SJU Microbiologist John J. Tudor Receives Carski Award
Thursday, January 28, 2010
PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 28, 2010) – Microbiologist John J. Tudor, Ph.D., professor of biology at Saint Joseph’s University, has been named the 2010 laureate of the Carski Foundation Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. Administered by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the award honors an educator for outstanding teaching of microbiology to undergraduate students and for encouraging them to subsequent achievement.
“I am so pleased that the Carski Foundation and the ASM have recognized the work of John Tudor,” said William Madges, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Science at SJU. “He exemplifies excellence as both an inspiring teacher and meticulous and innovative research scientist for our students preparing for careers in the biomedical field.”
Tudor has been teaching microbiology to undergraduates for 40 years. He has spent most of his teaching career – 33 years – at SJU, where his classes are in high demand.
“I am honored to receive the Carski award,” said Tudor, who will deliver the Carski Award Lecture at the ASM General Meeting in San Diego, Ca., in April. His address, “On the Shoulders of Giants,” outlines the journey of an ordinary teacher, propelled by the lives of those who have gone before and those who will continue after, Tudor said.
Michael McCann, Ph.D., professor of biology and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at SJU, and an alumnus of Tudor’s classroom and research laboratory, would argue that Tudor is far from an ‘ordinary’ teacher.
“John is one of the most caring and dedicated teachers I had as a student,” said McCann. “He has a gift for challenging students to excel while providing the support and guidance needed for them to reach their full potential.”
Tudor noted that he has been fascinated with microbes, especially bacteria, since he was an undergraduate. “I love being able to open up the minds of my students to the incredible contributions that bacteria make to our lives, as well as the intricate strategies many of them exhibit in causing us harm,” he said.
For much of his career, Tudor has studied the Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus.“In my opinion, this is one of the coolest organisms on earth,” said Tudor. “It swims with lightning speed and attacks and devours many other types of bacteria, including pathogens like Salmonella, E. coli, Pseudomonas and Shigella.” In recent years, these studies have led him to examine the genes involved in Bdellovibrio’s predatory life style.
Tudor has published numerous articles in journals, books and symposium proceedings, often including as coauthors one or more of the 80 undergraduate students he has mentored. His research has been supported by multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health, and smaller grants from other sources.
In 2005, Tudor received the Tengelmann Award for Distinguished Teaching and Research, an award given annually to one SJU faculty member. He developed and taught molecular genetics, molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis and microbiology for non-science majors. Additionally, he has taught core courses in cell biology and genetics and general microbiology for biology majors. More than half of Tudor’s estimated 1,000 students in microbiology have completed advanced degrees in the biomedical sciences. Tudor received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, Lexington.