Delft and C B van Niel Slide Show

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The Delft School in America:
The Contributions of C. B. van Niel (1897-1985)

 van Niel

Click Here To View Slide Show  

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 Click here to download the slideshow (12.5MB)

 

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History of Microbiology at ASM Microbe 2016

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The Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA) Committee is pleased to announce its schedule of ASM MICROBE 2016 meeting events:

 

ASM MICROBE 2016
Boston, MA
June 16-20, 2016

 

For more information on CHOMA programs and activities, contact ASM Archivist at    jkarr@asmusa.org   OR  archives@asmusa.org

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University of Michigan Department of Microbiology and Immunology Designated as a Milestones in Microbiology Site

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UMICH Milestones Photo 4-Dept Faculty with Plaque-P1020800a  

Faculty UMICH Department of Microbiology and Immunology, October 22, 2015, with Milestones Plaque

 

Click Here to Access This Week in Microbiology (TWiM) Podcast Held in Association with the Milestones in Microbiology Designation (10/22/15)

Click Here to Access This Week in Virology (TWiV) Podcast Held in Association with the Milestones Designation (10/23/15)

Click Here to Access This Week in Virology (TWiV) Podcast Held Following up on the Milestones Designation (focus on Frederick Novy's return from retirement to recover a lost rat virus...) (10/30/15)

 

The American Society for Microbiology Announces its Designation of the

 

University of Michigan Department of Microbiology and Immunology

 

as a Milestones in Microbiology site  

 

The ASM Milestones in Microbiology program recognizes institutions and the scientists who worked there

that have made significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology. 

 

Milestones Recognition

The Milestones in Microbiology designation is made in recognition of the long and productive history of significant contributions to the advancement of microbiology by University of Michigan microbial scientists. 

 

Milestones Site Dedication Ceremony

The plaque that will mark the site as a Milestone in Microbiology was unveiled on October 22, 2015, in a ceremony held in conjunction with the annual Neidhardt-Freter Symposium on Microbial Physiology and Pathogenesis.   Moselio Schaechter, Past President of ASM, presented the plaque on behalf of ASM.  Marck Schlissel, President, University of Michigan, and Harry Mobley, Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan, accepted the plaque on behalf of the University and Department.  Prior to the presentation of the plaque, Powel Kazanjian, MD, PhD, University of Michigan gave a presentation, "Frederick Novy: Beginnings of Bacteriology in American Medicine 1889-1933." 

 

UMICH Milestones Photo 3-Kazanjian-Schaechter-Schlissel-Mobley with Plaque-P1020799a

 

 Milestones Site Plaque:  Univ Michigan Plaque2015r2

 

 

Historical Background and Perspective

 

Novy (1864-1957): 

Microbiology at the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS) has a rich history, tracing its roots back to the appointment of Dr. Frederick G. Novy as assistant professor of Hygiene and Physiological Chemistry in 1891. Prior to his appointment, Novy, along with medical pioneer and UMMS Dean Dr. Victor C. Vaughan, traveled to the laboratory of Dr. Robert Koch in 1889 for formal training by Koch’s close associate, Karl Fraenkel. Upon returning, Novy offered a three-month intensive course, Practical Bacteriology, which is credited as being the one of the earliest lecture-lab courses in the United States. The following year, Novy’s class was made a required part of the medical school curriculum, making UMMS one of the first medical schools to require formal training in microbiology.

 

Novy and Vaughan also traveled to Paris to study at the Pasteur Institute, where Novy worked with and became close friends with Emile Roux. Among his other notable achievements, Novy was selected in 1901 by U.S Surgeon General Dr. Walter Wyman to serve as a member of a commission investigating whether or not there was plague in San Francisco. With Simon Flexner of the University of Pennsylvania and Llwellys Barker of the University of Chicago, he confirmed an earlier controversial finding of plague within the city. By 1902, Novy was a Professor in the newly established Department of Bacteriology at the University of Michigan.

