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Clifford Houston

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Information about Clifford Houston

Profile image of Clifford Houston

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Microbiologist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Browns, Earth Tones, Grays
Favorite Food:
Steak, Potatoes (Baked)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/3/1949
Birth Location:
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Microbiologist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Browns, Earth Tones, Grays
Favorite Food:
Steak, Potatoes (Baked)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/3/1949
Birth Location:
Oklahoma City
See how Clifford Houston is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Microbiologist Clifford Wayne Houston was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 3, 1949. Houston attended Oklahoma State University where he earned his B.S. degree in microbiology and chemistry in 1972, and his M.S. degree in biology in 1974. He went on to receive his Ph.D. degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of Oklahoma in 1979. Upon completion, Houston was awarded a James W. McLaughlin postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).

Houston began at UTMB in 1981 as an assistant professor. He was then promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1987, and became Full Professor and Associate Vice President for Educational Outreach in 1991. As a researcher at UTMB, Houston focused on the role that bacterial toxins play in the pathogenesis of disease. His findings have been published in academic journals such as the Journal of Bacteriology, the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and the Journal of Infectious Diseases. As an administrator, Houston participated in the management development program at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University in 1994. In 1997, Houston was named the Herman Barnett Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. He also served as deputy associate administrator for education in the Office of Education at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. from 2003 to 2005. At NASA, he provided day-to-day oversight and guidance for three primary divisions: elementary and secondary education, higher education and informal education.

Houston has been active in many professional organizations, including serving as chair of the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students Steering & Planning Committee, and chair of the American Society for Microbiology Education Board. He also sat on the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences External Advisory Council. In 2011, Houston was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to the National Advisory Board for Bio-security.

Throughout his career, Houston has received numerous honors and awards. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 2000. Houston was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 1997; and, in 2006, he became the first African American elected as president of the American Society for Microbiology – the world’s largest professional biological research organization. Houston also continued to devote the time to mentoring and youth outreach. He established many educational programs and activities in the Galveston, Texas community as well as across the country to enhance the interest of young students in mathematics and science.

Clifford W. Houston was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 31, 2013.

See how Clifford Houston is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Clifford Houston's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Clifford Houston lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Clifford Houston describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Clifford Houston talks about his mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Clifford Houston describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Clifford Houston talks about how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Clifford Houston talks about his parents' jobs
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Clifford Houston describes his parents and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Clifford Houston talks about his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Clifford Houston describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Clifford Houston describes his childhood homes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Clifford Houston talks about the Gordon Oaks sub-division of Oklahoma City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Clifford Houston describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Clifford Houston talks about his growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Clifford Houston describes his childhood neighborhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Clifford Houston talks about his elementary and middle schools
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Clifford Houston talks about his high school and the demographics of Oklahoma City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Clifford Houston talks about his childhood research lab
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Clifford Houston talks about his interest in medicine while
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Clifford Houston talks about meeting his first role model
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Clifford Houston talks about his elementary school teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Clifford Houston talks about his science experiment on the behavioral effects of removing adrenal glands from rats
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Clifford Houston talks about his adrenal gland experiment
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Clifford Houston talks about his involvement in the church and his interest in music growing up
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Clifford Houston talks about his high school experience
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Clifford Houston talks about scientific breakthroughs and his interest in science fiction during his formative years
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Clifford Houston talks about his childhood jobs and career aspirations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Clifford Houston talks about his extracurricular activities at Northeast High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Clifford Houston talks about his high school science projects
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Clifford Houston talks about his decision to go to college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Clifford Houston talks about Oklahoma State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Clifford Houston talks about his experience teaching at Langston University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Clifford Houston talks about his master's thesis on the isolation of plant enzymes
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Clifford Houston describes his doctoral research on the pathogenicity of bacteria
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Clifford Houston talks about flesh-eating bacteria
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Clifford Houston talks about his post-doctoral mentor and his post-doctoral student
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Clifford Houston talks about Herman Barnett
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Clifford Houston reflects on his experiences with racism in Oklahoma
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Clifford Houston reflects on his experiences with racism
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Clifford Houston talks about his work with NASA
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Clifford Houston talks about the microbiological risks of long-term space travel and NASA's spin-off technologies
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Clifford Houston talks about deficiencies with U.S. primary and secondary education
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Clifford Houston talks about his experience as president of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Clifford Houston talks about his transition from research into administration
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Clifford Houston talks about his work at the University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Clifford Houston talks about his student, Monique Ferguson
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Clifford Houston talks about microbiology
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Clifford Houston talks about the lack of conflict between creationism and evolution
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Clifford Houston talks about his future plans and interests in the field of microbiology
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Clifford Houston talks about receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Clifford Houston reflects upon his life choices
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Clifford Houston talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Clifford Houston reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Clifford Houston talks about his son
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Clifford Houston talks about the T-STEM Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Clifford Houston talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Clifford Houston describes his photos