President's Bimonthly Newsletter (August 2017)

Dear ASM members,

CotterMy first communication with you last month was not a pleasant one to write and not the way I had hoped to begin my year as ASM President. But budget cuts were necessary, and the news had to be delivered. I am aware that many members would like to know more about ASM’s finances, why budget adjustments are necessary, and the process used to make the adjustments. I’d like to start with a little history.

The ASM was established in 1899 as the Society of American Bacteriologists with the goal of bringing together workers interested in the newly emerging discipline of bacteriology, and the expectation that by working together, these scientists could do more than by working alone. Central to the Society was the development of mechanisms for communicating methods and results. The annual meeting provided a forum for face-to-face communication, and the Journal of Bacteriology, launched in 1917, provided a print format to reach a broader audience. These mechanisms became the ways for bacteriologists in the U.S. and abroad to share their findings, and participation in both activities was robust. 

Over the years, the field grew and expanded to include virology, mycology and parasitology (and hence the name was changed to the American Society for Microbiology in 1960), and more journals were added to reflect the increased breadth and depth of the membership. ASM journals and the annual meeting became so successful that they generated profits, which Society leadership, on behalf of members and using member-approved policies, invested back into the Society in the form of programs that could not generate revenue on their own, but which were deemed important for advancing the field. Examples include educational, career development, and outreach programs, a policy department to educate politicians and funding organizations about microbiology, training and certification programs for clinical microbiologists, small conferences, etc. The synergy possible from working together was being realized! 

As expected, operating expenses to support ASM’s various programs increased proportionately with the revenues generated from journals and meetings, and this model was successful for a long time. But in the late 2000s, submissions to ASM journals and attendance at the large annual meetings began to decline. Consequently, revenues flatlined beginning in 2008 (see graph). Expenses, however, did not decrease. From 2014 to the present, revenues decreased even more, to the point that income was not able to meet operating expenses. Fortunately, ASM invested some of its operating revenues wisely, and the return on these investments provides a cushion (referred to as ‘revenue transfers’ in the graph) that has covered ASM’s losses the last few years. But investment income is, by nature, variable and unpredictable, and ASM’s financial policy is to use investment returns for special one-time expenditures, such as launching a new journal or purchasing a new information management system at headquarters, and for specific programs, such as travel grants and Education fellowships.  Investment income is not intended to be used for balancing the operating budget. Indeed, the financial guidelines approved by ASM’s leadership state that the Society should strive to produce a net surplus of 3 to 5% of its operating budget every year so that reserves are not needed to cover normal operating expenses. Therefore, as it has become apparent that the decrease in revenues from journals and events is not simply a temporary downturn, the Council Policy Committee (ASM’s former governing body) asked at its meeting last fall that the Society find a way to achieve a breakeven operating budget for 2018.

ASM BUdget

A major challenge for ASM in the coming years will be to find new revenue streams. Although our dedicated volunteers and staff are working hard to reinvigorate our journals and meetings, it is clear that we are not going to be able to rely solely on these revenue sources in the future. We must develop new, innovative ways to support our current and future members in a way that meets their needs and is fiscally sustainable. 

In the meantime, we must tighten our belts. ASM’s leadership was faced with the tough job of developing a budget that would allow the Society to live within its means. Looking to the future, we chose to evaluate our programs critically and make strategic changes, rather than simply implementing across-the-board incremental cuts. Board Chairs (ASM members who lead the various Boards and Committees) and Directors (ASM employees who lead staff at ASM headquarters, providing administrative support for the volunteer activities) worked together to determine which programs are most critical to ASM’s mission and which could be put on hiatus. They also looked for ways to work more efficiently within and between the various units. The proposals from each of the Boards and Committees were brought to ASM’s CEO and director of finance, who then brought compiled recommendations to the Finance Committee. Because the changes proposed by the Boards and Committees were not sufficient to reach a breakeven budget, the Finance Committee had the difficult task of making additional cuts, with information gathered from inside and outside of headquarters over several months, knowing the impossibility of making everyone happy. The Board of Directors (ASM’s new governing body) reviewed and discussed the Finance Committee’s recommendations at length, and the Board adopted the proposal at its first meeting in June 2107, after a long, thoughtful and collaborative process.  

We believe these actions, while difficult in the short term, will help right size our organization and secure our future. We understand and appreciate that some of you may not agree with the decisions we made, and I welcome hearing from you. While we are confident that these steps are necessary to position ASM for future growth and success, and to ensure our financial stability, we also expect to continue to make changes as we move forward. As I mentioned already, we need to find new revenue streams and new ways to meet the needs of our current and future members. In addition, I want to encourage you to submit your science to ASM’s network of journals and encourage others in your sphere of influence to do so, too.  When you choose to publish with a scientific society, you are directly supporting that society and all the good work it is doing.

I look forward to working with all of you towards these goals. Along those lines, in my next letter I will tell you more about our new governance structure, how it affects you, and how you should use it to make the ASM your Society.

Sincerely,


Peggy Cotter

 

Important ASM Update (July 26, 2017)

Dear ASM members,

I have always been proud of the work ASM does to promote and advance the microbial sciences. Everything we do is for our members, and we have been working especially hard in recent months to ensure ASM’s excellence for the 21st century and beyond as we, like many other societies, face changing times. 

Over the past few years, ASM has been engaged in an effort to modernize our organization, update our governance, and streamline our operations in response to the significant economic challenges we face as a scientific society. Decreasing operating revenues, due primarily to declines in scientific publishing and event participation over the past decade, have led to substantial operating deficits. This situation is not unique to the ASM; many other professional organizations like ours are facing the same challenges.

To get ASM on track financially and to meet the organization’s fiscal policies, the Council Policy Committee (ASM’s prior governing body) expected the Finance Committee to develop a strategy to balance the operating budget in 2018 and beyond. As a result, ASM leadership has undertaken a comprehensive examination of our programs and activities to determine the core areas where we need to invest, and areas where we can achieve efficiencies in order to accomplish the ASM mission in a more effective way.  We considered the input of numerous sources including program board/committee chairs, membership leadership, ASM officers, the Finance Committee, staff directors and others in making these decisions. Foremost in our thinking was the importance of focusing on areas that set up ASM for long term stability and provide the best returns on our investments, in both monetary and non-monetary ways, so we can continue to provide outstanding programs and services to our members. 

After considering all of the information and the viewpoints of all involved, the Board of Directors (ASM’s new governing body) unanimously approved a plan to update ASM’s programmatic offerings when it met on June 6th. Making the decision to adopt the plan was difficult. The plan includes reducing our investment in several programs, some of which are near and dear to, or even had been initiated by, Board members. Unfortunately, our current operating resources are simply insufficient to continue funding all of the programs in the same manner as we have in the past.  

The following are changes you can expect to see: 

  • ASM will reduce publishing expenses across all journals, and Clinical and Vaccine Immunology® will merge with the new ASM open access journal mSphere® in January 2018.
  • Changes to ASM Press will not be immediately apparent as the Press is going through an independent review, the results of which will be shared when available. We will explore investments in new digital product lines, which allow frequent updates.
  • The American Academy of Microbiology will retain its independent Bylaws and Board of Governors, including the Fellows and Awards. However, the administration of the Board of Governors meetings, the Awards program, and the election of Academy Fellows will now be housed in the Membership Department. Colloquia and other reports will now be produced on an ad hoc basis, rather than their current recurring basis. We will also reduce the number of in-person meetings to conserve budget, and coalitions will be formed in an as-needed manner.
  • Science policy and advocacy is a top priority for our members and fundamental to the organization’s mission, and we want to amplify the effectiveness of our policy work. ASM will undertake a strategic review of the Public and Scientific Affairs Board to make it more efficient and effective. The goal is to become more collaborative, to foster the involvement of a wider and more inclusive number of members, and to tighten partnerships with sister and advocacy organizations, while reducing costs. We will discontinue support for the Forum on Drug Discovery and the Forum on Microbial Threats and will pause our sponsorship of the AAAS Congressional Fellowship for 2018. It’s worth noting that many societies do not support fellows, and we have been one of the few to do so.
  • As the next step in consolidating and streamlining our marketing and communications efforts, we are eliminating the Science Communication Workshop and K-12 Outreach activities and lowering fixed costs.
  • We will eliminate the International Educators Program within ASMCUE, reduce the stipend paid to Watkins Fellows, transition the MicrobeLibrary images to ASM’s website, and eliminate the Turning Your Science into a Company program.
  • We will eliminate the Advance Your Science and the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists programs. In addition, we will continue to have a CHOMA exhibit at ASM Microbe, but will reduce the CHOMA budget.
  • Programs such as funding of the ASM Branches, International Ambassadors, and other disbursements—which allow members to drive their own programs and to fund activities, which could otherwise not happen without ASM support—have largely, if not completely, remained untouched.
  • We will be more selective with our approach to small conferences moving forward. We will undertake fewer conferences each year, with selection being based on the scientific priorities indicated by the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) (which includes member scientists from various areas of microbiology), the financial sustainability of the conference, and the ability to leverage outside funds. This restructuring is due, in part, to the fact that some of the conferences have been operating at a significant loss with both reduced attendance and abstract submissions, resulting in substantial annual losses to the program overall.

ASM believes that these actions, while difficult in the short term, will help to right-size our organization and secure our future. We are confident that these steps will position ASM for growth and success and will ensure our financial stability. We thank you for your loyalty and dedication to the microbial sciences and to ASM. We appreciate that change can be difficult, but it is necessary (it is, after all, the basis of evolution!). One thing will never change, however – and that is our steadfast commitment to our mission of promoting and advancing the microbial sciences through scholarship and innovation.

Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have at ASMPresident@asmusa.org

Sincerely,


Peggy Cotter

ASM's Support of International Scientists

Dear Member,

You are receiving this email because you are an ASM member living in a country that is being affected by the January 27 White House Executive Order on immigration that bars the entry or return of individuals to the U.S. We are actively working with policy makers to end the adverse effects it is having on the ability of researchers and students to study, attend conferences, and collaborate with counterparts in the United States.

We support all our global members. We are proud of how highly engaged and dedicated you are in advancing the microbial sciences as well as preventing and curing infectious diseases that threaten millions worldwide. The ASM AmbassadorsYoung Ambassadors and BioResource Centers in your country have been actively providing education and microbiology skills building opportunities and will continue to do so. You will also have access to our online resources as before.

ASM is your professional society and a global home for your science. We recognize that diversity makes science stronger and collaboration across the globe is imperative for scientific advancements. The latest bLogphase post underlines all the dangers we face when we close our borders to global science.

SusieSharpNew     bertuzzi

Susan E. Sharp                                Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO, ASM    

Letter from President (August 2017)

A Message from our President

Dear ASM members,

My first communication with you last month was not a pleasant one to write and not the way I had hoped to begin my year as ASM President. But budget cuts were necessary, and the news had to be delivered. I am aware that many members would like to know more about ASM’s finances, why budget adjustments are necessary, and the process used to make the adjustments. I’d like to start with a little history.
    
The ASM was established in 1899 as the Society of American Bacteriologists with the goal of bringing together workers interested in the newly emerging discipline of bacteriology, and the expectation that by working together, these scientists could do more than by working alone. Central to the Society was the development of mechanisms for communicating methods and results. The annual meeting provided a forum for face-to-face communication, and the Journal of Bacteriology, launched in 1917, provided a print format to reach a broader audience. These mechanisms became the ways for bacteriologists in the U.S. and abroad to share their findings, and participation in both activities was robust.

Over the years, the field grew and expanded to include virology, mycology and parasitology (and hence the name was changed to the American Society for Microbiology in 1960), and more journals were added to reflect the increased breadth and depth of the membership. ASM journals and the annual meeting became so successful that they generated profits, which Society leadership, on behalf of members and using member-approved policies, invested back into the Society in the form of programs that could not generate revenue on their own, but which were deemed important for advancing the field. Examples include educational, career development, and outreach programs, a policy department to educate politicians and funding organizations about microbiology, training and certification programs for clinical microbiologists, small conferences, etc. The synergy possible from working together was being realized!

As expected, operating expenses to support ASM’s various programs increased proportionately with the revenues generated from journals and meetings, and this model was successful for a long time. But in the late 2000s, submissions to ASM journals and attendance at the large annual meetings began to decline. Consequently, revenues flatlined beginning in 2008 (see graph). Expenses, however, did not decrease. From 2014 to the present, revenues decreased even more, to the point that income was not able to meet operating expenses. Fortunately, ASM invested some of its operating revenues wisely, and the return on these investments provides a cushion (referred to as ‘revenue transfers’ in the graph) that has covered ASM’s losses the last few years. But investment income is, by nature, variable and unpredictable, and ASM’s financial policy is to use investment returns for special one-time expenditures, such as launching a new journal or purchasing a new information management system at headquarters, and for specific programs, such as travel grants and Education fellowships.  Investment income is not intended to be used for balancing the operating budget. Indeed, the financial guidelines approved by ASM’s leadership state that the Society should strive to produce a net surplus of 3 to 5% of its operating budget every year so that reserves are not needed to cover normal operating expenses. Therefore, as it has become apparent that the decrease in revenues from journals and events is not simply a temporary downturn, the Council Policy Committee (ASM’s former governing body) asked at its meeting last fall that the Society find a way to achieve a breakeven operating budget for 2018.

OperatingBudget
 
 
A major challenge for ASM in the coming years will be to find new revenue streams. Although our dedicated volunteers and staff are working hard to reinvigorate our journals and meetings, it is clear that we are not going to be able to rely solely on these revenue sources in the future. We must develop new, innovative ways to support our current and future members in a way that meets their needs and is fiscally sustainable.

In the meantime, we must tighten our belts. ASM’s leadership was faced with the tough job of developing a budget that would allow the Society to live within its means. Looking to the future, we chose to evaluate our programs critically and make strategic changes, rather than simply implementing across-the-board incremental cuts. Board Chairs (ASM members who lead the various Boards and Committees) and Directors (ASM employees who lead staff at ASM headquarters, providing administrative support for the volunteer activities) worked together to determine which programs are most critical to ASM’s mission and which could be put on hiatus. They also looked for ways to work more efficiently within and between the various units. The proposals from each of the Boards and Committees were brought to ASM’s CEO and director of finance, who then brought compiled recommendations to the Finance Committee. Because the changes proposed by the Boards and Committees were not sufficient to reach a breakeven budget, the Finance Committee had the difficult task of making additional cuts, with information gathered from inside and outside of headquarters over several months, knowing the impossibility of making everyone happy. The Board of Directors (ASM’s new governing body) reviewed and discussed the Finance Committee’s recommendations at length, and the Board adopted the proposal at its first meeting in June 2107, after a long, thoughtful and collaborative process.  

We believe these actions, while difficult in the short term, will help right size our organization and secure our future. We understand and appreciate that some of you may not agree with the decisions we made, and I welcome hearing from you. While we are confident that these steps are necessary to position ASM for future growth and success, and to ensure our financial stability, we also expect to continue to make changes as we move forward. As I mentioned already, we need to find new revenue streams and new ways to meet the needs of our current and future members. In addition, I want to encourage you to submit your science to ASM’s network of journals and encourage others in your sphere of influence to do so, too.  When you choose to publish with a scientific society, you are directly supporting that society and all the good work it is doing.

I look forward to working with all of you towards these goals. Along those lines, in my next letter I will tell you more about our new governance structure, how it affects you, and how you should use it to make the ASM your Society.

Sincerely,

 

Peggy Cotter
ASM President

ASM is Your Global Society

Dear Members,

The ASM is as deeply concerned as you are about the January 27 White House Executive Order on immigration that bars the entry or return of individuals from certain countries and we are working with policy makers to end the adverse effects it is having on the ability of researchers to study and exchange knowledge. ASM prides itself on being a global community and our strength lies in both our national and international members.


We want to send a strong message of support to all our dedicated members worldwide who are working to prevent and cure infectious diseases that threaten global health. ASM is your professional society and a global home for your science. We recognize that diversity makes science stronger and collaboration across the globe is imperative for scientific advancements. The latest bLogphase post underlines all the dangers we face when we close our borders to global science.

SusieSharpNew    bertuzzi

Susan E. Sharp, President             Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO, ASM

 

Letter from President (July 2017)

A Message from our President

Dear ASM members,

I have always been proud of the work ASM does to promote and advance the microbial sciences. Everything we do is for our members, and we have been working especially hard in recent months to ensure ASM’s excellence for the 21st century and beyond as we, like many other societies, face changing times.   

Over the past few years, ASM has been engaged in an effort to modernize our organization, update our governance, and streamline our operations in response to the significant economic challenges we face as a scientific society. Decreasing operating revenues, due primarily to declines in scientific publishing and event participation over the past decade, have led to substantial operating deficits. This situation is not unique to the ASM; many other professional organizations like ours are facing the same challenges.

To get ASM on track financially and to meet the organization’s fiscal policies, the Council Policy Committee (ASM’s prior governing body) expected the Finance Committee to develop a strategy to balance the operating budget in 2018 and beyond. As a result, ASM leadership has undertaken a comprehensive examination of our programs and activities to determine the core areas where we need to invest, and areas where we can achieve efficiencies in order to accomplish the ASM mission in a more effective way.  We considered the input of numerous sources including program board/committee chairs, membership leadership, ASM officers, the Finance Committee, staff directors and others in making these decisions. Foremost in our thinking was the importance of focusing on areas that set up ASM for long term stability and provide the best returns on our investments, in both monetary and non-monetary ways, so we can continue to provide outstanding programs and services to our members.

After considering all of the information and the viewpoints of all involved, the Board of Directors (ASM’s new governing body) unanimously approved a plan to update ASM’s programmatic offerings when it met on June 6th. Making the decision to adopt the plan was difficult. The plan includes reducing our investment in several programs, some of which are near and dear to, or even had been initiated by, Board members. Unfortunately, our current operating resources are simply insufficient to continue funding all of the programs in the same manner as we have in the past.  

The following are changes you can expect to see:

  • ASM will reduce publishing expenses across all journals, and Clinical and Vaccine Immunology® will merge with the new ASM open access journal mSphere® in January 2018.
  • Changes to ASM Press will not be immediately apparent as the Press is going through an independent review, the results of which will be shared when available. We will explore investments in new digital product lines, which allow frequent updates.
  • The American Academy of Microbiology will retain its independent Bylaws and Board of Governors, including the Fellows and Awards. However, the administration of the Board of Governors meetings, the Awards program, and the election of Academy Fellows will now be housed in the Membership Department. Colloquia and other reports will now be produced on an ad hoc basis, rather than their current recurring basis. We will also reduce the number of in-person meetings to conserve budget, and coalitions will be formed in an as-needed manner.
  • Science policy and advocacy is a top priority for our members and fundamental to the organization’s mission, and we want to amplify the effectiveness of our policy work. ASM will undertake a strategic review of the Public and Scientific Affairs Board to make it more efficient and effective. The goal is to become more collaborative, to foster the involvement of a wider and more inclusive number of members, and to tighten partnerships with sister and advocacy organizations, while reducing costs. We will discontinue support for the Forum on Drug Discovery and the Forum on Microbial Threats and will pause our sponsorship of the AAAS Congressional Fellowship for 2018. It’s worth noting that many societies do not support fellows, and we have been one of the few to do so
  • As the next step in consolidating and streamlining our marketing and communications efforts, we are eliminating the Science Communication Workshop and K-12 Outreach activities and lowering fixed costs.
  • We will eliminate the International Educators Program within ASMCUE, reduce the stipend paid to Watkins Fellows, transition the MicrobeLibrary images to ASM’s website, and eliminate the Turning Your Science into a Company program.
  • We will eliminate the Advance Your Science and the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists programs. In addition, we will continue to have a CHOMA exhibit at ASM Microbe, but will reduce the CHOMA budget.
  • Programs such as funding of the ASM Branches, International Ambassadors, and other disbursements—which allow members to drive their own programs and to fund activities, which could otherwise not happen without ASM support—have largely, if not completely, remained untouched.
  • We will be more selective with our approach to small conferences moving forward. We will undertake fewer conferences each year, with selection being based on the scientific priorities indicated by the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) (which includes member scientists from various areas of microbiology), the financial sustainability of the conference, and the ability to leverage outside funds. This restructuring is due, in part, to the fact that some of the conferences have been operating at a significant loss with both reduced attendance and abstract submissions, resulting in substantial annual losses to the program overall.
ASM believes that these actions, while difficult in the short term, will help to right-size our organization and secure our future. We are confident that these steps will position ASM for growth and success and will ensure our financial stability. We thank you for your loyalty and dedication to the microbial sciences and to ASM. We appreciate that change can be difficult, but it is necessary (it is, after all, the basis of evolution!). One thing will never change, however – and that is our steadfast commitment to our mission of promoting and advancing the microbial sciences through scholarship and innovation.

Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have at ASMPresident@asmusa.org.

Sincerely,


Peggy Cotter
ASM President

ASM on U.S. Immigration Policy Concerns

ASM on U.S. Immigration Policy Concerns

The mission of the ASM is to promote and advance the microbial sciences, in the United States and worldwide.

The revised travel executive order issued March 6 by President Trump aims to make America safe and protect the country from the threat of terrorism. While we are supportive of the goals to prevent terrorism, we also recognize the global challenges for which international scientific collaborations are essential, such as infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance.

ASM is closely monitoring the news on immigration policy and is advocating for maintaining a global culture of science. We are concerned about the perception that the US is no longer welcoming scientists from around the world who want to work in our ecosystem of universities, government and industry that has produced countless health and environmental advances.

pollfavorableviewsimageZogby Impressions of America survey.

In addition, ASM continues to champion science diplomacy and promote international partnerships in the sciences. As a survey done by Zogby International noted, countries with low regard for the US and its policies still had high respect for US science. America’s science and technology enterprise is one of our greatest strengths, and the common language of science and the challenges we share allows for meaningful exchange between groups that are increasingly isolated.

ASM has almost 2,000 members in the six countries impacted by the ban. We want to send a strong message to them and all our dedicated members worldwide who are working to prevent and cure infectious diseases and study the role of microbes on earth and in the oceans. ASM is your professional society and a global home for your science. We recognize that diversity makes science stronger and collaboration across the globe is imperative for scientific advancements.

ASM does not participate in partisan politics and maintains strict political neutrality on issues, while being a strong advocate for science.

 

SusieSharpNew                  stefano signature

Susan E. Sharp, President, ASM           Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO, ASM

 

ASM's Action Items on Immigration Policy:

The Dangers of Closing the Borders on Global Science

ASM and 150 Partner Organizations Urge Administration to rescind White House Executive Order on Immigration

ASM Letter to President Trump Regarding Immigration Executive Order

Immigration and Visa Information

ASM is Your Global Society

ASM's Support of International Scientists

 

COMS Division Interdisciplinary Councilors

 

Division Interdisciplinary Councilor Candidates

 

Jorge Cervantes
Maria G. Dominguez-Bello
Richard H. Ebright 
Suzanne Fleiszig
He Fu
Peter R. Girguis
Joanna B. Goldberg
Russell T. Hill 
Birthe Kjellerup
Guy Lanza

Erin K. Lipp
Michael J. Loeffelholz  
Tara C. Smith
Joy Sturtevant
Alfredo Torres 
Naqeeb Ullah
Hui Wu
Chuanwu Xi
Vincent B. Young

 

Click here to vote: https://secure.intelliscaninc.net/asm/coms/

Your ASM member number has changed.  If you haven't received notification of your ID, please contact service@asmusa.org

 

Candidates
Please select 8

JORGE CERVANTES, M.D., Ph.D.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
El Paso, TX 

 Cervantes

 

I obtained my medical degree from Cayetano Heredia University, a well-known and respected Medical School in Peru.  I always had great interest in microbiology/immunology, so after receiving my M.D. degree, I attended a training course in Tropical Medicine in Japan. Back in Peru, I joined the US Naval Center Detachment dengue surveillance project in the Peruvian Amazon, and supported actively the Ecuadorian Institute of Health during an outbreak of dengue fever.

I obtained a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences (Virology), at the Faculty of Medicine of Kagoshima University in Japan. I chose the Department of Virology because it had a good reputation in working with HLA and viruses. I performed epidemiological studies on HLA and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection in Bolivian Andean ethnic groups. I spent the third year of my Ph.D. studentship at the Department of Epidemiology (previously Department of Public Health), as it fit well with my interests and were developing projects on virus infection and cancer susceptibility.

After receiving my Ph.D. I accepted a post-doc position at Hamamatsu University School of Medicine. This was part of a COE project granted by Hamamatsu Photonics, a company dedicated to develop new fields of scientific technology.  I joined the Department of Infectious Diseases and worked on innate immunity against intracellular pathogens using modern imaging techniques.

I then joined the Spirochete Research group at the University of Connecticut Health Center, where I studied human innate immunity aspects of Lyme disease and Syphilis. Our findings have provided novel concepts of TLR signaling and interaction in the recognition of bacterial RNA, as well as the role of macrophages in these diseases. I also collaborated in studying TLR2 signaling response to various lipids from Porphyromonas gingivalis and commensal bacteria, and their role in the development of autoimmunity, periodontal disease and atherosclerosis.

I am currently working on Mycobacterial recognition human lung alveolar macrophages, and how hyperglycemia and macrophage polarization affect this host-pathogen interaction.

I have started several other infectious diseases-public health related projects, with collaborators at my home university and other international institutions.

I believe competence in foreign languages is an invaluable asset for communication within a team in an international setting.  Besides Spanish, my mother tongue, I speak English, French, and Japanese.

Candidate’s Statement

It is with great pleasure to nominate myself for the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS). As an active reviewer for several journals on different fields, I am confident I have the capacity to review and advice the BOD on various scientific matters. Since the COMS serves as an advisory on trends and opportunities in microbial sciences, I think my background allows me to provide a broader scientific perspective of microbiology, as well as microbial scientific trends of clinical and public health impact. In these times where science is required to be translational, it is essential to identify and prioritize certain domains within the field of microbiology that have a future. A visionary perspective and review is necessary for the advancement of the field. Last, my experience in setting up multi-disciplinary teams internationally would certainly help in the mission of the COMS

 

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MARIA DOMINGUEZ-BELLO
New York University School of Medicine
New York, NY 

Dominguez Bello

 

Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello received her undergraduate degree in 1983 from Simon Bolivar University –Venezuela-, her Masters in 1987 and her PhD in 1990 from University of Aberdeen –Scotland- did a postdoc at the Institute National de la Recherche Agronomic, France, and worked at the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research in Venezuela, at University of Puerto Rico, and is at NYU School of Medicine since 2012.

She is a member of the American Academy of microbiology, an IDSA fellow, and has been in the editorial board of several journals, currently in mBio, Science Reports. 

She has 109 scientific papers to date, and her lab uses metagenomics, ecology, and anthropology to address broad questions about microbe- hosts interaction, microbiome development, impacts and restoration. Her research focuses on microbiome development and on impact of modern practices, and is focused on babies during development, and on isolated peoples that have not been exposed to medicine. Her research work has involved the synergy of a network of collaborators in a scope of disciplines -Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Genomics, Ecology, Medicine, Public Health, Engineering, Architecture and Anthropology-  in multiple countries -Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Spain, Sweden, Germany, USA-. 

Candidate’s Statement
Dr Dominguez is an old member of ASM, and has served as an American Society for Microbiology Ambassador for the Central American and Caribbean region, from 2008 to 2011. Her life experience comprises multi-cultural exposures, and her work is multidisciplinary by nature, working in microbial system assemblages that range from fermenting organs in animals, to human microbiota and the built environment, with an anthropological approach.

Her personal and professional multidisciplinary experience makes her a good candidate to serve ASM as an Interdisciplinary Councilor.

 

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RICHARD H. EBRIGHT
Waksman Institute of Microbiology
Piscataway, NJ 

elbert

 

Richard H. Ebright, Ph.D., is Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University and Laboratory Director at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology.  He directs a laboratory of approximately fifteen postdoctoral associates, graduate students, and technicians and serves as project leader on three National Institutes of Health research grants ("Bacterial Transcription Complexes," "Therapeutics for Drug‑Resistant Bacteria: Pseudouridimycins," and "Therapeutics for Drug-Resistant Bacteria: Arylpropionyl Phloroglucinols").

His research focusses on the structure, mechanism, and regulation of bacterial transcription complexes, and on the development of inhibitors of bacterial transcription as antituberculosis agents and broad‑spectrum antibacterial agents.  His research employs tools of structural biology, biophysics, and drug-discovery.

He received his A.B. (Biology, summa cum laude) and Ph.D. (Microbiology and Molecular Genetics) degrees from Harvard University.  He performed graduate research at Harvard and the Institut Pasteur and was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard University Society of Fellows.  In 1987, he was appointed as a Laboratory Director at the Waksman Institute and a faculty member at Rutgers University.  From 1997 to 2013, he was co-appointed as an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 

He has received the Searle Scholar Award, the Schering-Plough Award of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Walter J. Johnson Prize, the Waksman Award of the Theobald Smith Society, the MERIT Award of the National Institutes of Health, and the Chancellor's Award for Research Excellence of Rutgers University.  He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

He has more than one hundred thirty publications in peer-reviewed journals and more than thirty issued and pending patents.

He served for sixteen years as editor of the Journal of Molecular Biology.  He has served on the National Institutes of Health Molecular Biology Study Section and on National Institutes of Health special emphasis panels.   He is a member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee of Rutgers University and the Antimicrobial Resistance Committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and has been a member of the Working Group on Pathogen Security of the state of New Jersey and the Controlling Dangerous Pathogens Project of the Center for International Security Studies.

Candidate’s Statement

I perform interdisciplinary research on the structural biology and structural biophysics of bacterial RNA polymerase and on antibacterial drug discovery targeting bacterial RNA polymerase.

My laboratory employs a broad range of interdisciplinary research methods, including methods of structural biology (x-ray crystallography and cryo electron microscopy), structural biophysics (single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and single-molecule nanomanipulation with magnetic tweezers and nanopore tweezers), molecular biology (bacterial and bacteriophage genetics, deep sequencing, and deep-sequencing-based multiplexed assays), biochemistry (protein chemistry and nucleic acid chemistry), bacteriology (antimicrobial susceptibility assays and antimicrobial resistance-rate, resistance-fitness-cost, resistance-spectrum analyses), and antibacterial drug discovery and development (high-throughput screening, hit-to-lead-chemistry lead validation, and lead optimization).  Our primary research organisms are Escherichia coli, Mycobacterium spp., Staphylococcus spp., Streptococcus spp., and Thermus spp.

I have strong interests in research and public policy.  I have especially strong interests in antibacterial drug development (from the discovery research stage through the preclinical and clinical research stages), antibacterial drug commercialization, policy issues regarding antibacterial drug use, policy issues regarding biosecurity and biodefense, policy issues regarding research prioritization and research funding, and policy issues involving preprints, publication and post-publication peer review.

I am a member of ASM Division H (Molecular Biology and Genetics), but my interests span at least ten ASM Divisions: A (Antimicrobial Chemotherapy), B (Microbial Pathogens), C (Clinical Microbiology), H (Genetics and Molecular Biology), J (Cell and Structural Biology), K (Microbial Physiology and Metabolism), M (Bacteriophage), O (Fermentation and Biotechnology), U (Mycobacteriology), and Y (Public Health).  I support improving communication and coordination across Division lines.

 

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SUZANNE FLEISZIG
University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California

Fleiszig

Incumbent

 

Education:
OD (Doctor of Optometry), University of Melbourne
PhD (Microbiology), University of Melbourne
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Infectious Disease, Harvard Medical School
Professional Experience:
Dr. Fleiszig has been a Professor at the University of California Berkeley since 1994. Her appointment includes membership in several graduate programs on the Berkeley campus including Microbiology, Infectious Diseases & Immunity, Vision Science, Optometry, and Health & Medical Sciences. She is also an adjunct Professor at the Proctor Foundation, UCSF. Until 2010, she was involved in regular clinical practice.

Dr. Fleiszig’s outside activities reflect the multidisciplinary nature of her education, interests and experiences. A fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) and current standing member of the NIH Bacterial Pathogenesis (BACP) study section, she has been a standing member of the Anterior Eye Disease (AED) study section. President of the International Society for Contact Lens Research (ISCLR), Vice-President of TFOS (international ocular surface society), Chair of the 2012 Corneal Biology GRC, Chair of the Immunology & Microbiology Section for the Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology (ARVO), and is a member of the Mentoring Committee of the International Society for Eye Research.  She is currently on the editorial boards of Infection & Immunity, PLOS One, Frontiers in Cellular & Infection Microbiology, The Ocular Surface Journal, and PeerJ.

ASM Activities:
Chair Division D (2007-2009)
ASM Council (2012-2016)
ASM COMS (2016-2018)
Editorial Board, Infection & Immunity (2012-2017)


Publications: 
Dr. Fleiszig has published 98 peer-reviewed publications, focused mostly on P. aeruginosa pathogenesis. She has been awarded four patents for novel strategies to prevent infection.

Research Interests: 
Research in the Fleiszig lab focuses on host interactions with opportunists utilizing P. aeruginosa as a model. Attention is paid equally to the microbe and the host, emphasizing fundamental biology and its translation, with hypotheses drawn from clinical observations and clinical studies. The lab aims to prevent not treat infection, so it is exploring why our epithelial surfaces are not usually infected by opportunistic pathogens (most having significant virulence potential), how that normal protective function is compromised, and how opportunists exploit that compromise to cause disease. Model systems used involve in vitro cell culture, 3D tissue culture, rodents, and human subjects. An unusually wide variety of methods are utilized, including novel imaging technologies resulting from the group’s expertise in the eye, vision and optics. By providing high-resolution quantitative information about individual bacteria and simultaneously the infected host cells in vivo, these methods are allowing the laboratory to study cellular microbiology in vivo. 

Candidate’s Statement
While ASM has almost 30 divisions covering a range of topics relevant to microbiology, problems and solutions relevant to this and other fields are becoming increasing more multidisciplinary. Not only are we seeing themes crossing species and kingdom barriers, diverse fields in life and physical sciences are becoming more relevant, as are disciplines outside of the sciences including psychology, politics, and even art. Further, we are witnessing change and disruption at an almost overwhelming rate in every aspect of our lives. I believe that the role of the interdisciplinary councilors should be to look across the divisions to help ensure that COMS expertise and programs can meet the full range of challenges and opportunities that arise as we move forward, including those we cannot predict today. Specifically, I see interdisciplinary COMS members facilitating communication across divisions and branches, while also monitoring division structure to help the society flexibly represent the field. This necessitates a general understanding of the scope and importance of multiple missions of the society, including fostering the basic and clinical sciences, education, and application of knowledge in its various forms.

I believe I am particularly well suited to being a COMS Division Interdisciplinary Councilor because of the unusual diversity of my education and experiences. I have a clinical degree in optometry in addition to a PhD in microbiology. I have 30 years of experience studying bacterial pathogenesis, utilizing a wide variety of basic biological and translational approaches that study both the host and pathogen. I am expert in the host system I focus on; indeed I teach ocular biology at UC Berkeley. I have 27 years of clinical experience in eye care, with accompanying expertise in vision, optics, neuroscience, and imaging that I have brought into my research. At UC Berkeley I hold appointments in multiple programs including Microbiology, Infectious Diseases & Immunity, Health & Medical Sciences, Vision Science, and Optometry. I have significant leadership experience, which has also been interdisciplinary.  For ASM, I have served as Chair of Division D, and as a member of ASM Council. I have also been President of the International Society for Contact Lens Research, Vice-President of TFOS (international ocular surface society), Chaired a Cornea GRC, and I am currently a member of the Mentoring Committee for the International Society for Eye Research. A current standing member of the NIH bacterial pathogenesis (BACP) study section, I have also served as a standing member of the Anterior Eye Disease (AED) study section. I am excited by the prospect of continuing as a COMS Division Interdisciplinary Councilor, and would be honored to represent all contingencies of the ASM membership in this capacity.

