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

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

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.

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

Image Gallery

 

gloves

Contaminated Gloves Increase Risks of Cross-Transmission of Healthcare-Associated Pathogens
Dr. Kazue Fujita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

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

test

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 Agar Art 2017

Since 2015, the Agar Art Contest has provided an outlet for the creativity of ASM members and publically showcased the fun and diverse world of microbes. For this contest, microbiologists and artists "paint" strands of bacteria on agar, a gelatinous substance used to make biological cultures. The contest has been covered by media outlets ranging from Discovery to BBC News.

 

 AgarArt The End

Sunset at the End
1st Place Winner

Jasmine Temple
Jef Boeke
Michael Shen
Leslie Mitchell

Institute for Systems Genetics, New York University Langone Medical Center

Organism(s) Used Saccharomyces cerevisiae containing pigment plasmids  | light pink (beta-carotene) |dark pink (RFP) | black (violacien) grey (violacien) purple (coral) blue (sea anemone) | yellow (beta-carotene) - orange (beta-carotene) Agar(s) Used YPD (Yeast peptone dextrose) + G418 (geneticin)

This image of a sunset in Montauk, New York was created by "printing" nanodroplets of media containing baker's yeast with pigment-encoding plasmids (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) onto a large agar plate. Each dot is a separate yeast colony. The image is printed pixel by pixel, generating a composite image which we term "biopointillism". The colonies grow to create the image and the pigments slowly develop over days or weeks. The different colored yeast strains were constructed by genetically engineering the yeast to produce pigments naturally made by bacteria, fungi, coral and anemones. This method allows for up to 24,576 biopixels per image, yielding intricate designs and details. Using genes from other organisms to make biological compounds paves the way toward harnessing yeast in the production of other useful molecules, from food to fuels and drugs.

 

 

 AgarArt Finding Pheumo

Finding Pneumo:  starring Klebsiella pneumonia
2nd Place Winner

Linh Ngo, MLT
Andrew Simor

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Organism(s) Used Serratia marcescens (purple) | Staphylococcus aureus (pink, and a little green) | Candida tropicalis (white) | Klebsiella pneumoniae (grey, mucoid) Agar(s) Used Cystine lactose electrolyte deficient (CLED) agar

Coral reefs are underwater ecosystems that host an array of organisms. A diversity of bacterial communities can be found in corals, but trying to identify these bacteria have been hampered due to their large numbers. These bacteria help the coral by providing nutrients and producing antimicrobial agents against infections caused by potential pathogens. We chose CLED agar as our canvas to mimic water. Serratia marcescens was used for our purple sea fans and Caulerpa. S. marcescens is not only an opportunistic pathogen in humans, but also causes “white pox” in Elkhorn coral. Staphylococcus aureus was used for our brain coral, a pathogen that causes a wide range of infections (e.g., abscesses, endocarditis) and can be found in contaminated water. The white coral are Candida tropicalis that illustrate coral bleaching that has become more prevalent due to climate change. Klebsiella pneumoniae is a commonly isolated pathogen in healthy and immunocompromised hosts but ubiquitous in the environment. Plasmids carrying multi-drug resistance genes, and hypervirulent strains causing serious, life-threatening infections are being increasingly recognized. Within this picture there is a mucoid bacilli that is strategically placed within one of the plates. Can you find it?

 

 AgarArt 1878

Dancing Microbes 
3rd Place Winner

Ana Tsitsishvili

Agricultural University of Georgia

Organism(s) Used Staphylococcus epidermidis - white color | Rhodotorula mucilaginosa - red/pink color | Micrococcus luteus - yellow color | Xanthomonas axonopodis - green color  Agar(s) Used Brain-heart infusion agar

For this painting I used microbes and fungi on Brain-Heart infusion agar. The white color, which is on the face and the dress of the girl and the boy, is Staphylococcus epidermidis.It is a part of the normal human flora, typically, the skin flora, Iisolated them from my own skin. The pink color of the girl’s dress and the tree flowers is by made of the Rhodotorula mucilaginosa,it’s a common environmental inhabitant. It can be isolated from soil, milk,and air samples. I have got it from air.Rhodotorula can cause disease in immunosuppressed people. The yellow color of the lady’s hair is Micrococcus luteus,it is urease and catalase positive. An obligate aerobic microbe, M. luteus is found in soil, water, air and as part of the normal flora of the mammalian skin. The green is Xanthomonas axonopodis.Xanthomonas are exclusively pathogenic to a large group of plants, such as citrus trees, cotton, beans, and grapes. I got the other colors by doing the following: first of all I put Rhodotorula mucilaginosa on petri dish and waited until it grew. Then I added Micrococcus luteus and in the end - Staphylococcus epidermidis, since it grows faster than other microbes and fungi.

 

 AgarArt Portrait of Hon Dr GM Warke

Portrait of Hon. Dr. G. M. Warke
People’s Choice Winner

Mrs. Yogita Pankaj Phalke, M.Sc. Microbiology

HiMedia Labs. Pvt. Ltd.

Organism(s) Used Streptococcus faecalis  Agar(s) Used HiCrome UTI agar (HiMedia code M1353)

We have used chromogenic media (HiCrome M1353). The Streptococcus faecalis breaks down the chromogenic substrate, specifically and the blue colored chromophore is liberated. This blue color is imparted to the colony & slightly diffuses. This creates a shade of blue on the light colored background of the medium, the colonies are very distinctly visible.

 AgarArt Leaf

Genetically engineered plant

Hanna Zarrinnegar, 9th grade
Robert Sweeney, Biology Teacher

Nueva School

Organism(s) Used E.coli  Agar(s) Used nutrient agar

Genetically engineered plant: Certain bacteria transfer genetic information into plants to induce tumors and are used by humans to genetically engineer plants. The bacteria used in plant genetic engineering is Agrobacterium tumefaciens. In this piece we colonized a leaf with bacteria to to represent bacterial genetic engineering of plants. We 3D printed a leaf and transformed E.coli with nine different pigment producing plasmids and colonized the nutrient agar leaf.

 AgarArt 50 Shades of AMR

50 Shades of Antimicrobial Resistance

Luis Mota-Bravo 
Amara Thind
Nicholas RamirezBetsy Juarez
Michelle Kalu

University of California, Irvine

Organism(s) Used Aeromonas culicicola, Raoultella ornithinolytica, Arthrobacter Castelli, Morganella morganii, Candida parapsilosis, Enterobacter kobei, Escherichia coli, Trichosporon asahii and Serratia marcescens  Agar(s) Used CHROMagar Orientation

This work shows multiple bacteria with two of them mating in the center of the image; this process is called conjugation and it is a mechanism involved in the dispersion of antimicrobial resistance between bacteria. The top bacterium (donor) is transferring genetic material to the bottom bacterium (recipient) through a “bridge” called a pilus. If the genetic material transferred provides resistance to antibiotics, the recipient bacterium not only becomes resistant, but also can mate with other bacteria to spread the resistance. All bacteria used to compose this art are resistant to antibiotics. Most belong to the family Enterobacteriaceae, which are part of the top 12 most dangerous superbugs listed by the World Health Organization in 2017. A yeast was also included to obtain the wrinkled aspect seen around the recipient bacterium. The red halo surrounding the pilus is due to a natural pigment released by a bacterium called Serratia marcescens. Specific compounds have been added to the agar to generate the other colors. Those compounds are uncolored, but once they are digested by the microbes, they become either pink or blue.

 AgarArt the Human Microbiome

The Human Microbiome

Md Zohorul Islam

University of Copenhagen

Organism(s) Used Serratia marcescens (red) | Micrococcus luteus (bright yellow) | Macrococcus caseolyticus (dark yellow) | Staphylococcus aureus (white) | Rothia nasimurium (creamy white)  Agar(s) Used Mueller Hinton Agar

Human being is not just a single entity, but also a complex ecosystem consisting of human cells, and trillions of microorganisms including eukaryotes, archaea, bacteria and viruses. Collectively, all of these microbial communities living in association with the human body are known as human microbiome.  Human genome and microbiome evolved together which shape the phenotypic and genomic landscape of an individual. The diversity of human microbiome is remarkably unpredictable, but largely depends on diet, environment, host genetics and early life exposure to microbes. In this artwork, I depicted the diversity of human microbiome in different individuals by using different colors. I used five bacterial species to mark diverse colors on a bacterial growth medium (Mueller Hinton Agar). The red color was Serratia marcescens, a human pathogen responsible for urinary tract infection. The bright yellow (male left and middle DNA bases) was Micrococcus luteus, is a mammalian skin flora, and the dark yellow (female right) color was Macrococcus caseolyticus, a non-pathogenic bacteria found in dairy products. I used two bacteria for white color, Staphylococcus aureus (women left half and top child), which is an opportunistic pathogen in humans and animals, and Rothia nasimurium (dot around human bodies and DNA).

 Mandala THD 2017

Flower Mandala

Laura Knoll
Akita Joshi
Mireya Dura

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital

Organism(s) Used E coli, Serratia marsescens, Klebsiella species, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus saprophyticus  Agar(s) Used UTI chromogenic agar and MacConkey agar

A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe. The flower mandala here represents the enteric microbial universe that is also common etiologic agents for urinary tract infections. The center plate is UTI chromogenic agar which helps distinguish the common pathogens causing UTI, and the surrounding plate is Mac Conkey, where E coli and Serratia marsescens give the pink and reddish color. (Organisms and the color they represent in the center plate;  Klebsiella species- Teal, Enterococcus- Dark blue, Staphylococcus saprophyticus- Light Pink. The organism in the surrounding plates;E coli- Dry flat pink on Mac Conkey, Serratia marscencens- Red on Mac Conkey)

 AgarArt Haring
A Tribute to Keith Haring

Melanie Sullivan

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Medicine, Fritz Lab

Organism(s) Used Staphylococcus Aureus (black)  Agar(s) Used Hardy Baird Parker contact plate

Hardy Diagnostics’ Baird Parker contact plate is the canvas for this piece of agar art. On this agar Staphylococcus aureus forms distinct black colonies by reducing tellurite in the medium. Proteolysis or lipolysis results in clear zones around the colonies. Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium frequently found in the respiratory tract and on the skin that is also a leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections along with more serious bloodstream, bone and joint infections and pneumonia.

 

 AgarArt Once in a Red Moon
Once in a Red Moon

Yogiara
Romualdus Jevon
Vana Purnawidjaja

Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia

Organism(s) Used  Escherichia coli (metallic green sheen) • Serratia marcescens (pink) • Chromobacterium violaceum (purple) • Staphylococcus epidermidis (yellow) Agar(s) Used Eosin Methylene Blue; Brain-Heart Infusion Agar

As our earth passes between the sun and the moon, a rare phenomenon which is called a red moon occurs. This art was made to convey that magical scenery using microbial creatures as its paint. The red moon was created with Eosin Metyhlene Blue medium, which was combined with Brain-Heart Infusion Agar as the sky. On the tree branch painted with Chromobacterium violaceum (purple) and Staphylococcus epidermidis (yellow), perched a small robin bird. Illuminated by the moonlight, the bird’s feathers created with Escherichia coli glitter in green, while other parts of its body created with Serratia marcescens appear pink

.

 AgarArt Marilyn
Marylin Monroe

Sarah Alexander
Hannah McGregor

National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC)

Organism(s) Used Chromobacterium violaceum (NCTC 9757) Serratia marcescens (NCTC 1377)

Serratia rubidaea (NCTC 10845) Micrococcus luteus (NCTC 7503) Kocuria rosea (NCTC 2676) Kocuria rosea (NCTC 7511) Staphylococcus haemolyticus (NCTC 11042) Agar(s) Used Nutrient Agar

The pink shades of Kocuria and Serratia are perfect for the recreation of Warhol’s famous portrait

 AgarArt Pennywise

Pennywise the Scary Bacterial Clown

Valeri Sáenz
Juliana Pachon
Andrés Parra

Universidad de La Sabana

Organism(s) Used Escherichia coli carbapenem-resistant (pink) | Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenem-resistant (blue)  Agar(s) Used CHROMagar Orientation agar

Pennywise was made with Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli on CHROMagar Orient ation agar, both carbapenem-resistant.

Since the premier of IT, Pennywise has been responsible for making almost anyone who watches the movie afraid of clowns, this fear is so common it has gained a name: coulrophobia. At it has happened with Pennywise the fear of antimicrobial-resistant is still present, and it has increased as Enterobacteriaceae have become resistant to nearly all the antibiotics, thus arising fear among clinicians. Continued rise in resistance would lead to 10 million people dying every year by 2050.

Clinicians are afraid of super bugs but super bugs are not afraid of Pennywise!!

 

 AgarArt Son of Microbe

Son of Microbe

Jeremy Weisz
Anna Vanderschaegen

Linfield College

Organism(s) Used Chromobacterium violaceum (purple/black) | Bacillus lichenformis (white) | Sarcina aurantica (gold) Pseudomonas aeruginosa (blue/green) Micrococcus roseus (pink)  Agar(s) Used Tryptic Soy Agar

In the style of Belgian surrealist, René Magritte, "Son of Microbe" obscures the subject's face with a stylized prokaryote. This juxtaposition is meant to show the silent, yet ubiquitous presence of the microbes around all humankind. Microbes often are feared, especially the human pathogens, but here they take center stage. "Son of Microbe" is a toast to the diverse roles prokaryotes play.

 

 AgarArt Cockatoo

Cockatoo

Caitie Cahak

Organism(s) Used Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus sp. (white), Streptococcus pneumoniae (green), Serratia marcescens (orangey)  Agar(s) Used Mueller Hinton Agar with 5% Sheep Blood

A coag-neg Staph and Serratia cockatoo with Strep pneumo leaves

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Register for ASMCUE by May 16 and Save $100!

Stop what you're doing right now and take advantage of our Early Registration prices!  Receive discounted rates to attend ASMCUE, including special registration rate for Grad Students and Postdocs. While registering, attendees have the option to support a colleague’s attendance to the conference by making a donation to the ASMCUE travel grant fund. Fees will increase after May 16.

Register here: http://bit.ly/asmcueearlyregwn

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.


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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.

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.

ASM Branches Listening Tour

ASM Branches Listening Tour


Dear ASM Branch member,

I'm on my way to see you. During 2016, I will be on the road for the first ever listening tour of the ASM Branches. I intend to visit in person all 36 ASM Branches in the United States. Actually I've already started. On the first weekend in April, I set out on the first of what will be a series of mostly weekend flying visits, dropping in on ASM Branches and meeting the members in their natural professional habitats.

When I became CEO of the ASM in January, I resolved to test what has been one of my core principles-I was going to listen to ASM members. Visiting all 47,000 ASM members at home seemed a little ambitious, but visiting all 35 branches could give me an incredible overview of part of the organization that is vital to our collective community. I know that once you have visited one ASM Branch, you have seen only that one branch, because they are as diverse as microbial sciences are. So I plan to see all 36 branches.

I want to hear firsthand what the branches need, what they cannot easily find elsewhere, and what they hope ASM Central can do for them. I also want to share the vision for the future of ASM as an organization and to communicate directly about the changes already underway at Headquarters and what changes are to come. It is also a great opportunity for making new friends and having a good time together.

feedbakEqually important to me is the chance to forge personal relationships with so many working microbiologists. During my first two visits, at the Indiana and Rio Grande Branches, I heard exciting stories of scientific discovery and of professional growth. For example, I met Indiana University SouthEast senior Tyler Mercer who is looking for ways to stay in the lab after he graduates. Tyler has become mesmerized by phages and by science in general, but he comes from a family background where there was not much support for studying science. It occurred to me that ASM has made a crucial difference for Tyler. Not only did ASM members show Tyler ways to pursue microbial science, but the very existence of the Indiana ASM Branch reassured him that there are other people who care a great deal about phages and that these people make a good living and have a great career by putting their curiosity and knowledge to work. I left Fort Wayne thinking that this is exactly why we are in business as an association. We are here to make members better off because of their involvement with ASM.

So the ASM Branches listening tour is off to a flying start. On this page you can see my future itinerary and stops so far. I will also post simple videos and photos I take during my visits. Stay tuned, and feel free to connect. As I will tweet about my Branch visits, follow me on Twitter @sutefune or just email me ceo@asmusa.org. If your ASM Branch is not yet on my schedule, feel free to reach out so that we can meet!

Onward and forward, ASM Branches!

Sincerely,
Stefano

 

BRANCH VISITS AND DATES

April 1-2, 2016 Indiana Branch ASM Meeting April 2016
April 1-2, 2016
Rio Grande Branch ASM Meeting April 2016
April 9, 2016 -
 Rocky Mountain Branch ASM 2016 Spring Meeting
April 14, 2016
Washington DC Branch ASM Joint Meeting with George Mason University Student Chapter ASM April 2016
April 20 2016 -
Northeast Branch ASM Spring Meeting
April 22-23, 2016
Michigan Branch ASM 2016 Spring Meeting
April 23, 2016 - 
Intermountain Branch ASM 2016 Meeting 
April 25, 2016
- Eastern Pennsylvania Branch
April 29, 2016
- Virginia Branch
May 10-11, 2016
Illinois Branch ASM (IL Society For Microbiology) 2016 Spring Meeting 
May 26, 2016
- Puerto Rico Branch
October 27-29, 2016
Southern California Branch 80th Annual Meeting



VIDEOS AND PHOTOS FROM THE TOUR

Indiana Branch - Fort Wayne, IN

Tim Donohue
ASM Past President Tim Donohue
John McKillip
John McKillip speaks about science education
Ellen Wagner
Ellen Wagner, Ball State University
Tanya Soule
Tanya Soule organizer of the ASM Indiana Branch meeting
Tyler Ulysses Mercer
Tyler Ulysses Mercer


Rio Grande Branch - El Paso, TX

Charles Spencer
Dr. Charles Spencer, President of the ASM Rio Grande Branch

 

ROCKY MOUNTAIN BRANCH - DENVER, CO

Rocky Mountain Branch

 

WASHINGTON, DC BRANCH - FAIRFAX, VA

dc-branch

 


MICHIGAN BRANCH - GRAND RAPIDS, MI

Anne Spain
Anne Spain, President of the ASM Michigan Branch
Susan Dunn
Susan Dunn, Dean of Davenport University, host of the spring Michigan Branch meeting

 

INTERMOUNTAIN BRANCH - SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Justin Nielsen and Luke Goldston
Justin Nielsen and Luke Goldston, Utah State University Eastern discuss their work with Small World Initiative
Professor Wayne Hatch
Professor Wayne Hatch, Utah State University Eastern, Small World Initiative
Eli Cohen
Eli Cohen explains his research on the assembly of flagella in Salmonella
Matt Mulvey
Matt Mulvey, President of the ASM Intermountain Branch

 

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.

bertuzzi-bio

Hello bLogPhase reader,

I am Stefano Bertuzzi, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). I use bLogPhase to communicate my thoughts with ASM members as well as anyone interested in science and various policy issues related to science. Before joining ASM, I blogged for ASCB on similar topics.

