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2002 General Meeting Awardees

The Committee on Awards is pleased to present part two of the three-part series on the 2002 General Meeting Award Laureates.

BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology


Thomas F. Smith, Ph.D., has been named laureate of the BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology. Proudly sponsored by BD Biosciences, the award will be presented at the General Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. Smith will deliver the Division C/BD Award Lecture, "Light at the End of the Tunnel: from Cell Cultures to Real-Time PCR," a talk relating his perspectives on the technical innovations in diagnostic virology that have led from cell cultures to routine PCR and beyond.

Smith is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology, and a past recipient of the Wellcome Diagnostics Award and the Abbott Laboratories Award in Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology. He is currently Emeritus Chair, Division of Clinical Microbiology; Professor, Microbiology and Laboratory Medicine; Director, Virus Laboratory; and Co-Director, Serology Laboratory, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. He was nominated for this award by his colleague at the Mayo Clinic, Franklin Cockerill, III, M.D.

Smith's research contributions in the pathogenesis, clinical correlation, and laboratory diagnosis of viral infections have spanned more than 30 years and profoundly influenced laboratory practice and patient care. Smith introduced one of the first cell culture assays for the routine diagnostic testing for Chlamydia trachomatis involved in sexually transmitted infection and the detection of the organism in infections in neonates. His development of the shell vial technique for culturing viruses became a global standard for the rapid culturing of viral pathogens and was applied in developing a test for the early detection of antigens induced by cytomegalovirus (CMV) in the early 1980s, a particularly timely discovery given the recognition of CMV infections as a major problem for HIV and other immunocompromised patients. Smith subsequently became a leader in the use of conventional PCR for the detection of herpes simplex virus (HSV) DNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for the diagnosis of central nervous system (CSN) disease, and his laboratory later introduced PCR assays for detection of varicella-zoster virus (VZV), Epstein-Barr virus, and CMV DNA in CSF specimens. Most recently he has, with Mark Espy, developed, implemented, and optimized LightCycler PCR for detection of HSV, VZV, and CMV DNA as replacements for shell vial assays.

Smith is well known as an effective leader, dedicated teacher, and active ASM volunteer. He is a graduate of St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., who served in the United States Army Medical Services Corps before completing his Ph.D. at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion in 1969.


Carski Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award

The 2002 Carski Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award laureate is Jeanne S. Poindexter, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Sciences, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, N.Y. The award, granted annually since 1968 to recognize an outstanding educator for exemplary teaching of microbiology to undergraduate students and for encouraging students toward subsequent achievement, is made possible through the generosity of Dr. Theodore J. Carski and the Carski Foundation.

At the ASM General Meeting, Poindexter will deliver the Carski Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award Lecture, "We Are Not Alone," a talk that addresses the challenges of teaching microbiology within a biology curriculum.

Poindexter has dedicated her career to the education of students in the biological sciences. A graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, she earned her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and completed her postdoctoral training at Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, Calif. For 30 years since, she has taught courses at institutions such as Indiana University, Bloomington; Medgar Evers College, City University of New York (CUNY), Brooklyn; Marymount Manhattan College, New York; the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass.; New York University School of Medicine; and Long Island University, Brooklyn. Since moving to Barnard College in 1989, she has led courses and seminars and guided laboratory research in microbiology, virology, and molecular, cell, and developmental biology. Poindexter specializes in bacteriology, and her courses are characterized by the constant preparation of new material and continued incorporation of new findings. Teaching with a combination of imagination and humor, she refines explanations of well-developed ideas and keeps her lectures and labs fresh and compelling for students.

Her students learn to be thoughtful and creative, focusing not on rote memorization but on understanding how the cell functions. Former student Dana Lau, now a graduate student in molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote of Poindexter's influence, "Collecting data and interpreting results were not as important as the scientific process. Somehow, with repetition of experiments and a little guidance, I was tricked into learning how to design experiments and ask appropriate questions."

Poindexter's committed mentorship of students through school and life further demonstrates the spirit of the Carski Award. Tahlia Swartz, a graduate of Barnard College and Poindexter's nominator wrote, "...for four years she was my professor, academic advisor, and friend...she has not stopped being my teacher."

