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April 30, 2004

Campbell to receive American Society for Microbiology lifetime achievement award

By Mark Shwartz

Allan M. Campbell, the Barbara Kimball Browning Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, will receive the 2004 Abbott-ASM Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Microbiology at the society's 104th general meeting in New Orleans on Monday, May 24. Campbell will deliver the Abbott-ASM Award Lecture at 10:45 a.m. CDT and will be honored at a dinner ceremony that evening. The award includes a $20,000 cash prize and a commemorative piece.

In honoring Campbell, ASM officials cited his "exceptional insights and achievements in the field of molecular genetics ­ a career of groundbreaking research that has had a profound influence on several fields, including molecular cloning and gene therapy."

One of his most celebrated accomplishments, ASM officials noted, was demonstrating the genetic relationship between bacteriophage lambda ­ one of a group of viruses that attack bacteria ­ and its host. In the 1950s, Campbell concluded that bacteriophage lambda associates and dissociates from its host by inserting and removing a circular viral genome, or set of genes, into the bacterial chromosome. This finding, known as the Campbell model, paved the way for genetic and biochemical studies of site-specific recombination ­ the exchange of genetic information between the genomes of different species ­ as well as current research on the manipulation of genomes.

"These early studies led to other noted achievements, including Campbell's discovery of nonsense mutations and important work on bacterial gene regulation," ASM officials said. "His studies of microbial population dynamics and the evolution of genome structure have increased microbiologists' understanding of such questions as how viruses act as agents of evolution for host genomes and the interaction between bacteriophage evolution and population structure."

Campbell also is being recognized for his "extraordinary commitment" to the profession of microbiology as author, educator and mentor. For more than three decades, he has served as editor or associate editor of Annual Review of Genetics and has held editorial positions with Virology, Journal of Virology, Gene and other journals.

Campbell, who joined the Stanford faculty in 1968, earned his bachelor's degree at the University of California-Berkeley and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

ASM's mission is to promote research and training in the microbiological sciences and to assist communication between scientists, policymakers and the public to improve health, economic well-being and the environment. Its worldwide membership includes more than 42,000 scientists, teachers, physicians and health professionals. The lifetime achievement award is supported by Abbott Laboratories. For more information, visit

Editor Note:

To obtain a photo of Professor Allan Campbell, contact Mark Shwartz at the Stanford News Service.



Mark Shwartz, News Service: (650) 723-9296,


Allan Campbell, Department of Biological Sciences: (650) 723-1170,

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