UF distinguished professor named Florida Academy of Sciences’ 2013 medalist

Lonnie Ingram

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Lonnie Ingram, a distinguished professor in the University of Florida’s microbiology and cell science department, has been named the 2013 Medalist by the Florida Academy of Sciences.

The medal is awarded each year to a Florida resident who has made outstanding contributions to promoting scientific research, stimulating interest in science or spreading scientific knowledge.

Ingram was chosen because of his long career of contributions to science in Florida, the recognition he holds in his field, his extensive service at state, national and international levels and his mentoring of young scientists.

“I am honored to accept this award for our research team at the University of Florida,” Ingram said. “This work represents the combined efforts of faculty colleagues, excellent students and talented postdoctoral associates, many of whom are now faculty researchers in other schools and in bio-based industries throughout the country.”

Ingram, a member of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, is best known for engineering a bacterium that breaks down inedible plant material into simpler compounds that can be used to produce fuel ethanol. This ethanol technology has been used in fuel plants in Louisiana, Japan and Florida. He has also engineered microorganisms that are being used to produce bioplastics in facilities in Louisiana and Spain.

Ingram joined the faculty in UF’s microbiology and cell science department in 1972, and received a patent for his first bacterium in 1991.

“Research in biofuels and renewable chemicals has been both my vocation and my hobby at UF now for over 40 years,” he said.

The Florida Academy of Sciences represents all scientific disciplines and was formed in 1936.

Its goals include promoting scientific research and interest in science as well as encouraging public and government appreciation of science.

Since 1963, the academy has awarded its medal to 50 recipients, including 19 to UF scientists.

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Contacts:

Writer: Robert H. Wells, 352-273-3569; rhwells@ufl.edu

Source: Lonnie Ingram, 352-392-8176; ingram@ufl.edu

Caption: Lonnie Ingram, a distinguished professor in the University of Florida’s microbiology and cell science department, has been named the 2013 Medalist by the Florida Academy of Sciences.