University of Idaho microbiologist Carolyn Hovde Bohach was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Tuesday for her work with E. coli bacteria and a statewide biomedical research network.

A College of Agricultural and Life Sciences faculty member since 1990, Bohach studies the lethal enterohemorrhagic bacteria Escherichia coli O157:H7 that can contaminate meat and produce.

Bohach co-authored a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last year that tracked how the bacteria colonize cattle. The research may provide a way to lessen the risk of food contamination by E. coli.

She directs the Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, which includes 12 research and education institutions statewide. The network was renewed for five years in 2009 by a $16.7 million National Institutes of Health Institutional Development Award.

Idaho’s INBRE program builds the state’s biomedical research capacity through support for faculty, students from elementary school through graduate school and infrastructure.

A professor of microbiology, Bohach is a faculty member of the joint University of Idaho Washington State University School of Food Science. In 2004, Bohach won the American Society for Microbiology’s national award for undergraduate teaching.

The association based its selection of 503 fellows this year on their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The group and its affiliated organizations represent 10 million individuals worldwide. New AAAS fellows will be honored during the annual meeting in February in Washington, D.C.