I have a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan, Italy, and a Master's degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. As a student, postdoc and PI, I was a bench researcher in the U.S. and Italy for 15 years before moving over to the science policy side at NIH in 2006. I have enjoyed every step of my scientific career and coming to the world of scientific associations has opened even wider horizons for me on what a scientist can do in modern society.

I've always liked to write. For a brief time, I had a fling considering writing as a career, and even became a registered journalist in my native Italy. But research science won out. But now, with bLogPhase I am looking at a new part time career as a blogger. As excited as I am about writing bLogPhase I realize that a blog has to be a two-way street. This blog needs your comments, corrections, additional thoughts, push back and, I hope, an occasional "Bravo." (Well, at least no rotten tomatoes.) So post your comments and your ideas. This is a space for ASM members and all those interested in the microbial sciences, science policy and science communications to interact.

Before joining ASM, I was the Executive Director of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and previously the Science Policy Director at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) where I greatly enjoyed working with Tom Insel, an extraordinary scientist and advocate for research into mental disorders. Before NIMH, I was in the Office of the NIH Director, in charge of the Return on Investment Program. There, I worked with Lana Skirboll, Lynn Hudson, and Elias Zerhouni. I am indebted to all of them for infusing me with an incurable passion for public service and science policy.

My wife, Elena, and I have been together since high school. We have two young children, Davide and Celeste. I love being on the water, sailing or windsurfing. I am an avid reader as regular readers of bLogPhase will soon discover.

So follow me and please jump in with your comments.

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.

Vincent Racaniello 300

Hello everyone,

I am Vincent Racaniello, Higgins Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. I am using Zika Diaries to communicate the experiences of my laboratory as it moves from working on poliovirus (for 35 years) to Zika virus.

I was fortunate to be trained in virology by two brilliant virologists. I obtained my Ph.D. with Peter Palese at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. As his first student, I received a great deal of attention as I worked on influenza viruses. For my postdoctoral work I was lucky to work with David Baltimore, just a few years after he received his Nobel Prize. In his laboratory at MIT I produced the first infectious DNA copy of an animal virus, a finding that revolutionized the study of viruses. I moved to Columbia in 1982 to start my own laboratory. Over the years our main focus has been on poliovirus.

Halfway into my research career, I developed an interest in science communication. I became part of the team that produced the ASM textbook 'Principles of Virology' in 2000. Having learned about all viruses (not just poliovirus), I wanted to share this knowledge with the public. Blogging had just become much easier, so in 2004 I started writing at virology blog (virology.ws), which I continue to this day. I also produce, with ASM, a suite of science podcasts, including the flagship This Week in Virology (microbe.tv). When I decided to teach an undergraduate virology course at Columbia University, I recorded all my lectures and released them at YouTube. All of these efforts are enhanced by the ability to reach millions via Twitter, Facebook, and other internet based technologies. You know where to find me - just google me.

Despite all this fun and fascinating activity, I jumped at the opportunity to write a new blog for ASM. Zika virus moved into world view in 2015 and many virologists, including myself, have moved to work on this important virus. I thought it would be illuminating to provide a weekly, personal view of our success and failures. All centered on an image from my laboratory (yes, I’m also at Instagram.com/profvrr).

Questions and comments are always welcome.

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.

ASM Membership: Perceptions Needs and Challenges

ASM MEMBERSHIP:  PERCEPTIONS, NEEDS AND CHALLENGES

Key Findings of the Membership Survey Report

students at poster

Summary

This report summarizes the key findings of an online survey conducted by Cell Associates on behalf of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The membership group at ASM was interested in learning more about the needs and perceptions of its members with regard to membership in the society to aid in developing a strategic plan.

To accomplish this, an online survey was conducted from November 19 through November 23, 2015. During the period that the survey was open, a total of 1,020 qualified surveys were submitted. The responses from these individuals serve as the basis for this report.

Demographics of Survey Respondents

Location: Seventy-one percent (71%) of the survey respondents were located in North America, 13% were in Europe, 8% were in Asia, and the remaining 8% were in other parts of the world.

Affiliations: Two-thirds (69%) of the survey respondents were affiliated with universities/academe. Nine percent (9%) worked in government organizations. Five percent (5%) worked in hospital/medical settings while an equal percentage worked in biotech/pharma/CROs.

Work or Study: The top three areas of work or study were molecular biology and physiology (34%), host-microbe biology (32%), and applied and environmental science (27%). Other areas were cited somewhat less often: teaching and education (21%), clinical science and epidemiology (16%), therapeutics and prevention (12%), and ecological and evolutionary science (10%).

Age: Twenty-five percent (25%) of the survey respondents were less than 35 years of age. Twenty-eight percent (28%) were 35 to 49 years old. Thirty-five percent (35%) were 50 to 64 years old. Eleven percent (11%) were 65 years or older.

Work Status: Seventeen percent (17%) of the survey respondents were students, 78% were in some phase of their working career, and 5% were retired.

Gender: 52% were male, 47% were female, and 1% preferred not to respond.

Key Findings of the Survey

Factors in Joining a Professional Society or Association

The factor that most influenced the decision to join a professional society or association was access to relevant, up-to-date information, which was cited by 65% of the survey respondents. Other factors that were cited less often include networking (42%), discounts for meetings and courses (40%), peers and colleagues being members (32%), and cost (29%).

2or3reasonsASM Membership

Approximately one-third (35%) of the survey respondents were ASM members for 3 years or less. One-fifth (22%) were members for 4 to 9 years. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of the respondents were members for 10 or more years.

The most common ways that survey respondents first learned about ASM were from faculty (37%), from colleagues (25%), and from publications (15%).

The most common reasons for becoming an ASM member were for professional or career development (54%), to learn about the latest advances in one’s field (51%), to access ASM journals (45%), and to present one’s research (42%).

A majority (72%) of the survey respondents belonged to other professional societies or organizations. Twenty-six percent (26%) of the respondents only belonged to ASM.

Awareness/Recognition of ASM Benefits

When asked which benefits ASM provides, the top responses were “opportunities to publish/present my research” (67%), “advocacy for the microbial sciences” (62%), and “a place for the microbial sciences to thrive” (61%). “Educational opportunities” (56%), “networking opportunities” (53%), “access to experts in my field” (41%), and “access to potential research collaborators” (34%) were cited somewhat less often.

Importance of ASM Member Benefits

The most important ASM member benefits were journals (61%) and Microbe magazine (48%). Other benefits were cited less often: discounts to meetings (36%), general and/or ICAAC meeting (31%), networking opportunities (31%), books and manuals (29%), ASM website (29%), and career and professional development programs (25%).

Recommending ASM to Colleagues

The vast majority (91%) of survey respondents recommended ASM membership to their colleagues to one degree or another.

Current Member Challenges

The professional challenges that members currently faced most often were funding (55%) and keeping current in one’s field (52%). Maintaining a competitive research program (34%), limited resources apart from funding (27%), networking (26%), and learning about career opportunities (24%) were cited less often.

ASM’s Focus on Members’ Fields of Interestprofessional challenges

A majority (73%) of the survey respondents felt that ASM provides sufficient focus on their field of work or study. Ten percent (10%) of the respondents felt that ASM does not provide sufficient focus on their fields. The remaining 17% were not sure.

Areas That Members Would Like to See ASM Provide More Focus On

Regarding what survey respondents would like to see more of from ASM in the future, the top two response categories were more focus on their disciplines (19%) and various items concerning meetings (16%). Other types of responses cited less often included careers (11%), networking (11%), grants, funding (10%), professional development (8%), communications (7%), and publications (7%).

What One Thing Respondents Would Most Like to See ASM Provide for Members

Survey respondents were asked what one thing they would like to see ASM provide for members at their career stage. Respondents most wanted to see more focus on grants, funding (21%), networking (15%), and careers (12%). Several other types of responses were cited less often, including professional development (9%), job listings (8%), seniors/retirement planning (6%), and communications (6%).

 

 

 


 

 

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.

FACT SHEET: Preparing for and Responding to the Zika Virus at Home and Abroad

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 8, 2016

 

FACT SHEET:  Preparing for and Responding to the Zika Virus at Home and Abroad

Since late last year, the Administration has been aggressively working to combat Zika, a virus primarily spread by mosquitoes that has recently been linked to birth defects and other concerning health outcomes.  The Federal Government has been monitoring the Zika virus and working with our domestic and international public health partners to alert healthcare providers and the public about Zika; provide public health laboratories with diagnostic tests; and detect and report cases both domestically and internationally. 

The Administration is taking every appropriate measure to protect the American people, and today announced that it is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to enhance our ongoing efforts to prepare for and respond to the Zika virus, both domestically and internationally.  The Administration will submit a formal request to Congress shortly.

The Pan American Health Organization reports 26 countries and territories in the Americas with local Zika transmission.  While we have not yet seen transmission of the Zika virus by mosquitoes within the continental United States, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories in warmer areas with Aedes aegpyti mosquito populations are already seeing active transmission. In addition, some Americans have returned to the continental U.S. from affected countries in South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands with Zika infections.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 50 laboratory-confirmed cases among U.S. travelers from December 2015- February 5, 2016.   As spring and summer approach, bringing with them larger and more active mosquito populations, we must be fully prepared to mitigate and quickly address local transmission within the continental U.S., particularly in the Southern United States.

The requested resources will build on our ongoing preparedness efforts and will support essential strategies to combat this virus, such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs; accelerating vaccine research and diagnostic development; enabling the testing and procurement of vaccines and diagnostics; educating health care providers, pregnant women and their partners; improving epidemiology and expanding laboratory and diagnostic testing capacity; improving health services and supports for low-income pregnant women, and enhancing the ability of Zika-affected countries to better combat mosquitoes and control transmission. 

There is much that we do not yet know about Zika and its relationship to the poor health outcomes that are being reported in Zika-affected areas. We must work aggressively to investigate these outbreaks, and mitigate, to the best extent possible, the spread of the virus. Congressional action on the Administration’s request will accelerate our ability to prevent, detect and respond to the Zika virus and bolster our ability to reduce the potential for future infectious disease outbreaks.

Department of Health and Human Services - $1.48 billion

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - $828 million.  The request includes funding to support prevention and response strategies through the following activities:

·         Support Zika virus readiness and response capacity in States and territories with mosquito populations that are known to transmit Zika virus, with a priority focus on areas with ongoing Zika transmission;

·         Enhance mosquito control programs through enhanced laboratory, epidemiology and surveillance capacity in at-risk areas to reduce the opportunities for Zika transmission;

·         Establish rapid response teams to limit potential clusters of Zika virus in the United States;

·         Improve laboratory capacity and infrastructure to test for Zika virus and other infectious diseases;

·         Implement surveillance efforts to track Zika virus in communities and in mosquitoes;

·         Deploy targeted prevention and education strategies with key populations, including pregnant women, their partners, and health care professionals;

·         Expand the CDC Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, improve Guillain Barré syndrome tracking, and ensure the ability of birth defect registries across the country to detect risks related to Zika;

·         Increase research into the link between Zika virus infections and the birth defect microcephaly and measure changes in incidence rates over time;

·         Enhance international capacity for virus surveillance, expand the Field Epidemiology Training program, laboratory testing, health care provider training, and vector surveillance and control in countries at highest risk of Zika virus outbreaks; and

·         Improve diagnostics for Zika virus, including advanced methods to refine tests, and support advanced developments for vector control.

 

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – $250 million. The request seeks a temporary one-year increase in Puerto Rico’s Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to provide an estimated $250 million in additional Federal assistance to support health services for pregnant women at risk of infection or diagnosed with Zika virus and for children with microcephaly, and other health care costs.  This request does not make any changes to Puerto Rico’s underlying Medicaid program, and the additional funding will not be counted towards Puerto Rico’s current Medicaid allotment. Puerto Rico is experiencing ongoing active transmission of Zika. Unlike States, Puerto Rico’s Medicaid funding is capped, which has limited capacity to respond to these emergent and growing health needs.

Vaccine Research and Diagnostic Development & Procurement – $200 million. The request includes $200 million for research, rapid advanced development and commercialization of new vaccines and diagnostic tests for Zika virus. It includes funding for the National Institutes of Health to build upon existing resources and work to develop a vaccine for Zika virus and the chikungunya virus, which is spread by the same type of mosquito.  Funding will accelerate this work and improve scientific understanding of the disease to inform the development of additional tools to combat it. The request also includes resources for the Food and Drug Administration to support Zika virus medical product development including the next generation diagnostic devices.

 

Other HHS Response Activities – $210 million.  The request includes funding to establish a new Urgent and Emerging Threat Fund to address Zika virus and other outbreaks.  This funding would be available to support emerging needs related to Zika, including additional support to States for emerging public health response needs should mosquito populations known to be potential Zika carriers migrate to additional States.

In addition, the request includes funding to support Puerto Rico’s community health centers in preventing, screening, and treating the Zika virus, expand home visiting services targeting low-income pregnant women at risk of Zika virus, and provide targeted maternal and child health.

U.S. Agency for International Development - $335 million

The request includes investments to support affected countries’ ability to control mosquitoes and the transmission of the virus; support maternal health; expand public education on prevention and response; and create new incentives for the development of vaccines and diagnostics.  The request would also provide flexibility in the use of remaining USAID Ebola funds.  Activities would focus particularly on South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and would:

·         Implement integrated vector management activities in countries at-risk of Zika virus;

·         Stimulate private sector research and development of vaccines, diagnostics, and vector control innovations through public private partnerships and mechanisms to provide incentives such as advance market commitments or volume guarantees;

·         Support training of health care workers in affected countries, including providing information about best practices for supporting children with microcephaly;

·         Support for pregnant women’s health, including helping them access repellant to protect against mosquitos.

·         Establish education campaigns to empower communities in affected countries to take actions to protect themselves from Zika Virus as well as other mosquito-borne diseases; and

·         Issue a Global Health Security Grand Challenge calling for groundbreaking innovations in diagnostics, vector control, personal protection, community engagement and surveillance for Zika and other infectious diseases.

U.S. Department of State - $41 million

The funding request includes support for U.S. citizens in affected countries, medical support for State Department employees in affected countries, public diplomacy, communications, and other operations activities.  State would also support the World Health Organization and its regional arm, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), to minimize the Zika threat in affected countries while reducing the risk of further spreading the virus.  These resources will support critical public health actions underway, including preparedness, surveillance, data collection, and risk communication.  Activities would also include support for UNICEF’s Zika response efforts in Brazil; activities to bolster diagnostic capabilities through deployment of equipment and specialized training.

For more information on the Zika virus and CDC guidance about how Americans can protect themselves, visit http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

###

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.

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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.

Antimicrobial Properties of Peptides Derived from Reptiles

American alligator derived peptide, AM-CATH28,  combats Pseudomonas aeruginosa and multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii

New research presented at the 2016 ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting shows that a peptide produced by the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), AM-CATH28, has strong antimicrobial activity against gram-negative bacteria.  AM-CATH28, which is helical in structure and disrupts the bacterial membrane, has displayed antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii.

“Drug resistance in bacteria has been increasing for the past several decades, and we’re now coming to a medical crisis in which we will no longer be able to treat common infections,” said Stephanie Barksdale, researcher in the van Hoek Lab, George Mason University.

Some antimicrobial peptides are already used clinically, such as colistin and vancomycin. Cathelicidin antimicrobial peptides are a class of peptide found in many animals, which has many effects, including strengthening the animal’s immune system, directly killing invading bacteria, or causing the bacteria to be less pathogenic.



American alligator derived peptide, Apo6, is antibacterial against biological threat agent Francisella

Researchers have identified a novel antimicrobial peptide in alligator blood plasma, Apo6, which exerts strong and rapid antimicrobial activity against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Apo6 can kill Francisella tularensis bacteria, which causes the disease tularemia and is considered a biological threat agent.

alligator Apo6“We found that Apo6 is able to kill Francisella bacteria by forming pores in their membrane,” said Dr. Monique van Hoek, Professor in the School of Systems Biology, George Mason University, “We also showed how the antimicrobial peptide Apo6 disturbs the membrane of the bacteria by observing the treated bacteria with scanning electron microscopy.”

American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) make antimicrobial peptides as part of their innate immune system, the first line of immune defense that is shared by most higher-organisms. Antimicrobial peptides are small positively-charged peptides that can have both a host defense role and may exert a direct antimicrobial effect on bacteria.

The Apo6 peptide severely damages the membrane of F. novicida and disrupts the cell, which eventually leads to the death of the bacteria. Apo6 treatment was able to significantly increase the survival of Francisella-infected A549 cells and was able to prolong the survival of Francisella infected wax-worm larvae, an invertebrate infection model. (image credit: Dr. Kent Vleit, University of Florida).



Komodo Dragon-inspired Peptide Drgn-1 Promotes Clearance and Healing of Polymicrobial Biofilm-infected Wounds

New research has identified a histone H1-derived peptide from the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), called VK25, which could be used as a cationic antimicrobial peptide (CAMP). Using this peptide as inspiration, researchers designed a synthetic peptide DRGN-1, which contains two reversed amino acids at the N-terminus from the original protein sequence (VK25), and evaluated the antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity of both peptides against P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. DRGN-1, but not VK25, exhibited potent antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity, permeabilized bacterial membranes, and bound to DNA.

komodo dragon“Interestingly, wound healing was significantly enhanced by DRGN-1 in both uninfected and mixed biofilm (P. aeruginosa and S. aureus)-infected murine wounds,” said  Dr. van Hoek.

