ASM News

    ASM News

    National Geographic Article Receives Public Communications Award

    Richard Monastersky, earth science editor at Science News, has been named the recipient of the 1999 ASM Public Communications Award. His winning entry, "The Rise of Life on Earth,'' appeared in National Geographic in March 1998 and explored the early evolution of life on the planet. The article covers the first 3 billion years of our biological history, which unfolds almost wholly within the realm of microscopic organisms. Starting with the first stirrings of life, the article describes how microbes shaped later evolution and turned Earth into a more hospitable environment.

    an4.jpg (22966 bytes)
    Monastersky interviews Reysenbach for his prizewinning article


    The annual award carries an honorarium of $2,500 plus expenses to attend the General Meeting of the ASM, which took place in Chicago 30 May-3 June 1999 and celebrated the centennial of the organization's founding.

    In the article, Monastersky contributes significantly to making readers aware of the diversity of microbial life and what fossil evidence might mean for life on other planets and the controversial data associated with the Mars meteorite. "Ultimately, he leaves the reader with a wonder of how little we know but how many secrets the microbial world may hold to exploring life in this solar system,'' according to Anna-Louise Reysenbach, assistant professor of biology at Portland State University, Portland, Oreg., who nominated him for the award. "He has contributed significantly to the public awareness of the diversity of microbial life and towards educating the public about the positive role microbes play in the environment.'' Also credited in the article were Carol Lutyk, senior editorial staff, who served as text editor; Kurt Mutchler, illustrations editor; Christopher Sloan, art director; and O. Louis Mazzatenta, photographer.

    Monastersky has been covering earth science research and policy for Science News, an award-winning weekly magazine with a circulation of 200,000, since 1987 and also supervises the magazine's science writing internship program. He has also written articles for Discover, Earth, Science World, and the Encyclopedia Britannica as well as a chapter in Nature on the Rampage, published by Smithsonian Books.

    Report Confirms High Impact of ASM Journals

    Over the last 10 years, librarians have been discovering that buying an institutional subscription to a scholarly journal has become an expensive decision. Some life science journals now cost as much as $8,000 for a one-year subscription.

    A Cornell University study, "Price Study of Core Agricultural and Biological Journals,'' reported on changes in institutional journal subscription prices over a period of six years and found that while the comparative costs of humanities and nonscholarly scientific journals have remained low, the costs of scholarly scientific journals have increased at a rate that many librarians are finding alarming. Between 1988 and 1994, the average subscription cost for a biology journal increased 35.5%, while the average cost of agricultural journal subscriptions rose 64.7%.

    It has been the commercial publishers, as opposed to universities and nonprofit societies, that have led the way in this trend--26 of the 30 most highly priced biological journals and 24 of the 25 most expensive agricultural journals published during the time frame of the study were produced by commercial publishers.

    Good News for ASM Journal Subscribers

    The Cornell study reveals that ASM has continued to keep journal cost increases steady and well below the average while delivering some of the most widely cited science in their fields. This is true of all the ASM journals highlighted in the Cornell study and of ASM journals in general.

    From 1988 to 1994, the cost of the Journal of Bacteriology (JB) rose only 11%, while the cost per page dropped 15% and cost per character dropped 18%. The Journal of Bacteriology is providing subscribers with more research for their money, as evidenced by its increasing volume. Further, the number of times JB articles were cited rose 51%, and its impact factor rose 16%. JB hasn't just resisted the cost increase trend in the scientific publishing industry; it actually provides more value for its readers now than ever before.

    Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews (MMBR) and Applied and Environmental Microbiology (AEM) have also kept cost increases modest (10 and 20%, respectively, from 1988 to 1994), yet both journals' costs per page have decreased (by 18 and 17%, respectively). Additionally, both continue to be among the most highly cited journals in their fields--MMBR is number 1 of 65 journals in the field of microbiology, while AEM is ranked number 7 of 72 journals in the field of biotechnology and applied microbiology and number 13 of 65 journals in the field of microbiology (as ranked by impact factor in the Science Citation Index's 1997 Journal Citation Report). Subscribers to the Journal of Virology will be pleased to know that the subscription cost rose just 9% in the same period, while remaining the highest-ranked journal out of 19 in the field of virology and among the top 50 of the most-cited journals in the area of science and technology (4,963 journals total).

    Table 1

    The fact that ASM journal prices have remained modest and well below the scientific publishing industry's average hasn't interfered with their influence in the life sciences field. Six of ASM's 10 journals are among the top 15 journals in the field of microbiology as ranked by impact factor (a ratio of citations to articles published in the last two years). Three of the other four ASM journals rank within the top 10 journals of their primary subject category in the Science Citation Index's 1997 Journal Citation Reports (Table 1).

    Table 2

    Table 2 shows the total number of citations each ASM journal received in 1997--another indicator of a journal's value in the scientific community. Of the 4,963 journals indexed in the 1997 Journal Citation Report, six of ASM's journals are ranked (by the total number of citations) in the top 100 journals.

    Journal Prices Reflect ASM's Values

    It might seem surprising that the cost increases for such high-quality science have remained well below the average, but when one considers ASM's core mission, it makes sense. As Publications Board Chair Barbara Iglewski noted, "ASM remains committed to disseminating high-quality research through our journals at the lowest possible cost. Additionally, we are grateful to the many respected authors who submit the valuable science to our journals and to the scientists who volunteer time and effort as editors and manuscript reviewers, all of whom make the achievement of our goals possible.'' While it is uncertain what the future will bring in terms of subscription costs in the life sciences, ASM journal subscribers can be confident that the Society's commitment to deliver the highest-quality science at reasonable prices will remain unbroken.

    Digital Instructional Library

    Instructional Library Demonstration Site

    The Board of Education and Training, with funding from the National Science Foundation, is developing a digital Instructional Library of peer-reviewed teaching and learning resources for microbiology education. A prototype, the Instructional Library Demonstration sit, is already available and showcases the quality and variety of materials that will be contained in the library. The demonstration site includes an assortment of curricular resources: an image collection with animations, videos, and still images of microbes; and innovative laboratory and lecture activities. The site has been developed for the use of educators and prospective authors who are interested in submitting materials to this international collection. The fully searchable Instructional Library will be online in June 1999.

    The goal of the Instructional Library is to advance excellence in microbiology education, demonstrate key microbial concepts, provide cutting-edge images of the microbial world, and allow microbiology educators the opportunity to demonstrate their scholarship of teaching. Fred Pfaender, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and cochair of the Image Collection Steering Committee, adds, "Our goal has been the assembly of a resource for teachers and learners of microbiology. If a picture is worth a thousand words and a moving picture ten thousand, we have tried to save a lot of words. We are grateful to the many ASM members who have shared their treasured pictures with us and the microbiology education community.'' To reflect the ever-changing state of microbiological discovery, submissions to the Instructional Library are continuously sought.

    The library has two unique features that distinguish it from other national clearinghouses. First, all items are correlated to key microbial concepts and basic laboratory skills for undergraduate education, as determined by ASM's undergraduate educator community. Second, all items are peer-reviewed and selected for scientific accuracy, instructional value, and quality.

    Biofilm Image Collection

    For ease of use, the Instructional Library has been divided into two primary sections: visual resources and curriculum resources. The visual resources will not simply be a collection of images; rather, to provide maximum educational value, each image will be accompanied by a fact sheet furnishing descriptions, key terms, and other important details. "This approach stemmed from the successful Biofilm image collection; educators using this resource asked for more detail to incorporate into their use of the Biofilm materials,'' says Gloria Delisle of Queens University, cochair of the Image Collection Steering Committee.

