U.S. scientist Rita Colwell has won the $150,000 Stockholm Water Prize for her research on the prevention of cholera and other waterborne diseases.

Ms. Colwell, 76, is a professor at the University of Maryland and at Johns Hopkins University, and a former director of the National Science Foundation.

The Stockholm Water Institute said Monday her research had defined the ecology of infectious diseases and “helped protect the health and lives of millions.” It highlighted Ms. Colwell’s work to prevent the spread of cholera.

The Stockholm Water Prize is awarded annually to individuals and institutions for contributions to management of the world’s water resources. Ms. Colwell will collect the prize in Stockholm on September 9.