In a scratch wound closure assay used to elucidate the wound healing mechanism, the peptide promoted migration of HEKa keratinocyte cells, which was inhibited by mitomycin C (proliferation inhibitor) and AG1478 (EGFR inhibitor). DRGN-1 also trans-activated the EGFR-STAT1/3 pathway. Thus, DRGN-1 is a strong candidate for development as an alternative to antibiotics, especially for mediating the innate immune response and promoting wound healing. (image: komodo dragon, credit: Dr. Kent Vleit, University of Florida)

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Medical Surge Capacity in the National Capital Region: Modeling a Pneumonic Plague Bioterror Event

New research presented at the 2016 ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting shows that the Washington, DC National Capital Region (NCR) may be limited in its capacity to provide medical care to all potential victims of a large-scale bioterror event. The findings of this study highlight the need to invest in regional health care coalitions to optimize patient distribution and use of resources during a surge event and to maintain and strengthen other regional and Federal resources for emergency public health response.
 

“While bioterror events are extremely rare occurrences nationally and globally, it is important to raise awareness regarding the limitations in local capacity to respond to biological threats, whether that be from a bioweapon or, more likely, from a naturally occurring threat such as a viral hemorrhagic fever or pandemic influenza,” said study author, Michael DeLuca, MS, Georgetown University School of Medicine. Michael DeLuca, MS, of Georgetown University School of Medicine and a Policy Fellow at Health Security Partners, an emerging thought leader on public health and national security.

Specifically, this study demonstrated a large deficit in the number of acute care beds available in the NCR in the first six days to treat the thousands of ill that may result from a successful attack on the area’s public transport system with pneumonic plague.

There is limited publicly available data on the ability of the NCR to respond to a significant biological event. This study examined the medical surge capacity of the NCR by modeling a hypothetical biological terror attack with pneumonic plague (Yersinia pestis) in the area’s metro system.

Medical care demand was estimated using Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority ridership data, publicly available data on disease attack rate, infectious dose, reproductive number, incubation period, and clinical severity. This data was used to estimate the total number of exposed and infected persons. The number of available acute care beds in the NCR was calculated using a variety of sources, including the DC Hospital Association utilization and occupancy rate data; Maryland Healthcare Commission, Virginia Health Information, Virginia Department of Health, and data obtained directly from hospital websites. The gap between needed and available beds during the first six days of disease spread, resulting from both primary and secondary infections, was then estimated.

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.

ASM Microbe 2017 Meeting

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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.

Why Join ASM?


Why Join ASM?
CLINICIAN RESEARCHER
EDUCATOR INDUSTRIAL MICROBIOLOGIST

 

 

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.

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Susan E. Sharp                                Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO, ASM    

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.

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

 

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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.

 

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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

 

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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

 
 

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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

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

    About the Authors:

     

    POV4e Back Cover Volume I

    Jane Flint is a Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University.  Dr. Flint's research focuses on investigation of the molecular mechanisms by which gene products of adenoviruses modulate host cell pathways and anti-viral defenses to allow efficient reproduction in normal human cells.

     

    Vincent Racaniello is Higgins Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Racaniello has been studying viruses for over 35 years, including poliovirus, rhinovirus, enteroviruses, and hepatitis C virus. Dr. Racaniello blogs about viruses at virology.ws and is host of the popular science program This Week in Virology.

     

    Glenn Rall is a Professor in the Blood Cell Development and Function Program and the Associate Chief Academic Officer and Director of the Postdoctoral Program at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Dr. Rall's laboratory studies viral infections of the brain and the immune responses to those infections, with the goal of defining how viruses contribute to disease in humans. 

     

    Anna Marie Skalka is a Professor and the W.W. Smith Chair in Cancer Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Director Emerita of the Institute for Cancer Research, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Skalka’s major research interests are the molecular and biochemical aspects of retrovirus genome replication and insertion in the host cell. 

     

    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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    Microbe Mentor July 2015

     

    Microbe Mentor July 2015

    I am about to graduate with a PhD, and would like to eventually find a job in industry.  How to I structure a professional resume for applying to industrial, non-academic positions?   

     

    Excellent question!  The fact that you understand that there even is a difference between a curriculum vitae, or CV, and an industrial/professional resume has you ahead of the game.   Quick review:  an academic CV catalogs a person’s academic career, thus contains the full reference for every publication and presentation given, all awards, honors, committee membership lists, etc.  A CV can encompass decades’ worth of a career.  The content and format are primarily tailored to highlight a person’s overall experience, and are reviewed by peers who generally understand the technical verbiage used in publication and presentation titles. 

    In contrast, a professional resume summarizes the most recent years of a professional life (often not going back more than 10 years, unless something is particularly relevant).  The format and content of a resume are tailored to specifically highlight how closely an applicant matches a specific job posting.  Resumes are often reviewed by a Human Resources Department who  will likely not be fluent in technical verbiage.

    So, how to create a resume when you are at the start of your career?  Fortunately, most senior-level graduate students actually have experience necessary for non-academic employment and do not even realize it!  Start looking at your everyday activities from the perspective of somebody in a professional environment.  Read lots of job postings in your field – you will start to notice common elements, such as “Must be able to multitask multiple projects, demonstrate the timely delivery of high-quality work products, and maintain corporate health and safety protocols.” Now, think of how your graduate-school responsibilities can demonstrate how you’ve done this.  

    everyday activity…

    rephrased for resume

    Work with younger graduate students or undergraduate researchers in your lab

    Mentor junior personnel

    Develop, modify, or follow laboratory or experimental protocols

    Design, evaluate, and follow technical protocols

    Maintain classwork and teaching responsibilities while also making progress on your dissertation

    Balance and prioritize multiple deliverables

    Operate scientific laboratory instruments (GC, GC-MS)

    Operate and maintain sensitive and technical equipment

    Write for scientific publications, draft grants, present at conferences

    Possess excellent technical communication skills

    Teach undergraduate labs/courses or write articles for a general audience

    Possess excellent non-specialist communication skills

    Follow protocols to safely handle chemicals, lab equipment, or cultures, and enforce the use of lab coats and safety glasses  during experiments

    Adhere to health and safety regulations such as enforced use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

    (As a rule, you should use the past tense for former positions and the present tense for your current work.)

    The next step is formatting your resume   A quick search of the internet shows many formats, each with pros and cons.  In general, however, keep the following in mind:

    • DO use a clean and uncluttered format.
    • DO use bullets, which allow for the reader to quickly scan the document, get interested, and then slow down to read it in more detail.
    • DO treat the page as real estate… blocks of blank space are wasted opportunities to mention something that will make you stand out
    • DO use one font type and size … this will allow for easier reading, and will reduce the chance of problems when electronically uploading a resume to a company’s employment website.
    • DO write a concise paragraph for the top of the page.  This should summarize how you meet the job requirements, and stress your unique skills and achievements.
    • DO follow this with sections for education, job experience, professional memberships, certifications, etc.  Use the order of these items to stress relevance to a particular job posting. 
    • DO include key words from the job posting.  Resumes are often first reviewed by a computer, ranking them based on the number of matches to a list of key words. If the resume passes this test it will be forwarded to an actual human.
    • DO keep in mind your resume will likely be judged by a person not trained in technical verbiage. 
    • DO customize your resume for each job you are applying for.
    • DO include a link to your LinkedIn profile.
    • DO build a very robust LinkedIn profile – list every publication and presentation.  Prospective employers can only judge you on what you give them – and many will check your profile before deciding to contact you.
    • DO stress any professional certifications, licenses, etc.
    • DO have a mentor read your resume before submitting. 
    • DON’T waste space on your name, address, etc.  - put this in a header
    • DON’T include your hobbies or outside interests, unless they have contributed directly to your professional development.  Employers don’t care that you enjoy photographing puppies on your weekends. 
    • DON’T include information about race, age, marital status, or nationality (unless the job specifically states that only US citizens can be considered, due to mandatory security clearances, for example).
    • DON’T over-use italics or bold-facing – non-uniform formatting makes a document harder to read.
    • DON’T use the word “research”, unless you are specifically applying for an R&D position.  Refer to dissertation “projects” or “deliverables”. 

    Always keep in mind that employers care about what you can do for them – not what you want - so don’t include a statement about your goals (“…wanting to become a fermentation specialist…”).  They care what you bring to the table for them to use.  Once you’ve proven yourself at your job, then you can start telling your employer how you would like to develop as your career progresses. 

    __________________________________________________________________________

     Dr. Jennings is a Principal Microbiologist at Total Environmental Concepts, Inc., an environmental consulting firm located in the Washington DC area.  She has worked on contaminant remediation projects on multiple continents, and currently serves as the U.S. science advisor to the National Science and Engineering Council of Canada.  She is also the Chair of the ASM Career Development Committee and is on the ASM Membership Board.

     

     

     

     

     

    Take Advantage of These ASM Resources

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    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.

    Microbe Mentor May 2015

    Microbe Mentor May 2015

    Welcome to the first installment of the Microbe Mentor!  ASM members have expressed a significant interest in being able to gain career advice from microbiologists who have “been there and done that” and the Membership Board has responded with a career-advice column to be regularly featured in Microbe.  The goal is to provide a place where ASM members can present career-related questions or concerns.  Submitted questions will be answered by microbiologists hand-selected to bring a wide range of backgrounds to the column. 

    Mentors come from a variety of backgrounds: academia, industry, health care, and government, and have specialties that range from teachers, researchers, consultants, regulators, and corporate CEO’s.  However, the one trait that all of these mentors have in common is  a strong belief in giving back to the next generation of microbiologists by sharing their real-world experiences in their particular fields and career paths.  These mentors understand that the life of an early-career microbiologist can be filled with unknowns, possible pitfalls, and lots of questions.  They want to hear the questions and concerns that student, post-doc, and young-career microbiologists are facing today, and to then provide guidance and advice based on what has (or has not) worked for them.   

    In short, this is an opportunity for early-career microbiologists to learn from the successes, and sometimes mistakes, of those who have gone before them into a wide-range of microbiology careers.       

    ASM invites its student, post-doc, and early-career members to begin contributing their questions to the pool of microbiology-mentors.  Future columns will address:

    • How do I prepare myself for a position in microbiology with a different focus than what I was trained in?
    • When should an applicant divulge their marital status?
    • How do I structure my CV to suite industry?

    This is just the beginning.  Send us your questions! The microbiology-mentors welcome questions on any career-related topic that you may have.  Please submit your career questions or concerns to careertalk@asmusa.org.  Confidentiality is guaranteed! 

    To kick off the series, the Microbe Mentor asked Wade E. Bell, Chair, ASM Student Member Committee, Eleanor M. Jennings, Chair, ASM Career Development Committee, and Victor J. DiRita, Chair, Membership Board, to share some advice they would give to their younger selves.

    Be noticed and ask for things.  If you are a naturally shy person, happy to quietly do your own thing it is really important to learn how to assert yourself.  If you want something – to attend a conference, to get a promotion … you need to ask.  There was always the chance you will hear a “No”, but likely that will be a fraction of the times you hear “Yes!”  If you don’t speak up, nobody will know you want something until it is too late and the opportunity has passed.  Even worse, you’ll be overlooked.       

    Some people are just difficult (or unkind, or unfair…).  Don’t be afraid to admit this to yourself since sometimes you have to learn to work with them.  Often you realize that the person isn’t as bad as you initially thought.  However, sometimes they turn out to be even worse, and thus you have to figure out a way to co-exist with unpleasant people.  I envy those who apparently can do this with ease.   

    Learn how to manage Type-B personalities.  Frustratingly, not everyone in the world is a classic, Type-A personality who attacks an assigned problem with the gusto of a religious zealot.  Some people need prodding, and some need flat-out babysitting.  Part of managing a team is figuring out how to get these people to do an on-time, quality job. 

    There is a time to walk away.  You’ve been taught to never leave a job unfinished, and sometimes you do need to stick out a difficult situation in order to reap the rewards.  However, sometimes it’s time to bolt.  It’s one thing to be asked to work hard and “pay your dues”, but it’s an entirely different thing to be in a no-win situation that has no end.  If you find yourself in the latter, calmly develop a realistic exit strategy and start implementing it immediately.  

    Consider taking a year off between undergrad and graduate school.  Of course, by taking time off, I don't really mean backpacking in Europe or hanging out in cafes (that's what the sabbatical is for).  Instead I mean getting a job as a technician or as a laboratory manager at a university or research institute for a year or two.  This will provide enormous advantage once you do start graduate school:  you'll be older, and possibly more mature, when you start, and more focused and ready to hit the ground running.   Testing your independence and learning some lab skills when there aren’t milestones like coursework, exams and thesis chapters will be a bonus.  

    Get into literature!  The best way to become a good writer is to be an enthusiastic reader.   Your career will be based on producing new knowledge and publishing papers to describe your research findings to the field.  Learn what’s out there, what new findings might influence your own work.  Even research only loosely connected to yours is worth reading about because you’ll find out some cool stuff about biology and also learn new experimental approaches.   Reading papers on a regular basis is like taking a master class in research, taught by experts from your field and others.   Make it a goal to read at least one paper from the primary literature every day. 

    If you don’t publish your work, you really didn’t do it.   No matter what else is on your CV, search committee members will look at the publications first. That doesn’t mean you should crank out a lot of shoddy, low-impact papers, but it does mean you should always think about how your experiments are going to fit into a paper.  Avoid carrying out a lot of experiments that are just going to give you orphan data you’ll never publish.  If you constantly outline your current work in the form of a manuscript, you will see the gaps in what you are working on, and then be able to focus your effort on filling those.  

    Bring commitment to your passion.  Think of it this way:  passion gets you through the honeymoon…the golden anniversary requires commitment.   You definitely need to have a passion for your field of study and for getting answers in your research, but commitment brings you into the lab to process fifty samples on a Saturday afternoon.  Decide what you want to commit to (and why), and then don’t waver.    Your path is a very challenging one in many ways.   By committing to it, you can let others leave the path when passion wanes due to the inevitable failed experiments, poor funding levels or competitive job market.

    Explore your diverse interests.  Scientific forays into entomology, nematology, immunology, and cell biology aren’t really normal preparatory paths for a microbiologist.  However, when I was faced with the opportunity to move into a faculty position, the diverse background I had accumulated during my wandering ultimately opened the door to the job I still hold. Being a jack-of-all-trades actually comes in handy in the small college world, and elsewhere.


    __________________________________________________________________________

    Wade E. Bell, Ph.D. is a Professor of Biology at the Virginia Military Institute and Director of VMI Research Labs.  His specialty is eukaryotic microbiology.  In addition to serving as Chair of ASM’s Student Membership Committee, he also represents the Virginia Branch as Councilor at ASM’s Council Policy Committee.

    Victor J. DiRita is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Associate Dean for Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies at University of Michigan Medical School, and Chair of the ASM Membership Board. He studies biology and pathogenicity of the human intestinal pathogens Vibrio cholerae and Campylobacter jejuni. He has worked closely with faculty, trainees, and professional development staff to encourage and support career preparation activities by pre- and postdoctoral trainees. In June 2015 he will join the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University as Rudolph Hugh Professor and Chair.

    Dr. Jennings is a Principal Microbiologist at Total Environmental Concepts, Inc., an environmental consulting firm located in the Washington DC area.  She has worked on contaminant remediation projects on multiple continents, and currently serves as the U.S. science advisor to the National Science and Engineering Council of Canada.  She is also the Chair of the ASM Career Development Committee and is on the ASM Membership Board. 

     

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    Microbe Mentor June 2015

    Microbe Mentor June 2015

     

    Like ~ 80% of other women in STEM disciplines, I am married to another PhD. We are both biologists and often collaborate together, but have very different research programs. He's now tenured and I am a post-doc. We would like to move closer to family, so I am applying for academic jobs and have had several on-campus interviews. When would you recommend bringing up the spousal hire situation? For each interview, I've done this at different times depending on the feel and size of the institution and/or when the illegal questions are asked. I've heard many different philosophies on this and still cannot make a decision as to which is the best way to proceed, assuming I get another interview.

    When should an applicant divulge their marital status? We all know it is illegal to inquire about marital status, however some entities ignore the rule or more commonly an interviewer inadvertently introduces the topic. Can there be advantages to discussing marital status and issues of a trailing spouse in advance?

    The Microbe Mentor reached out to several colleagues to gather their responses about how to handle this situation so many of us have faced.  Beth Lazazzera, an Associate Professor at University of California – Los Angeles, comments “I think the best time to tell an institution about your spouse who will also need a new job is once you have an offer.  It is very natural for the issue of being married to come up during informal discussions.” 

    There may be an advantage to broaching the topic of a trailing spouse as it may give the hiring institution more time to come up with a position for the spouse.  Dr. Lazazzera continues, “However, too early on in the interview process, and the possibility of having to find a position for a spouse can inadvertently cause your application to be looked at less favorably.  Thus, I would argue that it is best to bring this up after the offer is made.”

      
    Dr. Amy Cheng Vollmer, Professor and Chair of Biology at Swarthmore College, concurs and advises “to have nothing about the spouse [mentioned] in any documents:  cover letter, recommendation letters, etc.  Let the candidate's own merits alone get her the interview.  In most cases, I would not even mention it during the interview; instead nail the job lecture/talk!”  

    Dr. Vollmer further notes that you should consider the employer’s hiring atmosphere in general.  “Spousal hire is always tricky, especially at small schools where faculty positions cannot be generated quickly.  But even small schools in and near metro areas are in contact with other institutions. Assistance with spousal employment is definitely possible.”

    In the event that marital status is brought up during the interview – even though it should be off-limits – Dr. Vollmer comments that “instead of volunteering information, the candidate should ask how the institution assisted spousal employment cases in their previous 3 or 4 hires.  Not only in that department, but at the institution.  That gives the candidate a great deal of information - she should not volunteer much about her spouse, unless the chair of the search committee is sounding very positive.”

    As someone who has worked to recruit faculty members,  Dr. Victor DiRita, Michigan State University, thinks that having that information when candidates are coming for a second visit, even before an offer is made, works in their best interest.  “That way, we can identify potential employment arrangements for the spouse prior to his or her joining in on the second visit - which is typical - and their day(s) during the visit can be spent talking to the right people and sharing their CV or resume around.  Waiting until an offer is actually on the table means we've lost a lot of time that could have been spent working on something for the spouse.  In recruiting a candidate, I think the second visit is really a chance for us to recruit the spouse;  the more we do on that front ahead of the visit, the better off both we and the candidate will be.”

