ASM News

    ASM News

    New Edition of Manual of Clinical Microbiology

    Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 7th Edition

    ASM Press is getting ready to release the seventh edition of its premier title, Manual of Clinical Microbiology (MCM). The new edition will be available at the 1999 General Meeting.

    Since the publication of the first edition in 1970, MCM has been recognized as the benchmark for excellence among diagnostic microbiology books. John E. Blair, Edwin H. Lennette and Joseph P. Truant, who created the inaugural volume, founded a tradition of quality that has been matched in every subsequent edition. Many editors have contributed to the success of MCM, including Earle H. Spaulding, Albert Balows, William J. Hausler, Jr., H. Jan Shadomy, Kenneth L. Hermann, and Henry D. Isenberg. Patrick R. Murray, Ellen Jo Baron, Michael A. Pfaller, Fred C. Tenover, and Robert H. Yolken have carried on the tradition through their work on both the sixth and seventh editions.

    This latest edition continues to provide all microbiologists, laboratorians, and infectious disease professionals with the definitive reference work for running an effective, state-of-the-art diagnostic laboratory. Many new features have been added to the seventh edition, including newly designed tables, algorithm chapters, expanded coverage of emerging pathogens, and guidelines for determining which tests to use and how to interpret results. Greater use of color photographs throughout MCM presents what technologists actually see in the laboratory. Chapters describing the reagents, stains, and media used in clinical laboratories, not available in the sixth edition, have been reintroduced.

    Standard elements have been retained in all editions, ensuring MCM's dependability and quality. Contributions from new authors have always provided a fresh perspective. The seventh edition boasts contributions from 46 international editors and authors.

    MCM's quality has consistently translated into outstanding sales for ASM Press. Each edition had been the top-selling title for the year of its publication, and strong sales continue through the life of the edition. In 1998, the last full year of sales for the sixth edition, MCM was among the 10 highest selling titles.

    ASM Lists Significant Events in Microbiology

    Significant Events Of The Last 125 Years
    Ad Hoc Group for Microbiology Timeline

    In 1872, German botanist Ferdinand Cohn founded the science of bacteriology by classifying bacteria into genera and species. Over a century later, scientists unlocked the genetic code and published the first complete genome of a microorganism. In between these two events, numerous achievements in the science of microbiology have changed the world. In honor of its centennial, the ASM has compiled a list of over 250 of the most significant events in microbiology and invites its members to explore and contribute.

    The list, which will be posted in its entirety on the Society's Web site, is the culmination of an exercise originally designed to help develop a centennial exhibit for the 99th ASM General Meeting this May in Chicago.

    ``The idea was to identify a limited number of significant events in microbiology for the exhibit,'' says ASM Executive Director Michael Goldberg. ``We asked a committee of senior Society members to each list what they thought were the most consequential discoveries in microbiology since Cohn's seminal treatise on bacteriology. From those suggestions we developed a substantial list of 100 to 150 events.''

    Each committee member then selected what he or she believed to be the top 25 events in microbiology, without giving any priority. Based on those votes, the top 25 achievements in microbiology will be unveiled as part of the centennial exhibit at the General Meeting. The top 50 will be published in advance of the meeting in the centennial issue of ASM News this May.

    After the initial exercise identified the top events, Goldberg continued to add items to the original list based on suggestions from editors and other ASM members. The total is now almost 300 events.

    ``The members of the committee believed this may be a useful historical as well as teaching tool, but we needed to make it available to a wide audience. We decided the best route would be to post the entire list electronically, since the advantages of hypertext linking can add significant value to the information,'' says Goldberg.

    Each item on the list will contain citations to allow interested readers to access further information. Some of the citations will be hypertext links, connecting to archived ASM News articles or Nobel Foundation Web pages. Selected citations will link to reprints of historical articles that ASM Press is reprinting with commentary in the recently released book Milestones in Microbiology: 1546 to 1940, edited by Thomas D. Brock.

    Of course, this list is not the final authority on what is or is not a significant event in microbiological history. It will be a continually evolving site, says Goldberg. Members are encouraged to visit the site and suggest additions to the list along with Web-based links that should be incorporated.

    Eugene Nester To Take Helm of Academy

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    On 1 July 1999, Eugene W. Nester of the University of Washington will begin his first term as chair of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology. His election to succeed the outgoing chair, Rita Colwell, was announced in February.

    ``The Academy should play a leadership role in the global arena of microbiology. The Board of Governors, together with the volunteer members of the Academy, have reinvigorated the organization and raised the expectations to which the Academy should aspire in the future. I am honored to be given the opportunity to participate in that future,'' says Nester. ``It is important that we build on the momentum that has been generated in the past half-dozen years, in large part through the vision, leadership, and enthusiasm of the present chair of the Board of Governors, Rita R. Colwell.'' Colwell will be stepping down on 30 June after 10 years at the helm of the Academy.

    The mission of the Academy is threefold: (a) to elect into membership individuals recognized for distinguished achievement in microbiology and to make individual awards to distinguished microbiologists in various sectors of microbiology; (b) to provide microbiological expertise in the service of science and the public; and (c) to certify individuals and accredit postdoctoral training programs.

