Thomas J. Walsh, M.D., Ph.D. (hon), FIDSA, FAAM, FECMM

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Thomas J. Walsh, M.D., Ph.D. (hon), FIDSA, FAAM, FECMM (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19) - Waksman Foundation Lecturer       

Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University

1300 York Avenue, Room A-421

New York, NY 10065


Phone: 212-746-6320 (main office)

Fax:     212-746-8675




Primary Division        F          Medical Mycology

Secondary Division    C         Clinical Microbiology        




Advances in the Laboratory Diagnosis of Invasive Candidiases and Their Therapeutic Implications  

  1. Basic approaches for laboratory diagnosis of invasive candidiasis
  2. Biomarkers (serum (13)-­D‐glucan, and PCR) new laboratory technology for detection of Candida spp. (MALDI-­‐TOFF; T2 Biosystems)
  3. CLSI methods, interpretive breakpoints, and ECVs
  4. Therapeutic implications of Candida species
  5. New antifungal agents


Emerging Fungal Pathogens and Diseases

  1. New Candida species
  2. Multidrug resistant moulds: Scedosporium, Lomentaspora, Fusarium
  3. Cryptococcus gattii and its expanding impact
  4. Evolving patterns in dimorphic mycoses: Sporothrix spp., Coccidioides spp., Blastomyces dermatitidis
  5. Relevant changes in fungal nomenclature for clinical laboratories


Invasive Aspergillosis in Immunocompromised Patients  

  1. Aspergillus spp. and their epidemiological and clinical implications
  2. Performance and interpretation of serum galactomannan, serum (13)-­D‐glucan, and PCR for laboratory diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring
  3. Emergence of triazole resistant strains
  4. CLSI methods, interpretive breakpoints, and ECVs
  5. New antifungal agents


 Diagnostic and Therapeutic Challenges of Mucormycosis   

  1. Dynamic interaction between clinicians and laboratorians
  2. Rapid diagnostic procedures
  3. New advances in laboratory diagnosis
  4. Insights into pathogenesis and host defenses
  5. New therapeutic approaches


Special Hosts and Invasive Mycoses: Critical Interactions between Laboratory and Bedside toward Better Patient Care  

  1. Pediatrics: Hematogenous Candida meningoencephalitis; neonatal candidemia
  2. Primary Immunodeficiencies: Relationships between innate host defenses and fungal pathogens
  3. Trauma and Burns: Expanding recognition of mucormycosis
  4. AML and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Impact of antifungal prophylaxis
  5. Solid Organ Transplantation: Emerging hospital acquired and community acquired mycoses



Thomas J. Walsh, M.D., Ph.D. (hon), FAAM, FIDSA is Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Microbiology & Immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University and founding Director of the Transplantation-Oncology Infectious Diseases Program and the Infectious Diseases Translational Research Laboratory. He is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Sharp Family Foundation Scholar in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and Investigator of Emerging Infectious Diseases of Save Our Sick Kids. He served with distinction as the Chief of the Immunocompromised Host Section of the Pediatric Oncology Branch of National Cancer Institute for 23 years. He was then recruited to build the first Transplantation-Oncology Infectious Diseases Program in Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Walsh directs a combined clinical and laboratory research program dedicated to improving the lives and care of immunocompromised children and adults. The objective of the Programʼs translational research is to develop new strategies for molecular diagnosis, immunopharmacology, pharmacokinetics / pharmacodynamics, treatment, and prevention of life-threatening invasive mycoses and other bacterial, fungal, and viral infections in immunocompromised children and adults. These objectives are achieved through laboratory investigations using parallel in vitro systems, and robustly predictive in vivo animal model systems, leading to phase-I, phase-II, and phase-III clinical trials. The Programʼs current targeted laboratory investigations and clinical trials in medical mycology include invasive candidiasis, pulmonary aspergillosis, mucormycosis, fusariosis, and phaeohyphomycosis.


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters   



My mission as a physician-scientist in Medical Mycology is to improve the lives of patients suffering from invasive mycoses through direct care, translational research, mentoring, and teaching. I have been teaching Medical Mycology for three decades. The ASM Distinguished Lecture Program provides a wonderful opportunity to share this teaching experience and knowledge of Medical Mycology. As clinical microbiology laboratories and microbiologists encounter an ever expanding and challenging array of invasive fungal infections, the need for ongoing education and training is imperative for patient care, quality laboratory management, and basic understanding. During the past 32 years, I have taught Medical Mycology with the highest dedication to more than 6,000 medical students and graduate students in their core medical mycology courses in three universities. In further fulfillment of this educational mission, I have given numerous regional, national, and international lectures in Medical Mycology. In addition, I have mentored more than 180 trainees from 32 different countries, many of whom are recognized leaders in Medical Mycology and who continue the traditions of excellence in this vital field. As a member of the ASM since 1979, I have served as Division F Chair and Councilor, Member of the General Meeting Program Committee, Member of the Working Group for Coordination and Planning for Clinical Microbiology Sessions for the newly structured ASM General Meeting in 2011 and the Clinical Microbiology Task Force, 2010-2011, chair or convener of more than 20 educational or research roundtables, panels, symposia, or sessions, and the current lead author of ASMʼs premier textbook of medical mycology, Laroneʼs Medically Important Fungi, 6th edition. In summary, I believe that my combined multidisciplinary clinical and laboratory expertise, broad knowledge in Medical Mycology, and dedication to mentoring and teaching an entire generation of professionals will be a powerful asset to the ASM Distinguished Lecture Program.  

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Donald W. Schaffner

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Donald W. Schaffner (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19)       

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

65 Dudley Road

New Brunswick, NJ 08901    


Phone: 732-982-7475

Fax:     732-932-6776



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division        P          Food Microbiology

Secondary Division    Y         Public Health  




Should You Eat That? The Science behind the Five-second Rule

The popular notion of the “five-second rule” is that food dropped on the floor and left there for <5 seconds is “safe” because bacteria need time to transfer. Until recently, the rule had only been explored by a single study in the published literature and on at least two television shows. Dr. Schaffner and a graduate student recently published an extensive study in the ASM journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology with over 2,500 observations exploring the science behind the rule. In this talk Dr. Schaffner explains his reasons for undertaking this research, and the relevance of the findings for everyday life.


Handwashing and Hand Sanitizers from the Perspective of a Food Microbiologist

Over the past 15 years, Dr. Schaffner and his team have published on quantification and variability of bacterial cross-contamination rates in the kitchen, the effectiveness of glove barriers to bacterial cross-contamination, the suitability of alcohol-based hand sanitizer as an alternative to handwashing, an analysis of the published literature on the effectiveness of antimicrobial soaps, the effect of hand wash duration, soap use, ground beef debris, and drying methods on the removal of bacteria on hands, and the use of microbial risk assessment techniques to quantify the effect of antibacterial hand hygiene products on risk of shigellosis. This talk will provide an overview of how one food microbiologist looks at foodborne disease risk, and the role that handwashing and hand sanitizers can play in reducing that risk.


Food Safety Modeling and Risk Assessment for Fun and Profit  

This talk will provide an overview of the predictive microbiology and quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) as practiced by Dr. Schaffner’s lab. A variety of case studies will be used to demonstrate the application of these two tools. Case studies can be customized to areas of interest to the local Branch.    



Dr. Donald W. Schaffner is Distinguished Professor and Extension Specialist in Food Science at Rutgers University. His research interests include quantitative microbial risk assessment and predictive food microbiology and he has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers on these and other topics. Dr. Schaffner has served on a variety of national and international expert committees, including service to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Dr. Schaffner is active in several scientific associations including the International Association for Food Protection, the Institute of Food Technologists, the Society for Risk Analysis, and the American Society for Microbiology. He was elected a Fellow of the IFT in 2010, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2014, and of IAFP in 2017, and is an Editor for the ASM journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Dr. Schaffner holds a B.S. in Food Science from Cornell University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Georgia. He co-hosts a podcast on microbial food safety for professionals and the public, available at  


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters  



I have been part of similar speaker programs for the Institute of Food Technologists, and the International Association for Food Protection in the past, and I have enjoyed the experience of traveling to speak to local organizations affiliated with national groups of which I am a member. I was delighted to learn that ASM has a similar program, and that I was being considered to be part of it. As a longtime member of ASM, and as an editor for Applied and Environmental Microbiology for more than 10 years, I am strongly committed to ASM, and to the field of applied microbiology. While I consider myself a food microbiologist, I do have broad interests that include the application of mathematics and statistics to solving microbiological problems. While we have done research primarily in the area of food microbiology, we are also very interested in handwashing and cross-contamination broadly applied. I'm strongly committed to graduate students, and I currently serve as the Graduate Program Director for the Food Science graduate program. I'm also active in the graduate program in Microbial Biology at Rutgers. I run my lab with M.S. and Ph.D. students, with a complement of undergrads working for research credits and hourly wages. 

