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January 8, 2008

Howard Ceri Elected Sigma Xi President

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - Howard Ceri at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, was elected the 72nd president of Sigma Xi at the Society's annual meeting in Orlando.

A Sigma Xi member since 1982, Ceri is professor and chairman of the Bioflim Research Group in the department of biological science. He will serve as Society president-elect in 2008 and succeed Ann Houston Williams as president in 2009.

Ceri pioneered the study of the role of lectins at mucosal surfaces, and his contributions to biofilm microbiology include the development of the Calgary Biofilm Device, which is currently the standard for biofilm susceptibility studies.

His experience includes two terms as chairman of the division of cellular, molecular and microbial biology. He also co-founded MBEC Biofilms Technologies Inc., a spin-off company of the University of Calgary, and served on the board of directors through a takeover by Innovotech Inc. and the move from a private to a public company on the Toronto Venture Exchange.

His teaching contributions were recognized with the 2006 Faculty of Science Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Ceri is a past president and currently serves as secretary of the University of Calgary Chapter of Sigma Xi. He is on the Publications Committee for American Scientist magazine and has served in a variety of capacities on the Society's board of directors.

He believes the strength of Sigma Xi lies in its chapters. "The core beliefs of the Society are more relevant and mainstream to the research endeavor than ever before," he says. "Sigma Xi's advocacy for the scientific method and for science literacy must remain a key focus. The value of science and the support of science and scientists is a message that Sigma Xi can deliver as few others."

Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is the international honor society of research scientists and engineers, with more than 500 chapters at colleges and universities, government laboratories and industry research centers. Membership is by invitation, in recognition of research potential or achievement. Over the years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize. In addition to publishing American Scientist, the non-profit Society awards hundreds of grants annually to student researchers and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering.


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