U. of Colorado biology professor wins 2001 MacArthur Fellowship

University of Colorado at Boulder Professor Norman Pace has been named a 2001 winner of a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship, often called a "Genius Grant."

Pace, a professor in the molecular, cellular and developmental biology department, is the fifth CU-Boulder faculty member to win the prestigious award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Chicago. Pace, 59, was one of 23 recipients of the 2001 "no-strings attached" funding.

"I am enormously pleased to be numbered among the MacArthur Fellows," said Pace. "It is a tremendous feeling." The MacArthur Foundation typically selects between 20 and 30 fellows annually "who provide the imagination and fresh ideas that can improve peoples lives and bring about movement on important issues."

The MacArthur Program selection committee cited Pace
"for revolutionizing our conception of the range
and diversity of microbial life." Early in his career, Pace participated in key experiments demonstrating the capacity of genetic material to catalyze biochemical reactions.

He subsequently pioneered the use of molecular genetic techniques to identify microbe species, revealing their evolutionary histories by analyzing the sequence, structure and activity of nucleotide-mediated enzymes across many species.

"Paces research continues to identify the biochemical and genetic threads that link all organisms and to enrich our awareness of the seemingly boundless, sometimes quite improbable, ecological niches that living things occupy on Earth," concluded the committee.

Pace is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In January he received the 2001 Selman Waksman Award in Microbiology from the NAS, considered the nations highest award in microbiology. He was cited "for revolutionizing microbiology by developing methods by which microorganisms can be directly detected, identified and phylogenetically related wit

Contact: Norman Pace
University of Colorado at Boulder

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