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Henry Neal Williams, Ph.D.

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018


Henry Neal Williams, Ph.D. (term: 7/1/16 through 6/30/18)

School of the Environment

Florida A&M University

FS Humphries Science Research Complex

1515 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard

Tallahassee, FL  32301


Phone: 850-599-3550

Phone: 410-627-4336



Speaker’s Websites:




Primary Division:  N (Microbial Ecology)

Secondary Division:  Q (Environmental & General Applied Microbiology)                                        



The Life and Times of Bdellovibrio and Like Organisms, the World’s Smallest Predator    

Bdellovibrio-like predatory bacteria which prey on many Gram-negative bacterial species are widely distributed in the environment, water, soil, sewage, animals and plant roots and rhizophere.  Through predation and killing of other bacteria, they are believed to play a role in bacterial mortality and controlling bacterial populations, including human pathogens, in nature along with bacteriophage and protists.  They also are involved in the cycling of nutrients.  In this talk, the ecology of these predatory bacteria will be discussed along with their unique biphasic life cycle, distribution and factors which influence it, interaction with other bacteria including pathogens, and future potential for practical uses in controlling human, animal and plant pathogens.    


Predatory Bacteria and Bacteriophage: Antagonists or Conspirators?  

Predatory bacteria such as Halobacteriovorax and other Bdellovibrio-like organisms and bacteriophage infect and kill bacteria resulting in bacterial mortality and control of bacterial populations.  Both Bdellovibrio-like predators and bacteriophage are obligate predators, requiring prey (or host) cells to multiply and sustain their populations.  In some cases they prey on the same bacterial strains.  In seeking prey and controlling bacterial populations, are they antagonists/protagonist or co-conspirators)?   This talk will explore this question. 


Environmental Factors Orchestrate Bacterial Predators and Predation  

Nature has provided several, and perhaps more, predators of bacteria, ostensibly to contribute, along with physical and chemical factors, to the control of bacteria in the environment.  Do these predators work in concert or independent of each other?  Is there an influence by the environment?  This talk will address this issue.


Mentoring Outside the Box  

It is widely agreed that good mentoring is a critical aspect of students’ success and also in producing sufficient numbers of scientists and technical professionals to meet the needs of the nation’s workforce for the future.  It is also acknowledged that many students who enter into the sciences subsequently drop out or change fields and are drained from the pipeline.  This talk will explore how different mentoring approaches may improve this outcome. 


Diversity and Inclusion in Science – Making it Happen: The Story of One Scientist  

Henry Neal Williams believes he has achieved success in producing a diversified and inclusive group of scientists.  He also believes that elements of his approach are applicable to others.  In this talk he will share his approach. 


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH – Henry Neal Williams, Ph.D.

Dr. Henry N. Williams, Professor at the School of the Environment at Florida A&M University, has over 40 years of experience in higher education and research and is considered the leading authority on the ecology of the Bdellovibrio and like predatory bacteria.  Another area of his research has been the microbiological quality of dental unit water supply.  He has extensive experience as a lecturer and seminar speaker and has been invited to make presentations of his research at many national and international scientific meetings and universities.  Williams has published several book chapters and over 50 papers in peer reviewed scientific journals, some of which have been cited as landmark contributions to the field.  Reviews of his published works have been positive.  Links to Nature reviews and to blog:

Williams has organized and convened ASM General Meeting symposia and sessions and has served as President of the Maryland Branch of ASM.  He has been invited to serve as an ad hoc reviewer for several scientific journals.  He has been awarded many grants from both government agencies and private organizations, and has been nationally recognized for mentoring of students at all levels.  In 2003, Dr. Williams was elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology.

CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters



I want to participate in the ASMDL program to share topics that are novel, engaging and appealing to audiences in various fields of microbiology, from ecology and clinical to basic science.  A primary topic will be the ecology of the bacterial predators, Bdellovibrio and like organisms (BALOs), among the most fascinating bacteria in the microbial world.  They are among the smallest and fastest bacteria known.  My passion for understanding the role of BALOs in bacterial mortality, the microbial loop, and potential as a live antibiotic comes across in my presentations.  Further, my participation adds diversity to the program in both topic and ethnicity (African American).  My commitment to students and postdoctoral associates is nationally recognized; e.g., recipient of the ASM William A. Hinton Research Training Award, and the Role Model of Year Award by American Role Models Conference.

My commitment to ASM is demonstrated by active membership for 40 years, contributing to the science and community; e.g., organized/convened three General Meeting sessions, served as ASM Congressional Science Fellow, AAM Fellow, AAM Symposium panel, and co-chaired Task Force on Minority Participation within ASM, mentored an ASM Undergraduate Research Fellow and in the ASM Mentoring Program, reviewed for ASM and more than 12 other journals, most recently Nature and Nature Communications.

My vision/philosophy is to better understand microorganisms and how to apply their power.  My purpose is to share my knowledge and expertise with future scientists and to bring greater diversity to science.  I would be a good fit for the ASMDL program because people find me approachable, interactive and engaging. 

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Beronda L. Montgomery

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Beronda L. Montgomery (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19)       

DOE Plant Research Laboratory

Michigan State University

612 Wilson Road, Room 106

East Lansing, MI 48824


Phone: 517-353-7802

Fax:     517-353-9168



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division        H         Genetics & Molecular Biology

Secondary Division    K         Microbial Physiology & Metabolism         




Seeing the Light: Color Vision and Developmental Acclimation in Cyanobacteria  

Photosynthetic organisms exhibit finely tuned abilities to sense and respond to changes in their ambient environment. As light is used to drive photosynthesis, which results in the production of chemical energy and important reductants, the perception of light and the resulting physiological and developmental changes that occur are among the most important adaptations in these organisms. Cyanobacteria respond to changes in light in a process known as chromatic acclimation, which tunes physiology and photosynthetic pigmentation to light cues. The photoreceptors and associated signaling pathways used to tune cellular responses and thus organismal fitness in cyanobacteria are described.


First Insight into Second Messengers: Roles of Cyclic Dinucleotides in Environmental Responses in Cyanobacteria  

Cyclic dinucleotides have only recently been investigated as second messengers in photosynthetic bacteria, including cyanobacteria. Photosynthetic organisms, such as cyanobacteria, are sensitive to changes in the light environment, a response which is linked to their ability to use light energy for production of chemical energy in the form of sugars. Recent studies indicated that second messengers are key molecules used by cyanobacteria to adapt to changes in the external environment. Ongoing studies in the Montgomery lab are providing significant insight into the roles of these second messengers in regulating life styles and evolution of cyanobacterial strains and providing tools for use in biotechnological or optogenetic applications.    


Shaping Up: Photoregulation of Cellular Morphology in Cyanobacteria  

Photosynthetic organisms depend upon light for carbon fixation and production of reductant. Thus, the ability to adapt to changes in the photoenvironment is critical. Some cyanobacteria alter the shape and volume of their cells in response to changes in ambient light, including changes in light intensity and predominant wavelengths or colors of light available. In this talk, the distinct molecular mechanisms used by these organisms to “shape up” in response to light are discussed, including parallels to known bacterial morphogenesis-regulating mechanisms and novel means used by cyanobacteria.


Lighting the Way: Building Bridges to Access and Success  

This topic involves translating the lessons that have emerged from investigating the specific ways in which largely immobile organisms adapt their patterns of growth and development to fluctuations in external environmental parameters to increase their survival and productivity to mentoring and professional development interventions. These lessons are intended to inform practices that promote the success of students and junior faculty in academic sciences. Discussed are evidence-based practices for supporting the comprehensive development of a diverse range of students and postdoctoral scientists as experimentalists, scientific thinkers and future independent scientists and practitioners.                                            


Cultivating a Career: From Seeds of Inspiration to a Harvest of Discovery, Mentoring & Transformation  

The cultivation of an integrated career that supports progressive research, education and service requires planning, strategic and intentional engagement of mentors, and career envisioning. I describe my path to date which has included key branch points that have advanced my core research in photobiology, while providing complementary opportunities to acquire new skills and integrate engagement in mentoring and leadership scholarship.   