 

After returning from Koch’s lab, Dr. Novy focused his early research on “ptomaines”, the toxic products of bacteria. Eventually, his research at Michigan covered a wide range of topics, which included developing the earliest method for culturing trypanosomes, performing studies on the causative agent of syphilis, and studying microbial metabolism, with a particular emphasis on gas exchange.  Finally, he examined the chemistry of immune reactions, seeking to understand how substances from trypanosomes cause anaphylaxis. For his enormous number of contributions, Novy was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1924. His own range of research areas set the pattern for the future of the department now known as the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, where research into microbial physiology and genetics, pathogenicity and immunity continues today.

 

Other University of Michigan Scientists and Their Contributions:  

 

Victor C. Vaughan (1851-1929) - Vaughan, Professor of Hygiene and Physiological Chemistry and Director of the Hygiene Laboratory, applied biochemical methods to identify putrefactive bacteria in food products, leading to significantly reduced incidence of "ptomaine poisoning" in Michigan and beyond. In 1898 he served on Walter Reed’s Typhoid Commission, which investigated typhoid fever in U.S. military camps during the Spanish-American War.

 

A. C. Furstenburg (1890-1969) and W. J. NungesterStudents of Novy went on to careers in microbiology that extended his legacy further. Included among these are A.C. Furstenburg, who later became Dean of the University of Michigan Medical School, and W.J. Nungester, who became Chair of Microbiology at Michigan. 

 

Paul De Kruif (1890-1971) - One of Novy's most consequential students at Michigan was Paul De Kruif, who wrote the seminal work Microbe Hunters, exploring the lives and contributions of 11 giants in the field of microbiology. This book influenced many young people from later generations to enter the fields of science and medicine.  De Kruif was introduced to the Nobel Prize winning author Sinclair Lewis by the critic H. L. Mencken and Dr. Morris Fishbein, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.  De Kruif and Lewis became close collaborators on the book, Arrowsmith, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928. The book is about an idealistic physician-scientist, Martin Arrowsmith, who is working on a method to use phage to combat bubonic plague. Lewis credited De Kruif - drawing from his experiences - with providing the inspiration for nearly all of the medical institutions, physicians, and scientists in the novel. In particular, the character of Dr. Max Gottlieb, who instilled in Arrowsmith a love and dedication for the scientific process, was largely based on Novy.

 

Thomas Francis Jr. (1900-1969) - Dr. Francis, an influenza virologist, founded the Department of Epidemiology in our School of Public Health (SPH) at Michigan, where he mentored Jonas Salk on vaccine development. Francis led the national field trials of the Salk polio vaccine, which provided the first real hope against this dreaded disease. Francis won the Lasker Award in 1946, the Medal of Freedom in 1947 and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1948.

 

Frederick Neidhardt (1931-  ) - Neidhardt studied bacterial physiology and was among the earliest investigators to apply powerful systems-based approaches to understand physiological responses of the cell to specific environmental stresses. Professor Neidhardt received the Eli Lilly Award from ASM in 1966, and served as ASM President in 1982. He served the field as an author and educator as well, writing or co-writing two successful textbooks, The Physiology of the Bacterial Cell: A Molecular Approach and Microbe, the latter published by ASM Press as one of its early forays into textbook publishing. With ASM Press, Professor Neidhardt also conceived and edited the landmark epic Escherichia Coli and Salmonella Typhimurium: Vols 1-2: Cellular and Molecular Biology, which came to be known as the "Coli Bible" soon after its publication in 1987.

 

Rolf Freter (1926-2009) - Freter was a prominent and innovative researcher who studied complex relationships between the gut microbiome, gastrointestinal pathogens and the mucosal immune system. His work on these areas in the 60s, 70s and 80s was visionary, given the remarkable upsurge in interest in these topics in the past 10 years.

 

UMICH Relationship with American Society for Microbiology:

 

ASM Leadership:

Novy was a Charter Member of the Society of American Bacteriologists (SAB) in 1899 (the SAB changed its name to the American Society for Microbiology in 1960). He served as the fifth president of the Society (1904), served on Council in 1905 and 1907, and in 1937 was elected an Honorary Member, a distinction conferred on only 19 individuals in the first 50 years of the Society's history.

Extending this legacy of leadership in the field, two other distinguished investigators from University of Michigan have also served as President of the Society: Thomas Francis Jr. (1947) and Frederick C. Neidhardt (1982). 