    In its 44-year history, over 1,700 distinguished microbiologists have been elected to membership. The Academy administers over 20 awards for scientific achievement, teaching excellence, and exemplary service to ASM. Through the Academy's active colloquium program, the Academy produces reports that provide scientific expertise in all areas of microbiology. The Academy, through the American College of Microbiology, sponsors three professional certification boards and conducts accreditation of postdoctoral training programs in clinical and public health microbiology and immunology.

    Nester received his B.S. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. He is currently a professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Washington. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous awards, including the Cetus (now Chiron) Biotechnology Research Award and the inaugural Australia Prize. In addition to serving on the American Academy of Microbiology's BOG, Nester has served as the president of the Northwest Branch of ASM; treasurer of the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions; chair of the Carski Distinguished Teaching Award selection committee; and chair of the microbial genetics study section of the National Institutes of Health.

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    Two Governors were also elected to the BOG: Anna Marie Skalka, director, Institute for Cancer Research, and senior vice president, Fox Chase Cancer Institute, and Abraham L. Sonenshein, professor and deputy chair, Dept. of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University Health Sciences Campus, Boston, Mass.

    Elected to the Academy's Committee on Election to Fellowship is Jerald C. Ensign, Professor of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Committee on Election to Fellowship reviews all nominations for membership to the Academy.

    1999 General Meeting Awardees

    The Committee on Awards is pleased to present part three of the three-part series on the 1999 General Meeting Awardees.

    Abbott-ASM Lifetime Achievement Award

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    Jonathan W. Uhr, M.D., has been selected to receive the 1999 Abbott-ASM Lifetime Achievement Award. This award honors a distinguished scientist for a lifetime of outstanding contributions in fundamental research in any of the microbiological sciences. The award is sponsored by Abbott Laboratories.

    Uhr received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine and was trained in internal medicine, microbiology, pathology, and immunology. For 10 years, he served as director of the Irvington House Institute for Rheumatic Fever and Allied Diseases at New York University School of Medicine. During his tenure, the Institute concentrated its efforts on defining the natural history of rheumatic fever in a group of 800 well-monitored patients. For the 25 years between 1972-1997, he chaired the Department of Microbiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. In September of 1997, he gave up that position to return to full-time research as a professor of medicine and microbiology and member of the Cancer Immunobiology Center. While chair of the Department of Microbiology, Uhr always maintained a departmental focus on the pathogenesis of infectious diseases from the perspective of both the pathogen and the immune system. He was particularly concerned with new and emerging infectious diseases, and between 1958 and 1970 he served on the Commission on Immunization of the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board and became its deputy director. This board had the responsibility for making key decisions on the immunizations of 5 million soldiers and their dependents during U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia.

    Uhr has received many honors, including the Newcomb Cleveland Prize for his studies on the immunization of newborn humans. In l984, he was the President of the American Association of Immunologists and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Uhr is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Virtually all his work has been devoted to understanding the underpinnings of antibody formation.

    Uhr described the first immunologically specific regulator mechanism, namely, antibody formation feedback. He proved the existence of a feedback loop by blocking antibody formation with passively administered antibody and by removing antibody and showing that there was specific rebound of antibody formation. These studies, along with clinical observations of others, catalyzed the successful development by clinical investigators of the use of anti-Rh antibody after isoimmunization to inhibit subsequent immune responses to Rh antigens to prevent erythroblastosis fetalis.

    He was involved in some of the earliest observation of the immunoglobulin M (IgM)-to- IgG switch that accompanies immunization and development of immunological memory. Uhr and Jim Gowans showed that immunologic memory was carried by small lymphocytes in the thoracic duct. Uhr and Ellen Vitetta were the first to show that a cytokine (subsequently named interleukin-4) could induce an isotype switch from IgM to IgG in B cells.

    His pioneering work on IgM and IgG antibody responses with Matthew Scharff and George Palade established the intracellular life history of immunoglobulin, including the assembly of heavy and light chains, the intracellular sites of addition of the carbohydrate moieties, and the intracellular transport and exteriorization of immunoglobulin. Uhr and Vitetta provided the first biochemical characterization of the antigen-specific receptors on B lymphocytes and showed that they were monomeric IgM and IgD. Uhr, Vitetta, Yuan, and Eidels also demonstrated that membrane IgM was different from secreted IgM and contained an additional peptide.

    In 1980, Uhr, Vitetta, and Keith Krolick demonstrated that immunotoxins could kill cells specifically in vitro. They went on to demonstrate that they could ``cure'' mice of far-advanced B cell tumors with a combination of irradiation and immunotoxin therapy. The results of this study shaped their future strategy for treating humans. To date, eight clinical trials in over 150 patients have defined the side effects, pharmacokinetics, and immunogenicity of immunotoxins in humans.

    In the early 1990s, based on the results of immunotoxin experiments in mice, Uhr realized that animals, which appeared clinically cured, could harbor large numbers of tumor cells in their spleens for a lifetime. Based on this observation, a model of cancer dormancy was developed and the dormant tumor cells were characterized. These studies led to his very recent attempts to demonstrate the presence of tumor cells in the blood of patients with both active and dormant cancer.

    In summary, Uhr is an outstanding physician-scientist who has made pioneering contributions to both basic and clinical immunology. For a quarter of a century, he served as a remarkable chairman for one of the outstanding departments of microbiology in the country. After returning to the laboratory in 1997, he has devoted his efforts to developing a blood test for detecting carcinomas at a very early stage.

