Jill R. Stewart

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(Speaker Term: July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2016)


Jill R. Stewart (term: 7/1/14 through 6/30/16)        

Gillings School of Global Public Health

University of North Carolina

Campus Box 7431

Chapel Hill, NC  27599 


Phone:  919-966-7553

Fax:  919- 966-7911

E-mail: Jill.Stewart@unc.edu    


Speaker’s Website:  http://jillstewart.web.unc.edu/   



Primary Division:  Q (Environmental & General Applied Microbiology)

Secondary Division:  Y (Public Health)  



Global Environmental Change: Are We Making Populations of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria?  

Antibiotic resistance can occur with and without anthropogenic influence.  This presentation summarizes studies of antibiotic resistance undertaken in natural and altered systems, including marine and agricultural environments.  Results help to better understand human contributions to antibiotic resistance, a growing threat to public health.                                                           


Explorations in Human and Ecosystem Health: Water Quality in the Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands are known for their significant ecological diversity as well as their importance in the study of evolution.  However, a recent increase in land-based tourism and residential population growth may be threatening the iconic species and landscapes which comprise this World Heritage Site.  This study provides a baseline characterization of water quality on one of the inhabited islands of the Galápagos, and evaluates the potential relationship between human activity and bacterial antibiotic resistance in this “pristine” environment.    


Effect of Increasing Storm Intensity on Pathogen Loads in a Drinking Water Reservoir

Storm events and the resulting runoff are expected to increase with climate change, with the potential to adversely impact drinking water reservoirs and other surface waters.  This research evaluates loading of microbial contaminants into a drinking water reservoir as a function of rainfall and land use.  These results help identify timing and conditions for public health vulnerabilities and introduce novel tools for the protection and management of drinking water sources.    



Jill Stewart is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina and has served as an ASM Division Officer in Division Q: Environmental and General Applied Microbiology.  She is developing novel techniques to detect and track pathogens in water, and is also interested in evaluating impacts of non-point source pollution, and in evaluating the manner in which human activities such as development and waste disposal affect distribution of microbial contaminants.  Current research projects include evaluation of water quality associated with (1) land application of waste products and (2) urbanization on a watershed-scale.  Overall, these activities are leading to a greater understanding of how environmental conditions can affect human health, and how humans themselves influence this process.  


CV is available by request from adempsey@asmusa.org at ASM Headquarters


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Stephen Lory

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(Speaker Term: July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2016)


Stephen Lory (term: 7/1/14 through 6/30/16)

Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology

Harvard Medical School

77 Avenue Louis Pasteur

Boston, MA  02115                                                


Phone:  617-432-5099

Fax:  617-738-7664

E-mail: stephen_lory@hms.harvard.edu      



Primary Division:  B (Microbial Pathogens)      



Pseudomonas aeruginosa Genome Evolution 

(For specific information on this lecture, please contact Stephen Lory at stephen_lory@hms.harvard.edu)


Regulation of Gene Expression in Opportunistic Pathogens

(For specific information on this lecture, please contact Stephen Lory at stephen_lory@hms.harvard.edu)


Exploitation of -omics Approaches to Identify Fitness Traits in P. aeruginosa

(For specific information on this lecture, please contact Stephen Lory at stephen_lory@hms.harvard.edu)   



Dr. Lory has spent his entire scientific career studying Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium widely distributed in the environment and an important human pathogen.  His work as a graduate student at UCLA focused on comparison of toxins produced by this organism to other related toxic proteins.  While a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard, he studied secretion of protein toxins from P. aeruginosa, a project he continued in his laboratory at the University of Washington, leading to the discovery of the type II secretion system.  Here he also became interested in microbial genomics, and participated in a project that resulted in the sequencing of the first P. aeruginosa.   He developed the first microarray for P. aeruginosa allowing investigators to define its transcriptome in a wide range of environments.  After moving to Harvard in 2000, he was one of the early investigators in the field of cyclic nucleotide signaling.  His current work exploits deep sequencing as a tool for understanding bacterial evolution and the role of small regulatory RNAs in regulation of gene expression.  He is active as a manuscript and grant reviewer for the NIH and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and has published one textbook and over 110 papers in peer-reviewed journals.  


