Winner of the 2014 ASM Graduate Microbiology Teaching Award is Shelley Payne, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, for the profound impact she has had on her students. Former postdoctoral student, Erin Murphy, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, describes Payne as “an inspiring mentor to all her postdoctoral fellows. We have learned countless lessons from her, not only from formal scientific training, but also from watching as she excels in numerous areas of science and education.”
Payne completed her Ph.D. at Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas under the direction of R.A. Finkelstein. Following her postdoc as a Damon Runyon Fellow in Bruce Ames’ laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, she joined the faculty of the University of Texas, Austin, where she is Professor of Molecular Biosciences and University Distinguished Teaching Professor.
Payne studies the pathogenesis of Shigella and Vibrio cholera, with a focus on iron metabolism and expression of virulence genes. She has trained a number of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in microbiology research and is particularly proud that many of her graduate students, most of whom are women and underrepresented minorities, have gone on to successful careers in science.
As an active volunteer, Payne has contributed to many ASM initiatives, including organizing and participating in the ASM Kadner Institute since its inception in 2000. Payne, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and an Editor of Infection and Immunity, has also served on the NIH NIAID Council.