John Ruffin, Ph.D.
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
National Institutes of Health
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 800
Bethesda, MD 20892-5465

Dear Dr. Ruffin:

On behalf of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), we are writing to congratulate you and the leadership at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the establishment of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. This is a significant step that provides hope to those who have worked tirelessly to address and eliminate health disparities.

Over the past two decades, the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities has played the primary role in addressing minority health and health disparities research. We recognize the important role your leadership has played in the transition of the center to institute status at NIH. With this new authority, research initiatives can be enhanced and results can be more quickly realized. Thus, we applaud you, your staff and all the steadfast supporters on this important achievement.

As the single largest life sciences organization in the world, the ASM is keenly aware of the disproportionate burden that infectious diseases have on minorities and other underserved populations. We realize that it will take an enormous effort to reduce and ultimately eliminate these disparities and know that many in our membership will play crucial roles in this regard. We look forward to sharing news of the establishment of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities with the ASM membership.

We wish you and your staff all the best as you continue this important work towards eliminating health disparities.


Bonnie L. Bassler, Ph.D., President, ASM
Roberto Kolter, Ph.D., Chair, Public and Scientific Affairs Board
Marian Johnson-Thompson, Chair, Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities
Gail H. Cassell, Ph.D., Chair, Committee on Biomedical Research