On April 28, Colorado State University Interim President Tony Frank bestowed the title of University Distinguished Professor - the highest recognition awarded for outstanding accomplishments in research and scholarship - on three professors during the University’s annual "Celebrate! Colorado State" event.
Collectively, these world-renowned professors have made great strides in diverse fields of science, garnered more than $100 million in research grants, taught hundreds of students who now make contributions around the world, and have influenced scientific thought in their respective fields. They are:
"The designation of University Distinguished Professor is the highest honor Colorado State University bestows to faculty," said CSU Interim President Tony Frank. "Professors Wall, McIlwraith, and Orme have all led pioneering research that has transformed their fields of study, and all three are known around the world as among the most distinctive, innovative and accomplished thinkers in their disciplines. Each also has contributed significantly to the quality of research and education at Colorado State, and this honor is a fitting tribute to the stature they've attained as scholars and faculty leaders."
Only 1 percent of CSU faculty members are honored with the rank of University Distinguished Professor and it is a lifetime award which carries into retirement as Professor Emeritus. To obtain the rank, faculty members are nominated through an extensive review process and must be approved by the current University Distinguished Professors.
Dr. McIlwraith joined Colorado State in 1979 as an equine surgeon with a research focus in orthopedics. Milestones include his appointment as Director of the Equine Sciences program in 1994, which accompanied a major expansion of the orthopedics research program. In 2001, he became the Director of the Orthopaedic Research Center. The ORC has helped make the University the world's leading center for comparative orthopedic research.
Dr. McIlwraith's history of accomplishments as a researcher, clinician and educator can be seen in his leadership and development of numerous programs at Colorado State including the Musculoskeletal Research Program, a Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence. Dr. McIlwraith, who was born in New Zealand, also is a Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and Diplomate, European College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Dr. Orme is recognized globally for his contributions to the study of tuberculosis in an effort to find treatments for the disease. His work has generated significant insights into the disease, including the development of vaccines and novel anti-tuberculosis drugs to augment a dwindling arsenal of medications available to treat the illness. His discoveries play a key role in providing a basis for new therapeutic approaches to treat tuberculosis which, worldwide, infects more than 2 billion people.
Dr. Orme's laboratory was the first to identify rifabutin, which is now used to treat infectious in AIDS patients, and he has introduced new models to rapidly screen new TB drugs. Dr. Orme also has identified several new compounds currently being screened as potential treatments for tuberculosis. He is a past recipient of the University's Scholarship Impact Award and the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences' Innovative Teaching Award.
Current Colorado State University Distinguished Professors include Drs. Barry Beaty, Patrick Brennan and Edward Hoover, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology; Dr. George Seidel, Department of Biomedical Sciences; Dr. Bernard E. Rollin, Department of Philosophy; Dr. Robert Williams, Department of Chemistry; Drs. Graeme Stephens and Thomas Vonder Haar, Department of Atmospheric Science; Drs. Gary Smith and John Sofos, Department of Animal Sciences; Dr. Stephen Withrow, Department of Clinical Sciences; Dr. Jan Leach, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management; Dr. Karolin Luger, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; and Dr. Jorge Rocca, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.