Merrill Scholar: ​Willie F. Vann, PhD

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Willie F. Vann, PhD, Vienna '66-'67

From a young age, Willie aspired to be a scientist, so study abroad in Vienna opened his mind to many new experiences and academic disciplines that he never would have taken the time to study while at Morehouse College.  "I realized when I was in Italy on a business trip some years ago that many people I traveled with did not know anything about the history ancient buildings in Rome.  My IES experience really broadened my education."  Willie went on to complete a PhD in biochemistry at Purdue University.  As a research scientist, he has worked for the Food and Drug Administration and for the NIH where he is currently serving as the Chief of Laboratory of Bacterial Polysaccharides.  He completed postdoctoral work at the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology in Freiburg, Germany, at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, MD, and taught at the University of Ife in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.  He and his wife have three grown children.