    Drawing from the core microbial concepts, the visual resources are further divided into four categories: microbial cell biology, microbial genetics, microorganisms and humans, and microorganisms in the environment. "Educators using the Biofilm collection repeatedly requested more and diverse images, and it seemed appropriate to collect materials based on the core themes developed by the undergraduate educators of ASM,'' adds Delisle.

    The curriculum resources will be presented in an easy to use format and provide instructors with a variety of new activities to enhance their classrooms and laboratories. "Every educator knows the thrill of finding a great graphic, exercise, or other teaching tool that adds extra interest and facilitates learning by our students,'' says Thomas Terry, University of Connecticut and chair of the Curriculum Resources Editorial Committee. "The resource collection provides a library of such tools, peer-reviewed and carefully edited for quality, freely accessible over the Web, and free of worries about copyright infringement when used for educational purposes. This collection will be useful to teachers and students worldwide, including many who are not microbiologists. Kudos to ASM for having the vision to create and support such a great idea.''

    Though the curriculum resources are also linked to the core concepts, they have been divided into three categories to reflect their level of sophistication: the "Activities Collection'' contains highly developed activities that are rich in content; the "Activities Incubator'' contains a variety of new approaches and ideas for improving the presentation of key concepts; and the "Educator's Toolbox'' contains general-purpose pedagogical techniques that can be used to teach or reinforce a variety of microbiological facts and concepts.

    Members looking for an opportunity to demonstrate scholarship of teaching, advance excellence in microbiological education, acquire credentials for tenure and promotion, and receive international recognition of teaching approaches and strategies should submit their best visual or curriculum resources to be considered for inclusion in the prestigious Instructional Library. The next deadline for review and selection of materials is 1 July 1999. All are welcome to submit. Submissions must be in the designated format. Please refer to the "Call'' section of the Web site, E-mail , or call (202)942-9282 for further information. Complete submissions may be sent to ASM Office of Education and Training, Instructional Library, 1325 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005-4171.

    Denise Steene
    Denise Steene is the Curriculum Coordinator in the ASM Office of Education and Training.

    ASM Announces Additional 1999 International Fellowship Awardees

    ASM International Fellowship Program

    The International Microbiology Education Committee is pleased to announce that they are able to grant two additional ASM International Fellowship Awards. These awards are offered to investigators from Latin American countries to work with microbiologists in the United States, and each awardee will visit the United States for a minimum of six weeks and collaborate with an ASM member who is permanently employed at an accredited U.S. institution. The program provides a stipend of up to $4,000.

    Guillermo Giambartolomei, Ph.D., a Research Scientist at the Center for Studies of Humoral Immunity of the School of Biochemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, will be working with Mario Philipp of the Tulane Regional Primate Research Center. His research project will focus on the role of CD11/CD18 [gb]2 integrins as coreceptors in the CD14-mediated, lipoprotein-induced cytokine production of monocytes. "This project is highly relevant in the field of pathogeneses of Lyme disease,'' said Giambartolomei. "It is especially suitable for the rehearsal and troubleshooting of techniques that I want to apply when I return to Argentina.''

    Walter Quintero-Betancourt, M.S., is a Research Assistant at the Council for Scientific and Humanistic Development at the University del Zulia in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Quintero-Betancourt will be collaborating with Joan B. Rose at the Marine Science Department of the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg. His research project will focus on technologies for assessing water quality to determine appropriate indicators for microbiological water quality and to determine the occurrence of pathogens along with indicators and the associated sources, public health risks, and potential for management. "Development of techniques to study the impact of manmade pollution to freshwater, marine, and estuarine environments are of relevant importance everywhere,'' said Quintero-Betancourt. "Previous studies have demonstrated the presence of high levels of fecal contamination in water samples from different geographical areas of Maracaibo. It is of interest to evaluate sources, occurrence, and removal of microbial pathogens whose presence in water represents serious public health risks.''

    ASM Report

    Council Policy Committee Minutes

    The Council Policy Committee (CPC) met in formal session on Saturday, 6 February 1999 at the Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Voting members of the CPC in attendance were: Stuart Levy (president), Julian Davies (president-elect), Stanley Falkow (past president), Judy Daly (secretary), Sam Kaplan (treasurer), Rita Colwell (chair, Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology), Clifford Houston (chair, Board of Education and Training), Peter Maloney (chair, Meetings Board), Marie Pezzlo (chair, Membership Board), Gail Cassell (chair, Public and Scientific Affairs Board), Barbara Iglewski (chair, Publications Board), Roberta Carey, Marie Coyle, and Ronald Luftig (members at large [Branches]), and Virginia Clark, Christon Hurst, and Herbert Winkler (members at large [Divisions]).

    Invited guests and ex officio members in attendance were: Michael Goldberg (executive director), John FitzGerald (deputy executive director, Operations and Finance), Martha Howe (incoming president elect), Lily Schuermann (assistant director, Minority and International Activities), Carol Colgan (director, American Academy of Microbiology), Amy Chang (director, Education and Training), Linda Illig (director, Journals), Jeffrey Holtmeier (director, ASM Press), Nancy Elder (director, Meetings), Lorna Kent (director, Membership Services), Jerry Palmer (controller), Kim Shankle (director, Human Resources), Barbara Hyde (director, Public Communications), Gaylen Bradley (chair, Centennial Heritage Committee and guest speaker), Anne Morris Hooke (cochair, International Coordinating Committee), Steve Lerner (chair, International Coordinating Committee), Cynthia Needham (Microbial Literacy Collaborative), Julius Youngner (chair, Ethics Committee), and Jill Baumel (coordinator, Leadership Services).

    Minutes from the September 1998 CPC meeting were approved. The meeting agenda was approved.

    Official Appointments. Judy Daly presented nominees for the members of committees for the CPC's approval ad interim. A motion to approve Dr. Karl Western as member, International Coordinating Subcommittee, and Dr. Daniel Sordelli and Karl Schleifer as members at large, International Membership Subcommittee, was passed unanimously.

    Ethics Committee Report. On behalf of the Ethics Committee, Julius Youngner presented a draft proposal for revision of the Code of Ethics of the Society. The Code of Ethics and the Ethical Review Procedure was last reviewed and approved by Council and the membership in 1987. Since then there have been several allegations brought to ASM about violations of the Code. There had also been a significant increase in the number and scope of issues in publications. Based on these incidents, it was appropriate and timely to reexamine the Code and Procedures. Questions were raised about to whom the document would be made available. The Committee recommended publishing the revisions in ASM News. Friendly amendments to revise the following language by adding the italicized words were passed: "[process #2] The President shall dismiss the complaint at this point and so inform the complainant''; "[process #5] the President of ASM shall promptly and in confidence notify all appropriate parties in writing of the decision''; Friendly amendments to revise the following language by removing the italicized words were passed: "[process #8] In the case of removal from membership, requested resignation, or other appropriate action or penalty, the name of the member and the sanction'' A motion to accept the revised Ethics Committee Report passed with one opposed. A motion to accept a revision of the Bylaws of ASM to bring the revised Code of Ethics and the Bylaws into agreement was passed with one abstention. The revised documents in their entirety will be published in ASM News. A motion to change the name of the Committee on Ethical Practices to Ethics Committee was passed unanimously.

    International Coordinating Committee Policy Document. The CPC International Coordinating Committee had been charged with conducting an annual review of the current international activities of the Society and to provide recommendations to the CPC on the future international direction of the Society. ICC developed a policy to initiate and administer specific programs to assist ASM's international membership. A friendly amendment to revise the following language by adding the italicized words was passed: "[limit #2] Each organization, generally, will be limited to a maximum award of $5,000 in a given year'' A motion to accept the proposed Policy and Guidelines of the International Coordinating Committee was passed unanimously.

