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MU Professor Judy Wall Receives SEC Faculty Achievement Award

May 2nd, 2014

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

By Anne Allen

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Southeastern Conference (SEC) has awarded an SEC Faculty Achievement Award to Judy Wall, Curators Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Missouri. The annual awards honor one professor from every SEC university who demonstrates outstanding teaching, research, scholarship and mentorship of faculty and students.

“The 2014 SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners are some of our nation’s most accomplished instructors, researchers and scholars,” said Jay Gogue, president of Auburn University and president of the SEC. “It is my great pleasure to preside over an intercollegiate athletics conference that not only recognizes their academics’ work, but also strives to support it as well.”

Wall has been a faculty member at MU for more than 35 years. Her expertise in environmental microbiology is recognized internationally. Wall’s prominent leadership positions have included serving on the Board of Governors of the American Society for Microbiology, the oldest and largest life science membership organization in the world, and being editor-in-chief of the organization’s peer-reviewed journal in environmental microbiology.

“Wall is one of the world’s leading environmental microbiologists,” said Gerald Hazelbauer, chair of the Department of Biochemistry. “She currently studies organisms that are killed by the presence of oxygen, but have the capability to capture radioactive elements like uranium and put them in a chemical form that is insoluble, thus keeping them from spreading in contaminated soil. The U.S. Department of Energy has been supporting her basic research as they strive to address issues of soil contamination by radioactive waste.”

Wall has received many honors throughout the course of her career, including being named a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1995 and a fellow of the American Association for Microbiology in 1998. She also received the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Distinguished Researcher Award in 2002, the Sigma Xi Graduate Research Mentoring Award in 2004, and the MU Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award in 2008. Wall was named a University of Missouri Curators Professor in 2013. Her research has been published more than 100 times in peer-reviewed journals and publications.

Wall received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and holds a doctorate in biochemistry from Duke University.

The Department of Biochemistry is housed in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the School of Medicine.