Sunday, November 8, 2009

WaTER Center announces first prize recipient

By Julianna Parker
The Norman Transcript
Published Nov. 1, 2009

An international symposium brought experts from business, engineering and public health together to talk about providing clean water to developing regions Friday at the University of Oklahoma.

At the symposium, the WaTER Center announced the recipient of the International WaTER Prize: Dr. Stephen P. Luby.

This is the first prize given by the Water Technologies for Emerging Regions Center at OU. The research center at OU is dedicated to helping solve drinking water challenges in impoverished areas.

The prize was modeled after OU and World Literature Today's Neustadt International Prize for Literature, said David Sabatini, professor for the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and director of the WaTER Center.

The panelists at the symposium Friday made up the jury for the prize. Each nominated someone for the prize and then they discussed it this week until they came up with a recipient. The prize winner was announced at lunchtime.

Sabatini said the prize was begun this year

· to celebrate significant contributions to clean water development,

· to hold up the prize winner as an inspiration to others, and

· to bring someone of Luby's stature to campus to interact with students.

Luby has worked for the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh since 2004. He is head of the Program on Infectious Diseases and Vaccine Sciences and also functions as the head of Agency for the Centers for Disease Control in Bangladesh.

Luby earned a bachelor of arts in philosophy from Creighton University in 1981. He earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas in 1986 and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Rochester-Strong Memorial Hospital. He studied epidemiology and public health in the Epidemic Intelligence Service and the Preventive Medicine Residency of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Luby has authored over 120 scientific articles, the majority concerning communicable disease epidemiology in low-income countries.

Luby officially will be presented with the award at International WaTER Conference tentatively scheduled for October 2009 in Norman.

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