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Joan Foster


Biology, Foodborne Illness, Nutrition


Bacteria, Food, Health and safety issues, Microbiology

Degree: Ph.D.

Title: Professor

Department: Biology


Office Phone: 303-615-0429

Alternate Phone: 303-274-2970

Interviewed by: The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, 9NEWS, FOX National News


Joan Foster, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Biology at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

She was dean of College of Letters, Arts and Sciences for over 12 years, increasing the intellectual, creative and cultural climate of the college and was involved in many CLAS programs. Foster also had leadership roles in six major University initiatives: science building renovation and addition, initial Hispanic-Serving Institution steering committee, revision of the General Studies Program, started one of the first three master’s degrees with Master of Social Work, Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation Steering Committee and AES-Advancement Manufacturing Initiative. Prior to MSU Denver, she worked in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Environmental Research Laboratories in Boulder.

Foster received the President’s Special Service Award and Philanthropist of the Year Award from MSU Denver in 2018. She also received the Outstanding Woman Administrator Award in 2010, Distinguished Service Award in 2004 and was a Distinguished Alumna of the Year in 1996 at MSU Denver. Some of her published works include “Diversity of Expressed Cytochrome P450 Genes in the Mediterranean Fruit Fly: Ceratitis capitate” for the Insect Molecular Biology journal and “Alkaloid and Phenobarbital Induction of Family 4 Cytochrome P450s in Drosophilia: Evidence for Involvement in Host Plant Utilization” for Molecular General Genetics journal.

Foster received her doctorate and masters in microbial biology from University of Denver in 1990 and 1982 respectively and a bachelor’s in biology with a minor in mathematics from MSU Denver in 1978.

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