 

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HE FU
Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia

fu he

  He Fu is a postdoctoral research associate in Mary Ann Moran’s lab at the University of Georgia. Born and raised in China, he received a well-rounded education at Wuhan University with a major in Biology. Concerned about many pressing environmental issues while equally impressed with the great metabolic diversity of microbes, he joined Ning-Yi Zhou’s lab to work on microbial bioremediation. In 2011, he came to the US and joined Bill Metcalf’s lab at the University of Illinois, working on the metabolism of methylated sulfur compounds by Methanosarcina acetivorans, a model marine methanogen, and its impact on the global sulfur cycle and climate change. After earning his Ph.D. degree in 2017, he joined Moran’s lab to delve deeper into marine microbial ecology/microbial oceanography. His research currently focuses on microbial community assembly in model marine phytoplankton-bacteria systems. He is broadly interested in microbial physiology, ecology and evolution.

When not doing bench work, he enjoys reading science, history, philosophy, poetry and everything in-between. While in graduate school, he translated Martin Blaser’s Missing Microbes into Chinese, which came out in 2016 and won the Chinese National Library Book Award in 2017.

Candidate’s Statement
I’m very excited about the opportunity to serve as an interdisciplinary councilor, and I believe that my research and background have prepared me to take on this role. First, my current research focuses on the bacterial communities that assemble around phytoplankton cells in the ocean, a topic which draws from the fields of microbial ecology, microbial oceanography and biogeochemistry. My project uses various 'omics tools to explore the underlying microbial physiology that drives community assembly. The team members that contribute to this highly-collaborative project include environmental scientists, microbial ecologists, theoretical physicist-turned-microbiologists, biophysicists, and computational oceanographers, which puts me in a unique position to foster interdisciplinary interactions in this area of applied and environmental sciences.

Secondly, my previous interactions with scientists, journalists, publishers, and the public have equipped me with communication skills to converse with a wide range of audiences. In 2014, while pursuing my Ph.D., I was invited to give an oral presentation at the general meeting of American Society for Microbiology. At this and other scientific conferences I have attended, the moments I have most enjoyed were opportunities for discussions with other scientists who share my interests yet bring different perspectives. To better learn and share knowledge, I have translated three books from English to Chinese, covering topics of human microbiome research, biographies of scientists, and the history of biology. Partly due to this visibility, I have had the opportunity to speak with Chinese journalists, explaining the implications of discoveries in microbial sciences to the public, putting new findings into context, and sometimes clarifying misconceptions.

Thirdly, serving in the role of interdisciplinary councilor would be a very rewarding avenue to explore new ways to contribute to the scientific community. So far, I have gained research experience in laboratory and field settings, presented research to the scientific community in the form of publications and talks, and reviewed articles for scientific journals, such as Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Looking forward, the opportunity to serve as an interdisciplinary councilor would open new avenues for interacting with colleagues from different backgrounds for the promotion of microbial sciences, bringing together a diversity of experts to expand human understanding of the microbial world. 

 

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PETER R. GIRGUIS
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 

girguis

  Peter Girguis received his B.Sc. in Biology from the University of California Los Angeles and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology from the University of California Santa Barbara. After a post-doc at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), he joined the Harvard faculty as an assistant professor in 2005, becoming full professor in 2012. In addition to his faculty appointments, he founded Trophos Energy Inc. in 2009, an alternative energy company that leveraged off two patents on microbial fuel cells that were issued to him (Trophos was acquired by Teledyne Benthos Inc. in 2011). He continues to be active in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship mentoring.

Girguis’ research efforts are aimed at better understanding how microbes mediate matter and energy flow through Earth’s biosphere. He develops novel methods and technologies for studying microbially-mediated energy flow and harvesting, including laboratory and in situ incubators that better mimic environmental conditions, and field-deployable instruments such as underwater mass spectrometers, carbon isotope analyzers and high-performance hydrogen sensors that allow him to study microbial processes in the lab and in situ.

Girguis has authored or co-authored over 85 publications, including papers in the journals Nature, Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Proceedings of the Royal Society. Girguis is a board member of the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET), is on notable Schmidt Ocean Institute vehicle advisory boards, and served as chair of the National Science Foundations’ Deep Submergence Science Committee (DeSSC) from 2010-2016.  Most recently, he is a founding member of the Harvard-Kavli Institute of Bionano Science & Technology (KIBST).

Girguis’ honors include 5 consecutive years of commendations for distinguished teaching, the 2007 and 2011 Lindbergh Foundation Award for Science & Sustainability, a 2010 Honorable mention in the ENI International Energy and the Environment Award, a feature in the 2008 Discover Magazine’s “10 Everyday Technologies That Can Change the World” (bio-powered lights), and a 2008 Honorable Mention in the Buckminster Fuller Innovations in Science Award. He was also a Distinguished Lecturer for National Science Foundation’s RIDGE program, a Merck Co. Innovative Research Awardee, a recipient of the State of California’s Distinguished Community Service Award, and a Department of Energy’s E.C.-U.S. Biotechnology Fellowship.

 

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JOANNA  B. GOLDBERG
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, GA 

Goldberg

 

I am a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine and hold a secondary appointment in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Prior to joining Emory, I was an Associate then Full Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology at the University of Virginia (UVA). My first academic position was an Instructor and then Assistant Professor at the Channing Laboratory, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

I have had continuous NIH funding to support the on-going research in my laboratory. I study the biology of bacterial pathogens associated with life-threatening lung infections in individuals living with cystic fibrosis (CF), particularly Pseudomonas aeruginosa and members of the Burkholderia cepacia complex. My research is focused on the study of the synthesis and regulation of surface antigens, including polysaccharides and protein adhesins, and their role in infection and as potential antimicrobial and vaccine targets. I have an outstanding research reputation and track record, and have published numerous peer-reviewed papers, editorials, chapters, and reviews on these topics.

With my move to Emory University, I have been able to increase my interactions with both clinicians and patients. My research has also expanded to include bacterial- bacterial interactions and analysis of specimens from patients. It is my hope that our findings can be translated into therapeutics to limit infections in CF.

In addition to my own research, I am strongly committed to training the next generation of scientists and strive to promote them to succeed in their chosen career paths. Thus far in my career, I have trained 15 graduate students and 20 postdoctoral fellows in my laboratory. At UVA, I served as the Graduate Student Advisor for two different NIH T32 training grants. At Emory, I serve as Director for the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Training Program, part of the Emory University Laney Graduate School Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. In addition, I am Director for Outreach and Education as part of Emory + Children's Cystic CF Center of Excellence and the Director of the Research Training Core for the CF@LANTA Research Training Program supported by the CF Foundation. In recognition of my efforts and contributions as a mentor, I was awarded the ASM Graduate Microbiology Teaching Award in 2012.

Candidate’s Statement
I am interested in serving as the ASM Council for Microbial Sciences (COMS) Interdisciplinary Councilor in order to continue to give back to the scientific community that helped me develop my own career. I was awarded the ASM Raymond W. Sarber Fellowship Award as a graduate student and have continued my membership and involvement as a volunteer in the ASM ever since. As a few examples, I was Chair- Elect and then Chair of Division D. I was also Councilor-At-Large and Alternate Councilor and then Councilor for Division B. In terms of Committee Service, I was a Member and then Chair of the ASM Career Development Committee, and I was a Member, Vice-Chair, and then Chair of the ASM Conferences Committee. I also served as President-Elect and then President of the Virginia Branch of the ASM. I have also taught in the ASM Scientific Writing and Publications Institute and will be participating in the on-line version of this course during the Spring 2018.

I was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) and have served on the AAM Committee of Awards. In a pleasing sense of symmetry, I was a Member and then Chair of the Raymond W. Sarber Fellowship Award Committee, the award of which originally piqued my excitement and enthusiasm for Microbiology in general and the ASM in particular. Altogether I believe these activities demonstrate my unwavering passion for positively impacting our scientific community through service.

I see my role as the ASM COMS Interdisciplinary Councilor will be to encourage participation of microbiologists with different backgrounds and interests to focus collaboratively and bring unique perspectives to the problems at hand. I believe that these interactions can be useful as we as scientists attempt to better communicate both as individuals and as a society to a broader more diverse audience and stimulate positive action to promote education and public health.

 

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RUSSELL T. HILL
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Baltimore, MD 

hill

 

Russell Hill, professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), is director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) in Baltimore, Maryland. A microbiologist, Dr. Hill studies the diversity and functions of microbes associated with marine invertebrates.  His research interests include the biodiversity of marine microbes and the potential of marine microbes as sources of new drugs, in particular the role of microbial symbionts in production of important bioactive compounds.  He also has an interest in marine microalgae and associated bacteria as a source of biofuel.

Since 2012, he has served as director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET), a joint University System of Maryland facility that brings together scientists from UMCES, University of Maryland Baltimore, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County to engage in cross-cutting research in microbiology, molecular biology, and biotechnology to sustainably use natural resources and enhance environmental and human health.

Russell Hill has been actively engaged as an ASM member since 1990. He has served as Councilor and as President of the Maryland Branch, a three-term member of the Editorial Board of “Applied and Environmental Microbiology”, and as a member of the Program Committee for the past four years.  He is currently Track Leader for the Microbial Ecology and Evolution track. Russell is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and of the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology.  He is President of the International Marine Biotechnology Association.  He has published more than 110 research papers on marine microbiology and biotechnology.

Russell Hill completed his Ph.D. at the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1988 and did his postdoctoral studies with Rita Colwell at the University of Maryland where he has spent most of his career, except for three years working at the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

Candidate’s Statement
Two of the common threads running through my career are the multidisciplinary nature of my work and my involvement with the American Society for Microbiology. I am a marine microbiologist with a primary research interest in the symbioses between bacteria and marine invertebrates, in particular sponges. Our work has ranged from microbial ecology to nutrient cycling in coral reef environments to quorum sensing.  One of the reasons for studying the microbes present in marine sponges is their role in producing the prolific bioactive compounds which make sponges such a promising source for prospecting for new pharmaceuticals.  This aspect of our research has led to productive collaborations with natural products chemists in academia as well as pharmaceutical companies.  Another research area is the interaction between bacteria and microalgae and this has led to interactions with biotechnology companies that are exploring microalgae as sources of biofuels and high-value products as well as their use in carbon sequestration. 

I joined ASM in 1990 while I was a postdoc and have maintained active involvement ever since. My most recent role has been to serve on the Program Committee for the past four years, helping to put together the program for the last of the ASM Annual General Meetings and the first three Microbe meetings.  Service on the Program Committee has really reinforced for me the huge commitment made by the many members that volunteer their time for ASM and the remarkable diversity and interconnectedness within the discipline of microbiology. I would bring to COMS my broad background in microbiology, my international perspective, a commitment to diversity in science and a deep belief in the importance of the ASM for all microbiologists world-wide.  

 

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BIRTHE KJELLERUP
University of Maryland at College Park
College Park, MD 

birthe

 

Birthe Kjellerup is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and an adjunct assistant professor in the Fischell Department of BioEngineering at the University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Kjellerup began her training at Aalborg University, Denmark, in the Department of Life Sciences where she received her PhD in 2004 with her thesis titled "Monitoring, detection and control of bacteria involved in biocorrosion in district heating systems”. And As a part of her graduate studies she traveled to the international training center for biofilm research, the Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE) in Montana, and has continued collaboration with CBE in her current position. Dr. Kjellerup then moved to Baltimore to become a postdoctoral fellow at the Center of Marine Biotechnology to continue her work on environmental biofilms and bioremediation. Dr. Kjellerup became an Assistant Professor in 2009 in the Biology Department at Goucher College (Small, private Liberal Arts College), Baltimore, where she stayed until 2014. In January 2015 she accepted a position as Assistant Professor at University of Maryland at College Park. Since arriving in at University of Maryland, Dr. Kjellerup has continued her research and teaching interests in biofilms. Dr. Kjellerup has trained as an environmental engineer and microbiologist specializing in beneficial and detrimental aspects of biofilms for over 20 years. She has pioneered the application of biofilms on sorptive materials for bioremediation and energy recovery and used them, along with chemical analysis, to develop novel bioremediation strategies and approaches for groundwater and stormwater clean-up. As an indication of her expertise on the subjects of biofilm-forming microbes and their relation to environmental systems, she has presented her scientific findings on the subject at 50 meetings and symposia and has orally presented at 39 national and international meetings/seminars. She has also authored close to 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers, book chapters, and published abstracts and 2 patents on bioremediation using biofilm strategies. Dr. Kjellerup has a strong background in organizing highly skilled colleagues in multidisciplinary research. She also has a strong working knowledge of budget development and has obtained nearly $3 million from local (DC Water at Blue Plains), state (Maryland State Highway Administration) and national (SERDP, USDA) funding agencies in the past 7 years. Dr. Kjellerup has served on 19 graduate committees and is the primary advisor for 7 graduate students committees (4 PhD, 3 Masters). She has also mentored 2 postdoctoral fellows, where one has progressed to an international faculty in addition to more than 25 undergraduate students with the majority at University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Kjellerup is active in several organizations such as ASM, American Chemical Society (ACS) and Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). She has been a member of ASM since 2003 and currently serves on the ASM Microbe program committee.

Candidate’s Statement
A common theme of my academic career (research, teaching and mentoring) has always been interdisciplinary projects and diverse working groups, whether as a graduate student researching biocorrosion or as a faculty member involved in applied biofilm research. Interdisciplinary projects foster my curiosity and challenges me to understand other disciplines but also to understand the background that a diverse group of people bring to these discussions. These aspects are some of the reasons why I am interested in becoming a member of the ASM Council on Microbial Sciences. ASM provides a great forum for bringing microbiological and other cross-cutting disciplines together and I would like to be involved in promoting these interactions for the future ASM generations and beyond.

A main part of my mentoring responsibility as a faculty member is to create a diverse and creative environment in my research group that supports microbiological discoveries but also to bring this knowledge outside the laboratory an into the public awareness. The undergraduate students in my group come from more than 10 majors and the graduate students from many disciplines and countries. This diversity in disciplines, majors, cultural backgrounds (several 1st generation in college) and languages fosters a community, where curiosity and support is the main goal. Also, as a member of the Diversity Council at The Clark School of Engineering at University of Maryland, diversity and inclusion are important issues that I would like to promote in general and specifically to organizations, institutions and environments that ASM would be able to influence in the future. ASM is uniquely positioned to bridge the worlds of education, research, industry and public/private institutions and I would like to promote this movement within ASM.

Academically my research with a focus on biofilms in different environmental settings involves many disciplines from microbiology, engineering, hydrology, bioinformatics to public health just to name a few. This diversity in topics gives me the opportunity to include scientific aspects from many disciplines that for instance can benefit the design biofilm systems to improve rate of success for implementation of solutions. In addition, I often work with different constituencies to establish viable bioremediation solutions in the urban watersheds and interaction with the public is very important.

As a part of my academic career, I have also had the opportunity to be involved in international and national societies, where I have designed and run sessions and symposia. An example of this was a two day symposium on Biofilms (“Impact of Materials, Surface Chemistry & Modifications on Biofilm Formation in Environmental Remediation & Engineering Applications”) that took place during the Annual American Chemical Society Meeting in August 2017. The goal was to highlight the importance of microbial biofilms on many of the traditionally considered chemical research topics and to introduce biological disciplines to the ACS audience. The national and international involvement gives me a strong background for being a good advocate for ASM member interests in fora that not traditionally would involve microbiological topics.

 

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GUY LANZA
Research Professor, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York

Lanza

 

 

Education:
BS Biology, Fairleigh Dickinson University
MS Zoology (Parasitology), University of Kentucky
Ph.D. Biology (Environmental Microbiology), Virginia Tech 

Professional Experience:
Research Professor of Aquatic Ecology and Microbiology in the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, Syracuse, NY. Currently serves as Secretary for the International Expert Advisory Council for the University of Tyumen in Siberia, and as a technical advisor in environmental microbiology for the Belize Environmental Law and Policy Organization (BELPO) in Central America. 

Research on the ecology of waterborne diseases related to several major hydroelectric dam projects in Asia. Fulbright Scholar Vietnam (2006) and Russia (2010). Active on several editorial peer review boards and committees in microbiology and related areas of the environmental sciences. Involved in several initiatives to develop innovative curricula in the environmental microbiology, served as the Head of the Department of Environmental Health and later the Dean of the College of Public Health and Adjunct Professor of Microbiology in the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. Founding editor and Editor-in Chief of the International Journal of Phytoremediation published by Taylor Francis.

ASM Activities:
Committee on Diversity AAM (2012 to Present) , Distinguished Lecturers Committee (1992-2005), American Society for Microbiology, Councilor, Division Q Applied & Environmental Microbiology (1999-2002), , American Society for Microbiology Waksman Foundation for Microbiology Lecturer, (1991 to 1994). Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (Elected 2000)

Publications: Selected Publications
Lanza, G.R., Wilda, K., Bunluesin, S., Panich-Pat, T. 2017. Green Aquaculture: Designing and Developing Aquaculture Systems Integrated with Phytoremediation. Chapter 11, Phytoremediation: Management of Environmental Contaminants. Volume 5, 2017, pp. 307-323.
Upatham, E.S. Kruatrachue, M., Pokethitiyook, P., Panich-Pat, T., Lanza, G.R., 2015. Phytoremediation in Thailand: A Summary of Selected Research and Case Histories, Chapter 24, Phytoremediation: Management of Environmental Contaminants, Volume 1, 2015, pp. 333-342.
Ansari, A.A., Gill, S.S., Gill, R., Lanza, G.R., Newman, L.A. (Eds.) 2015-2017. Phytoremediation: Management of Environmental Contaminants. Volumes 1-5, Springer, Cham, Switzerland.
Lanza, G., Chernaik, M. 2016. Environmental and Human Health Impacts Associated with the Construction and Operation of the Chalillo Dam. (Belize, CA). Report to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Organization of American States (OAS), Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide and the Belize Environmental Law and Policy Organization (BELPO), 30 pp.
Lanza, G.R. 2011. Accelerated Eutrophication in the Mekong River Watershed: Hydropower Development, Climate Change, and Waterborne Disease. Chapter 19, Eutrophication: Causes, Consequences, Controls, 2011, Ansari, A.A., Gill, S.S., Lanza, G.R., Rast, W. Springer, N.Y. pp. 373-386.
Panich-Pat, T., Srinives, P., Kruatrachue, M., Pokethitiyook,P., Upatham,S., and G.R.Lanza 2010. Phytoextraction of Metal Contaminants by Typha angustifolia: Interaction of Lead and Cadmium in Soil-Water Microcosms, Journal of Environmental Protection, 1(4): pp 23-34.

Research Interests:
International and environmental curriculum development, microbial ecology and physiology, phytoremediation, ecotoxicology, aquatic ecology, water quality/water resource development and policy, environmental microbiology, the ecology of waterborne diseases.

Candidate’s Statement
I’m currently working with colleagues at the University of Tyumen (UT) in Siberia and other universities in the region to develop new interdisciplinary programs in microbial biodiversity relating to conservation, agro-ecology, and habitat remediation. We recently established two mirror labs to link common research and education activities at UT and Environmental Science and Forestry at SUNY, Syracuse. The themes of the mirror labs are Insect Vectored Disease Ecology (e.g. Lyme disease and bat parasites), and Environmental Remediation and Habitat Restoration (microbial bioremediation of oil contaminated soils and water using isolates from permafrost sites in Siberia.).  The mirror lab concept allows microbiologists and other scientists to simultaneously complete joint multidisciplinary research projects on the same topic in both countries. I’m also working in Thailand (Mahidol University) and Vietnam (Hue University) to establish new Dual Degree programs in Environmental Biology and in Biotechnology. The programs will feature a strong core of interdisciplinary microbiology.

Service on the COMS would provide an opportunity to contribute to the “creative mind” of ASM by linking and sharing expertise from appropriate ASM programs and research initiatives with the new evolving programs in Eurasia and South East Asia. Specifically, I would strongly advocate for BOD support to create new connections directly linking ASM branch microbiologists with microbiologists in Eurasia and South East Asia who lack experience with the decentralized science networks that have enriched the activities of the ASM membership.

I would work with ASM branches and advocate for the mentorship of Eurasian and South East Asian microbiologists. Both regions are rich in cultural and ethnic diversity and are poised to provide traditional ASM programs with new global insights and approaches to microbiology education and research.  At the same time, the rapidly expanding environmental microbiology programs in Eurasia and South East Asia could greatly benefit from increased linkages and direct involvement with experienced ASM mentors and program activities that actively promote interdisciplinary education and research, and encourage and strongly support ethnic and cultural diversity.  In my view, establishing strong new relationships with interdisciplinary microbiology programs in Eurasia and South East Asia should be a priority within COMS. The increasing and rapid economic development in both regions under-scores the importance of training a new cadre of microbiologists prepared to meet the environmental challenges facing the regions. Siberia represents approximately 10% of the planet’s total land area and is facing many environmental challenges due to development and climate change. And the challenges will require culturally sensitive and regionally appropriate solutions. In my view, COMS should play an increasing role in developing new multidisciplinary approaches to avoid and to remediate the negative environmental effects of growth and development. The new approaches will require training a new cadre of microbiologists, engineers, ecologists, and agricultural scientists accustomed to working together to solve complex environmental challenges across traditional disciplines. Working with COMS would be a rewarding and productive experience for a senior microbiologist with a strong desire to help affect change.

 

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ERIN LIPP
Professor, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

lipp

Incumbent

 

Education:
Dr. Lipp received her bachelor's degree in biology from New College of Florida and PhD in marine science from the University of South Florida. She worked at the University of Maryland Center of Marine Biotechnology (now IMET) for her post-doctoral research.

Professional Experience:
Dr. Lipp is currently a professor of environmental health science at the University of Georgia, where she began as an assistant professor in 2002. She holds courtesy positions in the Odum School of Ecology, Dept. of Marine Science, and Dept. of Microbiology at UGA.

ASM Activities:
Dr. Lipp has been a member of ASM since 1996. She currently serves on the Committee for Environmental Microbiology (Public and Scientific Affairs Board). She is an editorial board member for Applied and Environmental Microbiology. She was an at-large divisional councilor for 2015 - 2016 and a COMS member in 2017. She was the President of the Southeastern Branch of ASM in 2013. In 2016, she was elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology.

Publications:
Dr. Lipp has 64 publications in areas of environmental microbiology and microbial ecology. Her Google Scholar profile can be accessed at: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=xvALnNsAAAAJ&hl=en

Research Interests:
Research in Dr. Lipp's lab is focused around water, waterborne disease, and aquatic microbial ecology. Work includes the interactions between environment, microbe and hosts, be they humans or others, to better understand fate, persistence and transmission of pathogens and infectious diseases. Dr. Lipp's research encompasses a range of problems in environmental microbiology including source tracking for fecal pollution in fresh and marine waters, climate change impacts on waterborne diseases, landscape ecology in explaining disease risk, and ecology and evolution of environmental pathogens. While much her research is focused on coastal and marine systems, research spans a full continuum of water types from black water streams in southeast US to coral reefs in the Caribbean.

Candidate’s Statement
I have been a member of ASM since 1996, when I jumped head first into microbiology as a new doctoral student. ASM has continued to be an integral part of my career and professional development both at the branch level and the national organization. I have tried to give back to ASM through leadership in the organization including serving as President of the Southeastern Branch, on the editorial board for Applied and Environmental Microbiology, and as a member of the Environmental Microbiology Committee (Public and Scientific Affairs Board). Most recently I served as an At-Large Divisional Councilor to ASM, which rolled into a one-year term as a member of the new ASM COMS. I am excited to see where COMS can take ASM as a society and how we can shape our community of scientists. I come to microbiology from an interdisciplinary perspective and look forward to the chance to build connections across microbiology disciplines.

 

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MICHAEL J. LOEFFELHOLZ, Ph.D. D(ABMM)
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

Loeffelholz

Incumbent

  Education:
1988-1990    Postdoctoral Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology-accredited Residency Program in Medical and Public Health Laboratory Microbiology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.
1987-1988    Postdoctoral researcher at Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc., Athens, OH. Focus: research and development of DNA probe-based infectious disease diagnostics
1987   Ph.D., Microbiology, Ohio University, Athens, OH.  Thesis:  Oxygen-independent antimicrobial activity of rat polymorphonuclear leukocyte granule contents: role of plasmid RP1 in Acinetobacter calcoaceticus.
1982   B.S., Microbiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Professional Experience:
2013-Present    Professor
Director, Clinical Microbiology Division
Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
2008-2013    Associate Professor
   Director, Clinical Microbiology Division
   Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
2007-2008    Consultant (Scientific and clinical affairs), EraGen Biosciences, Madison, WI
2005-2007    Director, Virology/Serology, ViroMed Laboratories (LabCorp), Minnetonka, MN
2003-2005    Director, Public Health Laboratory, Arkansas Depart of Health, Little Rock, AR
2001-2003    Director, Virology and Molecular Diagnostics, Compunet Clinical Laboratories, Dayton, OH
1995-2001    Chief of Virology, Serology, Molecular Biology, University Hygienic Laboratory (Iowa public health laboratory), University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
1990-1995    Senior Scientist, Roche Molecular Systems, Somerville, NJ 

ASM Activities:
2017-present    Appointed member, Committee on Microbial Sciences (COMS), American Society for Microbiology
2012-present    Member, Professional Affairs Committee, American Society for Microbiology
2010   American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Division C Chair Nominating Committee
2002-2009    Member, American College of Microbiology, American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM) Exam Development Committee
2007-2008    Invited member (representing American Society for Microbiology), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Association of Public Health Laboratories Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Workgroup

Publications:
(selected, of 65 peer reviewed indexed articles)
Ren P., Ortiz DA, Terzian ACB, Colombo TE, Nogueira ML, Vasilakis N, and Loeffelholz MJ. 2017 Evaluation of Aptima Zika Virus Assay. J Clin Microbiol. 55(7):2198-2203.
Shan C,Xie X, Ren P, Loeffelholz MJ, et al. 2017. A rapid Zika diagnostic assay to measure neutralizing antibodies in patients.  EBioMedicine Mar;17:157-162.
Berry GJ and Loeffelholz MJ. 2016. Use of Treponemal Screening Assay Strength of Signal to Avoid Unnecessary Confirmatory Testing. Sex Transm Dis. 43:737-40.
Pal S, Dauner A, Valks A, Forshey B, Long K, Thaisomboonsuk B, Sierra G, Picos V, Talmage S, Morrison A, Halsey E, Comach G, Yasuda C, Loeffelholz M, et al. 2015. Multi-country prospective clinical evaluation of two ELISAs and two rapid diagnostic tests for diagnosing dengue fever. J Clin Microbiol. 53:1092-101.
Loeffelholz MJ, Trujillo R, Pyles RB, et al. 2014. Duration of Rhinovirus Shedding in the Upper Respiratory Tract in the First Year of Life.  Pediatrics. 134:1144-50

Research Interests:
My research interests focus on the development and evaluation of novel infectious disease diagnostic assays.  Additionally, I am interested in the appropriate utilization of infectious disease tests, and their impact on patient outcomes.

Candidate’s Statement
During the 27 years since completing my post-doctoral training I have gathered a diverse experience in private, public health and academic clinical microbiology laboratories.  Add several years of industry experience to that, and I’ve almost done it all.  This breadth of experience has helped me throughout my career, and during my service for various scientific membership organizations, including the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).  I have had the opportunity to serve on several ASM committees over the past 15 years, most recently as an appointed Interdisciplinary representative to the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS).  ASM has been and remains the preeminent life science organization in the world, but it is faced with challenges including rapidly evolving scientific and communication technologies, and changing political landscapes, all in an era of tightened budgets.  My goal is to use my experience to contribute in any way I can to ensure that ASM maintains this reputation, best serves the needs of its diverse membership, and operates in an efficient and financially sound manner.  As a clinical laboratory scientist member of COMS, going forward I would focus my energy and efforts to identify relevant trends in science, and opportunities to advance professionally, ASM members engaged in diagnostic microbiology.

 

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TARA C. SMITH
Kent State University College of Public Health
Kent, OH 

SmithTara

 

  Dr. Smith is a Professor of Epidemiology at the Kent State University College of Public Health. She previously spent 9 years in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, where she directed the College’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases and attained the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. She completed post-doctoral training in molecular epidemiology at the University of Michigan from 2002-2004. She obtained her PhD at the University of Toledo, investigating the pathogenesis of the Group A Streptococcus, and her B.S. in Biology from Yale University. Dr. Smith’s laboratory studies the epidemiology and evolution of Staphylococcus aureus, with a focus on zoonotic transmission.

Candidate’s Statement
I am a 20-year member of ASM, joining during my first scientific research position as an undergraduate. As a graduate student, I started an ASM student branch at my institution, and have served ASM previously as a member of its communication committee and as an ASM Distinguished Lecturer (2015-2017). The nature of my work as an infectious disease epidemiologist is highly interdisciplinary. Though my home divisions are currently Divisions Y (public health) and B (microbial pathogens), my publications or ongoing projects over the past few years have included areas in microbiology education, evolutionary and genomic biology, food microbiology, microbial ecology, healthcare epidemiology, clinical microbiology, animal health microbiology, and host-microbe interactions. As such, I believe I am well-suited to serve as a Division Interdisciplinary Councilor.

 

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JOY STURTEVANT, PhD 
Louisiana State University Medical School
New Orleans, LA 

Sturtevant

 

Current Positions:
Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology& Parasitology 2005
(Assistant Professor: 2002 – 2005)
Co-Director Basic Science Curriculum, Office of Medical Education  017
Louisiana State University Medical School, New Orleans, Louisiana 

Education:
Ph.D. in Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 1981-1985
B.S. in Zoology, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO 1973-1977

Post-Doctoral Fellowships
Molecular Mycology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC 1992- 1994
Medical Mycology, Unité Aspergillus, Institute Pasteur, Paris, France    1988-1991
Invertebrate Immunology, UMBS, Millport, Scotland, Uppsala Univ, Sweden 1986-1988

Professional Experience:
Honorary Visiting Scientist, Institute Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen,  2011
Aberdeen, Scotland   
Associate Professor on the Research Track, Department of Microbiology & Immunology,
Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC  2001-2002
Assistant Professor (1994-2001)
Visiting Scientist, Unit of Biophysical Membranes, University of Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris France, 1991-1992
Scientific Consultant, Immunology, Cassenne Laboratories, Paris, France, 1989-1991

ASM Activities:
ASM: Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) Council Member At-Large  2017 - 2018
ASM: Clinical Awards Selection Committee Member   
Education Category 2015 →
ASM Journal: Infection and Immunity Editorial Board 2014 →
ASM: Candida and Candidiasis Conference Scientific Advisory Board 2000 – 2002
ASM Journals Reviewer 1999 →
Including: Infection and Immunity, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Eukaryotic Cell, mBio, Applied and Environmental Microbiology
American Society of Microbiology Member 1992 →

Publications, Selection:
Sturtevant, J.  2014. Vocation, Location, Vocation: Researching Candida pathogenesis. Virulence. 5:8, 773-774, DOI: 10.4161/ 21505594.2014.973806
Sturtevant, J. 2013. Site-directed and Random Insertional Mutagenesis in Medically Important Fungi, Genetic Manipulation of DNA and Protein – Examples from Current Research, D. Figurski, ed. ISBN 978-953-51-0994-5, InTech, DOI: 10.5772/47799
Kelly, M.N., Johnston, D.A., Peel, B.A., Morgan, T.W., Palmer, G.E., and J.E. Sturtevant. 2009. Bmh1p (14-3-3) mediates pathways associated with virulence in Candida albicans. Microbiology, 155: 1536-46.
Sturtevant, J. 2009. Reporter gene assays in Candida albicans. Methods Mol Biol, 499: 157 -67. PMID 19152407.
Palmer, G.E, Johnson, K.J., Ghosh, S and Sturtevant, J. 2004.Mutant alleles of the essential 14-3-3 gene in Candida albicans distinguish between growth and filamentation. Microbiology, 150:1911-1924. PMID 15184577
Sturtevant, J. 2002. Elongation factors: are they rational antifungal targets? Emerging Therapeutic Targets. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets,6:545-553.
Sturtevant, J.E. 2000. Differential display reverse transcriptase PCR (DDRT-PCR): Its application to molecular pathogenesis and medical mycology. Clinical Reviews in Microbiology 13:408-427. PMID: 10885984
Sturtevant, J.E. & J-P. Latgé. 1992. Interactions between the conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus and human complement component C3. Infect Immun, 60:1913-1918. PMID: 1500740
Sturtevant, J.E. & A.E. Balber. 1983. Externally disposed membrane polypeptides of intact and protease-treated Trypanosoma lewisi correlated with sensitivity to alternate complement pathway-mediated lysis.  Infect Immun, 42:869-879. PMID: 6358042

Research Interests:
Initial reaction between pathogen and host; evasion and modification of the host immune response
Intracellular events after the opportunistic fungal pathogen, Candida albicans interacts with new environments.
Monitoring Candida growth in the corneal transplant media, Optisol-GS
Reprogramming of the innate immune response by Shigella E3 ligases
Medical Education: Encouraging Faculty to Adapt Content Delivery to Student Learning Skills

Candidate’s Statement
My professional life began with postdoctoral fellowships in Scotland, Sweden, and France, and advancement at Georgetown University. I have now been a faculty member at LSUHSC-NO for 15 years. My research has focused on the initial interaction between host and pathogen including parasites, fungi, and now bacteria. With 30 years of experience in the academic and scientific fields, I can apply a unique combination of skills to accept the challenges and contribute at several levels as an Interdisciplinary Councilor on COMS Council. I have a broad range of interests and experience in the microbial world; significant experience in serving or chairing numerous committees; and voluntarily involved with ASM on several levels.  

Please consider the following highlights from my CV:

My scientific background has been a multidisciplinary approach, focusing on the basic microbiological and immunological medical sciences but incorporating biochemistry, cell biology, genetics and molecular biology.  I have worked with - and teach about immunology, fungi, bacteria, and parasites. Therefore, my interest in ASM is broad-based and not discipline focused.

Volunteer with ASM at several levels including member of editorial board of Infection and Immunity; member of ASM: Clinical Awards Selection Committee; consistently review manuscripts for a number of ASM journals; and acted as a founding Council Member At-Large on the ASM Council on Microbial Sciences.

My work life has made a significant switch to a focus on education, particularly course and curriculum development for both PhD and MD students. I was recently appointed as a co-director of the Basic Science Curriculum in the Office of Medical Education. I believe that education should continue to be a significant focus of ASM.

I was accepted as a LEAD Fellow in the 2017-2018 cohort in the AAMC Southern Group on Education Affairs. The goal of this fellowship is develop/ improve leadership skills with a specific focus on Medical Education.

During the COMS Council Meeting 2017, I participated in the Antimicrobial Agents and Resistance/ Clinical Infections and Vaccines and Profession of Microbiology breakout groups, though my research foci has centered on Host- Microbe Biology.  Consequently, due to my research and medical education skills, I feel qualified to contribute to all ASM Microbe Tracks. COM’s goals should not only be Conference Meeting content but also education of the public, government officials, as well as future microbiologists in all Tracks identified by ASM Microbe.

My leadership strengths include enthusiasm, organization and commitment. I have had significant experience in committee meetings.  As a chair my strategy is to establish goal(s), solicit suggestions to achieve goals yet keep the discussion focused, provide simultaneous summation statements, establish an action plan, and assign action items. As a member, I consider all opinions, contribute, and follow through with assignments in a timely fashion.

 

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ALFREDO TORRES
University of Texas Medical Branch
Galveston, TX 

Torres

  Alfredo Torres got his BS in Chemistry, Pharmacology and Biology, and his Masters in Microbiology at the Universidad Autonoma de Puebla in Mexico. He then got his Ph.D. at the University of Texas in Austin in Molecular Biology under the mentorship of Dr. Shelley Payne. He did his Post-doctoral training at the University of Maryland School of Medicine with Jim Kaper, and joined the faculty at the Microbiology and Immunology department at UTMB as an Assistant Professor in 2003. He quickly rose through the ranks to become a Professor in 2012. He is currently the Herman Barnett Distinguished Professor in Microbiology and Immunology and the Director for Faculty Diversity at the School of Medicine at UTMB. He received an excellence in Teaching award at UTMB in 2006, was a permanent member of the NIH study section BACP from 2013-2017. He has pioneered and founded the Latino American Coalition for Escherichia coli Research (LACER) that has been a key entity in promoting collaboration among Latin American and US researches, and has had a huge impact in Latin American Science. An article about LACER and its impact in science and collaboration was published this year in January in PLoS Pathogens. Alfredo’s research involves basic and translational science (vaccinology) in bacterial pathogens causing diarrheal disease, such as pathogenic Escherichia coli or Shigella, or biodefense-related organisms, such as pathogenic Burkholderia species. He has published more than 100 peer-review publications, 14 book chapters and 2 books, combining a wide variety of topics including microbial pathogenesis, biosafety, therapeutics, and vaccine development. His research addressed the role of iron in bacterial pathogenesis, with the discovery of a Heme uptake system in enteric bacteria. He also is highly regarded as an expert in adhesins in the EHEC field, having shown that the long Polar Fimbriae is responsible for EHECs tissue tropism in the intestine. He has also been active in vaccine development against EHEC and Burkholderia.