    Ultimately any hire should reflect the job seeker and their skills, not their marital status.  How to deal with a trailing spouse is a common issue in faculty hires, and so departments are prepared for these scenarios. There may be a handful of situations however, where revealing information about one’s partner may actually yield a benefit.  Dr. Wade E. Bell, Director, Virginia Military Institute Research Labs, has hired faculty at multiple institutions over the past twenty years, and offers this perspective: “I have seen in several cases a search committee swayed by a candidate who has revealed that their partner is already a good fit for the community and will not need any special consideration. This behavior can be accentuated following a failed search that had trailing partner issues as a component of the recruitment failure. We all want to hire the best candidate, however many searches yield several highly desirable choices. It is not inappropriate for a candidate to use any appealing aspect of their overall fit for a job given the increasingly competitive market”

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Beth Lazazzera has been a professor at UCLA for 15 years, where she runs a research lab and mentored undergraduate researchers, graduate students, and postdocs.  She has also taught classes to undergraduates about Microbiology and to graduate students about Genetics.

    Amy Cheng Vollmer has been teaching in a small liberal arts setting since 1985.  She encourages the practice of networking and mentoring for professionals at all levels of training.  She believes that establishing a healthy work-family balance should be a high priority.

    Wade E. Bell, Ph.D. is a Professor of Biology at the Virginia Military Institute and Director of VMI Research Labs.  His specialty is eukaryotic microbiology.  In addition to serving as Chair of ASM’s Student Membership Committee, he also represents the Virginia Branch as Councilor at ASM’s Council Policy Committee.

    Victor J. DiRita is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Associate Dean for Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies at University of Michigan Medical School, and Chair of the ASM Membership Board. He studies biology and pathogenicity of the human intestinal pathogens Vibrio cholerae and Campylobacter jejuni. He has worked closely with faculty, trainees, and professional development staff to encourage and support career preparation activities by pre- and postdoctoral trainees. In June 2015 he will join the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University as Rudolph Hugh Professor and Chair.

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    Throughout the meeting mentors will be available in the Student and Postdoc Lounge (Room 264) for informal talks and advice.  Click here for more information about their schedule and background.

     

    Sunday May 31st

    asm2015 Orientation:  two sessions (7:30 am and 10:00 am) - stop by the Student and Postdoc Lounge (room 264 Convention Center) for a quick meeting orientation to bring you up to speed about all things asm2015!

    Graduate School Recruitment Luncheon:  Join us for this inaugural event.  Twelve graduate school programs will be represented.  The lunch will start promptly at 12:00 and space is limited.  No RSVP required. Student and Postdoc Lounge

    Monday, June 1st

    Meet the ASM Young Leaders Circle - Your ASM Representatives!
    Come meet your ASM representatives and explore the opportunities the Young Leaders Circle offers to you! Be inspired by our international outreach activities and get involved in the world outside your lab!

    The Young Leaders Circle (YLC) advises the ASM International Board on issues important to students and early-career scientists. During this interactive session, we will discuss both universal and country-specific career challenges of early-career scientists around the globe, with an aim of shaping future YLC actions. We will also present current YLC initiatives in the areas of ASM grants and awards for international members, supporting women scientists, ASM Young Ambassador Program, collaboration between ASM student chapters around the world, and the dialogue between science and the society.  Student and Postdoc Lounge, 12:00 - 1:00.

    Postdoc Happy Hour:  Bowl a frame, and mix with your peers and ASM leadership at Fulton Alley (600 Fulton St., New Orleans, LA)  Starts at 6:00.

    Tuesday, June 2nd

    Mentoring Breakfast:  Discuss career transitions and other topics with hand selected mentors.  8:00 - 10:00 am in the Bissonet Room of the New Orleans Marriott.  For more information about the mentors and topics click her

    Luncheon:  Clinical Careers Learn about careers in the lab.  12:00 - 1:00 in the Student and Postdoc Lounge.

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    asm2015 Lounge Mentor schedule

     

    Sunday May 31st

    Monday June 1st

    Tuesday June 2nd

    11 - 12

    2 - 3

    3 - 4

    8 - 9

    9 -10

    10 - 11

    11 - 12

    1 - 2

    2 - 3

    8 - 9

    9 -10

    10 - 11

    11 - 12

    1 - 2

    Jennifer Mitchell

    Rob Knight

    W. Edward Swords

    Jane M. Liu

    Nadeem Fazal

    Rong Wang

    Xinhui Li

    Greg Anderson

    Vicente Gomez-Alvarez

    Osvaldo Lopez

    Nadeem Fazal

    Rachel Pritchard

    Susan Bornstein-Forst

    Greg Anderson

    Paul Lawson

    Wm. Michael Dunne

    Kileen Shier

    Osvaldo Lopez

    Jose Ramos Vivas

    Fawzy Hashem

    Adrienne Bambach

    Atin Datta

    Julie Ann West

    Joy Scaria

    Jose Ramos Vivas

    Michaela Gazdik

    Gregory W. Buck

    Xinhui Li

    Diana L. Vullo

    Jaiyanth Daniel

    Bob McLean

    Joy Scaria

    Theresa Koehler

    W. Edward Swords

    Paul Carlson

    Jeffery McGarvey

    Zaffar Hussain

    Adrienne Bambach

    Kileen Shier

    April Bobenchik

    Hope Lee

    Arash Komeili

    Beth Potter

    Paul Orwin

    Paul Carlson

    Christine Ginocchio

    Martha Folmsbee

    Jane M. Liu

    Eleanor Jennings

    Rob Knight

    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

    ASM2015 Student & Postdoc Lounge Mentors

    A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

     

    Greg Anderson                                                                                                                           Monday, June 1  1 - 2 pm
    ga2@iupui.edu                                                                                                                              Tuesday, June 2  1 - 2 pm
    Assistant Professor; Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Microbe-Host Interactions, Microbial Pathogens
    Bio: Graduated with a BS in Microbiology from Brigham Young University, worked at a small biotech company for one before entering graduate school. PhD research with Dr. Scott Hultgren at Washington University in St. Louis, followed by post-doctoral research with Dr. George O'Toole at Dartmouth Medical School. Has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis for past 6 years.

    Adrienne Bambach                                                                                                                      Monday, June 1 11 - 12 pm
    hpadrean@gmail.com                                                                                                                      Tuesday, June 2  11 - 12 pm
    Manager, Scientific Affairs; Acting Director, Clinical Affairs; Nanosphere, Inc.
    Primary Job Activity: Diagnosis and Testing
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Clinical Microbiology
    Bio: Dissertation research with Candida Albicans at Georgetown Univeristy. CPEP Fellow at University of Rochester Medical Center. Field Application Scientist at Focus Diagnostics. Current position listed in 4&5 above.

    April Bobenchik, PhD, D(ABMM)                                                                             Sunday, May 31 11 - 12 pm
    abobenchik@lifespan.org                                                                                        
    Asso. Dir. Clinical Microbiology; Lifespan Academic Medical Center
    Primary Job Activity: Diagnosis and Testing
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Clinical Microbiology
    Bio: Medical Technologist, Research Tech, Grad student (MS and PhD), CPEP Fellow, Asso. Director Clinical Microbiology

    Susan Bornstein-Forst, PhD                                                                                     Tuesday, June 2  11 - 12 pm
    sbornsteinforst@marianuniversity.edu                                                                                     
    Professor of Biology; Marian University
    Primary Job Activity: Teaching
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Animal Health Microbiology, Environmental and General Applied Microbiology, Food Microbiology, General Microbiology, Microbe-Host Interactions, Microbial Ecology, Microbial Pathogens, Microbial Physiology & Metabolism, Microbiology Education
    Bio: 25+ years of teaching experience and served as an administrator of Marian University's McNair Scholars Program. Expanded undergraduate research and preparation for careers in Food Safety and Veterinary Medicine.

    Dr. Gregory W. Buck                                                                                                        Tuesday, June 2  11 - 12 pm
    buckgw@hotmail.com                                                                                              
    Associate Professor; Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
    Primary Job Activity: Teaching
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Clinical Microbiology, General Microbiology, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Microbial Pathogens, Microbiology Education
    Bio: Faculty member since 2001; currently has an active research program for undergrads and grad students on gene regulation, role of surfactants, role of nanoparticles on bacteria.

    Paul Carlson                                                                                                                                 Monday, June 1  11 - 12 pm
    paul.carlson@fda.hhs.gov                                                                                                                 Tuesday, June 2  11 - 12 pm
    Principal Investigator; Food and Drug Administration
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Bacteriophage, General Microbiology, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Microbe-Host Interactions, Microbial Pathogens
    Bio: PhD from the University of Pittsburgh studying the interactions between Francisella tularensis and host macrophages. Post-doctoral position at the University of Michigan first studying Bacillus anthracis iron acquisition and later transitioning into clinical characterization of Clostridium difficile isolates. Recently started my lab at the FDA studying mechanisms of C. difficile pathogenesis.         

    Jaiyanth Daniel                                                                                                                         Sunday, May 31  2 - 3 pm
    danielj@ipfw.edu                                                                                     
    Assistant Professor; Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne
    Primary Job Activity: Teaching
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Microbe-Host Interactions, Microbial Pathogens, Mycobacteriology
    Bio: Mentoring graduate, undergraduate and high school students in molecular biological and biochemical research projects. Focused on understanding the functions of mycobacterial gene products involved in lipid metabolism during the pathogen’s dormancy that is the cause of latent tuberculosis disease.                  

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    Atin Datta                                                                                                                                        Monday, June 1  1 - 2 pm
    atin.datta@fda.hhs.gov                                                                                           
    Supervisory Research Microbiologist; FDA
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Food Microbiology, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Microbial Pathogens
    Bio: B.Sc (Hons). Biological Sciences. University of Calcutta , Kolkata, India  Post- Graduate Education:  M.Sc. Genetics (Major) and Microbiology (Minor). University of Calcutta , Kokata, India   Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, University of Bombay, Mumbai, India  Post-doctoral Education:  Visiting Fellow. NIADDK, National Institutes of Health, Maryland, USA (1980-1983)   Research Associate: Department of Microbiology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA (1983-1986)  FDA Experience:  Joined Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA in 1986 to lead FDA’s effort in developing molecular methods for Listeria monocytogenes detection in foods and molecular characterization of Listeria monocytogenes.  Worked in the Office of Regulatory Affairs, FDA 1998-2006 as a Senior Scientific Coordinator dealing with the microbiology laboratory analysis of food and drugs. Was also involved in introduction of newer tools e.g. PFGE, antimicrobial sensitivity assay for regulatory analysis and training of FDA personnel.  Currently, Dr. Datta works as a Branch Chief in CFSAN and oversees the research activities of 18 scientists working in different foodborne pathogens including Listeria, Salmonella, Cronobacter, E.coli and a few select agents. His research interests are foodborne pathogens- detection, molecular characterization, stress response, biofilm formation.   Dr. Datta has published extensively in various peer reviewed journals, participated in numerous national and international meetings and currently is a member of  the Editorial Boards of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Journal of Food Protection. His contribution in foodborne bacterial pathogen research particularly in Listeria monocytogenes has been well recognized by his peers and colleagues in FDA and other Foodsafety agencies.                                                               

    Wm. Michael Dunne, Jr., Ph.D.                                                                                        Sunday, May 31 2 - 3 pm
    william.dunne@biomerieux.com                                                                                               
    Vice President, Research and Development, North America; bioMerieux, Inc.
    Primary Job Activity: Administration
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Clinical Microbiology, Microbiomics, Metagenomics
    Bio: Vice-President of Research and Development, North America, for bioMerieux, Inc. Previously medical director of the diagnostic microbiology laboratory at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Professor of Pathology and Immunology,  Molecular Microbiology, Pediatrics, and Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis from 2000-2011. Remains on faculty there and is also a Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, NC. While at Washington University, established a CPEP-approved training program in medical and public health microbiology which is still active. Prior to Washington University, he served as medical director of microbiology laboratories at Henry Ford Health System, Texas Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where he received his Ph.D. in 1982. Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology, and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the Canadian College of Microbiology. Served as a senior editor of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology for ten years and remains on the editorial board. Authored over 160 peer-reviewed papers and multiple chapters during career.

    Nadeem Fazal                                                                                                                             Monday, June 1 9 - 10 am
    nfazal@csu.edu                                                                                                                             Tuesday, June 2  9 - 10 am
    Professor; Chicago State University
    Primary Job Activity:  Teaching
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Microbe-Host Interactions
    Bio: MD, PhD interested in host-microbe relationship espially in gut immunology 

    Martha Folmsbee                                                                                                                 Monday, June 1 11 - 12 pm
    Martha_Folmsbee@pall.com                                                                                   
    Principal Scientist; Pall Corporation
    Primary Job Activity: Product Development/Quality Control
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Bacteriophage, Fermentation & Biotechnology, General Microbiology, Microbial Physiology & Metabolism, Mycobacteriology
    Bio: Principal Scientist in the Scientific and Laboratory Services department at Pall Corporation. Directs an R&D Microbiology Laboratory that specializes in bacterial and bacteriophage retention testing of sterilizing grade filters. Work  includes a special focus on mycoplasma filtration (mycoplasma clearance) and sterile filtration of low surface tension fluids, particularly in relation to specific customer applications. Masters in Environmental Science from the University of Oklahoma in 1997 and later PhD in Microbiology in 2004. PhD dissertation focused on the physiology and nutritional requirements of anaerobic growth and biosurfactant production of Bacillus mojavensis and several other bacilli. Awarded an ASM/NCID (American Society for Microbiology/National Centers for Infectious Disease) Post Doctoral Fellowship to work at the CDC (Center for Vector Borne Disease). Studied the physiology and nutritional requirements of Borrelia burgdorferi with a focus toward the development of defined media for the culture of this organism.                                                        

    Michaela A. Gazdik, PhD                                                                                               Tuesday, June 2  10 - 11 am
    michaela.gazdik@imail.org                                                                                      
    Infectious Disease Research Scientist; Intermountain Healthcare
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Genetics and Molecular Biology, Microbial Pathogens, Microbiology Education
    Bio: After PhD became an Assistant Professor at a liberal arts college. Worked at this teaching focused institution for 7 years, teaching general biology, microbiology, genetics, cell bio, and biotechnology. Left academia and took a research focused position running the Clinical Epidemiology and Infectious Disease Research Lab for Intermountain Healthcare where currently working on a variety of projects including typing of antibiotic resistant pathogens, microbiome analysis, and whole genome bacterial sequencing.                                                             

    Chrristine C. Ginocchio, PhD, MT (ASCP)                                                         Sunday, May 31 11 - 12 pm
    christine.ginocchio@biomerieux.com                                                                                       
    Professor of Medicine. Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicinbe, VP Global Microbiology Affairs, bioMerieux, VP, Scientific and Medical Affairs, BioFire Diagnostics; bioMerieux/BioFire Diagnostics
    Primary Job Activity: Diagnosis and Testing / Medical School Teaching
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Clinical Microbiology
    Bio: Ph.D, MT (ASCP) is the VP, Global Microbiology Affairs, bioMérieux, NC, VP. Scientific and Medical Affairs, BioFire Diagnostics, and Professor of Medicine, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, NY. Was the Senior Medical Director and Chief, Division of Infectious Disease Diagnostics, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine North Shore-LIJ Health System Laboratories, NY for 21 years and Research Professor, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, NY. 40 years’ experience in all phases of laboratory management and clinical diagnostics, including the management of a large multi-hospital reference Core Laboratory that performed diagnostic testing for 12 regional hospitals, hundreds of physician offices, clinics, and extended care facilities. Has been the principal investigator for more than 60 diagnostic industry and pharmaceutical clinical trials which included 23 studies of in vitro diagnostic devices for US FDA clearance.  Extra-mural funded research have included HIV, CMV, respiratory viruses, HPV, antibiotic resistance and molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases. Awards include the President’s Award and Irving Abrahams Award for outstanding basic science research, the PASCV 2012 award in Diagnostic Virology and the ASM 2013 BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology. Member of the ASM (Delegate, Laboratory Practices Committee), PASCV (President 2012-2014), ASCP, AMP, IDSA (Research Committee [2012-2014] and Diagnostics Task Force [2012-2016]), CLSI (2014-2015), and the CAP (Microbiology Resource Committee 2005-2012). Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Clinical Virology, Section Editor, 10th and 11th editions of the Manual of Clinical Microbiology, and on the Editorial Board for Clinical Microbiology Reviews. Published 10 book chapters, over 225 peer-reviewed articles/abstracts and has been an invited speaker at over 200 national and international conferences. Member of National/International Advisory panels for the CDC, NIH, NIAID, FDA, IDSA and European Union. Currently serves on the JCAHO Influenza Pandemic Preparedness and Response Task Force and the CDC Infectious Disease Laboratory Working Group, Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases.             

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    Vicente Gomez-Alvarez                                                                                                        Monday, June 1  2 - 3 pm
    Gomez-Alvarez.Vicente@epa.gov                                                                                           
    Microbiologist; US Environmental Protection Agency (under contract)
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Environmental and General Applied Microbiology, Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology, Microbial Ecology
    Bio: Microbiologists under contract by the US Environmental Protection Agency in the Water Supply and Water Resources Division. Plans and executes various research projects involved in the characterization of environmental microbiomes and the isolation of target microorganisms in complex ecosystems. Additional responsibilities include metagenomics analysis and genome wide association studies. Was an Office of the Provost Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Michigan State University, focusing on the effect of land management in the composition and function of microbial communities associated with greenhouse gases. Has several publications in the area of microbial ecology, including the characterization of microbial communities and their functional capability using unassembled metagenomes and 16S sequence ‘tags’ from 454-pyrosequencing and Illumina, as well as clone libraries of functional genes. Vicente obtained a Ph.D. degree in microbiology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a B.S. in industrial microbiology and M.S. degree in biology from the University of Puerto Rico.