    International Coordinating Committee-Funds. Sam Kaplan announced that the ICC submitted a proposal to donate $5,000 from their budget towards microbiology laboratories for Hurricane Mitch victims. The grant was approved, and the money was sent to labs in Nicaragua. Every ASM committee has the option to allocate funds towards humanitarian aid.

    Bylaws Change for Student Members. Marie Pezzlo proposed to adopt a new definition of student membership in ASM's Constitution and Bylaws that would permit students to apply for or renew ASM membership online while preserving ASM's ability to verify student status. The new language would not require a department chair to sign the application. Rather, the student will be required to certify student status and the application will request the name of the department chair. A friendly amendment to revise the following language by removing the italicized words was passed: "...or whose application certifies that the individual is a matriculated student and that the student has not received a doctoral degree, and who has paid dues'' A motion to approve the revised definition of student membership, "Student Members. A student who qualifies under the Constitution (Art. IV, Sec. 3), whose bona fide status as a student may be certified by the chair of a department in a college or university, or whose application certifies that the individual is a matriculated student, and who has paid dues for the first year of membership, shall become a Student Member. Student Members may subscribe to ASM publications and attend meetings at special rates as specified by the ASM Council,'' was passed with one abstention.

    Finance. Sam Kaplan discussed details of the purchase, renovation, and financing of the new headquarters building and offered a proposal for permanent financing for approval. The new headquarters building is at 1752 N Street in Washington, D.C. It was purchased for $11.5 million. Renovations are expected to be contracted for a cost not to exceed $4.25 million. The following motions passed unanimously: to reaffirm use of debt to finance purchase and renovation of the building; to finance the headquarters building's purchase and renovation through issuance of revenue bonds; to finance the building acquisition, renovation, acquisition/construction interest expense, upfront/issuance costs, and 2% contingency in an amount not to exceed $17.6 million; to finance the leased portion of the building with taxable debt; to finance the leased portion with variable rate taxable debt and the ASM-occupied portion with variable rate, tax-exempt debt with consideration given to a fixed rate swap if/when conditions warrant; to proceed promptly with financing closings, targeting approximately 1 April 1999 as the deadline; [a friendly amendment to revise the following language by adding the italicized words was passed] to appoint a committee to review and approve the pricing of the bond offering on the date of issuance with the committee consisting of voting members (President, Treasurer, Secretary, a CPC Senior Division Representative, a CPC Senior Branch Representative) and non-voting members (Treasurer-elect, Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director).

    Dues Increase. Michael Goldberg said that since ASM News revenues are flat and expenses are rising, the deficit is now greater than past years. A dues increase that is allocated to ASM News would reduce the deficit. A dues increase to Membership would offset expenses for services open to members. A motion to institute a $5 increase in dues; $4 of which will go to ASM News and $1 of which will go to Membership, was passed unanimously.

    Report on the Regional/Branch Initiative. The Membership Board was charged by the CPC to provide a report on the impact regional moneys made on ASM Branches after the Branch Regional Initiative Program had been in operation for three years. The moneys have permitted branches to improve the science presented at local meetings; diversify local scientific programs; attract and increase the number of student attendees; provide student travel grants to the ASM General Meeting and local Branch meetings; and better publicize Branch meetings. A motion to continue the regional initiative program at its current level of spending ($10,000 per region; total regional spending: $70,000) was passed unanimously.

    Review of Future Relations with IDSA. Peter Maloney discussed the recent conference call between representatives of ICAAC and the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) regarding a joint meeting in a future year. This call followed the September vote by CPC to continue conversations with IDSA via a designated committee from both organizations. The CPC now recommends that representatives from ASM continue to meet and exchange detailed lists of expectations and recommendations with IDSA, continued in the spirit of determining if such a joint meeting is possible and worthwhile.

    Library Site License for ASM Journals. Barbara Iglewski reported that libraries and companies want to provide campus- and company-wide remote access for students/faculty and employees, respectively. The CPC previously approved restricting nonmember site licenses to terminals in the library building (or departmental library room) in the hopes of preventing loss of members. Iglewski described other types of site licenses and provided the latest subscription numbers for the ASM online journals. After a lengthy discussion, it was recommended that current policy should be continued while additional data are collected and alternatives are explored and that the issue should be revisited in the near future.

    Update on Task Force on Membership Initiatives. Sam Kaplan said the Task Force on Membership Initiatives has reviewed products and services to recruit and retain members. The Task Force summary report was presented to the CPC. The following three options were presented as means to recruit members while offering products/services that were customized to membership groups. Option 1 extended the concept of the transitional membership to other special membership groups which also have restricted benefits. It did not require a member to subscribe to a journal. It was essentially the same as the current membership structure. The CPC did favor this option but did not reach consensus on how to implement it or who could take advantage of it. Option 2 focused on the larger group of members who do subscribe to a journal and offers additional benefits specifically to journal subscribers. CPC supported this option but was reluctant to permit any group other than the transitional members to join the Society without paying a journal credit as part of a membership fee. Option 3 eliminated the journal credit and offers a basic set of products/services to all members. Those who want to subscribe to journals can do so at member rates. This option was rejected by CPC. This leaves options 1 and 2 for further deliberations. A further report from this task force is planned for May CPC.

    Update on Centennial Heritage Committee. Gaylen Bradley thanked the CPC for the support they have given to the Centennial Heritage Committee over the past years. He gave special thanks to Barbara Hyde, Michael Goldberg, and Jeff Karr. Bradley presented an Activity Status Report summarizing the centennial issue of ASM News (May 1999 issue). He announced that there will be a special edition of selected papers in microbiology featured as well as celebratory articles in individual journals.

    Update on Microbial Literacy Collaborative (MLC). Cynthia Needham discussed the international distribution of the prime-time series, Intimate Strangers: Unseen Life on Earth. An early 1999 international broadcast will bring revenue to the ASM and will help alleviate ASM of its financial guarantee to the MLC. A motion to enable Reiner Moritz Associates, the likely foreign distributor of the TV series Intimate Strangers, to broadcast the series in advance of any domestic showing either to the membership at the General Meeting or on Public Television was passed unanimously. A Web site for the television series can be viewed at beginning this May.

    Annual Reports. The Board Chairs presented their annual reports. Rita Colwell reported on three upcoming American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) colloquia: microbial genome sequencing, climate and human health, and antibiotic resistance. She further described colloquia being planned for 2000: microbial diversity, agricultural biotechnology, and microbiological (or biological) war and terrorism. Cliff Houston said the Board of Education and Training (BET) implemented the first teacher/science day, where 25 teachers were matched with mentors in Atlanta. He said that BET will continue to play an affirming role in microbiology to educate the public and disseminate information. Peter Maloney reported that the previous ICAAC held the second-highest number of attendees. He said that 86% of abstracts for the 1999 General Meeting are now being submitted by E-mail or online. Marie Pezzlo acknowledged Toby Eisenstein for the success of the Branches. She also said that four new student chapters are supported by ASM for a total of 44. Barbara Iglewski reported that ASM Press in 1998 signed 28 books and published 16--that is the most for one year. She said that the book that sold the most copies in 1998 was about biotechnology. Gail Cassell discussed two publications by the Public and Scientific Affairs Board (PSAB). One dealt with microbial pollutants in our water supply. The other was about intellectual property. Steve Lerner said the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) has started to consolidate ASM international activities previously administered by other departments, such as the International Fellowship and Professorship Programs and the UNESCO-ASM Travel Grants, and has added the International Membership Subcommittee as a standing Committee of the ICC. In addition, the ICC is in the process of initiating and expanding relationships with other international organizations (PAHO, UNESCO, NAS, IUMS, etc). The ICC will have its strategic plan retreat in late February 1999. Barbara Hyde said that Public Communications held a major press briefing on the increased value of clinical microbiology in managed care. Hyde promoted a public education Web site at that will come online in May. She also said that ASM has sponsored a video with Walter Cronkite about microbial diversity in Yellowstone National Park that will be released this spring. The video will be shown in the Yellowstone visitors center and will be available for purchase.