Candidate’s Statement
Alfredo Torres is the Herman Barnett Distinguished Professor in Microbiology and Immunology and the Director for Faculty Diversity at the School of Medicine at UTMB. He is a world recognized bacteriologist/vaccinologist with extensive experience in the study of bacterial pathogens causing diarrheal disease, such as pathogenic Escherichia coli or Shigella, or biodefense-related organisms, such as pathogenic Burkholderia species. He has published more than 100 peer-review publications, 14 book chapters and 2 books, combining a wide variety of topics including microbial pathogenesis, biosafety, therapeutics, and vaccine development. In the educational arena, Dr. Torres is heavily involved in teaching and mentoring of different types of trainees at UTMB and in different countries in Latin America, as part of the Latino American Coalition for Escherichia coli Research that he founded and continue coordinating for about 10 years.  At the National level, Dr. Torres has been part of the steering committee organizing the largest underrepresented minority meeting for biomedical researchers (ABRCMS) and a member of the educational committee for graduate and postdoctoral trainees at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), committee which oversaw the successful ASM Kadner Institute, formerly known as the Graduate and Postdoctoral Summer Institute in Preparation for Careers in Microbiology.  At UTMB, Dr. Torres is highly supportive of the PREP R25 program, participating both as a faculty mentor and workshop presenter and he is passionate about teaching, receiving two times the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Microbiology and Immunology Graduate Program. 

 

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HUI WU
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, AL 

 wuhui

 

During my career, I have published more than 60 peer-reviewed research articles in ASM and other journals such as Molecular Microbiology, Nature Communications and PloS Pathogens.

I was trained as a microbiologist with Paula Fives-Taylor at the University of Vermont. Studies from my PhD training focused on the identification, structural and functional characterization of a novel family of bacterial ahdesins, serine-rich repeat glycoproteins. We identified the first protein from the most abundant oral streptococcus Streptococcus parasanguinis in the family, and named it Fap1. It turns out this family of adhesins is highly conserved in gram-positive bacteria and plays an important role in bacterial fitness and virulence. My independent work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) addressed previously unknown molecular mechanisms of protein glycosylation and secretion, using serine-rich repeat glycoproteins as a model. We demonstrated that bacteria can sugar coat serine-rich repeat proteins sequentially using a series of new glycosyltransferases.  Our investigation has established a new protein glycosylation model system and discovered a complete new family of glycosyltransferases.   Our ongoing studies are to determine how the sugar coated proteins are recognized and exported to the bacterial surfaces to perform their functions. Most recently, our work has demonstrated that the gram-positive bacteria have evolved a highly conserved quality control system that recognizes the glycosylated serine-rich proteins and process them to beecome mature surface anchored adhesins.  Our studies have revealed new biology of bacterial  protein  glycosylation  and  secretion  and  provided  new  targets  to  discover potential therapeutics that mediate bacterial adhesion and colonization. 

At UAB, I also became interested in polymicrobial interactions within the oral cavity as it harbors hundreds of bacteria that contribute to health and disease, and the oral cavity provides a window to overall health.  We  have  showed  that  abundant  commensal streptococci  protect  the  invasion  of  oral  and  non-oral  pathogens  to  main  healthy homeostasis. Our studies demonstrate that oral streptococci exhibit probiotic activities in collaboration with host factors, such as nitrite that is highly enriched in the oral cavity. This innate anti-infective mechanism prevents the invasion of foreign microbes, which provides  insights  into  why  the  oral  community  is  distinct  and  exhibits  colonization resistance to foreign microbes. 

From  the  study  of  basic  signaling  mechanisms  of  polymicrobial  interactions  within complex biofilm communities, we learned much about the problem of antibiotic resistance to the biofilm related infections, and realized that we could apply signal mechanisms we learned to solve the problem of antibiotic resistance by design biofilm-selective small molecules. We have engaged an interdisciplinary team of investigators consisting of microbiologists, chemists, and structural biologists across the UAB campus to work toward developing novel anti-biofilm leads using high-throughput phenotypic screening or structure-based drug discovery approaches. We share the vision of translating our basic science findings to health care and benefiting the society. Work from my lab has bridged oral microbiology community and general microbiology community through collaboration and  engagement,  we  would  like  to see more integration of the oral microbiology community to ASM.

Candidates's Statement
It is with great enthusiasm that I run for ASM Interdisciplinary Councilor. I remember the first time I did my poster presentation as a student at the ASM annual meeting in 1997. Since then ASM has become a major professional home to my graduate, postdoctoral and independent career, through networking, mentoring, having access to the cutting- edge new technologies and the exciting new scientific discoveries, offering me and my trainees a forum to share our ongoing studies, to receive feedback from diverse audience. The ASM has been a critical and vital player in our research endeavor. I thus want to contribute  to  this  amazing  organization  by  bridging  increasing  gaps  between  oral microbiology and general microbiology.

 

The ASM is a highly influential research organization, it includes many disciplines within the microbial science umbrella. Dedicated to the advancement of microbial sciences and the  relationship  to  overall  human  health,  the  ASM  can  provide  greater  service  by expanding its constituencies and becoming more inclusive. During the next few years, I would like to see the Society to speak not only to existing memberships but also to the greater  research  and  academic  communities,  especially  to  the  oral  microbiology community. The oral cavity is an integral part of human body and provides a window to the overall health. Oral microbes are increasingly recognized to play important roles in systemic conditions, however there is no comfortable home for the oral microbiologists call home at this amazing organization. As a result, we have created our own oral microbiology/immunology group. This is a great venue for the oral microbiologists to interact and exchange ideas, however we missed the broad exciting science going on in overall microbial science area.   Our students and postdocs are our future we should encourage them to participate ASM to envision the future. We need incorporation and integration of oral microbiologists into our general ASM microbe meetings to facilitate interdisciplinary research. The value of a healthy smile is equally important to the value of overall health.

 

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CHUANWU XI, Ph.D.
University of Michigan School of Public Health
Ann Arbor, MI 

xi

 

Dr. Chuanwu Xi is a professor of Environmental Health Sciences, professor of Global Public Health and director of Global Environmental Health in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Xi is also serving as director of U-M-BICI Partnership Program and associate director of Global Collaboratory of Water Technologies. He received a B. Sc. in Biology from Anhui Normal University in 1993, a M.Sc. in Molecular Microbiology from Guangxi University in 1996, and a Ph. D. in Molecular Microbiology from Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium in 2010. His research focuses on biofilms, water quality and treatment and human health in three major inter-related areas: (A) molecular mechanisms of biofilm development; (B) characterization of biofilms/microbiome in industrial and clinical settings and its impact on human health; and (C) development of novel approaches for biofilm control. He has received numerous research awards from National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, private foundations and industrial sources. He has published over 90 research papers and book chapters, and received/filed 5 patents. He has served on numerous review panels for US NSF, NIH, EPA and ARMY, and national funding agencies of several other countries. Dr. Xi was a Scholar-in-Residence at US FDA and a chair and council of Division Q of American Society for Microbiology. Dr. Xi currently serves as president of Overseas Chinese Society of Microbiology, a board member of Council of Public Health Consultants of NSF Internationals, an associate editor for BMC Microbiology, and an editorial board member of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 

Candidate’s Statement
I have been a member of ASM since 2001 and served ASM as Chair/Council of Division Q from 2014 to 2016. Currently I am the president of Overseas Chinese Society for Microbiology. In these roles, I have actively participated in the process of reforming ASM, promoted the collaboration between ASM and CSM (Chinese Society for Microbiology), and attracted Chinese microbiologists to join the ASM General Meetings. My education and research background touch upon different disciplines including environmental and molecular microbiology, ecology, genomics, engineering, medicine and public health ranging from molecular mechanisms to microbial communities and its impact on human communities. I have also performed research on microbial safety of drinking water in different parts of the world including US, China, Peru and Qatar. In addition, I have spent substantial effort in bringing basic research to field applications. I would like to serve as an Interdisciplinary Councilor for COMS of ASM in order to bring my expertise and experience to bridge the cross disciplinary nature of fascinating microbial research, and help to establish mechanisms for translating our basic research to improve the environment and human wellbeing and to promote collaborations of microbiologists around the globe.

 

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NAQEEB ULLAH
International Islamic University, Islamabad
Islamabad, Pakistan 

ulll

 

Experience:

Working as Research Fellow under Project titled “Health security: Point of Care, multiplexed molecular detection of infectious diseases endemic in Pakistan” under PAK-US Science & Technology Cooperation Program.
(To date)
Worked as Visiting Faculty Member department of Politics & I.R International Islamic University Islamabad (01 Semester)

Responsibilities:
• Teaching
• Guiding
• Conducting tests
• Checking and Preparation of results
• Enhancing the Presentation skills of students
• Comments & Observation

Working as a Visiting Faculty Member department of Bioinformatics & Biotechnology International Islamic University Islamabad (1 year)

Responsibilities:
• Teaching
• Guiding
• Conducting tests
• Checking and Preparation of results
• Enhancing the Presentation skills of students
• Comments & Observation

Worked as a Subject Specialist (BPS-17) with Worker Model Higher Secondary School from 08Aug 2011 to 24th January 2012

Responsibilities:
• Teaching
• Guiding
• Conducting tests
• Checking and Preparation of results
• Enhancing the Presentation skills of students
• Comments & Observation

Worked as Researcher at CASVAB for completing MS Biotechnology and informatics from 13th May 2009 to 15 January 2010

Education:
PhD Biotechnology (specialization in Biomedical Engineering) From IIUI
MS (Bio Technology & Informatics)  4 year From BUITEMS,QUETTA
BSc from Degree College Loralai 
FSc (Pre Medical) Tameer-e- Nau College Quetta

Computer Skill:
Software Installation, Hardware Installations, Windows, MS Word, Ms Excel, MS PowerPoint, Corel Draw, In page.

Training &Workshop:
Participated in the 5th international conference on Microbiology at Karachi University
Participated in the first international conference on Biotechnology and Emerging science at BUITEMS
Participated in the 2nd international conference on Biotechnology & emerging Science at BUITEMS
Participated National workshops on molecular Diagnostics organized by American Society for Microbiology and DOW University Karachi.
National Workshop on molecular Diagnostics organized by UVAS Lahore.
Attended seminars on tissue culture at Karachi University
Participated seminar on DNA structure at BUITEMS Balochistan

Interests & Expertise:
Collecting information on the different social issues & struggle for the favor of human being.
Community Mobilization
Participant for welfare/Motivate a community for welfare
To conduct orientation meetings to solve different sort of problems in the community.
Designing of micro fluidic devices
Working on Biosensors for diagnostic purpose
Isolation of RNA through column based technique
Designing chip for molecular diagnostics

Publications:
Presence of multiple antimicrobial resistant strains and frequency of pseudomonas aeruginosa in bronchiectasis patients in balochistan
Production optimization of microbial alpha amylase from bacillus subtilis
Effect of different parameters on optimum production of microbial alpha amylase production from bacillus subtillus

Languages:
Pashto
Urdu
English

Candidate’s Statement
The aim to serve as Interdisciplinary Councilor because to obtain challenging position to utilize the ability & skills developed through my educational & professional experience with an opportunity for professional growth based on performance.

 

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VINCENT B. YOUNG, MD/PhD
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 

Young

 

Dr. Young received his bachelor of science in life sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then received his medical degree and a PhD in microbiology from Stanford University under the joint guidance of Gary Schoolnik and Stanley Falkow. Dr. Young completed his residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Following postdoctoral research in the lab of David Schauer at MIT, Dr. Young took his first faculty position at Michigan State University in the College of Human Medicine in 2001. In 2007, he moved to the University of Michigan where he is currently the William Henry Fitzbutler Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases Division with a joint appointment in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. 

Research in the Young lab is directed at understanding the role of indigenous microbiota in influencing the health status of their host. One research focus is to examine how the population structure and thus function of the gastrointestinal microbiota can influence host-pathogen interactions and how changes in the community structure of the indigenous microbiota itself can lead to pathogenic states. This research is being conducted both with material from human subjects as well as animal models of disease.

One key area of study in the lab concerns the role of the indigenous gut microbiota in antibiotic-associated diarrhea. About 20% of cases of antibiotic-associated diarrhea arise from infection with the toxin producing bacterial pathogen Clostridium difficile. Previous work has provided evidence that antibiotic-associated diarrhea, both cases due to infection with Clostridium difficile and cases independent of infection with this pathogen, results from the effect of antibiotics on the indigenous gut microbiota. In the case of antibiotic-associated diarrhea without C. difficile infection we have provided evidence that loss of the normal fermentation capacity of the microbiota results in an osmotic diarrhea as well as potential colonic epithelial dysfunction due to decreases in the levels of short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate. Our work on recurrent C. difficile infection has demonstrated that recurrence is associated with decreases in the overall diversity of the indigenous gut microbiota. This work provides the first evidence that alteration in the community structure of the gut microbiota can lead to sustained loss of colonization resistance against bacterial pathogens. To supplement our clinical studies, we have developed a murine model of C. difficile infection that recreates most aspects of human disease and allows us to closely examine the interaction between the pathogen, the indigenous microbiota and host responses in the development of disease. Using the model we have conducted studies that have examined how disruption of the indigenous microbiota by antibiotics creates a metabolic environment that favors the germination C. difficile spores and vegetative outgrowth within the gastrointestinal tract.

To extend our work on host-microbe interactions we have recently started using stem cell-derived intestinal organoids to study how commensal microbes and pathogens interact with the intestinal epithelium. This flexible system allows us to examine the bidirectional interaction between microbes and the host epithelium to understand how this interaction affects both members of the symbiosis.

Candidate’s Statement
It would be a great honor to serve on the Council on Microbial Sciences of the American Society for Microbiology. As an infectious diseases physician who conducts research that ranges from mechanistic studies of bacterial pathogenesis to translational research on nosocomial infections I have been fortunate to be able to walk the path from bench to bedside. The study of the role of microbes in human health and disease has expanded with increasing interest in the human microbiome, the rise and spread of antibiotic resistant microbes and technical advances in our ability to generate and process large amounts of data. All of these factors have contributed to the rise of "team science" approaches to study microbial systems. My interest in understanding the role that microbes play in human health has led me to seek out microbiologists with what was initially thought to be disparate interests and expertise.

As someone who was studying microbial pathogenesis when I started my academic career in 2001, a number of my colleagues thought it was odd that I took my first faculty position so that I could work with scientists who were studying microbes in soil and termite guts. As someone who as a trainee only presented posters at the ASM General Meeting in Divisions B, C or D it was interesting for me to spend time wandering posters in Division N. Currently, with the interest in the microbiome this is not at all unusual, but my experiences early in my independent academic career taught me the value of bridging multiple areas of interest and expertise in the field of microbiology. As I have continued to seek out collaborators willing to tackle broad problems related to human health this has prompted me to extend collaborations outside of microbiology. Working with developmental biologists as allowed me to investigate the use of stem cell-derived intestinal organoids as potential novel systems for the study of enteric diseases. Collaborating with a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering is opened up opportunities to apply big data machine learning techniques to apply a systems biology approach to study hospital-acquired infections.

The American Society for Microbiology is the world's premier society for the study of microbes in all spheres of activity. More than ever, this confluence of researchers with broad expertise would best be served by a concerted effort to look for novel intersections between its members. As a member of the Council on Microbial Sciences I would work to strengthen existing cross disciplinary interactions and seek to foster novel collaborations that would further leverage the combined strengths of our membership in order to understand the role that microbes play in the world at large.

 

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2017 Election Winners

2017 ELECTION WINNERS

 swansonMichele Swanson, President-Elect
University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, MI

Michele Swanson, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School
Education: After studying biology and playing field hockey and softball at Yale, she was introduced to the exciting world of experimental science as a research technician at Rockefeller University in the lab of Samuel C. Silverstein, an expert in leukocyte cell biology who conducted seminal studies of Legionella pneumophila growth in macrophages. Michele developed a love of genetics as a graduate student, using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a tool to study gene expression with Marian Carlson at Columbia and Fred Winston at Harvard. After a brief hiatus devoted to her children, she trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Ralph Isberg at Tufts and HHMI, where she developed cell biological methods to analyze the fate of L. pneumophila in macrophages. In addition to exploiting this pathogen as a genetic probe of macrophage function, her lab investigates how metabolic cues govern the microbe’s resilience in the environment and virulence in phagocytes. Currently they are investigating whether changes in the chemistry of Flint, MI’s water supply altered persistence or virulence of L. pneumophila.
Professional Experience: At Michigan, Swanson teaches infectious diseases to medical students, bacterial pathogenesis to graduate students, and current topics in microbiology to freshman undergraduates. She is also Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Studies at the medical school.

 

donohueTimothy J. Donohue, Secretary
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI

Timothy Donohue, UW Foundation Chairman Fetzer-Bascom Professor of Bacteriology, Director, Great Lakes Bioenergy, Wisconsin Energy Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Education: 1975 B.S., Life Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn; 1977 M.S., Microbiology, Pennsylvania State University; 1979, Ph.D., Microbiology, Pennsylvania State University (Mentor, Dr. Robert Bernlohr); 1979-1986 Postdoctoral Fellow/NRSA Fellow & Visiting Assistant Professor – Microbiology Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Mentor, Dr. Samuel Kaplan).
Professional Experience: 1986-1991, Assistant Professor of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison); 1991-1996, Associate Professor of Bacteriology, UW-Madison; 1996-Present. Professor of Bacteriology, UW-Madison; 2016-Present UW Foundation Chairman Fetzer-Bascom Professor; 2007-2009, Director, Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, UW-Madison; 2007–Present, Principal Investigator and Director, Department of Energy Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, UW-Madison; 2011-Present, Steering Committee Member Wisconsin Energy Institute, UW-Madison; 1986-Present, Trainer in UW-Madison Bacteriology and Microbiology Doctoral Programs; 1986-Present, Trainer in UW-Madison Cellular and Molecular Biology Doctoral Program; 1989-Present, Trainer in UW-Madison Genetics Doctoral Program; 1986-Present, Trainer in NIGMS Molecular Biosciences Pre-doctoral Training Program, UW-Madison; 1988-Present, Trainer in NIGMS Biotechnology Training Program, UW-Madison; 1989-Present, Trainer in NIGMS Genetics Training Program, UW-Madison; Member, AAAS, ACS, ASM, FASEB; SACNAS, SGM SIM, Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Sciences.

diazGreetchen Diaz, Early Career Scientist 1-year term
Board of Directors
Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust
San Juan, PR

Greetchen Díaz, Ph.D., Grants Program Director, Puerto Rico Science, Technology, and Research Trust, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Education: Dr. Díaz completed a Bachelor and Master Degrees in Biology, at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. Then, she earned her PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at The Ohio State University, where she studied intracellular protein trafficking using yeast as a model system. Her research described a requirement of the Spindle Pole Body (yeast centrosome) for Targeting/Tethering peripheral proteins to the Inner Nuclear Membrane. After earning her PhD, Greetchen started as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Virology, University of Nebraska, where she got a NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct studies in reproduction of Human Papilloma Virus.
Professional Experience: Dr. Greetchen Díaz is the Grants Program Director at the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust. Greetchen was responsible for the implementation of the first local grants in Puerto Rico, such as the Science and Technology Research Grants, the Small Research Grants and the Researcher’s Startup Funds. At the Trust, Dr. Díaz also coordinates the outreach and science education initiatives. For more than 9 years, Greetchen is part of the administrative team of "Ciencia Puerto Rico" (CienciaPR), a non-profit organization that promotes science and scientific careers among Puerto Ricans and Hispanics. At CienciaPR, she participates in numerous projects in science communication, science outreach, and science education. She is the founder and coordinator of CienciaPR's "Borinqueña", the bilingual blog for Hispanic and Puerto Rican Women in Science and Technology. She was the coordinator of "Semillas de Triunfo" (Seeds of Succeed), the first STEM Ambassador Program for middle school girls in Puerto Rico.

acostaPatricio Acosta, International Scientist 1-year term
Board of Directors

CONICET
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Patricio L. Acosta, PhD, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) – Argentina, Facultad de Medicina - Universidad de Buenos Aires - Argentina
Education: Bachelor of Science – Colegio Gdor. Mariano Saavedra. Master of Science in Genetics – Universidad Nacional del Nordeste (UNNE). Doctor in immunopathology – School of Medicine – Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA).
Professional Experience: Dr. Patricio Acosta is an Assistant Professor at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, CONICET (Argentina) and at the School of Medicine – Universidad de Buenos Aires. He received his MSc with concentration in genetics from the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste and his doctorate in immunopathology from the Universidad de Buenos Aires with the highest honors (summa cum laude). Following his graduate training, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship training program at Fundacion INFANT under the supervision of Dr. Fernando Polack. During 2010-11 he worked as research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. James Crowe Jr. at Vanderbilt University. Since 2011, he has led the team responsible of the laboratory viral diagnoses for a huge study funded (for the first time in Argentina) by the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation. His work combines the virological laboratory diagnostics and investigation. He has received among other distinctions, awards from the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, the Sociedad Argentina de Microbiología, the Entre Ríos government, the Argentine National Educational Ministry, the International Society of Influenza and Respiratory Viruses, the National Scientific and Technical Research Council and the Macrae Foundation. Finally, this year he received the Young Investigator Award 2016 from the Pan-American Society for Clinical Virology. On the other hand, he has been engaged in teaching undergraduate courses at the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Universidad de Buenos Aires and has also served as mentor in the “Translational Health Science Internship in Argentina”, a program from Georgetown University (USA). Finally, is appropriate to mention that Dr. Acosta is guest editor of Mediators of Inflammation Journal.

maloysStanley Maloy, At-Large 2-year term
Board of Directors
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA

Maloy, Stanley, Professor of Microbiology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Education: 1981 Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine; 1977 M.S. in Microbiology, California State University, Long Beach; 1975 B.S. in Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine
Professional Experience: 2006-2010 Chief Scientific Officer, Vaxiion Therapeutics, Inc., Sorrento Valley, CA; 2003-2006 Director, Center for Applied and Experimental Genomics, San Diego State Univ.; 2002-2014 Co-Director, Bacterial Pathogenesis Course, Watson Graduate School, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY; 2000-2006 Director, Center for Microbial Sciences, San Diego, CA; 2001-2002 Director, Biotechnology Center, Univ. Illinois, Urbana, IL; 1995-2002 Professor of Microbiology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL; 1991-1992; Sabbatical leave at the California Biological Research Institute La Jolla, CA ; 1990-1995 Associate Professor of Microbiology, Univ. Illinois, Urbana, IL; 1990-1995 Instructor, Advanced Bacterial Genetics Course, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY; 1984-1990 Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Univ. Illinois, Urbana, IL; 1982-1983 Instructor, Human Genetics, Univ. Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; 1981-1984 Postdoctoral fellow at Univ. Utah, Salt Lake City, UT ; 1979-1980 General Chemistry Instructor, Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, CA; 1977-1981 Teaching assistant for General Microbiology Labs, UC Irvine; 1976-1977 Teaching assistant for Bacterial Physiology Labs, CSU, Long Beach; 1975-1977 Electron Microcopy technician, Microbiology Department, CSU Long Beach; 1975-1976 Teaching assistant for General Microbiology Labs, CSU Long Beach; 1974-1975 Co-Founder, Laboratory Management Co., Torrance, CA (Clinical Laboratories),

patelRobin Patel, At-Large 2-year term
Board of Directors

Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN

Robin Patel, MD, FRCP(C), D(ABMM), FIDSA, FACP, F(AAM), Chair, Division of Clinical Microbiology; Director, Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory; Co-Director, Clinical Bacteriology Laboratory; Professor of Microbiology and Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Education: Princeton University, BA Chemistry, 1985; McGill University, MD, 1989; Mayo Clinic, Internal Medicine Residency, Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Fellowships, 1989-1996
Professional Experience: 96-Present Faculty, Mayo Clinic (Assistant Professor, 96-00; Associate Professor, 00-06; Professor, 06-Present); 96-Present Member, Infectious Diseases Research Committee, Mayo Clinic; 98-Present Multiple NIH Study Sections and Special Emphasis Panels; 00-09 Chair, Infectious Diseases Research, Mayo Clinic; 01-Present Director, Microbiology Course, Mayo Medical School; 04-06 Member, IDSA Publications Committee; 07-12 Program Director, Clinical Microbiology Fellowship Program, Mayo Clinic; 07-10 Member, Student Promotions Committee, Mayo Medical School; 07-Present Director, Clinical Bacteriology Laboratory, Mayo Clinic (Co-Director 15-Present); 07-Present Basic Science Theme Leader, Mayo Medical School; 09-Present USMLE Committees: Microbiology and Immunology Test Development (Member 09-14; Chair, 14-17), Item Review (Member 15-present); 09-Present Member, Mayo Foundation Conflict of Interest Review Board; 10-15 Member, Research Finance Subcommittee, Mayo Clinic; 10-13 Member, IDSA’s Annual Meeting Planning Committee; 11-Present Chair, Division of Clinical Microbiology, Mayo Clinic; 13-15 Chair, Diagnostics and Devices Subcommittee, Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG); 13-Present Member, Mentoring Committee, ARLG; 13-14 Advisor, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), Subcommittee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing; 15-Present Director of Diagnostics and Master Protocol, ARLG; 15-Present Member, CLSI, Subcommittee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing; 16-Present Member, Research Space and Equipment Subcommittee, Mayo Clinic; 16-Present Associate Editor, Clinical Infectious Diseases; 17-20 Member, National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council

carrollKaren Carroll, 3-year term
Board of Directors

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Karen C Carroll, MD, Professor of Pathology, Director, Division of Medical Microbiology, Section Director Bacteriology and Molecular Epidemiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Education: 1975 B.A., Biology, College of Notre Dame, Baltimore, MD; 1979 M.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine; 1978-80 Internship in Medicine, University of Maryland; 1980-82 Residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine (R2 & R3), Associated Hospitals Program in Internal Medicine, University of Rochester; 1982-83 Chief Residency, Associated Hospitals Program in Internal Medicine, University of Rochester; 1984-86 Fellow in Infectious Diseases, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA; 1989-90 AAM/CPEP Fellow in Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center; 2011-2013 Science of Clinical Investigation Certificate Program, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; 2012-2013 Leadership Program for Women Faculty
Professional Experience: 1982-83 Instructor in Medicine, University of Rochester; 1983-84 Staff Physician, Mattapan Chronic Disease Hospital, Boston, MA; 1985-86 Instructor in Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical Center; 1986-88 Hospital Epidemiologist, St. Joseph's Hospital, Memphis, TN; 1988-90 Clinical Instructor in Medicine, University of Utah Medical Center; 1990-91 Limited Term Instructor, Department of Pathology, University of Utah; 1991-1997 Assistant Professor of Pathology, University of Utah; 1991-1997 Adjunct Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases, University of Utah; 1997 Associate Professor of Pathology, University of Utah, Award of Tenure; 1997 Adjunct Associate Professor, Infectious Diseases, University of Utah; 2002 Associate Professor Pathology and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; 2002-2015 Secondary Appointment Division of Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; 2006-present Professor Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

millerVirginia Miller, 3-year term
Board of Directors
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

Virginia L. Miller, Professor of Genetics and Microbiology & Immunology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Education: Dr. Miller earned her B.A. at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University where she studied regulation of cholera toxin expression. She then pursued postdoctoral training at Stanford University where she began her studies on Yersinia and Salmonella.
Professional Experience: After postdoctoral training at Stanford University, she joined the faculty at UCLA where she was granted tenure in 1994. She then moved to Washington University in St. Louis in 1996 and in 2008 she moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Education in the School of Medicine.

maloyjJeffrey Maloy, Early Career Scientist, 1-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

Maloy, Jeffrey, Microbiology PhD Candidate, University of California, Los Angeles
Education: 2017 Ph.D. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics (anticipated), University of California, Los Angeles; 2011 B.S. in Molecular Biology, University of California, San Diego
Professional Experience: 2016-2017 Teaching Assistant Consultant, University of California, Los Angeles - Organized workshops and two UCLA courses to train new TAs and familiarize them with active learning techniques; 2017 Invited Panelist for “Building Inclusive Classrooms Forum,” University of California, Los Angeles; 2016-2017 Staff Writer, Signal to Noise Magazine; 2016-2017 Vice President, SciComm Hub @ UCLA; 2014-2015 Guest Lecturer for Introduction to Microbial Pathogenesis course, University of California, Los Angeles; 2013-2014 TA for Introduction to Microbial Pathogenesis course, University of California, Los Angeles; 2014 STEAM Carnival outreach facilitator, 2014 Student Mentor, CityLab at UCLA; 2011-2012 Academic Tutor for Advancing Careers in Engineering and Science (ACES) - Taught science to middle school students from low academic performance index schools in the Los Angeles area

brownPaul Brown, International Scientist, 1-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

The University of the West Indies
Kingston, Jamaica

Paul D Brown, PhD, Senior Lecturer and Head, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica
Education: BSc (Hons) with double major in Biochemistry & Chemistry. The UWI, Mona, Jamaica 1989; MPhil in Biochemistry. The UWI, Mona, Jamaica. 1992; PhD in Microbiology (advisor, Paul N. Levett, PhD). The UWI, Cave Hill, Barbados. 1995
Professional Experience: 1999–2001, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Chemistry and Medical Technology, Northern Caribbean University, Mandeville, Jamaica; 2001–2009, Lecturer in Microbiology, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Biochemistry Section, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2003-present, Graduate Course Coordinator, BAMS6011/BC60B: Understanding Research; 2003-2009, Chair, Staff/Student Liaison Committee, Biochemistry section, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2009-present, Senior Lecturer, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Biochemistry Section, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2012-present, Council member, International Society of Infectious Diseases; 2013-present, Member, FMS Sub-Committee for Research, UWI, Mona; 2014-present, Chair, Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS) Annual Research Conference and Workshop Organizing Committee, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2014-present, Member, FMS Committee for Annual Research Awards; 2015-present, President, West Indies Group of University Teachers (WIGUT) Jamaica; 2015-present, Member, Health Services Committee, UWI, Mona August 2016-present, Head, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; August 2016-present, Deputy Dean, Allied Health, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica.

haysJohn Hays, International Scientist, 1-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

Erasmus University Medical Center
Rotterdam, Netherlands

John P. Hays, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam (Erasmus MC), Rotterdam, Zuid Holland, the Netherlands
Education: PhD 'The Genetic Diversity and Complement Resistance Phenotype of Moraxella catarrhalis’. Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 2000 - 2005. PhD - 'The Molecular Epidemiology of Human Coronavirus 229E'. University of Leicester, Leicester, UK. 1993–1996. MSc (with Distinction) - Biomedical Science. Nottingham Polytechnic, Nottingham, UK 1990–1992. BSc - Biology with Food Science and Nutrition. Oxford Polytechnic, Oxford, UK1983–1986.
Professional Experience: Scientific Research and Management Experience: Coordinator on 3 European Union Funded International research projects - 1) 'Development of Tailored Antimicrobial Treatment Regimens' (www.tailored-treatment.eu). 2) 'New Anti-Bacterials with Inhibitory Activity on Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases.' (www.nabarsi.eu). 3) 'An Integrated Tool-Kit.' (www.tempotest-qc.eu). Principle Investigator on 5 European Union Funded International Research Projects - 1) 'Antimicrobial Resistance Rapid Diagnostic Tests Working Group' (JPIAMR). 2) 'Chair / Bedside Diagnosis for Personalized Monitoring and Treatment' (www.diagoras.eu). 3) 'Nanotherapeutics to Treat Antibiotic Resistant Gram-Negative Pneumonia Infections’ (www.pneumonp.eu). 4). 'Novel Prevention and Treatment Possibilities for Otitis Media' (OMVac). 5) ‘Mobile Genetic Elements in the Spread of Antimicrobial Drug Resistance (DRESP2). Scientific Employment: Clinical Scientist Grade B15, Enteric and Respiratory Virus Laboratory, CPHL, London, UK. 1998–1999. Higher Scientific Officer, Virology and Molecular Methods Group, Central Science Laboratory, York, UK. 1997-1998. Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer, Clinical Microbiological Diagnostic Laboratory, QMC Hospital, Nottingham, UK. 1987-1993. Teaching and Training Experience: BSc - 'Clinical Medicine', 'Clinical Technology' and 'Life Sciences', MSc - 'Infection and Immunity', 6 PhD students. Miscellaneous: 1) Scientific Advisor to a Member of the European Parliament. 2) Scientific Board - Omnigen BV (http://www.omnigen.nl/en/about-omnigen-2/). 3) Scientific Advisor - Sparks and Co. (http://sparksandco.com/about-us/team/).

crossonSean Crosson, At Large, 2-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

University of Chicago
Chicago, IL

Sean Crosson, Professor, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Education: B.A. Biology, Earlham College, 1996; Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Chicago, 2002. Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, 2002-2005.
Professional Experience: Chair of the graduate program in microbiology, University of Chicago (2015-present); NIH study section (PCMB, 2016-2017, ad hoc); NSF study panels (Microbial Communities; Mathematical Biology; 2014-2016); Beckman Young Investigator Award, review committee (2012-2016); Faculty, Microbial Diversity Course, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA. (2015-present); Editorial board, Journal of Bacteriology (2012-present); Editorial advisory board, Molecular Microbiology (2011-present)

vollmerAmy Cheng Vollmer, At Large, 2-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA

Amy Cheng Vollmer, Isaac H. Clothier, Jr. Professor of Biology at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA
Education: She began her training at Rice University where she received her BA in Biochemistry in 1977. She then earned PhD in Biochemistry in 1983 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Professional Experience: After a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Immunology (Stanford Medical School) she spent four years at Mills College before joining the faculty at Swarthmore. There she has served two terms as biology department chair, was the inaugural Luhrs Fellow at Swarthmore’s Center for Leadership and Innovation, and most recently, was one of four founding faculty members in Swarthmore’s Summer Scholars Program that focuses on developing young successful scholars in STEM. She has been a member of the Gordon Research Conference Microbial Stress Response community since 1994 and co-chaired the conference in 2000. In 2006 she was received the Carski Foundation Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award from the ASM. She has led the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology since 2007 as its fourth president. She was an ASM Distinguished Lecturer from 2011 to 2013. In 2014, she was recognized as a National Academies Summer Institute Education Fellow in the Sciences.

wylieKristine Wylie, At Large, 2-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO

Kristine M. Wylie, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
Education: 2003-2009, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Doctoral Program in Biomedical Sciences, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Dissertation: Manipulation of virus-host interactions to determine protein function, Mentor: Lynda A. Morrison, Professor; 1993-1996, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, B.A., cum laude in Biology
Professional Experience: July 2015 – Present, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, Studies of the microbiome, infectious diseases, and microbe-host interactions; February 2013 – June 2015, Research Instructor, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, Microbial genomics research, with emphasis on studying the human virome and infectious diseases; October 2009 – January 2013, Postdoctoral Research Associate, The Genome Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, Mentor: George Weinstock, Professor, Metagenomic analysis of the human virome; discovery of novel microbes; May 1996 – May 2003, Manager and research technician, Physical Mapping Group, The Genome Center, Washington University School of Medicine, Supervisor: Dr. John McPherson, Managed projects and personnel for a number of large-scale genome projects, including human, mouse, chicken, and zebrafish

depascalisRoberto De Pascalis, At Large, 3-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Silver Spring, MD

Roberto De Pascalis, M.D., Laboratory of Mucosal Pathogens and Cellular Immunology, Office of Vaccines Research and Review, Center for Biologic Evaluation and Review, Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD
Education: Medical Doctor Degree, University of Naples, Italy; Specialty in Microbiology and Virology, University of Naples, Italy
Professional Experience: Resident, Department of Molecular Biology and Pathology, University of Naples, Italy; Visiting Fellow, Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, NIH, Bethesda, MD; Visiting Associate, CBER, FDA, Bethesda, MD; Research Microbiologist, LMPCI, CBER, FDA, Silver Spring, MD
Publications (Selected): De Pascalis R, Taylor BC and KL Elkins. Diverse myeloid and lymphoid cell subpopulations produce gamma interferon during early innate immune responses to Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain. Infect Immun. 2008; 76(9):4311-4321; Elkins KL, Colombini SM, Krieg AM, De Pascalis R. NK cells activated in vivo by bacterial DNA control the intracellular growth of Francisella tularensis LVS. Microbes Infect. 2009; 11(1): 49-56; De Pascalis R, Chou AY, Bosio CM, et al. Development of functional and molecular correlates of vaccine-induced protection for a model intracellular pathogen, F. tularensis LVS. PLoS Pathogens. 2012; 8(1) e1002494; De Pascalis R, Chou AY, Ryden P, et al. Models derived from in vitro analyses of spleen, liver, and lung leukocyte functions predict vaccine efficacy against Francisella tularensis LVS. mBio. 2014; 5(2): e00936-13; De Pascalis R, Mittereder L, Chou AY, et al. Francisella tularensis vaccines elicit concurrent protective T- and B-cell immune responses in Balb/cByJ mice. PloS One. 2015; 10(5) e0126570; De Pascalis R, Mittereder L, Kennet NJ, and Elkins KL. Activities of murine peripheral blood lymphocytes provide immune correlates that predict Francisella tularensis vaccine efficacy. Infect Immun. 2016; 84(4):1054-1061; Elkins KL, Kurtz SL, De Pascalis R. Progress, challenges, and opportunities in Francisella vaccine development. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2016 May 3:1-14.

diritaVictor DiRita, At-Large, 3-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

Victor DiRita, Rudolph Hugh Endowed Chair, Department Chair, Michigan State University
Education: B.S. Michigan State University – 1980; Ph.D. Purdue University – 1986; Postdoctoral – Harvard Medical School – 1986-1991
Professional Experience: 1991-2015, Assistant, Associate, Full Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Michigan; 2010-2015 Associate Dean, Graduate & Postdoctoral Training, University of Michigan Medical School

ferrellRebecca Ferrell, At Large, 3-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

Metropolitan State University of Denver
Denver, CO

Rebecca V. Ferrell, Professor of Biology, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado
Education: B.S., 1978, Missouri State University, biology major, English minor; M.S., 1980, Missouri State University, immunology in murine model, Richard Myers lab; PhD, 1990, University of Missouri Medical School, microbial genetics in mycoplasmas, Mark McIntosh lab; Post-doc, 1990-91, University of Colorado, RNA selex of viral polymerases, Larry Gold lab
Professional Experience: I joined the Metropolitan State faculty in 1991, earning tenure in 1996 and Professor in 2000. Teaching is our main focus. I teach 24 credits annually; my rotation includes General Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, Microbial Genetics, Virology, and Biology of Women. Before joining the faculty, along with the usual teaching and research assistant jobs, I enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve, training as a 91-S Environmental Health specialist, the military equivalent of public health work. I also taught middle school math and science, and college biology as an adjunct professor to Americans stationed in West Germany.

marloweElizabeth Marlowe, At Large, 3-year term
Council on Microbial Sciences

Roche Molecular Systems Inc.
Pleasanton, CA

Elizabeth M. Marlowe, PhD, D (ABMM), Director Medical Affairs, Microbiology, Roche Molecular Systems, Inc., Pleasanton, Ca
Education: Bachelor of Science: 1989-1993, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Minor: Mathematics/Chemistry; Master of Science: 1993-1995, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, Environmental Microbiology; Ph.D.: 1995-1999, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, Environmental Microbiology; Postdoctoral Fellow: 1999-2001, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, Clinical/Public Health Microbiology
Professional Experience: 2016 Director of Medical Affairs, Microbiology, Roche Molecular Systems, Incorporated, Pleasanton, CA; 2015-2016 Technical Director of Microbiology, Kaiser Permanente, TPMG Regional Reference Laboratories, Berkeley, CA; 2005- 2015 Assistant Director of Microbiology and Molecular Testing, Kaiser Permanente, SCPMG Regional Reference Laboratories, North Hollywood, CA; 2002-2005 Research Scientist I, Research Scientist II, Senior Scientist, Gen-Probe Incorporated, San Diego, CA; 2001-2002 Research Scientist, Project Coordinator, Wadsworth Anaerobe Laboratory, Brentwood Biomedical Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA

 
 

Letter from President

A Message from our President

Dear Members,

Happy fall! As we head for the holidays, I am writing to inform you about the Board of Directors meeting that occurred last week on Oct. 27th. The ASM Board of Directors meets at ASM headquarters three times per year. The fall meeting has a major goal of finalizing the budget for the next fiscal year. Other items were also discussed.


