Professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at UGA names Georgia Power Professor

Professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at University of Georgia named Georgia Power Professor in Biotechnology

Athens, Ga. – Michael W.W. Adams, Distinguished Research Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia, has been named Georgia Power Professor in Biotechnology pending approval by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

Adams follows Lars Ljungdahl, who held the position until his recent retirement.

“I am very honored and very flattered by being named to this prestigious professorship,” said Adams “This is made all the more special as I will follow in the footsteps of my former colleague, Lars Ljungdahl, someone whom I have known and greatly admired and respected for many years. Lars carried out pioneering research for four decades here at UGA. In fact, Lars was one of the reasons that I came to UGA more than 20 years ago. He has set the bar for the Georgia Power Professorship very high indeed.”

As Georgia Power Professor, Adams will receive a support account for his scholarship.

“This professorship is one of the most prestigious at the University of Georgia, and Michael Adams is very deserving of the award,” said Garnett S. Stokes, dean of the Franklin College.

Adams received his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in biochemistry from King’s College at the University of London in England. After serving as a postdoctoral fellow at Purdue University and working for a time in industry, he came to UGA as an assistant professor in 1987. He was promoted to associate professor in 1991 and to full professor in 1994. He earned the title of Distinguished Research Professor in 1994.

In addition, Adams has been co-director of the Center for Metalloenzyme Studies at UGA since 1996, and he also serves as director of undergraduate studies in biochemistry.

“The history of this professorship therefore makes it a truly special honor,” said Adams. “I would like to express my appreciation to Georgia Power for providing me with this opportunity, as their support makes a very important difference to my overall research program. It will enable pursuit of research goals that are more adventurous or higher risk than those supported by conventional federal grants, and consequently of potentially higher reward. This support also allows me to follow up on new research results immediately and in a manner that focuses on the biotechnological aspects, areas that are typically not included in conventional research grants from federal agencies.”

Adams anticipates that there will be many opportunities in the biofuels field in the near future, particularly stemming from the recent establishment of a DOE-funded Bioenergy Center at UGA. The professorship, he said, will provide an important resource with which to advance research in this area of biotechnology.

Adams lectures all over the world and has been the recipient of millions of dollars in grants for research during his tenure at UGA. He has published more than 250 research papers and has directed numerous postdoctoral, doctoral and masters students in their research, in addition to regularly teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. He has also served on many committees at the university and on review panels for various federal agencies.