    Fawzy Hashem                                                                                                                       Monday, June 1 10 - 11 am
    fmhashem@umes.edu                                                                                            
    Associate Professor; University of Maryland Eastern Shore
    Primary Job Activity:  Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Bacteriophage, Environmental and General Applied Microbiology, Food Microbiology, Microbial Pathogens
    Bio: Two MS and two PhD degrees; all degrees are in various aspects of microbiology.  Expertise in, but not limited to, microbial food safety, biological control using bacteriophages, plant-microbe interactions, bioremediation, soil and water microbiology

    Zaffar Hussain                                                                                                                      Tuesday, June 2  10 - 11 am
    zaffar.x.hussain@kp.org                                                                                          
    Manager; Kaiser Permanente
    Primary Job Activity: Diagnosis and Testing
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Clinical & Molecular Diagnostic Immunology, Clinical Microbiology
    Bio: Working in this field for the last 33 years. 14 of these years working in the position as a Manager. Managing Diagnostic testing, workflow.                                                 

    Eleanor M. Jennings, PhD                                                                                                             Sunday, May 31 11 - 12 pm
    ejennings@teci.pro                                                                                 
    Principal Microbiologist; Total Environmental Concepts, Inc.
    Primary Job Activity:  Environmental Consulting
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Environmental and General Applied Microbiology
    Bio: Over 15 years of remediation experience as an environmental microbiologist and biogeochemist. B.S in Biology and Chemistry, a Master’s Degree in aerobic petroleum environmental microbiology and a Ph.D. in anaerobic petroleum environmental microbiology. Post-doctoral positions in both geosciences and chemical engineering. Currently combines traditional methods with molecular and isotopic technologies to remediate contaminants including: hydrocarbons, fuel oxygenates, metals, industrial waste, chemical and pharmaceutical waste, chlorinated compounds, and explosives/munitions. Project locations have included: off-shore rigs and refineries, active and decommissioned military facilities, active and decommissioned chemical and pharmaceutical plants, and power plants. Has worked on remediation projects on multiple continents, and has over 20 peer-reviewed publications and over 90 national and international presentations on the topic of bioremediation technologies. National board member and national chairperson for the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), national board member for the American Petroleum Institute (API), and the US national representative to the Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC).                                                            

    Rob Knight                                                                                                                                      Sunday, May 31 2 - 3 pm
    robknight@ucsd.edu                                                                                                                            Monday, June 1 11 - 12 pm
    Professor; University of California, San Diego
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Environmental and General Applied Microbiology, Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology, Food Microbiology, General Microbiology, Microbe-Host Interactions, Microbial Ecology, Microbial Pathogens, Microbial Physiology & Metabolism
    Bio: Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry in New Zealand at the University of Otago in 1996, then completed a PhD on the origin and evolution of the genetic code with Laura Landweber in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University in 2001. Conducted postdoctoral research with Mike Yarus on RNA sequence space in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado, then was the first hire in the interdisciplinary BioFrontiers Institute (then CIMB) at the University of Colorado in 2004. Work has focused on characterizing complex microbial communities, including those that inhabit our bodies. Became an HHMI Early Career Scientist, and an AAAS Fellow. Participates in the Human Microbiome Project in several capacities including PI of the University of Colorado component of the Data Analysis and Coordination Center; as PI of the grants funding the Earth Microbiome Project and Scientific Lead of American Gut; developed the popular UniFrac and QIIME software for microbial community analyses, among other packages, and protocols for high-throughput microbial amplicon sequencing on the 454 and Illumina platforms; and participated in discoveries including linking gut microbes to obesity, to diet, to geography, to age and to host behavior; the individualized nature of our microbes, which even link us to objects we touch; the role of pH rather than plant community or biome in structuring soil microbial communities globally; and the deep microbial "seed bank" that occurs in marine and perhaps other ecosystems.  Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering and Director of the Microbiome Initiative at the University of California, San Diego.                                        

    Theresa M. Koehler                                                                                                                               Monday, June 1 9 - 10 am
    theresa.m.koehler@uth.tmc.edu                                                                                              
    Dr.; University of Texas - Houston Health Science Center
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Genetics and Molecular Biology, Microbe-Host Interactions, Microbial Ecology, Microbial Pathogens, Microbial Physiology & Metabolism
    Bio: Graduate degree in Microbiology from the Univ. of Massachusetts - Amherst. Postdoctoral fellow at in the Dept. of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the Medical School of the University of Texas - Houston Health Science Center since 1991. Began as an Asst. Prof. and now Professor and Chair of the department. Has been actively and continuously engaged in investigations of Bacillus anthracis physiology and genetics since 1981. Research in laboratory is at the forefront B. anthracis genetics and regulation of gene expression and findings have been reported in multiple peer-reviewed publications. In recent years, the knowledge base and technical repertoire of laboratory has expanded to include host - B. anthracis interactions, using murine infection models. Also established collaborations with experts in immunology, biochemistry, and genomics, and has co-authored publications resulting from the combined expertise of multiple laboratories. Authored widely-referenced texts on B. anthracis and anthrax. Work using virulent and attenuated B. anthracis strains to explore the molecular basis for virulence gene expression, in combination with animal studies assessing significance of key virulence genes and their regulators for anthrax disease, is progressing to reveal candidate genes/proteins/pathways that represent targets for therapeutic intervention, while furthering understanding of host-pathogen interactions.          

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    Arash Komeili                                                                                                                          Monday, June 1 11 - 12 pm
    komeili@berkeley.edu                                                                                             
    Associate Professor; University of California, Berkeley
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Cell and Structural Biology, General Microbiology, Genetics and Molecular Biology
    Bio: Faculty member in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley since 2005. Prior to that was a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Dianne Newman at Caltech and a graduate student with Professor Erin O'Shea at UCSF. Lab focuses on the cell biology and genetics of magnetotactic bacteria. More information can be found at www.komeililab.org.

    Paul A Lawson                                                                                                                        Sunday, May 31 11 - 12 pm
    paul.lawson@ou.edu                                                                                              
    Professor; University of Oklahoma
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology, Microbial Ecology, , Microbial Pathogens, Microbiology Education, Microbial Systematics
    Bio: Systematics a fundamental discipline underpins the science of microbiology, provides a framework allowing for the classification, nomenclature and identification of strains in diverse ecosystems that includes clinical, veterinary and environmental sources. Expertise is in microbial systematics spanning a 30-yr period and has been responsible or associated with, the naming or reclassification of over 140 bacteria that includes 2 families, 40 genera and almost 100 species. However, the focus of much of work is with the gastrointestinal tract of both man and animals. Major academic achievements are in bacterial systematics especially with Clostridium and Lactabacilli. This includes a fundamental restructuring of the genus Clostridium and relatives, and the description of a plethora of novel taxa from environmental, clinical and veterinary sources.Publication record (approx.160) includes 16 chapters to the Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, widely regarded as the preeminent resource for microbial identification and taxonomy. Contributed 3 chapters to a new book Biodiversity and Taxonomy of the Lactic Acid Bacteria another important group of organisms; also contributed the chapter on Carnobacteriaceae for“The Prokaryotes”. Collaborates on a regular basis with many recognized leaders in gut microbiology (e.g. Sydney Finegold and Harry Flint). Extensive links with those individuals that are recognized leaders in the characterization of chemotaxonomic traits (Jürgen Busse, Peter Schumann, Myron Sasser, and Brian Tindall). Contacted on a regular basis for my opinions and assistance with taxonomic problems for organisms recovered from a wide range of sources.  Associate Editor of the Bulletin for the newly formed Bergey’s International Society of Microbial Systematics and in July 2012 was appointed as Editor-in-Chief.  Recognised for work and invited to become a member of the International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes Clostridium and Related Taxa Sub Committee and being appointed as to the Editorial Board as an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.                                               

    Hope Lee                                                                                                                                        Monday, June 1 9 - 10 am
    hope.lee@pnnl.gov                                                                                 
    Dr; Department of Energy / Pacific Northwest National Lab
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Environmental and General Applied Microbiology, , Microbial Ecology, Microbial Physiology & Metabolism
    Bio: Microbial ecology; bioremediation; bacterial and viral community dynamics; study of all microbial and fungal degradation of environmental contaminants.

    Dr. Xinhui Li                                                                                                                               Monday, June 1 11 - 12 pm
    xli@uwlax.edu                                                                                                                               Tuesday, June 2  1 - 2 pm
    Assistant Professor; University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
    Primary Job Activity: Teaching
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Fermentation & Biotechnology, Food Microbiology
    Bio: Ph.D. with major in Food Science and Technology from the Ohio State University in 2011. Then Worked as a postdoc at University of Delaware till was hired as an Food Microbiology assistant professor in Department of Microbiology at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Research areas include food microbiology, non-thermal processing of foodborne viruses, antimicrobial resistance in food chain.                                                      

    Jane M. Liu                                                                                                                                      Monday, June 1 8 - 9 am
    jane.liu@pomona.edu                                                                                                                          Monday, June 1  1 - 2 pm
    Assistant Professor; Pomna College
    Primary Job Activity: Teaching
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Genetics and Molecular Biology
    Bio: Tenure-track professor at two Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), Drew University and Pomona College. Juggles teaching undergraduate courses (lectures and labs) and overseeing undergraduate research in own lab. During the summer months, runs a research lab staffed by several undergraduate students. Throughout the year, attends conferences, writes papers and applies for grants from the NSF and the NIH. There is always a lot going on and there is never a dull moment!                                           

    Osvaldo Lopez, PhD                                                                                                                Monday, June 1 8 - 9 am
    lopezo@rowan.edu                                                                                                                     Tuesday, June 2  8 - 9 am
    Associate Professor; Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
    Primary Job Activity: Teaching
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Animal Health Microbiology, RNA Viruses
    Bio: Works in the immune response against RNA viruses and encapusulated bacteria.

    Jeffery A. McGarvey Ph.D.                                                                                                                 Monday, June 1  1 - 2 pm
    jeffery.mcgarvey@ars.usda.gov                                                                                               
    Research Microbiologist; USDA ARS
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Animal Health Microbiology, Environmental and General Applied Microbiology, Food Microbiology, General Microbiology, Microbe-Host Interactions, Microbial Ecology, Microbial Pathogens, Mycobacteriology, ,
    Bio: Was a postdoctoral fellow studying the pathogenic mycobacteria for 3 years. Joined the USDA ARS and has studied the microbial ecology of foodborne pathogens, biofuel production from various agricultural waste products and the development of in vitro diagnostic methods.                                              

    Bob McLean                                                                                                                                                  Sunday, May 31 3 - 4 pm
    McLean@txstate.edu                                                                                              
    Regents' Professor; Texas State University
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Environmental and General Applied Microbiology, Microbial Ecology
    Bio: Faculty member for over 25 years and has seen microbiology program expand almost 5-fold.  While most graduate students have been at the Masters' level, at least 4 alumni are now faculty members. Past President of the Texas Branch ASM, and on three editorial boards including Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Research interests are in biofilms and in polymicrobial interactions.

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    Jennifer Mitchell                                                                                                                    Sunday, May 31 11 - 12 pm
    jennifer.mitchell@ucd.ie                                                                                           
    Lecturer; University College Dublin, Ireland
    Primary Job Activity: Teaching / Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Bacteriophage, Microbe-Host Interactions, Microbial Pathogens
    Bio: PhD in Microbiology Trinity College Dublin 2004  Postdoc at UCSF in San Francisco 2004 – 2009 Lecturer and PI University College Dublin, Ireland 2009-now                               

    Paul Orwin                                                                                                                                Tuesday, June 2  10 - 11 am
    porwin@csusb.edu                                                                                  
    Professor; CSU San Bernardino
    Primary Job Activity:  Teaching
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Environmental and General Applied Microbiology, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Microbial Physiology & Metabolism
    Bio: Grad Student at U. Minnesota  Post-Doc at Caltech  Faculty since 2003

    Beth Potter                                                                                                                                      Monday, June 1  1 - 2 pm
    bap16@psu.edu                                                                                     
    Associate Professor of Microbiology; Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
    Primary Job Activity:  Teaching
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Environmental and General Applied Microbiology, Microbial Ecology
    Bio: B.S., Mount Union College, PhD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Molecular Virology and Microbiology Training Program Advisor: Ora A Weisz, PhD Post-Graduate Postdoctoral Scholar  Department of Medicine, Renal-Electrolyte Division, University of Pittsburgh. Teaching Assistant, Medical Microbiology Course, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine,Adjunct Faculty, Microbiology (lecture and lab), Community College of Allegheny County, Microbiology Lecturer, School of Science, Penn State Erie. Assistant Professor of Microbiology, School of Science, Penn State Erie. Associate Professor of Microbiology, School of Science, Penn State Erie. Current research focus involves identifying bacteria populations within different environments. One specific environment has been the surface of avian eggs. The microflora of avian eggshells is proposed to play an integral role in the protection of the egg/embryo from infection by pathogenic microorganisms and alteration of the egg microstructure aiding in embryonic development. Pofiled the bacterial microflora of House Wrens and American Kestrels using culture-dependent techniques. Partnered with Purple Martin Conservation Association and have begun characterizing the bacterial composition of the microflora found on the surface of Purple Martin eggs. The other main focus of my lab is to determine the effectiveness of Agion silver zeolite technology on bacterial populations on door handles across our campus. Has been using culture-dependent techniques with three different types of agar media to monitor the bacterial populations on silver- and control-coated door handles every fall and spring semester. Currently using 16S rRNA primers to identify each cultured bacterial species. Will begin to incorporate the use of culture-independent techniques to get a more comprehensive idea of the bacterial populations on the door handles. Anticipates future studies examining the prevalence of silver resistance mechanisms within the populations.

    Rachel Pritchard                                                                                                                 Tuesday, June 2  10 - 11 am
    rpritchard@kwc.edu                                                                                 
    Assistant Professor of Biology and Zoology; Kentucky Wesleyan College
    Primary Job Activity: Teaching
    Scientific Areas of Interest: General Microbiology, Microbial Pathogens, Mycoplasmology
    Bio: Ph.D. in Microbiology, accepted a position at Kentucky Wesleyan College in the Fall of 2014. Assistant Professor of Biology and Zoology at KWC, teaching Non-Majors Biology, General Biology, Microbiology I and II, Medical Microbiology, Immunology, and Seminar Courses. Starting an undergraduate research lab on work with the poultry pathogen Mycoplasma iowae.                                     

    Joy Scaria                                                                                                                                         Monday, June 1 8 - 9 am
    joy.scaria@sdstate.edu                                                                                                                          Tuesday, June 2  8 - 9 am
    Assistant Professor; South Dakota State University
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology, Microbe-Host Interactions, Microbial Ecology, Microbial Pathogens, Microbial Physiology & Metabolism, Public Health
    Bio: Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Science at South Dakota State University, Brookings. Conducts research in the areas of enteric diseases, role of prebiotics and probiotics in gut health. Primary research interest is to understand the mechanisms behind the emergence of hyper-virulence in Clostridium difficile. To study C. difficile pathogenesis, his research group used integration of animal models with genomics and bioinformatics. Current research efforts also includes applied studies to control C. difficile infection using prebiotics and probiotics.

    Kileen L. Shier, Ph.D., D(ABMM)                                                                                                       Sunday, May 31 3 - 4 pm
    kileen.l.shier@questdiagnostics.com                                                                                                        Tuesday, June 2  1 - 2 pm
    Science Director; Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute
    Primary Job Activity: Diagnosis and Testing
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Clinical Microbiology
    Bio: Completed a two-year ASM/CPEP fellowship in Medical and Public Health Laboratory Microscopy at UCLA. Served as the Director of Clinical Microbiology at the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System for 2 1/2 years prior to joining Quest Diagnostics in April 2013. One of the Directors of the Microbiology and Virology departments, and the Director of the Donor Testing department at Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute in Chantilly, Virginia.                                  

    W. Edward Swords                                                                                                                   Sunday, May 31 3 - 4 pm
    wswords@wakehealth.edu                                                                                                              Monday, June 1 10 - 11 am
    Professor; Wake Forest School of Medicine
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Microbe-Host Interactions, Microbial Pathogens
    Bio: Faculty member at medical school for past 14 years.

    Jose Ramos Vivas                                                                                                                  Monday, June 1 9 - 10 am
    jvivas@idival.org                                                                                                                       Tuesday, June 2  9 - 10 am
    PhD; IDIVAL Research Institute Spain
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Microbe-Host Interactions, Microbial Pathogens
    Bio: Head, Laboratory of Cellular Microbiology. Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla and IDIVAL Research Institute, Santander, Spain. Focuses on host-pathogen interactions in clinically relevant bacteria. PhD in Microbiology and Immunology. 2003. Posdoc at the Institut Pasteur, París; National Center of Biotechnology, CNB-CSIC, Madrid; Center for Biological Research CIB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain.

    Diana L. Vullo                                                                                                                           Sunday, May 31 11 - 12 pm
    dvullo@ungs.edu.ar                                                                                
    Dr; Universidad Nacional General Sarmiento, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Environmental and General Applied Microbiology, Fermentation & Biotechnology, Microbiology Education
    Bio: Focused on environmental biotechnology, particularly on metal-microbe  interactions and xenobiotic biodegradation. The idea is to develop waste biotreatments performed exclusively with autochthonous bacteria. Professor of General Microbiology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology at the University of Buenos Aires and the Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina.                                

    Rong Wang                                                                                                                               Monday, June 1 10 - 11 am
    rong.wang@ars.usda.gov                                                                                       
    Scientist; USDA
    Primary Job Activity: Research
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Food Microbiology
    Bio: Completed graduate work at the University of Montana and postdoctoral training at National Institute of Health before joining the Agricultural Research Service at USDA in 2010 as a scientist. Current research focuses on investigating biofilm formation by Salmonella and Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli, sanitizer effectiveness against foodborne pathogen biofilms, as well as molecular mechanisms responsible for strong biofilm formation and their sanitization resistance.

    Julie Ann West, PhD                                                                                                               Monday, June 1  2 - 3 pm
    Jwestcls@yahoo.com                                                                                              
    Clinical Laboratory Technical Specialist; Atlanta VA Medical Center, Laboratory
    Primary Job Activity: Diagnosis and Testing
    Scientific Areas of Interest: Clinical Microbiology, Healthcare Epidemiology, Clinical Molecular Microbiology
    Bio: Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLS ASCP, SM ASCP); worked in hospital and reference laboratories as bench technologist, supervisor, and administrator over the past 30 years. PhD in public health (epidemiology); use of medical laboratory statistics in quality assurance and education of technologists and hospital professionals.

    Back to top.

    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

    Mentoring Breakfast

    Alternative Career Tracks 
    Bench Research to Administration
    Careers in Government
    Careers in Industry
    Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Graduate Student to Tenure Track
    Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Undergraduate to Graduate

    Alternative Career Tracks:

    Lorraine Findlay                              Table #:  1
    lorraine.findlay@ncc.edu
    Topic
    Alternative Career Tracks
    Current Employer
    Nassau County Community College
    Career Path
    Worked in research, then clinically, then director of pharmaceutical microbiology. Now an academic but also clinical.

    Shilpa Gadwal                                  Table #:  2
    SGADWAL@Asmusa.org
    Topic:
    Alternative Career Tracks
    Current Employer:
    American Society for Microbiology
    Career Path:
    BA in Biology from UMBC. PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the U Michigan. Currently the Career Advancement Fellow at American Society for Microbiology.