    A motion to change the name of the Public Communications Committee to Communications Committee was passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned without further action.

    American Academy of Microbiology

    New ABMLI Diplomates

    The American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology welcomes the following new Diplomates:

    Shyuan Hsia, Ph.D., Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Amir A. Sadighi, M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.


    ASM Salutes Its 50-Year Members

    ASM proudly recognizes those members of the Society for whom 1999 marks the 50th year of their membership. The participation and achievements of the following members have helped to make ASM one of the most prominent and prestigious scientific societies in the world. The Society thanks its 50-year members and is pleased to acknowledge their significant contributions to ASM and to modern science.

    Sheldon Aaronson
    L. Leon Campbell
    Lester E. Casida
    Joel R. Cohen
    William A. Corpe
    Conrad W. De Fiebre
    Cleve B. Denny
    Howard Gest
    Johanna M. Glacy-Araos
    Carl W. Godzeski
    Herbert S. Goldberg
    Robert C. Good
    Arthur E. Greene
    John L. Ingraham
    Stanley A. Katz
    Jack L. Lapuck
    Joseph P. Lowenthal
    Inga R. Mahler
    Sami A. Mayyasi
    William I. Metzger
    Norman G. Miller
    Victor Monsour
    David A. Mossel
    Mitsura J. Nakamura
    H. B. Naylor
    Roy Repaske
    Noel R. Rose
    Carmela M. Santarsiero
    George H. Scherr
    Gene W. Schnell
    Mary L. Sigtenhorst
    Warren S. Silver
    Thomas H. Stoudt
    M. H. VanTassell
    Benito R. Varela
    Alfred Wallbank
    Morton M. Weber
    Arthur J. Yaillen
    Donald W. Ziegler

    List includes members who renewed membership as of 1 April 1999.


    nw0690363002.gif (3056 bytes)

    Yuan Chang and Patrick Moore of Columbia University, New York, N.Y. were awarded the Koch Prize by the The Robert Koch Foundation for the 1994 discovery of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. The prize was awarded on 22 October 1998 in Bonn, Germany. The virus causes Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), which is the most frequent cancer that occurs among AIDS patients. It is also believed to cause a type of lymphoma called body cavity-based lymphoma and some forms of another disorder of white blood cells called Castleman's disease.

    KS is a skin cancer that occurs on the face, extremities, or genitals but can disseminate to the lungs and intestines. For over three decades, scientists have suspected that KS might be due to an infection, and ultimately over 20 different viruses and bacteria were scrutinized and rejected as the cause of this cancer. After numerous attempts by laboratories around the world to grow a new virus directly from KS tumors were unsuccessful, Chang and Moore recognized that a fundamentally new approach was needed to isolate the virus if it existed. They used a new technique in molecular biology to isolate several pieces of the viral DNA from the human DNA present in a KS lesion.

    The Columbia group proved that the DNA pieces belonged to a larger virus and developed the rudiments of a blood test to detect infection. They also had shown that all forms of KS, regardless of whether the patient had HIV or not, were positive for the virus which they called KSHV. Together with a postdoctoral scientist in their lab, Shou-Jiang Gao, this group subsequently developed several new blood tests to detect infection and sequenced the entire genome of the virus in collaboration with Columbia researchers, Isidore Edelman, Jim Russo and Roy Bohenzky. Over the past two years, KSHV has become widely accepted by the scientific community as the long-sought after "KS virus''. The unraveling of the genetic code of the virus has stimulated scientists from a variety of disciplines to now look at KSHV as a new model for how a virus can cause a cancer and, ironically, some of the proteins made by KSHV are being examined for their potential to fight HIV.

    The Robert Koch Prize, worth 120,000 DM, is awarded by the Robert Koch Foundation in Germany. It was instituted in 1965, and Georg Klein from the Karolinska Institute will be awarded the companion Koch Medal for his studies of a related virus, Epstein-Barr virus, which also causes some forms of lymphoma. The Prize honors the nineteenth-century German scientist who discovered the bacterium causing tuberculosis and codified the first set of principles for determining whether an infectious agent causes disease.

    William J. Hausler, Jr., is a recipient of the 1998 Association of State and Territorial Public Health Laboratory Directors Lifetime Achievement Award. Hausler held the position of director of the University of Iowa (State) Hygienic Laboratory for 30 years (from 1965-1995). Currently he is director emeritus. He holds a joint appointment as a professor of Preventive Medicine in the College of Medicine and as professor of Oral Pathology in the College of Dentistry at The University of Iowa. Under his leadership, the Hygienic Laboratory came to be considered by many as one of the finest environmental and public health laboratories in the country. The Hygienic Laboratory is a complex of three separate laboratories with a multidisciplinary staff of 190 people.

    Hausler holds a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Kansas and is board certified in medical and public health microbiology by the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM). In 1995, he was the recipient of the Professional Recognition Award given by the ABMM. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology as well as its past chair and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Committee on Clinical Laboratory Standards. Hausler has directly participated in the drafting of legislation at the state and federal levels, primarily in those areas dealing with the environment and clinical laboratory regulations.

    He has published widely and counts among his many achievements editor of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th editions of the ASM Manual of Clinical Microbiology; the 6th edition of the American Public Health Association (APHA) Diagnostic Procedures for Bacterial, Mycotic and Parasitic Infections; Laboratory Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases, Principles and Practices; the 13th edition of the APHA Standard Methods for the Examination of Dairy Products; and the recently released 9th edition of Topley and Wilson's Microbiology and Microbial Infections. He serves as a consultant to industry, local, state, and federal government, including having served as a World Health Organization consultant in Iran, India, the Philippines, China, and the Western Pacific Region.

    The 22nd recipient of the Keith M. Keenly Microbiology Award established at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa., by Maryanne S. Keenly Dixon was awarded to Richard A. Walck, a Biology major at Muhlenberg College who is applying for admissions to a graduate program. He will receive a one-year membership in ASM and journals of his choice.

    Gail Wertz, professor of microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has received a $500,000 award from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, headquartered in New York, N.Y. Wertz is one of only two researchers selected this year by Bristol-Myers Squibb to receive a five-year, unrestricted infectious disease research grant. Currently, only nine researchers worldwide hold such grants, which may be used to fund any research in the area of infectious disease. The money will be used to fund further research of viral replication and gene expression. Wertz's work focuses on the basic principles of how viruses replicate and control the expression of their genes. Wertz pioneered genetic engineering of RNA viruses such as rabies, mumps and measles. Wertz's laboratory is now working on respiratory syncytial virus, the major cause of childhood bronchiolitis and pneumonia, and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a pathogen of cattle, horses, and swine. Last year, Wertz used the new genetic engineering technology to develop and test a new type of vaccine for VSV. The infectious diseases grants program is one of six biomedical research grants programs funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Other programs support research in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular/metabolic diseases, neuroscience, nutrition, and orthopedics.

    Deceased Members

    nw0690363001.gif (3646 bytes)

    Kathleen E. Kendrick, Professor of Microbiology at The Ohio State University, died on 2 March 1999 after a protracted and courageous battle against ovarian cancer. Kathy was born in 1951 in Toledo, Ohio, graduated Valedictorian from Ottawa Hills High School in Toledo, and then earned a B.A. in 1972 from the University of California (Santa Barbara) and a Ph.D. in microbiology in 1979 from the University of California (Davis). Following postdoctoral training with Professors Ensign and Reznikoff at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), she joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology at The Ohio State University as an Assistant Professor in 1984 and rose through the faculty ranks to Professor in 1998.