    Robert J. Alpern
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas

    Abbott Laboratories Award in Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology

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    Herman Friedman is the 1999 recipient of the Abbott Laboratories Award in Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology. This award honors a distinguished scientist in the field of clinical or diagnostic immunology. The award is sponsored by the Diagnostics Division of Abbott Laboratories. Steven Douglas, an American Academy of Microbiology Fellow and a supporter of Friedman's nomination, said, ``Dr. Friedman has made major and significant contributions to the field of cellular immunology during the past 40 years. In particular, Dr. Friedman has shed new insights into mechanisms of antibody formation, immunologic tolerance, and immunosuppression.''

    Friedman received his Ph.D. from Hahnemann University Medical College, where he also completed his postdoctoral training. For 19 years, he was head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pa. During this time he began his research on immunity to microbial infection. Friedman appreciated the importance of immunological reagents as tools for clinical diagnosis. One of his first studies focused on the immune response now recognized as important in controlling opportunistic pathogens. This was followed by studies of immunological tolerance and immune responses to microbial antigens in animal model systems. A major discovery early in his career was the demonstration that leukemia viruses suppress antibody-forming cells. Noel Rose, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a supporter of Friedman's nomination, said, ``This work preceded by many years the discovery of HIV and the elucidation of its effect on the immune system, but the studies of Dr. Friedman and his colleagues presaged and set the stage for the current research on HIV.'' Friedman was the first to adopt the Jerne assay to measure antibody forming cells to microbial antigens. In 1970, he applied this procedure to the assay of the lysis of the cholera vibrio to measure B cell responses. This technique was published in Science and is still used today.

    In 1978, Friedman moved to the University of South Florida, where he is professor and chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. At that time, he expanded his research interests to include studies of other microbial agents and their effect on the immune response. His studies concerning the effects of viruses, bacteria, and their products on immune system components have made major contributions in many areas of immunology. Friedman is a renowned expert on immunity to Legionella pneumophila; he was one of the first to investigate and understand the effects of this organism on macrophages. In recent years, he has become an advocate and supporter of research concerning the effects of drugs of abuse on the immune response, specifically, resistance vs. susceptibility to infectious diseases induced by opportunistic bacteria, viruses and fungi.

    Friedman was the editor for immunology for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology for five years until Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology was established. Friedman and Rose developed the concept for the Manual of Clinical Laboratory Immunology (ASM Press), and Friedman co-edited the first four editions. Friedman also help create the American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology, a doctoral-level certification program. He was the co-organizer of the First International Congress of Clinical Immunology in 1986, and he helped to create the Reticuloendothelial Society and their journal. Friedman is author or co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications.

    Walter Ceglowski, an American Academy of Microbiology Fellow and Friedman's nominator said, ``He has been an advocate and a good role model for clinical laboratory immunology in the diagnostic laboratory and for research.'' Friedman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

    bioMérieux Sonnenwirth Award

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    The 1999 bioMérieux Sonnenwirth Award is presented to Albert Balows. Balows is recognized for his exemplary leadership in clinical microbiology. Specifically, he is honored for his promotion of innovation in clinical laboratory science, for high dedication and commitment to ASM, and the advancement of clinical microbiology as a profession. Robert Jerris, Balows' nominator, describes Balows as one of the ``fathers of contemporary clinical microbiology.'' The award is sponsored by bioMérieux, Inc.

    Balows received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Kentucky in 1952 and has given tirelessly to the profession of clinical microbiology ever since. He began his career at St. Joseph's Hospital in Lexington, and for 19 years he directed their clinical microbiology laboratory. In 1969, he moved to the Centers for Disese Control (CDC), where he was the chief of the Bacteriology Section and Branch from 1969-1974, director of the Bacteriology Division from 1974-1981, director of the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Laboratory Program from 1981-1983, and assistant director for Laboratory Science from 1981-1988.

    While at CDC, Balows organized the laboratories into logical functional units that shaped the way of clinical microbiology for decades. He advocated a distinct role for clinical microbiologists in the hospital setting and reinforced the value of doctoral-level scientists. Mark A. Neumann, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a supporter of Balows' nomination, said, ``His personal accomplishments and contributions, as monumental as they are, are overshadowed by the very dynamic personal influence, guidance, and mentorship that Dr. Balows has so generously provided to so many clinical microbiologists in the formative years of their careers.'' Jerris said, ``His personal dedication to postdocs and professional colleagues is his most endearing quality. To construct a spider web involving all of the microbiologists who have had the good fortune to work with Dr. Balows would involve virtually every lab in the country.''

    His contributions to clinical microbiology literature are immense. He has published over 95 book chapters and extensively in peer-reviewed journals. Balows was the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and served on 12 journal editorial boards. In addition, he was the editor for the 3rd and 4th editions of the Manual of Clinical Microbiology and the editor-in-chief for the 5th edition. He was also the editor-in-chief for the international text, The Prokaryotes, and the editor for Topley and Wilson's Microbiology and Microbial Diseases. Balows has edited more than 25 clinical microbiology books, and his zest for the science continues today. Despite his retirement, he is the editor-in-chief of Current Microbiology.

