Charles Porter Award

Charles Porter Award2018-06-07T19:26:10+00:00

2018 Charles Porter Awardee

Leonard Katz, Ph.D. – University of California-Berkeley

Leonard Katz received his B.Sc. in Microbiology from McGill University in 1965 and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California-Santa Barbara in 1970. Dr. Katz spent the major part of his career in the pharmaceutical-biotech industrial sector where his group discovered the modular basis for polyketide biosynthesis and where he developed and employed genetic methodology for the manipulation of polyketide synthases (PKSs) to produce novel pharmaceuticals. Dr. Katz is the former Research Director of the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center based at UC Berkeley where he and his colleagues refactored PKSs to produced biofuels and industrial chemicals. Dr. Katz has 120 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 31 granted US patents in the area of uses of polyketide synthases to produce novel natural products. Dr. Katz is the recipient of the 2000 Charles Thom Research Award from the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, and served as President of SIMB in 2013-2014. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Katz is a 40-year member of SIMB and has been active in the Society throughout his career, recently in organizing special meetings on Natural Products. He is enjoying his recent retirement from the University of California.

About the Charles Porter Award

This award recognizes meritorious service to the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) as exemplified by Charles Porter, co-founder of the SIMB.

The award consists of an appropriately inscribed plaque which will be presented by the SIMB President at the Annual Meeting. The SIMB will reimburse the awardee for travel such as coach airfare, meeting registration, special activities, meals and annual meeting hotel expenses.


The recipient is a current member and shall have been a member of the SIMB for a period of at least ten consecutive years and have an outstanding record of service to the SIMB. This record must be one of sustained service to the SIMB over a period of seven or more years in various capacities including a SIMB Officer, Chair of a standing or Presidential Committee, SIMB News Editor-in-Chief, JIMB Editor-in-Chief, SIMB Meeting Program Committee Chair, or other service to the SIMB acceptable to the Awards and Honors Committee (Committee) and Board of Directors (BOD). These other services may include, but are not limited to, serving as chair of multiple program sessions, organizing SIMB symposia or special conferences, or serving as a journal reviewer or Senior Editor of the JIMB.

Nominations process

Any current member of SIMB may submit a nomination and the nomination must be seconded by another current SIMB member in writing/email. The nomination packet should list in detail the nominee’s service to SIMB and contain the supporting member’s written seconding note and submitted to the Awards and Honors Committee (Committee). The Committee will review the information for completeness and whether the nominee meets the aforementioned criteria. The Committee will review all nomination packages and vote to select the candidate deemed to best fulfill the requirements of the Porter Award for a positive recommendation. The Committee chair will provide the selected candidate’s name and supportive information plus the non-selected candidate(s) information to the SIMB President and the BOD for approval.

Charles Porter Awardees

2017 – Paul Cino
2016 – Badal Saha
2015 – Thomas Jeffries
2014 – Susan Bagley
2013 – Elisabeth Elder
2012 – Carol D. Litchfield
2011 – Vincent P. Gullo
2010 – Douglas Jaeger
2009 – Jeffrey L. Schwartz
2008 – Richard Baltz
2007 – Ann Horan
2006 – Arnold Demain
2005 – Joan W. Bennett
2004 – LaVerne Boeck

2003 – Linda L. Lasure
2002 – Kristien Mortelmans
2001 – Robert Acker
2000 – Joseph J. Cooney
1999 – Donald G. Ahearn
1998 – Steve A. Orndorff
1997 – Jim Karwowski
1996 – Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera
1995 – Richard Traxler
1994 – Claude Nash III
1993 – George E. Pierce
1992 – Paula Myers-Keith
1991 – C. George Hollis
1990 – Robert G. Berger

1990 – Lewis R. Brown
1989 – Robert D. Schwartz
1988 – George A. Somkuti
1987 – Forrest S. Moy
1986 – C. Herb Ward
1985 – Robert L. Huddleston
1984 – Allen I. Laskin
1983 – S. Gaylen Bradley
1982 – Paul Lemke
1981 – Leland A. Underkofler
1980 – William W. Leathen
1979 – W. Max Star
1977 – John L. Litchfield
1976 – Richard L. Raymond

1975 – Virginia W. Jamison
1975 – Morris R. Rogers
1974 – E. Donald Murray
1970 – Perry Brett
1970 – Virgil G. Lilly
1970 – Brinton M. Miller
1967 – Chester Koda
1967 – Arthur M. Kaplan
1966 – Robert W. Squires
1960 – Earnest A. Walker
1960 – Charles C. Yeager