USDA Microbiologist Wins
By Sandy Miller
December 17, 1996
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17--Pina
M. Fratamico of Elkins Park, Pa., a microbiologist with the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, is among 60
young researchers selected to receive the first annual Presidential Early
Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
The new awards, created last spring, recognize demonstrated excellence and
promise of future success in scientific or engineering research, and the
potential for eventual leadership of the awardees in their respective fields.
Candidates are nominated by agencies across the federal government, and
recipients receive up to $500,000 over a five-year period to further their
"From the ranks of these outstanding young researchers will come
tomorrow's leaders in science and technology, our university faculties and our
Nobel laureates," said John H. Gibbons, Assistant to the President for
Science and Technology, in an announcement issued by the White House. "The
talents of these young professionals will create the world of the 21st
Fratamico and the other scientists received their awards yesterday at a
White House ceremony.
Fratamico leads a research team that has developed several rapid and
sensitive techniques to detect the foodborne pathogen E. coli 0157:H7,
including a test that provides results in less than 24 hours. Other methods can
take four to five days. Fratamico works at the
Eastern Regional Research Center operated
at Philadelphia by the Agricultural Research
Service, chief research agency of USDA.
Fratamico was honored by ARS on Dec. 11 as the agency's "Early Career
Scientist of the Year."
A native of Chieti, Italy, Fratamico came to the United States with her
parents in the 1960s. She earned a bachelor's degree in medical technology in
1983 and a doctorate in microbiology and immunology in 1990. Both degrees are
from Temple University in Philadelphia.
The list of 60 PECASE winners included scientists and engineers with the
Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department
of Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and
Space Administration, the National Science Foundation and the National
Institutes of Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Scientific contact: Pina M. Fratamico,
Microbial Food Safety
Research, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Philadelphia, Pa. 19038;
phone (215) 233-6525.