    Balows is a past president of ASM and the Kentucky-Tennessee Branch, former chair of Division C, and a former member and chair of the American Academy of Microbiology's Board of Governors. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Public Health Association, and the New York Academy of Sciences. He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM). He is the recipient of the ABMM Professional Recognition Award, the Becton Dickinson and Company Award in Clinical Microbiology, and countless other awards for his contributions and leadership to clinical microbiology.

    In closing, Neumann said, ``His innumerable contributions and highly respected creative influences over the past four decades have been paramount to establishing clinical microbiology as a highly organized, valued, and respected subspecialty in the field of medicine and patient care.'' Gary Doern, an American Academy of Microbiology Fellow and a supporter of Balows' nomination, said, ``He is arguably one of the 10 most distinguished microbiologists ever to have practiced in this discipline. The sheer number of his important contributions are exceeded only by the impact of his efforts. Simply stated, the discipline of clinical microbiology would not be what it is today were it not for Al Balows.''

    Chiron Corporation Biotechnology Research Award

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    The 1999 recipient of the Chiron Corporation Biotechnology Research Award is J. Craig Venter of Celera Genomics. Venter is honored for his leadership in genome sequencing. He was the first to put high-throughput automated DNA sequencing into practice, was the developer of the highly efficient expressed sequence tag (EST) methodology for rapid discovery of human genes and the whole-genome random sequencing approach for small genomes, and was the first to completely sequence and assemble the genome of a free living bacterial cell, Haemophilus influenzae. This award is sponsored by Chiron Corporation.

    Venter, an American Academy of Microbiology Fellow, received his Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology from the University of California, San Diego. He began his career at the State University of New York at Buffalo and in 1984 moved to the National Institutes of Health, where he worked for the next eight years. In 1992, he founded The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). Venter, TIGR, and Perkin-Elmer formed Celera Genomics in 1998 with the intent of sequencing the human genome within three years.

    Venter's conception of the EST method for gene discovery began in 1987. He was isolating receptor genes when he realized that random cDNA sequencing might be the quickest route to finding these genes. Venter deduced that receptor genes would make up a reasonable fraction of the cell mRNA population of a nerve cell. Automated sequencers had just been introduced, and Venter tested his theory. He randomly sequenced short regions (200-300-bp) of over 600 brain cDNAs and using this sequence tag method identified 337 previously unknown human genes.

    Venter began promoting the EST method as a less expensive shortcut for the genome project. He realized that once you had the tag, the individual gene was uniquely identified, and then anyone could easily map the gene or isolate genomic or cDNA copies for analysis. Venter then used this approach to describe an additional 2,200 human brain genes. At this time, Venter founded TIGR, where he created a large-scale sequencing facility with 30 automated sequencers capable of generating up to 400,000 base pairs of raw sequence data per day. He surveyed ESTs from approximately 300 cDNA libraries from various embryonic and adult human tissues. Over 105,000 ESTs were obtained, which represented an estimated 35,000 different human genes. This remarkable work was published in 1995 as a supplement to Nature. The supplement described the variety of genes found and categorized them according to the tissues they are expressed in and by frequency of expression in given tissues, thereby demonstrating that the approach yields valuable physiological information as well as gene discovery.

    According to Hamilton O. Smith, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a supporter of Venter's nomination, ``Entirely through Dr. Venter's efforts, the EST method is now recognized as a new paradigm for gene discovery and has caught on worldwide.'' The EST entries in GenBank went from 9,000 in 1992 to over 340,000 EST from 40 organisms in October 1995.

    Venter and his TIGR colleagues developed powerful software for assembling complete cDNA gene sequences. Random sampling generally gives multiple sequence reads from different regions of mRNAs. The software joins overlapping sections of sequence contained among the several hundred thousand sequence fragments in the EST database. Venter calls the assemblies tentative human consensus sequences (THCs). The EST database is valuable for deciphering human genomic sequence. Finding exons is difficult, and the best current software is only about 80% accurate. The ESTs provide important additional information for finding the exons and for demonstrating alternative splicing patterns. One of the most important reasons for increasing the number of ESTs and for the assembly of complete cDNAs is their value for identifying the exons in genomic sequence.

    In the mid-1990s, Venter focused his research on sequencing whole bacterial genomes. He developed the whole-genome random sequencing approach and sequenced Haemophilus influenzae Rd in under a year. Mycoplasma gentialium was completed in 4 months, followed by Methanococcus jannaschii.

    Smith summarized his nominating letter as follows, ``In just over 4 years, Dr. Venter created the largest repository of human gene sequence information available up to that time. In the process he founded one of the most efficient large-scale sequencing facilities in the world, brought the random sequencing method into ascendancy, and assembled an outstanding informatics group that has made important contributions to data management, analysis, and sequence contig assembly.'' In closing, Rita R. Colwell, chair of the American Academy of Microbiology's Board of Governors and Venter's nominator, said, ``Dr. Venter's nomination is for the culmination of many years of creative, pioneering work that will have great benefit for all of humankind. New ways to detect and control disease-causing microorganisms, new insights into biological evolution, new therapeutic techniques, and new industrial applications are all certain outcomes of his work.''

