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black and white photo of William Sandine working with lab equipment

Noted microbiologist William Sandine dies at 90

Microbiology professor William Sandine

Distinguished Emeritus Professor of microbiology William (Bill) Sandine died on November 28, 2018 at the age of 90 in Allen, Texas, with his wife Susan at his side. Sandine received his doctorate in food microbiology from Oregon State University in 1958, studying the physiology and taxonomy of lactic acid bacteria.

A fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology, Sandine joined the Department of Microbiology as faculty in 1959 and served for 35 years, becoming a distinguished professor before retiring in 1996.

Sandine received many awards and honors. He was named an OSU Alumni Fellow for outstanding achievements and service to society, and was honored by the American Dairy Science Association for his contributions to the industry. His research contributed to the development of fermentation, leading to improvements in cheese and other dairy products.

Sandine’s research focused on creating different “starter” cultures in the dairy industry, slowing spoilage bacteria to promote longer shelf life of products, using other bacteria to improve the flavor of cultured dairy products, and improving methods of ripening cheese.

He supervised 40 Master’s and 38 Ph.D. students and authored more than 200 publications.

In addition, Sandine garnered 22 patents for his work, for research ranging from the creation of new starter cultures to the development of different types of cheddar and cottage cheeses. These provided support for young faculty in the department.

During retirement, Sandine played a lot of golf, enjoyed his family, was active in church, drove his Model A, hunted for antiques, traveled and was an active member in Rotary serving humanitarian efforts. Sandine was a true gentleman and we will all remember his laughter and generosity of spirit.

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