May 20-21, 2004

ITEM 123-2001-R0504    Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of Microbiology upon John William Costerton; Montana State University-Bozeman

THAT: Upon the occasion of the retirement of John William Costerton from the faculty of Montana State University, the Board of Regents wishes to express its appreciation for his service to the University, the Montana University System, and the people of the State of Montana.

EXPLANATION: Dr. Costerton received his Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the University of Western Ontario in 1960. He served as Dean of Science at Baring Union College, Punjab, India from1960-1969. During this period, he also studied bacteriology as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cambridge University in the UK (1964-1966). Today, Dr. Costerton is probably the best known and one of the most distinguished scientists working in the field of microbial biofilms. He was essentially responsible for pioneering this field in the 1970s and 1980s, leading to a remarkable career that has to date resulted in ~600 publications, mostly in peer-reviewed journals. He has been honored by many different Institutions. Costerton completed a distinguished academic career at the University of Calgary (1970-1993) prior to accepting the position of Director of the Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE) B Montana State University. Under the direction of Dr. Costerton, the Center has moved from dependence on an NSF Center grant to complete independence on both industrial and research support. Dr. Costerton can be credited with building the international reputation of CBE to the point where it is now the acknowledged leading Center for Biofilm research worldwide.

Dr. Costerton's contributions to biofilm science have been immense. While many of his major contributions have been in medical bacteriology and, in particular, device-related infections, he has also contributed to materials science and to environmental microbiology.

Dr. Costerton has also contributed to the academic mission of MSU. While directing the CBE, he taught a number of classes in the Department of Microbiology at MSU where he also holds a Professorship. He has served on numerous graduate student committees and has been instrumental in providing a unique undergraduate research experience for MSU students at the CBE. His contributions to service have also been exemplary. He served as Associate Dean for Research of the College of Engineering at MSU from 1995-2001.

For these and other contributions, the Board of Regents of Higher Education is pleased to confer John William Costerton the rank of Professor Emeritus of Microbiology at Montana State University and wishes him well for many years in the future.