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH – Beronda L. Montgomery

Dr. Beronda Montgomery completed doctoral studies at the University of California, Davis and was a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University. She is MSU Foundation Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Microbiology & Molecular Genetics in the Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory and Assistant Provost for Faculty Development – Research at Michigan State University. Dr. Montgomery’s laboratory investigates the mechanisms by which organisms such as plants and cyanobacteria which have limited mobility are able to monitor and adjust to changes in their external environment. The ability of these largely immobile organisms to adapt their patterns of growth and development to fluctuations in external environmental parameters, such as light and nutrient availability, increases their survival and maximizes their growth and productivity. Dr. Montgomery also conducts scholarship and training initiatives on mentoring, including issues related to mentoring diverse students and junior scientists, as well as faculty development. Her scholarly efforts have been recognized by receipt of an NSF CAREER Award, selection as a finalist in the 2014 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professors Competition, and as 2015 Michigan State University Nominee for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) U.S. Professor of the Year Award.


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters   



Participation in the ASMDL program provides new opportunities for me to engage with the microbiology community as a scientist-educator. It has been my long-standing career philosophy to build a competitive research program, while simultaneously ensuring that the research and training environment provides the highest level of evidence-based mentoring to ensure success of each of the individuals with whom I have the privilege to work. In these efforts, my group has developed robust research to understand dynamic molecular processes used by photosynthetic organisms to adapt to changes in their environment. As a part of my efforts to promote research excellence and sustained mentoring of scientists, including a targeted focus on those individuals from groups underrepresented in academe, I served for six years as Chair of the Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship and Professional Development Programs. Initially largely an ASM fellowship program, the Watkins Fellowship grew into a comprehensive academic and professional development program for sustained exposure of doctoral students to diverse career opportunities, long-term engagement of individuals in supportive career networks, and the provision of progressive mentoring under my leadership. Additionally, I served as founding chair of the steering committee and co-PI of a NSF-funded structured mentoring effort with ASM. In additional efforts in support of graduate students and postdocs, I serve as a mentor training specialist and as a consultant with several national graduate and postdoctoral training programs and academic institutions on issues related to mentoring diverse students and junior scientists, as well as development and support of faculty.

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Christine White-Ziegler

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Speaker Term: July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018


Christine White-Ziegler (term: 7/1/16 through 6/30/18)

Smith College

Ford Hall 110

Northampton, MA  01063


Phone: 413-585-3815

Fax:    413-585-4534   



Speaker’s Websites:



Primary Division:  B (Microbial Pathogens)

Secondary Division:  K (Microbial Physiology & Metabolism)                                       



There’s No Place Like Host: Comparative Transcriptome Studies of Pathogenic and Commensal E. Coli in Response to Human Body Temperature  

We have completed temperature upshifts from room temperature to human body temperature (23˚C to 37˚C) in a nonpathogenic, uropathogenic, and enteropathogenic strain of E. coli to mimic the temperature transitions experienced as a bacterium enters a human host.  Transcriptome studies in each organism characterize what bacterial genes may be more highly expressed in the host, and allow us to build models of how temperature may cue adaptive responses in each strain.  In addition, identification of conserved thermoregulatory responses between the strains may elucidate targets for novel antimicrobial therapies.   


Stress Responses to the Ups and Downs of Temperature Changes  

The transitions between temperatures elicit a number of stress response pathways, ranging from the broad general stress (RpoS) response to more narrowly defined regulons.  These and a variety of metabolic pathways are quickly altered in response to temperature, suggesting that temperature may be a sentinel cue for anticipating and preparing the organism for new environments. 


From RNA to RNA-Seq: Bringing Next Gen Sequencing Technology into the Undergraduate Laboratory  

I recently taught a course-based research experience in which students utilized RNA-Seq, a next generation sequencing method, to analyze the expression pattern of every gene in an organism in response to varying environmental cues.  In this primarily laboratory-based course, each group of students designed and implemented an independent project on how bacteria respond to changes in their surroundings that may impact survival, transmission, or infection.  Going from sample preparation through bioinformatic analyses, the students used state-of-the-art molecular techniques to complete their experiments.  The course culminated in each group presenting and writing about their research in professional format.  This was completed in collaboration with our core Center for Molecular Biology and might serve as a model for involving advanced undergraduates in novel research. 


Doing It All: Teaching and Research at an Undergraduate Institution

As a professor at a small liberal arts college, I have taught a variety of courses along with having an undergraduate driven research lab that has been funded periodically by an NIH AREA grant.  My college is well equipped and has a high level of research support, making transcriptomics and proteomics accessible for the students in my lab.  I am happy to provide a career talk or Q&A session to discuss the variations in the balance between research and teaching that occurs at different types of colleges and discuss advice on how to get a job at a liberal arts institution.


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH – Christine White-Ziegler

Christine White-Ziegler is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Program in Biochemistry at Smith College, an all-women’s liberal arts college located in Northampton, Massachusetts.  In collaboration with the numerous undergraduates she has mentored in her laboratory, she explores how commensal and pathogenic bacteria sense and respond to temperature, responses that may facilitate survival and colonization in a host and lead to infection.  She has frequently presented her research at national ASM meetings and the Gordon Conference on Microbial Stress Response, the latter of which she co-chaired in 2014.  At Smith College, she teaches courses in microbiology, immunology, and microbial pathogenesis.  She serves as Director of the Center for Molecular Biology, a core facility that emphasizes the integration of cutting edge molecular biology techniques in undergraduate courses, research and K-12 outreach.  Using the Center resources, she recently developed an advanced course-based research experience using RNA-Seq on which she will give a talk at the upcoming ASM Microbe 2016.

CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters



As an active researcher at a primarily undergraduate institution, I am highly committed to undergraduate research training and teaching.  I can bring a unique perspective to the ASM Distinguished Lecturer program about the research training and teaching of microbiology that is occurring at the undergraduate level in liberal arts colleges that are highly research active.  The pedagogy of scientific teaching recently emphasizes (1) how to do science and (2) the involvement of students in novel projects through course-based research experiences.  The integration of undergraduates as the primary participants in research labs or CRE courses achieves both of these goals.  Through my research program, I enjoy the opportunity to highlight how undergraduates can contribute to peer reviewed investigations of important microbiological problems and how this type of training prepares them for entry level positions or graduate school.  ASM has offered my undergraduates the unique and valued opportunity to present their research in a national forum; I would like to give back to ASM by highlighting for others how the support of students at this level builds our scientific pipeline, particularly in microbiology.

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Harry L. T. Mobley, Ph.D.

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Harry L.T. Mobley, Ph.D. (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19)       

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

University of Michigan Medical School

5641 Medical Science Building II

1150 West Medical Center Drive

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0620


Phone: 734-764-1466

Fax:     734-763-7163



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division        B         Microbial Pathogens

Secondary Division    D         Microbe-Host Interactions        




Bacterial Gene Expression during Human Infection  

Our traditional definition of bacterial virulence has been based on in vitro measurements of adherence, iron acquisition, toxin activity, protein secretion, and motility. Now we must consider what metabolic pathways are in play, what transport systems must be active, and, most importantly, which genes are actually being expressed during human infection. Novel techniques including RNA-Seq and Tn-Seq allow us to identify the most highly expressed genes and which genes are essential during actual infections. This leads to a better understanding of how bacterial pathogens outfox our immune defenses.


Strategies for Development of Vaccines against Mucosal Infections  

Using our current genomic tools, we no longer have to guess about what components we should include in a vaccine against a mucosal infection. Based on the genomic sequence of a bacterium, we can predict and test for which proteins reside on the bacterial surface, determine whether an immune response detects the antigen during experimental infection, determine precisely which genes are expressed during experimental, and in some cases, human infection, and determine whether those genes are essential for colonization and infection. Using all of these criteria, rational selection of antigens for a vaccine can be made and quickly tested.  