Key items on the agenda included:

President and CEO updates
ASM CEO Stefano Bertuzzi and I started the meeting with a review of events that had occurred since July 1st, and updates on what to expect in the upcoming months. My report centered around communication and responses to inquiries regarding ASM’s breakeven budget proposal, which I described to you in previous letters. Stefano focused on upcoming initiatives that include the first Corporate Council meeting in December, ASM Press evaluation, and the ongoing strategic analysis of ASM meetings and conferences.

The 2018 budget approval
We are happy to announce that ASM succeeded in achieving a breakeven budget for 2018.  As you know, we had to make difficult decisions. One especially hard one was to freeze ASM staff salaries for 2018. These, and other, difficult decisions are allowing us to begin the process of right-sizing the organization’s spending trends and setting ASM up for future success.

ASM Elections
The BOD was informed of all candidates nominated for ASM’s 2018 election. Voting begins on November 1 and ends on December 1, 2017, so don’t forget to vote! You can click here to view the candidates and cast your vote starting November 1.

Other updates:

ASM member communication channel review
ASM will be undergoing a detailed evaluation of all member communication channels to ensure that we are communicating with our stakeholders in the most efficient and effective way possible. In the interim, we will pause publishing Cultures magazine in 2018. For those who are unfamiliar with Cultures, it is ASM’s quarterly publication geared towards students and thought leaders in the global application of the microbial sciences. During its strategic planning for 2019 (the focus of the February Board of Directors meeting), the BOD will decide, with member input, the best use of ASM’s resources regarding member communication. Based on the outcome of that discussion, Cultures may resume in 2019.

MicroNow integrates with asm.org
One of the key concepts in the changing landscape for professional societies is developing a digital forum that can aggregate and curate relevant information for members. Part of any good experiment is taking a look at what you find and making smart decisions based on those findings. In looking at the costs and possible synergies, we found that we can achieve efficiencies by incorporating the MicroNow platform into the new ASM.org website, which is being developed in 2018. Towards achieving a breakeven budget for 2018, the decision was made to halt micronow.org as a self-standing website starting 12/31/17. We will be repurposing the MicroNow concept on the revamped asm.org when it debuts in mid-2018.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at ASMPresident@asmusa.org.

Thank you,

 

Peggy Cotter
ASM President

Description of New Governance Bodies

BOARD OF DIRECTORS (BOD)

The BOD has the primary fiduciary responsibility for governance and the exercise and assignment of power of authority for the Society. It is the highest governing body of the Society and oversees all other bodies and functions. The BOD’s role includes:

  • Setting the strategic direction and upholding the objectives of the Society
  • Authorizing policy matters
  • Directing fiduciary, legal , and business decisions
  • Hiring and overseeing the work of the CEO
  • Upholding the strategies and measuring progress through objectives
  • Ensuring that the Society’s property, funds, and affairs are handled in conformity with the Bylaws and within the Articles of Incorporation of the Society under the statutes of the District of Columbia (D.C.)
  • Approving an annual budget

The BOD delegates to the COMS the role of identifying trends in science and suggesting programs that best capture and serve the future of microbial sciences and its workforce and reserves for itself the role of approving them. The BOD delegates to the CEO responsibility for leading and managing operations. The BOD does not operate as an “outside examiner” of the Society; rather, it supports the roles of the COMS, Program Boards/Committees, and CEO in a constructive partnership. The role of the BOD is to govern, while the COMS is responsible for scientific activities and the CEO is responsible for implementation and operations.

Broadly defined characteristics of an exception al board include, but are not limited to:

  • Works in constructive partnership with the COMS, Program Boards/Committees, and CEO
  • Is mission driven, articulating a compelling vision to ensure congruence between decisions and core values
  • Sets the strategic direction, engaging in discussions and deliberations which affect the Society’s direction in the long run
  • Presents a culture of inquiry, respect , and debate that leads to sound strategic decisions
  • Is independent -minded, putting forward the interests of the Society before anything else
  • Develops a culture of transparency, ensuring that members and all stakeholders have access to appropriate and accurate information regarding finances, operations, and outcomes
  • Adheres to the highest standards of integrity by managing conflicts of interest and establishing appropriate mechanisms of oversight
  • Is a careful steward of the Society ’s resources, by linking bold visions and plans to appropriate financial prudence
  • Is results-oriented, measuring and evaluating the performance of various bodies and programs without managing them directly
  • Operates under best practices in fulfilling its governance duties
  • Evaluates its own actions for continuous learning and improvement
  • Revitalizes itself through planned turnover and inclusiveness based on diversity at all levels (gender, race, geography, sexual orientation, scientific discipline)

In concert with the broadly defined characteristics of an exceptional board, a Director should:

  • Be an individual who is a leader in the field of microbial sciences as viewed by his/her peers and has a stake in microbial sciences;
  • Be an individual who is selected for this role on the basis of his/her skills in governing and has experience and competencies in this arena;
  • Be familiar with ASM bylaws and governance structure, in particular with the roles and responsibilities of key components of the organization, such a s the BOD, COMS, and CEO;
  • Consider the needs of the entire organization, not the specific region or section from which he /she was elected;
  • Understand the decision process and chain of command for both the volunteer leaders and the headquarters staff;
  • Maintain respect for other Directors and their opinions; the BOD should be a place where it is safe to disagree without being disagreeable. Once decisions are made, though, the BOD speaks with one voice, and responsible Directors do not publicly voice their dissent with decisions made by the BOD;
  • Study and become knowledgeable about all subjects on which a decision is needed;
  • Know when and how to present views on policy or issues, knowing that the BOD needs to function as a group that makes decisions and is not simply a discussion forum;
  • Set personal goals as a volunteer leader in support of the Society's mission and strategic plan; and
  • Set personal priorities to ensure attention to all communications and attendance at all BOD meetings.

For more information about the Board of Directors (BOD) please see the Policy and Procedure Manual

COUNCIL ON MICROBIAL SCIENCES (COMS)

The Society's scientific affairs shall be conducted through the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS), which advises the BOD on scientific matters coming before the COMS and from other groups within the Society.

Functions. The COMS serves six main functions:

  • Is the “creative mind” of the Society that generates and deliberates on microbial sciences - related ideas, issues, and programs. The COMS has its radar screen set to scan the horizon to detect and anticipate trends in the science
  • Informs and advise s the BOD on scientific opportunities and threats , suggesting policies, actions , and programs that need to be taken or initiated to advance the microbial sciences
  • Works in partnership with the BOD and seeks BOD approval for resources for scientific programmatic activities deemed a priority by the COMS
  • Works in partnership with BOD , CEO , and staff to explore feasibility and implementation of programs
  • Identifies and makes recommendations to the BOD for discontinuation of scientific programs deemed no longer essential for the future of microbial sciences
  • Considers petitions to charter Branches and Divisions/SIGs at the programmatic level, and submit s to the BOD for fiduciary review and approval

Six broadly defined characteristics of an exceptional COMS to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Is broadly representative of the microbial sciences and the various components of the Society in all its scientific, ethnic, gender, cultural, and geographical components
  • Is composed of elected members who are recognized for their scientific and professional achievements and are leaders in their profession
  • Is visionary regarding the future of microbial sciences and speaks authoritatively
  • Is focused on the long-term horizon of the science, professional practice, and educational affairs
  • Works in partnership with the BOD, CEO, and staff to ensure that ASM allocates attention and resources to anticipate opportunities which will grow and advance the microbial sciences
  • Works in partnership with committees and staff to ensure the feasibility and implementation of proposed programs

Committees of the COMS will be generated and populated by processes identified in policies and procedures established by the COMS itself. The COMS shall adopt, and may amend from time to time, policies and procedures in the scientific interest of the Society, provided that such policies and procedures shall not be inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, or Policy and Procedures Manual of the Society. The COMS shall publish and make generally available to the membership any such policies and procedures in effect at any time.

For more information about the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) please see the Policy and Procedure Manual

Letter from President (2)

A Message from our President

Dear Members,

Happy fall! As we head for the holidays, I am writing to inform you about the Board of Directors meeting that occurred last week on Oct. 27th. The ASM Board of Directors meets at ASM headquarters three times per year. The fall meeting has a major goal of finalizing the budget for the next fiscal year. Other items were also discussed.


Key items on the agenda included:

President and CEO updates
ASM CEO Stefano Bertuzzi and I started the meeting with a review of events that had occurred since July 1st, and updates on what to expect in the upcoming months. My report centered around communication and responses to inquiries regarding ASM’s breakeven budget proposal, which I described to you in previous letters. Stefano focused on upcoming initiatives that include the first Corporate Council meeting in December, ASM Press evaluation, and the ongoing strategic analysis of ASM meetings and conferences.

The 2018 budget approval
We are happy to announce that ASM succeeded in achieving a breakeven budget for 2018.  As you know, we had to make difficult decisions. One especially hard one was to freeze ASM staff salaries for 2018. These, and other, difficult decisions are allowing us to begin the process of right-sizing the organization’s spending trends and setting ASM up for future success.

ASM Elections
The BOD was informed of all candidates nominated for ASM’s 2018 election. Voting begins on November 1 and ends on December 1, 2017, so don’t forget to vote! You can click here to view the candidates and cast your vote starting November 1.

Other updates:

ASM member communication channel review
ASM will be undergoing a detailed evaluation of all member communication channels to ensure that we are communicating with our stakeholders in the most efficient and effective way possible. In the interim, we will pause publishing Cultures magazine in 2018. For those who are unfamiliar with Cultures, it is ASM’s quarterly publication geared towards students and thought leaders in the global application of the microbial sciences. During its strategic planning for 2019 (the focus of the February Board of Directors meeting), the BOD will decide, with member input, the best use of ASM’s resources regarding member communication. Based on the outcome of that discussion, Cultures may resume in 2019.

MicroNow integrates with asm.org
One of the key concepts in the changing landscape for professional societies is developing a digital forum that can aggregate and curate relevant information for members. Part of any good experiment is taking a look at what you find and making smart decisions based on those findings. In looking at the costs and possible synergies, we found that we can achieve efficiencies by incorporating the MicroNow platform into the new ASM.org website, which is being developed in 2018. Towards achieving a breakeven budget for 2018, the decision was made to halt micronow.org as a self-standing website starting 12/31/17. We will be repurposing the MicroNow concept on the revamped asm.org when it debuts in mid-2018.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at ASMPresident@asmusa.org.

Thank you,

 

Peggy Cotter
ASM President

2017 Election Position Descriptions

President-Elect    Secretary    BOD At-Large Representatives    COMS At-Large Representatives

 

 

PRESIDENT-ELECT

The President-Elect provides secondary leadership for the Society, substitutes for the President when needed, and prepares to serve as President. The President-Elect shall assist the President, shall be a voting member of the BOD and an ex officio, nonvoting member of the COMS, and  shall substitute for the President in the absence of the President. The President-Elect shall take precedence over the Past President in substituting for the President.

Other roles of the President-Elect include:

  • Review the performance of the various BOD Standing Committee and Program Board/Committee Chairs.
  • Chair the Appointments Committee.
  • Chair, if requested by the BOD, an ad hoc committee to review a major activity, function, or program of the Society or profession and provide a written report with specific recommendations to the BOD.

SECRETARY

The Secretary shall assist the President and shall be responsible for overseeing the accuracy of the minutes of all meetings of the BOD and meetings of the Membership.

In addition, the Secretary shall:
•    Provide continuity of service and experience among the Officers.
•    Work closely with the CEO to ensure timely appointment of volunteer members of the organization.
•    In collaboration with the CEO, ensure transmittal to ASM Archives of documents of archival or historical value.

AT-LARGE POSITIONS FOR THE ASM BOARD OF DIRECTORS (BOD)
Main Functions

Members of the Board of Directors have the primary fiduciary responsibility for governance and the exercise and assignment of power of authority for the Society. It is the highest governing body of the Society which oversees all other bodies and functions. The Board of Directors (BOD) functions include:

  • Setting the strategic direction and upholding the objectives of the Society
  • Authorizing policy matters
  • Directing fiduciary, legal, and business decisions
  • Hiring and overseeing the work of the CEO
  • Upholding the strategies and measuring progress through objectives
  • Ensuring that the Society’s property, funds, and affairs are handled in conformity with the Bylaws and within the Articles of Incorporation of the Society under the statutes of the District of Columbia (D.C.)
  • Approving an annual budget

The BOD delegates to the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) the role of identifying trends in science and suggesting programs that best capture and serve the future of microbial sciences and its workforce, and reserves for itself the role of approving them. The BOD delegates to the CEO responsibility for leading and managing operations. The BOD does not operate as an “outside examiner” of the Society; rather, it supports the roles of the COMS, Program Boards/Committees, CEO and staff in a constructive partnership. The role of the BOD is to govern, the role of the COMS is to exercise oversight over scientific and programmatic activities; the CEO is responsible for implementation and operations.
Directors are responsible, in partnership with other Board members and staff, for helping to shape and lead ASM to promote and advance microbial sciences. They accomplish their function by participating actively in Board meetings, guiding and overseeing the ASM strategic plan, and by performing fiduciary, strategic, and policy responsibilities.

Term
At-Large BOD members serve three year terms, and can be reelected only once. Just for elections in 2017, in order to stagger terms of various members, a cohort of Directors will serve a one-year term, another cohort a two-year term, and the third cohort a three-year term.

Time Commitment
Directors are expected to attend all in-person meetings and phone calls. It is expected that the BOD will normally meet three times a year, twice in person for 1.5 days and once for half a day electronically. One of the in-person meetings will be in conjunction with the ASM Microbe meeting. 

BOD members are expected to read the provided background material in advance and actively participate in meetings and calls. More calls could be scheduled throughout the year, if needed. BOD members are expected to participate in ASM Microbe meeting and other working groups or events that may require Directors’ presence. In total it is expected a time commitment of ~ 9-10 days per year. This job requires a level of awareness of ASM as an organization and responsiveness to ongoing Board work.


Responsibilities

  • Set direction for ASM, after considering input from the Council of Microbial Sciences (COMS)
  • Establish the vision, mission, and strategic plan of ASM. Oversee the execution of the strategic direction of ASM
  • Articulate, safeguard, model, and promote ASM’s core values and principles
  • Act in the best interests of the organization as a whole, not for any individual, particular constituencies or sub-discipline
  • Delegate authority for organizational and staff management to the CEO
  • Provide oversight and ensure resources
  • Be knowledgeable about the bylaws, policies and procedures, strategic plan, and governance responsibilities of the ASM BOD
  • Establish financial policies and ensure accountability
  • Ensure resource allocation is aligned with the ASM strategic plan
  • Ensure compliance with applicable laws and ethical standards
  • Receive and examine an annual audit of ASM by an independent auditor
  • Approve an annual budget and review performance of the annual operating plan and budget
  • Hire, support and evaluate the CEO
  • Serve as an ambassador for ASM to promote and advance microbial sciences, by promoting ASM and encouraging others to get involved in volunteering at ASM
  • Utilize and respect staff expertise
  • Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in all Board of Directors meetings
  • Work collegially with other Board members and key staff by “holding their own” feeling safe to disagree without being disagreeable
  • Understand that the BOD is not a stakeholder group, rather a governing body, therefore, once a decision is made, it is the decision of the whole group
  • Know when and how to present views on policy or issues, knowing that the BOD needs to function as a group that makes decisions and is not simply a discussion forum
  • Understand and apply the provisions of fiduciary responsibility, the bylaws and other policies
  • Abide by the code of conduct and conflict of interest policies
  • Function at a strategic, not tactical, level
  • Participate in periodic evaluation of the Board’s performance and contribute to ongoing improvement of ASM governance
    Participate in Board orientation and be knowledge about effective governance


 

AT-LARGE REPRESENTATIVE TO THE COUNCIL ON MICROBIAL SCIENCES (COMS)

Main Functions

The ASM Council on Microbial Sciences At-Large members advance ASM and microbial sciences by scanning the environment and advising the Board of Directors (BOD) on scientific and programmatic matters. COMS members bring a key perspective which represents the diversity of microbial sciences and demographics that exist within ASM. The COMS partners with the BOD and staff to shape and lead ASM and microbial sciences into the future.

COMS has several key distinctive functions:

  • Is the “creative mind” of the Society that generates and deliberates on microbial sciences-related ideas, issues, and programs.
  • The COMS has its radar screen set to scan the horizon to detect and anticipate trends in the field Informs and advises the BOD on scientific opportunities and threats, suggesting policies, actions, and programs that need to be taken or initiated to advance the microbial sciences
  • Works in partnership with the BOD staff and seeks BOD approval for resources for scientific programmatic activities deemed a priority by the COMS
  • Works in partnership with BOD and staff to explore feasibility and implementation of programs Identifies and makes recommendations to the BOD for discontinuation of scientific programs deemed no longer essential for the future of microbial sciences
  • Considers petitions to charter Branches and Divisions/SIGs at the programmatic level, and submits to the BOD for fiduciary review and approval

Terms

At-Large Councilors are elected for a three-year term, renewable once. For elections in 2017 only, to generate staggered terms, there will be three cohorts of At-Large members serving respectively one, two, and three year terms.

  •  Time Commitment

    At-Large members of COMS are required to attend one day-long in-person meeting, held in conjunction with the ASM Microbe meeting. In addition, working groups and task forces of COMS will meet electronically throughout the year, possibly 3-4 times for a few hours each time. Full participation requires reading background material in advance and collegial discussions and active work. This job requires a level of awareness of ASM strategic plan, activities, and responsiveness.

     Roles and Responsibilities:

    • Advise the BOD and support ASM mission Maintain awareness of emerging issues that could impact microbial sciences
    • Oversee and propose scientific and programmatic activities to advance microbial sciences through ASM activities
    • Understand and act within the financial and strategic framework set by the BOD
    • Engage members
    • Advance the vision, mission, and strategic plan of ASM
    • Bring a unique perspective within microbial sciences, keeping in mind your responsibility to act in the best interests of the organization, not of yourself, nor of any particular constituency
    • Build relationships internally and externally
    • Champion ASM and microbial sciences to all constituents and publics
    • Ensure good interaction with other components of the Society
    • Act as an ASM ambassador, encouraging others to get involved in volunteering at ASM
    • Utilize staff expertise
    • Get to know other COMS members and key staff
    • Be an active member of the COMS
    • Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in all COMS meetings
    • Be knowledgeable about the ASM bylaws, policies and procedures, strategic plan, and governance responsibilities of the COMS
    • Abide by the code of conduct and conflict of interest policies
    • Function at a strategic, not tactical or operational level
    • Be cognizant that the authority rests with the COMS as a collective body, not to any one individual member, or group of members
    • Participate in COMS orientation and be knowledgeable about effective governance

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    ASM 2017 Election

     

    ASM Governance

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ASM Governance Change Banner 2
     

    ASM 2017 ELECTION IS NOW OPEN!  VOTE HERE [INSERT LINK TO VOTING SITE]

     

    Strategic Plan simple

    It is with great excitement that we approach the new ASM governance.  One of the most important steps is that of filling the At-Lavote microberge positions for both the Board of Directors (BOD) and the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS). This is a unique opportunity for ASM members to get involved in leadership positions.

     

     

    Briefly, the BOD is the governance body that sets the course for the whole Society by fulfilling all fiduciary roles, including approval of the budget.  

    The COMS will be the main advisory body to the BOD and will make recommendations for the strategic, scientific, and programmatic direction of the Society. Both bodies will serve key roles in the microbial sciences by providing leadership and direction to the Society and to the whole field.

    It is worth noticing that there will be one slot on the BOD and one slot on COMS for a young microbial scientist, someone who is at the level of Graduate Student, Postdoc, Assistant Professor, or junior clinical microbiologist or equivalent.  There will also be one slot on the BOD, and two slots on COMS, for members working outside of the US.

     FAQS - either drop down list of questions or link to another page

     

    What is the ASM Board of Directors? Summary

     What is the Council on Microbial Sciences?  Summary

    What are the position descriptions?

     

    If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Cheryl Lehr clehr@asmusa.org in the Office of the ASM CEO.

    Sincerely,  

    Susie Sharp
    Susan Sharp
    President
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    Timothy Donohue
    Secretary
    StefanoBertuzzi
    Stefano Bertuzzi
    CEO

     

     

     

     

     
     
     
     

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    Global Outreach Membership

    The ASM Global Outreach Program seeks to engage scientists from resource-constrained countries by providing membership and full access to all online ASM journals at no cost.  

    An individual currently studying or working in the microbial sciences in a resource limited country, may apply for Global Outreach membership in ASM at no cost. Individuals must be a full time resident of a resource limited country, as classified by the World Bank, Human Development Index, and United Nations list of Least Developed Countries, or an isolated country.* Global Outreach members have all of the privileges of Full membership and are granted access to all ASM Journals at no cost.

    As part of the ASM mission to be a truly inclusive organization that advances the microbial sciences, ASM extends its Global Outreach membership to scientists in countries with significant political or security constraints which limit their ability to join through traditional mechanisms.

    Global Outreach members are a critical component of ASM's global knowledge network of nearly 50,000 members and enjoy full membership benefits.

    There are currently three categories of Global Outreach Membership:

    Global Outreach member – Any individual scientist who is qualified for ASM membership and resides within one of the listed countries may apply. Benefits include access to ASM Journals online and most benefits attributed to a contributing member, including access to listservs, cumitechs, discounted page charges for manuscripts and discounted registration rates for ASM meetings and conferences. Global outreach members do not receive Microbe magazine in print. Additionally, print journals must be purchased.

    Global Outreach Student member – Any fully matriculated student who is qualified for ASM membership and resides within one of the listed countries may apply. The student must not hold a doctoral degree. Benefits include access to all ASM Journals online and most benefits attributed to a student member, except Microbe magazine in print. Additionally, print journals must be purchased.

    Global Outreach Postdoctoral member – Any qualified individual holding a doctoral degree that was received within the past 5 years. Membership period is up to 5 years total, after which the status will be changed to Global Outreach member. Benefits include access to all ASM Journals online and most benefits attributed to a postdoctoral member, except Microbe magazine in print. Additionally, print journals must be purchased.

    Global outreach members may join online by creating an account at https://myasm.asm.org/eweb/

    1. Click on the JOIN button from the My Full Profile page and select the appropriate Global Outreach membership type.
    2. Click “Add to Cart” and “Save” the 0.00 membership order.   
    3. To complete the process, you must “Check-Out” with a zero dollar membership order.

    Global outreach student or postdoctoral members may also join by sending a message with the subject line: Global outreach student or postdoctoral member to Service@asmusa.org
    Your message must include the following:

    Complete Name
    Postal Address
    Institution (or University if a student)
    Email address
    Degree and year received
    Gender

    Although ASM membership and subscriptions are provided at no cost, they must be renewed annually.  Individuals in the following countries qualify for the ASM Global Outreach Membership:

         
    Afghanistan Guinea-Bissau Sao Tome Principe
    Angola Haiti Senegal
    Bangladesh Iran Sierra Leone
    Benin Iraq Solomon Islands
    Bhutan Kenya Somalia
    Burkina Faso Kiribati South Sudan
    Burundi Kyrgyz Republic Sudan
    Cambodia Lao PDR Swaziland
    Cameroon Lesotho Syria
    Central African Republic Liberia Tajikistan
    Chad Libya Tanzania
    Comoros Madagascar Timor-Leste
    Cote d’Ivoire Malawi Togo
    Cuba Mali Tuvalu
    Democratic People's Republic of Korea Mauritania Uganda
    Democratic Rep. of the Congo Mozambique Uzbekistan
    Djibouti Myanmar Vanuatu
    Equatorial Guinea Nepal Venezuela
    Eritrea Niger Vietnam
    Ethiopia Nigeria Yemen
    Gambia Pakistan Zambia
    Ghana Papua New Guinea Zimbabwe
    Guinea Rwanda  

    Take Advantage of These ASM Resources

    ASMLogo    

    Step 1: Register for ASM Microbe 2017

    Join your peers from around the world to explore the complete scope of microbiology – from basic science to translational and clinical application – at ASM Microbe 2017 (June 1–5, 2017, New Orleans, Louisiana). The special Infectious Diseases Fellows Program offers an opportunity for you to attend the meeting free of charge.

    >> View the program.

    >> Register before April 20 for the special rates.

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    Step 2: Listen to the ASM-CLSI Webinar Series


    Register for the ASM-CLSI Webinar Series in Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing: Fundamentals of Susceptibility Testing, Reporting, and Test Validation to learn the fundamentals for AST in the clinical microbiology laboratory. Registration includes access to the live webinars, the recorded presentation, and P.A.C.E.® or Florida continuing education credits.

    >> Register for the webinar now.

     

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    Step 3: Join ASM

    Join the world’s largest life science society that works for you.  Enrich your network with ASM’s clinical microbiology listserv, pursue career opportunities with ASM’s career website, and obtain discounts* on public health-related books, journals, and conferences!  Membership starts at $22. 

    >> Become an ASM member now.

    * Discounts do not apply to all membership categories.

    2018 Ballot

     

    2018 ASM Election: Candidates 

    President-Elect 

    Board of Directors, Early Career Scientist

    Board of Directors, International Scientist

    Council on Microbial Sciences, Early Career Scientist

    Council on Microbial Sciences, International Scientists

    Click here to vote: https://secure.intelliscaninc.net/asm/2018/

    Your ASM member number has changed.  If you haven't received notification of your ID, please contact service@asmusa.org

    President-Elect - Select One

    DAVID ARONOFF
    MD, FIDSA, FAAM
    Professor, Addison B. Scoville, Jr.
    Chair in Medicine, and Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennesse

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    Education:
    Dr. Aronoff received his Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology (summa cum laude) from Indiana University and his Medical Degree from Tufts University. Following internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Aronoff completed both a clinical fellowship in Infectious Diseases and a research fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology there. He then moved to join the faculty in Infectious Diseases at the University of Michigan where he also completed a research postdoctoral fellowship in Immunology.

    Professional Experience:
    Dr. Aronoff joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2002. He rose to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology. He remained there until 2013, when he was recruited back to Vanderbilt University. Dr. Aronoff has a secondary faculty appointment in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology and is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Meharry Medical College.

    ASM Activities:
    Dr. Aronoff served as Vice Chair for the ASM Microbe annual meeting in 2016, 2017 and will serve this role in 2018. He was a member of the ASM ICAAC Program Committee from 2008-2015 and Directed the ICAAC Fellows Program from 2011-2015. From 2013-2014 he served on the ASM Strategic Planning Committee and in 2015 the Hilleman Award Selection Committee. He has served on the Membership Tiers Task Force and is currently a member of the Awards Selection Committee and the Appointments Committee. Dr. Aronoff was elected as Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology in 2017.

    Publications:
    Over 160 publications indexed on PubMed, found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=aronoff+dm

    Research Interests:
    The Aronoff lab studies host-microbial interactions with a focus on bacterial infections and innate immunity. His primary contributions have been in defining the role for macrophages in host defense during infections caused by Gram positive bacteria such as clostridia and streptococci. Currently his lab is focused on understanding the mechanisms of disease pathogenesis in both Group B Streptococcus infections during pregnancy and in Clostridium difficile infections of the gastrointestinal tract.

    Candidate’s Statement:
    What an exhilarating time to be a microbial scientist! I am so honored to be a candidate for President-Elect of our Society. By way of introduction, I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from Indiana University and a Medical Degree from Tufts University. Following residency training in Medicine at Vanderbilt University, I completed both a clinical fellowship in Infectious Diseases and a research fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology, also at Vanderbilt. I then studied innate immunity and bacterial pathogenesis during a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan, where I launched my independent faculty career. My laboratory research remains focused on the host-microbial interface, and I have been back at Vanderbilt University as Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases since 2013. I have a strong background in service, evidenced by my membership on federal and non-federal grant review study sections, editorial roles for several academic journals, and service as President of the Anaerobe Society of the Americas.

    I am a proud Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and have been an active volunteer for ASM for the past 10 years, serving on the programming committees for the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobials and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) and for the ASM Microbe meeting (where I am Vice-Chair). I have served on key ASM committees, including the Strategic Planning Committee, the Membership Tiers Task Force, the Awards Selection Committee, and the Appointments Committee. I also directed the ICAAC Fellows Program, focused on early career development, for five years.

    ASM has been on the forefront of the microbial sciences for nearly 120 years and is vital as ever. The microbial sciences are changing rapidly, impacted by climate change, population expansion, the crisis of antimicrobial resistance, new epidemics, the development of innovative tools for high-resolution imaging of the microbial world, the rise of “big data” and systems biology, and significant threats to research and education funding. What hasn’t changed? The strong dedication of the ASM to lead from the front of the microbial sciences. ASM has been a tremendous voice for the microbial sciences and that it is a high priority for me, to make sure that it maintains and even increases its ability to advocate for its members.

    Other high priority goals for me are to focus on enhancing diversity (both in our scientific portfolio and our membership) and fostering early career development. Mentorship is important, and is something I will seek to enhance. I will be an advocate for ASM to catalyze trans-disciplinary collaborations in discovery and education. My experiences at ASM have given me a keen appreciation for the critical role that meeting and communicating play in accelerating the microbial sciences. The ways through which we share knowledge, including in person and through the internet are likely to change significantly in the near future and I want to help ASM innovate in this space. Thank you for considering me as a candidate to serve the ASM at this high level.

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    ROBIN PATEL
    MD, D(ABMM), FIDSA, FACP, F(AAM), Chair, Division of Clinical Microbiology; Director, Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory; Co-Director, Clinical Bacteriology Laboratory; Professor of Microbiology and Medicine, Elizabeth P. and Robert E. Allen Professor of Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

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    Education:
    Princeton University, BA Chemistry, 1985; McGill University, MD, 1989; Mayo Clinic, Internal Medicine Residency, Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Fellowships, 1989-1996 

    Professional Experience:
    96-Present Faculty, Mayo Clinic (Assistant Professor, 96-00; Associate Professor, 00-06; Professor, 06-Present); 96-Present Member, Infectious Diseases Research Committee, Mayo Clinic; 98-Present Multiple NIH Study Sections and Special Emphasis Panels; 00-09 Chair, Infectious Diseases Research, Mayo Clinic; 01-Present Director, Microbiology, Mayo Medical School (MMS); 04-06 Member, IDSA Publications Committee; 07-12 Program Director, Clinical Microbiology Fellowship Program, Mayo Clinic; 07-10 Member, Student Promotions Committee, MMS; 07-Present Director, Clinical Bacteriology Laboratory, Mayo Clinic (Co-Director 15-Present); 07-Present Basic Science Theme Leader, MMS; 09-Present; USMLE Committees: Microbiology and Immunology Test Development (Member 09-14; Chair, 14-17), Item Review (Member 15-present); 09-Present Member, Mayo Foundation Conflict of Interest Review Board; 10-15 Member, Research Finance Subcommittee, Mayo Clinic; 10-13 Member, IDSA’s Annual Meeting Planning Committee; 11-Present Chair, Division of Clinical Microbiology, Mayo Clinic; 13-15 Chair, Diagnostics and Devices Subcommittee, Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG); 13-Present Member, Mentoring Committee, ARLG; 13-14 Advisor, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), Subcommittee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (AST); 15-Present Director of Diagnostics and Master Protocol, ARLG; 15-Present Member, CLSI, Subcommittee on AST; 16-Present Member, Research Space and Equipment Subcommittee, Mayo Clinic; 16-Present Associate Editor, Clinical Infectious Diseases; 17-20 Member, National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council

    ASM Activities:
    92-Present Member; 99-07 Editorial Board, Journal of Clinical Microbiology; 02-07 ICAAC Program Planning Committee (ICAAC/IDSA Committee 2007); 01-10 Editorial Board, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy; 02-13 Editorial Board, Clinical Microbiology Reviews; 09-19 Associate Editor, Journal of Clinical Microbiology; 10-13 Award Nominations Committee; 11-18 ASM Microbe Program Planning Committee (Vice Chair 13-15; Co-Chair 16-18); 2012 Fellow - American Academy of Microbiology; 2013 Meetings Strategic Planning; 2014 Communications Strategic Planning; 2014 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-ASM Meeting; 2015 BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology Recipient; 15-17 Clinical Awards Selection Committee Member; 2016 JCM/ASM China Publications Event; 2017-2018 Board of Directors Member (elected)

    Publications:
    >250 publications http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/robin.patel.2/bibliograpahy/47618838/public/?sort=date&direction=ascending

    Research Interests:
    My research focuses on microbial biofilms, antibacterial resistance and clinical bacteriology diagnostic testing. I have a longstanding interest in novel strategies for detection and management, and understanding the pathogenesis of, biofilm-associated orthopedic infection, especially prosthetic joint infection (PJI). I have developed a number of diagnostic assays for PJI and have an active research program investigating novel PJI treatment and diagnostic strategies. My group also works on antibacterial resistance, performing phenotypic and genotypic studies of resistance in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. We have described new types of resistance. In addition, I have a longstanding interest in animal models of infection, as means for evaluating novel antimicrobial agents and for studying infection pathogenesis. Many of the models we use were developed in my laboratory. Finally, I have a track record of developing novel diagnostic assays for clinical practice.

