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Michael Ibba

Distinguished Scholar Award, 2019

Michael Ibba, professor of microbiology and chair of the Department of Microbiology, has received the university’s Distinguished Scholar Award, which annually honors six faculty members who demonstrate exceptional scholarly activity, research or creative work in their respective fields.

Ibba’s research focuses on how fidelity is maintained in biological systems, the mechanisms behind how cells ensure the accurate translation of genetic code and how changes in underlying processes influence cells’ health, microbial pathogenesis and human diseases. He has made significant contributions to the field of microbiology, and his work has broadened understanding of how tRNA synthetases achieve accuracy.

“Mike’s research program has been consistently outstanding in the area of protein synthesis, tRNA synthetase enzyme structure/function, and their impact on microbial and human cell physiology,” wrote on of Ibba’s colleagues who nominated him.

“I have many years of interaction with scientists in this field, and Dr. Ibba stands out for the creativity and depth of his work,” wrote another nominator.

Recipients of the Distinguished Scholar Award receive a $20,000 research grant and a $3,000 honorarium to pursue their scholarly activity, supported by the Office of Research.