Rosemarie Wahl, Ph.D., was born in Chicago and graduated from the Girls Latin School of Chicago. She earned a bachelor of science degree in Quantitative Biology from MIT, a master of science degree in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Chicago. She has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, Texas Christian University, the University of Texas at Austin and St. Mary’s University.
Wahl served as Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at St. Mary’s University for 25 years (1979-2004), as well as Chief Adviser for the Health Professions and Chair of the Premedical/Predental Advisory Committee. During her tenure, seven full-time faculty members were recruited and retained; 13 new courses were added to the biology curriculum; external funds totaling $8 million were brought to the University through faculty grant proposals; the application process to the medical and dental schools were redesigned; the departmental curriculum was tailored to three career goals, which are teaching and research, the health professions and industry; and approximately 500 St. Mary’s students were accepted to medical school and 150 to dental school.
Wahl pioneered DNA research. Her research contributions are in the molecular structure of bacterial viruses, the chemical basis of genetic mutation and the mechanism of DNA replication.
Among her achievements, she has received the Distinguished Faculty Award from St. Mary’s University School of Science, Engineering and Technology, and the Alice Wright Franzke Feminist Award for her work with women and minority premedical students. Her biography is included in the Marquis publications: Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who Among American Women, Who’s Who in Education, and Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care.
Wahl’s memberships include the American Society of Microbiology, Texas Genetics Society, Sigma Xi Honor Society and the Texas Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, where she served on the executive committee. She is presently a Vice-President of her class of MIT alumni/ae.