    Candidate’s Statement:
    I have been an American Society for Microbiology member for 25 years, over which time I have been an active participant in and contributor to ASM’s journals, meetings and other activities. In addition to avidly reading numerous ASM journals, I have published my science in Infection and Immunity, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (AAC), Clinical Microbiology Reviews (CMR) and the Journal of Clinical Microbiology (JCM). I have had the pleasure of serving on the editorial boards of the JCM, AAC and CMR and am a current Associate Editor for the JCM. I made my first major scientific presentation at an ICAAC meeting in the early 1990’s (and can remember it as if it were yesterday). Since the 1990’s, I have attended the ASM General Meeting and ICAAC on a regular basis, along with a number of other ASM meetings (e.g., Conferences on Enterococci, Streptococcal Genetics and Biofilms, Clinical Virology Symposium). From 2002 to 2007, and from 2011 to 2015, I was a member of the ICAAC Program Committee, serving as Vice Chair for the 2013 to 2015 meetings. I have served as Co-Chair of the ASM Microbe Program Committee since its inception; 2018 will be my final year in this capacity. In my roles as Vice and Co-Chairs of the two meetings, I have participated in strategic planning meetings, alongside relationship building meetings between ASM and Industry and Foundations. I have been involved in a number of award selection processes for ASM over the past several years, and in 2015 was honored to receive the ASM BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology.  Finally, I currently serve as a member of ASM’s Board of Directors.

    ASM is a Society I strongly support and believe in, and one that has supported me. My goal in running for the position of President Elect is to give back to the Society by providing leadership, mentorship, oversight and direction to the Society. I value responsiveness and transparency in leadership. Our fields and ASM are changing and will continue to do so. The Society has an amazing 47,000 members worldwide, who have diverse backgrounds and needs. In the increasingly multidisciplinary scientific world of today, ASM is ideally positioned to provide a scientific home to microbiologists of varying backgrounds, as well as to provide a base for individual communities of microbial scientists, educators and clinicians, and the cross-linking of their communities. ASM’s main goal has to be to support its members, through its meetings, publications, training opportunities, and advocacy. ASM is also a Society in which its members can get involved, as I have; these “opportunities” need to grow and be made more visible to ASM members. ASM has a unique position among microbiology societies and one that must be nurtured to best support its members in a changing world. If elected, I will open my e-mail Inbox to any member who has ideas or thoughts about what ASM should be doing to support and engage its membership.

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    Board of Directors, Early Career Scientist - Select one

    GREETCHEN DIAZ
    Director of the Science Education  Program and Community Partnerships of Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR)

    Incumbent

    Diaz

    Education:
    Dr. Díaz completed a Bachelor and Master Degrees in Biology, at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. Then, she earned her PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at The Ohio State University, where she studied intracellular protein trafficking using budding yeast as a model system. Her research described a requirement of the Spindle Pole Body (yeast centrosome) for Targeting/Tethering peripheral proteins to the Inner Nuclear Membrane. After earning her PhD, Greetchen started as a postdoctoral researcher at the Nebraska Center for Virology, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where she got a NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct studies in reproduction of Human Papilloma Virus.

    Professional Experience:
    For more than 10 years, Greetchen was a volunteer, part of the administrative team of CienciaPR. At CienciaPR, she participated in numerous projects in science communication, science outreach, and science education. She is the founder and coordinator of CienciaPR's "Borinqueña", the bilingual blog for Hispanic and Puerto Rican Women in Science and Technology. Also, Greetchen is founder and coordinator of the photoblog “Ciencia a tu alrededor”. In 2015, She was the coordinator of "Semillas de Triunfo" (Seeds of Succeed), the first STEM Ambassador Program for middle school girls in Puerto Rico.

    Before joining CienciaPR’s staff in 2017, Dr. Díaz was the Grants Program Director at the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust. Greetchen was responsible for the implementation of the first local grants mechanism in Puerto Rico with initiatives such as the Science and Technology Research Grants, the Small Research Grants and the Researcher’s Startup Funds. At the Trust, Dr. Díaz also coordinated the outreach activities that include the Research & innovation Meetups, the Forward Research & Innovation Summit and the Forward Grantees Symposium, among many others.

    Dr. Díaz has received numerous awards and honors from various organizations such as CROEM Alumni, the University of Puerto Rico, The Ohio State University, ASM, SACNAS, and the Ford Foundation, among others. In 2017, Greetchen was recognized by the Senate of Puerto Rico for her professional achievements and her election to the ASM board of directors. Her work and projects has been featured on local and international media outlets, such as El Nuevo Día, el Vocero, Noticel, Metro, Caribbean Business, News in my Business, Diálogo, Voces del Sur, Periódico La Perla, Microbe, and Scientific American, among others.

    ASM Activities:
    Greetchen is the President of the Puerto Rico Society of Microbiologists (PRSM), where she previously served as the PRSM’s Board of Director’s secretary, and ASM councilor. The PRSM is the local branch for the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), where Greetchen is currently a member of its Board of Directors.

    Candidate’s Statement:
    It would be an honor to be able to serve for a second term on the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Board of Directors in the Early Career At-Large position. I think it is very important that the Board of Directors is diverse and representative for the different sectors of our membership, and I thank ASM for showing leadership in this regard. ASM has a large number of early career professionals and has had various initiatives aimed at the professional development of these members. My commitment is to provide my perspective and experiences as an early career professional to help the ASM leadership accomplish its mission and provide the best opportunities and support for this group. Like many other professional societies globally, ASM has undergone a process of continuous transformation that, in order to be effective, must go hand in hand with the development of the skills and capacities needed to adapt to those changes. The future of the microbial sciences is in the hands of these early career professionals, and it is my desire to be able to help to enhance their contributions through my service on the Board of Directors. Thanks for your support. 

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    KARA LEVINSON
    CPEP Clinical Microbiology Fellow, UNC, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

     ad confused 3

    Education:
    Dr. Levinson completed her Bachelors degree in Microbiology at Northern Arizona University and a Masters in Public Health in Hospital & Molecular Epidemiology at the University of Michigan.  She completed her PhD in Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Wadsworth Center, in a combined program with the New York State Department of Health and the State University of New York at Albany.  There she studied host-pathogen interaction and her research identified mechanisms by which lipopolysaccharide-specific antibodies mediate protection against Vibrio cholerae.  Following her PhD, she began her training as a clinical microbiologist through ASM’s post-doctoral CPEP program in Medical and Public Health Microbiology at the University of North Carolina.  She participated in the Advanced Bacterial Genetics Course at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 2012 and the Advanced Course in Immunology through the American Association of Immunologists in 2014.

    Professional Experience:
    Dr. Levinson served on the Public Health Action Support Team (PHAST) at the University of Michigan, where she assisted local health department’s response to outbreaks and investigations. In 2009, Dr. Levinson was awarded the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) Fellowship and served at the Iowa State Public Health Laboratory.  As a fellow she coordinated the state’s influenza testing and surveillance response during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.  Throughout her career, she has served as a research mentor to six students and supervised two college interns while at the State of Alaska Environmental Health Laboratory.  She has a passion for science outreach and education and has taught at multiple institutions to students at a variety of levels, ranging from high school to medical residents.  Dr. Levinson has served on the Iowa Food Safety Task Force, presented at STEM conferences, and participated in career panels at local and national meetings. 

    ASM Activities:
    Leadership: President of ASM Student Chapter- Eastern New York Branch (2014-2016)
    Outreach: ASM Live Theater at Microbe 2017- Served on the career panel for the live session entitled “Microbiology Careers: An Insiders’ Guide to Finding a Job?”
    Conference Awards:
    -       Infectious Diseases Fellows Program Travel Award, ASM Microbe (2017)
    -       Best Poster, ASM Conference on Rapid Next-Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatic Pipelines for Enhanced Molecular Epidemiologic Investigation of Pathogens (2015)
    -       Student Travel Award, ASM Conference on Rapid Next-Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatic Pipelines for Enhanced Molecular Epidemiologic Investigation of Pathogens (2015)
    -       Student Travel Award, ASM General Meeting, Eastern New York Branch (2014, 2015) 

    Publications:
    Levinson et al, Vaccine, 2016. PMID: 27773473
    Levinson et al, J Immunol Methods, 2015. PMID: 25865265
    Levinson et al, Infect Immun, 2015. PMID: 25667263
    Manuscripts in Process:
    Baranova et al, PLoS One. Submitted May 2017.
    Levinson & Gilligan, Clinical Microbiology Newsletter. Submitted March 2017. 

    Research Interests:
    -       Host-pathogen interaction
    -       Integration of next generation sequencing technology in the clinical microbiology and public health laboratories
    -       Science policy and updating regulations to reflect modern molecular techniques to meet the needs of epidemiologists, clinicians, and public health laboratorians.

    Candidate’s Statement:
    It is an honor to be nominated to run for election for the Early Career At-Large position. Serving on ASM’s Board of Directors would allow me to give back to the organization that has helped lay the framework of my career and enabling me to do the same for future scientists.

    I joined ASM as a graduate student and have had the privilege to participate at both the regional and national levels.  I served as President of the student chapter of the Eastern NY branch of ASM, where I orchestrated research symposia, career panels and social events aimed at increasing participation of early career scientists.  I have served on ASM committees and task forces at the national level, where I helped to shape the strategic direction of the Society, ensuring that it continues to meet the needs of all ASM members.

    My career path encompasses a wide range of microbiology experience, including work in public health, clinical microbiology, and the academic research setting.  If elected to the Early Career At-Large position, I would bring perspective, leadership, and a comprehensive understanding of the priorities of each field within microbiology. I will be an advocate for the next generation of scientists, work to ensure that the Society remains relevant to their needs, and help to retain these members throughout their career trajectory.

    The ways in which we conduct, learn, and communicate our science is changing and the mechanisms by which ASM will meet those needs are changing as well.  By serving on the Board of Directors, I can promote the mission and goals of the Society through increased engagement of young scientists.  I remain committed to advancing the microbial sciences and it would be a privilege to serve on the ASM Board of Directors.

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      Board of Directors, International Scientist - Select One

    PATRICIO L. ACOSTA 
    PhD, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Incumbent

     acosta

    Education:
    Bachelor of Science – Colegio Gdor. Mariano Saavedra. Master of Science in Genetics – Universidad Nacional del Nordeste (UNNE). Doctor in immunopathology – School of Medicine – Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA).

    Professional Experience:
    Dr. Patricio Acosta is an Assistant Professor at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, CONICET (Argentina) and at the School of Medicine – Universidad de Buenos Aires. He received his MSc with concentration in genetics from the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste and his doctorate in immunopathology from the Universidad de Buenos Aires with the highest honors (summa cum laude). Following his graduate training, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship training program at Fundacion INFANT under the supervision of Dr. Fernando Polack. During 2010-11 he worked as research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. James Crowe Jr. at Vanderbilt University. Since 2011, he has led the team responsible of the laboratory viral diagnoses for a huge study funded (for the first time in Argentina) by the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation. His work combines the virological laboratory diagnostics and investigation. He has received among other distinctions, awards and recognitions from the Argentine Chamber of deputies, Argentine Senate, Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, the Sociedad Argentina de Microbiología, the Entre Ríos government, the Argentine National Educational Ministry, the International Society of Influenza and Respiratory Viruses, the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, the Macrae Foundation and the International Society for Infectious diseases. Finally, last year he received the Young Investigator Award 2016 from the Pan-American Society for Clinical Virology. On the other hand, he has been engaged in teaching undergraduate courses at the Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Universidad de Buenos Aires and has also served as mentor in the “Translational Health Science Internship in Argentina”, a program from Georgetown University (USA). Finally, is appropriate to mention that Dr. Acosta is guest editor of Mediators of Inflammation Journal.

    ASM Activities:
    Since 2013 ASM Science Ambassador, aims to mobilize next generation of scientists to develop innovative approaches to science. Met with different colleagues from Argentina and around the world, including the ASM ambassadors from more than 50 countries. Last 3 years, represented ASM in several meetings and events in Argentina. In 2016, was elected one of 8 members of ASM Young Leaders circle, which delineates science ambassadors program. Finally, this year he was elected as a member of the Board of Directors.

    Publications:
    In last 5 years, 14 publications with 5 as first author.

    Research Interests:
    Dr. Acosta research interests include understanding the pathogenesis of respiratory viruses (RSV, Rhinovirus & Influenza) and the host immune response to viral infection, particularly in low-income pediatric populations. His principal aim is to develop research initiatives that translate laboratory findings into interventions with direct impact on the welfare of children.

    Candidate’s Statement:
    ASM is a worldwide distinguished institution. I am honored to be chosen to be on the ballot for the ASM BOD. As indicated in my biography, I am a virologist with a research focus in respiratory pathogens. My research interest includes the pathogenesis of respiratory viruses (RSV, Rhinovirus & Influenza) and the host immune response to viral infection, particularly in low-income pediatric populations.

    I have been an active ASM member for many years. Most of my volunteer activities for our Society have been within the international area. I was elected ASM Young Ambassador (2013-2016), Young Leader Circle member (2016-17) and Board of Directors member (2017). I am very proud to be part of ASM and feel extraordinarily privileged to be part of the leadership of our Society.

    My volunteerism has been the basis of immense satisfaction in my professional life but on the other hand, I have made friends in the five continents, also members of this big family.

    I encourage all of you to become active in ASM and take a role in our future because our Society must continue to promote the viability of a scientific discipline that is so important to our health, and to the health of the planet on which we live.

    I am truly honored to be invited to stand for election as BOD member of our Society; I am sure that with your support, the success is guaranteed.

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    RON XAVIER
    New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, Wellington, New Zealand

    xavier

    Education:

    Doctor of Philosophy
    Master of Medical Science
    Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science)

    Professional Experience:
    Ron has a wide range of experience in research, clinical diagnostic science, applied science in the food industry, policy and trade. His work ranged from wet-bench research high throughput applied and diagnostic testing, development and implementation of food standards, to agricultural and food safety cooperation activities at international levels.

    • Senior Adviser, Policy and Trade Branch, New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries
    • Adviser, Food Production and Processing, New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries
    • Scientist, Food and Bio-based Products, New Zealand AgResearch
    • Technician, Diagnostic Molecular Biology, New Zealand Waikato District Health Board
    • Technician, Quality Assurance, Fonterra Chemistry Laboratory

    Outside of employment, Ron also holds positions in leadership, governance, communication and diplomacy, including:

    • Director of Communications, New Zealand Asia Pacific Research Institute
      • Led the modernization of membership engagement channels for Asia Forum of Wellington
      • Lead the communication strategy for the Asia Forum of Wellington membership and public engagement
    • Leadership Network Member, Asia New Zealand Foundation
      • Involved in non-official diplomacy channels through science cooperation and cultural exchanges

    ASM Activities:
    ASM member since 2009

    • Served two terms as the ASM Young Ambassador of Science to New Zealand (2013-2017)
    • Member of the ASM Futures Project (2014-2016)
    • Member of the ASM Young Leader Circle (2015-2017)

    Publications:
    Effect of Long-Term Starvation on the Survival, Recovery, and Carbon Utilization Profiles of a Bovine Escherichia coli O157:H7 Isolate from New Zealand. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. July 2014 vol. 80 no. 14 4383-4390.

    Early-career scientists on careers, communication, and policy making. ASM Cultures Magazine. January 2014 vol. 1 issue 1 40-49.

    Research Interests:
    Ron’s passion is to bring together technical, policy and commercial perspectives to achieve material results with measurable impact. His latest interest is in exploring cooperation opportunities at international level to advance technological development and exchange as well as diplomatic outcomes. This includes scientists/technical personnel exchange, educational programs, and technical comparison of regulatory requirements.

    Candidate’s Statement:
    The ecosystem of science is changing at a global level, and with it come new challenges for ASM members all over the world.

    Ron’s wide-ranging experience in science and related industries gave him the unique perspective and skillset to solicit, communicate and represent the varying needs of ASM members working in different fields

    He brings to this position the willingness to listen and learn, the skills to communicate the perspectives of many, and the governance and leadership experience to support the operational needs of the ASM Board of Directors.

    Ron started in ASM as a passive international member with little understanding of the breadth and depth of the society. The ASM Young Ambassador of Science program not only changed his career path, the program connected him to fellow Young Ambassadors and Senior Ambassadors in the global ASM family and the voices of ASM international members.

    Through engaging with ASM international members with diverse cultural backgrounds in different science systems, Ron understands that all ASM members have the same basic needs of being supported and represented by a society that advances their career in the ever-changing world of science.

    From a passive student member to an active participant in shaping the future of ASM though the Futures Project, Ron experienced first-hand the evolution of the society. Now his passion is to serve the society on its journey to continue the long ASM tradition of nurturing, developing and representing its members around the world.

     

    Council on Microbial Sciences, Early Career Scientist - Select One

    JEFFREY MALOY
    Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles

    Incumbent

     Maloy

    Education:
    2017 Ph.D. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles; 2011 B.S. in Molecular Biology, University of California, San Diego

    Professional Experience:
    2017-Present DBER Fellow – Develop undergraduate introductory life sciences curriculum, teach undergraduate introductory biology courses, collect data on efficacy of interventions meant to enhance student learning and promote equity and retention in STEM majors at UCLA; 2016-2017 Teaching Assistant Consultant, University of California, Los Angeles - Organized workshops and two UCLA courses to train new TAs and familiarize them with active learning techniques; 2016-2017 Staff Writer, Signal to Noise Magazine; 2016-2017 Vice President, SciComm Hub @ UCLA; 2014 STEAM Carnival outreach facilitator, 2014 Student Mentor, CityLab at UCLA

    ASM Activities:
    2017-Present Early Career Scientist Representative for Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS); 2017-Present ASM Communications Committee Member; 2017-Present Contributing Author, Microcosm Magazine; 2015-2016 Contributing Author, Microbe magazine; 2016 Poster presentation at ASM Microbe Conference; 2014 Poster presentation at ASM General Meeting

    Selected Publications:

    Maloy, Jeffrey P. “Branches and Chapters: ASM at the Local Level.” Microcosm Magazine. 1.3 (2017). In press.

    Maloy, Jeffrey P. “ASM Member Profiles.” Recurring feature in Microcosm Magazine 1.1-1.3 (2017). Print.

    Maloy, Jeffrey P. "Different Strokes: Blending Microbiology and Art." Microbe Magazine 11.12 (2016): 421-26. Print.

    Maloy, Jeffrey P. "I, Cannibal: The Critical Role of Autophagy In Human Physiology." Signal to Noise. 4 Oct. 2016. Web.

    Maloy, Jeffrey P. “Hard to Swallow: Outbreaks at Chipotle Restaurants Mimic Broader Patterns of Foodborne Illness in the United States.” Signal to Noise. 4 March 2016. Web.

    Erickson, Stacy L., Elizabeth O. Corpuz, Jeffrey P. Maloy, Christy Fillman, Kristofer Webb, Eric J. Bennett, and Jens Lykke-Andersen. "Competition between Decapping Complex Formation and Ubiquitin-Mediated Proteasomal Degradation Controls Human Dcp2 Decapping Activity." Molecular and Cellular Biology 35.12 (2015): 2144-153. Web.

    Research Interests:
    As a discipline-based education research fellow, my research is focused on understanding the factors that maximize learning gains and promote retention of a diverse group of undergraduate students in life sciences majors. Specifically, I am currently focused on understanding how interesting anecdotes, or “seductive details,” that instructors commonly insert into lectures impact student learning, interest, and self-efficacy.

    Candidate’s Statement:
    During the year I have served as the Early Career Scientist Representative on COMS, I have taken on a variety of roles that will help undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and other early career microbial scientists interested in broadening their experience and advancing their careers.

    One major advantage of the new governance structure of ASM is the amplification of diverse voices within the ASM membership, including the voices of younger microbial scientists. Based on survey data that ASM has collected, it is clear that there is a real need for more and richer opportunities for career exploration and mentoring opportunities for early career members. Over the past year, I have been closely involved in the development of a career mentoring program that ASM hopes to pilot in the coming year and will subsequently make available to a broad range of early career scientists. If I am elected to another term on COMS, I hope to continue this effort and make this a resource that will provide important career assistance and add value to ASM membership for a wide variety of microbial scientists.

    In addition to my efforts to enhance career mentoring opportunities at ASM, I have been involved in a variety of other efforts to expand the appeal of ASM by enhancing outreach to members with diverse careers and interests. As a member of the Profession of Microbial Sciences (POMS) track on COMS, I have worked with other councilors to identify some important opportunities for ASM to assist members in connecting across traditional disciplinary and career boundaries. I am also currently a member of the ASM communications committee, where I am working alongside other ASM members to ensure that all of our members and potential members are aware of the incredible array of resources and opportunities that ASM already provides. Finally, over the past two years I have been a regular contributor to Microbe Magazine and Microcosm Magazine, where I have written profiles of ASM members, a piece on ASM local branches and chapters, and an article about the intersection of microbiology and art.

    In summary, I believe that I am a uniquely qualified and engaged early career scientist in an excellent position to champion the diverse interests and needs of other early career ASM members and potential members. During the year that I have served on COMS, I have solicited and received input from many early career scientists regarding how ASM can better serve their needs, and many of my efforts described above have been informed by that input. If I am chosen to serve another term as the Early Career Scientist Representative on COMS, I will continue my efforts to listen to early career ASM members, develop a formal mentoring program, and enhance outreach and communication efforts that will benefit not only early career members, but also the ASM membership as a whole.

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    PATRICIA SIMNER
    PhD, D(ABMM), Assistant Professor of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Director of Medical Bacteriology and Parasitology Laboratories, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD

     Simner

    Education:
    She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Manitoba in Manitoba, Canada and a two year Clinical Microbiology Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  Dr. Simner is a certified Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology.

    Professional Experience:
    Dr. Simner is a member of the Subcommittee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing for the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, a member of the American Board of Medical Microbiology exam validation committee for the American College of Microbiology and a member of the Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Taskforce for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    ASM Activities:
    Dr. Simner has been an ASM member since 2006.  She has contributed to ASM by serving as an editorial board member for the ASM Journal of Clinical Microbiology and by writing chapters for ASM press books. She has also acted as an abstract reviewer for the ASM General Meeting & Microbe meetings and an ASM representative on the FDA-CDC led endoscope culturing guidelines committee.

    Publications:
    For a young researcher, she is well published with greater than 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 9 book chapters. She has also presented her research at local, regional, national and international conferences.

    Research Interests:
    Her research has focused on understanding the epidemiology and molecular mechanisms of resistance of Gram-negative bacteria, in particular those harboring β-lactamase enzymes. With the increasing prevalence of carbapenemase-producing organism (CPO), her focus has evolved to studying novel diagnostic methods for the detection of these clinically important pathogens and understanding their mechanisms of resistance and spread in the hospital setting.  Dr. Simner is currently the principal investigator for a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant which seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and spread amongst all CPO in a region of the US endemic for CPO.  In addition, she is involved in many interdisciplinary collaborative research projects, including a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Epicenter grant and a NIH R01 subaward with the University of Michigan.  She is also interested in novel diagnostic tools for infectious diseases and is actively involved in validating metagenomic next-generation sequencing as a diagnostic tool.

    Candidate’s Statement:
    It is with great excitement and honor that I stand for nomination for the ASM Council on Microbial Sciences as the Early Career At-Large Representative. ASM is the premier society that represents our academic interests and the Council on Microbial Sciences helps to establish the scientific direction of the society for our members. I am well qualified to stand for this position, for multiple reasons that I outline below. Currently, I hold a combined clinical and research appointment in a large hospital based-academic medical center, allowing me to represent both aspects of our community at large.  As a clinical microbiologist, I am interested in novel diagnostic tools for infectious diseases and I currently spear-head the applications of next-generation sequencing in the diagnostic laboratory.  This experience is beneficial to the community as next-generation sequencing technology broadly impacts many of the tracks that fall under the COMs umbrella. In addition, I understand the issues currently affecting the clinical scientists in our community.  As a researcher, I study the molecular mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance and spread of multidrug-resistant pathogens with emphasis on carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative organisms.  I am well published in these areas with greater than 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 9 book chapters. As we enter an era where microbial pathogens have successfully evaded most of the antimicrobials in our arsenal, we need to pursue high quality research from many different fields to overcome this critical problem. Currently, I’m the principal investigator for a NIH award and I am involved in multiple interdisciplinary collaborative research projects addressing this global issue, including a CDC Epicenter grant and a NIH R01 subaward with the University of Michigan. These translational studies have the potential to impact infection control and antimicrobial stewardship guidelines while providing the basis of understanding at a molecular level of how these organisms develop resistance and spread in the hospital setting. As a researcher, I understand the importance of funding sources to fuel our scientific programs and educational tools to advance our scientific knowledge. Additionally, I have been an ASM member since 2006 starting as a graduate student, then as a postdoctoral fellow and now as a faculty member with an academic appointment, which will contribute to my understanding of the various levels of membership that I will be representing. As a member I am/have contributed to our society by serving as an editorial board member for the ASM Journal of Clinical Microbiology and by writing chapters for ASM Press books. I have been an abstract reviewer for the ASM General Meeting & Microbe meetings and I represented ASM on the FDA-CDC led endoscope culturing guidelines committee. I have been fortunate to be a recipient of travel awards from ASM while I was a student and I was recently named the recipient of the ASM 2018 Diagnostics Young Investigator Award. I look forward to further contributing to our wonderful society by being the voice of my peers to help shape the future of ASM. This position is an ideal opportunity for me to fulfill my desire to build upon my contributions by advancing the future direction and scope of our society.

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    Council on Microbial Sciences, International Scientists - Select Two

    JUDITH ARMITAGE
    FRS, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

    ARMITAGE

    Education:
    BSc (hons) University College London; PhD in Microbiology University College London

    Professional Experience:
    University of Oxford: Lecturer (1985) and the full professor (1996) in Bacterial Biochemistry

    HONOURS AND RECOGNITION

    • 1995 Elected Fellow, Lister Institute
    • 1997 Elected Fellow, University College London
    • 2004 Elected Chair, Gordon Conference (STIM)
    • 2004 Elected Chair, ESF Conference in Bacterial Neural Networks
    • 2010 Elected Member EMBO
    • 2011 Faculty of 1000, Co-Head Microbial Growth and Development section
    • 2011 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
    • 2011 Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Biology
    • 2013 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society
    • 2015 Elected Member of European Academy of Microbiology
    • 2015 Governor and Trustee Lister Institute 2015-2020

    ACHIEVEMENTS

    • Published ~200 papers since 1974
    • Presented ~125 invited lectures at international conferences and workshops
    • Organised and/or Chaired 17 conferences.
    • 50+ Overseas, 50+ UK invited seminars.
    • Supervised 40+ students to the degree of PhD and trained 30+ postdoctoral scientists;
    • Uninterrupted external support of research programme from 1982:
    • Director OCISB 2006-2012 (£8.4m)
    • Co-PI Systems Biology DTC (~£4m) and Synthetic Biology CDT

    ADMINISTRATION: NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL (post 2008)

    • Netherlands Expert panel on Systems Biology 2008-2010
    • Wellcome Trust MGC Committee 2009-2011
    • Human Frontiers of Science Programme: Council of Scientists, 2008-2012
    • BBSRC Enhancing Photosynthesis Panel Chair 2010-2011
    • Governing Council, John Innes Research Centre, 2009-2011
    • German Federal Ministry of Education, Systems Biology Advisory Group 2011-2013
    • Advisory Council of the Dutch NCSB program 2010-2014
    • Scientific Advisory Board, John Innes Research Centre, 2010-2016
    • Advisory Committee of Swammerdam Institute, University of Amsterdam, 2002-2010
    • Advisory Board, Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, 2005-2010
    • Advisory Board, Netherlands Consortium for Systems Biology, 2010-2014
    • Advisory Board, Microsoft Research, University of Trento, 2007-2010
    • Advisory Board, Systems Centre, University of Freiburg 2008-2014
    • Programme committee ASM Annual meeting, 2012-16
    • Governor and Trustee Lister Institute 2015-2020
    • Review of Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam and Frei University 2017

    ADMINISTRATION: OXFORD

    • Associate Head of Department (Microbiology and Systems Biology) 2006-present
    • Graduate Committee, Biochemistry (2010-present)
    • Management Committee Systems Biology DTC 2006-present
    • Management Committee Synthetic Biology CDT 2015-present
    • Sub-Warden, Merton College Oxford 2016-2018

    JOURNALS AND GENERAL REVIEWING

    • Editor in chief: Current Opinion in Microbiology 2016-2020
    • Editor: Journal of Bacteriology 2005-2015
    • Editorial Advisory Boards: Molecular Microbiology 2002-2007.
    • Referee for wide range international agencies, appointments panels and review panels

    ASM Activities:

    • Editorial Board: AEM 2000-2005
    • Editor: Journal of Bacteriology 2005-2015
    • Programme committee: ASM annual meeting then Microbe 2012-2017

    Publications:

    ~200 publications (not all in PubMed)  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=armitage+jp

    Research Interests:
    I am a basic bacterial physiologist, interested primarily in how bacteria behave. My main research has concentrated on motility and chemotaxis in a range of species, but this has led to recent studies of the Type 3 Secrection System and chromosome segregation and cell division in the alpha proteobacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. I am question rather than technique driven and use a wide range of approaches from molecular genetics through biochemistry to biophysics and state of the art microscopy. Most of my recent work has involved studying protein behavior in living single cells.

    Candidate’s Statement:
    I became a bacteriologist because of an inspirational biology teacher who persuaded a small school in Yorkshire to buy some microscopes. Once I saw the thriving, interactive microscopic community in a drop of pond water I was hooked, fascinated by how their responses to their world. I have been immensely privileged to spend my career investigating that behaviour.

    My first and second degrees are in bacteriology and I have spent my academic career teaching bacterial physiology. I am still driven by a desire to understand how bacteria sense and respond to their environment, but now, rather than watching cells move, I can watch single molecules inside living cells control that movement. The changes in technology during the 40 years of my career have been truly remarkable. I have grasped and used those new technologies, whether microscopes, genetic tools or computational approaches and used them to both “see” inside the living bacterial cell to observe the complex dynamics of interactions and expression patterns and to look outside at population and species interactions and their interplay with the wider biological and physical worlds.

    However, we need to ensure that the drive to use exciting new approaches does not overshadow the continued need to understand and appreciate that it is all underpinned by biochemistry and physiology. I continue to fight for the teaching of basic bacterial physiology and biochemistry and the evolution of chemistries that allow bacteria to live in really exciting environments. That said I am not a reductionist. I want to understand how the multiple biochemical pathways expressed and controlled by environmental signals result in the observed behavior of single cells and population.

    I am concerned about the increase in expensive technology driving the direction of our science. High profile journals want increasingly exclusive images. These can both skew the definition of “important” and move the focus to big labs and big equipment, resulting in self-fulfilling results. We need to ensure that not all important developments come from the big labs with the big kit and champion the view that really important understanding can come from smaller groups doing “clever” experiments, often with citizen scientists and often in the wider environment.

    The last point links to my other concern, the drive by funding agencies to support research linked directly to exploitable outcomes, very often disease. The vast majority of bacterial species are not pathogens, but they are essential for the wellbeing of almost all of the planet. It is now evident that, for example, soil is key to crop success, and depends on the bacterial and fungal communities in the rhizosphere. Similarly water, ocean and built environments respond to their microbial communities. This all links to basic bacterial physiology and responses of different species within communities to change.

    I will bring my passion for connecting our developing understanding of bacterial physiology within the biosphere to the position, informed by my roles in the European Academy of Microbiology and the Royal Society.

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    PAUL D. BROWN
    PhD, Professor and Head, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Kingston, Jamaica

    Incumbent

    BROWN

    Education:

    BSc(Hons) with double major in Biochemistry & Chemistry. The UWI, Mona, Jamaica. 1989
    MPhil     in Biochemistry. The UWI, Mona, Jamaica. 1992
    PhD in Microbiology (advisor, Paul N. Levett, PhD). The UWI, Cave Hill, Barbados. 1995

    Professional Experience:
    1999–2001, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Chemistry and Medical Technology, Northern Caribbean University, Mandeville, Jamaica; 2001–2009, Lecturer in Microbiology, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Biochemistry Section, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2003-present, Graduate Course Coordinator, BAMS6011/BC60B: Understanding Research; 2003-2009, Chair, Staff/Student Liaison Committee, Biochemistry section, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2009-2017, Senior Lecturer, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Biochemistry Section, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2012-present, Council member, International Society of Infectious Diseases; 2013-present, Member, FMS Sub-Committee for Research, UWI, Mona; 2014-present, Chair, Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS) Annual Research Conference and Workshop Organizing Committee, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2014-present, Member, FMS Committee for Annual Research Awards; 2015-present, President, West Indies Group of University Teachers (WIGUT) Jamaica; 2015-present, Member, Health Services Committee, UWI, Mona; 2016-present, Head, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2016-2017, Deputy Dean, Allied Health, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica; 2017-present, Professor of Molecular Biology, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Biochemistry Section, The UWI, Mona, Jamaica.

    ASM Activities:
    2004-present, ASM member; 2008-2010, Country Liaison for Jamaica; 2010-2012, ASM Ambassador for Central America and Caribbean Basin; 2011, Recognized for outstanding service to the International Board; 2012-present, ASM Ambassador to Jamaica; April/May 2014, ASM Ambassador Task Force (Developed white paper outlining the structure and role of an Ambassador Leadership Circle, whose function was to provide strategic direction/stewardship for the Ambassador Program; to allow the International Board (IB) to effectively leverage the Ambassador network to support related initiatives; and to facilitate international volunteers to serve on other ASM leadership bodies); 2014-2016, Appointed member and Chair of inaugural Ambassador Leadership Circle (Provided leadership and oversight of ASM’s strategic direction in terms of communication between members and Ambassadors, international grants and fellowships, and Ambassador Orientation); 2014-2015, Chair, Evaluation Committee for Country Ambassadors (Oversaw the review and appointment of 25 new Ambassadors in October 2014 and 33 new Ambassadors, incl. an Ambassador Council to India in November 2015; 2014-2015, Member, Membership Board Task Force, which was established to review the tiered membership system; 2014-2015, Member of the review committee for the Makela Cassell Travel Award sponsored by FEMS; 2015-2016, Member, International Board; 2017-present, Member and Vice-Chair, Council on Microbial Sciences.

