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W.E. 'Ed' Moore, 68

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 07 - October 10, 1996

W.E. "Ed" C. Moore, retired university distinguished professor of anaerobic microbiology, died Wednesday, Sept. 25, at age 68. During his 40 years at Virginia Tech, Moore became one of the world's leading researchers in the field of anaerobic microbiology.

"He was on a mission, said Tracy Wilkins, director of biotechnology in the Virginia Tech Center for Biotechnology. "At the time, his research went against the common perceptions of the world's medical community. He proved that anaerobic bacteria are causative agents for human disease, especially post-surgical and other post-trauma infections. Because of Dr. Moore's work, the textbooks were rewritten-he made contributions to human medicine that will last forever."

Dean Andy Swiger of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences said, "Dr. Moore was a giant in research his field and an able administrator. He was a major force in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, moving it to the top 15 in research expenditures."

The National Institutes of Health recognized the importance of Moore's work by funding his research through grants and helping fund the building of the Anaerobe Laboratory, which Moore founded in 1970 and headed until 1985. He also taught and did research in anaerobic microbiology in the departments of biology, biochemistry, and veterinary science.

"He put Virginia Tech on the map. It became synonymous with clinical anaerobic microbiology. Not only did he bring an international team to the center," Wilkins said, "but medical doctors and hospital lab directors from around the world came to Tech. Dr. Moore and his team trained them in how to find, culture, and kill anaerobic bacteria to cure their patients."

Moore earned international acclaim for his research and publications concerning human intestinal flora, the microbiology of periodontal diseases, and the taxonomic relationships among anaerobic bacteria, as well as for his work in the anaerobic bacteria of human infections.

He was editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology. He received the Kimble Award from the U.S. Conference of Public Health Laboratory Directors for his contributions to laboratory methods important to public health, the Bergey's International Award for his contributions to taxonomy and nomenclature of anaerobic bacteriology, the Porter Award for his contributions to the importance of proper maintenance and use of culture collections, and the Becton-Dickenson Award for his contributions to the elucidation of the importance of anaerobic bacteria in human infections.