    Throughout her career, Kathy focused her research attention on the biochemistry and developmental biology of Streptomyces griseus. She made the seminal observation that S. griseus sporulates when grown submerged in liquid culture and subsequently took advantage of this property to investigate histidine catabolism and to isolate and characterize cell division mutants and, most recently, investigated the roles of penicillin-binding proteins in S. griseus growth, cell division, and sporulation. She was an acknowledged leader in the Streptomyces research community and was in constant demand to give seminars, review research manuscripts, and evaluate grant proposals. She provided these professional services to her colleagues readily, enthusiastically, thoroughly, and carefully. As a teacher and mentor, Kathy was generous with her time, positive and precise, always encouraging while demanding the best from her students. Through her innovation, undergraduates improved their writing skills while reporting the results of microbiology laboratory exercises. Graduate students and postdoctoral trainees in her laboratory benefited enormously from her imaginative, demanding, but realistic research challenges. Kathy never overtly donned the mantle of a role model but was nevertheless very much aware of her status as a senior professor, internationally renowned scientist, and a woman, and deftly and effectively used this position and visibility to encourage young women to pursue and maintain professional careers as scientists.

    Kathy is survived by her mother, three sisters, and brother and her death at such an early age is both a personal tragedy for her family, friends, and colleagues and a major loss for microbiology. Kathy was a truly dedicated scientist; she maintained her research programs and taught throughout her illness, but she had so many more students still to teach and research ideas to pursue. At her request, the Kathleen E. Kendrick Scholarship Fund has been established at The Ohio State University to support minority students majoring in microbiology. Hopefully, through this scholarship she will also be remembered by generations of students who never had the chance to meet her personally. We miss her very much.

    William Segal died Saturday, 30 January 1999 at University Hospital in Denver, Colo. Willie, as he was to all who knew him, was the third child of Haim Hersch Segal and Clara Selinger Segal, who emigrated to Montreal, Canada, from Piatra Neamt and Botosani, Romania, in the late 1800's. He was born in Montreal on 22 December 1922.

    He was educated at Strathcona Academy, and, upon graduation, was admitted to McGill University, where he received B.S.'s in Bacteriology (1943) and Biochemistry (1944). He then entered a master's program at the University of Wisconsin under Perry Wilson and received his M.S. in 1948. He received his Ph.D. under Robert Starkey at Rutgers University in 1952. His postdoctoral research was done at the Research Institute of the City of New York with Hubert Bloch and Jules Freund from 1952 to 1957, with an appointment as lecturer at Hunter College from 1956-1958. He joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Colorado Medical Center (now the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center) as an assistant professor in 1958 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1963. He transferred in 1966 to the Department of Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology (EPOB), where he was promoted to full professor in 1969. In 1968-69, he served as a visiting fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique at Gif-sur-Yvette, France. He was also visiting professor at the Osaka University Medical School in Japan in 1979, the Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, in 1982, and lectured at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1975. Willie mentored 10 Ph.D. and 4 master's students, and one postdoctoral research associate.

    Willie's research at the University of Wisconsin laid some of the groundwork for current biochemical understanding of the ecologically important process of bacterial nitrogen fixation. His research at Rutgers involved microbial biogeochemical cycling of sulfur in soil (a study which resulted in his becoming a social outcast because of the odoriferous nature of the compounds involved.) His studies with Bloch and Freund involved the infectious disease process itself, concentrating on what would become two of his major contributions to science: a study of the host-parasite relationship in biochemical terms, using M. tuberculosis, and development of the in vivo methodology as a way to gain new insight into the host-parasite relationship.

    In Denver, he continued the in vivo studies on mycobacteria, and these in turn gained him national and international recognition. When he transferred to the Boulder Campus, he began work on the immunological properties of M. tuberculosis, which led him into the area of tumor immunology. It was on this work that he collaborated with colleagues in Osaka, Japan, with assistance from the International Union Against Cancer. Willie later returned to research on biogeochemical cycling in alpine soils and collaborated with Carl Sagan in a study which has implications for cellular evolution on earth and for the search for extraterrestrial life.

    In addition to all of his research activities, his teaching activities lent themselves to the promotion of microbiology as a viable area of study at the University of Colorado. He created in students a deep appreciation for the importance of microbiology and its exciting ramifications in various applied fields of research and development, particularly with respect to undergraduate students. (One not-insignificant contribution was his counseling of bright young women students not to limit themselves to nursing or medical technology careers, but to consider careers as physicians or medical researchers.) After Willie retired in 1987 and was appointed Professor Emeritus, he continued to give guest lectures on tuberculosis and the origin of life on an annual basis. His graduate students have gone on to careers in teaching and research throughout the U.S., and he remained a lifelong mentor and friend to many of them.

    Willie's main professional activity outside the University has been in his participation in ASM, which he joined in 1948. Soon after his arrival at the University of Colorado Medical Center, he helped build the Rocky Mountain Branch, serving as President in 1963, and on numerous Branch committees, both standing and ad hoc. In addition, he served on several national committees and on the national Council. He presented papers at over 40 of the Society's annual meetings and hosted numerous meetings of the Branch, both in Denver and Boulder. Since his retirement he has served on the History Committee of the Rocky Mountain Branch and was named Archivist in the early '90's.

    Willie was a member of Sigma Xi, to which he was elected during his Rutgers years, and was a lifelong member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is survived by wife JoAn (Joey) Smyth Segal; son Harold Michael Segal and his wife Felicia, their daughter and Willie's granddaughter, Aurora Ellen Segal, all of Boulder; daughter Nora Alana Kelso and husband John of Littleton, Colo.; and sister Bertha Silverstone of Montreal. A memorial service was held on Friday, February 12, at 4 pm in Old Main Chapel on the University Campus, Boulder, Colo. Those wishing to contribute to the William Segal EPOBiology fund for microbiology may send checks to University of Colorado Foundation, c/o Terri Mason, PO Box 1140, Boulder, CO 80306-1140.

    Delbert E. Schoenhard died on 22 February 1999. He was a respected senior professor and administrator in the Department of Microbiology at Michigan State University for 38 years. He was born on 7 September 1919 in Scales Mound, Ill. He obtained his B.S. at the University of Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa, his M.S. at Kansas State College at Pittsburg, and his Ph.D. in bacteriology from Michigan State. He is remembered as a knowledgeable and effective teacher who sustained research programs, published numerous articles on bacterial genetics, and authored two books and coauthored several others. Colleagues admired his dedication, intellect, integrity, good humor, and friendship. He is survived by wife Ruth Schoenhard, son Grant Schoenhard, daughter Susan Douglas, and two grandchildren, John and Paul Schoenhard.


    Branch Organization Committee Retreat

    The ASM Branch Organization Committee (BOC) met on 23-24 January 1999 at ASM Headquarters, Washington, D.C. Toby K. Eisenstein, chair, BOC, made introductions and began the evaluation of the regional program. She indicated that the BOC agreed to provide a progress report to the Council Policy Committee (CPC) upon completion of the third year of the program. Toby indicated that the CPC hoped that monies provided to Branches under the regional plan would attract more members to the Branches. Upon review of Branch membership counts, it was agreed that 1997 had to serve as the baseline, since membership figures from 1996 were merely estimated by the Branches. In 1997, ASM received actual membership lists and created a database for each Branch. Each Branch then received its member database on disk and was asked to update the data for 1998. A comparison of 1997 and 1998 data indicated that National Society membership in Branches had increased by 10%. Also in 1998, ASM collected a database of nonmembers who belong to Branches. Since a new member benefit package is being offered in 1999, this nonmember population will be solicited for national membership. The Membership Department agreed to develop a special mailing for Branch members.