Stones, Spears and Swarming: Bacterial Social Aggression at Its Worst  

One of the most extraordinary bacterial species is a creature called Proteus mirabilis. This Gram-negative bacterial rod, named for the Greek god who changed shape to avoid capture, has fascinated microbiologists for more than a century with its unique swarming differentiation on agar plates, killing of opposing bacteria, and potent urease activity responsible for bladder and kidney stone formation. Transcriptome profiling during both host infection and swarming motility, coupled with the genome sequence, has revealed the mechanism of interbacterial competition and killing by use of a type VI secretion system, which injects toxins into the opposing bacteria. The bacterium also switches neatly between an adherent form and wildly swarming motile form.



Harry Mobley received his B.S. degree in Biology from Emory University in 1975 and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from University of Louisville in 1981. He conducted postdoctoral training in Biological Chemistry and Bacterial Genetics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He served on the faculty there from 1984 until 2004 and led the graduate program. In 2004, Mobley moved to the University of Michigan to chair the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and was installed as the Frederick G. Novy Collegiate Professor. Dr. Mobley, a fellow in AAAS and the American Academy of Microbiology, chaired the Pathogenesis and Host Response Mechanisms group of ASM. He serves on the editorial review board of Infection and Immunity and on NIH study sections. His research interests focus on the molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis. His lab studies virulence mechanisms of uropathogenic Escherichia coli and Proteus mirabilis and formerly studied Helicobacter pylori that causes peptic ulcer disease. Dr. Mobley has published 240 peer-reviewed articles, 38 book chapters and 4 books. His work has been cited in the literature nearly 15,000 times. He has trained 29 Ph.D. students and 34 postdoctoral fellows, and has delivered 201 invited lectures in 20 countries.


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters  



I currently serve as Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and served as Graduate Program Director at my previous institution, University of Maryland School of Medicine. I am most proud of receiving university-wide mentoring awards at both Maryland and Michigan. ASM has shaped my career as a microbiologist, being a member since 1977. During that time, I was invited speaker at eleven meetings including Division B Lecture in 2014 and have organized five sessions. I have been committed to service to ASM, serving as Division B Chair and two terms as Division II (Pathogenesis and Host Response Mechanisms) Representative and on General Meeting Planning and Colloquium Committees. I was honored as candidate for President-Elect in 2011. I have served on the Infection and Immunity Editorial Board since 1993 and have edited two books for ASM Press: Urinary Tract Infections - Molecular Pathogenesis and Clinical Management; and Helicobacter pylori - Physiology and Genetics. My lab has presented 148 abstracts at the General Meeting (Microbe Meeting). With respect to speaking, I have delivered 201 invited lectures in 20 countries. Indeed, presenting talks for the purpose of educating the next generation of scientists is one of my greatest joys. Interacting with students and postdocs could not be more enjoyable and rewarding. Seeing the development of young scientists and their career development is one reason I do the job I do. I believe that I could represent ASM well in the ASMDL program, reaching out to our next career microbiologists and passing on the passion for our field.    

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Melanie R. Mormile

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018


Melanie R. Mormile (term: 7/1/16 through 6/30/18) - Waksman Foundation Lecturer

Department of Biological Sciences

Missouri University of Science and Technology

400 W. 11th Street

Rolla, MO  65409-1120


Phone: 573-341-6346

Fax:     573-341-4821



Speaker’s Website: 



Primary Division:  Q (Environmental & General Applied Microbiology)

Secondary Division:  W (Microbiology Education)                                         



Going from Microbial Ecology to Genome Data and Back Again:  Studies on a Haloalkaliphilic Bacterium Isolated from Soap Lake, Washington State  

This talk was developed to explore whether the annotation of genes in the Halanaerobium hydrogeniformans genome reflected the extreme conditions in Soap Lake that is highly alkaline with a mineral content 10 X that of the oceans.  The organism possesses many genes that apparently provide it with the capability of thriving under both saline and alkaline conditions.  The most abundant COG genes are also investigated.  In addition, comparisons can be made between the genome of H. hydrogeniformans and other species of Halanaerobium.


Industrially Relevant Metabolic Activities of a Haloalkaliphilic Bacterium Isolated from Soap Lake, Washington  

Extreme environments present the opportunity to isolate bacteria and/or their genes for use during industrial processes.  Halanaerobium hydrogeniformans was isolated from Soap Lake, a salty alkaline lake in Washington State.  H. hydrogeniformans is capable of producing hydrogen from biomass that has been alkaline-pretreated without the need for adjusting the pH to neutral or diluting out the salts.  In addition, this organism can form propanediol, a commodity chemical, from glycerol, a waste product from biodiesel production.  This talk will illustrate how extremophilic environments can be a source of industrially relevant bacteria and/or their genes.    


Are There Martians in Australia?  How Acid Saline Lakes Can Serve as a Mars Analog  

People have long wondered if there is life on Mars.  With the confirmation of the presence of water on Mars, this question is seriously considered.  The acidic saline lakes of Australia serve as analogs for previous bodies of water on Mars.  The microbial communities in these extreme sites can provide targets for the investigation of the possible presence of life on Mars. 


How Extremophiles Can Provide Undergraduate Students with Experiential Learning  

Missouri University of Science and Technology requires that all undergraduate students have exposure to experiential learning.  Undergraduate research opportunities on extremophilic bacteria provide an exceptionally good way for students to participate in research experiences.  In addition, extremophilic exploration can be integrated into experiences such as contributing to the Mars Rover Design Team, a student group that participates in competitions, both nationally and internationally.



Dr. Melanie Mormile is an environmental microbiologist who specializes in extremophiles; e.g., halophilic bacteria.  She has published extensively in this field and holds two patents on the use of a haloalkaliphilic bacterium for biohydrogen production and has a patent pending on the use of this organism to form propanediol from glycerol, a biodiesel waste.  She is one of a very limited number of researchers who have studied the microbial populations in both saline alkaline and saline acidic environments.  She has extensive experience in performing research with Masters- and undergraduate-level students.  Dr. Mormile was interviewed by the British Broadcasting Corporation for inclusion on their Horizon episode covering the possibility of life elsewhere in our solar system.

CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters



  • Why Lecturer Wants to Be a Part of the ASMDL Program:  The lecturers who were a part of the ASMDL program when I was a graduate student truly inspired me.  Long after the regional meeting was held, I was impressed that these people remembered me.  I would like to provide similar inspiration, advice and encouragement to the students at these meetings.
  • What Lecturer Will Bring to the ASMDL Program:  Since Biology at Missouri S&T does not have a Ph.D. program, my research has been carried out with Masters-level and undergraduate students. Therefore, I represent a unique perspective in the ASMDL program.
  • Lecturer’s Commitment to Students/Postdocs:  Early career scientists are the future of our discipline.  I cherish opportunities to hear about their experiences and discuss how they may fulfill their career objectives and possibly balance work/personal life issues.
  • Lecturer’s Commitment to ASM and to Microbiology:  Since I was a Masters student in 1985, I have been a member of ASM.  My career path has never strayed from environmental microbiology.
  • Lecturer’s Vision/Philosophy/Statement of Purpose:  In my interactions with students and others that I mentor, I seek to be a problem solver.  I also look for ways to meld basic research with practical applications, such as the use of extremophilic bacteria for industrial purposes.
  • Any Other Relevant Information as to Why Lecturer Is a Good Match for the ASMDL Program:  As a graduate student, I gave my first paper at an ASM Branch meeting.  Since becoming a faculty member at Missouri S&T, I have gained much from serving at almost all officer ranks of the Missouri Branch.  The opportunity to serve the ASM Branches in the capacity of the ASMDL program would allow me to return the benefits that I obtained early in my career.

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Ilhem Messaoudi-Powers, Ph.D.

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Ilhem Messaoudi-Powers, Ph.D. (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19)

Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

School of Biological Sciences

University of California Irvine

2400 Biological Sciences III

Irvine, CA 92697-3099          


Phone: 949-824-3078



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division        E          Immunology

Secondary Division    D         Microbe-Host Interactions      




Ebola Virus: From Mechanisms of Disease to Vaccination Strategies

This lecture will discuss why Ebola virus is so deadly and vaccination strategies to protect populations at risk.


Aging and Immune Response to Infection

By 2020, one third of the US population will be older than 65. This group is very vulnerable to specific infections. This lecture will explain why older individuals are at greater risk for infection and what we are doing to mitigate this risk.