    Eli Lilly and Company Research Award

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    John A. T. Young, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School, is the 1999 Eli Lilly and Company Research Award recipient. This award recognizes fundamental research in microbiology and immunology of unusual merit by an individual on the threshold of his or her career. Young is honored for his contributions to our understanding of the mechanism of retroviral entry into cells. His research has given insight into how retroviral Env protein-receptor interactions mediate viral entry and how these interactions contribute to viral pathogenesis. Furthermore, Young has applied his work on fundamental entry mechanisms to the area of gene therapy and developed a novel approach for targeting retrovirus-based vectors to normally resistant host cells.

    Young received his Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and University College, London, and did his postdoctoral work in Harold Varmus' lab at the University of California-San Francisco. Young and Paul Bates worked together to clone tva, the cellular receptor for subgroup A avian leukosis viruses (ALV-A). Varmus, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a supporter of Young's nomination, stated, ``This turned out to be perhaps the most difficult, successful project in the history of my lab. The isolation of tva laid the foundation for many avenues of research in the labs of all those involved.'' Young and Judy White went on to provide the genetic and biochemical evidence that tva is the only cellular protein needed to stimulate the fusogenic changes in the viral Env protein needed for viral entry. Young then demonstrated that the ALV-A envelope protein undergoes fusogenic conformational changes after binding to its receptor. Specifically, these changes unmask envelope hydrophobic domains that are believed to interact directly with the membrane bilayer, hence inducing membrane lipid reordering which then triggers fusion. John Mekalanos, an American Academy of Microbiology Fellow and Young's nominator stated, ``This remarkably simple system offers opportunities for understanding retroviral entry at a level of detail that is impossible to achieve in other retroviral systems because of the complexity inherent in the requirement of a coreceptor in those systems.''

    Young recently characterized the receptors for subgroups ALVs that induce cell death upon infection. In the 1970s, Howard Temin and Sandy Weller were the first to characterize the viral superinfection model of how cytopathic viruses kill cells. Young's work challenged their hypothesis; he showed that cytopathic retroviruses killed cells by utilizing a receptor that was linked to cell death. His work resulted in the cloning of the receptors for the cytopathic B and D subgroups and the noncytopathic subgroup E. In addition to revealing the molecular identities of these receptors, his work showed that the TVB receptors are the ``death receptors'' which are part of the TNFR family of receptors and trigger apoptosis upon ligand binding and receptor dimerization. Young's group has constructed soluble proteins composed of the receptor-binding domain of the cytopathic viral envelope protein linked to an immunoglobulin dimerization domain. They were shown to activate their cognate TVB receptor and induce cell death by apoptosis. In addition, Young's group has data that suggests that noncytopathic viruses avoid triggering death of infected cells by selectively activating suppressive signaling pathways.

    Young's work has opened the door for innovations in the specific targeting of retroviruses to heterologous receptor proteins. He theorized that it may be possible to achieve retroviral targeting through the use of a bifunctional protein bridge comprised of the ectodomain of a retroviral receptor fused to a cell surface receptor-specific ligand. To test his theory, his lab constructed ``protein bridges'' comprised of either the ectodomains of TVA or TVB receptors fused to epidermal growth factor (EGF). According to Mekalanos, ``The results of these experiments have been nothing short of astonishing.'' Using either cells or virions that have been preloaded with the protein bridges, they have shown that only cells that express EGF receptors are subject to appreciable levels of viral entry. In this model system, they have shown the levels of viral entry obtained is approximately 25% of that mediated by the wild-type receptor. Furthermore, they have shown that this approach works with other ALV receptor-ligand protein bridges, hence underscoring the general utility of this method of retroviral targeting. In closing, Mekalanos said, ``Dr. Young currently has broad collaborations established to exploit his fundamental discovery of a unique and innovative strategy for targeting genes to specific cells types for various gene therapy applications.''

    Procter & Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology

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    Ralph S. Wolfe, Ph.D., is the 1999 recipient of the Procter & Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. ``Ralph Wolfe's career began before the terms `environmental microbiology' and `applied microbiology' were coined. His research played an essential role in the evolution of those terms and the science they encompass,'' according to Meyer J. Wolin, Wolfe's nominator and an American Academy of Microbiology Fellow.

    Wolfe's major contribution is the elucidation of the bioproduction of methane. He and his colleagues laid the foundation and built the infrastructure that is responsible for our present understanding of the broad field of methanogenesis. Wolfe's research unveiled the biochemistry of methane formation and established many important physiological and ecological attributes of methane-forming bacteria. His research assisted in establishing principles of microbial ecology, physiology, biochemistry, and phylogeny that define a major portion of the broader field of applied and environmental microbiology.

    He and his collaborators demonstrated how interspecies hydrogen transfer between organisms that produce hydrogen and methanogens that form methane from hydrogen is used to decompose organic substrates. Many studies have since shown that the process is a fundamental feature of the anaerobic catabolism of organic matter and plays a key role in the fermentations of intestinal tract and complete bioconversion ecosystems. In addition, Wolfe's lab also discovered that bromoethanesulfonate, an analog of a key coenzyme in methane formation, specifically inhibited methanogenesis.

    Wolfe and his colleagues' discovery of novel coenzymes for methane formation galvanized Carl Woese's application of 16S rRNA sequences to taxonomy. Subsequently, this led to the separation of Archaea from Eubacteria and eventually to practical applications of RNA sequencing in the analysis of microbial ecosystems.