    Tracey Taylor                                    Table #:  1
    tataylor2@oakland.edu
    Topic:
    Alternative Career Tracks
    Current Employer:
    OUWB: Oakland U William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan.
    Career Path
    After completing a PDF, hired as an assistant professor at a private medical school to teach microbiology. For 8 of the 9 years, ran a small research lab, working primarily with medical students.

     

    Bench Research to Administration:

    Len M. Archer                                   Table #:  3
    len.archer@adu.edu
    Topic: Bench Research to Administration
    Current Employer: Adventist U of Health Sciences
    Career Path: PhD in Microbiology before teaching at a two-year Associate degree college specializing in health sciences. Appointed department chair and later Associate VP for Academic Administration as the college obtained U status.

    David Aronoff                                   Table #:  3
    d.aronoff@vanderbilt.edu
    Topic: Bench Research to Administration
    Current Employer: Vanderbilt U School of Medicine
    Career Path: College to med school to residency to clinical and research fellowship to research post-doc to junior then senior faculty to division director. 

     

    Careers In Government:

    Wade Aldous                                    Table #:  5
    wade-aldous@uiowa.edu
    Topic: Careers in Government
    Current Employer: State Hygenic Laboratory at the U of Iowa
    Career Path: PhD in Microbiology. 20 years in the Army as a microbiologist in the medical service corps. Retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Spent 2 years doing a CPEP fellowship while in the Army at the U of Utah/ARUP labs and became an ABMM diplomate. Now serving as CLIA director for State Hygienic Lab.

    Heather Allen                                    Table #:  6
    heather.allen@ars.usda.gov
    Topic: Careers in Government
    Current Employer: USDA
    Career Path: BA/MA degree in Microbiology from U Iowa. PhD in Microbiology from U Wisconsin-Madison. Postdoctoral fellowship at the USDA's National Animal Disease Center (NADC). Permanent scientist position at the NADC. Became an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Vet Micro Department at Iowa State U. Appointed Lead Scientist of the research team on alternatives to antibiotics in animal agriculture in 2015.

    Junia Jean-Gilles Beaubrun       Table #:  5
    junia.jean-gillesbeaubrun@fda.hhs.gov
    Topic: Careers in Government
    Current Employer: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    Career Path: Research Micro. at FDA/CFSAN/OARSA/DVA. 
    BA in Biology at Rollins College, MA in  Biology, and PhD from the Biology Department with an emphasis on Microbiology at Howard U.  Served as a microbiologist reviewer for new drug applications at CDER, FDA, then as fellowship contractor at the FDA, CFSAN, Division of Molecular Biology (DMB). Became the Microbiology supervisor for the DCPublic Health Lab.

    Brian Brunelle                                  Table #:  4
    brian.brunelle@ars.usda.gov
    Topic: Careers in Government
    Current Employer: National Animal Disease Center
    Career Path: BS in Biochemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, PhD in Infectious Diseases from the U.of California, Berkeley. Post-doctoral appointment in the government (USDA). Full time Microbiology position in a government food safety research lab (USDA) and has been studying Salmonella for the past 7 years.

    Julie Swanson                                  Table #:  4
    jmsswanson@gmail.com
    Topic: Careers in Government
    Current Employer: Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Career Path: After receiving a BA degree, worked for two years as a tech in industry. Returned to school for MA, then worked in a U clinical setting for 6 years.  Finally, received PhD, took a two-year postdoc appointment in government, and was then hired on as a staff member. 

     

    Careers in Industry:

    Adrienne Bambach                        Table #:  9
    hpadrean@gmail.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: Nanosphere, Inc.
    Career Path: PhD in microbiology and immunology. CPEP fellowship in clinical microbiology at U of Rochester Medical Center. Field application scientist for Focus Diagnostics. Manager of Scientific Affairs and Acting Director of Clincial Affairs at Nanosphere. D (ABMM).

    Randall Dimond                              Table #:  9
    randy.dimond@promega.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: Promega
    Career Path: Educated at the U. of Utah, UCSD, and MIT. Teaches at  U. of Wisconsin, Madison and works for Promega.

    Wm. Michael Dunne, Jr., Ph.D.                Table #:  8
    william.dunne@biomerieux.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry 
    Current Employer
    : Biomerieux

    Career Path: Board-certified clinical microbiologist from 1982 to 2011 at 4 major medical centers.  Transitioned to industry in 2011 as head of North American R&D for bioMerieux, Inc.

    Martha Folmsbee                            Table #:  10
    martha_folmsbee@pall.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: Pall Corporation
    Career Path: Undergrad degree before raising kids for a few years prior to going back to School for Masters and later PhD.  Post doc at the U of OK, an ASM/NCID fellowship and working in industry.

    Elena Grigorenko                            Table #:  10
    elena.grigorenko@diatherix.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: Diatherix Laboratories, Inc.
    Career Path:  Assistant Professor to Industry scientist through product/technology development path to executive position in diagnostic company

    Tiffany MacKenzie                          Table #:  8
    tiffany.mackenzie@diasorin.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: DiaSorin Inc
    Career Path: Scientific Affairs Manager of Infectious Disease in the diagnostics industry. Manages Key Opinion Leader relationships and maintains collaborations to publish abstracts, posters and papers featuring how company’s diagnostic assays improve patient care.

    Elyse Rodgers-Vieira                    Table #:  7
    elyse.rodgers-vieira@bayer.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: Bayer Crop Science
    Career Path:  Joined Bayer CropScience in 2014 as a Scientist in trait discovery working in the areas of molecular biology, bioinformatics, and IT project management.

    Ratul Saha                                         Table #:  7
    ratul.saha@bms.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
    Career Path: After PhD worked for a Public Health and Safety Company (NSF International) as a Research Scientist in the Microbiology and Molecular Biology Division. With NSF for about 5 years. Presently working for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company as a Senior Microbiologist.

     

    Clinical Career Track Transitions:

    Joseph Alabi                                     Table #:  13
    olughosi@aol.com
    Topic:
    Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Current Employer:
    Allegiance Health
    Career Path:
    Master of Science degree in Medical Microbiology. Started career as a technical lab scientist and moved through job as department director to current position as microbiology manager in a 500 bed hospital.

    April Bobenchik                              Table #:  11
    aboben@gmail.com
    Topic:
    Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Current Employer:
    Lifespan Academic Medical Center
    Career Path:
    Medical Technologist, Research Tech, Grad student (MS and PhD), CPEP Fellow, Assoc. Director of Clinical Microbiology

    Omai Garner                                      Table #:  12
    ogarner@mednet.ucla.edu
    Topic: Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Current Employer: UCLA
    Career Path:  Undergrad degree in Bacteriology from UW Madison PhD in biomedical sciences from UCSD. Completed a CPEP training program in Clinical Microbiology has served as the Assoc. Director of Clinical Microbiology for the UCLA Health System from 2012 - present. Also the Director of the UCLA CPEP program

    Peera Hemarajata                            Table #:  11
    phemarajata@mednet.ucla.edu
    Topic: Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Current Employer: David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
    Career Path: CPEP fellow at UCLA and pursuing a career in medical microbiology as a laboratory director.

    Jim Hong                                            Table #:  12
    james.w.hong@verizon.net
    Topic: Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Current Employer: Carolinas Healthcare System
    Career Path: Clinical and Industry. From small community hospitals to large academic medical centers.

    Carol A. Rauch                                                Table #:  13
    carol.a.rauch@vanderbilt.edu
    Topic: Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Current Employer: Vanderbilt U Medical Center
    Career Path:  MD-PhD, pathology training, clinical microbiology fellowship, micro lab director, medical lab director, teach medical students and pathology residents.

     

    Graduate Student to Tenure Track:

    Joanna Mott                                       Table #:  15
    mottjb@jmu.edu
    Topic: Graduate Student to Tenure Track
    Current Employer: James Madison U
    Career Path:  PhD to Research Associate to tenure track. Department Head at 2 institutions, one for 6 years, current for 4 years.

    Alison O'Brien                                 Table #:  15
    alison.obrien@usuhs.edu
    Topic: Graduate Student to Tenure Track
    Current Employer: Uniformed Services University
    Career Path: Undergraduate, medical technologist trainee, worked 2 years, doctorate,  post-doc, tenure track faculty at a medical school, and finally chair. Has hired  many faculty members.

    Hank Seifert                                       Table #:  14
    h-seifert@northwestern.edu
    Topic: Graduate Student to Tenure Track
    Current Employer:  Northwestern University-Feinberg School of Medicine
    Career Path: BS in Chemistry, Patent Office, PhD Molecular Biology, postdoc in bacterial pathogenesis, Assist Prof 6 years, Assoc Prof 4 years, Prof 17 years.

    Erin Strome                                       Table #:  14
    stromee1@nku.edu
    Topic: Graduate Student to Tenure Track
    Current Employer: Northern Kentucky U
    Career Path: Undergrad at Miami U, to grad school at Baylor College of Medicine, then post doc at Duke U, to current tenure-track position.

    Julie Zilles                                         Table #:  15
    jlz@alum.mit.edu
    Topic: Graduate Student to Tenure Track
    Current Employer: U of Illinois Urbana Champaign
    Career Path:  BS biology, PhD bacteriology, postdoc environmental engineering, academic/professor in environmental engineering since 2002.

     

    Graduate to Postdoctoral Study:

    Ravi Barabote                                   Table #:  17
    barabote@uark.edu
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: U of Arkansas
    Career Path: Tenure-track Assistant Professor at a public University.

    Marina Eremeeva                            Table #:  18
    meremeeva@georgiasouthern.edu
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: Georgia Southern U
    Career Path: MD, Ph and DSc from France and Russia, worked in government and academic institutions in 3 countries; currently an Associate Professor teaching graduate program at the regional U.

    Theresa Koehler                              Table #:  18
    theresa.m.koehler@uth.tmc.edu
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: U of Texas Health Science Center
    Career Path: BS in Biology to PhD in Microbiology to Postdoc Microbiology to Asst Prof, Assoc Prof, Full Prof, Chair.

    Luis R. Martinez                              Table #:  16
    lmarti13@nyit.edu
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Career Path: BS in Industrial Microbiology at the UPR-Mayaguez, MS in Microbiology at LIU-Brooklyn, PhD in Micro & Immuno at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Post-doctoral studies at Einstein and performed research at the MBL in Woods Hole, MA and Cold Spring Harbor Labs in NY. Currently, an associate professor at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    Joan Mecsas                                     Table #:  17
    joan.mecsas@tufts.edu
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: Tufts U School of Miedicine
    Career Path: Grad school at UW-Madison, Post-doc at Stanford University and Faculty Member at Tufts U School of Medicine.

    Ricardo Rajsbaum                         Table #:  19
    rirajsba@utmb.edu
    Topic:  Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer:  U of Texas Medical Branch
    Career Path:  Technician and research associate for 5 years at the CBR Institute, Harvard Medical School. Did BSc studies at UNAM. Obtained MSc degree at the Weizmann Institute of Science.  Post-doctoral fellow Mount Sinai School of Medicine. PhD studies at the National Institute for Medical Research studying the role of TRIMs in different cells of the immune system.

    Floyd L. Wormley Jr., Ph.D.      Table #:  19
    floyd.wormley@utsa.edu
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: U of Texas at San Antonio
    Career Path: BS in Cell & Molecular Bio at Tulane U, MS and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at LSUHSCNO, Post-Doc in Infectious Diseases at DUMC, Assistant Professor at UTSA, Associate Professor at UTSA, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at UTSA,  and Full Professor at UTSA

    Dr. Hassan Zaraket                         Table #:  16
    hz34@aub.edu.lb
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: American U of Beirut
    Career Path:  Pharmacist by training. Upon finishing PhD joined St Jude Children's Research Hospital to do postdoc for 4 years. Started a biologics company and helped secure $1.5 million in investor funding. Moved to Lebanon as an assistant professor for the Amercian U of Beirut.

     

    Undergraduate to Graduate:

    M Hope Lee                                       Table #:  20
    hope.lee@pnnl.gov
    Topic:
    Undergraduate to Graduate
    Current Employer:
    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    Career Path:
    Postdoc with the Dept of Energy lab, then set up and ran mentor’s lab. Hired as an environmental consultant in Idaho as the technical lead for the Remediation Technologies Division. Worked as Dept of Energy employee. In 2012 began directing the soil and groundwater program for Pacific Northwest National Lab.

    Audrey Odom                                   Table #:  20
    odom_a@kids.wustl.edu
    Topic:
    Undergraduate to Graduate
    Current Employer:
    Washington U School of Medicine
    Career Path:
    Undergraduate at Duke U, with 4 years of research experience. MD-PhD at Duke, did clinical training in Pediatrics & Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the U Washington (Seattle). Current faculty member in Pediatrics at Washington U (St. Louis), where >80% of time is devoted to basic research on the biology of the malaria parasite.

     

     

     

     

     

    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)

     


    asm2015 Mentoring Breakfast

    A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

    For information by career transition topic, click here.

    Joseph Alabi                                     Table #:  13
    olughosi@aol.com
    Topic: Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Current Employer: Allegiance Health
    Career Path: Master of Science degree in Medical Microbiology. Started career as a technical lab scientist and moved through job as department director to current position as microbiology manager in a 500 bed hospital.

    Wade Aldous                                    Table #:  5
    wade-aldous@uiowa.edu
    Topic: Careers in Government
    Current Employer: State Hygenic Laboratory at the U of Iowa
    Career Path: PhD in Microbiology. 20 years in the Army as a microbiologist in the medical service corps. Retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Spent 2 years doing a CPEP fellowship while in the Army at the U of Utah/ARUP labs and became an ABMM diplomate. Now serving as CLIA director for State Hygienic Lab.

    Heather Allen                                    Table #:  6
    heather.allen@ars.usda.gov
    Topic: Careers in Government
    Current Employer: USDA
    Career Path: BA/MA degree in Microbiology from U Iowa. PhD in Microbiology from U Wisconsin-Madison. Postdoctoral fellowship at the USDA's National Animal Disease Center (NADC). Permanent scientist position at the NADC. Became an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Vet Micro Department at Iowa State U. Appointed Lead Scientist of the research team on alternatives to antibiotics in animal agriculture in 2015.

    Len M. Archer                                   Table #:  3
    len.archer@adu.edu
    Topic: Bench Research to Administration
    Current Employer: Adventist U of Health Sciences
    Career Path: PhD in Microbiology before teaching at a two-year Associate degree college specializing in health sciences. Appointed department chair and later Associate VP for Academic Administration as the college obtained U status.

    David Aronoff                                   Table #:  3
    d.aronoff@vanderbilt.edu
    Topic: Bench Research to Administration
    Current Employer: Vanderbilt U School of Medicine
    Career Path: College to med school to residency to clinical and research fellowship to research post-doc to junior then senior faculty to division director.

    Adrienne Bambach                        Table #:  9
    hpadrean@gmail.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: Nanosphere, Inc.
    Career Path: PhD in microbiology and immunology. CPEP fellowship in clinical microbiology at U of Rochester Medical Center. Field application scientist for Focus Diagnostics. Manager of Scientific Affairs and Acting Director of Clincial Affairs at Nanosphere. D (ABMM).

    Ravi Barabote                                   Table #:  17
    barabote@uark.edu
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: U of Arkansas
    Career Path: Tenure-track Assistant Professor at a public University.

    Junia Jean-Gilles Beaubrun       Table #:  5
    junia.jean-gillesbeaubrun@fda.hhs.gov
    Topic: Careers in Government
    Current Employer: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    Career Path: Research Micro. at FDA/CFSAN/OARSA/DVA.
    BA in Biology at Rollins College, MA in  Biology, and PhD from the Biology Department with an emphasis on Microbiology at Howard U.  Served as a microbiologist reviewer for new drug applications at CDER, FDA, then as fellowship contractor at the FDA, CFSAN, Division of Molecular Biology (DMB). Became the Microbiology supervisor for the DCPublic Health Lab.

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    April Bobenchik                              Table #:  11
    aboben@gmail.com
    Topic: Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Current Employer: Lifespan Academic Medical Center
    Career Path: Medical Technologist, Research Tech, Grad student (MS and PhD), CPEP Fellow, Assoc. Director of Clinical Microbiology

    Brian Brunelle                                  Table #:  4
    brian.brunelle@ars.usda.gov
    Topic: Careers in Government
    Current Employer: National Animal Disease Center
    Career Path: BS in Biochemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, PhD in Infectious Diseases from the U.of California, Berkeley. Post-doctoral appointment in the government (USDA). Full time Microbiology position in a government food safety research lab (USDA) and has been studying Salmonella for the past 7 years.

    Randall Dimond                              Table #:  9
    randy.dimond@promega.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: Promega
    Career Path: Educated at the U. of Utah, UCSD, and MIT. Teaches at  U. of Wisconsin, Madison and works for Promega.

    Wm. Michael Dunne, Jr., Ph.D.                Table #:  8
    william.dunne@biomerieux.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer
    : Biomerieux
    Career Path: Board-certified clinical microbiologist from 1982 to 2011 at 4 major medical centers.  Transitioned to industry in 2011 as head of North American R&D for bioMerieux, Inc.

    Marina Eremeeva                            Table #:  18
    meremeeva@georgiasouthern.edu
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: Georgia Southern U
    Career Path: MD, Ph and DSc from France and Russia, worked in government and academic institutions in 3 countries; currently an Associate Professor teaching graduate program at the regional U.

    Lorraine Findlay                              Table #:  1
    lorraine.findlay@ncc.edu
    Topic:  Alternative Career Tracks
    Current Employer:  Nassau County Community College
    Career Path:  Worked in research, then clinically, then director of pharmaceutical microbiology. Now an academic but also clinical.

    Martha Folmsbee                            Table #:  10
    martha_folmsbee@pall.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: Pall Corporation
    Career Path: Undergrad degree before raising kids for a few years prior to going back to School for Masters and later PhD.  Post doc at the U of OK, an ASM/NCID fellowship and working in industry.

    Shilpa Gadwal                                  Table #:  2
    SGADWAL@Asmusa.org
    Topic: Alternative Career Tracks
    Current Employer: American Society for Microbiology
    Career Path: BA in Biology from UMBC. PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the U Michigan. Currently the Career Advancement Fellow at American Society for Microbiology.

