Dianne K. Newman is the Gordon M. Binder/Amgen Professor of Biology and Geobiology at Caltech and leads the Ecology and Biosphere Engineering Initiative of the Resnick Sustainability Institute. She is a MacArthur Fellow, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and Member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Newman’s research focuses on microbial stress responses, with an emphasis on mechanisms of energy conservation and survival when oxygen is scarce. The contexts that motivate her research span ancient sedimentary deposits to human chronic infections yet are linked by similar physiological questions. She has served on editorial boards in diverse fields, academic and industrial advisory committees and has received many honors, including the National Academy of Science’s Award in Molecular Biology for her “discovery of microbial mechanisms underlying geologic processes”.
Newman received her BA at Stanford University in German Studies, earned her PhD in Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under Francois Morel, a geochemist, and trained as a postdoc at Harvard Medical School with Roberto Kolter, a bacterial geneticist. She joined the Caltech faculty in 2000 as the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Geobiology and Environmental Science. From 2007-2010 she was the Wilson Professor of Biology and Geobiology at MIT, and from 2005-2016 she was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.
Newman is an alumna of the 1987 and 1988 International Science and Engineering Fair. She joined the Society’s Board of Trustees in 2018.