    Although most noted for his studies of methanogenesis, Wolfe's contributions to environmental microbiology include important studies of other groups of microorganisms. He developed defined media for studying the iron bacterium Gallionella and the sulfur bacterium Beggiatoa. He and his students elucidated major features of the biochemistry of pyruvate metabolism in clostridia and the electron transfer role of ferredoxin. Vatter and Wolfe were the first to describe chromatophores of photosynthetic bacteria. Wolfe contributed to other important studies of magnetotactic bacteria, streptococcal metabolism, myxobacteria, and acetogens.

    Curiosity about how microorganisms contribute to the biochemical processes in the environment has been the cornerstone of Wolfe's approach to teaching and research in microbiology. His teaching at the University of Illinois and at the summer course in the Marine Biology Laboratory at Woods Hole, Mass., and his research have been in the great traditions of Beijerinck, Kluyver, and van Niel. He has motivated many students and colleagues who have made major discoveries in applied and environmental microbiology. It is hard to think of any other individual who has brought such broad vision, high standards of excellence and accomplishment, intense dedication, sustained activity and, accordingly, enormous impact to applied and environmental microbiology.

    Wolfe received his Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently Professor, The Center for Advanced Study, the University of Illinois, Urbana. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science as well as a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Morrison Rogosa Awardees Announced

    The Morrison Rogosa Award honors the contributions to bacteriology and to ASM of Morrison Rogosa. The award recognizes outstanding research accomplishment and potential of women scientists in the former Eastern bloc countries.

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    Ines Mandic-Mulec was born in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. She studied microbiology at the Faculty of Biology, Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she received her B.A. and M.Sc. She earned her Ph.D. at New York University. She continued her research work as a postdoctoral fellow at the Public Health Research Institute, New York, and at the Skirball Institute, New York University Medical Center. Since 1996, she has been an Assistant Professor at the Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Food Technology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

    Her pregraduate work in Slovenia was concerned with new ribavirin-Pt(II) complexes and nitrogen metabolism of bacteria. After moving to New York, she focused on molecular biology of bacteria. Her major scientific contributions dealt with the molecular biology of Bacillus subtilis and interactions of shigellae with the cells of inflammatory exudate. She studied spore development in B. subtilis and clarified the role of a protein denoted SinR in the regulation of sporulation. According to her data, this protein acts as a repressor of five sporulation genes. Studying the interactions of shigellae with inflammatory cell interactions, she discovered striking differences in the fate of phagocytosed bacteria in either polymorphonuclear cells or macrophages. Her data helped to explain the processes associated with infection with the virulent shigellae and provided leads for further research in this area. Presently she acts as the principal investigator on two research projects aimed at further elucidating the interactions of shigellae with components of inflammatory exudate. One of these undertakings is a joint Slovenia/U.S. project.

    Mandic-Mulec is an extraordinarily talented young scientist whose competence is highly appreciated both by her mentors and colleagues in the laboratory. She has demonstrated creativity, technical efficiency, and dedication. Her knowledge of both molecular genetics and cell biology is impressive. She is the senior coauthor of eight publications, most of them in highly respected international journals. She has given 21 presentations at conferences including such prestigious scientific meetings as the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Symposia.

    In addition to her research work at Ljubljana University, she is involved in teaching, organizing courses, and leading undergraduate research projects. She is considered a superb lecturer and an enthusiastic teacher capable of motivating the students and recruiting them for scientific work.

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    Elena P. Ivanova was born in Khabarovsk, Russia. She received her M.Sc. degree in biology from Vladivostok State University, Vladivostok, Russia. She began her career as a Junior Researcher at the Far-Eastern Research Institute of State Hydrometeorology and Environmental Preservation Committee of the USSR, Vladivostok. Since 1985, she has worked as a Senior Researcher at the Pacific Institute of Biorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Far-Eastern Branch, Vladivostok. In 1991 she received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Kiev, Ukraine. Her thesis concerned the physiological activities of microorganisms associated with marine invertebrates. From 1995-1997, she worked as Advanced Technology Researcher in the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Osaka, Japan.

    The research activities of Ivanova have been fully devoted to the research of marine bacteria. She has been involved in isolating and identifying both free-living and symbiotic marine bacteria. She isolated more than 450 strains and helped to create a unique collection of marine bacteria comprising the total of 8,000 isolates. However, the main aim of her scientific work has been the definition of cultivation conditions for optimal production of enzymes and selected secondary metabolites by these bacteria and the characterization of their biologically active products. She paid special attention to Pseudoalteromonas bacteria found to be associated with marine invertebrates. She succeeded in describing the chemical composition of these bacteria and in demonstrating that they produce some highly active enzymes (including some rare enzymes such as a -Nac-galactosidases) as well as new substances with cytotoxic and antibiotic activities. Furthermore, she significantly contributed to the taxonomy of marine bacteria. In her research work she demonstrated vigor, creativity, persistence, and a remarkable ability to combine biochemical and biological approaches.

    The list of her publications is quite impressive. She is the senior author or coauthor of nearly 40 scientific papers, some published in prestigious international journals.

    Vladimir Vonka
    Chair, Morrison Rogosa Award Selection Committee.

