USDA Microbiologist Wins Presidential AwardBy Sandy Miller Hays
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 research.
"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 century."
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.