About the Academy

Over the last 50 years, over 2,500 distinguished scientists have been elected to The American Academy of Microbiology (AAM or Academy). The AAM is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the world's oldest and largest life science organization. The mission of the Academy is to recognize scientists for outstanding contributions to microbiology and provide microbiological expertise in the service of science and the public. It fulfills its mission by election to Fellowship in the Academy, convening colloquia and oversight of ASM’s Awards Program. Explore the Academy Colloquia Archive.

ASM News

American Academy of Microbiology Elects 109 New Fellows for 2019

The American Academy of Microbiology Announces Governors’ Election Results

ASM and AAM 2018 Mediation Summary

2019 Award Laureates

The American Academy of Microbiology is pleased to recognize the 2019 Award Laureates honored at ASM Microbe 2019.

AAM Fellowship Dues

Support the Academy with your Annual or Lifetime Fellowship dues. Questions? Email academy@asmusa.org for more information.

ASM Awards

The Academy manages ASM’s awards program.

16 awards honor leaders in the microbial sciences who are recognized and nominated by their peers. 


Find AAM Fellows

Search the AAM Fellows directory. 

Nomination & Election

We are now accepting AAM Fellowship nominations for 2020! 
Nominations will be accepted until October 1, 2019

Criteria for Selection to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology

Election qualifiers to Fellowship are scientific excellence, originality, and leadership; high ethical standards as well as scholarly and creative achievement. Qualifications for Fellowship are: an earned doctoral degree; senior professional standing recognized at the national or international level; and outstanding and original contributions to the microbial sciences. 

“Excellence” in the microbial sciences is difficult to define and will differ depending upon the type of work that an individual performs. The Academy understands that assigning levels of ‘excellence’ is ultimately a judgment call, therefore the criteria for election that are used by those who review the nominations is defined. 

The overarching criterion is that the individual has made significant contributions to the microbial sciences which are well delineated in the nominating and supporting letters. The decision on whether the nominee will be elected to fellowship is based primarily on those letters.
  1. Senior professional status is expected. In academia, the nominee should be an Associate or Full Professor.  For those working in a non-academic clinical, public health, or government setting, the individual should be at an equivalent senior level such as Director. For nominees who work in industry, the nomination should explain the nature of the nominee’s senior professional position if it is not obvious. 
  2. Scholarship should be the hallmark of all individuals nominated for fellowship.  Individuals should have a consistent and long term (minimum 10 years) track record of significant refereed publications or equivalent scientific communications in the microbial sciences.  These may include but are not limited to patents, new drug applications, 510K FDA submissions, textbooks, scientific manuals, official government reports, society white papers or practice guidelines, curated blog entries, invited reviews, or other scientific communications that advance the microbial sciences. The highlighting of individual metrics is acceptable (H index, citation number, publication number, etc.) in assessing scholarship if these numbers are carefully used in the context of the known limitations of these parameters. 
  3. Service to the microbial sciences on a national or international basis is expected. Service represents a commitment to the field.  Service may include participation as journal editors or on editorial boards, NIH study sections, grant reviewing for other granting agencies, service on governmental panels, serving on company board of directors, working with non-governmental agencies etc.  ASM provides many opportunities for service to the microbial sciences and leadership within those service activities to the Society will be especially valued. It is incumbent that the nominator outlines the important service activities of the nominee. 
  4. Teaching and Mentoring are central to the advancement of microbial sciences. Individuals who have an exceptional record of teaching and mentoring will be given strong consideration for election to fellowship. The scope of this teaching and mentoring should not be limited to the nominee’s institution but should be national or international in scope with broad impact.  Examples might include developing teaching materials or techniques that have been widely adapted. Developing or leading programs that engage the next generation of microbial scientists would be an additional example.  It is incumbent that the nominator outlines the significant teaching and mentoring activities of the nominee.
The Academy takes each of these criteria extremely seriously, including the adherence to high ethical standards, and will take the appropriate measures to address any alleged or actual unethical behavior by Academy Fellows.

ASM fosters a culture on equity and inclusion to achieve diversity in science.  Specifically, ASM seeks to create a culture of inclusion where all individuals feel respected, are treated fairly, provided opportunities to develop professionally and excel in their chosen career pathway.  

The Academy is aware that there are excellent scientists from underrepresented groups that deserve this honor who are not nominated. The Fellows are encouraged to nominate scientists who come from non-traditional groups (e.g., underrepresented minorities, first generation, disabilities, military, non-native languages, resource restricted) for election to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology.

Members of the Academy represent a wide variety of microbiology’s many fields, including basic, clinical, and applied research; education, public health, industry, and government service.

Nominations will be accepted from August 1, 2019 through October 1, 2019. 

Fellows are able to serve as a primary nominator for a maximum of two (2) fellowship nominations per cycle and a maximum of two (2) supporting nominations per cycle.

The nomination packet will consist of one (1) nominator and two (2) supporting nominators, all of whom must be in good standing.  No more than one person making or supporting the nomination may be from the same work group at the nominee's primary place of employment. Additionally, it should include a list of the ten (10) most significant publications. For each one, please include a complete citation and a brief annotation indicating the significance of the publication and the unique contribution made by the nominee.

Exceptions to any of the above requirements will be considered by the Committee on Elections upon petition of five (5) AAM Fellows in the area of specialization of the nominee.

Click here to complete the nomination form.
Click here to complete the supporting nomination form.

For questions or clarifications, please contact Academy@asmusa.org


mBio® is published in association with the American Academy of Microbiology. AAM Fellows also are entitled to submit manuscripts via a special, accelerated submission path, with one published manuscript allowed per calendar year.  Additionally, AAM Fellows work with Editor in Chief Arturo Casadevall by serving as editors and reviewers for manuscripts submitted in their areas of expertise.