Michigan Branch Spring 2012 Meeting

Meeting Dates:
March 23-24, 2012

Central Michigan University

Theme: “Extremophiles on Earth and Beyond”

Plenary sessions:

"Bacterial production of reactive oxygen species and its environmental implications on redox metal cycling" - Deric Learman, PhD, Institute of Great Lakes Research, Central Michigan University

"Microbes buried alive" - Tim Lowenstein, PhD, Department of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies, Binghamton University SUNY

"Are there Martians in Australia?" - Melanie Mormile, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, Missouri University of Science and Technology

For additional information, contact:
Steve Gorsich
Email: gorsi1sw@cmich.edu
Phone: 989-774-1865     

Meeeting website:


2011 CHOMA Lecture and Symposium


Recordings of the 2011 CHOMA Lecture and Symposium are available here:

2011 History of Microbiology Lecture:

Death in a Small Package: Anthrax, History, and Microbiology
Susan D. Jones
University of Minnesota, St. Paul-Minneapolis

During the 1860s-1910s, a terrible disease killed many workers in British wool factories.  The disease turned out to be inhalational anthrax.  This lecture describes the intense scientific and public health investigations that discovered how "woolsorters disease" had spread globally and from animals to humans.  Historical research is combined with recent genomic studies of Bacillus anthracis' geographical distribution over the past two hundred years.  Finally, the lecture proposes the nineteenth-century "woolsorters disease" outbreaks as a key determinant in the development of B. anthracis as a biological weapon agent. 

2011 CHOMA Symposium:  

Bacillus anthracis for War and Terrorism: A Continuing Story

This symposium starts with a clarification of why Bacillus anthracis has been favored by all national biological warfare programs of the 20th Century, the next two presentations focus on issues more relevant to today's threats as posed by lone operators and subnational actors, as exemplified by the "Amerithrax" case, and approaches for solving such cases.  The last presentation makes an argument for incorporating certain ethical issues that have so far been missing in the training of microbiologists, including the teaching of aspects of international law and mores that seek to prevent misuse of science.              

Symposium Conveners:
James A. Poupard (Pharma Institute of Philadelphia, Philadelphia PA) and
Raymond A. Zilinskas (Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA)

Symposium Speakers:
1.  Bacillus anthracis as a Biological Weapon Agent
    Raymond A. Zilinskas (Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA)


2.  Reacting to Biological Threats: "Amerithrax" (recording currently unavailable)
     Douglas J. Beecher (Federal Bureau of Investigation, Quantico VA)

3.  Applications of Bioforensics to Bioterrorism Investigations
      Paul Keim (Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ)


4.  Incorporating Issues Pertaining to the Misuse of Applied Microbiology into an 
     Academic Curriculum

     Michael J. Imperiale (University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI)


For questions or to suggest future Lecture and Symposia topics, contact the Archivist, Jeff Karr at jkarr@asmusa.org




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