Tiedje Receives ASM Lifetime Achievement Award

January 26, 2023

IIT-affiliated faculty member, Dr. James Tiedje, was recently selected for the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Society of Microbiology (ASM). The ASM Lifetime Achievement Award is ASM's premier award for sustained contributions to the microbiological sciences. Nominees must be advocates, active or retired, in any area relevant to the microbiological sciences and are well respected in the microbial science community for their integrity, research and dedication to promoting and advancing the microbial sciences.

Tiedje is an university distinguished professor emeritus of microbiology and molecular genetics and of plant, soil and microbial sciences at Michigan State University. He earned his B.S. from Iowa State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University.

His laboratory focuses on understanding the ecology, physiology and biochemistry of microbial processes important in nature and of value to industry. Tiedje researches microbial ecology, studying interactions between microbes, their environments and plant and animal species. His work includes understanding biodegradation of environmental pollutants and the use of molecular methods to understand microbial community structure and function. Tiedje and colleagues discovered soil microbes that dechlorinate chlorine aromatic compounds that can help degrade toxic chemcials such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT).

Tiedje was president of the American Society for Microbiology and the International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME). He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Academy of Microbiology, the Ecological Society of America, the Soil Science Society of America and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Tiedje is the former editor-in-chief of 3 ASM journals (Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Molecular Biology Reviews and mBio) and was the director of the Center for Microbial Ecology for 30 years.