    Review of Regional Activities. Each of the Regional Planning Coordinators (RPCs) reported on the activity within their region. Highlights included rejuvenation of the Missouri and the Kentucky/Tennessee Branches after years of inactivity. In addition, meeting activity increased within all regions and meeting attendance in many cases doubled. Many Branches created incentive and award programs to attract students to participate and join Branches. Joint and regional meetings increased significantly. RPC's stressed that regional funding has enabled the Branches to engage in long-range planning which has contributed to enhanced programming, regional marketing, and program diversity.

    Branch Reporting Forms. Everyone agreed that Branches were confused by the type, length, and number of forms. At the conclusion of the discussion, a total of four forms were approved, together with a timetable for 1999 and the year 2000. It was agreed that the statement "Branches will not receive any funds from ASM if they do not return forms to ASM by the stated deadline'' will be printed on the schedules. It was further agreed that Branches would continue to send proposals for funding to the RPCs but that all other requested forms would be sent to the national Society.

    Branch Web Sites. Toby reported on the enhanced activity in the development of Branch Web sites. In May 1998, six Branches had Web sites. As of 19 January 1999 there were 19 Web sites. Everyone agreed that the BOC would work to ensure that all Branches have a Web site by the ASM Centennial Meeting in May 1999.

    Branch Tax-Exempt Status. ASM has offered to help Branches achieve tax-exempt status, beginning with the Federal Tax ID Number. Federal tax exemption allows exemption from Federal income tax and for a third-class mailing frank needed for reduced interstate postal rates. State tax exemption allows exemption from state taxes. Branch Tax IDs allow Branches to open a bank account in the Branch name.

    The Regional Structure. The Committee found that the current regional structure worked and recommended that the regional structure be retained for disbursement and management purposes. However, the Committee found that there was an inequity in the amount of money available for each Branch in Regions V & VII. Region V only had three Branches, and Region VII had seven Branches. The average distribution per Branch over the last two years was too high for Region V and too low for Region VII. Thus, the Northwest and Alaska Branches were transferred from Region VII to Region V, so both Regions would have five Branches.

    Terms of the RPCs. The Committee agreed that RPCs should be appointed. It was also agreed that terms beginning in July 1999 should be staggered, since the program would not want to lose all RPCs at the same time. The following terms were agreed. As of 1 July 1999, James J. McSharry and Ivette Garcia-Castro will each serve a one-year term to expire 30 June 2000. James Mangels, Leigh Washburn, and Charles Gauntt will each serve a two-year term expiring 30 June 2001. Stephen Sonstein and Norm Willett will each serve a three-year term expiring 30 June 2002. All Regional Planning Coordinators will be eligible for reappointment to another three-year term.

    Branch Activities at the General Meeting. Everyone is pleased with the Branch Booth. It was reported that Branch histories and a VCR playing a video history of the Theobald Smith Society will be available at the 1999 Branch Booth. The current Duratran of the tree which matches the Branch button will be continued. Specially designed, self-sticking buttons with the year of the founding of the first branch will be distributed at the Branch Booth. It was suggested that in the future a computer be available in the Branch Booth to allow online application for Branch membership.

    ASM Student Chapters. The BOC understands there is a Subcommittee on Student Membership which reports to the Membership Committee. In the past, chapters have been restricted to colleges and universities. Some Branches, located in cities where there are numerous universities, have had a desire to create a student chapter of graduate students from many universities. This kind of activity is "discouraged'' by the current rules governing student chapters. It was agreed to modify the existing guidelines to incorporate both undergraduate and graduate students at single and multiple universities within the parameters of the student chapter program.

    Communication between the National Society and ASM Branches. ASM will prepare a Branch Handbook which provides a list of Branch officers, information about the Regional Initiative Program and the RPCs, forms for the Regional Initiative Program, and information about student chapters.

    The Branches are seeking to attain the highest visibility at ASM. The Membership Board agreed to include a paragraph on Branches in the annual membership brochure.

    Eisenstein felt that the national Society is not fully using the Branch potential to attract new members either at the local or national level. Everyone agreed that Branch representatives to CPC need to know more about current Branch activities so that they can better represent the Branches. In an effort to promote communications between the BOC and the CPC Branch Representatives, the Branch Representatives will be invited to the Branch Officer's Forum and the BOC Meeting at the General Meeting.

    A suggestion from the previous Branch Officer's Forum was reviewed; that the Foundation for Microbiology Lectures Speaker List be put on the ASM Web site by 1 April.

    CME and CEU Credits. RPCs agreed that if the Branches were able to offer either Continuing Medical Education (CME) or Continuing Education Units (CEU) credits, they could attract many more people to Branch meetings. Everyone agreed that CEU credits should be easier to obtain than CME credits and that any help ASM could offer Branches to offer CEU credits as part of the Branch meeting process would be extremely valuable.

    Retreat Summary. Branch membership numbers are up by approximately 10%. Since the creation of the Regional Planning Initiative, the Committee has developed a reliable data collection system. The Committee continues to seek further enhancements such as the loading of all forms on the Branch Web page and the potential for interactivity with respect to those forms. Most Branches indicated high praise for the Regional Initiative Program. In fact when asked whether there was anything that the national Society could do for the Branches, more than half the Branches indicated that providing funding to the Branches was key. "Continued funding enables the Branches to establish and plan local programs, which have sometimes been tentative as they were contingent upon funding,'' Eisenstein said. "These monies have helped Branches attract better volunteers, meet deadlines, organize their files, develop enhanced programs for students, complete their Web sites, and create a genuine interest in Branch meetings at the local level. I am very pleased about all of the Branch accomplishments which have been facilitated since the inception of this program.''

    The Membership Board prepared an interim report on the Regional Initiative Program which Membership Board Chair Marie Pezzlo presented to the CPC at its February 1999 meeting. A copy of that report may be obtained by writing the Membership Services Department at ASM Headquarters, attn: Regional Initiative Report.

    "The Regional Program has been an extraordinary undertaking by the Committee, its Regional Planning Coordinators and the Branches. Launching a new program is never easy and this one had many layers of management and coordination,'' Pezzlo exclaimed. "Toby Eisenstein is to be highly commended for her vision, determination, dedication and leadership.'' Further, Pezzlo said "I applaud all of the many branch volunteers, without whom there would be no local ASM network. The Membership Board takes great pride in the intial successes of this program and looks forward to continued growth in scientific programming at the local level.''

    If you would like more information about the ASM Branch in your area, write the Office of Branch Activities, ASM Headquarters, 1325 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005 and information will be sent to you.

    1999-2000 Foundation for Microbiology Lecturers

    The ASM Foundation for Microbiology Lectures Program makes it possible for ASM Branches to secure outstanding microbiologists as speakers at Branch or regional scientific meetings. The program provides Branches only the most distinguished lecturers and researchers. In addition, the program stimulates and encourages formal and informal interaction between Foundation Lecturers and students. Each year, the Foundation for Microbiology gives a grant to ASM to pay travel and subsistence expenses for, at minimum, one speaker per Branch. ASM provides funding annually to the Branches to ensure a second speaker and to pay administrative expenses.

    Although funding for the ASM Foundation for Microbiology Lectures Program is restricted to ASM Branch and Regional meetings, ASM is pleased to publish the speaker list as a resource.

    A call for nominations for the 2000-2001 program and the list of 1999-2000 Foundation Lecturers can be found on the ASM Web site. Members may submit nominations at any time prior to 31 December 2000, for the 2000-2001 lecture year.