How Alcohol Consumption Alters Our Immune Defense Mechanisms

Almost 70% of the US population consumes alcohol and 10-14% develop alcohol use disorder. This is associated with increased risk of infection, but the mechanisms are not very clear. This lecture will discuss how alcohol consumption alters the epigenetic and transcriptional landscape of the immune system.


Obesity during Pregnancy and Its Impact on Neonatal Immunity

Infants born to mothers who started their pregnancy as obese experience a greater number of admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit due to sepsis and enterocolitis. The reasons behind this higher vulnerability to infection are starting to emerge. This lecture will review our current understanding of the neonatal immune system and the impact of maternal obesity.  


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH – Ilhem Messaoudi-Powers, Ph.D.

Dr. Ilhem Messaoudi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and an Affiliate Scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. She received her B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Lafayette College (Easton, Pennsylvania) in 1996, followed by a joint doctorate degree in immunology from The Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 2001. She then carried out her post-doctoral training at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and Oregon National Primate Research Center. Dr. Messaoudi became an Assistant Professor at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, OHSU in October 2008, and in January 2013 joined the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine as an Associate Professor. Her research program is focused on studying: 1) host-pathogen interactions in a variety of viral infection models; 2) impact of chronic ethanol consumption on immune function; 3) impact of maternal obesity and nutrition on neonatal immunity; and 4) impact of age-related decline in sex steroid levels (and estrogen and androgen supplementation) on immunity. Dr. Messaoudi is the recipient of the Nathan Shock Junior Investigator Award, Brookdale Leadership in Aging Fellowship, Dolph O’ Adams Award and Women and Diversity Paper of the Year from the Society of Leukocyte Biology.


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters  



My journey to becoming a biomedical researcher who studies infectious diseases and vaccines has been far from traditional and has imbued me with a strong commitment to training the next generation of microbiologists. I was born and raised in the small African nation of Tunisia. My interest in microbiology was cultivated as I watched my paraplegic aunt struggle daily with the debilitating effects of polio. I was fortunate to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and then a Ph.D. in immunology in the United States. My life experiences are not dissimilar to those of first generation students who have to overcome significant hurdles in the pursuit of higher education. Moreover, growing up as a young Arab woman who wanted to be a microbiologist like Louis Pasteur, I know first-hand how insurmountable the challenges of restrictive cultural norms, gender stereotypes, and implicit bias can seem. I am greatly appreciative of the support I received and cognizant that my successes come on the shoulders of others. I am committed to repaying that forward, and believe that the ASMDL program will provide me with an opportunity to motivate and inspire the next generation of scientists, especially those from under-represented minorities. I will bring to this program not only my love for microbiology and my enthusiasm for the changes that ASM is undergoing, but a rare expertise in viral immunology with an emphasis in nonhuman primate models of emerging viral diseases and my international upbringing that allows me to speak to a broader audience.   

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Nancy S. Miller, M.D.

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018


Nancy S. Miller, M.D. (term: 7/1/16 through 6/30/18)

Department of Laboratory Medicine

Boston Medical Center

1 BMC Place

670 Albany Street, Suite #733

Boston, MA  02118


Phone: 617-638-8705

Fax:     617-638-4556



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division:  C (Clinical Microbiology)                                       



Case-based Potpourri: Challenges, Conundrums, and Lessons Learned  

An audience-interactive favorite!  From Dr. Miller’s log book, case-based presentations are used to illustrate a spectrum of clinical and laboratory challenges such as, when to say yes, no, or maybe; noteworthy practice standards; what to do with new or no guidelines; trials of taxonomy; temptations of technology; phenotypic triumphs; odd observations; and lessons learned. [Intermediate to advanced; but there’s plenty for beginners to enjoy as well]


Point of Care Meets Microbiology: What We Have, What We Need, What Is on the Way? Preparing for the Next Frontier at Point-of-Care!  

The last decade has seen an explosion of new technology for infectious diseases diagnostics including point-of-care applications.  This whirlwind tour briefly reviews point-of-care basics and explores some key considerations: How do we bring the microbiology laboratory to the bedside?  Do we really need to do it?  Is there a Holy Grail of diagnostics?  What defines success at the point-of-care here and in the global community?  This presentation points the way to the new frontier at point-of-care! [Basic to intermediate]


Diagnostic Algorithms: A Study in Black, White, and Gray  

A review of current algorithms and approaches that govern specific infectious diseases testing and how they may succeed, struggle or fail to pin-the-tail on the diagnostic question.  Examples may include: Syphilis, Lyme disease, HIV, C. difficile disease, and pneumocystis pneumonia, etc. [Basic to intermediate]


Blood Culture Best Practices  

Blood cultures have been called “the most important test performed by the clinical microbiology laboratory.”  Equally important are the various mythologies, uncertainties, and controversies associated with optimal blood culture practices.  This is a review of the mythology, guidelines and literature meant to inform laboratory and clinical practice. [Basic to intermediate-plus]


Fungal Fest – A Primer of Medical Mycology

Yeast and mould.  Friend and foe.  Some live with us, on us, and inside us.  Others are ubiquitous environmental dwellers.  Who are they?  What laboratory and clinical challenges do they pose?  Here’s an opportunity to find out more about fungal phenomena or to refresh your memory!  This primer covers a variety of medically important fungi and includes audience-interactive quizzes. [Basic to intermediate]


Administrative Clinical Microbiology (Three Separate 1-Hour Lecture Options):  

Planning for New Diagnostic Platforms or Tests – What to Pick and How to Choose?

Rock, paper, scissors!  In this dynamic era of diagnostics how do we plan and pick new instruments and tests for the microbiology laboratory?  Who, what, where, when and why?  Do you have a scheme to help tackle the 5 W’s? [Basic to intermediate]


Cost Analysis for New Tests and Presentation to Leadership

This is an introduction to definitions, examples, and calculations relevant to budget, financial considerations, and justification to leadership – focusing on new tests and instruments; includes SWOT analysis, cost categorization, break-even analysis, return-on-investment, and the basics of dynamic financial models. [Basic to intermediate-plus]


Occupy Call Street! Reconsidering Critical Action Values for Clinical Microbiology

In spite of general regulatory oversight of critical action values (CAV), individual policy revisions are left to the discretion of laboratory directors in conjunction with their clinical communities.  With regard to clinical microbiology and CAV, discussion in published literature is limited.  Reconsideration of microbiology CAV policy benefits from an organized approach and reconciliation of different perspectives and resources.  Recent experiences and considerations for the future are presented. [All levels of experience]



Nancy S. Miller, M.D. is a board-certified pathologist (Anatomic and Clinical Pathology) with a fellowship in medical microbiology (all at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions).  She is currently Medical Director of Clinical Microbiology & Molecular Diagnostics at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and is an Associate Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.  At BMC, Dr. Miller is immersed in the daily challenges of diagnostic microbiology within a complex environment.  In addition, she nurtures interests in practice standards, policy, and process improvement.  She was a contributor to the CLSI M52 Verification of Commercial Microbial Identification and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Systems (2015).  Currently she serves on two working groups: (1) Protocol development for validation of endoscope culturing and reprocessing quality monitor (ASM-CDC-FDA); and (2) Evidence-based Laboratory Practice Guideline on C. difficile, (ASM-CDC).  Dr. Miller has various teaching responsibilities that include laboratory and medical house staff, students, and peers.  She is faculty and a lecturer for workshops at ASM General Meetings and at national and regional professional events.  Her research focus is translational.  She is a clinical Principal Investigator for projects involving new diagnostics for infectious diseases and she serves on expert panels for development and implementation of new assays and instrumentation. 

Dr. Miller has served two terms as President of the Northeast Branch of ASM (2014-2016).


Summary of Professional Experience Relevant to the ASMDL Program – Nancy S. Miller, M.D. 

