Colorado State University Microbiologist and Researcher Elected to National Academy of Sciences

A Colorado State University microbiologist was one of 72 new members elected Tuesday to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

Barry Beaty, director of the Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, was chosen in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievement in original research. He becomes only the 40th microbiologist named to the academy.

In addition, Beaty, professor of microbiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, last week was named as one of Colorado State’s University Distinguished Professors. That honor, given to no more than a dozen of the university’s 800-plus faculty members, also signifies outstanding research and teaching.

Founded in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by President Abraham Lincoln, the National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of 1,874 members. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded to a U.S. scientist or engineer.

Congressional incorporation calls for the academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.

Beaty came to Colorado State in 1982 from a faculty position at Yale, and by 1987 was director of the Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, turning the lab into an internationally recognized center of excellence in training and research in vector-borne diseases.

AIDL is the cornerstone of a group that includes faculty from three Colorado State University colleges and scientists from the CDC-Division of vector-borne infectious diseases, the USDA-Arthropod-borne Animal Disease Laboratory and other federal laboratories in the Fort Collins area.

In the early 1990s, the scientific world rediscovered what Beaty had known all along: arthropod-borne infectious agents cause many of the most widespread and devastating human and veterinary diseases in the world. Beaty and the AIDL team study the diagnosis, prevention and control of diseases like yellow fever, malaria, dengue hemorrhagic fever, West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne encephalitis viruses.

From 1989 to the present, Beaty’s research funding has totaled more than $10 million. In 1989, he was named a Program Leader of the newly formed international MacArthur Foundation Network on the Biology of Parasite Vectors, which included an additional $250,000 per year for research, student support and building infrastructure over a 10-year period. Beaty continues to be supported by the MacArthur Foundation to host institutes and workshops to develop new approaches and strategies to combat vector-borne diseases throughout the world.

Beaty served as director of the Infectious Diseases Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence from 1997-2000 and served as associate dean for research in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences from 1995-97.