Committees of the Public and Scientific Affairs Board

Agriculture, Food and Industrial Microbiology
Chair, Charles W. Rice, Ph.D., Kansas State University

This committee promotes the adoption of sound science policies involving agricultural, food and industrial microbiology. This involves the review and analysis of pertinent federal programs, regulations, budgets, and recommendations for future action and planning by the PSAB. This is achieved by creating responsive interactions among ASM, the public, Congress and appropriate federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration, in communicating the scientific and educational interests of microbiology.

Biological Defense
Chair, Kenneth I. Berns, M.D., Ph.D., University of Florida and Ronald M. Atlas, Ph.D., University of Louisville

This committee addresses issues related to biological weapons issues. It provides advice to government agencies and to Congress about technical and policy issues related to biological weapon control.

Biomedical Research
Chair, Gail H. Cassell, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

This committee promotes the adoption of sound science policies involving biomedical research as it affects the public good, by reviewing and analyzing pertinent federal programs, regulations and budgets, and recommending future action and planning by the PSAB. This is achieved by creating responsive interactions among ASM, the public, Congress and appropriate federal agencies, such as the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of General Medical science, the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control, in communicating the scientific and educational interests of microbiology.

Environmental Microbiology
Chair, Jay Grimes, Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi

This committee promotes the adoption of sound science policies involving environmental microbiology by reviewing and analyzing pertinent federal programs. This is achieved by responsive interactions among ASM, the public, Congress and appropriate federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, in communicating the scientific and educational interests of microbiology.

Ethics Committee
Chair, George M. Eliopoulos, Ph.D., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

This committee considers Publication Board cases involving infractions of ethical standards and publications. It may also consider public policy issues surrounding the conduct of research and ethical issues.

Laboratory Practices in Microbiology
Chair, Susan Sharp, Ph.D., Kaiser Permanente - NW

This committee is concerned with issues that involve the science and technology of microbiology laboratory practice that are directly or indirectly controlled by the government, an agency of the government, or an accrediting or standard-setting private agency. Activities of the committee include the review and comment on proposed legislation, rules, guidelines and standards, as well as the development of liaison relationships with agencies in order to track, monitor, influence or communicate their activities to other microbiologists, organizations or the government. The chair will serve as the liaison to the Committee on Professional Affairs, or the committee will appoint an individual to serve as this liaison. The ASM representative to the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) is the chair or other appointed member of the committee who is responsible for a formal review of CLSI documents pertaining to microbiology.

Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities
Chair, Dwayne Boucaud, Ph. D., Quinnipiac University

This committee ensures that relevant microbiology issues that may impact minority populations or minority microbiologists are addressed in ASM public policy positions and statements; monitors and enhances the status of minority microbiologists in the profession and in ASM, in accordance with the ASM Strategic Plan; collaborates with personnel planning priorities regarding manpower issues as they may affect minority microbiologists and; interacts and collaborates with similar committees or groups in other scientific organizations.

Professional Affairs in Microbiology
Chair, Robert Jerris, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

This committee reviews problem areas and identifies deficiencies in qualification and classification standards for microbiologists in the federal, state, and private sectors. In this regard, the committee cooperates very closely with the certifying boards in matters which relate to public policy. The committee reviews legislative and regulatory proposals which impact on the qualifications of microbiologists and formulates responses to the appropriate agencies. The committee assists representatives of the ASM branches and regional independent microbiology societies with information concerning state legislative and regulatory developments which may adversely affect microbiologists. The committee cooperates with similar groups of other professional or scientific organizations in achieving these goals, and channels its documents through the PSAB to ASM or AAM as required.

Public Health
Chair, Stephen M. Ostroff, M.D., Food and Drug Administration

This committee focuses on a broad array of public health issues, including appropriations and policy issues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The committee will promote public health issues involving microbiology within Congress and the Administration and will review pertinent federal programs, regulations and budgets. In consultation with other standing PSAB committees, the Committee on Public Health will work on issues such as protecting the public food and water supply and other cross-cutting issues such as a global surveillance system and antibiotic resistance.

Status of Women in Microbiology
Chair, Hazel A. Barton, Ph.D., The University of Akron

This committee's function is to monitor and enhance the status of women in the profession of microbiology and in ASM; ensure that relevant microbiology issues impacting women microbiologists are addressed in ASM public policy statements; collect data on the training and employment of women microbiologists; create and administer awards recognizing women microbiologists; and collaborate and communicate with women microbiologists in ASM and in other scientific societies and organizations.

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