ASM Headquarters:

In 1959 the Society hired Raymond W. Sarber as Executive Secretary. Sarber was Councilor of the Michigan Branch of the SAB while working at Parke-Davis (headquartered in Detroit). Sarber established an office for the Society, which was to become the first headquarters operation, in the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Woods. In 1962, the Society
(which by then was the American Society for Microbiology) moved the headquarters operation to an office building near the University of Michigan campus at 115 Huron View Boulevard.   
 


 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

 

 

Any questions? Contact the ASM Archivist at jkarr@asmusa.org 

  

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History Exhibit 2016

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History of Microbiology Exhibit - Two-part Exhibit:  Significant Events in Microbiology and the Founding of Journal of Bacteriology, 1916

Visit the History of Microbiology Exhibit to view images and documents from the Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives collection and interact with the ASM Archivist!

Location: Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Level 1 Northwest Lobby A

ASM MICROBE 2016

Boston, MA

June 16-20, 2016

http://asmmicrobe.org/

 

For more information, contact ASM Archivist at    jkarr@asmusa.org    OR  archives@asmusa.org

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Designated as a Milestones in Microbiology Site

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UIUC Milestones Photo 14 John Cronan and Stanley with Plaque-CROPPED-P1020479  

(L-R) John E. Cronan, UIUC Microbiology Alumni Professor and Head of Microbiology; Professor of Biochemistry, and

Stanley Maloy, Past President, ASM, and Past Faculty Member UIUC Department of Microbiology with the Milestones Plaque

 

The American Society for Microbiology Announces its Designation of the

 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

as a Milestones in Microbiology site  

 

The ASM Milestones in Microbiology program recognizes institutions and the scientists who worked there

that have made significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology. 

 

Milestones Recognition

The Milestones in Microbiology designation is made in recognition of the rich history of major microbiological achievements at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and the many outstanding UIUC microbiologists who have made seminal discoveries that significantly increased biological understanding and advanced the field of microbiology.  

 

Milestones Site Dedication Ceremony

The plaque that will mark the site as a Milestone in Microbiology was unveiled on October 16, 2015, in a ceremony held in conjunction with the University's Annual Microbiology Conference.  Stanley Maloy, Past President of ASM and Former Faculty Member of the UIUC Department of Microbiology presented the plaque on behalf of ASM.  John E. Cronan, UIUC Microbiology Alumni Professor and Head of Microbiology, and Edward Feser, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts accepted the plaque on behalf of the University. 

 

The Milestones Plaque: 

 

Univ IL plaque 2015-FINAL Formatted as Plaque

 Historical Background and Perspective

The Milestones designation specifically cites the contributions of the following UIUC scientists:

 

Thomas J. Burrill (1839 – 1916)

  • Discovered bacterial causes of plant diseases, founding the science of bacterial plant pathology
  • Identified Erwinia amylovora as the causal agent of fire blight in pear and apple trees
  • In 1891, established one of the earliest bacteriology courses in the United States

 

Sol Spiegelman (1914 – 1983)

  • Pioneered the study of RNA and mechanisms of viral replication
  • Pioneered the separation of RNA by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
  • Developed nucleic acid hybridization technology to detect specific sequences, a basic tool of molecular biology
  • Solved the mystery of the origin of ribosomal RNA
  • Discovered self-reproducing RNA structures

 

Salvador E. Luria (1912 – 1991)

  • Pioneered the study of bacterial virus-mediated transfer of DNA
  • First observed genetically the phenomenon of microbial DNA restriction and modification
  • Awarded Nobel Prize with Max Delbrück and Alfred Hershey in 1969 for their discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and genetic structure of viruses

 

Marvin P. Bryant (1925 – 2000)

  • Pioneered the study of rumen microbes and their roles in cellulose fermentation
  • Isolated methanogens from the rumen and defined media for their cultivation
  • Pioneered the study of microbial anaerobic degradation of ligno-aromatic ring structures

 

Irwin C. ”Gunny” Gunsalus (1912 – 2008)