CV is available by request from adempsey@asmusa.org at ASM Headquarters 



I am greatly honored to be selected for the American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer (ASMDL) Program.  I have spent all of my scientific life, starting as an undergraduate laboratory volunteer (when I first joined the ASM) to my current position as a Professor at a research university, studying bacteria; in my opinion, the most fascinating living creatures.  Since graduate school, my work has centered on the studies of physiology, genetics and virulence of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  Although I have been meeting fellow microbiologists at national and international meetings, the ASMDL program will give me an opportunity to more closely observe the daily activities of students, scientists and educators in a different setting, at their home colleges and universities.  I anticipate having great learning experiences, particularly in settings where one can exchange informal ideas on a wide range of topics ranging from untested scientific hypotheses to the developing of new concepts and technologies.  I am also eager to exchange ideas about the educational experience of the various ASM Branch microbiologists, brainstorming about the most effective ways of communicating the excitement of our field not only to potential scientists or physicians but also to the lay public.  Through the ASMDL program, I hope to bring to the Branches interesting research findings from my laboratory as well as present projects under development.  I am excited about the possibilities of establishing new collaborations that would facilitate both my own research as well as the work in the laboratories of the Branch members I encounter during my visits.     


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Valerie J. (Jody) Harwood

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(Speaker Term: July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2016)


Valerie J. (Jody) Harwood (term: 7/1/14 through 6/30/16)        

Department of Integrative Biology, SCA 110

University of South Florida

Tampa, FL  33620


Work Phone:  813-974-1524

Cell Phone:     813-468-7461

Fax:               813-974-3263

E-mail:           vharwood@usf.edu     



Primary Division:  Q (Environmental & General Applied Microbiology)

Secondary Division:  N (Microbial Ecology)             



What’s in Your Water: Microbial Source Tracking 

Commonly-used fecal indicators like coliforms and enterococci provide no information about fecal contamination sources, which limits remediation efforts and risk assessment.  Microbial source tracking (MST) uses the association of certain microorganisms with the gastrointestinal tract of specific hosts to trace a signal from water back to the origin of pollution.  MST combines microbial ecology with applied microbiology to improve knowledge about pollution issues that have important public health implications.  Current strategies and recent advances, as well as information gaps, will be discussed.      


Water Quality in the Time of Molecular Biology: New Regulations and Emerging Approaches

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rolled out new regulations for assessment of recreational water quality in 2013.  While some “old-school” methods were retained, quantitative PCR is among the allowable new methods.  Site-specific criteria for total maximum daily load (TMDL) plans will also be accepted if they are backed by sound science.  This talk will compare the old and new regulations, and their implications for water quality monitoring and public health. 


The Big Three Vibrio Pathogens: A Study in Contrast

Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus are bacterial “cousins” with distinct ecology, genetics, virulence, and disease symptoms.  This talk compares the three pathogens from all of these perspectives, and also discusses the implications of global climate change for their prevalence and transmission.     


The Life and Times of “Swamp Death” – Vibrio vulnificus Ecology and Virulence

Vibrio vulnificus is the major cause of death from seafood, e.g. oysters, consumed in the United States.  It causes severe gastroenteritis, septicemia, and wound infections so severe that amputation is frequently necessary.  The ecology and virulence of this naturally-occurring estuarine bacterium, including its ability to enter into a viable but nonculturable state, will be discussed. 


GIS for Graduate School: Free Pre-and Post-acceptance Advice

Should I apply to graduate school?  How do I make a strong application?  Which institution is right for me?  What can I expect when I show up?  And once I am there, how can I make the most of my opportunities and avoid pitfalls?  If I am having issues, who can help me?  When I am done with my Masters or Ph.D., what is the next step and how do I take it?  All of these questions apply to most graduate students at some point in their career.  A frank presentation, with plenty of time for questions and answers, is designed to help prospective and current graduate students. 


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH – Valerie J. (Jody) Harwood

Valerie J. (Jody) Harwood, Ph.D. is an environmental microbiologist and a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida (USF), Tampa.  She earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at Old Dominion University and Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia.  One of Dr. Harwood’s major areas of expertise is microbial source tracking (MST), which endeavors to determine the source(s) of fecal pollution in water.  She is using quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA), microarray technology and metagenomics to improve interpretation and implementation of MST methods.  She is also interested in the persistence and ecology of enteric organisms in secondary habitats such as water and sediments. Harwood is the author of over seventy-five peer-reviewed papers on various areas of environmental microbiology and microbial ecology, including the efficacy of treatment for reclaimed water, the biochemistry of the hyperthermophile Pyrococcus furiosus, Vibrio genetics, physiology and detection in environmental waters, phylogeny and antibiotic resistance of Enterococcus spp., and MST and environmental persistence of fecal indicator bacteria.  Harwood is a major contributor to the USEPA Guide Document on MST, the co-editor of a 2011 book on MST, and a member of the editorial board of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.  Dr. Harwood has mentored over 60 undergraduate research students at USF.  Her program has produced eleven Ph.D.s, all of whom are employed in science research and/or teaching capacities, and six Master’s degrees.


