Robert Hausinger elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology
Published May 2, 2017
Robert P. Hausinger, a professor in the Departments of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the MSU College of Natural Science (NatSci), has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM).
AAM’s mission is to recognize excellence in the microbiological sciences; foster awareness of advances in microbiology and the potential contributions of these advances to human welfare; provide accurate, science-based information about critical issues in microbiology; and identify and convene experts to consider and advise on issues related to microbiology.
Hausinger was elected by AAM for his research excellence, originality and leadership.
“Professor Hausinger has made a career-long study of zinc and iron containing metalloenzymes including urease, 2-oxoglutarate oxygenase and, most recently, lactate racemase,” said R. James Kirkpatrick, NatSci dean. “His seminal contributions to our understanding of the chemical mechanisms of these microbial enzymes that play important roles in the pathology of human disease make his appointment as a fellow of the American Association of Microbiology an especially well-deserved honor.”
Investigations undertaken in the Hausinger laboratory include projects related to human health, agricultural improvements, bioenergy and biotechnology. His research into inhibitors of the bacterial enzyme urease, for example, is relevant to the medical prevention of ulcers and urinary stones as well as increased efficiency of urea-containing fertilizers for crops. Hausinger’s studies on enhancing hydrogen production by cyanobacteria and microbial generation of ethylene provide current examples of biofuel production. More generally, his work to uncover the properties and mechanisms of a host of iron-containing oxygenases lays the groundwork for engineering similar desired transformations for bioremediation or biosynthetic chemistry.
Hausinger said that he is honored to be elected an AAM fellow.
“I’m very grateful to be recognized by such a select group of scientists for our efforts to advance microbial biology,” he said. “It is important to emphasize that this recognition is a tribute to the many highly talented research associates, graduate students and undergraduates who have been or currently are associated with my laboratory. We’ve worked together to develop exciting insights and uncover new knowledge, and I would not have received this accolade without their incredible help.”
As a newly elected fellow, Hausinger will be recognized at the Academy Fellows reception during the American Society of Microbiology's ASM Microbe 2017 conference on June 2 in New Orleans, La.