Jeanne Poindexter has been honored with the Emily Gregory Award for Excellence in Teaching, Barnard College's only student-nominated award. She was elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology in 1993.

The ASM Founders Distinguished


Service Award

The 2002 ASM Founders Distinguished Service Award will be presented to David Pramer, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Microbiology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick. Given in recognition of outstanding professional contributions to ASM in a volunteer capacity at the national level, the award honors Pramer for commitment to furthering the goals of ASM and many efforts that benefit ASM and its audiences. Pharmacia & Upjohn is proud to sponsor the ASM Founders Distinguished Service Award.

Pramer has been an ASM member for more than 50 years and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology for nearly as long. His service to the Society at the regional, national, and international levels has made him an invaluable participant in efforts that support the ASM as representative of the science and professions of microbiology. He has served terms as Treasurer, Vice President, and President of the ASM New Jersey branch; helped to establish, organize, and promote the programs of ASM Division Q; provided expertise on the Scientific Advisory Board of the ASM video series, Intimate Strangers; and now chairs the International Committee Selection Panel for the UNESCO/ASM Travel Grants for young microbiologists from developing nations.

This outstanding level of commitment is further evidenced by Pramer's work with the Public and Scientific Affairs Board (PSAB). He has been instrumental in communicating important scientific issues to public audiences and the scientific and research policy communities. He has served on the committee to select Congressional Fellows and chaired the PSAB Committee on Environmental Microbiology. He is the current chair of the Board's Task Force on Biotechnology and represents the Board on both the Biotechnology Committee of the National Academy of Sciences and the Working Group on Biotechnology of the U.S. State Department. Recently, he authored ASM's position statement on Genetically Modified Organisms, a document distributed to all members of the U.S. Congress.

A graduate of Rutgers who earned his Ph.D. there in 1952, Pramer is currently the university's Executive Assistant for Research Policy and Administration. He was nominated for the Founder's Distinguished Service Award by Academy Fellow and 2001 award laureate ASM President-Elect Ronald Atlas, Ph.D.

Graduate Microbiology Teaching Award


The ASM Graduate Microbiology Teaching Award honors exceptional teaching and mentoring of microbiology students at the graduate and postgraduate levels and the inspiring of those students to future achievement. This year, the award will be presented to Thomas J. Silhavy, Ph.D., Warner-Lambert Parke-Davis Professor of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, N.J.

Throughout his distinguished research and teaching career, Silhavy has had a profound impact on graduate and postgraduate students through supportive mentoring and his courses at Princeton (1984-present) and previously at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. (1981-1985). A Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology since 1994, Silhavy was recognized with Princeton's President's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1993, marking the first time the award was granted for instruction in a graduate-level course. His highly rigorous course Prokaryotic Molecular Biology is a requirement for all first-year molecular biology graduate students at Princeton. The class features extensive reading of classic and modern scientific literature and emphasizes not only the potential and significance of prokaryotes in modern, molecular research, but encourages the development of informed and creative scientific minds.

The Advanced Bacterial Genetics course at Cold Spring Harbor is also remembered by former students for its paradigm-shifting impact. Stanley Maloy, Ph.D., a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a supporter of Silhavy's nomination, wrote "Before I took the ABG course I was a budding bacterial physiologist, but the course converted me into a card-carrying bacterial geneticist." The love of challenge and discovery and the view of biology as an always-evolving discipline translates well to Silhavy's students. Among his former trainees are 17 professors and 5 research scientists working in industry and government, including his nominator for the Graduate Microbiology Teaching Award, James Slauch of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

As author, with Jonathan Beckwith, of the acclaimed and widely used 1992 textbook The Power of Bacterial Genetics: a Literature-Based Course (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press), program director for his department's NIH Predoctoral Training Grant, and codirector of the Life Sciences Research Foundation, Silhavy furthers the microbiology education of young scientists well beyond his classroom and lab.

