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UGA professor recognized for contributions to microbiology

Diana Downs, a Research Professor in the department of microbiology at the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed as a Regents’ Professor by the University of Georgia. This title is a high recognition given by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. Downs' work in microbial physiology, bacterial genetics, and metabolism has been acknowledged. She has 126 peer-reviewed publications and has received continuous funding for 30 years from sources such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Downs has guided many students throughout her career, with 27 Ph.D. students graduating under her supervision and five currently under her guidance. She has also mentored 14 master’s students and over 80 undergraduates in her laboratory. Her teaching skills are well-regarded, and she has contributed to the growth of the graduate program in the UGA department of microbiology.

Downs has also contributed to her field through service at national and international levels. She was the editor-in-chief of the ASM journal Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews for ten years and served on the advisory panel of the James S. McDonnell Foundation’s Complex Systems Analysis Program. She was a member of the European Research Council panel “Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology.”

Aaron Mitchell, UGA professor and head of the department of microbiology, commended Downs for her commitment to quality and relevance in education, and her efforts to enhance microbiology research and education

Downs' research and mentorship were recognized in the book “Women in Microbiology” by the American Society for Microbiology Press in 2018. She was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The university community extends their congratulations to Dr. Downs and Amanda Murdie for their career achievements.

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