#56723 Overall Influence

Jo Handelsman

American microbiologist


Why is this person notable and influential?
By James Barham, PhD

Jo Handelsman was born in New York City. She is Professor of Plant Pathology, Vilas Research Professor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, and Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, all at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Handelsman obtained her bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Cornell University in 1979, and her PhD in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984.

In 2010, Handelsman joined the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University, where her research focused on the microorganisms present in soil and insect gut. Handelsman is well known for coining the term “metagenomics” (genetic material present in an organism’s environment) and pioneered the use of environmental DNA in the study of antibiotic resistance. Also among Handelsman’s most critical findings is the revelation that the gender of a name on a science resume affects a professor’s inclination to hire, mentor, and pay applicants for a lab position.

In 2014, President Barack Obama appointed Handelsman Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she served until January of 2017. Handelsman has authored or co-authored some 160 peer-reviewed journal articles and has authored, co-authored, or co-edited 11 books.

Academic Website

Professional Website

From Wikipedia

Jo Emily Handelsman is the Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is also a Vilas Research Professor and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. Dr. Handelsman was appointed by President Barack Obama as the Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she served for three years until January 2017. She has been editor-in-chief of the academic journal DNA and Cell Biology and author of books on scientific education, most notably Scientific Teaching.

Source: Wikipedia

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Other Resources


What schools is this person affiliated with?

University of Wisconsin–Madison

Public research university in Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Cornell University

Private university in Ithaca

Yale University

Private research university in New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this person influential?
#2146 World Rank
#32039 World Rank
Political Science
#34033 World Rank
Computer Science
#43550 World Rank
#73376 World Rank
#78463 World Rank
#86896 World Rank
#104075 World Rank
#106002 World Rank
#109714 World Rank