By Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS
Dr. John William (Bill) Costerton ("Father of Biofilms") passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving and harmonious family, on May 12, 2012. Dr. Costerton was born on July 21, 1934, and attended Vernon Prepatory School. He then attended Vernon High School where he met Vivian who became his bride in 1955. Early in life he demonstrated a strong talent in science and went on to receive degrees from UBC (BSC and Masters), University of Western Ontario (PhD), and Cambridge (Nuffield scholarship). He and his wife joined the missionary society of the Anglican Church and were instrumental in establishing a pre medical school in India. As a professor at the University of Calgary for many years, Bill earned distinctions as a teacher, researcher (in many areas including significant developments in Cystic Fibrosis), and worldwide speaker on his discovery of "Biofilms". In 1995, he became the Director of Biofilm Engineering in Bozeman, Montana, where he and Vivian stayed for 11 years before taking a position at USC School of Dentistry in Los Angeles. In 2008, he moved to Pittsburgh to become Director of the Biofilm research at the Center for Genomic Sciences where he was very excited to be a part of such a dynamic and productive team. In microbiology, he is referred to as the "Father of Biofilms" and his innovation and body of work was recently celebrated in Pittsburgh with a Festschrift event that highlighted worldwide Biofilm research and his impact on it. The global science community mourns the death of a friend and leader and tributes are being made in Pittsburgh, Bozeman, Singapore, and Denmark where the new Biofilm center in Copenhagen will be named in his honor. Dr. Costerton's work has changed the world of microbiology, publishing over 700 peer reviewed papers and being tenacious with his ideas which some were slow to accept. He was a community builder and leaves the field in the care of people who can collaborate happily. He was a man of the mountains and spent countless hours climbing, hiking, skiing, and fishing in the Himalayas, Alps, Grand Tetons, Absorkees, and his beloved Canadian Rockies. He also enjoyed many sports and was an avid fan of rugby and whatever sports his Grandkids took up. His love and admiration for his family knew no bounds. He leaves to mourn, Vivian his wife of 56 years, and children: Diane (Duncan), Sheila (Darrell), Bob (Kathy), and Nancy (Ben). He had nine grandchildren whom he adored: Byron (Jelena), Allyssa, Laura, Leighton, Meghan, David, Scott, Liam and Nicola. He had one great grandchild, Adrijana. One of his goals was to help each of them discover and explore their passions. He was predeceased by his son Johnny. In lieu of flowers or extensive travel, please consider a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - Calgary Chapter, 1130F - 44 Avenue S.E., Calgary, AB T2G 4W6 Telephone: 403-266-5295, www.cysticfibrosis.ca. For more information, visit: www.legacy.com/obituaries/bozemandailychronicle/obituary.aspx.Dr. Esther Wilkins in Hospital
Our dear Esther Wilkins fell while walking with her niece and has a skull fracture and concussion. She is stable and recovering, and is at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Esther is asking questions, understanding what the doctors are telling, and giving instructions in true “Esther” form! Our thoughts and prayers are with Esther for a speedy recovery. Cards for Esther can be addressed to: Esther Wilkins, DMD, 151 Tremont St., #12, N. Boston, MA 02111.