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Posted at 4:30 PM ET, 03/22/2010

Md. scientist wins Stockholm Water Prize

By Washington Post editors

Rita Colwell, a distinguished professor at the University of Maryland and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, has been awarded the Stockholm Water Prize in recognition for her pioneering research into the prevention of cholera and other waterborne diseases.

"Dr. Rita Colwell's numerous seminal contributions towards solving the world’s water and water-related public health problems, particularly her work to prevent the spread of cholera, is of utmost global importance," the nominating committee said of the 76-year-old winner, who is also a former director of the National Science Foundation. "Through her research on its physiology, ecology, and metabolism, Dr. Colwell advanced the fields of mathematics, genetics and remote sensing technology and not only as they relate to these bacteria but to the prevention other diseases in many developing countries."

Cholera is a waterborne pathogen that infects 3 to 5 million people and leads to an estimated 120,000 deaths each year. The Stockholm International Water Prize is awarded yearly to an individual, organization or institution for outstanding water-related activities. Winners receive $150,000 and a crystal water sculpture.

By Washington Post editors  | March 22, 2010; 4:30 PM ET
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