  • Current Appointments:
    1. Medical Director, Clinical Microbiology and Molecular Diagnostics, Boston Medical Center
    2. Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • My experience in clinical microbiology is broad and deep, including diagnostics, clinical care, process improvement, informatics, and new technologies and their impact on the core lab and at point-of-care.
  • My lectures reflect the dynamic nature of clinical and academic microbiology across a range of experience and topics. Presentations are designed to engage, educate, and encourage audience interaction.
  • Recent presentations at an introductory- and intermediate-level include: The shift to culture-independent technology, basic molecular techniques, lab biosafety preparedness, and the evolution of infectious diseases testing at point-of-care.  Intermediate- to advanced-level lectures include: Optimal blood culture practices, a medical mycology primer, Lyme disease diagnostics and controversies, fecal microbiota transplants, lab considerations in an era of improved microbial identification, planning for new diagnostic assays and platforms, cost assessment for new tests, and a variety of case-based diagnostic challenges.
  • Current teaching responsibilities include leadership roles and presentations to clinical peers, medical house staff, laboratory staff, and students:
    1. Convener and lecturer at professional conferences and student-centric events, including:
      1. American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
      2. Northeast Branch of ASM and other Region I Branches of ASM
      3. Northeast Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease
      4. American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science–Central New England
    2. Lecturer, “General Pathology of Infectious Diseases,” Graduate School course, Pathology and Pathophysiology of Disease, Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM)
    3. Director and teacher, Microbiology laboratory orientation and core didactics, Infectious Diseases fellows and PharmD residents, Boston Medical Center (BMC)
    4. Director and teacher, Medical Microbiology weekly tutorial, Pathology residents, BUSM
    5. Co-director and lecturer, Infectious Diseases elective, medical students, BUSM
    6. Ad hoc faculty mentor, medical technologist students on clinical lab internship at BMC
    7. Continuing Education seminars for laboratory staff, BMC
    8. Ad hoc lectures for house staff and medical students, BMC and BUSM
  • Ongoing professional commitment to ASM and microbiology – recent activities include:
    1. President, Northeast Branch ASM (2014-2016, 2 terms)
    2. Workshop Faculty, ASM General Meetings (2012, 2014-2016)
    3. Symposium co-convener, ASM General Meeting, 2014
    4. Contributor, Document Development Committee: Verification of Commercial Microbial Identification and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Systems, 1st ed. CLSI M52, 2015
    5. Member, Working Group: Protocol development for validation of endoscope culturing and reprocessing quality monitor, joint effort by ASM, CDC, and FDA
    6. Member, Working Group: Evidence-based Laboratory Practice Guideline on C. difficile, joint effort by ASM and CDC, Laboratory Medicine Best Practice initiative

CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters



It is a privilege to represent the ASM educational mission by participating in the Distinguished Lecturer program.  At work and as President of the Northeast Branch of ASM, I’ve had the pleasure of convening and participating in various educational conferences and events.  The camaraderie and mentorship provided by these activities is inspiring and important to our profession, particularly with regard to students and those just beginning their careers. My experience in clinical microbiology includes diagnostics and clinical care, process improvement, informatics, and new technologies and their impact on the core lab and at point-of-care.  My presentations reflect the dynamic nature of our field across a range of topics and expertise.  My goal is to engage and encourage audience interaction; to educate and be educated.  I look forward to meeting new colleagues and sharing experiences with you.

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Susan Lynch

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Susan Lynch (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19)       

University of California, San Francisco

513 Parnassus Avenue, S357D

San Francisco, CA 94143      


Phone: 415-476-6784



Speaker’s Websites:



Primary Division        N         Microbial Ecology

Secondary Division    D         Microbe-Host Interactions    




Gut Microbiome and Allergic Asthma

Lecture will cover studies of the early life gut microbiome and its role in allergic sensitization and asthma development in childhood. It will also include information on the microbiome of the built environment and its relationship with allergic asthma outcomes and on newer approaches aimed at targeting the gut microbiome in early life to prevent disease development.


Airway Microbiome and Chronic Inflammatory Disease

Studies of the airway microbiome in chronic sinusitis and childhood and adult asthma reveal relationships between the composition and activities of microbes on the airway mucosal surface and their capacity to drive chronic inflammation.


Gut Microbiome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Relationships between the gut microbe and IBD, including the emerging role of pathogenic states in driving distinct immune dysfunction within this patient population and microbiome manipulation approaches (fecal microbial therapy, rationally designed microbial cocktails) to mitigate disease.  



Dr. Lynch is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she also directs the Microbiome Research Core and acts as Associate Director of the Microbiome in Inflammatory Disease Program. Her research program focuses primarily on the gastrointestinal microbiome and its role in established chronic inflammatory diseases, including airway diseases. She is extensively published with over 100 peer-reviewed publications, and holds six patents. Dr. Lynch has been awarded the Rebecca Buckley Lectureship by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, was featured in International Innovation: Women in Healthcare, and was named one of Foreign Policy magazine’s “Global Thinkers” in 2016. She serves on the National Academy of Science Committee on Advancing Understanding of the Implications of Environmental-Chemical Interactions with the Human Microbiomes, and has recently founded Siolta Therapeutics, which develops next-generation microbiome therapeutics.


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters  



Microbiology has been my passion from a very young age, and has been an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling career to date. Though trained in bacterial physiology, I made the leap into the field of human microbiome research well over a decade ago, publishing our first microbiota paper in 2007. The combination of basic microbiology coupled with microbial ecology provides me with a relatively unique perspective in a field currently dominated by those with computational, medical or immunology training. I would love to be part of the ASMDL program as a means to encourage more microbiologists, particularly those in the early stages of training, to enter the nascent and exciting field of human microbial ecology so their voices and perspectives can play a role in shaping the literature and thinking in the field. Inter-disciplinary human research, with microbiology as a key focus, represents a potentially transformative field; preparing the next generation of microbiologists to lead this field represents one of my major motivations.  

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Karl Klose

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018


Karl Klose (term: 7/1/16 through 6/30/18) - Waksman Foundation Lecturer

South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases

Department of Biology

University of Texas at San Antonio

One UTSA Circle

San Antonio, TX  78249


Phone: 210-458-6140

Fax:     210-458-4468



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division:  D (Microbe-Host Interactions)



Deadly Diarrhea: Vibrio cholerae in the Time of Cholera 

Cholera pandemics have been a major cause of morbidity and mortality among humans.  There is still no highly effective vaccine to prevent cholera, so a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie disease is warranted to develop new therapeutics and preventives.  This lecture will cover a background on cholera, and discuss research designed to understand how the bacteria respond to their environment and cause disease in humans.


Killer Bunnies and Bioweapons: Tularemia and Biodefense  

Francisella tularensis, long known as the cause of rabbit fever, was developed into an aerosolized bioweapon that can cause high mortality in humans.  This lecture will describe uncovering the mechanisms that F. tularensis uses to cause disease, and discuss how a vaccine can be developed to prevent tularemia.    


The Rise of the Superbugs: Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria  

Bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to all the antibiotics that are used to treat infections.  This is leading to a crisis in which medicine is heading backwards to the pre-antibiotic era, where humans die from infections that should be easily treatable with antibiotics.  This lecture will be a general talk regarding the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria, what causes the spread of antibiotic resistance, and ideas on how we can combat this problem. 



Dr. Karl Klose received his Ph.D. in Microbiology at UC Berkeley, and performed postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School.  He was then hired as a faculty member at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (UTHSCSA), and later moved to the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), and is the founder of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases.  Klose’s research focuses on understanding bacterial pathogenesis.  His laboratory studies Vibrio cholerae and the potential bioweapon Francisella tularensis.  Klose is an author on more than 90 publications, and has received funding from numerous sources.  He has mentored many Ph.D., Masters, and undergraduate students.  He served as the President of the Texas Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (2001-2003), and has been an organizer of multiple national and international meetings.  He has twice been a recipient of ASM Visiting Professorships, in Kolkata, India and in Valparaiso, Chile.  He received the 2002 Presidential Junior Research Scholar award at UTHSCSA and the 2009 President’s Distinguished Research Achievement Award at UTSA.  Klose has given a TEDx talk on antibiotic-resistant bacteria that is available on YouTube and that has received over 40,000 views (  Klose was recently elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters



I want to be a part of the ASMDL program because I am a strong supporter of the ASM, and especially ASM Branches.  As president of the Texas Branch of the ASM from 2001-2003, I was responsible for organizing Branch meetings, which allowed me the opportunity to interact with Branch members (students, faculty, scientists) as well as the ASMDL speakers.  I realize what a great opportunity this program provides for the ASMDL to inspire the next generation of microbiologists.  I am a committed educator, having been teaching microbiology to undergraduate and graduate students at two different universities for my entire career.  I have a fair amount of speaking experience; in addition to my teaching and scientific lectures, I have given two TED talks, so I feel I can bring this experience to the ASMDL program.  I have been committed to the ASM and microbiology since I was in graduate school.  I received the ASM Raymond Sarber award as a Ph.D. student, and the ASM Vector Lab Investigator award as a postdoctoral fellow.  I have also served six years on the ASM Indo-US visiting professorship committee and six years on the ASM Biodefense Meeting committee.  I enjoy teaching people (scientists and non-scientists) about the fascinating world of microbes.

