| Jeffery F. Miller, Ph.D., Professor,
Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics, UCLA
Dear ASM Members:
I am honored to assume the ASM presidency beginning this month. I joined ASM as a first-year graduate student and the Society has played a formative role in my development as a scientist and educator. This is an exciting time for microbiology which continues to lead revolutions that pervade all life sciences. The recent barrage of reports outlining remarkable advances, fundamental insights, and surprises that have come from the first concerted effort to characterize our co-evolved microbial communities has captured the attention of many. From the standpoint of microbiology, this provides a golden opportunity to communicate to colleagues, lawmakers, and the public the central importance of microbes in our health and in the health of our planet. These advances also highlight the importance of discovery and exploration in microbiology, themes I hope to focus on during the coming year.
From the standpoint of our Society, the ASM is doing quite well.
We have invested significant efforts over the past few years to revitalize our General Meeting, and I am pleased to report very strong attendance at our meeting last month, with over 6,600 scientific attendees and almost 9,500 total attendees. Follow-up surveys provided considerable positive feedback along with constructive suggestions. During our annual membership meeting in San Francisco, outgoing president David Hooper gave an overview of significant ASM events over the past year in the State of the Society presentation that you are now able to access online. I would like to take this opportunity to thank David for his deft and dedicated leadership during his term as president.
Prior to the meeting Drug Discovery News published an article highlighting the program. A meeting preview article was also published in ADVANCE for Medical Laboratory Professionals. To catch up on General Meeting sessions you may have missed, watch MicrobeWorld’s episodes of ASM Live, roundtable conversations with selected presenters. The videos can be found at www.microbeworld.org.
Please see other ASM news below, and have an enjoyable summer.
Jeff F. Miller, Ph.D.
ASM Journals Score High on Impact Factors
The 2011 Journal Citation Report was released on June 28. Three ASM journals have impact factors that rank in the Top 20 Journals of Microbiology: Clinical Microbiology Reviews (#2, IF16.129), Microbioilogy and Molecular Biology Reviews (#5, IF 13.018 ), and mBio (#16, IF 5/311). As a new journal, mBio has an initial impact factor calculated only on citations in 2011 to articles published from April through December 2010. Impact factors for a number of other ASM journals increased, as follows:
- Journal of Virology: 2011 IF of 5.402 (up from 5.1890)
- Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy: 2011 IF of 4.841 (up from 4.672)
- Infection and Immunity: 2011 IF of 4.165 (up from 4.098)
- Applied and Environmental Microbiology: 2011 IF of 3.829 (up from 3.778)
- Eukaryotic Cell: 2011 IF of 3.825 (up from 3.726)
- Clinical and Vaccine Immunology: 2011 IF of 2.546 (up from 2.471)
ASM Opposes Government Travel Restrictions on Meetings and Conferences
The ASM and numerous other organizations sent a letter to Congress urging members to revise proposed legislative language that severely restricts government employees from attending meetings and conferences held by scientific organizations, other associations and the private sector. The language would have the consequence of precluding government scientists’ participation in more than one scientific conference sponsored by an organization in the same year. The ASM said the amendments are broader in scope than is necessary to meet the goals of the legislation and would seriously impact scientific research and public health initiatives of agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Coalition Acts to Prevent Research Funding Cuts
In January of 2013 all nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs face an across-the-board cut of over 8 percent through a sequester mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011. ASM and numerous organizations and coalitions are educating Congress about the devastating effects on scientific research and public health programs. ASM is participating with coalition efforts to prevent the cuts and signed on to the “NDD letter” that will be signed by thousands of organizations asking Congress to avoid the sequester by addressing deficit reduction through a balanced approach that does not include drastic cuts to science and public health. The ASM also joined other organizations in a letter to Congress urging members not to reduce funding for the National Science Foundation as they consider the appropriations bill on the floor. There have been congressional amendments offered to single out specific programs for elimination.
This Week in Microbiology
Four new episodes of This Week in Microbiology were released in May and June:
Academy Releases Colloquium Report on Point-of-Care Diagnostics
A new Academy report, “Bringing the Lab to the Patient: Developing Point-of-Care Diagnostics for Resource Limited Settings” was released in June. The report was the product of deliberations of microbiologists, public health specialists, and engineers, centered on addressing what point-of-care diagnostic tests are most urgently needed, what qualities these tests should have to be effective in resource limited settings, and what can be done to address systemic barriers to point-of-care diagnostic test design and implementation in resource limited settings. The report can be accessed here.
Education Activities Featured in National Publications
Education Board student and faculty programs have been profiled in two national publications. CUR Quarterly, published by the Council on Undergraduate Research, highlighted the growth of Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), a student research conference managed by ASM and sponsored by the NIAID. In Characteristics of Excellence in Undergraduate Research, a separate publication by the Council, ASM is featured as a model professional society interested in advancing education research. Lastly, Thinking Evolutionarily, a book by the National Research Council, highlights the ASM roles in advocacy, guidelines and models, professional development, and information dissemination for and by its members.
New from ASM Press
The Microbe Cards flashcard app for iPad and iPhone is now live on the Apple app store. The new ASM Press catalog is available online and is no longer being mailed.
| July 2012