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Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera

Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera ( ‘70 BA, ‘72 MS)

A native of Monessen, Pa., Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at WVU in 1970. She received her master’s degree in microbiology from WVU in 1972 and her Ph.D. in microbiology from Rutgers University in 1978.

Dr. Hunter-Cevera has served as head of the Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as project manager for the California Institute of Food and Agriculture, and as research scientist and director for a number of commercial biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including E.R. Squibb, Cetus Corp, Geobiotics, Biosource Genetics, and Universal Flavors. She has discovered natural products that have benefited human health, the environment, and agriculture. She also founded The Biotic Network consulting company, and co-founded the research company, Blue Sky Research.

This distinguished career as an educator and scientist led to her 1999 appointment as president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI), with the mission of developing research programs, training biological scientists and catalyzing economic development. As president, Dr. Hunter-Cevera is responsible for overall leadership and guidance of the institution and the administration of its approximately $52 million annual budget.

Recently, Dr. Hunter-Cevera’s dedication to the solution of practical problems led her to take the initiative in establishing the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies in collaboration with Frostburg State and WVU. This center will integrate modern molecular biology with indigenous knowledge of the plants of the Appalachian Mountains.

Dr. Hunter-Cevera holds two patents for biocatalysts and has given more than 40 invited lectures and seven key note lectures. She was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 1995, received the SIM Charles Porter Award in 1996, was elected an SIM Fellow in 1997 and named the Nath Lecturer at WVU in 1999.