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Terje Dokland

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Terje Dokland (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19)

Department of Microbiology

University of Alabama at Birmingham

845 19th Street South, BBRB 311

Birmingham, AL 35294


Phone: 205-996-4502



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division        M        Bacteriophage

Secondary Division    J          Cell and Structural Biology                                        




Staphylococcal Pathogenicity Islands: Hijackers on the Phage Assembly Pathway

Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPIs) are mobilized at high frequency by specific “helper” phages. SaPIs have evolved many mechanisms to exploit their helpers for their own propagation, including the re-direction of the phage assembly pathway to produce small capsids that are unable to package complete phage genomes. We study this mobilization process using a combination of genetics, biochemistry and structural biology, especially high resolution cryo-electron microscopy.


Pirates of the Caudovirales

Some genomic elements are “pirates” that exploit “helper” bacteriophages for their own propagation, including the Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPIs) and the P4-like elements of E. coli. These elements employ a variety of strategies to usurp the replication and assembly machinery of their helpers. This talk will touch on the evolution, mechanisms and role in bacterial virulence of these pirates.


Taking Advantage of the Cryo-EM “Resolution Revolution” in Microbiological Research

Cryo-electron microscopy (EM) allows the structure determination of biological structures from proteins to entire cells in their native state. Recent innovations, especially the development of direct electron detectors, now allow structures of proteins to be determined to near-atomic resolution. Examples will be given from a wide range of systems, including our own work on phage assembly.


Scaffolding-mediated Assembly Control in the Bacteriophages

Scaffolding proteins provide control over the assembly process in bacteriophages and many other viruses. Analysis of scaffolding proteins from various bacteriophages provides insights into how these proteins act to control capsid assembly.



My research over the past 25 years has focused on the structural biology of viral and prokaryotic pathogens, starting with my Ph.D. work on cryo-electron microscopy of bacteriophages at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, through my postdoctoral work on crystallography of bacteriophage phiX174 and Norwalk virus in Dr. Rossmann’s lab at Purdue, to my subsequent years as an independent researcher in Singapore and at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). I have continued to publish extensively in this area, including crystallography and cryo-EM studies of eukaryotic viruses (PRRSV, West Nile virus, HIV, mumps), bacteriophages (P2/P4 and Staphylococcus aureus phage 80alpha), bacteria (Bacillus anthracis) and exosomes.


My main research focus over the past few years has been on the phage-induced mobilization of S. aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPIs). Genetic mobilization is a critical process in the evolution of virulence and antibiotic resistance in S. aureus, and phages play a key role in this process. We study this process by a hybrid approach that includes genetics, biochemistry, cryo-EM and NMR spectroscopy. These studies have revealed novel mechanisms of capsid assembly and size determination, phage-induced derepression, SaPI interference with phage multiplication, and DNA packaging by phages and SaPIs.


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters



While the main emphasis in the Department of Microbiology at UAB is on research, I have always remained committed to dissemination of knowledge, mentorship and training. Most of the research in my lab is carried out by graduate students, and I enjoy the process of mentoring them to successful careers in science. I was recipient of the Graduate School Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship in 2011 and I am one of the most actively involved in teaching in our Department. My main research project on the mobilization of Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPIs) straddles several fields of research, from structural biology to virus assembly to bacterial pathogenesis, allowing for the presentation of narratives that transcend these individual categories and that have been well received at numerous conferences and invited talks. Structural biology has recently been revolutionized by innovations in cryo-electron microscopy. My strong foundation in this cutting-edge methodology allows me to bring these innovations to bear on microbiology research. I hope to convey the excitement of structural biology to young investigators through narratives that are compelling to students and trainees in many areas of microbiology.

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Dr. D. Jay Grimes

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018


Dr. D. Jay Grimes (term: 7/1/16 through 6/30/18)

The University of Southern Mississippi

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

300 Laurel Oak Drive

Ocean Springs, MS  39564


Phone: 228-818-8009



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division:  N (Microbial Ecology)

Secondary Division:  Q (Environmental & General Applied Microbiology)                                        



Ecology of Indigenous Marine Bacteria such as the Vibrios and the Factors that Allow Them to Cause Disease in Humans and Other Animals  

Several members of the Vibrionaceae cause diseases in humans and other animals.  These diseases are usually gastroenteritis or wound infections. 


Microbiomics of the Brown Alga Sargassum  

Pelagic Sargassum is an important habitat for diverse species of pelagic fish.  This lecture will cover both the microbiomics of normal Sargassum and Sargassum oiled by the Deepwater Horizon blowout.


Microbiomics of Bottlenose Dolphins  

This lecture will address the viromics and bacteriomics of healthy, free-ranging bottlenose dolphins. 


Bacterial Diseases in Marine Aquaculture  

This lecture will address diseases in cultivated marine fishes including red snapper, speckled seatrout and striped bass, and it will also cover diseases in cultivated white shrimp. 


Flesh Eating Bacteria

There are several bacteria that cause necrotizing fasciitis, called “flesh eating bacteria” by the press.  This talk will cover all of these pathogens – their ecology, epidemiology and pathogenesis – and describe what is really meant by flesh eating.



D. Jay Grimes is Professor of Coastal Sciences at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM).  From 2002 to 2007 he served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at USM and from 1997 to 2007 he was Director of the USM Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.  Previously, Grimes served on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (1971 to 1980), University of Maryland (1980 to 1987), and University of New Hampshire (1987 to 1990); he was also director of the New Hampshire Sea Grant College Program.  In 1990, Grimes was selected for federal service as a microbiologist and program manager at the U.S. Department of Energy.  Grimes is a fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology and in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He chaired the American Society for Microbiology’s Communications Committee for nine years and he chaired ASM’s Environmental Microbiology Committee from 2012 to 2015.  He is past-president of the U.S. Federation of Culture Collections, served as vice chair of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education, was chair of the NASULGC Board on Oceans and Atmosphere, and served on the Science Advisory Panel to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy.  Much of his research has focused on the ecology of waterborne human diseases, especially the Vibrios.  Recently, Grimes investigated the applicability of satellite remotely sensed data to predict human health risks from waterborne pathogens, especially Vibrio parahaemolyticus.  He is also examining antibiotic resistance in bacteria isolated from water, sediment, fish and bottlenose dolphins in Mississippi Sound.  Grimes received his B.A. and M.A. in Biology from Drake University (1966 and 1968) and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Colorado State University (1971).

CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters



I have been a member of ASM since 1967 and a fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) since 1990.  I began my teaching career in 1971, the year I received my Ph.D., and, with one exception, I have been teaching every year since.  The exception is the seven years I spent as a microbiology program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Research.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the many challenges, opportunities and rewards associated with teaching and I firmly believe that to become an effective science educator one must be a successful scientist.  Accordingly, I have endeavored to do both and I believe I have accomplished my goal.  I believe that microbiology offers an exciting platform for educators and to that end I have always tried to inspire students with the mystery of microbes.  My interest in microbiology has always involved microbial ecology, and in 1980 I “added salt to my media” and became a marine microbiologist.  Most of my research has been focused on members of the Vibrionaceae, and especially Vibrio cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus.  Recently, I have launched a research program that is examining antibiotic resistance in seawater, sediment, marine fish, oysters and bottlenose dolphins.

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ASMDL Slide Show


American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer (ASMDL) Program


Introductory Slide Show and Script


All ASMDL Lecturers are asked to incorporate the short ASMDL Introductory Slide Show and Script into the beginning of their lectures. Please contact Anne Dempsey at ASM Headquarters to have the slide show and script e-mailed to you:

Anne Dempsey




Kelly S. Doran

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018


Kelly S. Doran (term: 7/1/16 through 6/30/18)

Department of Immunology and Microbiology

University of Colorado School of Medicine

12800 East 19th Avenue MS 8333

RC1 North Room P18-9105

Aurora, CO  80045


Phone: 303-724-3539

Fax:     303-724-4226



Speaker’s Website:  



Primary Division:  D (Microbe-Host Interactions)

Secondary Division:  B (Microbial Pathogens)                                         



Mechanisms by which Bacteria Disrupt the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB)  

This lecture will focus on a newly identified mechanism by which bacteria disrupt tight junction components in brain endothelium.  This mechanism appears to be employed by multiple pathogens associated with meningitis that may disrupt cell polarity and allow bacteria to penetrate paracellularly and promote BBB permeability.  Focus will be given to both bacterial virulence factors and host cell determinants that result in pathogen transit across the BBB.   


