Keim named AZBio's Bioscience Researcher of the Year

Paul Keim, the director of the Pathogens Genomics Division of the Translational Genomics Research Institute, will be awarded the 2012 Bioscience Researcher of the Year award by the Arizona BioIndustry Association next week.

Keim is also the Cowden Endowed Chair of Microbiology at Northern Arizona University. He is an expert in anthrax and other infectious diseases, directing investigations at both NAU and TGen related to improving biodefense in the United States, reports.

"AZBio's recognition of Dr. Keim is extraordinarily well deserved," Jeffrey Trent, the president and scientific director of TGen, said, according to "Paul's unique achievements in interpreting the microbial genomes of pathogens-both those that naturally cause disease, but also those made into weapons by terrorists-are of profound importance. His research, coupled to his dedications to his students and to the cause of public health globally, place him in the upper echelon of premier scientists, and puts Arizona on the map in this critical growing area of research."

Keim was nominated by members of the bioscience community in the state of Arizona. The award will be presented at the 7th annual AZBio Awards on October 23 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

"Paul Keim's work ranges broadly-from plague in prairie dogs, to cholera in Haiti," Laura Huenneke, a provost at NAU, said, according to "Here at NAU, literally hundreds of students, both undergraduate and graduate, have participated in that research and launched from there into successful careers. His research group has also grown into the strong partnership between the university and TGen North-a huge economic development dividend for Flagstaff.''

Keim is also a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. He has helped to draft national guidelines to protect against bioterrorism and elevate ethical standards of scientific research.

"Our science has been completely transformed by the rapid advancements of technology," Keim said, according to "Now, TGen's job is to rapidly advance our science to make great impacts on human health. We have that ability, therefore, we feel that we have that responsibility."