  • Pioneered studies in microbial biochemistry
  • Discovered lipoic acid and worked out its role as a coenzyme
  • Defined the structure of vitamin B6
  • Developed a genetic system to study Pseudomonas
  • Charted the microbial metabolic breakdown of steroid-like terpenes
  • Discovered the first microbial cytochrome P450 system

 

Carl R. Woese (1928 – 2012)

  • Revolutionized understanding of life on Earth by pioneering the use of 16S ribosomal RNA sequences as a basis for studying microbial evolution and ecology
  • In 1977, discovered the Archaea, a new Domain of Life distinct from Bacteria and Eukarya
  • Awarded the Leeuwenhoek Medal in 1992, the National Medal of Science in 2000, and the Crafoord Prize in 2003 

 

Abigail A. Salyers (1942 – 2013)

  • Pioneered studies of Bacteroides polysaccharide utilization and its role in colonic fermentation
  • Developed genetic tools for studying Bacteroides, including metabolism, mobilizable elements, and antibiotic resistance
  • First female tenured professor in Microbiology at UIUC in 1983 and full professor in 1988

 

Ralph S. Wolfe (1921 – )

  • Pioneered studies of the microbial biochemistry of methanogenesis
  • Developed the first archaeal cell-free extract for methane formation
  • Identified ferredoxin and six new coenzymes of methanogenesis
  • Isolated and characterized the first Acetobacterium
  • Leading role in establishing and developing the Woods Hole Microbial Ecology Course

 

 

UIUC Relationship with American Society for Microbiology:

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has had a close relationship with the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) (formerly SAB - Society of American Bacteriologists) throughout its history. 

 

As of 2015, six UIUC Scientists have served as ASM (or SAB) Presidents:

Served as President of the Society while at UIUC:

    • Thomas J. Burrill (1916)
    • H. Orin Halvorson (1955)
    • Abigail A. Salyers (2002)

 

Served as President of the Society after they left UIUC:

    • Salvador E. Luria (1968)
    • L. Leon Campbell (1974)
    • Stanley R. Maloy (2006)   

 

The first ASM journal, Journal of Bacteriology, and the establishment of local Branches were first proposed at the 1915 SAB Meeting hosted by the University in Urbana, Illinois.  The first volume of Journal of Bacteriology was subsequently published in 1916.  The Bacteriology Club at Urbana became the first local Branch of SAB (1917).  

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

 

Any questions? Contact the ASM Archivist at jkarr@asmusa.org 

  

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CHOMA Symposium 2016

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CHOMA Symposium

 

Title:                Foundations to Frontiers: The Molecular Revolution

Date:               Sunday, June 19, 2016

Time:               2:45 pm – 5:15 pm

 

Location:         Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel; Grand Ballroom B

 

Conveners:      Joan W. Bennett; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

                        Lin-Jun MA; University of Massachusetts, Amherst

 

Symposium Description:         

Every branch of the microbial sciences and clinical medicine has been transformed by our ability to exploit scientific insights into the molecular workings of life. This section will invite FIVE distinguished scientists who have made significant contributions to recent biology, including molecular cloning, DNA sequencing, and gene editing. Hearing stories from these scientists directly regarding why they chose their career paths, how they made their discoveries, and what they think about the economic, ethical and social implications of their research, will be extremely valuable for the next generation microbiologists. 

Speakers/Topics:    

 

  • The Ignition of BLAST
    • Stephen Altschul; NIH, Bethesda, MD

 

  • From the Lac Operon to Science and Social Justice Teaching
    • Jonathan Beckwith; Harvard University Medical School, Boston, MA

 

  • Microbial Genomics: The Early Years
    • Claire M. Fraser; University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD

 

  • Origins of Genomics and Semi-synthetic Genes
    • Joachim Messing; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ

 

  • Following Carl Woese into the Natural Microbial World: The Beginnings of Metagenomics
    • Norman R. Pace; University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
 
ASM MICROBE 2016
Boston, MA
June 16-20, 2016

 

For more information on CHOMA programs and activities, contact ASM Archivist at    jkarr@asmusa.org    OR  archives@asmusa.org

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2015 History of Microbiology Research Travel Award Recipient

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The Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA) is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2015 History of Microbiology Research Travel Award: 

 

Ross picLauren N. Ross, M.D. 

