Legislative Alert: Contact Congress to Increase Research and Public Health Funding

The ASM has posted a legislative alert encouraging members to contact Congress to increase research and public health funding.


Michele K. Nishiguchi, PhD

NishiguchiProfessor, Department of Biology, New Mexico State University

Michele “Nish” Nishiguchi is presently a professor of Biology at New Mexico State University. She has focused her work on the evolutionary ecology between marine invertebrates and their symbiotic bacteria. Despite being a marine biologist in the middle of the Chihuahuan desert, Nish manages to chase after squid and their bioluminescent bacteria in places such as the Indo-West Pacific and Mediterranean Seas, and manages to eat some calamari along the way. Besides tasting good, they are the coolest, smartest, and most impressive molluscs around, because they have figured out a way to live peacefully with bacteria that allow them to control light, a behavior called counterillumination. She has been passionate about reaching out to students in the Southwest, and introducing them to marine biology and microbial ecology. She has trained a number of students from underrepresented groups (postdocs, graduate and undergraduate), and continues her commitment to increasing diversity through research, teaching, and outreach.

Danielle L. Watt, Ph.D.

WattPostdoctoral Research Fellow, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

Danielle L. Watt, PhD. is a 3rd-year postdoctoral research fellow in the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, DNA Replication Fidelity Group of Dr. Thomas Kunkel at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH. She received her B.A. in chemistry from Albany State University and PhD in bioorganic chemistry from the University of Connecticut. Under the advisement of Dr. Ashis Basu, her dissertation research focused on DNA damage caused by environmental pollutants and the resulting mutations that could ultimately lead to the development of cancer. She also studied a special family of DNA polymerases that may be responsible for the initiation of these mutations. Her dissertation has been published and won her several awards including the Agilent Technologies, Inc. Graduate Research Fellowship for Outstanding Achievement in Science. Her current research is centered on elucidating the structure and function of yeast DNA polymerases, including their abilities to bypass well-known damaged DNA substrates. As a graduate student, Danielle was a New England Board of Higher Education scholar, a participant in the Alliances for Graduate Education in the Professoriate (AGEP), and active in several science outreach programs for 3rd-12th grade students, in which she continues to be committed.

Hinsby Cadillo-Quiroz, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor, School of life Sciences, Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the Biodesign Institute

Dr. Cadillo-Quiroz (https://sols.asu.edu/people/hinsby-cadillo-quiroz) is a microbiologist with broad expertise in ecological and evolutionary studies of methane-producing Archaea and associated Bacteria. He was recently appointed as Assistant Professor of Microbial Ecology in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree and professional title in microbiology with honors from the School of Biological Sciences at San Marcos National University in Lima, Peru. He completed his doctoral degree in microbiology from Cornell University. His research focuses on the ecology, physiology, genomics and evolution of novel methane-producing Archaea inhabiting acidic and circumneutral wetlands storing high levels of organic carbon (peatlands). Specifically, he seeks to identify genetic traits that structure archaeal and bacterial communities and genes or genomic regions unique to these species. In addition, his work assesses the impact of microbial diversity in ecosystem functioning in several environments, and mathematically models rates of ecosystem processes in which these organisms are involved. Prior to his appointment at ASU, Dr. Cadillo-Quiroz was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Oregon Institute of Ecology and Evolution where he studied the variability of methane production in anaerobic ecosystems. Prior, he was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois Department of Microbiology where his work focused on the genomics and evolutionary trajectory of populations of the Archaea Sulfolobus islandicus. He has published in Nature, Environmental Microbiology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, PLoS ONE and other journals. In addition, he is part of multiple interdisciplinary graduate programs at ASU including Biological Design, Environmental Life Sciences, and Molecular and Cellular Biology. His new lab actively seeks to engage underrepresented minority students and Dr. Cadillo-Quiroz is a steering member of several undergraduate research initiatives including REPU (Research Experience for Peruvian Undergraduates).