Richard Alan Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Title: Professor Emeritus
Company: University of Missouri
Location: Columbia, Missouri, United States

Richard Finkelstein, Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in microbiology and higher education.

Dr. Finkelstein holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. He commenced his career as a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin from 1950 to 1955, where he received a Doctor of Philosophy in microbiology on the organism that causes the disease cholera.

Drawing upon 50 years of experience, Dr. Finkelstein is a professor emeritus at the University of Missouri, a title he has held since 2000. Prior to his retirement, he served as a Millsap distinguished professor and Curators’ professor between 1985 and 1990. He also served as a professor and chairman of the department of microbiology which he converted to the department of molecular microbiology and immunology from 1979 to 1993. Previously, he held multiple roles with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, between 1955 and 1979. During this time, he also acted as deputy chief and chief in the department of bacteriology and mycology with the U.S. Army Medical Command, of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization Medical Research Laboratory in Bangkok, Thailand. Dr. Finkelstein also served as the chief of the bioassay section of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C.

Since 1970, Dr. Finkelstein has served as a consultant for numerous organizations, including the World Health Organization, ICN Biomedicals, Inc., Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Molecular Pharmaceutics. A former visiting professor at the University of Medical Sciences in Bangkok, he also served as a Ciba-Geigy lecturer at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, a visiting scientist at the Science Council of Japan, and a visiting lecturer at the National Science Council in Taipei, Taiwan. Additionally, he acted as a visiting professor at The University of Chicago, and he served the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as a member of the microbiology and infectious diseases research committee.

Dr. Finkelstein has contributed 240 articles to professional peer-reviewed journals regarding matters of cholera, enterotoxins, gonorrhea and the role of iron in host-parasite interactions. Most renowned for the first purification of cholera enterotoxin, he also discovered and conducted the first purification of heat-labile enterotoxin from Escherichia coli that cause diarrhea and holds a patent for a living attenuated candidate cholera vaccine. He has also worked on the role of iron in host-parasite interactions and bacterial metabolism. Since 1976 his wife Mary Boesman, who has a PhD in Biochemistry from New York University, contributed to many of his publications until her demise in 2007.

The former vice president, president and a fellow of the American Society for Microbiology, Dr. Finkelstein maintained affiliation with the American Association of Immunologists, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Society for General Microbiology, the Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland and the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society. Dr. Finkelstein has accrued several accolades and is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society for Microbiology, he also received numerous prizes from the University of Missouri, including the Sigma Xi Research Award and the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Faculty Research in the Biological Sciences. Notably, he was nominated for a Nobel Prize and was the recipient of the Robert Koch Award by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1976.

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