    Omai Garner                                      Table #:  12
    ogarner@mednet.ucla.edu
    Topic: Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Current Employer: UCLA
    Career Path:  Undergrad degree in Bacteriology from UW Madison PhD in biomedical sciences from UCSD. Completed a CPEP training program in Clinical Microbiology has served as the Assoc. Director of Clinical Microbiology for the UCLA Health System from 2012 - present. Also the Director of the UCLA CPEP program

    Elena Grigorenko                            Table #:  10
    elena.grigorenko@diatherix.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: Diatherix Laboratories, Inc.
    Career Path:  Assistant Professor to Industry scientist through product/technology development path to executive position in diagnostic company

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    Peera Hemarajata                            Table #:  11
    phemarajata@mednet.ucla.edu
    Topic: Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Current Employer: David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA
    Career Path: CPEP fellow at UCLA and pursuing a career in medical microbiology as a laboratory director.

    Jim Hong                                            Table #:  12
    james.w.hong@verizon.net
    Topic: Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Current Employer: Carolinas Healthcare System
    Career Path: Clinical and Industry. From small community hospitals to large academic medical centers.

    Theresa Koehler                              Table #:  18
    theresa.m.koehler@uth.tmc.edu
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: U of Texas Health Science Center
    Career Path: BS in Biology to PhD in Microbiology to Postdoc Microbiology to Asst Prof, Assoc Prof, Full Prof, Chair.

    Indira T. Kudva                                                Table #:  6
    indira.kudva@ars.usda.gov
    Topic: Careers in Government
    Current Employer: Agricultural Research Service/ United States Department of Agriculture
    Career Path: Research Microbiologist at the National Animal Disease Center, USDA, Ames, Iowa.  Working on food safety and enteric pathogens related research.

    M Hope Lee                                       Table #:  20
    hope.lee@pnnl.gov
    Topic: Undergraduate to Graduate
    Current Employer: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    Career Path: Postdoc with the Dept of Energy lab, then set up and ran mentor’s lab. Hired as an environmental consultant in Idaho as the technical lead for the Remediation Technologies Division. Worked as Dept of Energy employee. In 2012 began directing the soil and groundwater program for Pacific Northwest National Lab.

    Tiffany MacKenzie                          Table #:  8
    tiffany.mackenzie@diasorin.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: DiaSorin Inc
    Career Path: Scientific Affairs Manager of Infectious Disease in the diagnostics industry. Manages Key Opinion Leader relationships and maintains collaborations to publish abstracts, posters and papers featuring how company’s diagnostic assays improve patient care.

    Luis R. Martinez                              Table #:  16
    lmarti13@nyit.edu
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Career Path: BS in Industrial Microbiology at the UPR-Mayaguez, MS in Microbiology at LIU-Brooklyn, PhD in Micro & Immuno at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Post-doctoral studies at Einstein and performed research at the MBL in Woods Hole, MA and Cold Spring Harbor Labs in NY. Currently, an associate professor at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    Joan Mecsas                                     Table #:  17
    joan.mecsas@tufts.edu
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: Tufts U School of Miedicine
    Career Path: Grad school at UW-Madison, Post-doc at Stanford University and Faculty Member at Tufts U School of Medicine.

    Joanna Mott                                       Table #:  15
    mottjb@jmu.edu
    Topic: Graduate Student to Tenure Track
    Current Employer: James Madison U
    Career Path:  PhD to Research Associate to tenure track. Department Head at 2 institutions, one for 6 years, current for 4 years.

    Alison O'Brien                                 Table #:  15
    alison.obrien@usuhs.edu
    Topic: Graduate Student to Tenure Track
    Current Employer: Uniformed Services University
    Career Path: Undergraduate, medical technologist trainee, worked 2 years, doctorate,  post-doc, tenure track faculty at a medical school, and finally chair. Has hired  many faculty members.

    Audrey Odom                                   Table #:  20
    odom_a@kids.wustl.edu
    Topic: Undergraduate to Graduate
    Current Employer: Washington U School of Medicine
    Career Path: Undergraduate at Duke U, with 4 years of research experience. MD-PhD at Duke, did clinical training in Pediatrics & Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the U Washington (Seattle). Current faculty member in Pediatrics at Washington U (St. Louis), where >80% of time is devoted to basic research on the biology of the malaria parasite.

    Ricardo Rajsbaum                         Table #:  19
    rirajsba@utmb.edu
    Topic:  Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer:  U of Texas Medical Branch
    Career Path:  Technician and research associate for 5 years at the CBR Institute, Harvard Medical School. Did BSc studies at UNAM. Obtained MSc degree at the Weizmann Institute of Science.  Post-doctoral fellow Mount Sinai School of Medicine. PhD studies at the National Institute for Medical Research studying the role of TRIMs in different cells of the immune system.

    Carol A. Rauch                                                Table #:  13
    carol.a.rauch@vanderbilt.edu
    Topic: Clinical Career Track Transitions
    Current Employer: Vanderbilt U Medical Center
    Career Path:  MD-PhD, pathology training, clinical microbiology fellowship, micro lab director, medical lab director, teach medical students and pathology residents.

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    Elyse Rodgers-Vieira                    Table #:  7
    elyse.rodgers-vieira@bayer.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: Bayer Crop Science
    Career Path:  Joined Bayer CropScience in 2014 as a Scientist in trait discovery working in the areas of molecular biology, bioinformatics, and IT project management.

    Ratul Saha                                         Table #:  7
    ratul.saha@bms.com
    Topic: Careers in Industry
    Current Employer: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
    Career Path: After PhD worked for a Public Health and Safety Company (NSF International) as a Research Scientist in the Microbiology and Molecular Biology Division. With NSF for about 5 years. Presently working for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company as a Senior Microbiologist.

    Hank Seifert                                       Table #:  14
    h-seifert@northwestern.edu
    Topic: Graduate Student to Tenure Track
    Current Employer:  Northwestern University-Feinberg School of Medicine
    Career Path: BS in Chemistry, Patent Office, PhD Molecular Biology, postdoc in bacterial pathogenesis, Assist Prof 6 years, Assoc Prof 4 years, Prof 17 years.

    Erin Strome                                       Table #:  14
    stromee1@nku.edu
    Topic: Graduate Student to Tenure Track
    Current Employer: Northern Kentucky U
    Career Path: Undergrad at Miami U, to grad school at Baylor College of Medicine, then post doc at Duke U, to current tenure-track position.

    Julie Swanson                                  Table #:  4
    jmsswanson@gmail.com
    Topic: Careers in Government
    Current Employer: Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Career Path: After receiving a BA degree, worked for two years as a tech in industry. Returned to school for MA, then worked in a U clinical setting for 6 years.  Finally, received PhD, took a two-year postdoc appointment in government, and was then hired on as a staff member. 

    Tracey Taylor                                    Table #:  1
    tataylor2@oakland.edu
    Topic: Alternative Career Tracks
    Current Employer: OUWB: Oakland U William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan.
    Career Path:  After completing a PDF, hired as an assistant professor at a private medical school to teach microbiology. For 8 of the 9 years, ran a small research lab, working primarily with medical students.

    Floyd L. Wormley Jr., Ph.D.      Table #:  19
    floyd.wormley@utsa.edu
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: U of Texas at San Antonio
    Career Path: BS in Cell & Molecular Bio at Tulane U, MS and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at LSUHSCNO, Post-Doc in Infectious Diseases at DUMC, Assistant Professor at UTSA, Associate Professor at UTSA, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at UTSA,  and Full Professor at UTSA

    Dr. Hassan Zaraket                         Table #:  16
    hz34@aub.edu.lb
    Topic: Graduate to Postdoctoral Study
    Current Employer: American U of Beirut
    Career Path:  Pharmacist by training. Upon finishing PhD joined St Jude Children's Research Hospital to do postdoc for 4 years. Started a biologics company and helped secure $1.5 million in investor funding. Moved to Lebanon as an assistant professor for the Amercian U of Beirut.

    Julie Zilles                                         Table #:  15
    jlz@alum.mit.edu
    Topic: Graduate Student to Tenure Track
    Current Employer: U of Illinois Urbana Champaign
    Career Path:  BS biology, PhD bacteriology, postdoc environmental engineering, academic/professor in environmental engineering since 2002

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    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.

    asm2015 Student and Postdoc Activities

    Calendar of events

    In-Lounge Mentoring

    Throughout the meeting mentors will be available in the Student and Postdoc Lounge (Room 264) for informal talks and advice.  Click here for more information about their background and scheduled time.

     

    asm2015 Mentoring Breakfast - Tuesday, June 2nd 8:00am-10:00am

    The Membership Board and The Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM) has hand selected advisors from a variety of career paths to provide insight and answer your questions regarding career transitions and issues you may, or will, face. You are encouraged to meet with multiple tables of advisors and to contact any of the advisors following the breakfast at the email address provided. No registration required.

    For a list of mentors by name click here.
    For a list of mentors by career type click here.

     

    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

     

     

    ASM Futures Project

     

    OVERVIEW

    The ASM Futures Project was launched in May of 2014 to address the questions:

    • Where will ASM need to focus in order to remain the preeminent scientific society in microbiology in the future?
    • And how could ASM be structured and do business in order to better achieve its strategic goals?

    The project was designed by the ASM officers, with input from the senior staff, and in conjunction with Cygnet Strategy LLC in response to a series of strategic drivers of both strategic direction and strengthening governance:

    • The changing environment surrounding microbiology, the diversification of those in the field and the transition of the field to the broader context of microbial sciences
    • The shifting needs and wants of the next generation of members and potential members
    • The continuing and increasing challenge of ensuring ASM’s relevance to its current and future constituents
    • The changing of the guard in staff leadership, both with the ED/CEO position and senior staff  
    • The increased need for greater integration within ASM, both within the staffing and volunteer structures and in presenting an integrated ASM ‘brand’ to the marketplace
    • Increased pressure on volunteer time, leading to a desire for more diversification in means and methods of involvement and engagement
    • Inherent Conflicts of Interest in some aspects of existing governance structures and processes
    • The desire to complete the work of taskforces appointed to consider strategic planning and governance in 2013

    Please check this page often, as it will be regularly updated as we move this process along. There are a number of opportunities for members and other stakeholders to provide input, and we welcome questions and feedback at any time through email asmfuture@asmusa.org.

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    Starting Point for the ASM Futures Project

    The ASM Futures Project has its origins in April 2013, when the CPC approved a mission statement and six strategic issues and goals. This mission, issues and goals were presented to the Council in May 2013 and President Jeff Miller shared information about them to the membership during the State of the Society at the 2013 General Meeting.

    The following six strategic issues and goals were the starting point for the ASM Futures Project.

    Governance and program structure is cumbersome
    Goal: The Board of Directors needs to be fluid, nimble and adaptable to the quickly changing landscape. Program activities should also be more collaborative and better integrated.

    ASM image & content are not reflecting new era science
    Goal: ASM needs to change its image in order to capture the new science in the eyes of the younger scientists.

    Public ignorance of microbiology
    Goal: The Society needs to continue to educate the public as well as convince Congress to invest more of the nation's limited discretionary funding in research and to invest in a manner that maximizes return.

    The future of ASM as a membership organization is dependent upon the involvement of the members
    Goal: Work to convey the value proposition of the ASM to members and the public. Consistently determine and satisfy members' needs and objectives for education, training, networking, recognition, credentials, and career advancement.

    Increased expenses may not be offset by increased revenues
    Goal: Prudent financial planning in this economic environment is required for ASM to prepare for a new normal, "increased expenses/decreased revenues" scenario.

    Relationships with other societies are not strategically managed
    Goal: Investigate mergers and acquisitions in order to broaden the breadth of science represented by the Society and to market to the public at large. Develop the necessary guidelines to handle these transactions and protect the interests of the Society.

    An ASM Futures Project Group was appointed to explore both the strategic direction of ASM in the form of a new strategic plan and the structure and processes for how the work of the plan is accomplished. The Futures Project Froup was comprised of key ASM member leaders (including a invitation to provide representation from every ASM Board), early-career and post docs, plus senior staff. Their work focused first on establishing strategic direction and then considering what kind of governance structures and processes would be needed to achieve the desired direction.

    The Futures Project Group Roster appears at the end of this section.

    Data Collection for Strategic Planning Effort

    Their deliberations were informed by significant data collected prior to beginning the planning process including:

    • Twenty-eight (28) telephone interviews with a sampling of stakeholders including national, branch, and division leaders, Fellows, international members, early and mid-career scientists, CPC members and staff were conducted by Cygnet Strategy, LLC (Cygnet) during July and August of 2014.
    • Two small focus group discussions were held at the 2014 ICAAC, which allowed ASM to learn more about perspectives in India and Taiwan.
    • A facilitated session with the Officers and members of CPC related to the role of the new ED/CEO was held in September.
    • A survey testing headlines from the data collection was sent to a random sample of 3,848 ASM members in early October, producing 491 responses, which resulted in responses that can be projected with a ±95% degree of certainty.
    • A survey sent to all ASM Council members established a baseline of opinion on governance.  55 individuals responded (63%).  The survey tested key governance practices in three main areas: 1) governance structure and process, 2) engagement and representation, and 3) Council and Council role.
    • Forty-nine (49) interviews conducted for planning by both the Communications Department and the Meetings Department were reviewed for information appropriate for the enterprise wide efforts as were twenty-seven (27) interviews conducted in preparation for the CEO search.
    • The strategic plans from ASM departments were reviewed.

    Eight big ideas emerged from this data which became the starting point for significant dialogue over a series of meetings. Those big ideas were:

    1. Need to Establish a Unified ASM Brand          
    2. Desire for Increased Advocacy
    3. Importance of Inclusion of Next Generation Scientists         
    4. Becoming a Truly Global Organization
    5. Enhanced Public Awareness of the Microbial Sciences        
    6. Reinforce and Strengthen Value of ASM Engagement
    7. Advancing the Microbial Sciences                   
    8. Strengthening Governance

    The Process of Developing the Plan and Governance Thinking

    In October, the Council Policy Committee (CPC) held a strategic discussion to define some of the major challenges facing ASM. Immediately after the CPC meeting a two-day retreat was held with the Futures Project Group (see Roster below). They met to examine the strategic direction of ASM. The questions they focused on were:

    • Are the six strategic issues defined by the CPC in April 2013 still the right ones? Is anything critical missing?
    • What goals are needed to address these areas?
    • What are the objectives needed to fulfill the goals?
    • What are the implications of this strategic direction for governance?

    Discussions during this retreat highlighted the need for a streamlined mission statement and goals that better addressed the issues raised during the data-gathering phase. It also confirmed the concerns raised in the earlier strategic issues regarding the cumbersome nature of governance.

    All data was compiled into a report and presented to the Futures Project Group prior to its first meeting in October 2014.

    The plan language and context that emerged from that meeting were tested in late 2014 via survey with the Futures Project Group, CPC members and senior staff.

    In order to begin to examine the ways to make governance more responsive, inclusive, and transparent, a survey was sent to current Council members to gain a better understanding of their perceptions. The survey had a response rate of 63%. The survey results indicated that Councilors feel that there is a need for greater transparency, broader diversity of participation and increased agility in the Society's governance.

    In January 2015 an assessment of major ASM programs was conducted by a group of senior staff and Futures Project Group members, evaluating existing programs against the emerging strategic direction of the plan.  

    A second meeting of the Futures Project Group was held in February 2015, where the plan language and direction were refined and the governance discussions begun.

    In late February, a meeting of Board/Committee Chairs and senior staff to refine the thinking about the future of ASM Microbe was held. The concept for a co-location of the GM and ICAAC had emerged from the Meetings Department planning and further evolved from a co-located meeting to ASM MICROBE, the flagship meeting serving all of microbial science.

    This was followed in early March by a Tactical Meeting to identify gaps between the current program offerings and what will be needed to achieve the goals, to identify strategies (practical actions) needed to implement the priorities in the plan and to identify possible metrics by which to measure success. The ASM Strategic Plan resulting from these meetings is being presented to CPC on April 18 for approval.

    In late March the second governance focused meeting of the Futures Project Group occurred, resulting in a set of ideas scheduled for further exploration and discussion by CPC in April. At the ASM General Meeting in New Orleans meetings were held with members and with the Council to discuss further and receive feedback. The Futures Project Group is currently scheduled to meet in July to work with input from these different sources to refine initial recommendations and to create a transition team to move these ideas to strengthen governance forward. 

    There are a number of opportunities for members and other stakeholders to provide input throughout the process. We welcome questions and feedback at any time through email asmfuture@asmusa.org.

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    THE FUTURES PROJECT GROUP ROSTER

    The Futures Project Group represents a diverse cross section of ASM's members, staff and stakeholders. They are charged with creating recommendations for the strategic plan and governance changes.

     

    ASMFutures-3
    Pictured L to R, first row: Lynn Enquist., Ron Xavier, Amy Chang, Nancy Sansalone, Magdia de Jesus, Cate Bower, Judy Lovchik. Second row: Joseph M. Campos, Mimi Yen, Marylynn Yates, Steven Specter, David C. Hooper, Marybeth Fidler, Cassandra Mette. Back row: Victor DiRitia, Kim Shankle, Erika Shugart, James M. Tiedje, Timothy Donahue, Connie Herndon, Chris DeCesaris, Jon Kaye, Charlotte Daniels, Fawzi Mahomoodally.

