Bennett, Joan W.
Professor; Associate Vice President for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Phone: 732-932-9375, ext. 386
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1967
Professional Summary/CV [.PDF]
Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Brunswick; Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics, Centers, Institutes, Other, New Brunswick; Rutgers
Areas of Interest
Fungal genetics and secondary metabolism, Genomics, Biodegradation and biotechnology, Bioethics, Biology of Women, History of Microbiology.
Genetics, Bioethics, Biology, Molecular Cytogenetics, Microbiology.
Memberships and Professional Service
Vice President, International Union of Microbiological Societies; Member, Aspergillus flavus genome steering committee; Scientific Advisory Board, Neugenesis, South San Francisco, CA; Series-Editor, Mycology Series, Marcel Dekker (now Taylor & Francis); Co-Editor-in-Chief, The Mycota, An Encyclopedia of Fungi (Springer-Verlag).
Grants, Honors, and Awards
Alice Evans Award, American Society for Microbiology, 2006; National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2005; Charles Porter Award, Society for Industrial Microbiology, 2003; Fellow, Society for Industrial Microbiology; Divisional Lecturer, American Society for Microbiology; Grants: Agricultural Research Service; International Science Foundation; Israel Science Foundation; Louisiana Board of Regents; National Science Foundation; National Institutes of Health; Research Corporation.
Academic Interests and Plans
I am involved in the study of molds and in particular the production of mycotoxin in the genus Aspergillus. Through research we have discovered some mycotoxins or mycotoxin derivatives have found use as antibiotics, growth promotants, and other kinds of pharmaceuticals. In collaboration with scientists at the Southern Regional Research Laboratory, my laboratory has pioneered research on the genetics and biosynthesis of aflatoxin. This research has provided a useful model for other polyketide secondary metabolites and opens the possibilities for reducing these poisons in foods and the environment. In addition, due to the flooding associated with Hurricane Katrina, and the widespread mold infestations that followed, my laboratory is initiating new studies on potential health problems associated with Indoor molds.
Along with the responsibility of running a lab, I also hold the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs, charged with promoting the welfare of women in Science, Engineering, mathematics and the health professions at Rutgers University. I will also be teaching a course entitled ‘Biology of Women.’