Silhavy earned his B.S. at Ferris State College, Big Rapids, Mich., and his Ph.D. in biochemistry at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.. His Graduate Microbiology Teaching Award Lecture at the General Meeting, "Learning about the Cell Envelope by Praising Students and Stressing Bacteria," will detail the process of discovering signal transduction pathways.

The William A. Hinton Research Training Award

The William A. Hinton Award was established by ASM in 1998 to recognize significant contributions toward fostering the research training of underrepresented minorities in microbiology. The award honors the contributions of Dr. William A. Hinton, a physician-research scientist who was one of the first African Americans to become an ASM member and whose work advanced the field of diagnostic microbiology.


The 2002 award laureate is Michael F. Summers, Ph.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). At the General Meeting, Summers will discuss mentoring philosophies in the HHMI laboratory that have contributed to the matriculation of large numbers of underrepresented minority students into biomedical graduate programs across the United States in the Hinton Award Lecture, "Mentoring Meyerhoff Scholars in the HHMI Laboratory at UMBC."

A graduate of the University of West Florida, Pensacola, Summers earned his Ph.D. at Emory University, Atlanta, Ga., in 1984. He moved to UMBC in 1987, after postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. Summers has made significant contributions in the area of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance studies of complex biosystems and is shedding light on the functioning of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within the body. He is a past recipient of an NIH Merit Award, the Protein Society Young Investigator Award, the Maryland Outstanding Young Scientist Award, and the University of Maryland Regents Award for Excellence in Research, among other honors.

Given his accomplishments as a young research scientist, it is notable that Summers has described his mentoring of students as his most important work. He has demonstrated marked success in recruiting and graduating talented students of diverse backgrounds, and each summer, an average of 20 undergraduates work in his lab. He also serves as director of UMBC's Meyerhoff Graduate Program for high-achieving minority students interested in biomedical research.

Summers consistently provides the kind of guidance and opportunity too often missing from the academic experience, particularly for students from groups underrepresented in the sciences. To date, more than 100 graduate and undergraduate students have published papers with Summers as coauthor or mentor. In just two years of his involvement with the Meyerhoff Program, 10 students, including 8 African Americans, were admitted to highly competitive Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs at schools including Yale, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins.

Through his remarkable personal style, demonstrating deep commitment and treating students as colleagues, Summers has created an atmosphere conducive to both scientific discovery and personal success. His ability to challenge, influence, and inspire students, academically and personally, was recognized in 2000 with the White House Presidential Award for Science Mentoring. Summers was nominated for the William A. Hinton Award by Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, Ph.D., President of UMBC.

USFCC/J. Roger Porter Award


Erko Stackebrandt, Ph.D., Managing Director of the German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures (DSMZ), Professor of Microbiology and Chair, Systematics of Prokaryotes, Technical University, Braunschweig, Germany, will receive the 2002 USFCC/J. Roger Porter Award in honor of his many contributions toward the objectives of the United States Federation for Culture Collections (USFCC). In the spirit of the award, Stackebrandt has made remarkable contributions to microbial taxonomy and to representing, preserving, and improving culture collection resources. He will deliver the USFCC/J. Roger Porter Award Lecture at the General Meeting, "Research: from Culture Collections to Biological Resource Centers."

A Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, Stackebrandt completed his undergraduate, Master's, and Ph.D. work in Munich, Germany, and a postdoctoral fellowship with Carl Woese at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. An accomplished scientist with more than 350 publications, he has been a world leader in linking culture collection resources to highly significant research in biodiversity, taxonomy, and modern molecular phylogeny. Under his direction, modern molecular techniques including 16S rDNA sequence analysis, oligonucleotide probing, cloning, and riboprinting have become standard methods in service and quality control of the culture collection-building the capacity, utility, and presence of culture collection resources in important and progressive research.

Training personnel to operate culture collections has likewise been a focus for Stackebrandt. DSMZ programs have expanded to areas such as patent issues, collection management, and taxonomic research. The Molecular Systematics and Molecular Ecology group headed by Stackebrandt has supervised trainees in Russia, Croatia, Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Egypt. In addition, he has furthered the training of scientists in related research areas through supervising 65 honors and 40 Ph.D. students, many in research on taxonomic issues and reflective of his polyphasic approach to bacterial systematics.