Lauren Ross, University of Pittsburgh, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, used the award to conduct research at CHOMA on early American bacteriologists' understanding of Koch's postulates and more generally their ideas about disease causation as reflected in textbooks, lab manuals, and other materials.

 

The History of Microbiology Research Travel Awards are given to support historical research of the awardees' choosing, in areas that can be supported by materials in the CHOMA collections.  The CHOMA collections, located at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, include 9,000 volumes on microbiology and related topics, photographs, biographical materials, topical files on various aspects of microbiology, records of the Society from its founding in 1899 to the present, and several collections of personal papers. 

 

APPLY NOW FOR HISTORY OF MICROBIOLOGY TRAVEL AWARDS –

For more information on the Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives, visit the website at www.asm.org/choma    

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Annual History of Microbiology Lecture 2016

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Annual History of Microbiology Lecture

 

Title:                Alexander Fleming and the Beginnings of Biofilm Research

Lecturer:         Michael J. Hanophy

                        St. Joseph's College, Brooklyn, NY

 

Date:               Saturday, June 18, 2016

Time:              2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

 

Location:         Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC); Meeting Room 257A

 

Conveners:      James A. Poupard; Chair, Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives

                        Douglas E. Eveleigh; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

 

Lecture Description:   

The 2016 History of Microbiology Lecture discusses the early work of Alexander Fleming on wound infections and what we would now call biofilm research. The history of bacteriology had been, in many ways, a history of the study of pure culture until significant research into the area of biofilms began in earnest in the 1990s. However, although the term “biofilm” did not appear in a publication until as late as 1977, the study of microbial communities attached to surfaces goes back to the earliest days of microbiology. Van Leeuwenhoek himself noted the abundance and diversity of microbes in dental plaque, while research in the 1940s by Heukelekian and Heller was among the first studies to note real differences between growth in a film and planktonic growth. Some of the earliest work on biofilms, particularly medically significant biofilms, was actually carried out by a young Alexander Fleming, long before his Nobel prize-winning work on penicillin. A review of the literature shows that Fleming authored or co-authored ten papers between 1914 and 1920 specifically on the mechanisms and treatment of infection. Among these papers are studies of the mixed flora found on soldiers’ uniforms and in different types of wounds and reports on innovative techniques that Fleming developed that allowed him to study biofilm populations. As a result of this work, Alexander Fleming was among the first to extensively characterize the diverse populations in biofilms and to recognize that organisms in a biofilm are often much more resistant to antimicrobial compounds than organisms growing planktonically. The Annual History of Microbiology Lecture is sponsored each year by the Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA) to present topics in the history of microbiology and show how they have impacted and continue to influence the field of microbiology. The Lectures demonstrate that history is a critical factor for understanding the current and future directions of the science.

ASM MICROBE 2016

Boston, MA

June 16-20, 2016

http://asmmicrobe.org/

 

For more information on CHOMA programs and activities, contact ASM Archivist at    jkarr@asmusa.org    OR  archives@asmusa.org

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History of Microbiology Lecture at ASM 2015 General Meeting

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115th ASM General Meeting
New Orleans, LA
May 30 - June 2, 2015

 

Annual History of Microbiology Lecture  

Sponsored by the Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA)

 

Title:              From Humor to Virus: The Microbiology of Yellow Fever in Historical Perspective 

Lecturer:        Mariola Espinosa, Ph.D.

                       Associate Professor, History Department

                       University of Iowa

Date:              Sunday, May 31, 2015

Description:  

This lecture traced the history of yellow fever, a viral disease that profoundly affected New Orleans, other Gulf Coast cities, and the larger Atlantic world. It began by describing the debates among doctors and scientists that led yellow fever to be identified as a distinct disease and distinguished from other fevers. Next, it traced the history of the identification of the disease's etiology, paying particular attention to the contributions of Carlos Finlay, John Carter, Jesse Lazear, and Walter Reed, and followed the subsequent efforts to eradicate the disease. It discussed how the virus that causes yellow fever was finally identified and how a complete understanding of its ecology forced a new strategy of containment.

