>>JOACHIM MESSING: You cannot overstate the
impact Selman Waksman had on human health. This is the man who coined the term antibiotics. Waksman received two degrees from Rutgers.
He returned as a member of the faculty. When Waksman’s research was conducted, tuberculosis
was regarded as one of the worst pathogens in human history. The discovery of streptomycin by Waksman and
his graduate student, Albert Schatz, led to the first effective cure for tuberculosis. I met Selman Waksman once, when I was a student
attending a conference in Germany with Nobel Laureates. I would never have imagined that
I would become director of the Rutgers institute that he founded. My work in molecular genetics helped lay the
foundation for the biotechnology revolution that’s essential to the understanding of
the genetic blueprint of animals, plants, and microbes. In that way, I see my work and that of the
institute as carrying on Waksman’s legacy of saving lives and serving humanity. Rutgers. Revolutionary. Revolutionary for 250 years.