Stackebrandt boasts an impressive record of professional service and has organized countless international conferences and symposia. He is editor of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology and has been scientific advisor to the European Culture Collection Curators Organisation; chair of the Scientific Programme Committee, International Congress for Culture Collections; chair of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes; and a member of the Executive Board of the World Federation of Culture Collections.

A past recipient of the prestigious Bergey Award, Stackebrandt was nominated for the USFCC/J. Roger Porter Award by Martin Dworkin, Ph.D., a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.


Summer Institute for the Preparation of Careers in Microbiology

The ASM Committee on Graduate Education is accepting applications for the Second Summer Institute in Preparation for Careers in Microbiology. The Institute, which will be held 3 to 9 August 2002 at the Friedrick Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will help participants develop skills needed to succeed in careers in the microbiological sciences. Topics to be covered at the Institute include career opportunities in microbiology, grant preparation, scientific presentation, effective teaching methods, and development of professional standards in microbiology. Eligible applicants for the Institute are (i) graduate students who have passed their qualifying exams and advanced to candidacy status (or are involved in dissertation research), and (ii) postdoctoral researchers.

Participants are responsible for their own travel, lodging expenses, and meals. 

ASM News: Twenty-One Pioneers in ASM First Summer Institute on Career Development

A summary of the First Summer Institute in Preparation for Careers in Microbiology can be found on p. 576 of the November 2001 issue of ASM News. The Institute is supported by the Society and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


New President of Foundation for Microbiology


Last year saw many changes for one of ASM's working partners, the Foundation for Microbiology. On 1 January 2001, the offices of the Foundation moved from New York University to the University of Michigan, as Frederick C. Neidhardt took over the presidency from Byron H. Waksman. Concomitantly, the name of this 50-year old foundation became the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology. Waksman has been elected chair of the Board of Trustees, and he and Nan Waksman Schanbacher are Vice Presidents.

The Foundation was created in 1951 by Selman A. Waksman, who coined the word "antibiotic" and received the 1952 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for his discoveries of streptomycin, actinomycin, and streptothrycin. This famous Rutgers University scientist, who also and separately established the Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers, dedicated part of his personal royalties accruing from patents on these antibiotics to support the science of microbiology. He defined the goal of his philanthropy to be the support of microbiology " the end that the science of microbiology shall progress in the service of mankind." His means to accomplish this was the Foundation of Microbiology. Waksman himself headed it until 1970, when his son, the noted immunologist and past president of the American Association of Immunologists, Byron H. Waksman, took over, eventually leading the Foundation for 30 years.

Though relatively small in the world of foundations, the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology has been unusually successful in optimizing the use of its resources. As a result, its effectiveness has been substantial. One technique has been to work closely with large scientific, professional, and educational organizations, such as ASM. The most long lasting (since 1963) and visible of these collaborations have been the lectureships awarded annually to support the communication of microbial science at meetings of each of the ASM local Branches. But other ASM programs as well, such as the Latin American Professorships, Predoctoral Fellowships for Minority Students, Congressional Fellows, and Graduate Student Travel Awards, have benefited from funding from the Foundation, particularly in the form of seed grants. More recently, the Foundation has helped sponsor such ASM projects as the Microbial Discovery website. In addition, support has increasingly been given to the education and training of young scientists (see ASM News, June 2000, p. 344), the use of contemporary communications technology in teaching, the support of microbiological science in developing countries, and improved communication between scientists and the public. For the latter, the Foundation has supported programs to improve K-12 science teaching and the reporting of science in the media.