Click Here for information on obtaining a session recording:  https://www.pathlms.com/asm/tracks/2216/events/374?per_page=25

Any Questions? Contact ASM Archivist at   jkarr@asmusa.org   OR   archives@asmusa.org

 

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Ocean Station ALOHA, University of Hawai'i at Manoa Designated as a Milestones in Microbiology Site

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  The American Society for Microbiology

Announces its Designation of the

 

Ocean Station ALOHA, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

 

as a Milestones in Microbiology site  

 

The ASM Milestones in Microbiology program recognizes institutions and the scientists who worked there

that have made significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology. 

 

OS ALOHA Milestones Plaque

(L-R) Alexander Shor, Associate Dean for Research, UH School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology; Tim Donohue, ASM Past President; Rita Colwell, ASM Past President; David Karl, Co-Founder of the HOT program that established Ocean Station ALOHA, and Co-Founder and Co-Director of C-MORE and SCOPE; Matthew Church, Professor and Senior Researcher, C-MORE and current lead PI of the HOT program; Doug Eveleigh, Chair of Milestones in Microbiology; Ed Delong, Co-Director and Co-Founder of C-MORE and SCOPE with the Milestones Plaque

 

To view videos of the Milestones ceremony and Pavel Lecture Held prior to the ceremony, go to http://cmore.soest.hawaii.edu/


To access a 30-minute video (produced by Jay Fidell of “Think Tech Hawai’i”) featuring event highlights and interviews go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iprHO5wrf1A

 

Milestones Recognition

The Milestones in Microbiology designation is made in recognition of the historic and visionary contributions of Ocean Station ALOHA to the science of microbial oceanography.   

 

Milestones Site Dedication Ceremony

The plaque that will mark the site as a Milestone in Microbiology was unveiled on November 17, 2015, in a ceremony held in conjunction with the inaugural lecture in the “Waypoints in Microbial Oceanography” Distinguished Lecturer Series.  The Pavel lecture, “Climate, Oceans, and Human Health: The Cholera Chronicle,” was presented by Rita Colwell, former director of the National Science Foundation and former ASM president, who commented, “Ocean science can no longer be viewed as an esoteric, ‘offshore’ discipline.  It is mainland and mainstream. The health and bounty of our oceans are an issue of planetary survival.”

The Milestones plaque was presented by Tim Donohue, ASM past president, to Alexander Shor, Associate Dean for Research, UH School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, David Karl, Co-Founder of the HOT program that established Ocean Station ALOHA, and Co-Founder and Co-Director of C-MORE and SCOPE, Edward DeLong, Co-Director and Co-Founder of C-MORE and SCOPE, and Matthew Church, Professor and Senior Researcher, C-MORE and current lead PI of the HOT program.  “This open-ocean research station has played a key role in defining the discipline of microbial oceanography and educating the public about the vital role of marine microbes in global ecosystems,” said Donohue.  “It is my opinion that we are in a renaissance period for microbiology, a time where we are poised to gain new insight into the myriad of ways in which microbes impact the world that we inhabit and will pass on to future generations.  We can look to Ocean Station ALOHA for examples of how to explain the science that excites us and its potential to solve problems relevant to society today and in the future.” 

The Milestones event was well attended by faculty, students, ASM Hawai‘i Branch members, university leaders, including David Lassner, President of the University of Hawai‘i System and Donna Vuchinich, President and CEO of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation, and ASM guests, including Doug Eveleigh, chair of Milestones, and John Meyers, Membership Services Director.  Other highlights of the Milestones celebration and Pavel Lecture were a seminar, “The Science of Ocean Station ALOHA” delivered by David Karl, Edward DeLong, and Matthew Church, a tour of C-More Hale, and a viewing of the award-winning film, “The Invisible Seas” which was produced in the 1970s by Rita Colwell.  