CV is available by request from adempsey@asmusa.org at ASM Headquarters


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Dimitrios P. Kontoyiannis, M.D., Sc.D.

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(Speaker Term: July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2016)


Dimitrios P. Kontoyiannis, M.D., Sc.D. (term: 7/1/14 through 6/30/16)  

Frances King Black Endowed Professor

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

1400 Pressler Street FCT12.5069, Unit 1463

Houston, TX  77030-3772                                                


Phone:  713-792-6517

Fax:  713-792-5669

E-mail: dkontoyi@mdanderson.org   


Speaker’s Website:  http://faculty.mdanderson.org/Dimitrios_Kontoyiannis/Default.asp 


ASM MEMBERSHIP AFFILIATION – Dimitrios P. Kontoyiannis, M.D., Sc.D.

Primary Division:  F (Medical Mycology)

Secondary Division:  A (Antimicrobial Chemotherapy)  


LECTURE TOPICS AND DESCRIPTIONS – Dimitrios P. Kontoyiannis, M.D., Sc.D. 

Future Directions of Mycology Research in the 21st Century 

This lecture gives a conceptual framework on the unmet needs in the study of fungal disease in regards to epidemiology, risk factors, pathogenesis, diagnosis, management and education.                                     


Antifungal Combination Therapy for Aspergillus and Other Molds

This lecture reviews the preclinical and clinical evidence and controversies in the complex field of antifungal combinations against opportunistic molds.   


Mucormycosis in 2014: An Update

This is a state of the art lecture on new developments in the study of mucormycosis in the lab and in the clinic.     


Non-vertebrate Models in Experimental Mycology

This lecture reviews the studies using non-vertebrate hosts, focusing on the Lecturer’s work using Drosophila, to study fungal pathogenesis and antifungal drug action.


Principles for the Management of Opportunistic Mycoses in Patients with Hematologic Cancer

(For specific information on this lecture, please contact Dimitrios Kontoyiannis at dkontoyi@mdanderson.org)  


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH – Dimitrios P. Kontoyiannis, M.D., Sc.D.

Dr. Dimitrios P. Kontoyiannis received his medical degree Summa Cum Laude from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece.  He then did a post-doctoral research fellowship in Infectious Diseases at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, followed by training in Internal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, where he served as a Chief Resident.  He was subsequently trained as a clinical fellow in Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and obtained a Master in Clinical Sciences from Harvard Medical School in Boston.  He spent 3 years at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Sciences as a fellow in the Harvard/MIT Clinical Investigators Training Program.  He is currently the Frances King Black Endowed Professor and Deputy Head-Research in the Division of Internal Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and adjunct professor at Baylor College of Medicine and University of Houston.  His research work is in the area of experimental and clinical mycology, focusing on traditional (mouse) and mini-host (Drosophila) models of infection, antifungal drug resistance, pathogenesis, pharmacology and various aspects of epidemiology, diagnostics and treatment of fungal infections.  He is the recipient of several national and institutional awards, has authored over 400 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has been invited to give over 100 lectures in international conferences and prestigious institutions in the United States and abroad.


CV is available by request from adempsey@asmusa.org at ASM Headquarters  


LECTURER’S PERSONAL STATEMENT – Dimitrios P. Kontoyiannis, M.D., Sc.D.

I have worked to develop a comprehensive multi-disciplinary program in experimental and clinical mycology.  This program has both translational and clinical components, and has achieved national and international recognition as well as institutional awards.  Our research program has been described as prolific and innovative by peers at other institutions.  As a big proponent of quality team work, we have established several successful collaborations both within and outside the institution.  Several milestones of my research career include the establishment of the Drosophila melanogaster as a novel and promising model to study fungal pathogenesis and treatment, the first description of the fungal exotoxin gliotoxin in angiogenesis, the synergy of calcineurin and ergosterol pathway inhibition against molds, the development of subacute experimental models of aspergillosis, the insight regarding the paradoxical effect of the fungal cell wall inhibiting agents against fungi, the introduction of peptidomimetic approaches to treatment and diagnosis in experimental systems, the description of apoptosis in Mucorales, the introduction of the concept of sequential antifungal exposure in in vitro and virulence testing, the immunomodulatory activity of the echinocandins, and several others.  We have published extensively in prestigious specialty journals (Clinical Infectious Diseases, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, J Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, J Infectious Diseases, Eukaryotic Cell, J Clinical Microbiology, PLOS Pathogens) and oncology/hematology-related and general journals (PNAS, Blood, PLOS One, J Immunology, Annals of Internal Medicine, American J of Medicine, Lancet, JAMA, NEJM, Cancer, J Clin Oncology, J Immunology).  Several of our papers were highlighted in the Faculty of 1000 Medicine database (http://f1000.com/).  I have also led the pivotal surveillance program of fungal infections in stem cell transplant population coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control (TRANSNET) and served on several steering committees for clinical protocol development.  My H index is 60 and I have in my bibliography approximately 400 publications with over 13,000 citations.


