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American health scientist wins 2010 Stockholm Water Prize

2010-03-23 09:05 BJT

STOCKHOLM, March 22 (Xinhua) -- American Public Health Champion Dr. Rita Colwell won the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize, the prize nominating committee announced on Monday at a seminar here to mark the World Water Day.

Rita Colwell, a distinguished Professor from the University of Maryland and John Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health in the United States, was named the Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for her pioneering research on the prevention of waterborne infectious diseases which has helped protect the health and lives of millions, said Professor Per-Arne Malmqvist on behalf of the Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee.

"Dr. Rita Colwell's numerous seminal contributions towards solving the world's water and water-related public health problems, particularly her work to prevent the spread of cholera, is of utmost global importance," noted the Nominating Committee in its citation.

"She has made exceptional contributions to control the spread of cholera, a waterborne pathogen that infects three to five million people and leads to an estimated 120 thousand death each year. Without her discovery, human beings will be more affected," Malmqvist told Xinhua.

"Through her research on its physiology, ecology, and metabolism, Dr. Colwell advanced the fields of mathematics, genetics and remote sensing technology and not only as they relate to these bacteria but to the prevention other diseases in many developing countries," Malmqvist added.

Colwell, 76, is widely recognized as one of this century's most influential voices in science, technology and policy associated with water and health. Her work has established the basis for environmental and infectious disease risk assessment used around the world.

Colwell began her research in the 1960s and later she even made research in how climate and weather change affects cholera and how the increase of ocean temperature affects the spread of diseases.

The Stockholm Water Prize is a global award founded in 1990 and presented annually by the Stockholm Water Foundation to an individual, organization or institution for outstanding water-related research.

Editor: Zheng Limin | Source: Xinhua