Clifford W. Houston, Ph.D. Chosen as American Society for Microbiology President-Elect

Carrie Patterson

WASHINGTON, DC - April 10, 2006 -- Clifford W. Houston, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Educational Outreach at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, and holder of the Herman Barnett Distinguished Professorship in Microbiology and Immunology, has been elected President-elect of the American Society for Microbiology effective July 1, 2006.  Houston will be the first African American to head the 42,000 member scientific organization.

Houston received his B.S. in Microbiology and Chemistry as well as his maters's degree in Biology from Oklahoma State University.  He went on to obtain his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  Prior to accepting a faculty position at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), he was named a James W. McLaughlin Postdoctoral Fellow.

Houston's research at UTMB has focused on the role that bacterial toxins play in the pathogenesis of disease.  As an administrator, he has played an active role in the Management Development Program in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University in 1994.  While maintaining his positions at UTMB, Houston served a two-year appointment as Deputy Associate Administrator for Education in the Office of Education at NASA headquarters where he provided day-to-day guidance for three primary divisions: elementary and secondary education, higher education and informal education.

His honors include the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in 2000 as well as being selected to the International Who's Who Professional 1996 Program.  He was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 1997 and selected for a Burroughs-Wellcome/ASM Visiting Professorship in 1999.

Houston currently serves as the chair of the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) Steering & Planning Committee and the American Society for Microbiology Education Board.  He has published numerous articles and abstracts and addressed prestigious audiences throughout the world, in addition to establishing mathematical and scientific education programs across the country.


The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 42,000 scientists and health professionals.  ASM’s mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.