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K-State Today Student Edition

May 3, 2013



Meet one of K-State's newest university distinguished professors: Stephen Higgs

By Communications and Marketing

Stephen Higgs

Kansas State University has chosen five faculty members as its newest university distinguished professors: James Edgar, Stephen Higgs, Ryszard Jankowiak, Philip Nel and Mike Tokach.

Each day K-State Today will individually spotlight each new university distinguished professor. University distinguished professor is lifetime title and the highest honor that the university bestows on its faculty. It is given following a universitywide competition conducted by the provost.

Stephen Higgs is director of the Biosecurity Research Institute, associate vice president for research and the Virginia and Perry Peine biosecurity chair.

Higgs is an arthropod-borne infectious disease expert, focusing on vector biology, mosquito-borne infectious diseases, immune modulation and vaccine evaluation. He is studying mosquito-virus-bertebrate interactions and their relationship with various viruses, including West Nile and yellow fever.

Higgs has worked with investigators from multiple institutions on projects that have been supported by more than $30 million from agencies and companies, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has authored more than 135 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has been an invited lecturer at more than 60 international meetings and conferences. His awards include being elected to the honor society of Phi Zeta, serving as the 51st Bailey K. Ashford Memorial Lecturer, a Pasteur Foundation guest scholar, and the Experimental Pathology Graduate Student Organization award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring, among others.

Currently, Higgs mentors two doctoral students. He is an elected fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and a member of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the American Society for Virology and the Society for General Microbiology. He also serves as the editor-in-chief of the journal Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases and is on the editorial board for the journal Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice and Science.

Higgs joined Kansas State University in 2011 as the research director of the Biosecurity Research Institute. He earned his bachelor's degree from King's College in London in 1980, and his doctorate in parasitology from Reading University in Reading, U.K., in 1985.