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Release: Immediate

UI researcher receives environmental research award

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa College of Medicine researcher has received the 1997 Procter and Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Dr. David T. Gibson, professor of microbiology and biocatalysis, received the award at the general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology May 6 in Miami. He was honored for his work in understanding how bacteria break down toxic and cancer-causing environmental pollutants.

By using a genetic engineering approach, Gibson discovered that the bacteria can make useful chemicals from the pollutants. One such chemical is an indigo dye that could be used to dye blue jeans, according to Gibson.

Gibson received his bachelor's degree and doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Leeds in England. He did postdoctoral work at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, before spending 21 years on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the UI faculty in 1988 as the university's first endowed chair in biocatalysis.