American Society for Microbiology Endorses Gerberding CDC Nomination

CONTACT: Barbara Hyde

Washington, DC-July 3, 2002 --The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) enthusiastically supports the nomination of Dr. Julie Louise Gerberding as the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ASM had previously nominated her for the post in a letter to the Executive Office of the President.

"As Acting Principal Director of the CDC, Dr. Gerberding has amply demonstrated the excellent management and communication skills necessary to direct the activities of the CDC and to deal with public health programs on an emergency basis, especially those involving bioterrorism issues" said ASM President Dr. Ronald Atlas. "Through her previous experience at CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases, she is skilled and experienced in administering and managing federal public health and scientific programs and understands the challenges facing CDC. Her earlier professional experience in dealing with major contemporary public health problems such as antibiotic resistance and HIV/AIDS will be additional assets in the CDC position."

"We believe that she will capably and responsibly serve the needs of the nation at this time of unprecedented resurgence of infectious diseases in public health," said Dr. Gail Cassell, chair of the ASM's Public and Scientific Affairs Board. "We are certain she will ensure that the CDC maintains and renews its vitality and leadership as the primary federal agency responsible for guarding the nation against potentially life-threatening infectious diseases."

Dr. Gerberding is an ASM member and serves as a spokesperson for ASM's ongoing Clean Hands Campaign.

The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 42,000 scientists and health professionals. Its mission is to promote research and research training in the microbiological sciences and to assist communication between scientists, policy makers, and the public to improve health, the environment, and economic well-being.