    Publications:
    57 peer-reviewed publications, review articles, conference proceedings or book chapters.

    Research Interests:
    My laboratory has been involved in two main aspects of research: Molecular mechanisms of Leptospira pathogenesis, and antibiotic resistance gene regulation in bacterial of public health interest.

    There is a reported 27/100,000 incidence rate for leptospirosis in Jamaica, where two endemic Leptospira strains are responsible for most of the human seroconversions. Current research underway involves identification and characterization of Leptospira virulence-associated genes that are regulated by environmental parameters in challenging the hypothesis that expression of virulence in Leptospira interrogans Portlandvere is more responsive to changes in temperature, oxidative stress and iron limitation than for Leptospira borgpetersenii Jules. The antibiotic resistance patterns and mechanisms of pathogenicity are being investigated in clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA), uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Our efforts have yielded fruit in terms of confirming the role of DNA adenine methylase in the epigenetic regulation of quinolone resistance and P fimbriae expression in UPEC, and virulence attenuation in Staphylococcus aureus using short RNAs using a Caenorhabditis elegans model. Currently, we are investigating the role of the stringent response in stress tolerance and antimicrobial resistance in K. pneumoniae and its contribution to in vivo pathogenesis.

    Candidate’s Statement:
    I am honored to be a nominee to continue to serve on the ASM Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS). These past several months have been a great experience as we have started to put some structure to the fledgling COMS. As Vice-Chair of COMS, I have had the opportunity to interact closely with so many others, who, like me, are deeply passionate about the potential for even further growth and development of ASM. While this growth and development take place, I am mindful that the diverse membership of ASM require special care to maintain the vibrancy and broad perspective needed for ideation and promotion of solutions to current and future problems in Microbiology. I feel I am well placed to lead in this capacity.

    As a basis, my extensive experience in ASM have included: service as Ambassador for Central America and Caribbean Basin (2010-2012), service as Chair of the inaugural Ambassador Leadership Circle (ALC; 2014-2016), and service as Country Ambassador to Jamaica (2012-2017). During this time, I worked as part of the International Board and provided leadership and oversight for ASM’s strategic direction in terms of communication between international members and Ambassadors, international grants and fellowships, and the appointment and orientation of over 40 Country Ambassadors. Educational outreach in Universities, poster prizes at local conferences, and interaction with sister microbiology societies have been features of my tenure over the past several years.

    Since 2014, I serve as President of the West Indies Group of University Teachers (WIGUT), a registered Trade Union which has members in 15 Caribbean countries, so I bring to the position negotiation and advocacy skills. Further, as Head of the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at The University of the West Indies and Professor of Molecular Biology, I have been able to excite both undergraduate and graduate students about science in general and the microbial sciences in particular. All of these positions have significant managerial and financial responsibilities, which will undoubtedly assist in the effective guiding of decisions and recommendations to be made by the COMS.

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    JOHN P. HAYS
    Dr. (PhD, PhD), Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam (Erasmus MC), Rotterdam, Zuid Holland, the Netherlands.

    Incumbent

    HAYS

    Education:

    PhD - 'The Genetic Diversity and Complement Resistance Phenotype of Moraxella catarrhalis’.
    Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 2000 - 2005.
    PhD - 'The Molecular Epidemiology of Human Coronavirus 229E'.
    University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.  1993 – 1996.  
    MSc (with Distinction) - Biomedical Science.
    Nottingham Polytechnic, Nottingham, UK    1990 – 1992.
    BSc - Biology with Food Science and Nutrition.
    Oxford Polytechnic, Oxford, UK    1983 – 1986.

    Professional Experience:
    European Union-Funded International Research

    Coordinator   -

    • 'Tailored Antimicrobial Treatment Regimens' (www.tailored-treatment.eu).
    • 'New Anti-Bacterials' (www.nabarsi.eu).
    • 'An Integrated Tool-Kit.' (www.tempotest-qc.eu).

    Principle Investigator -

    • 'Diagnosis for Personalized Monitoring and Treatment' (www.diagoras.eu).
    • 'Nanotherapeutics to Treat Antibiotic Resistant Gram-Negative Pneumonia' (www.pneumonp.eu).
    • 'Novel Prevention and Treatment for Otitis Media' (OMVac).
    • ‘Mobile Genetic Elements in Antimicrobial Drug Resistance (DRESP2).

    Co-Investigator -

    • Clinical Decision Support Platform for Pancreatic Cancer (Eurostars)
    • Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR )

    SCIENTIFIC EMPLOYMENT

    Clinical Scientist Grade B15
    Enteric and Respiratory Virus Laboratory, CPHL, London, UK. 1998 – 1999.
    Higher Scientific Officer 
    Virology and Molecular Methods Group, CSL, York, UK. 1997 - 1998.
    Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer 
    Microbiological Diagnostic Laboratory, QMC Hospital, Nottingham, UK. 1987 - 1993

    TEACHING and TRAINING EXPERIENCE
    BSc (3x) - 'Clinical Medicine', 'Clinical Technology', 'Life Sciences’.
    MSc - 'Infection and Immunity'.
    6 PhD students.

    MISCELLANEOUS

    1) Scientific Advisor - to a Member of the European Parliament.

    2) Scientific Board - Omnigen BV (www.omnigen.nl/en/about-omnigen-2/)

    3) European Scientific Advisory Board - GenePOC Inc. (www.genepoc-diagnostics.com/about/)

    ASM Activities:
    Experience as an 'International At-Large' representative in the inaugural (2017) ASM Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS). Involved in debating the structure and future direction of ASM.  The structure of COMS is still being molded and I feel that the mandatory 1 year term has been insufficient for me to fully contribute my ideas and opinions to ASM. Therefore, I am seeking re-election.

    Publications:
    62 Publications in Scientific Journals  e.g.

    1) Why is scientific research on ‘data-poor’ microorganisms being ignored? John P. Hays.
         Future Microbiology. May 2017 doi:10.2217/fmb-2017-0061.

    2) Current problems associated with microbiological point-of-care testing of respiratory tract  
         infections in primary care. Future Microbiology. 2016. doi 10.2217/fmb-2015-0020.

    3) Novel micelle PCR-based method for accurate, sensitive and quantitative microbiota profiling.
        Sci Rep. 2017. doi:  10.1038/srep45536.

    6x Book Chapters  e.g
    “The Genus Moraxella.”. 2005. Dworkin et al. (Eds.) ISBN: 978-0-387-25496-8.

    2x Authorships of Books e.g.
    1) Principles and Technical Aspects of PCR Amplification. 2008. ISBN 978-4020-6240-7.

    1x Book Editor
    New Technologies in Medical Microbiology and Diagnosis. 2012. eISBN: 978-1-60805-316-2.

    Research Interests:
    My research interests have been varied, ranging from the pathogenesis of (bacterial and viral) respiratory tract pathogens to antibiotic resistance and molecular microbiological diagnostics. Though, I have not followed the path of a 'typical' scientist during my career, my broad experience is allowing me to generate new synergies between my research interests and (for example) colleagues in the fields of bioinformatics and microbiota research.

    Candidate’s Statement:
    ASM is the leading global authority on policy, research, teaching, training, diagnostics and professional standards in microbiology. However, in order to maintain its leading position, the society needs to continually assess the performance of its current strategies, whilst look to the future in order to predict and pro-actively adapt to changing microbiological trends at the global level.

    In this respect, I foresee that the ASM's major areas of focus will continue to be the fostering of worldwide monitoring, training, teaching  and research programs to combat global infectious disease endemics and epidemics and antimicrobial  resistances—including antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic and antibacterial infections. However, further advances could be made in developing communications with small and large companies, creating new online educational packages (including Massive Open Online Courses - MOOCS) and exploring new intersections between contrasting areas of scientific research with microbiology.

    Looking to the future, I see a pressing requirement for continuing ASM contributions towards the development of non-partisan infectious disease policy documents and research relating to (for example) the effect of extreme weather, mass migration and environmental pollution on human and animal health at the global scale.  For example, think about the recent extreme weather conditions (hurricanes, drought, etc.) experienced in the USA and across the world. Also, note the recent outbreak of cholera in Yemen (the largest ever recorded!). ASM should be a leader in proactively promoting the development of integrated global microbiological research plans, possibly via promoting joint funding opportunities and collaborative roadmaps between international funding bodies, as well as promoting research on new antibiotics, vaccines and diagnostics.

    These are some of the suggestions that I think will help maintain and promote ASM as a leader and the trusted global source for information in the field of global microbiology.

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    JÖRG VOGEL
    Director and full professor of the Institute of Molecular Infection Biology (IMIB), Acting director of the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI), Würzburg, Germany

    vogel

    Education:
    1999                        Dr. rer. nat., Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
    1997                        Diplom Biochemistry, Humboldt University
    1994                        Undergraduate Biochemistry, Imperial College London, UK

    Professional Experience:
    2017 - present       Acting director, Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research, Würzburg, Germany
    2009 - present       Director and Full Professor, Institute of Molecular Infection Biology, University of Würzburg, Germany
    2004 - 2010           Max Planck Research Group Leader, MPI for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany
    2002 - 2003           EMBO Fellow, Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel
    2000 - 2001           Postdoc, Department of Cell & Molecular Biology, Uppsala University, Sweden

    ASM Activities:
    Elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (2013)
    Organizer of the ASM conference on “Regulating with RNA in Bacteria” (2011)
    Symposium Chair “Beyond the Central Dogma: Diversity in Regulation of Gene expression” (2012)

    Publications:
    Westermann AJ, Förstner KU, Amman F, Barquist L, Chao Y, Schulte LN, Müller L, Reinhardt R, Stadler PF, Vogel J (2016)
    Dual RNA-seq unveils noncoding RNA functions in host-pathogen interactions
    Nature 529:496-501

    Smirnov A, Förstner KU, Holmqvist E, Otto A, Günster R, Becher D, Reinhardt R, Vogel J (2016)
    Grad-seq guides the discovery of ProQ as a major small RNA binding protein
    PNAS 113(41):11591-6

    Papenfort K, Sun Y, Miyakoshi M, Vanderpool CK, Vogel J (2013)
    Small RNA-mediated activation of sugar phosphatase mRNA regulates glucose homeostasis
    Cell 153:426–437

    Deltcheva E, Chylinski K, Sharma CM, Gonzales K, Chao Y, Pirzada ZA, Eckert MR, Vogel J, Charpentier E (2011)
    CRISPR RNA maturation by trans-encoded small RNA and host factor RNase III
    Nature 471(7340):602-7

    Sharma CM, Hoffmann S, Darfeuille F, Reignier J, Findeiß S, Sittka A, Chabas S, Reiche K, Hackermüller J, Reinhardt R, Stadler PF, Vogel J (2010)
    The primary transcriptome of the major human pathogen Helicobacter pylori
    Nature 464(7285)250-255

    Research Interests:
    My laboratory of RNA Biology at the IMIB is interested in the discovery and functional characterization of small RNAs in pathogenic bacteria as well as of microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs in infected eukaryotic host cells. We use global approaches including deep sequencing, to identify regulatory RNAs and their targets, and biochemical and genetic analyses to decipher new molecular mechanisms and physiological consequences of RNA-based regulation.

    With the recent foundation of the HIRI in May 2017, we are now extending the scope of the IMIB by establishing the first research institution worldwide that bridges the areas of RNA research and infectious diseases.

    Our major goals at the HIRI are:

    • Resolving the complexity and heterogeneity of infection processes at the single-cell level
    • Identifying novel regulatory RNAs with essential roles in pathogenesis
    • Understanding RNA-based mechanisms in virulence and host defence
    • Developing innovative delivery techniques for RNA-based interventions
    • Exploiting RNA knowledge for new diagnostics, preventives and anti-infectives

    Candidate’s Statement:
    I am delighted to have been selected for the ballot as At-large Councilor of the ASM. I would be honored to join the COMS because I view it as a splendid opportunity to support the BOD by spreading the voice of my peers and to promote the field of RNA research in microbes.

     

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    At-Large Representative to the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) Position Description

    Main Functions

    The ASM Council on Microbial Sciences At-Large members advance ASM and microbial sciences by scanning the environment and advising the Board of Directors (BOD) on scientific and programmatic matters. COMS members bring a key perspective which represents the diversity of microbial sciences and demographics that exist within ASM. The COMS partners with the BOD and staff to shape and lead ASM and microbial sciences into the future.

    COMS has several key distinctive functions:

     

    • Is the “creative mind” of the Society that generates and deliberates on microbial sciences-related ideas, issues, and programs. The COMS has its radar screen set to scan the horizon to detect and anticipate trends in the field.
    • Informs and advises the BOD on scientific opportunities and threats, suggesting policies, actions, and programs that need to be taken or initiated to advance the microbial sciences
    • Works in partnership with the BOD and staff and seeks BOD approval for resources for scientific programmatic activities deemed a priority by the COMS
    • Works in partnership with the BOD and staff to explore feasibility and implementation of programs
    • Identifies and makes recommendations to the BOD for discontinuation of scientific programs deemed no longer essential for the future of microbial sciences
    • Considers petitions to charter Branches and Divisions/Special Interest Groups (SIGs) at the programmatic level, and submits to the BOD for fiduciary review and approval 

    Terms

    At-Large Councilors are elected for a three-year term, renewable once. 

    Time Commitment

    At-Large members of COMS are required to attend one day-long, in-person meeting, held in conjunction with the ASM Microbe meeting. In addition, working groups and task forces of COMS could meet electronically throughout the year, possibly 3-4 times for a few hours each time. 

    Full participation requires reading background material in advance and collegial discussions and active work. This job requires a level of awareness of ASM strategic plan, activities, and responsiveness.

    Roles and Responsibilities

    • Advise the BOD and support ASM mission
    • Maintain awareness of emerging issues that could impact microbial sciences
    • Oversee and propose scientific and programmatic activities to advance microbial sciences through ASM activities
    • Understand and act within the financial and strategic framework set by the BOD
    • Engage members
    • Advance the vision, mission, and strategic plan of ASM
    • Bring a unique perspective within microbial sciences, keeping in mind your responsibility to act in the best interests of the organization, not of yourself, nor of any particular constituency
    • Build relationships internally and externally
    • Champion ASM and microbial sciences to all constituents and publics
    • Ensure good interaction with other components of the Society
    • Act as an ASM ambassador, encouraging others to get involved in volunteering at ASM
    • Utilize staff expertise
    • Get to know other COMS members and key staff
    • Be an active member of the COMS
    • Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in all COMS meetings
    • Be knowledgeable about the ASM bylaws, policies and procedures, strategic plan, and governance responsibilities of the COMS
    • Abide by the code of conduct and conflict of interest policies
    • Function at a strategic, not tactical or operational, level
    • Be cognizant that the authority rests with the COMS as a collective body, not to any one individual member or group of members
    • Participate in COMS orientation and be knowledgeable about effective governance

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    AT-LARGE POSITIONS FOR THE ASM BOARD OF DIRECTORS (BOD) POSITION DESCRIPTION

    Main Functions

    Members of the Board of Directors have the primary fiduciary responsibility for governance and the exercise and assignment of power of authority for the Society. It is the highest governing body of the Society which oversees all other bodies and functions. The Board of Directors (BOD) functions include:

    • Setting the strategic direction and upholding the objectives of the Society
    • Authorizing policy matters
    • Directing fiduciary, legal, and business decisions
    • Hiring and overseeing the work of the CEO
    • Upholding the strategies and measuring progress through objectives
    • Ensuring that the Society’s property, funds, and affairs are handled in conformity with the Bylaws and within the Articles of Incorporation of the Society under the statutes of the District of Columbia (D.C.)
    • Approving an annual budget

    The BOD delegates to the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) the role of identifying trends in science and suggesting programs that best capture and serve the future of microbial sciences and its workforce, and reserves for itself the role of approving them. The BOD delegates to the CEO responsibility for leading and managing operations. The BOD does not operate as an “outside examiner” of the Society; rather, it supports the roles of the COMS, Program Boards/Committees, CEO, and staff in a constructive partnership. The role of the BOD is to govern, the role of the COMS is to exercise oversight over scientific and programmatic activities; the CEO is responsible for implementation and operations.

    Directors are responsible, in partnership with other Board members and staff, for helping to shape and lead ASM to promote and advance microbial sciences. They accomplish their function by participating actively in Board meetings, guiding and overseeing the ASM strategic plan, and by performing fiduciary, strategic, and policy responsibilities.

    Term

    At-Large BOD members serve three year terms, and can be reelected only once.

    Time Commitment

    Directors are expected to attend all in-person meetings and phone calls. It is expected that the BOD will normally meet three times a year. One of the in-person meetings will be in conjunction with the ASM Microbe meeting.

    BOD members are expected to read the provided background material in advance and actively participate in meetings and calls. More calls could be scheduled throughout the year, if needed.

    BOD members are expected to participate in ASM Microbe meeting and other working groups or events that may require Directors’ presence. In total it is an expected time commitment of ~ 9-10 days per year.

    This job requires a level of awareness of ASM as an organization and responsiveness to ongoing Board work.

    Responsibilities

    • Set direction for ASM, after considering input from the Council of Microbial Sciences (COMS)
    • Establish the vision, mission, and strategic plan of ASM. Oversee the execution of the strategic direction of ASM
    • Articulate, safeguard, model, and promote ASM’s core values and principles
    • Act in the best interests of the organization as a whole, not for any individual, particular constituencies, or sub-discipline
    • Delegate authority for organizational and staff management to the CEO
    • Provide oversight and ensure resources
    • Be knowledgeable about the bylaws, policies and procedures, strategic plan, and governance responsibilities of the ASM BOD
    • Establish financial policies and ensure accountability
    • Ensure resource allocation is aligned with the ASM strategic plan
    • Ensure compliance with applicable laws and ethical standards
    • Receive and examine an annual audit of ASM by an independent auditor
    • Approve an annual budget and review performance of the annual operating plan and budget
    • Hire, support, and evaluate the CEO
    • Serve as an ambassador for ASM to promote and advance microbial sciences, by promoting ASM and encouraging others to get involved in volunteering at ASM
    • Utilize and respect staff expertise
    • Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in all Board of Directors meetings
    • Work collegially with other Board members and key staff by “holding their own” feeling safe to disagree without being disagreeable
    • Understand that the BOD is not a stakeholder group, rather a governing body; therefore, once a decision is made, it is the decision of the whole group
    • Know when and how to present views on policy or issues, knowing that the BOD needs to function as a group that makes decisions and is not simply a discussion forum
    • Understand and apply the provisions of fiduciary responsibility, the bylaws, and other policies
    • Abide by the code of conduct and conflict of interest policies
    • Function at a strategic, not tactical, level
    • Participate in periodic evaluation of the Board’s performance and contribute to ongoing improvement of ASM governance
    • Participate in Board orientation and be knowledge about effective governance

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    Proceedings from May 31, 2017 COMS meeting

    Proceedings from May 31, 2017 COMS meeting

    Reported by Victor J. DiRita, PhD; Chair, Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS)

    In June 2017, the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) held its inaugural meeting, thereby establishing a new dynamic governance structure that will represent the entire Society and promote and advance the microbial sciences.  COMS drives the science behind the organization—it is the foundry of ideas for the science of microbiology—and will advise the Board of Directors and work with program committees.

    As befits a body representing the broad spectrum of microbial sciences, COMS has over 90 members and includes Councilors from Branches and Divisions, Interdisciplinary Councilors, At-Large Councilors, ASM officers, the Chair of the Academy Board of Governors, Program Board/Committee Chairs, and the ASM CEO.

    To allow the group to work effectively and efficiently, some governing principles were established. With me and Paul D. Brown as newly-elected Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, the group got down to business.  The eight ASM Microbe meeting tracks served as convenient templates for building COMS around eight communities, and were proposed as the preliminary organizing system.  This guiding principle is just the first attempt at organization and will be further discussed and amended.  The clear intention is that ad hoc groups and subcommittees will emerge to address cross-cutting interests like undergraduate education, diversity in science, funding issues, and publishing. Extensive cross-pollination among the scientific disciplines is strongly encouraged! 

     

    As a reminder, the eight tracks are:

    Antimicrobial Agents and Resistance (AAR)

    Applied and Environmental Science (AES)

    Clinical Infections and Vaccines (CIV)

    Clinical and Public Health Microbiology (CPHM)

    Ecological and Evolutionary Science (EES)

    Host-Microbe Biology (HMB)

    Molecular Biology and Physiology (MBP)

    Profession of Microbiology (POM)

     

    COMS members were asked to identify a track to discuss and break into groups accordingly.  Each group was charged with:

    • Determining three or four important areas or trends in each track
    • Discussing how ASM can influence and capture opportunities to move those trends forward for the microbial sciences
    • Looking at areas such as advocacy, recognition in the field, and workforce issues

     

    The findings of these groups are detailed below

    After each group reported, we advised that the members should now think about how to advance some of the concepts discussed, engage each other via virtual meetings, and prioritize the way forward with common themes.  Paul encouraged members to communicate across tracks.

    Peggy Cotter, who became ASM President on July 1, commented that the discussions held in this first COMS meeting establish the way forward for ASM. She asked COMS members to get involved and seek input from their colleagues.

    With these important steps behind us, we now look to our members for feedback and thoughts.  To this end, I want to reiterate Peggy’s suggestion that you reach out to your colleagues, and to your COMS representatives, to discuss where you think COMS can have its greatest impact.  What hot new areas are emerging that the Society should be addressing?  And how should we do so?  Where are there new opportunities to promote our science, and to engage with each other within and across disciplines?    COMS members are rolling up our sleeves for the work ahead, and we need you to become involved.   This is your Society, and COMS is your voice within it.    

     

    WORKING GROUP REPORTS

    Track 1—Antimicrobial Agents and Resistance and Track 2—Clinical Infections and Vaccines 

    Key trends:

    1) Antimicrobial resistance and drug/vaccine development, especially finding agents that penetrate both(?) membranes

    • Play a key role to link people, ideas, and resources
    • Develop a portal or website to bring together those with common research goals, e.g., medicinal chemists, microbiologists, microbial physiologists, pharmacologists, and compounds
    • Use the same framework for vaccine development for immunologists, pharma, biotech, microbiologists to link to actigens, antigens, animals, and the knowledge
    • Use the same framework for microbiome research, e.g., biorepositories of biological specimens, researchers who do microbiology or microbiome sciences

    2) Microbiome and microbiome sciences

    3) Advocacy

    • Greater need for advocacy, not just society based, but at the individual level

    4) Education

    • Need to market microbial sciences to younger generations
    • Produce 20-second videos about meeting the microbiologist
    • Have lectures with basic content in microbiology for high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, medical students, and fellows in infectious disease
    • Have videos with tutorials summarizing the American Academy of Microbiology and all the publications; watching instead of reading
    • Provide short-term research experiences or symposia geared toward medical students

     

    Track 3—Applied and Environmental Science Mike McInerney and Rebecca Ferrell reported

    Key trends:

    1) Basic human needs—food, water, energy, health, and climate change

    • Influence disease propagation
    • Microbes are part of the climate change
    • Losing some constituents that are important for these groups, particularly the engineers
    • Loss of community and interaction
    • Make sure that posters in this track are well attended to keep the younger scientists wanting to come back
    • Start an online newsletter to interact and post new issues
    • Develop microbiology in developing nations, e.g., microbiologists without  borders with a forum where members could interact with expertise around the world
    • Develop community-wide resources to accompany this
    • Educate engineers about the language and jargon of this track because we don’t speak the same language
    • Issues around publishing because the issues are not very exciting
    • Environmental health intersects with public health, where we can make a great connection
    • Could invite engineers to ASM meetings and attend their meetings
    • Local or regional meetings could be very effective and less expensive
    • ASM as a clearinghouse for experts and listserves
    • They miss the mixers at the meeting.

     

    Track 4—Clinical and Public Health Microbiology – Tom Thomson reported

    Key trends:

    • Met last week as the first in a series of track retreats
    • Sent a survey to clinical colleagues and had them professionally evaluated and interpreted the survey during the meeting
    • Three areas needing attention over the next four years:

    1) Advocacy

    • Scientific and regulatory advocacy and advocacy for the workforce
    • Contract or hire scientific writer to respond quickly to the issues that impact the microbiology field

    2) Communications

    • Includes both inside and outside of ASM
    • No one in the group was familiar with how this track’s scientific program was planned this year.
    • Should be communicated clearly to all of the membership
    • Outside of ASM, the public needs to know who we are and the importance of our work.

    3) Workforce issues

    • Large number of peers retiring, i.e., technologists, and fewer people coming in trained at the bottom end
    • Provide training in the labs
    • Alert high school students, college students, and graduate students to all the technical career opportunities available
    • Disseminate minutes from this meeting and have a follow up conference call for this track
    • Tracks who have retreats should give a summary of how they’re doing
    • Develop goals and timelines for those goals
    • Give COMS an update every year

     

    Track 5—Ecological and Evolutionary Science Jay Lennon and Siobain Duffy reported

    Key trends:

    • This is an area of research that will continue to grow over the coming years.
    • Concepts of ecology and evolutionary biology tap into tools like genomics, metagenomics, experimental evolution, and address a range of important questions such as climate change and Microbiome
    • The importance of Microbiome—understanding species interaction, exchange of resources, and potential for co-evolutionary relationships to arise among microbiomes and their host organisms
    • Emerging diseases, disease ecology, disease evolution
    • Determine why there are so few people who self-identify as belonging to a group of ecology and evolutionary biologists
    • Attract and retain new individuals in this track
    • Find out how other societies or meetings attract people and how to attract them to ASM
    • Two conflicting things:

    v If we’re going to have the best work in all aspects of microbiology and be attractive for attending Microbe, EES is an area where we need to invest and bring people and the best and most exciting research into the fold.

    v Words in other tracks have roots in ecology and evolution, determine what we can do to make sure that as people use the tools and apply it that they’re doing it the best way possible. Generate training and workshops and develop best practices available online.

    • Will discuss the issues further at the fall track retreat

     

    Track 6—Host Microbe Biology

    Key trends:

    • Had a diverse group of people in this track, i.e., representatives from FDA, USDA, four virologists, one who studies TB, and one who works on fungi
    • Better integration of different members of the microbiology field into the meeting
    • Advocate outside of the Society to other societies and scientists to get them interested in what we are doing
    • Create areas of topics of common interest, i.e., how microbes have been used for treating cancer, how microbiology is involved in cardiac disease
    • Difficulty of incorporating translational medicine and translational immunology into the Microbe meeting
    • People get more value and are more comfortable at smaller meetings.
    • Microbe is expensive for some and super large; may be keeping some people away.
    • Look at interdisciplinary aspects of microbiology and have smaller meetings
    • Record plenary sessions and have them available on the website to purchase, either individually or as a package to include several sessions
    • Develop tools to better study single cell interactions between microbes and single cells and to understand the cellular response to microbes
    • Quantifying biology—the movement from a mostly descriptive field into having actual numbers and training students and postdocs in this area
    • Include all of the microbes that might be present in microbiome

    Track 7—Molecular Biology and Physiology (MBP) Sean Crosson reported

    Key trends:

     1) Service

    • Why would someone want to join ASM?
    • Use to be for journal subscriptions, etc.
    • Not the reason for the next generation
    • What can we offer the next generation?
    • Provide ways for students to engage with industry, biotech, pharma to learn about diverse careers
    • Provide information on what we do in this track
    • Offer career insight to young members and to the industrial sector
    • Tracks could use MicroNow as a forum to engage members into microbiology
    • Advancing the field requires communication and engagement and getting feedback

     2) The Frontiers

    • Cultivation approach to access more of the microbial diversity
    • Data science continues to be a frontier; consider workshops in the future
    • Imaging and technological advances; continue to offer workshops and add meetings at ASM with companies who make products to help in this area

     

    Track 8—Profession of Microbiology (POM) Jeff Maloy reported

    Key trends:

    1) Quantitative biology/systems biology—programs in place that work well but could be expanded:

    • Workshops on quantitative biology methods
    • Education programs
    • Undergraduate education at ASMQUE

    2) Membership relevance to members at all levels including students—ideas for programs:

    • Engage and recruit new members, especially undergraduates, graduate students, and early career scientists
    • Staff support to develop regular questionnaires for members to determine what needs are and are not being met
    • Communicate to members via Branches, i.e. “boots on the ground”
    • Ask distinguished lecturers at Branch meetings to get feedback from students and attendees about what they want and what they think could be provided for them
    • Reinstate the practice at Microbe that presenters list three take-away lessons from their talks to capture the attention of all members including students and ensure students feel welcome at sessions outside of their field and feel to cross different track 

    3)  Industry and non-academic careers—ideas for programs:

    • Provide information on a variety of careers for students and assist with onboarding students into these careers
    • Institute an e-mentoring program, which can be difficult that should happen at the Branch level
    • Provide resources for local groups, i.e., speaker bureau, local chapters
    • To add value to the difficulties faced by e-mentoring, produce ten-minute videos like virtual field trips to be available online as a resource
    • Have a booth at Microbe where members could record themselves talking about their career and what they do and make available as another online resource
    • Provide resources for faculty members and career centers to share with students who are looking for information on non-academic careers, e.g., preparing a successful resume for an industry position
    • Have a job fair at Microbe where students could interact with industry reps, talk about jobs, hand in their resume

    mSphere Direct

    mSphereDirect


    mspheredirect-top3

     

     

    Keyword Exercises

    Hello,

    ASM is currently working on finalizing keywords for the new asm.org, which will launch at the end of this year. This will help users find things on our website easier.

    We need your help in an exercise called a "card sort," which helps to organize our content. In addition to the card sort, we have a short survey to help us streamline redundant terms. Lastly, there is a keyword bank to inform the inclusion of relevant topics that will allow for further filtering on the site. Feel free to add, suggest different options, etc.

    Thank you for your participation. The deadline for all three exercises is JULY 24.

     

     

    Membership for Clinical Microbiologists

    JOIN OR RENEW TODAY

     

    “Who is looking out for the interests of clinical microbiologists? In my view, the American Society for Microbiology is doing this exceedingly well.”

    Joseph Campos, PhD, D(ABMM), FAAM
    Director of the Microbiology Laboratory at Children’s National Medical Center

    ASM understands the vital importance clinical microbiology plays in sustaining the health of the world population. We know the daily challenges that you face in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious disease. ASM supports the clinical microbiological community in many unique ways – with cutting-edge information, professional certification and awards, and a robust advocacy for the field. Here is how we can help you…


    Access to cutting-edge information through:

    • ASM’s Microbe 2017 meeting, combining the dedicated clinical track of the former General Meeting with the premier infectious disease offerings of ICAAC
    • ASM Journals – seven journals devoted to clinical microbiology and immunology that delivers authoritative and high-quality clinical research
    • CUMITECH lab references – now free with membership!
    • Clinical Microbiology Portal – access to a database of over 1,500 expertly answered questions, and more
    • Two vibrant listservs dedicated to current clinical issues
    • NEW MEMBER TYPE:  CLS/MT/MLT Labtech Membership with up to 12 CE credits

     

    Certify your accomplishment and expertise through:

    • Certification by the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM), the American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology (ABMLI), and the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM)
    • ASM’s Continuing Education (CE) Portal – the online source for accessing and tracking all continuing education activities
    • Awards and recognition specifi cally focused on clinical microbiologists including the BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology, Scherago-Rubin Award, and the Beckman-Coulter Young Investigator Award


    Advocacy for the interests of the clinical community through:

    • Encouraging the adoption of sound policies
    • Monitoring federal legislation and regulation
    • Communicating microbiological issues to the public
    • Participating in CDC/APHL organized meetings

    JOIN OR RENEW TODAY

    test

    Clinical Microbiologists

    “Who is looking out for the interests of clinical microbiologists? In my view, the American Society for Microbiology is doing this exceedingly well.”

    Joseph Campos, PhD, D(ABMM), FAAM
    Director of the Microbiology Laboratory at Children’s National Medical Center

    ASM understands the vital importance clinical microbiology plays in sustaining the health of the
    world population. We know the daily challenges that you face in the prevention, diagnosis, and
    treatment of infectious disease. ASM supports the clinical microbiological community in many
    unique ways – with cutting-edge information, professional certifi cation and awards, and a robust advocacy for the field. Here is how we can help you…


    Access to cutting-edge information through:
    • ASM’s Microbe 2017 meeting, combining the dedicated clinical track of the former General Meeting with the premier infectious disease offerings of ICAAC
    • ASM Journals – seven journals devoted to clinical microbiology and immunology that delivers authoritative and high-quality clinical research
    • CUMITECH lab references – now free with membership!
    • Clinical Microbiology Portal – access to a database of over 1,500 expertly answered questions, and more
    • Two vibrant listservs dedicated to current clinical issues
    •  NEW MEMBER TYPE:  CLS/MT/MLT Labtech Membership with up to 12 CE credits

    Certify your accomplishment and expertise through:
    • Certifi cation by the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM), the American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology (ABMLI), and the National Registry of Certifi ed Microbiologists (NRCM)
    • ASM’s Continuing Education (CE) Portal – the online source for accessing and tracking all continuing education activities
    • Awards and recognition specifi cally focused on clinical microbiologists including the BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology, Scherago-Rubin Award, and the Beckman-Coulter Young Investigator Award

    Advocacy for the interests of the clinical community through:
    • Encouraging the adoption of sound policies
    • Monitoring federal legislation and regulation
    • Communicating microbiological issues to the public
    • Participating in CDC/APHL organized meetings

    JOIN OR RENEW TODAY

    email me test

    email me

    Multisociety Transition Letter

    November 23, 2016

    Mr. Donald Trump
    Office of President-Elect
    1800 F Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20006

    Dear President-elect Trump:

    On behalf of the U.S. scientific, engineering, and higher education community we are looking forward to working with you, as 45th President of the United States, and your administration.

    As President you will face a wide range of domestic and international challenges, from protecting national and energy security, to ensuring U.S. economic competitiveness, curing diseases, and responding to natural disasters. These challenges share one thing in common: the need for scientific knowledge and technological expertise to address them successfully.

    For this reason, we urge that you quickly appoint a science advisor with the title of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology who is a nationally respected leader with the appropriate engineering, scientific, management and policy skills necessary for this critically important role. This senior level advisor can assist you in determining effective ways to use science and technology to address major national challenges. Moreover, this individual can coordinate relevant science and technology policy and personnel decisions within the executive branch of government.

    The economic benefits of advancements in science, technology and innovation have been well documented, estimated by leading economists to have accounted for approximately half of U.S. economic growth over the last fifty years. Past government investments in the U.S. scientific and technological enterprise have fueled our economy, created new jobs, and ensured our global competitiveness and national security. At the same time, these investments have enabled the development of a system of U.S. research universities and national laboratories unmatched in the world.

    We know that one of your top priorities will be to focus on ensuring that the U.S. economy remains strong and continues to grow. If we are to maintain America’s global leadership, and respond to the economic and security challenges currently facing the nation, we must build on our strong history of federal support for innovation, entrepreneurship and science and technology.

    Toward that end we would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you or leaders of your transition team to discuss how the science and engineering community can assist with developing a path forward to ensure that the U.S. innovation infrastructure grows and flourishes under your administration and to suggest candidates for top science and technology posts.

    Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to your response. You may contact Joanne Carney (jcarney@aaas.org) with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to coordinate a convenient meeting time, and we will follow up with a proposed list of attendees.

