Progulske-Fox Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Progulske FoxCongratulations to Ann Progulske-Fox, Ph.D., who received a 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, South Dakota State University, or SDSU, in October. She was one of just six SDSU alumni honored with this award in 2023.

“This distinction is reserved for those who go above and beyond and exhibit exceptional performance, professionalism and leadership,” Barry H. Dunn, president of SDSU, said.

Progulske-Fox’s research focuses on how a bacterium that causes periodontal disease moves through the system and can cause disease in other parts of the body, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. In 2022, she gave a lecture at SDSU titled, “Floss as if Your Life Depended on it.”

A native of Brookings, South Dakota, Progulske-Fox graduated from SDSU in 1974 with a degree in bacteriology and biology and earned her doctorate in microbiology from the University of Massachusetts. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Connecticut College of Medicine.

In 1984, she joined the University of Florida Department of Oral Biology. She is currently a distinguished professor in the department and the director of the UF Center for Molecular Microbiology. In 2016, she was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors and, in 2015, became a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2006, she received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the International Association for Dental Research for basic research in periodontal diseases.

Progulske-Fox developed a patented technology to identify early disease markers for periodontal disease that affects more than 50 million people annually. Over the course of her career, she has received $16 million in research grants, had 120 articles published in scientific journals and holds seven patents.