The new president, a trustee of the Foundation for several years, is a bacterial physiologist interested in the molecular biology of growth of Escherichia coli. Besides scientific papers, Neidhardt has authored numerous textbooks, and is the editor-in-chief of the preeminent treatise on enteric bacteria, Escherichia coli and Salmonella: Cellular and Molecular Biology (ASM Press). His leadership is recognized also through numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the Eli Lilly & Co. Award in Bacteriology and Immunology and the Alexander von Humboldt Senior U.S. Scientist Award from Germany, as well as by election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Bavarian Academy of Science. Neidhardt served as president of ASM (1981-82) after several years helping organize the scientific sessions of the ASM Annual Meeting. In 1983 he was the first recipient of ASM's Alice Evans Award, given for his role in increasing the participation of women in leadership roles in ASM. He has served the University of Michigan as department chair and associate dean in the medical school, and most recently as Vice President for Research.


Robin A. Weiss was awarded the M. W. Beijerinck Prize for Virology on 26 November 2001. Established by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1965, the prize is awarded to an outstanding virologist every three years. Weiss, Professor of Viral Oncology at University College, London, was selected for his many contributions to the field of virology, particularly his research on retroviruses. His work has included studying viruses that can cause cancer and AIDS, such as HIV, HTLV, and certain herpes viruses, and he showed that CD4 antigen is the binding receptor for HIV. Weiss also has focused on newly identified viruses and viruses that can be transmitted from animals to humans. This led to the discovery of endogenous retroviruses that are inherited as Mendelian traits in the host. His investigations into the possible dangers of endogenous retroviruses in pigs infecting human cells, reported in Nature Medicine in 1997, highlighted the potential risks of xenotransplantation.

At a ceremony at the Academy's headquarters, Weiss was presented with a prize of $33,000 and then gave a lecture, "Retroviruses: Family Heirlooms and New Acquisitions," describing how some retroviruses are part of our genetic makeup while others have crossed over from other species.

On 30 November 2001, Weiss received The Leeuwenhoek Lecture Medal of the Royal Society, awarded for the Leeuwenhoek Lecture on "Animal Origins of Human Infectious Disease," delivered on 8 March 2001 (Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London B 356:957-977, 2001).

Deceased Members

Julius Kane, Canada's senior medical mycologist, died on 11 September 2001. Born in eastern Poland in 1925, he became a refugee in the Soviet Union after Hitler invaded eastward. Quickly orphaned, he joined the Red Army and eventually fought his way back to Poland. His wit and intelligence helped him survive on many occasions, including two in which he was the sole survivor of his platoon. Upon his return to Poland, he dedicated his life to microbiology. No one was ever more determined to help people survive.

He received a Master's degree from the University of Lodz and became the head of a tuberculosis facility. Before long, however, world events again began to play a role in his life. He ended up in Israel, where he soon found a position in Beilinson Hospital in Tel Aviv and was offered the chance to learn mycology. He accepted the challenge.

Several of Kane's family members had ended up in Canada and he decided that he too was ready to move west. After his arrival, he got a lead that John Fischer, the head of the mycology reference lab for the Ontario Ministry of Health, might need a mycology scientist. Fischer hired him and they formed a great partnership.

Kane wanted to improve diagnosis. He had a unique style of investigation. Upon deciding that two sorts of fungi needed to be distinguished more readily from one another, or that an individual species needed to be identified more easily, he would gather up every growth medium used in all the laboratories of the Toronto Public Health Laboratory, and also order other media to be made from recipes that he collected. He would then plate the test fungus or fungi out on all the media. Eventually, he would find a reaction that showed some promise for the end he had in mind. Then, in consultation with regard to what metabolic pathway he was probably interacting with, he would rework the medium ingredients until a determinative medium was perfected.

Kane also became interested in taxonomy. He became an authority on identification of anthropophilic and zoophilic dermatophytes and began describing new species on the basis of groups of isolates that struck him as very different from the described species.

Kane became the head of the medical mycology lab in 1977 and then had to confront all of the administrative problems of his environment. Once in the early 1980s, he applied to attend a workshop on emerging dematiaceous fungi, and was denied permission by a senior administrator. "It's not important," declared the administrator. Kane took vacation and paid to go to the workshop out of pocket. Obstructing care of the mycotic diseases patient was not something Kane tolerated.