    Rush D. Holt
    Chief Executive Officer
    American Association for the Advancement of Science

    Kevin B. Marvel
    Executive Officer
    American Astronomical Society

    Donna J. Nelson
    President
    American Chemical Society

    Chris McEntee
    Executive Director and CEO
    American Geophysical Union

    Milan P. Yager
    Executive Director
    American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering

    Robert G.W. Brown
    Chief Executive Officer
    American Institute of Physics

    Kate P. Kirby
    Chief Executive Officer
    American Physical Society

    Martin Frank
    Executive Director
    American Physiological Society

    Stefano Bertuzzi
    Chief Executive Officer
    American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

    Crispin Taylor
    Chief Executive Officer
    American Society of Plant Biologists

    Nancy Kidd
    Executive Officer
    American Sociological Association

    Robert H. Rich
    Executive Director
    Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS)

    Thomas G. Loughlin
    Executive Director
    ASME

    Sarah Brookhart
    Executive Director
    Association for Psychological Science

    Mary Sue Coleman
    President
    Association of American Universities

    Peter McPherson
    President
    Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

    Keith Yamamoto
    Chair
    Coalition for the Life Sciences

    RADM Jonathan White (ret., USN)
    President and CEO
    Consortium for Ocean Leadership

    Wendy A. Naus
    Executive Director
    Consortium of Social Science Associations

    Madeleine Jacobs
    President and CEO
    Council of Scientific Society Presidents

    David M. Lodge
    President
    Ecological Society of America

    Howard H. Garrison
    Deputy Executive Director for Policy
    Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

    Shirley M. Tilghman
    Co-founder
    Rescuing Biomedical Research

    Mary Woolley
    President
    Research!America

    John C. Nemeth.
    Executive Director and CEO
    SIGMA Xi, The Scientific Research Society

    Thomas Grumbly
    President
    SoAR Foundation

    Marty Saggese
    Executive Director
    Society for Neuroscience

    Peter Walter
    President
    The American Society for Cell Biology

    Elizabeth A. Rogan
    Chief Executive Officer
    The Optical Society (OSA)

     


    EMBARGOED UNTIL: Saturday June 3, 2017 at 12:15 PM


    New Orleans, LA – June 3, 2017 – A new testing and treatment approach led to shorter hospital stays for patients with Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections. Staphylococcus aureus can cause a wide range of infections, including skin and soft tissue infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia. S. aureus bloodstream infections can be fatal, and timely targeted therapy is associated with better outcomes. The new approach included a rapid, molecular test from a positive blood culture to identify S. aureus and detect the antibiotic resistance gene mecA, found in methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). The lab result was communicated to the doctor and to a pharmacist, who provided input on antibiotic therapy. The new testing technology reduced the time to identification in the laboratory from approximately one day to one hour. This meant the doctors and pharmacists were able to get patients on the right antibiotic at least one day sooner. On average, these patients got out of the hospital two to three days earlier and were less likely to be readmitted.

    Patients with S. aureus bacteremia were identified from blood culture, and an equivalent number of patients were assessed before and after implementation of the new lab test and treatment approach. Outcome measures included length of hospital stay, 30-day readmission rate, 30-day all-cause mortality, and antibiotic usage. The study authors estimate the increased cost of lab testing was recovered in lower charges for shorter hospitalizations. Similar studies have been conducted at large academic hospitals, and this comparison study demonstrates the feasibility and importance of implementing new laboratory technology and best practice approaches in the community hospital setting. Microbiology director Marijo Roiko, microbiology supervisor Susan Kuntz, and antibiotic stewardship pharmacist Kevin Kern conducted this analysis at Altru Health System in Grand Forks, ND. Study results were presented at the ASM Microbe 2017 conference in New Orleans, LA, on June 3, 2017.


    ###

    ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, covers the complete spectrum of microbiology, featuring innovative science, world class speakers, and scientists from around the globe with more than 500 sessions and over 575 speakers. ASM Microbe is held in New Orleans, Louisiana from June 1 -5, 2017.

    The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 50,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

    ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.

    Volunteer and Governance Engagement Program Coordinator

    The American Society for Microbiology (ASM), headquartered in Washington, DC, is seeking a full-time Volunteer and Governance Engagement Program Coordinator in the Office of the Executive Director department. The incumbent will be responsible for volunteer leadership and governance support, organizational governance nomination, appointments, and recruitment activities and coordinating the annual election of volunteer leadership positions for the Office of the Executive Director. In addition, the incumbent will be responsible for preparing and tracking budget for the volunteer leadership and governance activities.

    EMBARGOED UNTIL: Sunday June 4, 2017 12:15 PM

    New Orleans, LA – June 4, 2017 – Findings from a study that looked at susceptibility trends of Staphylococcus aureus in U.S. hospital patients showed that key antibiotics used to treat the bacteria became more active over the course of the study, a rare occurrence. Researchers at JMI Laboratories evaluated susceptibility trends of antibiotics from 2009 to 2015 by testing clinical isolates from medical centers across the U.S. The research is presented on June 4th at the ASM Microbe conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    “Results showed that S. aureus’ rates of resistance to certain antibiotics decreased over time, which isn’t often seen,” said presenting author Helio S. Sader, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Director, Microbiology & Surveillance at JMI Laboratories. The rates of S. aureus being resistant to oxacillin (MRSA) decreased from 47.2% in 2009 to 43.6% in 2015, and more recent data from this program showed a further decrease to 42.2% in 2016.

    Resistance to other antibiotics, such as levofloxacin, clindamycin, and erythromycin, also showed some decrease during the same period, whereas susceptibility to ceftaroline, trimethoprim-sulfanethoxazole, and tetracycline remained stable. Furthermore, ceftaroline remained very active against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) (97.2% susceptible) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (100.0% susceptible) with no marked variations or trends during the study period. One important result is that S. aureus resistance to daptomycin, linezolid, vancomycin, and tigecycline remained extremely rare with no sign of increasing.

    Researchers tested a total of 19,036 clinical isolates from 42 U.S. medical centers to determine how susceptible S. aureus would be to antibiotic agents. JMI used broth microdilution methods, the gold-standard method, to test susceptibility. Medical center staff participating in the AWARE program followed a common study protocol to send collected bacterial isolates to JMI Laboratories to test how susceptible the isolates were to specific antibiotics.

    During the late 1990s, people in the U.S. started to become infected with MRSA outside hospitals, in community settings, and this community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) spread rapidly. CA-MRSA greatly changed how clinicians treated some community-acquired infections, especially skin and soft tissue infections and respiratory tract infections in children. Community-acquired MRSA was susceptible to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, clindamycin, and tetracycline, and the bacteria was less susceptible to erythromycin and fluoroquinolones; however, CA-MRSA clones evolved and became more resistant to other antibiotic agents.

    “The prevalence of the main S. aureus clone causing community-acquired and healthcare-associated infections in many parts of the U.S. seems to be decreasing in some areas,” said Dr. Sader, “A prevalence decrease may change the antimicrobial resistance profiles of S. aureus, emphasizing the importance of monitoring this organism through large resistance surveillance programs.”

    This investigation was performed by JMI Laboratories (North Liberty, Iowa, USA). The data used in this investigation was generated as part of the Assessing Worldwide Antimicrobial Resistance and Evaluation (AWARE) Program, which is sponsored by Allergan.


    ###

    ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, covers the complete spectrum of microbiology, featuring innovative science, world class speakers, and scientists from around the globe with more than 500 sessions and over 575 speakers. ASM Microbe is held in New Orleans, Louisiana from June 1 -5, 2017.

    The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 50,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

    ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.

    Premium +1

    For a limited time, the first 400 members who renew at the Premium member rate will be given one free membership* to award to the student, postdoc, or colleague of their choice. Hurry and renew!  The offer is only good for the first 400 members who renew, and all must be received by October 15, 2016.

    HOW IT WORKS:

    1)  You renew your membership at the Premium level before 10/15/16.

    2)   Within 2 business days of processing your renewal you will receive an email with an application attached. 

    3)  You select your recipient and forward the application for them to complete and return to ASM.  Please note:  all awarded membership applications must be received by November 15, 2016.

    THE RULES:

    -*Only Student, Postdoc, or Supporting memberships are included in this offer.
    - Recipients cannot have been a member during 2016.
    - The offer is first-come, first-served: when 400 applications have been awarded the offer will conclude.
    - Each Premium member is eligible to receive only one free membership.
    - The free membership cannot be used in combination with any other ASM product to receive a discount, or as part of a Lab & Classroom group.
    - If are a 2016 Contributing Member and would like to upgrade to Premium in order to take advantage of this offer, either change your member type on the renewal form, and enter $132 for  payment OR select Premium membership when renewing online at www.asmscience.org/renew.

    Questions?  Contact membership@asmusa.org

     

     

    Vaginal Bacteria Alter Sexual Transmission of Zika and Herpes Simplex Virus-2

    Bacteria in the vagina can inhibit sexually transmitted Zika virus and herpes simplex virus-2  in women,  according to a new study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The findings were discussed at the ASM Microbe 2017 meeting on June 3, 2017, in New Orleans.

    How long does the grant writing process take?

    How well do you know the grant writing process?

    For a successful grant application, the typical time from submission to funding is:

    a. 1-2 months
    b. 3-4 months
    c. 5-6 months
    d. 7-8 months
    e. 9-10 months

    The typical length of the grant writing process, from when you begin planning your application to when you receive the funds, is 9-10 months. Since the grant process takes a significant amount of time and has important future implications, it is important to utilize all available resources. One such resource is the ASM Grant Writing Online Course. This three month, six-part webinar series provides graduate, postdoctoral sciences and early to mid-career scientists with an overview of the NIH and NSF grant process. Led by individuals who have successfully obtained grants, this course will provide participants with a broad understanding of (i) the grant making enterprise and the overall funding landscape, (ii) tips for successfully writing NIH and NSF grants, (iii) developing an impactful NIH/NSF Biosketch, and (iv) viewing your grant from the reviewer's perspective. 

    Register here
    Registration deadline: December 1, 2016
    January - March 2017
    ASM members: $150 | Non-members: $200

    Lactobacillus from Yogurt Inhibits Multidrug-Resistant Bacterial Pathogens

    A Lactobacillus isolate from commercial yogurt, identified as Lactobacillus parafarraginis, inhibited the growth of several multidrug-resistant/extended spectrum β-lactamase bacteria from patients at a hospital in Washington, D.C.. The research was presented at ASM Microbe 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    bioRxiv (static HTML)

    Genome Integration and Reactivation of the Virophage MavirusIn the Marine Protozoan Cafeteria roenbergensis

    AUTHORS

    Fischer, M. G. | Hackl, T. |

    ABSTRACT

    Endogenous viral elements are increasingly found in eukaryotic genomes, yet little is known about their origins, dynamics, or function. Here, we provide a compelling example of a DNA virus that readily integrates into a eukaryotic genome where it acts as an inducible antiviral defense system. We found that the virophage mavirus, a parasite of the giant virus CroV, integrates at multiple sites within the nuclear genome of the marine heterotrophic nanoflagellate Cafeteria roenbergensis. The endogenous mavirus is structurally and genetically similar to the eukaryotic Maverick/Polinton DNA transposons. Provirophage genes are activated by superinfection with CroV, which leads to the production of infectious mavirus particles. While provirophage-carrying cells are not directly protected from lysis by CroV, release of reactivated virophage particles promotes survival of other host populations. Our results corroborate the connection between mavirus and Maverick/Polinton elements and suggest that provirophages can defend natural protist populations against infection by giant viruses.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/068312

    PUBLISHED: 2016-08-07

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Animals | DNA Transposable Elements | Parasites | Eukaryota | Superinfection | SERPINA3 protein, human | Serpins | Viruses | DNA Viruses | Antiviral Agents |

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    Direct correlation between motile behavior and protein abundance in single cells

    AUTHORS

    Dufour, Y. S. | Gillet, S. | Frankel, N. W. | Weibel, D. B. | Emonet, T. |

    ABSTRACT

    Understanding how stochastic molecular fluctuations affect cell behavior requires the quantification of both behavior and protein numbers in the same cells. Here, we combine automated microscopy with in situ hydrogel polymerization to measure single-cell protein expression after tracking swimming behavior. We characterized the distribution of non-genetic phenotypic diversity in Escherichia coli motility, which affects single-cell exploration. By expressing fluorescently tagged chemotaxis proteins (CheR and CheB) at different levels, we quantitatively mapped motile phenotype (tumble bias) to protein numbers using thousands of single-cell measurements. Our results disagreed with established models until we incorporated the role of CheB in receptor deamidation and the slow fluctuations in receptor methylation. Beyond refining models, our central finding is that changes in numbers of CheR and CheB affect the population mean tumble bias and its variance independently. Therefore, it is possible to adjust the degree of phenotypic diversity of a population by adjusting the global level of expression of CheR and CheB while keeping their ratio constant, which, as shown in previous studies, confers functional robustness to the system. Since genetic control of protein expression is heritable, our results suggest that non-genetic diversity in motile behavior is selectable, supporting earlier hypotheses that such diversity confers a selective advantage.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/067918

    PUBLISHED: 2016-08-04

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Methylation | Escherichia coli | Microscopy | Polymerization | Hydrogel | Swimming | Chemotaxis | Gene Expression Regulation | 5-(2-cyclohexylidene-ethyl)-5-ethylbarbiturate | Barbiturates | Phenotype | Genetic Variation |

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    16788185 | 11717272 | 21292743 | 20972792 | 3056911 | 2188960 | 2661528 | 10464232 | 19231145 | 9465023


    Rapid resistome mapping using nanopore sequencing

    AUTHORS

    van der Helm, E. | Imamovic, L. | Hashim Ellabaan, M. M. | Koza, A. | Sommer, M. O. A. O. A. |

    ABSTRACT

    The emergence of antibiotic resistance in human pathogens has become a major threat to modern medicine and in particular hospitalized patients. The outcome of antibiotic treatment can be affected by the composition of the gut resistome either by enabling resistance gene acquisition of infecting pathogens or by modulating the collateral effects of antibiotic treatment on the commensal microbiome. Accordingly, knowledge of the gut resistome composition could enable more effective and individualized treatment of bacterial infections. Yet, rapid workflows for resistome characterization are lacking. To address this challenge we developed the poreFUME workflow that deploys functional metagenomic selections and nanopore sequencing to resistome mapping. We demonstrate the approach by functionally characterizing the gut resistome of an ICU patient. The accuracy of the poreFUME pipeline is >97 % sufficient for the reliable annotation of antibiotic resistance genes. The poreFUME pipeline provides a promising approach for efficient resistome profiling that could inform antibiotic treatment decisions in the future.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/067652

    PUBLISHED: 2016-08-03

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Humans | Workflow | Nanopores | Drug Resistance, Microbial | Microbiota | Metagenomics | Bacterial Infections | Anti-Bacterial Agents | Intensive Care Units |

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    26419330 | 24710024 | 25918444 | 25247417 | 23370726 | 22827799 | 24474281 | 24236055 | 22936781 | 22954750


    Experimental estimation of the effects of all amino-acid mutations to HIV Env

    AUTHORS

    Haddox, H. K. | Dingens, A. S. | Bloom, J. |

    ABSTRACT

    HIV is notorious for its capacity to evade immunity and anti-viral drugs through rapid sequence evolution. Knowledge of the functional effects of mutations to HIV is critical for understanding this evolution. HIV's most rapidly evolving protein is its envelope (Env). Here we use deep mutational scanning to experimentally estimate the effects of all amino-acid mutations to Env on viral replication in cell culture. Most mutations are under purifying selection in our experiments, although a few sites experience strong selection for mutations that enhance HIV's growth in cell culture. We compare our experimental measurements of each site's preference for each amino acid to the actual frequencies of these amino acids in naturally occurring HIV sequences. Our measured amino-acid preferences correlate with amino-acid frequencies in natural sequences for most sites. However, our measured preferences are less concordant with natural amino-acid frequencies at surface-exposed sites that are subject to pressures absent from our experiments such as antibody selection. We show that some regions of Env have a high inherent tolerance to mutation, whereas other regions (such as epitopes of broadly neutralizing antibodies) have a significantly reduced capacity to tolerate mutations. Overall, our results help disentangle the role of inherent functional constraints and external selection pressures in shaping Env's evolution.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/067470

    PUBLISHED: 2016-08-02

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Antibodies, Neutralizing | Epitopes | Antiviral Agents | Amino Acids | Genes, env | HIV Infections | Virus Replication | Mutation |

    Related Articles

    18177204 | 19096508 | 24713822 | 25006036 | 17534408 | 26506369 | 8995670 | 23468626 | 10364320 | 22073263


    Small molecules with antibiofilm, antivirulence and antibiotic synergy activities against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    AUTHORS

    van Tilburg Bernardes, E. | Charron-Mazenod, L. | Reading, D. | Reckseidler-Zenteno, S. L. | Lewenza, S. |

    ABSTRACT

    Biofilm formation is a universal bacterial strategy for long-term survival in nature and during infections. Biofilms are dense microbial communities enmeshed within a polymeric extracellular matrix that protects bacteria from antibiotic exposure and the immune system and thus contribute to chronic infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an archetypal biofilm-forming organism that utilizes a biofilm growth strategy to cause chronic lung infections in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients. The extracellular matrix of P. aeruginosa biofilms is comprised mainly of exopolysaccharides (EPS) and DNA. Both mucoid and non-mucoid isolates of P. aeruginosa produces the Pel and Psl EPS, each of which have important roles in antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation and immune evasion. Given the central importance of the Pel and Psl EPS in biofilm structure, they are attractive targets for novel anti-infective compounds. In this study we used a high throughput gene expression screen to identify compounds that repress expression of pel and psl genes as measured by transcriptional lux fusions. Testing of the pel/psl repressors demonstrated an antibiofilm activity against microplate and flow chamber biofilms formed by wild type and hyperbiofilm forming strains. To determine the potential role of EPS in virulence, mutants in pel/psl were shown to have reduced virulence in the feeding behavior and slow killing virulence assays in Caenorhabditis elegans. The antibiofilm molecules also reduced P. aeruginosa PAO1 virulence in the nematode slow killing model. Importantly, the combination of antibiotics and antibiofilm compounds were synergistic in killing P. aeruginosa biofilms. These small molecules represent a novel anti-infective strategy for the possible treatment of chronic P. aeruginosa infections.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/067074

    PUBLISHED: 2016-08-01

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Animals | Humans | Pseudomonas aeruginosa | Biofilms | Anti-Bacterial Agents | Caenorhabditis elegans | Virulence | Cystic Fibrosis | Immune Evasion | Drug Resistance, Microbial | Anti-Infective Agents | Biological Processes | Physiological Processes | DNA | Extracellular Matrix | Immune System | Feeding Behavior |

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    21605307 | 22176658 | 24595142 | 22309106 | 21666010 | 22309122 | 25096883 | 21298031 | 21998591 | 22585230


    Stochastic Assembly Produces Heterogeneous Communities in the C. elegans Intestine

    AUTHORS

    Vega, N. | Gore, J. |

    ABSTRACT

    Host-associated bacterial communities vary extensively between individuals, but it can be very difficult to determine the sources of this heterogeneity. Here we demonstrate that stochastic bacterial community assembly in the C. elegans intestine is sufficient to produce strong inter-worm heterogeneity in community composition. When worms are fed with two neutrally-competing fluorescently labeled bacterial strains, we observe stochastically-driven bimodality in community composition, where approximately half of the worms are dominated by each bacterial strain. A simple model incorporating stochastic colonization suggests that heterogeneity between worms is driven by the low rate at which bacteria successfully establish new intestinal colonies. We can increase this rate experimentally by feeding worms at high bacterial density; in these conditions the bimodality disappears. These results demonstrate the potential importance of stochastic processes in bacterial community formation and suggest a role for C. elegans as a model system for ecology of host-associated communities.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/067173

    PUBLISHED: 2016-08-01

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Animals | Caenorhabditis elegans | Stochastic Processes | Ecology | Intestines | Bacteria |

    Related Articles

    24449749 | 23462114 | 23812817 | 21608478 | 23407312 | 24489823 | 23613815 | 22452899 | 22276219 | 26699734


    Cohort Specific Effects of Cereal-bar Supplementation in Overweight Patients With or Without Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

    AUTHORS

    Lauber, C. | Chou, C. J. | Chakrabarti, A. | Siddharth, J. | Chalut-Carpentier, A. | Pataky, Z. | Golay, A. | Parkinson, S. |

    ABSTRACT

    The importance of gut microbes to metabolic health is becoming more evident and nutrition-based therapies to alter the composition of bacterial communities to manage metabolic disease are an attractive avenue to ameliorate some effects of Western diets. While the composition of gut microbial communities can vary significantly across disease states, it is not well known if these communities have common responses to nutritional interventions. To better understand diet-bacterial community interactions, we collected biological parameters and fecal samples of overweight non-diabetic (OND) and diabetic (OD) individuals before and after daily supplementation of 2.8 g {beta}-glucan on their habitual diet for 30 days. Fecal bacterial communities in an age-matched cohort were measured by sequencing partial 16S rRNA genes and imputed metagenomic content. Unexpectedly, we observed disconnected responses of biological measurements and the bacterial community. Based on average effect size, biological measurements were greater in the OND group while effects on the bacterial community were greatest on the OD cohort, and we suspect these observations are due to the significantly lower alpha diversity in the OD cohort. Our data indicate that responses to cereal-bar supplementation are cohort specific and this should be considered when manipulating the microbiome via diet supplementation.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/066704

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-29

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Humans | Edible Grain | Diet, Western | RNA, Ribosomal, 16S | Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 | Metagenomics | Microbiota | Overweight | Glucans |

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    25271941 | 25954902 | 18974945 | 20368178 | 26039313 | 26147095 | 19706296 | 26066038 | 19043404 | 21121044


    Capture of Vibrio cholerae by charged polymers inhibits pathogeniciy by inducing a sessile lifestyle

    AUTHORS

    Perez-Soto, N. | Moule, L. | Crisan, D. N. | Insua, I. | Taylor-Smith, L. M. | Voelz, K. | Fernandez-Trillo, F. | Krachler, A. |

    ABSTRACT

    Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera, is an abundant environmental bacterium that can efficiently colonize the intestinal tract and trigger severe diarrheal illness. Motility, and the production of colonization factors and cholera toxin, are fundamental for the establishment of disease. In the aquatic environment, V. cholerae persists by forming avirulent biofilms on zooplankton, phytoplankton and chitin debris. Here, we describe the formation of artificial, biofilm-like communities, driven by exposure of planktonic bacteria to synthetic polymers. This recruitment is extremely rapid and charge-driven, and leads to the formation of initial 'seed clusters' which then recruit additional bacteria to extend in size. Bacteria that become entrapped in these 'forced communities' undergo transcriptional changes in motility and virulence genes, and phenotypically mimic features of environmental biofilm communities by forming a matrix that contains polysaccharide and extracellular DNA. As a result of this lifestyle transition, pathogenicity and in vivo host colonization decrease. These findings highlight the potential of synthetic polymers to disarm pathogens by modulating their lifestlye, without creating selective pressure favoring the emergence of antimicrobial resistant strains.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/066563

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-28

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Animals | Vibrio cholerae | Cholera | Cholera Toxin | Virulence | Zooplankton | Biofilms | Plankton | Phytoplankton | Chitin | Polymers | Anti-Infective Agents | Intestines | DNA | Polysaccharides | Biological Processes | Life Style |

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    25368110 | 16267135 | 19933826 | 24375135 | 22354023 | 16359328 | 14536065 | 22710417 | 22032623 | 22106284


    Sequence based prediction of novel domains in the cellulosome of Ruminiclostridium thermocellum

    AUTHORS

    Basharat, Z. | Yasmin, A. |

    ABSTRACT

    Ruminiclostridium thermocellum strain ATCC 27405 is valuable with reference to the next generation biofuel production being a degrader of crystalline cellulose. The completion of its genome sequence has revealed that this organism carries 3,376 genes with more than hundred genes encoding for enzymes involved in cellulysis. Novel protein domain discovery in the cellulose degrading enzyme complex of this strain has been attempted to understand this organism at molecular level. Streamlined automated methods were employed to generate possibly unreported or new domains. A set of 12 novel Pfam-B domains was developed after detailed analysis. This finding will enhance our understanding of this bacterium and its molecular processes involved in the degradation of cellulose. This approach of in silico analysis prior to experimentation facilitates in lab study. Previously uncorrelated data has been utilized for rapid generation of new biological information in this study.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/066357

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-27

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Cellulosomes | Biofuels | Cellulose | Clostridium thermocellum | Protein Structure, Tertiary | Multienzyme Complexes | Base Sequence |

    Related Articles

    12625841 | 20662379 | 21672225 | 19384422 | 21526192 | 1490597 | 21255373 | 25956772 | 20307315 | 23176123


    A Novel Family of Genomics Islands Across Multiple Species of Streptococcus

    AUTHORS

    Wang, J. | Wang, C. | Feng, W. | Feng, Y. | Zhi, L. | Li, W. | Yao, Y. | Jiang, S. | Tang, J. |

    ABSTRACT

    The genus Streptococcus is one of the most genomically diverse and important human and agricultural pathogens. The acquisition of genomic islands (GIs) plays a central role in adaptation to new hosts in the genus pathogens. The research presented here employs a comparative genomics approach to define a novel family of GIs in the genus Streptococcus which also appears across strains of the same species. Specifically, we identified 9 Streptococcus genomes out of 67 sequenced genomes analyzed, and we termed these as 15bp Streptococcus genomic islands, or 15SGIs, including i) insertion adjacent to the 3' end of ribosome l7/l12 gene, ii) large inserts of horizontally acquired DNA, and iii) the presence of mobility genes (integrase) and replication initiators. We have identified a novel family of 15SGIs and seems to be important in species differentiation and adaptation to new hosts. It plays an important role during strain evolution in the genus Streptococcus.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/065920

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-26

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Humans | Genomic Islands | Integrases | Genomics | Biological Evolution | Streptococcus | DNA | Ribosomes |

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    23096693 | 17475002 | 22306813 | 21672261 | 23204461 | 18071028 | 21536150 | 24977706 | 25009843 | 20826944


    Microbial Communities are Well Adapted to Disturbances in Energy Input

    AUTHORS

    Fernandez-Gonzalez, N. | Huber, J. A. | Vallino, J. J. |

    ABSTRACT

    Although microbial systems are well-suited for studying concepts in ecological theory, little is known about how microbial communities respond to long-term periodic perturbations beyond diel oscillations. Taking advantage of an ongoing microcosm experiment, we studied how methanotrophic microbial communities adapted to disturbances in energy input over a 20 day cycle period. Sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes together with quantification of microbial abundance and ecosystem function was used to explore the long-term dynamics (510 days) of methanotrophic communities under continuous versus cyclic chemical energy supply. We observed that microbial communities appear inherently well-adapted to disturbances in energy input and that changes in community structure in both treatments are more dependent on internal dynamics than on external forcing. Results also show that the rare biosphere is critical to seeding the internal community dynamics, perhaps due to cross-feeding or other strategies. We conclude that in our experimental system, endogenous feedbacks were more important than exogenous drivers in shaping the community dynamics over time, suggesting that ecosystems can maintain their function despite inherently unstable community dynamics. IMPORTANCE Within the broader ecological context, biological communities are often viewed as stable and only experience succession or replacement when subject to external perturbations, such as changes in food availability or introduction of exotic species. Our findings indicate that microbial communities can exhibit strong internal dynamics that may be more important in shaping community succession than external drivers. Dynamic "unstable" communities may be important for ecosystem functional stability, with rare organisms playing an important role in community restructuring. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for internal community dynamics will certainly be required for understanding and manipulating microbiomes in both host-associated and natural ecosystems.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/066050

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-26

    Generated MeSH Terms

    RNA, Ribosomal, 16S | Biota | Microbiota | Ecology |

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    25028427 | 24732211 | 23462114 | 24926862 | 23985743 | 18043612 | 12755711 | 22530997 | 22286988 | 19030917


    S2 from Equine infectious anemia virus is an infectivity factor which counteracts the retroviral inhibitors SERINC5 and SERINC3

    AUTHORS

    Chande, A. | Cuccurullo, E. | Rosa, A. | Ziglio, S. | Carpenter, S. | Pizzato, M. |

    ABSTRACT

    The lentivirus equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) encodes S2, a pathogenic determinant important for virus replication and disease progression in horses. No molecular function has yet been linked to this accessory protein. We now report that S2 can replace the activity of Nef on HIV-1 infectivity, being required to antagonize the inhibitory activity of SERINC proteins on Nef-defective HIV-1. Similar to Nef, S2 excludes SERINC5 from virus particles and requires an ExxxLL motif predicted to recruit the clathrin adaptor AP2. Accordingly, a functional endocytic machinery is essential for S2-mediated infectivity enhancement, which is impaired by inhibitors of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. In addition to retargeting SERINC5 to a late endosomal compartment, S2 promotes the host factor degradation. Emphasizing the similarity with Nef, we show that S2 is myristoylated and, compatible with a crucial role of the post-translational modification, its N-terminal glycine is required for the anti-SERINC5 activity. EIAV-derived vectors devoid of S2 are less susceptible than HIV-1 to the inhibitory effect of both human and equine SERINC5. We then identified the envelope glycoprotein of EIAV as a determinant which also modulates retrovirus susceptibility to SERINC5, indicating a bi-modular ability of the equine lentivirus to counteract the host factor. S2 shares no sequence homology with other retroviral factors known to counteract SERINC5. Adding to primate lentivirus Nef and gammaretrovirus glycoGag, the accessory protein from EIAV makes another example of a retroviral virulence determinant which independently evolved SERINC5-antagonizing activity. SERINC5 therefore plays a critical role for the interaction of the host with diverse retrovirus pathogens.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/065078

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-21

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Humans | Horses | Animals | Infectious Anemia Virus, Equine | HIV-1 | Lentiviruses, Primate | Virion | Lentivirus | Gammaretrovirus | Retroviridae | Lentiviruses, Equine | Protein Processing, Post-Translational | Glycine | Virulence | Equidae | Virus Replication | HIV Infections | Sequence Homology | Endocytosis | Disease Progression | Clathrin | Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport |

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    26416734 | 26416733 | 10590152 | 20417672 | 17267500 | 16503341 | 15539516 | 19769166 | 25390683 | 18057237


    Understanding How Microbiomes Influence the Systems they Inhabit: Insight from Ecosystem Ecology

    AUTHORS

    Hall, E. | Bernhardt, E. | Bier, R. | Bradford, M. | Boot, C. | Cotner, J. | del Giorgio, P. | Evans, S. | Graham, E. | Jones, S. | Lennon, J. | Locey, K. | Nemergut, D. | Osborne, B. | Rocca, J. | Schimel, J. | Waldrop, M. | Wallenstein, M. |

    ABSTRACT

    The well-documented significance of microorganisms to the function of virtually all ecosystems has led to the assumption that more information on microbiomes will improve our ability to understand and predict system-level processes. Notably, the importance of the microbiome has become increasingly evident in the environmental sciences and in particular ecosystem ecology. However, translating the ever-increasing wealth of information on environmental microbiomes to advance ecosystem science is proving exceptionally challenging. One reason for this challenge is that correlations between microbiomes and the ecosystem processes they influence are often reported without the underlying causal mechanisms. This limits the predictive power of each correlation to the time and place at which it was identified. In this paper, we assess the assumptions and approaches currently used to establish links between environmental microbiomes and the ecosystems they influence, propose a framework to more effectively harness our understanding of microbiomes to advance ecosystem science, and identify key challenges and solutions required to apply the proposed framework. Specifically, we suggest identifying each microbial process that contributes to the ecosystem process of interest a priori. We then suggest linking information on microbial community membership through microbial community properties (such as biomass elemental ratios) to the microbial processes that drive each ecosystem process (e.g. N -mineralization). A key challenge in this framework will be identifying which microbial community properties can be determined from the constituents of the community (community aggregated traits, CATs) and which properties are unable to be predicted from a list of their constituent taxa (emergent properties, EPs). We view this directed approach as a promising pathway to advance our understanding of how microbiomes influence the systems they inhabit.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/065128

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-21

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Biomass | Ecology | Microbiota |

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    26200800 | 26422463 | 26378320 | 20662931 | 26380076 | 18695234 | 23462114 | 21272182 | 26207269 | 25880923


    Impact of Sample Type and DNA Isolation Procedure on Genomic Inference of Microbiome Composition

    AUTHORS

    Knudsen, B. E. | Bergmark, L. | Munk, P. | Lukjancenko, O. | Prieme, A. | Aarestrup, F. M. | Pamp, S. J. |

    ABSTRACT

    Explorations of complex microbiomes using genomics greatly enhance our understanding about their diversity, biogeography, and function. The isolation of DNA from microbiome specimens is a key prerequisite for such examinations, but challenges remain in obtaining sufficient DNA quantities required for certain sequencing approaches, achieving accurate genomic inference of microbiome composition, and facilitating comparability of findings across specimen types and sequencing projects. These aspects are particularly relevant for the genomics-based global surveillance of infectious agents and antimicrobial resistance from different reservoirs. Here, we compare a total of eight DNA extraction procedures for three specimen types (human feces, pig feces, hospital sewage), assess DNA extraction using spike-in controls and different types of beads for bead-beating facilitating cell lysis. We evaluate DNA concentration, purity, and stability, and microbial community composition using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and for selected samples using shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Our results suggest that inferred community composition was dependent on inherent specimen properties as well as DNA extraction method. We further show that bead-beating or enzymatic treatment can increase the extraction of DNA from Gram-positive bacteria. Final DNA quantities could be increased by isolating DNA from a larger volume of cell lysate compared to standard protocols. Based on this insight, we have designed an improved DNA isolation procedure optimized for microbiome genomics that can be used for the three examined specimen types and potentially also for other biological specimens.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/064394

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-18

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Humans | Animals | Swine | Sewage | RNA, Ribosomal, 16S | Anti-Infective Agents | Metagenomics | Microbiota | DNA | Genomics | Feces | Bacteria |

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    26094313 | 22457796 | 23844068 | 25880246 | 20140796 | 25548939 | 25257543 | 25798612 | 24884524 | 25549184


    MICROWAVE MUTAGENESIS OF BREVIBACILLUS PARABREVIS FOR ENHANCED CELLULASE PRODUCTION, AND INVESTIGATION ON THERMOSTABILITY OF THIS CELLULASE

    AUTHORS

    Khambhala, P. | Paliwal, P. | Kothari, V. |

    ABSTRACT

    Microwave mutagenesis of Brevibacillus parabrevis for enhanced cellulase production was attempted. Though microwave treatment could alter the cellulase activity of the test bacterium, none of the mutants obtained were found to be genetically stable, indicating the reversible nature of microwave-induced mutation(s). Thermal stability of the B. parabrevis cellulase was also investigated. This enzyme was found to be capable of retaining its activity even after heat treatment (50-121{degrees}C, for 30-60 min). Fluorescence spectrum revealed a red shift in the emission maxima of the heat-treated enzyme preparations, indicating some structural change upon heating, but no major loss of activity was observed. This enzyme was found to be active over a broad temp range, with 90{degrees}C as the optimum temp, which is interesting as the producing organism is a mesophile.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/064410

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-18

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Cellulase | Heating | Microwaves | Brevibacillus | Fluorescence | Hot Temperature | Temperature | Hyperthermia, Induced | Mutagenesis | Mutation |

    Related Articles

    19656667 | 12153 | 19859753 | 25886936 | 11272024 | 780122 | 11854 | 19711200 | 11341679 | 15659186


    Comparative phylogenetic analysis of bacterial associates in Pyrrhocoroidea and evidence for ancient and persistent environmental symbiont reacquisition in Largidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera).

