Dr. Rita Colwell Lecture

Category: Lectures & Discussions

Event Date:

Monday, March 25, 2019


6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


University of Toledo Doermann Theater
The University of Toledo- 2801 W. Bancroft
Toledo, Oh 43606

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The history of marine biology is closely intertwined with human health. Significant advances in technology have brought new discoveries - from the outer reaches of space, where remote sensing monitors on satellites circle the earth, to the ultramicroscopic through application of next generation sequencing and informatics. Vibrio cholerae is a useful example of a fundamental linkage of human health to the oceans. The causative agent of cholera, it is associated with major epidemics yet it is a marine bacterium with a versatile genetics and is distributed globally in estuaries throughout the world. Vibrio species, both nonpathogenic and those pathogenic for humans, marine animals, or marine vegetation, play a fundamental role in nutrient cycling. They have also been shown to respond to warming of surface waters of the North Atlantic, with the increase in their numbers correlated with increased incident of infections in humans. In summary, microorganisms provide a critical indicator of human health and wellness and the ubiquitous vibrios in the world oceans offer a model system.


Dr. Rita Colwell is a leader in bioinformatics, most notably in understanding microbiomes and the application of this knowledge to human health and the diagnosis as well as treatment of disease. Her career bridges the disciplines of microbiology, ecology, infectious disease, public health, and computer as well as satellite technology. Colwell is a Distinguished University Professor both at the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, senior advisor and chairman emeritus at Canon U.S. Life Sciences, Inc., as well as president and CEO of CosmosID, Inc.

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