He went on to publish many influential studies. Some of these were combined into his D.Sc. dissertation in 1985. He was most proud, however, of a publication that came later. That book, the Laboratory Handbook of Dermatophytes, achieved many firsts, such as documenting many of the common atypical variants of anthropophilic dermatophytes with descriptions and color photos. It laid out the Kane and Fischer methods for identifying dermatophytes in full detail, making the system truly accessible for the first time. Superb chapters were contributed by Sigmund Krajden, as well as prominent mycologists Geoff Land and Lynne Sigler.

Kane achieved the crowning glory of North American medical mycology when the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas honored him with the Rhoda Benham Award for lifetime achievement.

Kane's methods for dermatophyte identification are now used worldwide. I was recently able to tell him, as he battled lymphoma on his hospital bed in Toronto, that I had just asked an author from a remote area of northeastern Nigeria to add details into his manuscript about how he had identified the dermatophytes he had listed in a local tinea capitis study. It turned out he had used Julius's techniques. Meanwhile, in North America, a brilliant physician, Dennis Baumgardner, picked up Kane's long-ignored medium for converting Blastomyces dermatitidis to the yeast phase at 28°C, and by tinkering with the ingredients came up with a selective enrichment medium for the first-ever pure in vitro isolation of this fungus from the environment. Many such examples of Kane's influence could be cited, both by researchers and by the many physicians he taught and interacted with. I think he died knowing that even in his unwilling absence, his career will continue to pay scientific dividends, and most importantly, to help the patient and the physician, for many years to come.

Richard Summerbell
CBS Fungal Biodiversity Centre
Utrecht, Netherlands


Elizabeth (Betty) R. Hall, emeritus Professor of Microbiology at Washington State University (WSU), died 11 December 2001 after a brief illness. Appointed in 1944, Betty Hall was a fixture in the Department of Bacteriology at Washington State College (WSC) until her retirement in 1976, but continued to be a strong supporter of WSU's program in microbiology until her death. She made an impact on many of her students and will be sorely missed.

Born in Sunnyside, Wash., in 1914, Betty was an active young athlete and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington in 1932. She worked in laboratories and ultimately gained a Master's degree from the University of Michigan in 1942. After teaching at the University of Oklahoma Medical School, she became an instructor at WSC in 1944. She received her doctorate from WSC in 1952 and garnered a professorship.

While continuing to study pathogenic bacteria, Betty Hall coordinated the medical technology program and advised undergraduates during her 31 years at WSC/WSU. She had a reputation for being tough, but fair. During a celebration of her life, Herb Nakata, emeritus chair of WSU's Department of Microbiology, noted that students felt "if they dropped their pencil during Betty's class, they lost a half page of notes." Hall was honored for her teaching, receiving WSU's Woman Faculty member of the Year award in 1966 and ASM's Carski Foundation Teaching Award in 1976. Betty's students and friends established an undergraduate scholarship that bears her name in 1972. Betty Hall impressed her students with her professionalism and urged them to apply themselves in pursuit of careers in the health sciences. Her impact continues to be felt at WSU. Recently appointed WSU provost Robert Bates cited Hall's influence during his years as a graduate student at WSU as a factor in his decision to return to WSU.

In addition to her academic activities, Betty was an avid supporter of WSU Cougar athletics and a successful amateur golfer, winning the Idaho state championship twice. After her retirement, Betty traveled throughout the world and was active in many local community events. She continued to correspond with many WSU alumni. Her constant optimism and cheerfulness were her trademarks.

Hall is survived by sisters Gretchen Jacobs and Gin Vick (Beaverton, Ore.), a brother Edward (Kennewick, Wash.) and her stepmother/friend Ethel Hall (Sunnyside, Wash.). The Hall families suggest that memorials for Betty Hall can be made to the Elizabeth R. Hall Scholarship Fund, c/o the WSU Foundation, P.O. Box 644102, Pullman, WA 99164-4102.


International Committee 2001 Retrospective

2001 was a strong year for the International Committee. A solid foundation of maturing programs permitted the committee to begin the year by reevaluating its role within the society based on its successes. This led to the adoption of a new IC Strategic Plan that has opened up new avenues for programs, services, and partnerships that promise to bear substantial fruit for the society and its international members in years to come. The main activities for 2001 can be grouped under the categories of Fellowships & Grants, Education & Training Partnerships, and Member Services.

