and: Professor of Microbiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Dr. Dickson Despommier, PhD, is a microbiologist, an ecologist, and emeritus professor of Public and Environmental Health at the Columbia University. For 27 years he conducted research on cellular and molecular parasitism and held lectures and courses on Parasitic Disease, Medical Ecology and Ecology. From one of these courses, in 1999, he founded the root for this idea of raising crops in tall buildings; vertical farming.
In 2010, he published his widely received book: "The Vertical Farm: feeding the world in the 21st Century", St. Martin?s Press, New York. Two years ago vertical farms were regarded as a utopia, but one year ago the first prototypes were built. Among those prototypes are a three-story VF Suwon, South Korea, over 50 (plant factories that qualify as vertical farms) in Japan, a commercial vertical farm in Singapore that opened in 2012, and another in Chicago that was built in an old industrial building. Vertical farms have many advantages: food is organically farmed, urban space is saved, it is possible to farm all year round and in any place, and use of agrochemicals is eliminated. His idea was regarded as visionary several years ago, but today it has become a beacon for all countries where food imports are high.
Education & Training:
PhD, University of Notre Dame, 1967
MS, Columbia University, 1964
BS, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1962
Urban Design Laboratory (Earth Institute) member
American Society for Tropical Medicine
American Society for Parasitology
American Association for the Advancemment of Science
Honors and Awards:
2003 National Teacher of the Year, American Medical Student Association
Distinguished Teacher Award, Columbia University School of Medicine, 2007
Selected Editorial Boards
Senior Editor, Topley and Wilson's Microbiology textbook, 2005 edition
Selected New York City Activities:
Dr. Despommier is a member of the New York City Department of Health's Food Safety Committee.
4th Year Medicine in the Tropics Elective
Dr. Despommier runs the medical elective in the tropics for the fourth year medical students. Students travel to various countries and carry out clinical work under the supervision of a resident physician in that country.
senior editor; Chapter on Trichinella infection "Topley and Wislon's Microbial Infections and Parasitology" Arnold Pub.s, London UK 2006