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Dr. Joanna Fowler

Honorary Doctorates Awarded to Chemists


Dr. Joanna Fowler

May 2010 (B.A. ’65)


Honorary Doctor of Science Citation

University of South Florida alumna Dr. Joanna Fowler has been a longstanding pioneer in the scientific research community. Today her extraordinary career comes full circle, as she receives an Honorary Doctorate of Science from USF.

Dr. Joanna Fowler is currently a senior scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory and adjunct Professor in both the Chemistry Department and Biomedical Engineering Department at SUNY- Stony Brook. Over the course of her distinguished career at BNL, her work has been highlighted in Time Magazine and cited twice in Discover as one of the top science stories of the year. She has published close to 350 peer-reviewed articles in leading scientific journals and holds eight patents for radiolabelling procedures.

Dr. Fowler’s work on elucidating the characteristics and mechanics behind addictive behaviors and substance abuse, along with her illuminating work on cancer, has led to some of the most honored awards conferred upon a scientist. In 2009, Dr. Fowler was one of nine researchers named by President Obama to receive the nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in science, The National Medal of Science. This award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. In addition, in 2003 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the highest recognition of a scientist by one’s peers, and she is believed to be the first USF alumna to be elected.

Numerous other honors include the American chemical Society’s Glen T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear and Radiochemistry (2002), the Society of Nuclear Imaging in Drug Development’s Alfred P. Wolf Award (2000), the Department of Energy’s E.O. Lawrence Award(1999), and the Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal in 1998.

Dr. Fowler has supported education of chemists at USF and maintained contact by serving as the Martin Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry. During her undergraduate years at USF she met and married fellow chemistry major Dr. Frank W. Fowler. In 1994, Dr. Fowler and her husband shared the Department of Chemistry’s Outstanding Alumni Award.

After earning a B.A. in chemistry as a charter class member at USF and a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Colorado in 1967, Fowler carried out postdoctoral research at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, England, and at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Dr. Fowler and her husband reside in Bellport, New York.