    The following lecturers begin participation in the program on 1 July 1999 for the 1999-2000 year. These lecturers were nominated by ASM members and selected by the Foundation for Microbiology Lectures Committee to participate in this program. The topic(s) and term for each lecturer are also listed.

    Leona W. Ayers ('00), N450 Doan Hall, 410 W. 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210: Direct examination of infected materials; Specific diagnosis in rapidly progressing pulmonary insufficiency with lung infiltrates; Antibiograms, hospital formulary and practice interventions; Emerging pathogens.

    Kathleen G. Beavis ('00), Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 125 South 11th Street, Pavilion 207, Philadelphia, PA 19107: Traditional and molecular diagnosis and susceptibility testing of M. tuberculosis in the clinical laboratory; An update in malaria for the clinical laboratory; North American foodborne pathogens.

    Stephen M. Brecher ('01), Boston VA Medical Center (113), 150 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130: The bacterial revolution: the bugs fight back; The role of the clinical microbiology laboratory in outbreak investigations and infection control.

    Rebecca L. Calderon ('01), Chief, Epidemiology & Biomarkers Branch, USEPA MD-58C, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711: Microbes in drinking water: endemic versus epidemic disease in the United States; The coliform: 100 years in the development; The role of the environment in transmitting intestinal pathogens; Serology of intestinal parasites.

    Angela M. Caliendo ('01), Microbiology Laboratory, Gray B526, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114: HIV-1 viral load--testing methods and interpretation; Molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases; Clinical virology.

    Anne K. Camper ('00), Center for Biofilm Engineering, 366 EPS Building, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717: Control of biofilms using signaling molecules and environmental modifications; Overcoming traditional barriers between microbiology and engineering; Biofilm behavior under oligotrophic conditions; Biofilms: complex multicellular communities on surfaces.

    Raul J. Cano ('00), Biological Sciences Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407: Microbial diversity in amber; Molecular archaeology of infectious diseases; Molecular microbial diversity.

    Theodore J. Cieslak ('01), Division of Operational Medicine, USAMRIID, 1425 Porter Street, Fort Detrick, MD 21702-5011: A primer on bioterrorism; Anthrax; USAMRIID, Ebola, and you.

    John D. Clements ('01), Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tulane University School of Medicine, 1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112: Bacterial enterotoxins as mucosal vaccine adjuvants; This spud's for you!; Use of attenuated bacteria as vaccine vectors.

    Joseph J. Cooney ('01), Environmental Coastal and Ocean Sciences Dept., University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd., Boston, MA 02125-3393: Organotin compounds and aquatic bacteria; Indicator phages in Boston Harbor, USA; Bacterial biofilms on water-immersed surfaces.

    J.W. Costerton ('01), Center for Biofilm Engineering, 366 EPS Building, P.O. Box 173980, Montana State University - Bozeman, Bozeman, MT 59717-3980: Control of biofilm architecture and function by signaling molecules; Biofilms are complex, highly coordinated, multicellular communities; Role of biofilms in the etiology and consequences of device-related and other chronic infections; Bacteria adopt different and distinct phenotypes when they form biofilms.

    Ronald L. Crawford ('00), Director, Institute for Molecular and Agricultural Genetic Engineering (IMAGE), University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 83844-1052: Bioremediation: the affordable solution to pollution; Microbial degradation of explosives: less bang for your bucks!; Bacterial degradation of carbon tetrachloride: getting rid of the stuff without making things worse.

    Victor J. DiRita ('01), Department of Microbiology and Immunology, 5641 Medical Sciences II, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48103-0620: Regulation of virulence in Vibrio cholerae; Regulation of virulence in Streptococcus pyogenes.

    Michael P. Doyle ('01), Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement, University of Georgia, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, GA 30223-1797: Tools to enhance the microbiological safety of food for the next millennium; Keeping Escherichia coli O157:H7 down on the farm.

    J. Stephen Dumler ('00), Director, Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Meyer B1-193, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287: Emerging tick-borne infections: human monocytic and granulocytic ehrlichioses; Pathogenesis of rickettsial and ehrlichial infections; Cat scratches, homelessness, and trenches--the amazing story of human infections caused by Bartonella (formerly Rochalimaea) species; Advances in molecular microbiology for the clinical laboratory.

    Stephen K. Farrand ('01), Professor of Crop Sciences and of Microbiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 240 ERML, 1201 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, Illinois 61801: Regulating plasmid transfer: how the Ti plasmid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens decides that the place and time are right to initiate mating; The agrobacterium-plant relationship: the continuing evolution of a microbe-host interaction; The agrobacterium-plant relationship: a microbe-host interaction based on natural genetic engineering; Agrobacterium tumefaciens versus Agrobacterium radiobacter: niche occupancy, habitat pirates, and fratricidal wars among bacteria.

    Paula Fives-Taylor ('00), Professor, University of Vermont, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Stafford Hall, Burlington, VT 05405: The war begins: invasion of epithelial cells by the periodontopathogen, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans; Oral pathogens: from dental plaque to cardiac heart disease.

    James K. Fredrickson ('00), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, PO Box 999, Richland, WA 99353: Microbial subterranean blues: a hard living from hard rocks; Microbe-metal interactions: breaking and making minerals; Subsurface Sphingomonas stygia, subterranneae, and aromaticivorans: genes from geriatric microbes.

    Mahmoud A. Ghannoum ('01), Director, Mycology Reference Laboratory, Scientific Director, Center for Medical Mycology, University Hospitals of Cleveland, 11100 Euclid Ave., LKS 5028, Cleveland, Ohio 44106: The mycology laboratory in the new millennium; A fresh look at the importance of dermatophytes.

    E. Peter Greenberg ('00), Department of Microbiology, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242: Quorum sensing in gram-negative bacteria: the LuxR-LuxI family of transcription control elements; A genetic light switch: cell density-dependent luminescence gene activation in Vibrio fischeri.

    Mark W. LeChevallier ('01), American Water Works Service Company, Inc., 1025 Laurel Oak Rd., PO Box 1770, Voorhees, NJ 08043-1770: Cryptosporidium in water; Mycobacterium avium complex in drinking water; Understanding and controlling biofilms in drinking water systems; Emerging pathogens in water.

    Susan Leschine ('01), Department of Microbiology, Morrill Science Center North, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003: Cellulosomes and the microbial attack on insoluble natural polymers: a complex story; Cellulolytic anaerobes and the carbon cycle: a global role for the little guys; Prospects for employing cellulolytic clostridia in biomass fuels processes.

    Hunein F. Maassab ('00), Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 109 Observatory Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029: Vaccinology: the art of development and characterization of attenuated human vaccines; Technology in the attenuation of respiratory viruses for use as a live virus vaccine in humans; Cold-adapted live influenza virus vaccine for use as a live vaccine in the general population.

    Karin L. McGowan ('01), Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Room 5060A, Main Hospital, 3400 Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19104: Clinical cases in microbiology; Strategies for cost savings in clinical microbiology; Identification of clinically significant anaerobes: A complete conversion form traditional to rapid and more cost-effective methods.

    Jiri Mestecky ('00), University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Microbiology-BBRB 757, 845 19th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35294-2170: Vaccines of the future: induction of immune responses; Impact of mucosal immune system in current microbiology and immunology; Mucosal immune system of the genital tract and sexually transmitted diseases.

    Clifford S. Mintz ('00), Chair, Biology Department, Middlesex County College, 2600 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison, NJ 08818: Turn on the lights: use of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a teaching tool in undergraduate microbiology education; Legionella pneumophila: a pathogen of the `90s?; Identification of a gene transfer system in Legionella pneumophila.

