Biomedical scientist and research director Winston A. Anderson was born on July 26, 1940 in Kingston, Jamaica. In 1959, Anderson graduated from Calabar High School in Kingston and received his Higher Schools Certificate. At the age of seventeen, he immigrated to the United States and enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Anderson went on to earn his B.S. degree in zoology and his M.S. degree in zoology from Howard University in 1962 and 1963, respectively. In 1966, he graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island with his Ph.D. degree in biomedical sciences.
Anderson was appointed as chair of the Howard University Department of Zoology in 1975. He served in that position until 1983 and remained on the faculty as a professor of biomedical science. In 2006, with a $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Anderson started the Howard Hughes Medical Research Scholars program. This program has been supported by the National Science Foundation’s Research Careers for Minority Scholars program and the National Institute of Health Biomedical Research Support program for minority students at Howard University. In addition to research and mentoring, Anderson co-founded the Sandy Spring Museum and African Art Gallery in1988 and serves as the curator.
Anderson is a founding member of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and was the first African American scientist elected to serve on the ASCB Council. While at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Anderson received the Anne Langer Award for Cancer Research and the Distinguished Teacher Award at the Pritzker School of Medicine. In 1992, Brown University bestowed on Anderson its Outstanding Graduate Alumnus Award, and Howard University’s Division of Academic Affairs honored him for establishing the distinguished lecture series, “Brilliant Encounters in Science.” In 2011, Anderson received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.
Winston A. Anderson lives in Silver Springs, Maryland with his wife, Carol Anderson. They have three children: Laura, Lea, and Michael.
Winston A. Anderson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers February 17, 2013.