 

Milestones Plaque: 

 Plaque-Staion ALOHA Hawaii-FINAL-in White

 First-Day Cover Issued by U.S. Postal Service in Honor of the Milestones Designation:

  First-Day Cover COPY Issued Post Milestones

 

 

Historical Background and Perspective

 

Overview: 

Ocean Station ALOHA (A Long-term Oligotrophic Habitat Assessment), the microbiological research site 100 km north of O'ahu, Hawai'i, has played a fundamental role in defining the discipline of microbial oceanography, developing a comprehensive understanding of the sea, and educating the public about the critical role of marine microbes in global ecosystems.  In light of the pioneering research conducted there over the past three decades,  Station ALOHA may be viewed as the “birthplace” of microbial oceanography. Important scientific breakthroughs, including the discovery of new microorganisms, new metabolic pathways, and new understanding of the environmental controls of microbial rates and processes at a site representative of the North Pacific Subtropical gyre – Earth’s largest biome – justify the recognition of Station ALOHA as an important proving ground in microbial ecology.

 

In the 1960s, the field of marine microbiology gained prominence as an important sub-discipline of microbiology, including systematic laboratory-based studies of the structure and physiology of marine bacteria, unicellular algae, and protozoa, with a focus on the metabolic effects of salt, temperature, pressure, and later on nutrient uptake kinetics and controls. These important – mostly pure culture – studies laid the foundation for subsequent investigations of the ecological role of microorganisms in the sea. Later that decade, culture-independent methods were devised to enumerate marine bacteria using epifluorescence microscopy, and the results documented much larger populations than had been reported using selective, plate count methodologies.  Furthermore, the use of radiolabeled organic substrates provided novel methods for the determination of heterotrophic bacterial community dynamics and growth. These methods contributed to a new era of quantitative marine microbial ecology, and to the eventual founding of microbial oceanography as a new approach to the study of microorganisms in marine ecosystems. While there is overlap in mission, the main difference between the sub-disciplines of marine microbiology and microbial oceanography is whether the focus of the study is the microbe itself or the roles and interactions of microbes within naturally occurring communities. This sometimes subtle distinction is analogous to the complementary sub-disciplines of marine biology and biological oceanography. It is possible to study marine microbiology anywhere in the world using pure culture isolates; microbial oceanography can only be done at sea – by analyzing the complex inter-relationships between and among microorganisms and their environment. In this way, studies at Station ALOHA can be viewed as the marine equivalent of an agricultural field station where observations of microorganisms can be made and experiments conducted.

 

While the new field of microbiological/microbial oceanography was emerging as an extension of marine microbiology, scientists at the University of Hawaii proposed a new program – the “Hawaii Ocean Experiment” – or HOE (hoe is a Hawaiian word meaning “to paddle” or “to work together”). This project was not initially funded, but it was later reconfigured as the Hawaii Ocean Timeseries (HOT) research program. When HOT was created in October 1988, Station ALOHA was selected as the deep ocean site that was representative of the vast North Pacific Subtropical Gyre – one of Earth’s largest biomes. It soon became a transdisciplinary collaboration among individuals who traditionally did not interact (microbiologists, physical scientists, oceanographers, mathematicians, and educators), and created unique opportunities for scientific discovery, knowledge transfer, and outreach to society at large. In 2006, the scope of the HOT program was enhanced with the creation of a new NSF-supported Science and Technology Center (STC), the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE). This multi-institutional collaboration was established to investigate the identities, roles, and impacts of microorganisms including their potential responses to global environmental variability and climate change. In addition to this important, basic research mission, C-MORE had an important education mission: to train a new breed of inter-disciplinary microbial oceanographers, to develop curricula at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and to increase the number of students and teachers engaged in quantitative sciences and engineering, focusing on underrepresented groups, especially Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. In July 2014, a third collaborative research program, Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE), was created to complement the objectives of HOT and C-MORE, and to specifically investigate microbially-mediated processes that govern the flow of matter and energy at Station ALOHA with a greater temporal and spatial resolution.