    Daniel Musher ('00), Professor of Medicine and Microbiology/ Immunology, Head of Infectious Diseases, VA Hospital, 2002 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77005: Streptococcus pneumoniae: infection and host response; Streptococcus pneumoniae: immunity to infection; Haemophilus influenzae: infection and host response; Syphilis in the AIDS era.

    Norman R. Pace ('01), Professor, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall #3102, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3102: Microbial diversity and phylogeny; Biochemistry of ribonuclease P RNA, a ribozyme; Origin of life.

    Louis B. Rice ('00), Associate Professor of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Section 1110(W), VA Medical Center, 10701 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio 44106: Chromosomal gene exchange and antimicrobial resistance transfer in enterococci; The molecular epidemiology of vancomycin-resistant enterococci; Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases: molecular mechanisms and clinical significance.

    David G. Russell ('01), Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110: Contrasting styles of intracellular parasitism; Why intracellular parasitism is not a degrading experience for Mycobacterium; Biology of the flagellar pocket of trypanosomatids.

    Lisa Saiman ('01), Columbia University, 650 West 168th Street, BB4-427, New York, NY 10032: Microbiology of cystic fibrosis, with emphasis on multiply resistant organisms; Pediatric tuberculosis, with emphasis on diagnosis and epidemiology; Neonatal candidemia, with emphasis on incidence, risk factors, preexisting colonization, and molecular epidemiology.

    Joseph P. Salanitro ('00), Shell Technology Center, PO Box 1380, Houston, TX 77251-1380: Bioremediation of crude oil hydrocarbons and ecotoxicity assessment in soils; Intrinsic aerobic and anaerobic bioremediation of fuel hydrocarbons in groundwater; Bioremediation of the fuel oxygenate MTBE in aquifers.

    Michael G. Schmidt ('00), Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, 171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29425-2230: Bacterial protein export and the role of secA and its regulation: why does one require the other?; Bioremediation: managed care for the environment; The microbiology virtual school-MicroVuS What's in it for me?; Application of Internet resources to microbiology: is it more trouble than it's worth?

    Michael P. Schmitt ('01), Laboratory of Bacterial Toxins, DBP/CBER/FDA, 8800 Rockville Pike, Bldg 29 HFM-437, Bethesda, MD 20892: Pumping iron by bacterial pathogens: transport and acquisition of iron from heme and hemoglobin; Sensing the environment: the influence of iron and heme on gene expression in a gram-positive pathogen.

    Jessup M. Shively ('00), Alumni Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, Department of Biological Sciences, 132 Long Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-1903: Organelles in bacteria?? You got to be kidding! Consider the carboxysomes of autotrophs; Strange bedfellows! The polyhedral bodies of enteric bacteria and the carboxysomes of autotrophs; The dilemma of chemoautotrophs: coping with the components of air, 20.95% oxygen and 0.033% carbon dioxide.

    Simon Silver ('00), Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Illinois at Chicago, M/C 790, Room E704, 835 South Wolcott Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612-7344: Silver and gold: the microbiology of precious metals; A bacterial view of the Periodic Table: genes for all elements; From genes to genomics and back: transport systems as an example; Toxic heavy metal resistance systems: potential for bioremediation.

    Kenneth S. Thomson ('00), Center for Research in Anti-Infectives and Biotechnology, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Creighton University School of Medicine, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178: Extended-spectrum and other new [gb]-lactamases of gram-negative bacteria; Inducible [gb]-lactamases revisited.

    Honorine Ward ('01), Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases, New England Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Box 041, 750 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111: Molecular basis of host-parasite interactions in human and animal cryptosporidiosis; A sticky situation: role of host and parasite mucins in pathogenesis of cryptosporidiosis.

    Gail Williams Wertz ('00), Professor of Microbiology, Department of Microbiology BBRB 17/Rm. 366, 845 19th Street South, University of Alabama School of Medicine Birmingham, AL 35294: Genetic engineering of negative-strand RNA viruses: cis-acting elements in control of transcription, replication and assembly; Gene rearrangement attenuates gene expression, genome replication and lethality of a nonsegmented negative-strand RNA virus; Molecular pathogenesis of respiratory syncytial virus: role of unique gene products in infection and immunity; The respiratory syncytial virus M2 protein functions as a transcription anti-terminator.

    Michael Zasloff ('00), President, Magainin Research Institute, Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President, Magainin Pharmaceuticals Inc., 5110 Campus Drive, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462: Antibiotics from animals: discovery and development into drugs.

    Washington, D.C. Branch Clinical Microbiology Symposium

    The Washington, D.C. Branch of ASM held its annual Clinical Microbiology Symposium on 26 March at the Walter Reed Army Research Institute in Washington, D.C. The two speakers were Ann Warford, Technical Director, Virology and Molecular Microbiology, Stanford University Medical Center, and Philip M. Murphy, Chief, Molecular Signaling Section, Laboratory of Host Defenses, NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, Md. Warford is also a 1999 ASM Foundation for Microbiology Lecturer.

    Warford, whose title for the talk was "Molecular Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases,'' discussed the advantages and disadvantages of various traditional methods as well as newer techniques for diagnosis of infectious pathogens in clinical samples with particular reference to detection of viruses. Some of the methods she discussed included nonculture methods utilizing fluorescent and double-labeled antibodies and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) used in hospital labs for detection of respiratory syncytial virus and herpesviruses, cell culture methods which are useful for testing a whole family of viruses, and viral culture methods such as the shell vial culture technique for cytomegalovirus (CMV) detection. Among the newer techniques gaining importance in clinical laboratories are the PCR-based techniques and methods to amplify signal detection such as the branched DNA assay (bDNA). Warford ended her talk with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antiviral testing methods to determine phenotypic and genotypic resistance markers.

    Philip Murphy's talk was entitled "Microbial Evasion and Exploitation of the Immune System.'' Murphy discussed the mammalian chemokine signaling system, which is composed of many secreted proinflammatory peptides or chemokines and their receptors that together mediate leukocyte migration to areas of microbial infection and injury. However, many viruses exploit or subvert this immune system. For example, human herpesviruses encode chemokine receptor homologs and HIV retroviruses have envelope proteins that bind to chemokine receptors for cell entry. Likewise, subversion of the host immune system is brought about by virally encoded chemokine antagonists and virally encoded chemokine scavengers. As an example, Murphy said that CXCR4 and CCR5, chemokine receptors that normally function as chemoattractant receptors for leukocytes, also act as the major cell entry coreceptors for T cell line-tropic (T-tropic) and macrophage-tropic (M-tropic) strains of HIV-1, respectively. Murphy described how the study of genetic polymorphisms established the biological importance of CCR5 in pathogenesis. In particular, he described the CCR5 delta 32 allele, which encodes a defective CCR5 protein and protects homozygotes from initial infection with HIV-1, and an A/G polymorphism at base pair 59029 in the CCR5 promoter, which strongly correlates with diffences in the rate of progression to AIDS among individuals. Murphy pointed out that these results identify CCR5 as a reasonable therapeutic target in HIV infection and discussed efficacy and safety issues relevant to this strategy.

    Albert Sheldon, President of the Washington, D.C. Branch, introduced the two speakers and briefly reviewed the Foundation for Microbiology Lecturer series. Sheldon also thanked the speakers and the audience at the end of the symposium.

    ASM Branches on the Web

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




    Eastern Pennsylvania








    New Jersey

    Northern California

    North Central


    Rocky Mountain

    South Carolina




    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 K, Microbial Physiology and Metabolism

    Division M, Bacteriophage

    Division N, Microbial Ecology

    Division O, Fermentation and Biotechnology

    Division Q, Environmental and General Applied Microbiology

    Division R, Systematic & Evolutionary Microbiology

    Division V, Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology

    Division W, Microbiology Education

    Division Y, Public Health

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