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Nancy D. Hanson, Ph.D.

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(Speaker Term: July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2016)


Nancy D. Hanson, Ph.D. (term: 7/1/14 through 6/30/16)        

Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology

Creighton University

Building: CRISS II

2500 California Plaza

Omaha, NE  68178


Phone:  402-280-5837

Fax:   402-280-1875 

E-mail: ndhanson@creighton.edu    



Primary Division:  A (Antimicrobial Chemotherapy)

Secondary Division:  H (Genetics & Molecular Biology)   



Gram-negative Pathogens: Multiple Mechanisms of Antibiotic Resistance 

This lecture topic explores the multiple pathways used by Gram-negative pathogens to become resistant to antibiotics.  These pathways include inactivating enzymes, target modifications, gene regulation of porins and efflux systems, and production of beta-lactamase genes.    


The Role Mobile Genetic Elements Play in the Emergence of Antibiotic Resistance

This topic explores the different types of mobile genetic elements such as plasmids, transposons, insertion sequences, and integrons, and the mechanisms by which they enable a resistant phenotype. 


Molecular Diagnostics: Current and Future Applications for Detection of Antibiotic Resistance Mechanisms

Phenotypic detection of antibiotic resistance, especially beta-lactam resistance, can be very difficult and time consuming to determine.  This lecture will explore PCR-based approaches for the identification of resistance mechanisms often missed during phenotypic detection in the clinical laboratory and the consequences to patient care.             


Gene Expression and Its Link to Antibiotic Resistance

This lecture will explore the many mechanisms of gene expression that influence the production of beta-lactamase genes.  These mechanisms include gene copy number, transcription initiation, RNA half-life, and protein production.  The lecture will focus on the multiple levels by which genes are controlled in Gram-negative pathogens and the methodologies used to evaluate these mechanisms and correlate those mechanisms with resistance patterns observed in clinical isolates.      



Dr. Nancy D. Hanson is Professor and Director of the Center for Research in Anti-Infectives and Biotechnology in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at Creighton University.  Her area of expertise involves the study of molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in Gram-negative organisms such as E. coli, K. pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  Her research explores two aspects of antibiotic resistance mechanisms: (1) the regulation of the genes involved in resistance and (2) the development of PCR-based diagnostic tests that can be used by clinical laboratories to detect resistance genes in clinical isolates.  She has published over 60 peer reviewed articles evaluating antibiotic resistant organisms and is an ad hoc reviewer for several major journals.  In 2007, Dr. Hanson was awarded researcher of the year by the Nebraska Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for her work on P. aeruginosa.  In 2008, Dr. Hanson was selected by the American Academy of Microbiology to participate in the steering committee to organize and chair one of three committees during an international colloquium of 30 scientists held in Annecy, France.  The task of the colloquium attendees was to put forth recommendations to address the world wide problem of the emergence of antibiotic resistant organisms.  These recommendations were published by the American Academy of Microbiology in 2009.


CV is available by request from adempsey@asmusa.org at ASM Headquarters  



I became a member of ASM in 1984 during my Master’s Program in Microbiology.  My continued membership throughout my career attests to the value I see in belonging to ASM.  Over the years as a Professor at Creighton University, I have served as President of the Missouri Valley Branch and have repeatedly taken my students to regional and national ASM meetings.  I have participated in judging student presentations and talking to students and postdocs about their research and future career goals.  The regional meetings are special as they focus on students and postdocs giving them a chance to “bloom” in a friendly environment.  My students have certainly had this benefit in addition to hearing talks from Distinguished Lecturers; giving them perspective on all aspects of microbiology.  I have had the pleasure of training 12 graduate students in the last 18 years; 10 of whom were Ph.D. students.  Watching students mature as scientists has been one of the most satisfying parts of my career.  My research centers on molecular mechanisms involved in the emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogens and the development of molecular diagnostics for use in clinical laboratories with a wide range of important and exciting topics for presentation that I would be excited to share.  I enjoy teaching microbiology and over the years I have had the opportunity to give talks on my research all over the world.  I would love to expand that experience and reach out to students and postdocs who are truly the future of ASM.


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