ASM News: 2002 Morrison Rogosa Awardees

Fellowships and Grants. The International Fellowship Program (IFP) and the International Professorship Program (IPP) continue to attract high-quality students and researchers. Eleven awards were made in 2001 for a total of $44,000. Daniel Sordelli, International Microbiology Education Committee (IMEC) cochair, negotiated agreements with the Fundacion Antorchas and the Argentine Society for Microbiology to cosponsor awards to Argentine researchers. As a result, the International Fellowship and Professorship Programs were expanded with two application deadlines for each of them per year. A second review committee was created so that each of these programs has its own committee of reviewers. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) significantly increased funding to the ASM/MIRCENs Program last year, which enabled ASM to expand its awards and improve the MIRCENs network. As a result of a meeting held at the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) office in Paris between UNESCO and ASM, UNESCO increased funding to the ASM/UNESCO Travel Grants and the ASM/UNESCO Visiting Resource Person programs. In addition, UNESCO committed to fund a MIRCEN Directors Meeting scheduled for 11-13 April 2002 in Washington, D.C. The Morrison Rogosa Award recognizes outstanding research accomplishment and potential of women scientists in former Soviet Bloc countries. Two awards were made in 2001, providing the recipients with complimentary one-year memberships in ASM (see ASM News, February 2002, p. 91). The International Requests for Assistance (IRFA) program of the IC was able to provide support to other national microbiological societies 13 times throughout the year, supporting participation of ASM speakers and overall organization of microbiological events in developing countries, including national congresses in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Indonesia, and Kenya. Finally, through the Book Donation Program ASM Press books valued at $13,500 were donated to the International Book Project for distribution to libraries and institutions in developing countries.


Education & Training Partnerships. ASM's application for recognition as an official nongovernmental organization (NGO) partner of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) was accepted by the PAHO Executive Committee in June 2001. The ASM application included a four-year workplan entitled "Strengthening Epidemiological Prevention and Surveillance Systems in Latin America." Implementation of the workplan is well under way. IC Chair Stephen Lerner has participated in all meetings of PAHO's antimicrobial resistance task force, assisting in the drafting of its Guadalajara Declaration to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance in Latin America. ASM has been providing ASM instructors for a series of joint ASM/PAHO workshops on topics of laboratory quality control and antimicrobial resistance as well. The other major activity underway in partnership with PAHO is the development of educational programs on crucial microbiological issues for Latin American universities and clinical laboratories. It was agreed that the starting point for the effort would be the development of educational packets, the first of which will target antimicrobial resistance issues. The packets will be followed by related activities-training workshops, professorship and fellowship grants-designed to create a core cadre of highly trained scientists capable of working in partnership with PAHO on these issues.

ASM and the Interregional Association for Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (IACMAC) organized a two-day workshop on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing in June 2001 in Moscow, Russia. The workshop was conducted in an interactive format that also included wet lab experience. Plans are underway to present a revised version of the workshop that will travel through several cities in Siberia in 2002.


ASM significantly improved its relationship with the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS) through the appointment of four new ASM members to the U.S. National Committee of IUMS. Two of these members are the IC cochairs Stephen A. Lerner and Anne Morris Hooke; this has enhanced communication between IUMS and ASM as well as coordination of joint activities. Two USNC (U.S. National Committee)/IUMS meetings were held in 2001. ASM is cosponsoring a roundtable session entitled "Globalization of Microbiology" with the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) and UNESCO during the IUMS Congress in Paris in 2002.

ASM participated in the "International Symposium of Microbial Ecology and ASM International Activities" organized by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and funded by the Fundacion Areces. A complete morning was added to the agenda for ASM participants. ASM President-Elect Ronald Atlas was the keynote presenter for the event. Lily Schuermann, ASM director of International and Minority Activities, made a presentation on ASM international activities and programs. IC member Daniel Sordelli and ASM International Ambassador Humberto Guerra participated in a roundtable session on ASM programs in Latin America.