    AUTHORS

    Gordon, E. R. L. | McFrederick, Q. S. | Weirauch, C. |

    ABSTRACT

    The ancient insect order Hemiptera, one of the most well-studied insect lineages with respect to bacterial symbioses, still contains major branches which lack robust phylogenies and comprehensive characterization of associated bacterial symbionts. The Pyrrhocoroidea (Largidae [220 species]; Pyrrhocoridae [~300 species]) is a superfamily of the primarily-herbivorous hemipteran infraorder Pentatomomorpha, though relationships to related superfamilies are controversial. Studies on bacterial symbionts of this group have focused on members of Pyrrhocoridae, but recent examination of species of two genera of Largidae demonstrated divergent symbiotic complexes between these putative sister families. We surveyed bacterial diversity of this group using paired-end Illumina and targeted Sanger sequencing of bacterial 16S amplicons of 30 pyrrhocoroid taxa, including 17 species of Largidae, in order to determine the identity of bacterial associates and similarity of associated microbial communities among species. We also constructed the first comprehensive phylogeny of this superfamily (4,800 bp; 5 loci; 57 ingroup + 12 outgroup taxa) in order accurately trace the evolution of symbiotic complexes among Pentatomomorpha. We undertook multiple lines of investigation (i.e., experimental rearing, FISH microscopy, phylogenetic and co-evolutionary analyses) to understand potential transmission routes of largid symbionts. We found a prevalent, specific association of Largidae with plant-beneficial-environmental clade Burkholderia housed in midgut tubules. As in other distantly-related Heteroptera, symbiotic bacteria seem to be acquired from the environment every generation. We review current understanding of symbiotic complexes within the Pentatomomorpha and discuss means to further investigations of the evolution and function of these symbioses. Importance. Obligate symbioses with bacteria are common in insects, particularly for Hemiptera wherein varied forms of symbiosis occur, though knowledge of symbionts remains incomplete for major lineages. Thus, an accurate understanding of how these partnerships evolved and changed over millions of years is not yet achievable. We contribute to our understanding of the evolution of symbiotic complexes in Hemiptera by characterizing bacterial associates of Pyrrhocoroidea focusing on the family Largidae and by constructing a phylogeny to establish evolutionary relationships of and within this group. Members of Largidae are associated with specific symbiotic Burkholderia from a different clade than Burkholderia symbionts in other Hemiptera and are members of the earliest-diverging superfamily of Burkholderia-associated Hemiptera. Evidence suggests that species of Largidae reacquire specific symbiotic bacteria every generation environmentally, a rare strategy for insects with potentially volatile evolutionary ramifications, but one that has persisted in Largidae and other related lineages since the Cretaceous.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/064022

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-15

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Animals | Female | Heteroptera | Phylogeny | Symbiosis | Burkholderia | Siblings | Microscopy | Biological Evolution | Herbivory | Residence Characteristics |

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    26023876 | 25521625 | 19146674 | 20882057 | 23574391 | 26116716 | 21385056 | 23949857 | 23691052 | 26045536


    Recent Outbreaks of Shigellosis in California Caused by Two Distinct Populations of Shigella sonnei With Increased Virulence or Fluoroquinolone Resistance

    AUTHORS

    Kozyreva, V. K. | Jospin, G. | Greninger, A. | Watt, J. P. | Eisen, J. A. | Chaturvedi, V. |

    ABSTRACT

    Shigella sonnei has caused unusually large outbreaks of shigellosis in California in 2014 - 2015. Preliminary data indicated the involvement of two distinct yet related bacterial populations, one from San Diego and San Joaquin (SD/SJ) and one from the San Francisco (SF) Bay area. Whole genome sequencing of sixty-eight outbreak and archival isolates of S. sonnei was performed to investigate the microbiological factors related to these outbreaks. Both SD/SJ and SF populations, as well as almost all of the archival S. sonnei isolates belonged to sequence type 152 (ST152). Genome-wide SNP analysis clustered the majority of California (CA) isolates to an earlier described global Lineage III, which has persisted in CA since 1986. Isolates in the SD/SJ population had a novel Shiga-toxin (STX)-encoding lambdoid bacteriophage, most closely related to that found in an Escherichia coli O104:H4 strain responsible for a large outbreak. However, the STX genes (stx1a and stx1b) from this novel phage had sequences most similar to the phages from S. flexneri and S. dysenteriae. The isolates in the SF population yielded evidence of fluoroquinolone resistance acquired via the accumulation of point mutations in gyrA and parC genes. Thus, the CA S. sonnei lineage continues to evolve by the acquisition of increased virulence and antibiotic resistance, and enhanced monitoring is advocated for its early detection in future outbreaks.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/063818

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-14

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Shigella sonnei | Dysentery, Bacillary | Shiga Toxin | Virulence | San Francisco | Point Mutation | Escherichia coli | Bays | Drug Resistance, Microbial | Fluoroquinolones | Bacteriophages | Disease Outbreaks |

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    11705937 | 23390901 | 22858547 | 19297378 | 23341549 | 11699845 | 9623912 | 3049838 | 17587439 | 20947666


    Microbial Mat Functional and Compositional Sensitivity to Environmental Disturbance

    AUTHORS

    Preisner, E. C. | Fichot, E. B. | Norman, R. S. |

    ABSTRACT

    The ability of ecosystems to adapt to environmental perturbations depends on the duration and intensity of change and the overall biological diversity of the system. While studies have indicated that rare microbial taxa may provide a biological reservoir that supports long-term ecosystem stability, how this dynamic population is influenced by environmental parameters remains unclear. In this study, a microbial mat ecosystem located on San Salvador Island, The Bahamas was used as a model to examine how environmental disturbance affects the activity of rare and abundant archaeal and bacterial communities and how these changes impact potential biogeochemical processes. While this ecosystem undergoes a range of seasonal variation, it experienced a large shift in salinity (230 to 65 g kg-1) during 2011-2012 following the landfall of Hurricane Irene on San Salvador Island. High throughput sequencing and analysis of 16S rRNA and rRNA genes from samples before and after the pulse disturbance showed significant changes in the diversity and activity of abundant and rare taxa, suggesting overall functional and compositional sensitivity to environmental change. In both archaeal and bacterial communities, while the majority of taxa showed low activity across conditions, the total number of active taxa and overall activity increased post-disturbance, with significant shifts in activity occurring among abundant and rare taxa across and within phyla. Broadly, following the post-disturbance reduction in salinity, taxa within Halobacteria decreased while those within Crenarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, Thermoplasmata, Cyanobacteria, and Proteobacteria, increased in abundance and activity. Quantitative PCR of genes and transcripts involved in nitrogen and sulfur cycling showed concomitant shifts in biogeochemical cycling potential. Post-disturbance conditions increased the expression of genes involved in N-fixation, nitrification, denitrification, and sulfate reduction. Together, our findings show complex community adaptation to environmental change and help elucidate factors connecting disturbance, biodiversity, and ecosystem function that may enhance ecosystem models.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/063370

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-12

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Archaea | Nitrification | Nitrogen | RNA, Ribosomal, 16S | Crenarchaeota | Denitrification | Sulfur | Seasons | Euryarchaeota | Salinity | Proteobacteria | Halobacterium | Cyclonic Storms | Bahamas | Genes, rRNA | Biodiversity | Ecosystem | Cyanobacteria | Islands | Polymerase Chain Reaction | Sulfates |

    Related Articles

    25028427 | 25781013 | 24704080 | 26474747 | 17298358 | 23254515 | 25912922 | 22194288 | 25423027 | 26283343


    Benzoate and Salicylate Tolerant Strains Lose Antibiotic Resistance during Laboratory Evolution of Escherichia coli K-12

    AUTHORS

    Creamer, K. | Ditmars, F. | Basting, P. J. | Acero, S. | Kunka, K. S. | Hamdallah, I. | Bush, S. P. | Scott, Z. | He, A. | Penix, S. | Gonzales, A. | Eder, E. K. | Camperchioli, D. | Berndt, A. | Clark, M. W. | Rouhier, K. | Slonczewski, J. L. |

    ABSTRACT

    Escherichia coli K-12 W3110 grows in the presence of membrane-permeant organic acids that can depress cytoplasmic pH and accumulate in the cytoplasm. We conducted laboratory evolution by daily dilution in increasing concentrations of benzoic acid (from 5 to 20 mM) buffered at external pH 6.5, a pH at which permeant acids concentrate in the cytoplasm. By 2,000 generations, clones isolated from the evolving populations showed change in phenotype from benzoate-sensitive to benzoate-tolerant but sensitive to chloramphenicol and tetracycline. Sixteen clones isolated at 2,000 generations grew to stationary phase in 20 mM benzoate, whereas the ancestral strain W3110 peaked and declined. Similar growth profiles were seen in 10 mM salicylate. The strains showed growth profiles indistinguishable from W3110 in the absence of benzoate; in media buffered at pH 4.8, pH 7.0, or pH 9.0; or in 20 mM acetate or sorbate at pH 6.5. The genomes of 16 strains revealed over 100 mutations including SNPs, large deletions, and insertion sequence knockouts. Most strains acquired deletions in the benzoate-induced multiple antibiotic resistance (Mar) regulon or associated regulators such as rob and cpx, as well as MDR efflux pumps emrA, emrY, and mdtA. Strains also lost or down-regulated the Gad acid fitness regulon. In 5 mM benzoate, or in 2 mM salicylate, most strains showed increased sensitivity to the antibiotic chloramphenicol, some more sensitive than a marA knockout. Thus, the benzoate-evolved strains may reveal additional unknown drug resistance components. Benzoate is a common food preservative, and salicylate is the primary active metabolite of aspirin. In the gut microbiome, genetic adaptation to salicylate may involve loss or downregulation of inducible multidrug resistance systems. This discovery implies that aspirin therapy may modulate the human gut microbiome to favor salicylate tolerance at the expense of drug resistance.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/063271

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-11

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Tetracycline | Chloramphenicol | Benzoic Acid | Food Preservatives | DNA Transposable Elements | Aspirin | Escherichia coli | Benzoates | Escherichia coli K12 | Regulon | Down-Regulation | Gastrointestinal Microbiome | Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide | Drug Resistance, Microbial | Salicylates | Anti-Bacterial Agents | Acids | Phenotype | Drug Resistance, Multiple | Mutation | Acetates |

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    25556191 | 7504664 | 3909154 | 20011599 | 15496390 | 2954947 | 21541325 | 9097440 | 1537798 | 11257026


    Molecular and biological characterization of an isolate of Tomato mottle mosaic virus (ToMMV) infecting tomato and other experimental hosts in a greenhouse in Valencia, Spain

    AUTHORS

    Ambros, S. | Martinez, F. | Ivars, P. | Hernandez, C. | de la Iglesia, F. | Elena, S. F. |

    ABSTRACT

    Tomato is known to be a natural and experimental reservoir host for many plant viruses. In the last few years a new tobamovirus species, Tomato mottle mosaic virus (ToMMV), has been described infecting tomato and pepper plants in several countries worldwide. Upon observation of symptoms in tomato plants growing in a greenhouse in Valencia, Spain, we aimed to ascertain the etiology of the disease. Using standard molecular techniques, we first detected a positive sense single-stranded RNA virus as the probable causal agent. Next, we amplified, cloned and sequenced a ~3 kb fragment of its RNA genome which allowed us to identify the virus as a new ToMMV isolate. Through extensive assays on distinct plant species, we validated Koch's postulates and investigated the host range of the ToMMV isolate. Several plant species were locally and/or systemically infected by the virus, some of which had not been previously reported as ToMMV hosts despite they are commonly used in research greenhouses. Finally, two reliable molecular diagnostic techniques were developed and used to assess the presence of ToMMV in different plants species. We discuss the possibility that, given the high sequence homology between ToMMV and Tomato mosaic virus, the former may have been mistakenly diagnosed as the latter by serological methods.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/063255

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-11

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Tobamovirus | Lycopersicon esculentum | Host Specificity | RNA | Spain | Base Sequence | Plant Viruses | Sequence Homology | Piper nigrum | Molecular Diagnostic Techniques | RNA Viruses |

    Related Articles

    14579173 | 22080188 | 21853328 | 24390328 | 19768650 | 26239043 | 19423673 | 20470828 | 22523958 | 23064695


    An ex vivo lung model to study bronchioles infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms

    AUTHORS

    Harrison, F. | Diggle, S. P. |

    ABSTRACT

    A key aim in microbiology is to determine the genetic and phenotypic bases of bacterial virulence, persistence and antimicrobial resistance in chronic biofilm infections. This requires tractable, high-throughput models that reflect the physical and chemical environment encountered in specific infection contexts. Such models will increase the predictive power of microbiological experiments and provide platforms for enhanced testing of novel antibacterial or antivirulence therapies. We present an optimised ex vivo model of cystic fibrosis lung infection: ex vivo culture of pig bronchiolar tissue in artificial cystic fibrosis mucus. We focus on the formation of biofilms by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We show highly repeatable and specific formation of biofilms that resemble clinical biofilms by a commonly-studied lab strain and ten cystic fibrosis isolates of this key opportunistic pathogen.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/063222

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-11

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Animals | Swine | Pseudomonas aeruginosa | Cystic Fibrosis | Biofilms | Anti-Bacterial Agents | Bronchioles | Virulence | Anti-Infective Agents | Mucus | Pseudomonas Infections | Lung | Sus scrofa |

    Related Articles

    26506004 | 16207991 | 21998591 | 17116883 | 25448466 | 11048725 | 22309106 | 26253522 | 17224667 | 25477303


    Origins of pandemic clones from environmental gene pools

    AUTHORS

    Shapiro, B. J. | Levade, I. | Kovacikova, G. | Taylor, R. K. | Almagro-Moreno, S. |

    ABSTRACT

    Some microbes can transition from an environmental lifestyle to a pathogenic one. This ecological switch typically occurs through the acquisition of horizontally acquired virulence genes. However, the genomic features that must be present in a population prior to the acquisition of virulence genes and emergence of pathogenic clones remain unknown. We hypothesized that virulence adaptive polymorphisms (VAPs) circulate in environmental populations and are required for this transition. We developed a comparative genomic framework for identifying VAPs, using Vibrio cholerae as a model. We then characterized several environmental VAP alleles to show that one of them reduced the ability of clinical strains to colonize a mammalian host, whereas two other alleles conferred efficient colonization. These results show that VAPs are present in environmental bacterial populations prior to the emergence of virulent clones. We propose a scenario in which VAPs circulate in the environment, they become selected and enriched under certain ecological conditions, and finally a genomic background containing several VAPs acquires virulence factors that allows for its emergence as a pathogenic clone.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/063115

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-10

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Animals | Vibrio cholerae | Virulence | Alleles | Virulence Factors | Gene Pool | Pandemics | Ecology | Genomics | Mammals | Life Style |

    Related Articles

    14766976 | 18462070 | 23076327 | 19319196 | 11939579 | 22676367 | 14607067 | 15728357 | 10024551 | 21078967


    Metabolic Reconstruction and Modeling Microbial Electrosynthesis

    AUTHORS

    Marshall, C. | Ross, D. | Handley, K. | Weisenhorn, P. | Edirisinghe, J. | Henry, C. | Gilbert, J. | May, H. | Norman, R. S. |

    ABSTRACT

    Microbial electrosynthesis is a renewable energy and chemical production platform that relies on microbial taxa to capture electrons from a cathode and fix carbon. Yet the metabolic capacity of multispecies microbial communities on electrosynthetic biocathodes remains unknown. We assembled 13 genomes from a high-performing electroacetogenic culture, and mapped their transcriptional activity from a range of conditions. This allowed us to create a metabolic model of the primary community members (Acetobacterium, Sulfurospirillum, and Desulfovibrio). Acetobacterium was the primary carbon fixer, and a keystone member of the community. Based on transcripts upregulated near the electrode surface, soluble hydrogenases and ferredoxins from Acetobacterium and hydrogenases, formate dehydrogenase, and cytochromes of Desulfovibrio were essential conduits for electron flow from the electrode into the electrosynthetic community. A nitrogenase gene cluster with an adjacent ferredoxin and one of two Rnf complexes within the genome of the Acetobacterium were also upregulated on the electrode. Nitrogenase is known to serve as a hydrogenase, thereby it would contribute to hydrogen production by the biocathode. Oxygenases of microaerobic members of the community throughout the cathode chamber, including Sulfurospirillum and Rhodobacteraceae, were expressed. While the reactors were maintained anaerobically, this gene expression would support anaerobic growth and thus electrosynthesis by scrubbing small amounts of O2 out of the reactor. These molecular discoveries and metabolic modeling now serve as a foundation for future examination and development of electrosynthetic microbial communities.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/059410

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-07

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Acetobacterium | Hydrogenase | Ferredoxins | Formate Dehydrogenases | Desulfovibrio | Electrons | Rhodobacteraceae | Nitrogenase | Carbon | Oxygenases | Electrodes | Renewable Energy | Biological Processes | Up-Regulation | Multigene Family | Hydrogen | Cytochromes |

    Related Articles

    23676111 | 23001672 | 26399888 | 26079858 | 24910339 | 17353934 | 18284174 | 23603672 | 24126154 | 25333313


    Characterization of the effects of n-butanol on the cell envelope of E. coli

    AUTHORS

    Fletcher, E. | Pilizota, T. | Davies, P. R. | McVey, A. | French, C. E. |

    ABSTRACT

    Biofuel alcohols have severe consequences on the microbial hosts used in their biosynthesis, which limits the productivity of the bioconversion. The cell envelope is one of the most strongly affected structures, in particular, as the external concentration of biofuels rises during biosynthesis. Damage to the cell envelope can have severe consequences, such as impairment of transport into and out of the cell; however the nature of butanol-induced envelope damage has not been well characterized. In the present study, the effects of n-butanol on the cell envelope of Escherichia coli were investigated. Using enzyme and fluorescence-based assays, we observed that 1% v/v n-butanol resulted in release of lipopolysaccharides from the outer membrane of E. coli and caused leakiness in both outer and inner membranes. Higher concentrations of n-butanol, within the range of 2% - 10% (v/v), resulted in inner membrane protrusion through the peptidoglycan observed by characteristic blebs. The findings suggest that strategies for rational engineering of butanol-tolerant bacterial strains should take into account all components of the cell envelope.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/062547

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-07

    Generated MeSH Terms

    1-Butanol | Peptidoglycan | Escherichia coli | Lipopolysaccharides | Biofuels | Alcohols | Fluorescence | Blister | Butanols | Cell Membrane | Cell Wall | Biological Transport |

    Related Articles

    24056459 | 21408113 | 20118358 | 6630230 | 22898718 | 2045784 | 24014527 | 6415062 | 24967819 | 17506684


    The clinically approved antiviral drug sofosbuvir impairs Brazilian zika virus replication

    AUTHORS

    Sacramento, C. Q. | de Melo, G. R. | Rocha, N. | Hoelz, L. V. B. | Mesquita, M. | de Freitas, C. S. | Fintelman-Rodrigues, N. | Marttorelli, A. | Ferreira, A. C. | Barbosa-Lima, G. | Bastos, M. M. | Volotao, E. d. M. | Tschoeke, D. A. | Leomil, L. | Bozza, F. A. | Bozza, P. T. | Boechat, N. | Thompson, F. L. | de Filippis, A. M. B. | Bruning, K. | Souza, T. |

    ABSTRACT

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of Flaviviridae family, as other agents of clinical significance, such as dengue (DENV) and hepatitis C (HCV) viruses. ZIKV spread from Africa to Pacific and South American territories, emerging as an etiological pathogen of neurological disorders, during fetal development and in adulthood. Therefore, antiviral drugs able to inhibit ZIKV replication are necessary. Broad spectrum antivirals, such as interferon, ribavirin and favipiravir, are harmful for pregnant animal models and women. The clinically approved uridine nucleotide analog anti-HCV drug, sofosbuvir, has not been affiliated to teratogenicity. Sofosbuvir target the most conserved protein over the members of the Flaviviridae family, the viral RNA polymerase. We thus studied ZIKV susceptibility to sofosbovir. We initially characterized a Brazilian ZIKV strain for use in experimental assays. Sofosbuvir inhibits the Brazilian ZIKV replication in a dose-dependent manner, both in BHK-21 cells and SH-Sy5y, by targeting ZIKV RNA polymerase activity, with the involvement of conserved amino acid residues over the members of Flaviviridae family. The identification of clinically approved antiviral drugs endowed with anti-ZIKV could reduce the time frame in pre-clinical development. Altogether, our data indicates that sofosbuvir chemical structure is endowed with anti-ZIKV activity.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/061671

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-06

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Humans | Animals | Female | Antiviral Agents | Ribavirin | Interferons | Sofosbuvir | RNA, Viral | favipiravir | Uridine | Zika Virus | Hepatitis C Antibodies | Hepacivirus | Hepatitis C | Amides | Pyrazines | DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases | Dengue | Amino Acids | Virus Replication | Models, Animal | Fetal Development | Nervous System Diseases | Africa | Brazil |

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    26085147 | 26283013 | 26294237 | 19788800 | 26527535 | 25822283 | 24148652 | 22389730 | 22953014 | 25175944


    General calibration of microbial growth in microplate readers

    AUTHORS

    Stevenson, K. | McVey, A. F. | Clark, I. B. N. | Swain, P. S. | Pilizota, T. |

    ABSTRACT

    Optical density (OD) measurements of microbial growth are one of the most common techniques used in microbiology, with applications ranging from antibiotic efficacy studies, studies of growth under different nutritional or stress environments, to studies of different mutant strains, including those harbouring synthetic circuits. OD measurements are performed under the assumption that the OD value obtained is proportional to the cell number, i.e. the concentration of the sample. However, the assumption holds true in a limited range of conditions and calibration techniques that determine that range are currently missing. Here we present a set of calibration procedures and considerations that are necessary to successfully estimate the cell concentration from OD measurements.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/061861

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-04

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Calibration | Biological Processes | Physiological Processes | Cell Count | Research | Anti-Bacterial Agents |

    Related Articles

    17061075 | 22280888 | 16313423 | 24654390 | 4005611 | 10624324 | 19726895 | 21509987 | 23016461 | 22947163


    Dysregulation of Long Non-coding RNA (lncRNA) Genes and Predicted lncRNA-protein Interactions during Zika Virus Infection

    AUTHORS

    Ramaiah, A. | Contreras, D. | Gangalapudi, V. | Padhye, M. S. | Tang, J. | Arumugaswami, V. |

    ABSTRACT

    Zika Virus (ZIKV) is a causative agent for poor pregnancy outcome and fetal developmental abnormalities, including microcephaly and eye defects. As a result, ZIKV is now a confirmed teratogen. Understanding host-pathogen interactions, specifically cellular perturbations caused by ZIKV, can provide novel therapeutic targets. In order to complete viral replication, viral pathogens control the host cellular machineries and regulate various factors, including long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes, at transcriptional levels. The role of lncRNA genes in the pathogenesis of ZIKV-mediated microcephaly and eye defects is currently unknown. To gain additional insights, we focused on profiling the differentially expressed lncRNA genes during ZIKV infection in mammalian cells. For this study, we employed a contemporary clinical Zika viral isolate, PRVABC59, of Asian genotype. We utilized an unbiased RNA sequencing approach to profile the lncRNA transcriptome in ZIKV infected Vero cells. We identified a total of 121 lncRNA genes that are differentially regulated at 48 hours post-infection. The majority of these genes are independently validated by reverse-transcription qPCR. A notable observation was that the lncRNAs, MALAT1 (Metastasis Associated Lung Adenocarcinoma Transcript 1) and NEAT1 (Nuclear Paraspeckle Assembly Transcript 1), are down-regulated upon Zika viral infection. MALAT1 and NEAT1 are known as nuclear localized RNAs that regulate gene expression and cell proliferation. Protein-lncRNA interaction maps revealed that MALAT1 and NEAT1 share common interacting partners and form a larger network comprising of 71 cellular factors. ZIKV-mediated dysregulation of these two regulatory lncRNAs can alter the expression of respective target genes and associated biological functions, an important one being cell division. In conclusion, this investigation is the first to provide insight into the biological connection of lncRNAs and ZIKV which can be further explored for developing antiviral therapy and understanding fetal developmental processes.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/061788

    PUBLISHED: 2016-07-01

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Humans | Animals | Cercopithecus aethiops | Female | Pregnancy | RNA, Long Noncoding | Adenocarcinoma of lung | Vero Cells | Teratogens | Transcriptome | Sequence Analysis, RNA | RNA, Nuclear | Host-Pathogen Interactions | Microcephaly | Pregnancy Outcome | Zika Virus | Zika Virus Infection | Adenocarcinoma | Lung Neoplasms | Virus Replication | Cell Division | Antiviral Agents | Genotype |

    Related Articles

    26085147 | 26283013 | 26527535 | 25889429 | 23835137 | 26071336 | 23324609 | 25885227 | 24148652 | 26363020


    When is a bacterial "virulence factor" really virulent?

    AUTHORS

    Granato, E. T. | Harrison, F. | Kummerli, R. | Ross-Gillespie, A. |

    ABSTRACT

    Bacterial traits that contribute to disease are termed 'virulence factors' and there is much interest in therapeutic approaches that disrupt such traits. However, ecological theory predicts disease severity to be multifactorial and context dependent, which might complicate our efforts to identify the most generally important virulence factors. Here, we use meta-analysis to quantify disease outcomes associated with one well-studied virulence factor - pyoverdine, an iron-scavenging compound secreted by the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Consistent with ecological theory, we found that the effect of pyoverdine, albeit frequently contributing to disease, varied considerably across infection models. In many cases its effect was relatively minor, suggesting that pyoverdine is rarely essential for infections. Our work demonstrates the utility of meta-analysis as a tool to quantify variation and overall effects of purported virulence factors across different infection models. This standardised approach will help us to evaluate promising targets for anti-virulence approaches.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/061317

    PUBLISHED: 2016-06-29

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa | Virulence | Virulence Factors | pyoverdin | Iron | Oligopeptides | Iron Compounds | Ecology | Reference Standards |

    Related Articles

    26313907 | 23106711 | 22251040 | 22819149 | 24803516 | 25312210 | 26149986 | 19707586 | 21643731 | 19854904


    Characterization of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Fitness Centers in Memphis Metropolitan Area, USA

    AUTHORS

    Mukherjee, N. | Sulaiman, I. M. | Banerjee, P. |

    ABSTRACT

    Indoor skin-contact surfaces of public fitness centers may serve as reservoirs of potential human transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We found a high prevalence of multi-drug resistant (MDR)-MRSA of CC59 lineage harboring a variety of extracellular toxin genes from surface swab samples collected from inanimate surfaces of fitness centers in Memphis metropolitan area, USA. Our findings underscore the role of inanimate surfaces as potential sources of transmission of MDR-MRSA strains with considerable genetic diversity.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/061044

    PUBLISHED: 2016-06-29

    Generated MeSH Terms

    Humans | Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus | Methicillin | Fitness Centers | Prevalence | Staphylococcal Infections | Staphylococcus aureus | Genetic Variation | Toxins, Biological |

    Related Articles

    25479039 | 11144421 | 25789579 | 25200331 | 26035662 | 26063853 | 18675154 | 24039803 | 26408138 | 26113228


    Norovirus-mediated modification of the translational landscape via virus and host-induced cleavage of translation initiation factors.

    AUTHORS

    Emmott, E. | Sorgeloos, F. | Caddy, S. L. | Vashist, S. | Sosnovtsev, S. | Lloyd, R. | Heesom, K. | Goodfellow, I. |

    ABSTRACT

    Noroviruses produce viral RNAs lacking a 5' cap structure and instead use a virus-encoded VPg protein covalently linked to viral RNA to interact with translation initiation factors and drive viral protein synthesis. Norovirus infection results in the induction of the innate response leading to interferon stimulated gene (ISG) transcription. However the translation of the induced ISG mRNAs is suppressed. Using a novel mass spectrometry approach we demonstrate that diminished host mRNA translation correlates with changes to the composition of the eukaryotic initiation factor complex. The suppression of host ISG translation correlates with the activity of the viral protease (NS6) and the activation of cellular caspases leading to the establishment of an apoptotic environment. These results indicate that noroviruses exploit the differences between viral VPg-dependent and cellular cap-dependent translation in order to diminish the host response to infection.

    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/060772

    PUBLISHED: 2016-06-26

    Generated MeSH Terms

    RNA, Viral | Norovirus | RNA, Messenger | Interferons | Interferon Inducers | Caspases | Eukaryotic Initiation Factors | Viral Proteins | Peptide Initiation Factors | Mass Spectrometry |

    Related Articles

    24928504 | 16835235 | 12773399 | 16647732 | 25142584 | 18582528 | 16626853 | 21697470 | 18030737 | 17855553


    Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Ready-to-Eat Foods

    Research presented at the ASM Microbe 2017 meeting by Bryan Sanchez of California State University–Northridge in Northridge, Calif., show that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are present in many ready-to-eat foods such as fresh produce and dairy products and may serve as a source of human exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. About 2 million people become infected with antibiotic resistant-bacteria annually in the United States, resulting in over $35 billion in additional health care costs. Examining potential ways that humans can be exposed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria can help in understanding how to counter the threat.

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    Development of a Novel Vaccine for Zika

    Research presented by Farshad Guirakhoo, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, GeoVax, Inc., at the ASM Microbe 2017 meeting showed a new Zika virus vaccine that gives 100% protection in mice. The vaccine is the first to be based on the Zika virus NS1 protein, and the first to show single-dose protection against Zika in an immunocompetent lethal mouse challenge model. Results of the study were presented on June 4 at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Microbe conference in New Orleans.

    Thank You for Volunteering

     

    Thank you for volunteering to serve as a speaker for ASM's Speakers Bureau. The information you submitted will be added to the online profile of speakers. ASM staff will contact you in the coming months with additional information. If you have any questions or concerns, please email professionalpractice@asmusa.org.

     

    Zika Virus successfully diagnosed from semen

    Research presented at ASM Microbe 2017 by experts at the Fertility and Cryogenics Lab shows a reliable clinical assay that can detect the Zika virus from semen samples.

    Starving Yourself Just Might Let You Live Longer and Healthier

    While it is generally thought that bacteria are bad for us, research has shown that bacteria are important in our health and possibly longevity. Bacteria inhabit just about every part of the human body ranging from the skin, nose and the intestinal tract. In fact, bacteria make up more cells in the body than human cells and are collectively known as the microbiome. The microbiome of the intestine has been shown to play a role in disease such as obesity and diabetes. The intestinal microbiota has also been linked to a variety of beneficial functions that include the breakdown of nutrients, vitamin production and development of the immune system. For over 50 years, research has shown that reducing the amount of food an animal consumes (a process known as calorie restriction, CR) increases lifespan by retarding aging because most age-related diseases are delayed or reduced by CR.  Because diet and age can exert major effects on the composition of the intestinal microbiota, we hypothesized that CR, specifically 40% restriction, would delay/prevent age related changes in the intestinal microbiota.


    Researchers from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) and the Missouri Mutant Mouse Resource and Research Center (MU MMRRC) studied the effect of age and life-long CR on the composition of the intestinal microbiota of young and old laboratory mice. The results will be presented at the ASM Microbe in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday June 18, 2016.


    As mice age, significant changes in the composition of the microbiota were observed. For example, there was a decrease or absence of specific bacteria in the old mice that were present in the young mice.  Conversely, there were also bacteria that were found in the old mice but not in the young mice. In addition to the changes described above, overall, there was about a 30% reduction in the number of different types of bacteria found in the old mice compared to the young mice.


    CR altered the overall composition of the intestinal microbiota of old mice in comparison to their old counterparts that were given unlimited access to food. The old calorie restricted mice contained a microbiome profile that was highly similar to that found in the young mice.  Additionally, with the old calorie restricted mice there were no age-related reductions in the number of different types of bacteria and were comparable to that of the young mice.


    From this study, researchers were able to demonstrate for the first time that CR prevented the age-related changes in the intestinal microbiome. The implications of this data suggests that the preservation of the young intestinal microbiota profile found within old CR mice may play a role in the prevention or delay of age-related diseases as well as the extension in lifespan seen with CR.  Additional research will be needed to determine if these differences in the microbiome are beneficial or harmful as well as determine whether or not these changes play a role in the extension of lifespan.


    This study will be presented on at the American Society for Microbiology’s Microbe 2016 meeting in Boston, MA.

    New Tech Professional Development Grant Program

    If you are a relatively new clinical laboratory scientist (CLS) or equivalent working in a clinical microbiology laboratory, are directly involved with bench work, have aspirations of doing more and possibly assume a leadership role, you may be eligible for an ASM $1,500 Professional Development Grant. The eligibility criteria are:

    • Worked as a clinical microbiologist for more than 1 and less than 5 years
    • Non-doctoral level professional
    • ASM member
    • Never attended an ASM General Meeting
    • Not presenting a poster or talk at the 2018 meeting

    This grant is designed to inspire beginning non-doctoral level clinical microbiologists to get more engaged in our profession by attending the 2018 ASM Microbe meeting. The award will be used for the meeting registration fee and to help defray travel expenses. During the meeting you will interact with a pre-assigned mentor, attend symposia, visit poster sessions, peruse industry-sponsored exhibits featuring the latest technological advances, have the opportunity to network with other new and "seasoned" microbiologists and learn more about the profession of microbiology.

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    legionella strains

    Ongoing Monitoring of Legionella in Flint in the Wake of the Drinking Water Crisis
    Dr. Otto Schwake

    Eight strains of Legionella isolated from a health care center in Flint, MI during March 2016.  Photograph: Otto Schwake

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    water bottlesSamples of discolored tap water and a rusty water filter provided by Flint residents.
    Photograph: Virgina Tech/Jim Stroup

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    S.mutans colony morphology

    Sharing of Tooth Decay Causing Bacterium Among Children and Their Families
    Stephanie Momeni

    S. mutans colony morphology

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    SEM.K904 on Bleb.pseudo.copyResearch Shows New Mechanism That Can Cause Eye Inflammation
    Dr. Robert Shanks

    Pseudo-colored electron micrograph of Serratia marcescens bacteria (red) on a human corneal cell in vitro.  The yellow arrow indicates a large surface bleb induced by a toxin produced by the bacteria.  The white bar indicates 10 microns.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A Novel Therapy for Genital Herpes Engages Immune Cells to Provide Significant Patient Benefits for at Least a Year
    Dr. Kenneth Fife, MD, PhD, investigator and Professor of Medicine at Indiana University

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     Genociarevised

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Pisciotta1Photo: WCU Researchers: From left to right. Dr. John Pisciotta, graduate student Paige Minka and undergraduate Jeremy Irving prepare to install sMFCs in Paradise Farms pond (Downingtown, PA).

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    muddy microbesFig. 1:  sMFC components and experimental installation plan depict two sMFCs with identical sediment-buried graphite anodes wired (in red) to transmit microbially-generated electric current from anodes to an upper cellular data relay unit (upper box) that transmits the data from the field site. Electrons then pass via wires (green) to carbon cloth cathodes (grey ovals) suspended in the water at variable depths. Leftmost sMFC features a surface cathode while the sMFC at right has a submerged cathode. Identical replicate sMFCs (not shown) were included in the study.

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    Thank you for your RSVP

    Thank you for your RSVP to the ASM Officers' Reception.

     

    Saturday, June 18th from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

    The Westin Boston Waterfront


    Grand Ballrooms BCDE (Concourse Level)


    425 Summer Street


    Boston, MA

    ASM's Statement on the March for Science

    March for Science Statement Graphic

    ASM and Science Advocacy:

    There is a widespread desire among scientists to be actively involved in science advocacy and societal issues. This is an opportune time for making science and scientists visible within society at large. The ASM has a strong tradition of engagement with policy issues, and it consistently supports its members in their advocacy for science that serves the public interest.

    The March for Science:

    A March for Science is being organized for April 22, Earth Day, in Washington DC. The mission statement and additional information can be found on the March for Science web page. A hope is that policy makers will take note of the value of science. ASM members might choose to participate in this march or concurrent events being planned for other cities, but it remains crucial that sustained, effective advocacy for science continues beyond these demonstrations.

    ASM and Federal Policy on Science:

    To inform and influence sound federal policy, the ASM and its members must repeatedly present clear, science based messages to policymakers and the broader public on the value of scientific knowledge that results from well funded research. Legislators are most receptive when they are contacted directly by constituents who succinctly express their views and focus on specific issues of the greatest importance to the largest number of voters. ASM has posted an advocacy page on its website to assist those members who wish to advocate for the microbial sciences.

    Thank you for your RSVP

    Thank you for your RSVP to the Division Officers Forum.

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, June 16th from 8:30 - noon at
    The Westin Boston Waterfront
    Grand Ballrooms C
    425 Summer Street
    Boston, MA

    A continental breakfast will be served.

    ASM Response to White House Executive Order Regarding Travel and Immigration

    ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences through conferences and meetings that provide a forum for all scientists to come together and exchange scientific discovery. We recognize that diversity makes science stronger and collaboration across the globe is imperative for scientific advancements. ASM strives for an inclusive and welcoming environment and our goal is to provide a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences. The participation of scientists from all countries and backgrounds is extremely important to our organization.

    The recent White House Executive Order, if reinstated, could restrict scientists, students and postdoctoral fellows from attending ASM meetings. ASM remains committed towards inclusion of all attendees at its meetings.

    Anyone affected who has submitted an abstract or registered for one of our upcoming conferences, but may no longer be able to attend the conference due to the Executive Order, should not hesitate to contact our Meeting Customer Service Department at 202.942.9250 or conferences@asmusa.org for assistance.

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