org/branch/brscentral/index.html.)

A Brandon native and MSU alumna, she studies how the stress responses of bacteria allow for them to colonize humans and cause disease. Her investigations primarily focus on the pathogens E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes and how they actually cause foodborne illnesses.

"I remember attending the conference and seeing the award given as a graduate student, so it's a great honor to actually be a recipient now," Donaldson said of the honor.

After receiving a bachelor's degree and 2005 doctoral degree from Mississippi State, she completed post-doctoral work at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Donaldson returned to her alma mater in 2007 as a member of the faculty and currently teaches courses in general microbiology and bacterial physiology. (For more information, visit http://biology.msstate.edu/people/staff.php?id=jrp12.)

Margaret Kovar | University Relations

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