Andrew Read, Evan Pugh University Professor of Biology and Entomology in the Eberly College of Science and the College of Agricultural Sciences, has been awarded the 2018 President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Integration.
The award is given to a full-time faculty member who has exhibited extraordinary achievement in the integration of teaching, research, or creative accomplishment and service.
Colleagues said Read stands out as an extraordinary faculty member who seamlessly integrates teaching, research, and service. In addition to making important and innovative contributions to the teaching mission of Penn State’s classroom and online education, he is a renowned and accomplished researcher. Colleagues said his pioneering research on pathogen resistance in response to antibiotics and vector resistance to pesticides has opened a new field of inquiry and therapy termed “evolutionary medicine.”
Read has made important contributions to understanding drug resistance through researching malaria. Colleagues said this research has provided insight into evolutionary biology and has real-world applications to understanding drug resistance, which could outpace cancer, killing more than 50 million people a year by the year 2050, according to experts.
“Read is an exceptional scientist who uses his research to educate Penn State students and the broader global community about the importance of an evolutionary biology perspective for managing health issues,” a colleague said. “He has received accolades for his teaching and research and is deeply involved in service to science and society. He allows these areas to inform one another, increasing their impact and effectiveness.”
Colleagues said Read has a rare ability to communicate complex scientific findings in ways that appeal to mass audiences, even nonscientists.
His gift for reaching out is evident in a Massive Open Online Course he participated in. It covers infectious disease and engages participants around the globe. The course has reached more than 100,000 people and is the top-ranked science course on the Coursera platform.
“Read is internationally renowned for integrating pressing biological issues with his elegant evolutionary ecology experiments and then reaching out to provide insights with clarity to the public and student population,” a colleague said. “Fundamentally, he has revealed how to solve public health problems against well-known human infections in terms of pathogen virulence, infectivity and drug-resistance.”
Read is an Eberly Professor of Biotechnology and elected Fellow of the Royal Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.