    American Academy of Microbiology

    New Fellows

    The American Academy of Microbiology welcomes the following scientists to Fellowship:

    Felipe C. Cabello, M.D., New York Medical College, Valhalla

    Karen Carroll, M.D., University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City

    Jody W. Deming, Ph.D., University of Washington School of Oceanography, Seattle

    Muthukumaran Gunasekaran, Ph.D., Fisk University, Nashville, Tenn.

    Martin Kessel, Ph.D., NIAMS, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

    Gary M. King, Ph.D., University of Maine, Walpole

    Lloyd M. Kozloff, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco

    James A. Lindsay, Ph.D., U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Md.

    Dennis G. Maki, M.D., University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison

    Stanley Maloy, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana

    Milton H. Saier, Jr., Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, La Jolla

    Jeremy Thorner, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

    Bess B. Ward, Ph.D., Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey


    Deceased Members

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    The field of microbiology lost one of its most devoted and productive contributors with the death of Barbara J. Bachmann on 31 January 1999 of Alzheimer's disease.

    Barbara's contributions mainly took the form of organizing and disseminating what otherwise would have been an overwhelming and confusing mass of genetic data for both Neurospora and Escherichia coli workers, and educating generations of future microbiologists in courses taught at the University of California at Berkeley, at New York University, and at Yale University.

    Barbara received her B.A. from Baker University in 1945, her M.S. from the University of Kentucky in 1947, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1954. Her doctoral research was done under the tutelage of C. B. Van Niel, and wherever Barbara worked thereafter she involved herself in the teaching of microbiology, using the Van Niel ecological approach. The windowsills of Barbara's offices were always adorned with rows of ``Winogradsky cylinders''--one-liter graduated cylinders containing a bottom layer of tide flat mud beneath a column of suitable medium, exposed to sunlight. The cylinders bloomed with purple sulfur bacteria and sulfate reducers in the mud, and a rich variety of other bacteria, algae, and protozoa in the medium above. With materials such as these, Barbara introduced her students to the science and wonder of the microbial world.

    Beginning in 1953, Barbara often served as preparator for the introductory and advanced microbiology courses at Berkeley, NYU, and Yale, and as Lecturer, Instructor, or Assistant Professor in many of those courses. Her career took a major turn in 1968, when she took charge of the collection of genetically marked strains of E. coli K-12 in my laboratory at Yale, a collection which became the National Science Foundation-sponsored E. coli Genetic Stock Center in 1971 with Barbara as curator and, soon thereafter, as director. As I wrote elsewhere (Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 52:1-40, 1998), ``she brought to the Stock Center an inexhaustible supply of energy and talent, both scientific and organizational, and under her leadership the Center expanded to take in a large number of E. coli K-12 collections from other laboratories, to which she traveled. Within a few years the collection numbered over 7,000 strains, and Barbara's staff was sending out over 4,000 samples each year to scientists in academic, governmental, and industrial laboratories around the world.''

    ``Almost every sample sent out was chosen on the basis of one or more telephone conversations with Barbara, who nevertheless found the time to work out the pedigree of every strain in the collection, resolving hundreds of disagreements over locus and allele designations in the process, and to publish the complete genetic linkage map of E. coli K-12 with periodic revisions. (The trick, I discovered, is to work over 60 hours a week with no vacations for 20 or more years. The only times I knew her to sneak out of work was to play the antique harpsichords at Yale's Collection of Musical Instruments, and that was only at lunchtime. She donated her own beautiful harpsichord to that collection when she left Yale.) A major innovation was her ability to persuade K-12 geneticists all over the world to accept assignments by her of blocks of allele numbers, so that each published allele would be uniquely identified. Without Barbara's efforts, K-12 genetics would be chaotic.'' In 1986 she was awarded the J. Roger Porter Award by ASM for this work.

    One of her published maps was the most-cited journal article in all of the biological sciences in that year. Barbara also made important contributions to the organization of fungal genetics research, as cofounder and editor of the Neurospora Newsletter (which later became the Fungal Genetics Newsletter) and the Neurospora Bibliography.

    When Barbara retired in 1995, she received an outpouring of messages with good wishes from her friends and colleagues around the world. She was immensely pleased, and it was her intention to thank each person individually. Among the papers she left behind were the beginnings of many such letters, but she was too disabled to complete them.

    Those who knew Barbara personally will remember her not only for her professional contributions, but also for her love of nature (birds in particular), of gardening, and of music. She is survived by her sister, Jean Morgan, and her nephews, Mitchell, Ross, and Randy Morgan. Her family has suggested that anyone wishing to honor her might do so by making a donation to the Nature Conservancy or to Planned Parenthood, in her memory, with acknowledgments going to Ms. Jean Morgan, 950 Southbridge Greens Blvd #18, Fort Collins CO 80525.

    Edward A. Adelberg
    New Haven, Conn.

    Gilbert C. H. Chang died 30 September 1998 in Opelika, Ala. Chang was born on 22 November 1918 in Tienjin, China. He came to the United States in 1947 as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, from which he earned his doctorate in microbiology. In 1955, he participated in the testing of the first polio vaccine under Jonas Salk at the Virus Control Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh. During his professional career, he served as an educator and investigator at various institutions of higher learning, including University of Miami Medical School and Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga.

