Mary E. Lidstrom

University of Washington

Election Year: 2013
Primary Section: 61, Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences
Secondary Section: 44, Microbial Biology
Membership Type: Member


Mary Lidstrom is the Vice Provost for Research, a Professor in Chemical Engineering and in Microbiology and holds the Frank Jungers Chair of Engineering at the University of Washington. She is a microbial physiologist recognized for her work on bacteria that grow on one-carbon compounds. Her work spans basic microbial physiology, natural complex microbial communities, and biotechnological applications. Lidstrom was born in Prineville, OR in 1951 and attended Oregon State University for her B.S. degree in Microbiology, then the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her PhD in 1977. After post-doctoral work at the University of Sheffield in England, she was on the faculty at the University of Washington, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the California Institute of Technology before returning to the University of Washington in 1995. She has served as the Vice Provost for Research since 2005, except for the 2010/11 academic year when she was Interim Provost. These positions are 75% time, allowing her to maintain an active research group.

Research Interests

Research in Professor Lidstrom's laboratory is focused on bacteria that grow on one-carbon compounds such as methane.  Methane is an important greenhouse gas and is also the main component of natural gas.  Applications of her research include green production of chemicals, including biofuels, from natural gas, and mitigation of methane as a greenhouse gas.  Professor Lidstrom has won major awards for mentoring and for research from the American Society for Microbiology, and has a long history of interdisciplinary research, trainee mentoring and outreach programs.

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