Edward G. Dudley Awarded 2023 J. Roger Porter Award

May 30, 2024

Edward G. Dudley Awarded 2023 J. Roger Porter Award

PRESS RELEASE

EAU CLAIRE, Wis., US – May 30, 2024

Edward Dudley – Director of the E. coli Reference Center (ECRC) at The Pennsylvania State University

The United States Culture Collection Network (USCCN) is pleased to announce that Edward Dudley, Professor of Food Science and Director of the E. coli Reference Center (ECRC) at The Pennsylvania State University, has been awarded the 2023 J. Roger Porter Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership of the ECRC to support novel life science discoveries.

The prestigious J. Roger Porter Award recognizes a scientist who has demonstrated the value of microbial biodiversity through continuous curatorial or stewardship activities for a major resource used by the scientific community.

Created in 1967, the ECRC was on the brink of closing and its decade’s worth of resources and knowledge was in jeopardy upon the retirement of its previous curator when Dudley assumed leadership in 2017. Today, the ECRC is the largest repository for E. coli strains in North America, with more than 85,000 isolates representing over 300 species from diverse geographic regions.

Dudley brought the ECRC into the genomics area, expanding the Center’s scientific reach and impact beyond mere preservation. Under his leadership, the ECRC has emerged as a hallmark of success in genome sequencing, with over 7,000 isolates sequenced and made publicly available, facilitating genotype-phenotype studies and enabling new avenues in microbial pathogenicity research.

In addition to his instrumental role at the ECRC, Edward Dudley conducts research on foodborne pathogens, using genomics approaches to advance understanding of E. coli and Salmonella biology, evolution, and diagnostics. His findings have significantly contributed to the scientific community knowledge on virulence potential and infection risks at the strain level. Dudley is also a member of the FDA GenomeTrakr network, the first distributed network of laboratories utilizing whole genome sequencing to track the spread of pathogens during foodborne outbreaks.

Dudley is passionate about training the next generation of scientists, having graduated eight Ph.D. and seven M.S. students, and trained seven postdoctoral fellows. He supports diversity in education by leading USDA-funded programs, including a National Needs Fellowship grant and an 8-week summer camp on genome sequencing for students from traditionally underrepresented groups in science. Additionally, Dudley actively contributes to the broader microbiology community through his roles with the American Society of Microbiology (ASM), as editor for the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology and elected food microbiology representative to ASM’s Council on Microbial Sciences, and as member of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Dudley will be formally recognized at the upcoming USCCN “Genome Sequencing and Microbial Resources” workshop (June 10-11, Davis, CA, USA), where he will present how the ECRC collection is leveraged to identify new serotypes and predict bacteriophage susceptibility.

About the J. Porter Award

The prestigious J. Roger Porter Award recognizes outstanding efforts by a scientist who has demonstrated the importance of microbial biodiversity through sustained curatorial or stewardship activities for a major resource used by the scientific community. It honors the memory of the internationally known microbiologist J. Roger Porter (1909-1979) and his remarkable contributions to science. More information including purpose, eligibility, nomination process, and past laureates are available at usccn.org/porter-award

About USCCN

The United States Culture Collection Network (USCCN) is a Research Coordination Network supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation through grants #1534564 and #2124633. The mission of the USCCN is to facilitate the safe and responsible utilization of microbial resources for research, education, industry, medicine, and agriculture for the betterment of humankind. For more information visit usccn.org and follow the network on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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