    On 6 February 1999, Benjamin Elazari Volcani died in La Jolla, Calif., from kidney failure at the age of 84. With the death of Ben Volcani the halophile community has lost one of its most illustrious members. It was Ben Volcani who first showed that the Dead Sea is not a sterile lake, too salty to sustain life, but is inhabited by a variety of microorganisms. Under the title ``Life in the Dead Sea'' Volcani (then named Wilkansky) published a short note in Nature in 1936, describing the isolation of the first halophilic microorganisms from the lake. His studies for a Ph.D. degree in microbiology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem led to the discovery of different types of bacteria, unicellular algae, and even several kinds of protozoa adapted to life in the Dead Sea. His thesis ``Studies on the Microflora of the Dead Sea'' (1940) was the first thesis ever written in Hebrew.

    Among the novel microorganisms isolated by Volcani from the Dead Sea are the archaeon Haloarcula (formerly named Halobacterium) marismortui and several bacteria, including Chromohalobacter marismortui and Halomonas halophila. The generic name Halobacterium was first used by Volcani in his Ph.D. thesis, and he consolidated the nomenclature of the genus in his contribution to the 7th edition of Bergey's Manual for Determinative Bacteriology in 1957.

    In 1939, Ben Volcani became a member of the Sieff Institute in Rehovot, later renamed the Weizmann Institute of Science; he headed its laboratory of microbiology until 1959, when he joined the faculty of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, where he remained as professor of marine biology until his retirement in 1985. During sabbatical and other leaves he was a research associate at the Institut Pasteur in Paris (1951) and at the University of California, Berkeley (1956-1959), as well as a research fellow at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, Pacific Grove, Calif., the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, and the University of Wisconsin. For the past 35 years Ben Volcani's research has been focused on the biological role of silicon in diatoms. He showed that silicon, long thought to be biologically inert, is not only active but is in fact the basis for a hitherto-unknown system of biological mineralization and is essential in diatoms not only for formation of the siliceous shell but for DNA synthesis itself. His work constituted an exhaustive exploration of the role of silicon in diatoms, from electron microscopy of the shell to the isolation of genes specifying the proteins that transport silicon into the cell.

    In his retirement, Ben Volcani returned to research on his beloved Dead Sea and its biota. Bottles with old enrichment cultures, dating from the 1930s and stored in his laboratory at Scripps for more than 50 years were opened, and these appeared still to contain a variety of viable microorganisms. Characterization of these cultures was undertaken in collaboration with the group of Antonio Ventosa and David R. Arahal in Seville, Spain, using both classical microbiological techniques and molecular biological tools. These studies have recently led to a number of interesting publications, showing that our understanding of the biodiversity of one of the most extremely hypersaline environments on Earth is still far from complete. A new species, Bacillus marismortui, isolated from these cultures, will be described in the April 1999 issue of the International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology in a paper coauthored by Ben Volcani. Sixty-three years separate the first and the last of Volcani's publications on the forms of life in the Dead Sea. Few scientists can boast such a long and active career.

    To honor Volcani's achievements, the eubacterial genus Volcaniella and the archaeal species Haloferax volcanii have been named after him. His name will thus forever remain linked to two taxa of his beloved halophilic microorganisms. Ben Volcani is survived by his wife of 50 years, Toni, a son, Yanon, and a grandson.


    Highlights of the Virginia Branch 1998 Meeting

    The Virginia Branch held their annual meeting on 4-5 December at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va. The meeting was one of many activities that are being held at Washington & Lee this year in celebration of the school's 250-year anniversary. Attendees were welcomed by the school's President John Elrod and Dean Larry Boetsch.

    This year's meeting featured 31 oral presentations by students and senior investigators and a poster session for undergraduate students. TechLab, Inc. of Blacksburg, Va., generously donated money towards awards for outstanding student presentations. First place was awarded to Robyn Puffenberger from the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond. Second place went to Alicia Smith from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Third was awarded to David Mullins of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, and honorable mention went to Catherine Lewis from the University of Virginia. The ASM Foundation talk was given by J. Stephen Dumler from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., who spoke on ``Pathogenesis of Rickettsial and Ehrlichial Infections.''

    The highlight of the meeting was a career forum that was funded by a grant from ASM. This forum was designed to inform students of career opportunities in the biological sciences outside of academics. The speaker roster included M. J. Finley Austin, administrative director of the Merck Genome Research Institute; Cindy Fuchs, patent attorney for Genetic Therapy, Inc.; A. J. Hostetler, science writer for the Richmond Times Dispatch; Betty Rouse, epidemiologist for the Virginia Department of Health; David Lyerly, vice president and cofounder of TechLab, Inc.; R. Scott Decker, Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Bruce Fuchs, director of the Office of Science Education at the National Institutes of Health. The speakers told of their individual career paths, a typical day, and the benefits of their chosen careers. During lunch and breaks representatives from the Washington & Lee Career Placement Office, Aerotek Scientific Staffing Firm, Emerging Infectious Disease Fellowship Program, and the Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia Masters in Public Health Program were available to speak to interested students. There was also information available from the ASM membership and Program Office, ASM Career Services Office, ASM/National Centers for Infectious Diseases Postdoctoral Research Associations Program Office, FASEB career placement service, and the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation. The Branch hopes to hold a similar event at its next annual meeting

    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


    South Carolina



    General information about the ASM Branch Program is available atthe ASM web site.


    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.