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World Changers

Faculty members receive Commonwealth’s highest honor

Chemistry professor Linda Columbus researches membrane proteins from pathogenic bacteria, work that could lead to new ways to design innovative antibiotics and vaccines that target the root causes, at the cellular level, of an array of infectious diseases, including gonorrhea and meningitis.

Linda Columbus Jack Looney

Dr. William Petri (Grad ’80, Med ’82), an internationally recognized leader in the field of global health and chief of UVA’s Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, has pioneered the study of enteric infections and their consequences on children’s health.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the Dominion Foundation have awarded each the state’s highest honor for professors, the Outstanding Faculty Award. The award recognizes superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service.

Dr. William Petri Sanjay Suchak

Since joining the faculty in 2007, Columbus has engaged students in her interdisciplinary biophysical research program and recently completed an overhaul of the department’s biological chemistry curriculum.

Petri earned his Ph.D. in microbiology and medical degree at UVA before joining the faculty in 1988. “There is a constant need to improve care of the ill,” he says. “It is the opportunity to discover, care for patients and teach others to become biomedical scientists that motivates me.”