Biologist Dennis Bazylinski Named Barrick Distinguished Scholar

Microbiologist Dennis Bazylinski.
Feb. 9, 2017

Dennis Bazylinski, professor of microbiology in the School of Life Sciences, was named a 2017 Barrick Distinguished Scholar

The award recognizes UNLV faculty members who have produced a significant amount of high-quality, interdisciplinary research or creative output recognized by scholars and journals within and outside their primary disciplines.

Bazylinski holds a B.S. and M.S. in biology from Northeastern University and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of New Hampshire. He joined UNLV in 2006.

An elected fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology, Bazylinski researches magnetotactic bacteria (MTB), a type of bacteria that orient themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field and have been tied to the debate regarding life on Mars. Only one lab was studying the organisms at the beginning of Bazylinski’s career—that of Richard P. Blakemore, who originally discovered MTB. Bazylinski joined Blakemore’s lab and has since expanded upon the work, which spans disciplines including microbiology, geology, geochemistry, chemistry, material science, and physics. His accomplishments include 181 publications, 143 published abstracts and proceedings articles, and 129 invited seminars.

“[Bazylinski’s] research topic is necessarily interdisciplinary, and Dennis was highly interdisciplinary and collaborative long before it was considered the norm in science,” said fellow School of Life Sciences professor Brian Hedlund, who recommended Bazylinski for the award. “I think it's one of the reasons [Bazylinski’s] science has been so influential. [His] contributions have been recognized internationally and have spanned several traditional research and educational boundaries. [Bazylinski] has greatly increased the visibility of the School of Life Sciences and UNLV as a whole.”

Bazylinski will be honored at the 2017 Academic Achievement Gala in April.

Barrick Scholar Awards
Funded through an endowment from the late Marjorie Barrick since 1981 and conferred by the Executive Vice President and Provost's Office, the Barrick Scholar Awards help support their important work. Presented to faculty members with 10 years of service or more in an academic environment after the terminal degree, the award carries a $5,000 stipend.