Colorado State University Confers Honorary Degree on International Infectious Disease Research Leader During Commencement Ceremonies

Colorado State University will confer an honorary doctoral degree on Dr. Lorne A. Babiuk at Spring 2007 commencement ceremonies Friday, May 11.

Colorado State President Larry Edward Penley will award the Doctor of Science degree to Babiuk in recognition of his exceptional contributions to developments in vaccinations and the biotechnology industry. He will receive his degree at Colorado State’s Graduate School commencement ceremony at 3:30 p.m. in Moby Arena.

Babiuk is the director of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, Canada Research chair in Vaccinology and Biotechnology and a professor at the University of Saskatchewan.

Under his direction VIDO has become internationally recognized for its role in developing vaccines with biotechnology. The world’s first genetically engineered vaccine for animals was developed at VIDO.

Babiuk’s special areas of research are molecular virology, vaccinology, immunology and viral pathogenesis with emphasis on respiratory and viral infections.

He has held prestigious national and international positions and awards for excellence in research and for transferring research into the commercial arena. These awards include serving as the National Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada chair in biotechnology, and receiving the Canadian Society of Microbiology Award and the Xerox-Canada Forum Award.

"We are pleased to recognize Dr. Babiuk for his vital work in addressing the challenges that infectious diseases pose to the health of the global population," said Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State. "As a world leader in infectious disease research, Colorado State respects and appreciates the great accomplishments of Dr. Babiuk in this important research field."

Since the 1960s, Colorado State University has engaged in infectious disease research, and today is a world-leader in researching vaccines, diagnostic tests, medications and ways to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Colorado State’s Foothills Campus, a global complex devoted to infectious disease research, is supported by more than $200 million in research funds from entities including the National Health Institute, Centers for Disease Control, NASA, Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In February, Colorado State University unveiled MicroRx, a first-of-its-kind enterprise to speed the transition of life-saving research on infectious diseases from the academic world into the global marketplace. MicroRx is just the first of the university’s Superclusters – alliances of academic researchers, economists and business experts designed to encourage collaboration and bridge the vastly different worlds of business and academia.

"We look forward to continuing to draw upon Dr. Babiuk’s vast research and impressive advances in the battle against infectious diseases," said Tony Frank, provost and senior vice president at Colorado State. "Together with visionaries such as Dr. Babiuk, we can find new and effective ways to ways to treat, diagnose and prevent infectious disease, and speed those life-saving discoveries to the market place to help millions around the world."

Babiuk is a consultant and a member of the scientific advisory board — or board of directors — for numerous companies involved in commercializing biological research. He also has studied the commercial potential of specific scientific proposals for investors and companies.

As a professor he has mentored more than 90 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who have obtained positions in industry, academia and government. As well, he has published more than 500 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 100 book chapters and reviews. He holds 25 issued patents and 18 pending patents.

Through his research, Babiuk has received numerous competitive grants from national and international agencies. In 2002, he received a $27 million grant awarded in 2002 and a $17 million grant awarded in 2005 from Genome Canada to study host pathogen interactions at mucosal surfaces. He also received a $5.6 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop childhood vaccines.

Babiuk is regarded as a visionary, evidenced by his work in garnering support for an International Vaccine Center, a planned $110 million research facility.

Babiuk is a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and European Academy of Sciences and an officer of the Order of Canada.