Biology Professor Peter Lipke, a fellow at the American Academy of Microbiology since 2014, recently received the William A. Hinton Research Training Award from the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) for his efforts in including minority students in his laboratory at Brooklyn College.

“This award is great because it recognizes the diversity, talent, and dedication of our students at Brooklyn—and CUNY,” says Lipke.

The award honors outstanding contributions toward fostering the research training of underrepresented minorities in microbiology. It is given in memory of William A. Hinton, a physician-research scientist and one of the first African-Americans to join the ASM. Nominees must contribute to the research training of undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or health professional students, and efforts leading to the increased participation of underrepresented minorities in microbiology.

“Together with my students, we have published more than 40 scientific papers since 2008, and 19 Brooklyn College students were co-authors,” adds Lipke.

Lipke’s labs at Brooklyn College and Hunter College have been among the most diverse in CUNY. He has mentored 14 undergraduate and master’s students from underrepresented groups who have earned or are on the way to earning their doctorates. Six students, also from underrepresented groups, have received their Ph.D.’s while working in Lipke’s lab. This diversity has fostered innovative research that his students initiated and published. His lab studies the structure and function of yeast adhesion proteins, including functional amyloids; evolution of fungal cell walls; discovery of wall-targeted antifungal drugs; and biofilm development and pathogenesis.

A former chair of the Department of Biology, Lipke has been studying the cell surface of fungi for the past four decades. His research has been key in understanding the role of functional amyloids—or protein structures—in fungal cell walls. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Minority Biomedical Research Support, among others.