Harriette D. Vera


Harriette Dryden Vera, retired director of research and quality control for Becton Dickinson Microbiology Systems and an expert on culture media for growing bacteria, died of pneumonia March 14 at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

A memorial service for Dr. Vera, who was 83, will be held at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Edenwald, 800 Southerly Road, the Towson retirement community where she lived.

She retired 10 years ago after holding the same post since going to work for what was the Baltimore Biological Laboratory in the early 1940s.

Earlier, she taught in the Department of Physiology and Hygiene at Goucher College and lectured at Johns Hopkins University's School of Hygiene and Public Health.

She also was a consultant to the Army laboratories at Fort Detrick.

At Becton Dickinson, she was especially active in work to check and ensure that the products and production processes were sterile.

Named woman of the year in 1967 by the Business and Professional Women's Club, she also was honored by groups including the American Society for Microbiology and its Maryland branch, the American Public Health Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

She was honored by the American Society of Professional Biologists, the Conference of State and Provincial Laboratory Directors, the New York Academy of Sciences, the Parenteral Drug Association and the Society for Industrial Microbiology.

In 1985, a microbiology and genetics laboratory at Mount Holyoke College was named for her.

A native of Pennsylvania, she was reared in Fort Worth, Texas. She was a graduate of Mount Holyoke and taught there before earning her doctorate at Yale University in 1938.

There are no immediate survivors.

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