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Jo Handelsman Named Vilas Research Professor

Handelsman is one of 34 faculty honored with Vilas professorships supported by the estate of professor, Senator, and Regent William F. Vilas.

Jo Handelsman, director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and professor of plant pathology, was named to a Vilas Research Professorship.

Created “for the advancement of learning,” Vilas Research Professorships are granted to candidates with proven research ability and unusual qualifications and promise. The recipients of the award have contributed significantly to the research mission of the university and are widely recognized both nationally and internationally.

Before returning to UW–Madison this year, Handelsman served for three years as associate director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Since earning her doctorate in molecular biology at UW–Madison, she has authored more than 100 papers, 30 editorials, and three books on microbial communication, metagenomics and gender bias in science. In 2011, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring

The professorship provides a salary supplement, funding for research expenses and a retirement supplement for faculty who serve at least 15 years as a Vilas Research Professor.

— Chris Barncard

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