Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology

Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology

About the Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology

Established by the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology, the Selman A. Waksman Award is a prize of $20,000 that is presented to recognize a major advance in the field of microbiology.

Most Recent Recipient

Nancy A. Moran, University of Texas at Austin, will receive the 2023 Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology.

Moran’s pioneering research has expanded our understanding of microbial symbiosis and bacterial genome evolution.

Her work has focused on the evolution and biology of intimate symbiosis between insect hosts and bacteria.  Read more about Moran's work» 
Watch Moran's acceptance speech»

Award History

Previous recipients of the Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology continue to achieve outstanding advancements in their fields. Six recipients have been honored with a National Medal of Science, three recipients have received a Lasker Award, and one recipient has received a Nobel Prize in Medicine (Dulbecco 1975). 


Nancy A. Moran (2023)
For her outstanding achievements that have brought about a major advance in the field of microbiology, in particular evolution, ecology, genomics and molecular mechanisms of host-microbe symbiotic associations. Based on her discoveries, Nancy Moran developed general and far-reaching principles in the microbial genome evolution.
Read more about Moran's work»
Watch Moran's acceptance speech»

Pascale Cossart (2021)
For her pioneering contributions to the field of cellular microbiology and her fundamental work uncovering novel mechanisms that govern the interplay between the pathogenic intracellular bacterium Listeria and its mammalian host, as well as her many contributions to supporting microbiology worldwide.
Read more about Cossart's work»
Watch Cossart's acceptance speech»

Sharon R. Long (2019)
For pioneering research defining the molecular mechanisms underlying the important nitrogen-fixing symbiosis between Rhizobium and legumes, research that has had major implications for microbe-host interactions in general.
Read more about Long's work» 
Watch Long's acceptance speech»

Bernard Roizman (2017)
For his many seminal contributions to understanding the mechanisms by which herpes viruses replicate and cause disease.
Read more about Roizman's work» 
Watch Richard Whitley's acceptance speech on behalf of Bernard Roizman»

Susan Gottesman (2015)
For transforming our understanding of post-transcriptional regulation in bacteria through mechanisms of controlled proteolysis and small RNAs.
Read more about Gottesman's work» 
Watch Gottesman's acceptance speech»

Jeffrey I. Gordon (2013)
For his pioneering interdisciplinary studies on the human microbiome and for defining the genomic and metabolic foundations of its contributions to health and disease.

Carol A. Gross (2011)
For her pioneering studies on mechanisms of gene transcription and its control, and for defining the roles of sigma factors during homeostasis and under stress.

Jonathan Beckwith (2009)
For fundamental contributions to gene regulation, protein targeting and secretion, and disulfide biochemistry, and also for the development of gene fusions as an experimental tool.

Richard M. Losick (2007)
For discovering alternative bacterial sigma factors and his fundamental contributions to understanding the mechanism of bacterial sporulation.

Lucy Shapiro (2005)
For her pioneering work revealing the bacterial cell as an integrated system with transcriptional circuitry interwoven with the 3-D deployment of regulatory and morphological proteins.

Stanley Falkow (2003)
For his many contributions to understanding the mechanisms by which bacteria cause infection and disease.

Norman R. Pace (2001)
For revolutionizing microbiology by developing methods by which microorganisms can be directly detected, identified, and phylogenetically related without the need for cultivation in the laboratory.

R. John Collier (1999)
For his seminal contribution to the understanding of bacterial pathogenesis by the elucidation of the action of the diptheria toxin.

Carl R. Woese (1997)
For discovering a kingdom of life, the Archaea—using ribosomal RNA sequences for phylogenetic studies of microorganisms—which has influenced concepts of evolution and microbial ecology and has had major technical and industrial applications.

Ralph S. Wolfe (1995)
For elucidating the biochemical pathway of the reduction of carbon dioxide to methane in microorganisms and in the course of this work defining new biochemical pathways, enzymes, and cofactors.

Boris Magasanik (1993)
For his contributions to our understanding of catabolite repression, amino acid metabolism, and regulation of nitrogen metabolism in bacteria.

Melvin I. Simon (1991)
For his discoveries in the field of bacterial chemotaxis, including the elucidation of flagellar phase variation and of flagellar motor activation by receptor-mediated signals transmitted through protein-phosphoryl-group transfers.

Bernard D. Davis (1989)
For his ingenious development of the penicillin technique for isolating mutants and leadership in its application to microbial physiology.

Harland G. Wood (1986)
For his classic studies in mechanisms of carbon dioxide fixation in heterotrophic bacteria, which have spanned a half century and have revolutionized our understanding of the biochemical roles of carbon dioxide.

Purnell W. Choppin (1984)
For his discoveries of new mechanisms in the replication of myxo- and paramyxoviruses, in viral pathogenesis, and in viral gene expression.

Irwin C. Gunsalus (1982)
For his pioneering studies in microbial biochemistry.

Julius Adler (1980)
For his pioneering studies on motility and chemotaxis in bacteria.

Howard Green (1978)
For his fundamental contributions to the biology of cultured animal cells.

Wallace P. Rowe (1976)
For his fundamental contributions to our understanding of the biology of oncogenic viruses.

Renato Dulbecco (1974)
For his extension to animal viruses the precise quantitative methods that had been developed with bacterial viruses, thereby revealing the integration of tumor viruses into host chromosomes.

Charles Yanofsky (1972)
For his outstanding contributions to many aspects of microbial and molecular genetics.

E. R. Stadtman (1970)
For his outstanding contributions in the field of microbial biochemistry.

Jack L. Strominger (1968)
For his elegant studies on the biosynthesis of the bacterial cell wall and the mode of action of antibiotics.


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