Mechanisms Governing Bacterial Colonization and Therapeutic Intervention  

This lecture will discuss vaginal colonization by Group B streptococcus and focus on bacterial factors that promote attachment, competition with normal flora, and resistance to mucosal immunity.  Various therapeutic interventions designed to reduce vaginal carriage will also be discussed.    


Bacterial Regulation of Commensal and Invasive States  

This lecture will discuss the role of bacterial two component regulatory systems in modulating gene transcription during the switch from colonizing to invasive disease states.



Dr. Doran is a microbiologist with a broad background in host-pathogen interactions with expertise working with a variety of Gram-positive bacterial pathogens including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus (MRSA), and Bacillus anthracis.  Specifically, her research program seeks to elucidate the mechanisms by which bacteria penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in order to cause meningitis, as well as characterize the host response and defense during infection and disease progression.  She is also interested in how bacteria colonize the female reproductive tract and transmit to the fetus or newborn during pregnancy.  Using a variety of molecular genetic approaches, her research team seeks to discover and characterize bacterial virulence determinants involved in cytotoxicity, adherence, invasion, inflammation, molecular mimicry and resistance to immunologic clearance.  She also investigates the contribution of host factors such as surface receptors, signal transduction pathways, transcription factors, and autophagy in defense against invasive bacterial infection.  Dr. Doran has successfully developed a research program that has a demonstrated track record of productivity at the interface of bacteriology, host cell biology and immunology.  As a teacher-scholar she is passionate about teaching, training and mentoring students.  Graduates from her laboratory have taken academic faculty positions and/or industrial positions, or are now involved in graduate/professional school programs.

CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters



My passion for microbiology has been shaped through various research experiences ranging from the genetic mechanisms responsible for light production in bioluminescent bacteria, to broad host range plasmid replication in various Gram-negative bacteria, to understanding the host-pathogen relationships that govern colonization and disease in the human host.  Just as my previous experiences and mentors helped cultivate my love for microbes and the scientific process, I similarly strive to impart my knowledge and love for my research field.  This is why I want to be a part of the ASMDL program – because I truly enjoy interacting with students and postdocs as well as mentoring them on career choices.  I have been active in ASM during my entire profession as a microbiologist and I have participated in our local ASM Branch meetings, where for the past six years students from my laboratory have won best poster presentation.  This has allowed them to travel to the national ASM meeting to present their work.  As a woman in science, I am also committed to promoting women and those underrepresented in microbiology, and have been a mentor for students in the ASM Undergraduate Research Capstone Program. Additionally, over the last four years I have been invited to give 21 seminars, with already two invitations as a Key Note speaker in 2016.  Thus I will bring my speaking and research experience in microbiology to the ASMDL program and feel that I will do my best to be an asset to the program.   

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Daniel J. Wozniak

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018


Daniel J. Wozniak (term: 7/1/16 through 6/30/18)

Departments of Microbial Infection and Immunity, Microbiology

Center for Microbial Interface Biology

Ohio State University

704 BRT, 460 West 12th Avenue

Columbus, OH  43210


Phone: 614-247-7629 (Office)

Phone: 614-688-1619 (Lab)

Fax:     614-292-9616



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division:  D (Microbe-Host Interactions)

Secondary Division:  H (Genetics & Molecular Biology)                                         



My research activities and interests are focused on the pathogenesis of several bacteria that cause chronic, devastating infections in humans.  In chronic airway infections and wounds, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Acinetobacter are the most common nosocomial pathogens isolated and are consistently associated with high mortality rates. Resources spent treating such infections in the United States are estimated at ~ $25 billion annually.  These infections are extremely difficult to control since the bacteria exhibit a biofilm-mode of growth rendering them resistant to antimicrobials and phagocytic cells.  Topics and descriptions of potential lectures include:


Bacterial Biofilms  

Biofilms, which are defined as communities of microorganisms that are attached to a surface, play a critical role in infectious diseases.  Because of their innate resistance to antibiotics, phagocytic cells and other biocides, biofilms are difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate, representing a critically important challenge for antiinfective programs in the pharmaceutical industry.  Topics for discussion include the overall developmental cycle of microbial biofilms, the impact of various matrix components as well as type IV mediated twitching motility in P. aeruginosa biofilm development, and the links between biofilms and chronic infection.


Experimental Therapeutics for Use in Patients Infected with Bacterial Biofilms  

The matrix contributes considerably to the highly resistant nature of microbial biofilms.  In collaborative studies, we are developing novel vaccines and enzymes that could inhibit growth and/or formation of the biofilm matrix.  Such agents may be of significant therapeutic value in patients colonized with biofilms.


Defining Pathoadaptive Processes and Evolution of Pathogens during Infection   

Patients with cystic fibrosis become colonized with multiple pathogens.  During the course of infection, P. aeruginosa undergoes a phenotypic conversion to either a rugose or mucoid phenotype due to the overproduction of distinct polysaccharides.  These conversions result from mutations occurring in genes that regulate polysaccharide synthesis.  Since such conversion is associated with increased patient morbidity and persistence and mortality, we are investigating both the molecular mechanisms and the host-factors that may promote such conversion.  The topic of bacterial evolution in the context of a chronic infection will be covered in the lecture. 


Interface of Innate Immunity and Biofilms  

Biofilms are capable of dampening proinflammatory host responses as well as subverting neutrophil killing.  These phenomena are unique to biofilms; planktonic bacteria are efficiently killed and produce a robust inflammatory response in neutrophils.  We have evidence that unique biofilm mechanisms are utilized to subvert neutrophil killing, thereby resisting host clearance.  By identifying such immune evasion tactics and neutrophil dysfunction, pharmacologic manipulation can be implemented in new and innovative ways for the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases.    



Dr. Daniel Wozniak obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the Ohio State University in 1989.  He spent a three-year Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-supported fellowship at the University of Tennessee Medical School studying the molecular biology and pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  He joined the faculty of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in 1993 and remained there until 2008, when he returned to Ohio State University, where he is currently a full professor in the Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity.  Dr. Wozniak has published ~80 peer-reviewed manuscripts, four book chapters, and >200 abstracts/conference proceedings.  He currently has ten scientists in his group, each of whom is studying some aspect of bacterial pathogenesis or behavior.  His scientific interests include understanding fundamental aspects of gene expression, especially the control of virulence determinants and biofilm formation of pathogenic bacteria.  Dr. Wozniak has NIH- and CFF- sponsored research to study biofilm matrix composition and function, immune interactions with biofilms, pathoadaptation, and chronic infections.  Sorrento, Medimmune, and Pfizer also sponsor projects in his laboratory.

CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters



I believe that many of the problems and future concerns of mankind could be solved by harnessing the power of microbes.  I want to be involved in the ASMDL program due to a passion for microbiology and wish to communicate this to junior scientists.  My enthusiasm for Branch meetings has been fostered throughout my career, participating as a graduate student in the Ohio Branch, and serving as a speaker for both North Carolina and Ohio Branch meetings. I saw first-hand how effective communicators instill the excitement and thrill of microbial discovery.  I am also a dedicated educator and my philosophy has been shaped by experiences that I’ve encountered during my tenure as a scientist and teacher.  In essence, my philosophy is geared towards reinforcing four underlying, inter-related principles: (1) the thrill of discovery, (2) fostering inherent curiosity, (3) tenacity trumps complacency, and (4) bringing knowledge to practice.  I emphasize these principles in both education and public speaking opportunities.  My commitment to training and educating students and postdocs is evidenced by teaching awards and the training of eleven pre-doctoral and five postdoctoral students, each with independently established research or academic positions.  I have also served on the advisory committees of

65 graduate students and 20 undergraduates through my career.  Finally, my dedication to the mission of ASM is evidenced by the fact that I have maintained membership since 1986, attended most General Meetings and numerous conference meetings, spoken or organized symposia, participated in ASMCUE, served on the Journal of Bacteriology Editorial Board, and served as Division D (Microbe-Host Interactions) Chair Elect/Chair.

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