International Member Services. The ASM International Ambassadors Program was expanded and improved in 2001. Currently, there are nine Ambassadors, seven in Latin America and two in Eastern Europe. Ambassadors conducted a survey of ASM members in their countries, thus acquainting ASM members with their local representatives, soliciting suggestions for ASM to improve services, and providing Ambassadors with a database of potential local volunteers. A meeting of the ASM International Ambassadors is planned during the upcoming ASM General Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, in May 2002.

The International Membership Committee (IMC) launched its Global Outreach Program in 2001. The program provides free ASM membership and free online ASM journal access to qualified scientists in 35 of the least developed countries. UNESCO supported startup of the Global Outreach Program with a $2,000 contribution.

International staff worked to improve the utility of the ASM website through a redesigned International home page in three languages that serves as a miniportal for international members. International staff also conducted a survey of ASM members, creating a database of those interested in volunteering for international activities.

New Volunteers. Marie B. Coyle, American Academy of Microbiology, joined the International Committee. Edgar DaSilva, former UNESCO Director of Life Sciences, became a Special Advisor to the IC. Steven Specter, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of South Florida, Aida Casiano-Colon, Department of Microbiology, Rochester General Hospital, and Lillian Waldbeser, College of Science & Technology, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, joined the International Microbiology Education Committee (IMEC).

2001 has been a year of many challenges and accomplishments. We wish to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteer members of the ASM leadership, the IC and its two standing committees, the International Microbiology Education Committee and the International Membership Committee, for their tireless work throughout the year. Above all, we extend our thanks to the International Activities staff, without whom none of this would have been possible. Today, more than ever, ASM is called upon to exert leadership of the global microbiological community. We hope that through our activities we have contributed to maintaining ASM's global reputation for excellence.

Stephen A. Lerner
Wayne State University School of Medicine
Detroit, Mich.

Anne Morris Hooke
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio

The UNESCO-ASM Visiting Resource Person Program: ASM Educational Outreach to Developing Nations

The International Committee is delighted to announce that funding has been secured to continue the UNESCO-ASM Visiting Resource Person Program through 2002. This program, which was launched in 1999, provides the opportunity for ASM members visiting developing nations on academic or other business to spend a day at a University or Research Institute for the purpose of presenting a seminar to faculty and students.

ASM members planning to travel to a developing country are urged to take advantage of this program. Contact ASM at  and let us know your travel dates, your area of interest, and one or two suggested titles for a seminar, and we will post your information on the Visiting Resource Person Program website. An e-mail message is sent to all ASM members in the target country, informing them of the upcoming visit and encouraging them to contact the traveling member to arrange for that member to visit their facility.

ASM International HomPage

Information on this program, as well as other International initiatives, is available on the ASM International website.


ASM Branches on the Web

The following ASM Branches have established sites on the World Wide Web:




Connecticut Valley

Eastern New York

Eastern Pennsylvania 









New Jersey (Theobald Smith Society)

New York City 

North Central 

North Carolina 

Northern California 



Puerto Rico 

Rocky Mountain 

South Carolina 

South Central 


Southern California 



Washington, D.C. 


ASM Divisions on the Web

The following ASM Divisions have established sites on the World Wide Web:

Division A, Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Division B, Microbial Pathogenesis

Division C, Clinical Microbiology

Division D, General Medical Microbiology

Division E, Immunology

Division F, Medical Mycology

Division G, Mycoplasmology 

Division I, General Microbiology

Division K, Microbial Physiology and Metabolism 

Division M, Bacteriophage 

Division N, Microbial Ecology 

Division O, Fermentation and Biotechnology 

Division P, Food Microbiology 

Division Q, Environmental and General Applied Microbiology

Division R, Systematic & Evolutionary Microbiology 

Division T, RNA Viruses 

Division U, Mycobacteriology 

Division W, Microbiology Education

Division X, Molecular, Cellular and General Microbiology of Eukaryotes

Division Y, Public Health 

Division Z, Animal Health Microbiology 

Members are encouraged to visit these Web pages, which are also accessible through the Membership section of the ASM Web site.