Vital Probes CEO Chosen for the 2006 Marconi Science Award

Dr. Vito G. DelVecchio, Scranton area scientist, will be recognized for his lifetime achievements and contributions to science with the 2006 Marconi Science Award.

“I am deeply honored and very proud to receive this award,” said Dr. DelVecchio at being informed that he was the 2006 award recipient.

DelVecchio pursued a career in science by receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Scranton. In graduate school he earned a Master of Science degree in genetics from Saint John’s University in New York and a Ph.D. in Biochemical Genetics from Hahneman Medical College in Philadelphia. He conducted post doctoral research at the University of Geneva. At the Carnegie-Mellon Research Institute in Pittsburgh he was Project Director of Fungal Genetics. At the Department of Epidemiology and Bacteriology at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio he was a Resident Researcher.

DelVecchio has devoted the major portion of his career to the study, rapid diagnosis and detection of a wide range of microorganisms, most especially those of military significance that can be utilized as biological warfare agents.

DelVecchio said “one of the most exciting things about my work in science has been the potential impact to saving lives.” In 2001 he organized and headed an international team of scientists which completely sequenced and annotated the genome of Brucella melitensis, a highly virulent biological warfare agent and pathogen to humans and commercial livestock. His publication of this genome is one of the most cited publications in the field of bacteriology. In 2002 he organized and presented the NATO Advanced Research Workshop in the Slovak Republic which led to the publication of its proceeds: “Applications of Genomics and Proteomics for Analysis of Bacterial Biological warfare Agents.” His work has appeared in over 200 oral presentations, posters, and juried publications in major international journals.

In 2000, DelVecchio founded Vital Probes, Inc. in Mayfield, PA. Vital Probes’ core expertise lies in the manufacturing of instruments and kits for detection of biological warfare agents such as anthrax. In 2005, through a federal contract, DelVecchio’s company delivered the Mobile Molecular Testing Laboratory (MMTL®) to the US Air Force. The MMTL is a completely deployable 39 foot vehicle that contains Bio-safety Level 2 and 3 laboratory zones and very advanced technology for the handling of biological agents. Vital Probes is also developing vaccines for anthrax, brucellosis, Salmonella, Shigella, and Norovirus.

Before founding Vital Probes, Inc. in 2000, he established the Institute of Molecular Biology and Medicine at the University of Scranton. DelVecchio was responsible for obtaining the federal funding which led to the creation of this institute and its operation for 11 years.

UNICO National, the largest Italian American service organization was founded in 1922 to support the charitable, educational, scientific and literary projects of individuals of Italian heritage.

The Marconi Science Award is presented to a full-time resident and citizen of the United States of Italian descent who is involved in the physical sciences. The award is named after Guglielmo Marconi, who is credited with discovering long-wave, short-wave and microwave transmissions that preceded the development of radio and television. UNICO established the Marconi Science Award in 1994 to honor the centennial (1895 - 1995) of the first long distance wireless transmission and to recognize the great scientific contributions made by Guglielmo Marconi to the world.

DelVecchio will receive the award personally at the UNICO National gala ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia on March 4, 2006.




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Vital Probes CEO Chosen for the 2006 Marconi Science Award

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UNICO National to present National Science Award to Dr. Vito G. DelVecchio at their National Board Meeting in Atlanta on March 4, 2006

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