 

When the HOT program began, momentum was building towards the development of a new, quantitative understanding of marine microbial assemblages, their control of biogeochemical cycles, and the sensitivities of microbially-mediated processes to climate change. The fundamental underpinning of this pioneering research effort was to determine environmental (physical and chemical) influences on the abundance, diversity, structure, and population dynamics of the dominant life forms in the sea – microorganisms. Long-term, time-series studies such as those conducted at Station ALOHA are ideally suited for investigating subtle habitat change, irregularly spaced stochastic forcing events, and complex interdependent ecological phenomena that affect microbial biogeochemical processes in nature. Because most naturally occurring microbes were not in pure culture at that time (and many still are not), taxonomic identities, evolutionary histories, and metabolic characteristics and controls were lacking. The key role(s) of viruses and the ubiquity of fundamental microbe-microbe interactions were largely unexplored.  For example, the three major groups of microorganisms that are now known to be numerically dominant members of the Station ALOHA ecosystem (and other open ocean ecosystems) were not even known at the beginning of the study. These microorganisms include: (1) Prochlorococcus spp., a novel oxygenic cyanobacterium which is now recognized as the most abundant photolithoautotroph on the planet. Prochlorococcus was first identified by its unique pigment-based flow cytometric signature (red fluorescence at 660-700 nm when excited by blue light at 488 nm). Prochlorococcus has unique pigmentation and a streamlined genome and exhibits enormous phenotypic and physiological variability, believed to be a result of genetic microadaptation; (2) SAR11 clade of alphaproteobacteria, the most abundant chemoorganoheterotrophic bacterium in the sea, first identified by 16S rRNA shotgun gene cloning and sequencing. SAR11 also has a streamlined genome and exhibits extensive ecotypic differentiation among related lineages; and (3) planktonic archaea, previously thought to be relegated to “extreme” (high temperature, low oxygen, high salt) environments, also discovered by rRNA sequence analysis. In addition to these numerically-abundant novel microorganisms, research conducted at Station ALOHA has discovered several unicellular, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterial groups, one of which exhibits a unique mutualistic, symbiotic association with a eukaryotic alga. Furthermore, research conducted at Station ALOHA has discovered, or contributed to the understanding of, several metabolic pathways, including proteorhodopsin-based phototrophy via a novel light-driven proton pump and the aerobic production of methane via methylphosphonate metabolism. 

 

Research at Station ALOHA is ongoing. 

 

Scientists Behind the Contributions:

The importance of field research conducted at this site, and its relevance to the discipline of microbial oceanography has attracted a very large contingent of outstanding microbiologists who have worked collaboratively for a common purpose. Many distinguished microbiologists have already contributed significantly to the Station ALOHA research portfolio as members of the HOT, C-MORE, or SCOPE research teams: 

 

Sallie W. (Penny) Chisholm - American Academy for Microbiology fellow Sallie W. (Penny) Chisholm, the discoverer of Prochlorococcus, has been a major contributor in all three programs and a co-PI of the C-MORE program. Penny is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the Medal of Science by President Barack Obama. She has also received numerous awards, based partly on her work at Station ALOHA, including the Alexander Agassiz Medal (National Academy of Sciences) and the A. G. Huntsman Medal (Royal Society of Canada).

 

Edward F. DeLong - Professor Edward F. DeLong, also an American Academy for Microbiology Fellow and member of the National Academy of Sciences, is co-founder and co-Director of the C-MORE and SCOPE programs. Ed has received numerous international awards including the prestigious A. G. Huntsman Medal (Royal Society of Canada), the DuPont Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology from the American Society for Microbiology, and the ASM’s David C. White award for outstanding mentoring. DeLong also served on the American Academy for Microbiology Board of Governors.

 

David Karl - David Karl is the co-founder of the HOT program that established Station ALOHA, and co-founder and co-Director of C-MORE and SCOPE (both with DeLong). He is also a Fellow of the American Academy for Microbiology and member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has received numerous awards for his research at Station ALOHA including the Alexander Agassiz Medal (National Academy of Sciences) and the A. G. Huntsman Medal (Royal Society of Canada), and is the 2015 recipient of the ASM’s DuPont Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

 

Others - In addition to Chisholm, DeLong, and Karl, other American Academy for Microbiology Fellows involved in the C-MORE/SCOPE efforts at Station ALOHA include John Waterbury, Mick Follows, Jonathan Zehr, and Virginia Armbrust.

 

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES 

 

Any questions? Contact the ASM Archivist at jkarr@asmusa.org 

  

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