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    ASM Members
    Joseph M. Campos (Chair), Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
    ASM Secretary
    Div. C "Clinical Microbiology"

    Magdia de Jesus, Wadsworth Center, Albany, New York
    President – First Postdoc Chapter
    Membership Benefits Task Force
    Howard Hughes Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow

    Victor DiRita, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Chair, Membership Board
    Editor, Journal of Bacteria
    Div. B "Microbial Pathogenesis"

    Timothy Donohue, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    ASM President
    Div. H "Genetics & Molecular Biology"

    Lynn Enquist, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
    ASM President-Elect
    Former Editor in Chief, Journal of Virology
    Div. S "DNA Viruses"

    Caroline S. Harwood, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    Chair, ASM Press Committee
    Div. K "Microbial Physiology & Metabolism"

    David C. Hooper, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    Chair, Meetings Board
    Past President
    Div. A "Antimicrobial Chemotherapy"

    Judy Lovchik, Indiana State Department of Health, Indianapolis
    CPC, At-Large, Branches
    Div. C "Clinical Microbiology"

    Fawzi Mahomoodally, University of Mauritius
    Young Ambassador to the Mauritius
    Young Leaders Circle
    Div. Y "Public Health"

    Jeffery Miller, University of California, Los Angeles
    ASM Past President

    Aaron Mitchell, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
    Editor in Chief, Eukaryotic Cell
    Div. F "Medical Mycology"

    Susan Sharp, Kaiser Permanente, Portland, Oregon
    ASM, President-Elect Elect
    Chair, Committee on Laboratory Practices 
    Div. C "Clinical Microbiology"

    Steven Specter, University of South Florida Medical Center, Tampa
    Chair, International Board
    Chair, Clinical Virology Symposium
    Div. V "Clinical & Diagnostic Immunology"

    James M. Tiedje, Michigan State University, East Lansing
    ASM Treasurer
    Past President
    Div. N "Microbial Ecology"

    Ron Xavier, AgResearch, Hopkirk Research Institute, New Zealand
    Young Ambassador to New Zealand
    Young Leaders Circle
    Div. P "Food Microbiology"

    Marylynn Yates, University of California, Riverside
    CPC, At-Large Divisions
    Div. Q "Env. & General Applied Microbiology

    Mimi Yen, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University
    President, Boston Student Chapter
    Young Leaders Circle
    Div. M "Bacteriophage"

    Other Stakeholders
    Jon Kaye
    Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Palo Alto, CA
    Div. N "Microbial Ecology"

    Michele Steven
    3M Healthcare, Saint Paul, Minnesota

    ASM Staff

    Amy Chang, Director, Education
    Div. W "Microbiology Education"

    Charlotte Daniels, Manager, Leadership Services

    Chris DeCesaris, Director, Finance

    Connie Herndon, Director, Strategic Alliances

    Cassandra Mette, Administrative Assistant

    Nancy A. Sansalone, Interim Executive Director

    Kim Shankle, Director, HR and Administration

    Erika Shugart, Director, Communications and Marketing Strategy

    Consultants/Facilitators
    Cate Bower and Marybeth Fidler, Cygnet Strategy LLC

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    THE PROGRAM ASSESSMENT/TACTICAL WORKGROUP ROSTER

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    The Program Assessment/Tactical Workgroup represents all Boards and Committees of CPC, plus At-Large Council members and senior staff. They were charged with creating a mission and goals and objectives.  The strategic plan resulting from these meetings was presented to CPC on April 18, 2015 for approval.

    Joseph M. Campos, ASM Secretary
    Amy Chang, Director, Education
    Christine Charlip, Director, ASM Press
    Charlotte Daniels, Manager, Leadership Services
    Chris DeCesaris, Director, Finance
    Victor DiRita, Chair, Membership Board
    Timothy Donohue, ASM President
    Lynn Enquist, ASM President-Elect
    Barbara Goldman, Director, Journals
    Connie Herndon, Director, Strategic Alliances
    David C. Hooper, Chair, Meeting Board
    Thomas Lyons, Director, Information Technology
    Peggy McNult, Director, Professional Practice
    Cassandra Mette, Administrative Assistant
    John Meyers, Director, Membership
    Marina Moses, Director, American Academy for Microbiology
    Kirsten Olean, Director, Meetings
    Jason Rao, Director, International Affairs
    Nancy A. Sansalone, Interim Executive Director
    Kim Shankle, Director, HR and Administration
    Janet Shoemaker, Director, Public and Scientific Affairs
    Erika Shugart, Director, Communications and Marketing Strategy
    Marylynn Yates, CPC, At-Large Divisions

    Consultants/Facilitators
    Cate Bower and Marybeth Fidler, Cygnet Strategy LLC

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    PART 1: ASM STRATEGIC PLAN 2016-2021

    more [+]

    The CPC approved the strategic plan in April 2015. This plan encompasses the following key plan elements which emerged from the discussions:

    • Core Purpose/Mission
    • Vivid Description of ASM’s Future
    • Outcome Focused Goals
    • Objectives to achieve those goals

    Strategies and tactics are not presented as part of the approved plan, because  strategies change frequently throughout the planning cycle as the environment shifts. Along, with metrics, they are typically approved as part of the budget cycle for each year of the plan’s implementation.

     

    10-30 Year Planning Horizon

    Core Purpose & Envisioned Future

    The Core Purpose is the organization’s reason for being and describes a consistent identity that transcends all changes related to its relevant environment.

     

    Core Purpose of ASM

    To promote & advance the microbial sciences

    The Vivid Description describes what would constitute success 10-20 years from now.

    Vivid Description

    • ASM is the go to source for microbial science resources.
    • It has the technological infrastructure to deliver to and receive content from diverse audiences.
    • It is an inclusive organization that engages all people interested in the microbial sciences.
    • It is both proactive and responsive to microbial issues important to society.
    • It operates in a transparent manner with an agile governance system responsive and accountable to members and stakeholders.

     

    3-5 Year Planning Horizon

    Outcome-Focused Goals and objectives

    The following thinking represents the organization’s goals for the next 3-5 years.  These Goals are outcome-oriented statements that represent what will constitute ASM’s future success. The achievement of each goal will move the organization towards the realization of its Envisioned Future. The Objectives reflect the broad range of direction that will be undertaken to change the existing conditions in order to achieve the goal – they drive Strategies -- the type of work and initiatives that will need to be undertaken to achieve the goal.

     

    Goals

    Visionary Society
    ASM’s culture of scholarship and innovation advances the microbial sciences.

    Science Learning Organization
    ASM both educates and learns from stakeholders to ensure the growth and the advancement of the microbial sciences.

    Value to Stakeholders
    ASM is an inclusive organization, engaging with and responding to the needs of its diverse constituencies.

    Organizational Excellence
    ASM is a vibrant, responsive and transparent organization.

    Goals and Objectives  and Initial Priorities

    The objectives presented below are in recommended priority order. This order was based, in large  part, on a discussion of strategic drivers – strategic issues that were identified as needing to be attended to early in the process for maximum leverage. Goal numbers are provided for reference – NOT for purposes of prioritization.

    Drivers Discussed Prior to Prioritization

    • Building ASM’s capacity to address key issues
    • Engagement (members, partnerships…)
    • Careers – help people meet their career goals 
    • Content – science information and knowledge
    • Looking for ways to go “LEAN” and integration of efforts across ASM
    • Careers (development of people)
    • Value added efforts
    • ASM stature and recognition
    • Timing/sequencing events such as new CEO, ASM Microbe
    • Financial stability and willingness to make investments needed
    • Impact of outside events and our ability to respond/anticipate to those events

    Visionary Society
    ASM’s culture of scholarship and innovation advances the microbial sciences.
    1.1 Enhance ASM’s capacity to communicate authoritatively about the microbial sciences. 
    1.2 Enhance ASM’s position as the voice of the microbial sciences.
    1.3 Strengthen ASM’s global partnerships and coalitions.
    1.4 Enhance ASM’s capacity to anticipate and shape the future of the microbial sciences.
    1.5 Increase key stakeholders’ knowledge about and awareness of the challenges facing and the importance of the microbial sciences. 

    Science Learning Organization
    ASM both educates and learns from stakeholders to ensure the growth and the advancement of the microbial sciences.
    2.1 Cultivate an innovative environment for learning, content development and idea exchange.
    2.2 Increase efficiency and efficacy of programs by regularly assessing the program portfolio, individual services, and ASM’s products.
    2.3 Enhance responsiveness to members and stakeholders by regularly soliciting and acting on feedback.
    2.4 Increase engagement of the global microbial sciences community in the work of ASM.
    2.5 Enhance ASM’s capacity for personal, professional and scientific development. 

    Value to Stakeholders
    ASM is an inclusive organization, engaging with and responding to the needs of its diverse constituencies.
    3.1 Increase ASM’s ability to identify and develop the next generation of leaders for the organization and the science.
    3.2 Strengthen the relationship of ASM’s products and programs to its brand.
    3.3 Increase our knowledge of and responsiveness to the current and emerging needs of diverse stakeholders.
    3.4 Improve outreach to current and potential members about the benefits of belonging to ASM.
    3.5 Increase awareness of the scientific community about ASM programs.
    3.6 Increase the opportunities for stakeholders to participate in or contribute to ASM.
    3.7 Enhance ASM’s ability to address all members’ needs through development and assessment of programs and services.

    Organizational Excellence
    ASM is a vibrant, responsive and transparent organization.
    4.1 Ensure ASM’s governance, organizational structures, and processes are transparent, inclusive, efficient and agile.
    4.2 Strengthen the technology infrastructure to support ASM’s goals.
    4.3 Ensure sufficient resources to achieve ASM’s goals.
    4.4 Encourage a culture of experimentation and calculated risk taking.

    Presentation1small

    Plan Priorities for 2016-2017

    Based on the rankings of objectives during the March 2015 Tactical Meeting, the following are the objectives which would be the initial focus for implementing the plan, in descending order of importance. The number in parentheses indicates the goal and the objective number by goal.

    1. Ensure ASM’s governance and organizational structures and processes are transparent, inclusive, efficient and agile.  (4.1)
    2. Strengthen the technology infrastructure to support ASM’s goals.  (4.2)
    3. Cultivate an innovative environment for learning, content development and idea exchange.   (2.1)
    4. Enhance ASM’s capacity to communicate authoritatively about the microbial sciences.  (1.1)
    5. Increase ASM’s ability to identify and develop the next generation of leaders for the organization and the science.  (3.1)
    6. Strengthen the relationship of ASM’s products and programs to its brand.   (3.2)
    7. Increase efficiency and efficacy of programs by regularly assessing both the program portfolio  and individual services and products.  (2.2)
    8. Enhance responsiveness to members and stakeholders by regularly soliciting and acting on feedback.  (2.3)
    9. Increase our knowledge of and responsiveness to the current and emerging needs of diverse       stakeholders.  (3.3)
    10. Enhance ASM’s position as the voice of the microbial sciences.  (1.2)
    11. Ensure sufficient resources to achieve ASM’s goals.  (4.3)

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    PART II: OVERVIEW OF GOVERNANCE THINKING

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    ASM leaders and members have been discussing possible ways to strengthen governance structures and processes for many years.

    In 2013 when the CPC approved six strategic issues and goals, a cumbersome governance and program structure headed the list.  It says, ASM “governance is outmoded and unable to respond quickly to emerging issues. The Council is large, Branches are independent entities, Division structure no longer reflects the science and CPC program chairs have a conflict of interest promoting their program and voting on their budget.

    The telephone interviews and the governance leadership survey described in the overview section of this report bear out this assessment.  They reveal patterns and shared perspectives about ASM governance. In particular there is a significiant desire for more:

    • Transparency in decision-making, especially in leader selection processes
    • Proactive inclusion of younger members and more diversity in governance roles
    • Governance structures and processes that are easily understood
    • Visionary leadership and visibility of the impact ASM has on all aspects of the microbial sciences, on those practicing within the microbial sciences, and on the wider world
    • Meaningful work for governing bodies such as the ASM Council, which is seen as not utilizing member talents and not adding value to organizational decision making
    • Agile and timely decision making
    • Integration among staff departments and among current ASM Boards and committees

     

    Principles Guide the Governance Thinking

    In Part I - ASM Strategic Plan, ASM established a purpose and direction and considered the structures and processes needed to accomplish organizational purpose and goals.

    One Futures Project Group member stated, I am surprised that, as a group of quite varied ages, perspectives and experience, to arrive at consensus quite easily on the important elements of the future governance structures and processes we need.  We believe this may be because we focused on “form” only after agreeing on “function” and because we chose to focus on principles first.

    ASM identified concrete statements, grounded in ASM values, that could provide guidance about the types of governance needed to succeed in the future.  They are a template that has helped ASM make tradeoffs – to decide which opportunities for change to pursue and which to reject.  The following Governance Principles are presented by the Futures Project Group as criteria for evaluating potential governance enhancements:

     

    • Principle 1. ASM governance structure reflects the breadth and diversity of the ASM community.
    • Principle 2. ASM governance structure and processes are responsive to change and enable us to achieve goals.
    • Principle 3. ASM governance structure and processes enables and expects accountability, transparency and member engagement.
    • Principle 4. ASM governance structure helps everyone work toward and contribute to accepted organizational goals.
    • Principle 5. Candidates for ASM governance positions are nominated and elected through an open and credible process that is transparent and accessible to members.

    Structure Proposals

    Based on the emerging Governance Principles, member input and a review of best practices from other professional scientific societies, the ASM Futures Project Group recommends the following governance structure.

    structures

    There are many details yet to be determined about each element in this proposal, but this is the initial thinking about what each of these bodies could be tasked to do and how they may be transitioned from existing bodies.

    ASM Membership

    The ASM Membership is connected to all parts of governance.  The members of the Council and the Governing Body would be elected and the members of the Constituent Groups would be appointed from the membership.  Each of these bodies will have the obligation to engage with the membership in a dialogue about important issues for ASM and for the science.

    Council of the Microbial Sciences

    What:

    The current Council could transition from a group charged with fiduciary responsibility into a broadly representative member group focused on the future of the microbial sciences, and development of support mechanisms for the members of today and tomorrow. Their duties could include identifying emerging trends, providing input into ASM society policy and advice on strategic planning.  This elected body will be an important new conduit of ideas to and from the ASM community, advising on priorities in the microbial sciences or the profession, and organizing the science structure.

    Why:

    The Futures Group thinks that ASM needs a future focused forum across microbial sciences to think strategically and focus our collective impact. They want to focus the talent represented by Council on issues of meaning and future importance to our science, future scientists and the society.

    Microbial Science Programs & Constituencies

    What:

    Microbial Science Boards and Committees would continue to provide expertise in program and constituent areas (journals, membership, education, etc.), but fiduciary responsibilities would move to an elected governing board so they can focus on strategic and operational issues.

    Why:

    The Futures Group is concerned about the current inherent conflict of interest for board chairs approving their own programs and budgets.  This recommended change would address this concern.  Additionally, the Microbial Sciences Board and Committees can facilitate vertical integration focused on organization wide goals and provide a group of experts that works with Council, the governing board, and members on the “future of the microbial sciences.”

    Elected Governing Body

    What:

    CPC could transition to an elected governing body that includes officers and broadly representative at-large members. This governing body would be charged to carry out primary responsibility for ASM, i.e. oversight of financial, policy, legal, business, HR and strategic direction. Based on similar scientific organizations as ASM , the ASM Futures Group recommends that the board be a small (10-18) member elected group of officers and broadly representative at-large members

    Why:

    The operational excellence goal in the strategic plan emphasizes the need for governance to be “transparent, inclusive, efficient and agile.”  The ASM Futures Group, in line with best practices in other similar organizations, recommends that the fiduciary responsibility be held by a group of 18 or fewer in order to make is feasible to hold frequent meeting in order to think strategically and to respond quickly. The fact that this group would be elected means that it will be accountable to ASM Members.

    Next Steps:

    The ASM Futures Project ended its work after submitting recommendations on governance to the CPC this summer.  More information about proposed governance changes including revised Bylaws will be available at this website early in 2016.

     

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    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

    Sansalone Named ASM Interim Executive Director

    WASHINGTON, DC – December 3, 2014 - Nancy A. Sansalone, MPA has been named Interim Executive Director of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) effective January 1, 2015.  She steps in for Michael Goldberg, who is retiring at the end of 2014 after 30 years of stellar leadership. She has been asked by the ASM Officers to lead the staff, to steward the operations and finances and to prepare the organization for change while the Society conducts an international search for a permanent Executive Director/CEO. The search is expected to begin in January 2015.

    Sansalone joined ASM in 2010 as the Deputy Executive Director. In this role, she provides leadership and management expertise to the board leadership and staff to ensure the fulfillment of the Society’s mission and strategic plan and provides leadership direction for the Society’s operational, programmatic and business activities. 

    Sansalone has spent her entire career in association management and higher education administration. Prior to joining ASM, she served as the CFO and Chief Operating Officer at the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and Vice President and CFO of the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE). Previously, Sansalone worked for 10 years with the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), serving as Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer for the Council’s Board of Directors.

    She also has served as a volunteer leader on numerous non-profit boards such as the National Association for Women in Education where she served as the elected President, the Washington Higher Education Secretariat Metropolitan Employer Trust as an Advisory Board member, Capital Association for Women in Education as President, National Conference for College Women Student leaders as Chair, National Center for Higher Education Meeting Professionals as Chair, American Society for Association Executives as a member of the Finance and Administration Advisory Board and as a member of the ERIC Clearing House on Higher Education Coordinating Board. She also has held administrative posts at both Harvard University working with international programs at the Kennedy School of Government and Northeastern University in the Cooperative Education Division.

    Sansalone is a graduate of Northeastern University with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration. She completed work at Harvard University in their advanced graduate study in management program.

    She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her spouse Jim and their four dogs.

    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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    21385722 | 23701946 | 24973308 | 21559486 | 26305943 | 20974979 | 24747414 | 26560305 | 23071316 | 24882428


    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 |

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    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 |

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    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 |

    Related Articles

    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 |

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    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 |

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    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 |

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    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 |

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    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 |

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    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 |

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    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 |

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    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


    Salivary Mucins Play Active Role to Fight Cavities

    WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 11, 2014 -- Salivary mucins, key components of mucus, actively protect the teeth from the cariogenic bacterium, Streptococcus mutans, according to research published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The research suggests that bolstering native defenses might be a better way to fight dental caries than relying on exogenous materials, such as sealants and fluoride treatment, says first author Erica Shapiro Frenkel, of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

    S. mutans attaches to teeth using sticky polymers that it produces, eventually forming a biofilm, a protected surface-associated bacterial community that is encased in secreted materials, says Frenkel. As S. mutans grows in the biofilm, it produces organic acids as metabolic byproducts that dissolve tooth enamel, which is the direct cause of cavities. “We focused on the effect of the salivary mucin, MUC5B on S. mutans attachment and biofilm formation because these are two key steps necessary for cavities to form,” says Frenkel.

    “We found that salivary mucins don’t alter S. mutans’ growth or lead to bacterial killing over 24 hours,” says Frenkel. “Instead, they limit biofilm formation by keeping S.mutans suspended in the liquid medium. This is particularly significant for S. mutans because it only causes cavities when it is attached, or in a biofilm on the tooth’s surface.” She adds that the oral microbiome is better preserved when naturally occurring species aren’t killed. “The ideal situation is to simply attenuate bacterial virulence,” she says.

    The study grew out of previous work in the investigators’ laboratory showing that other types of mucins, such as porcine gastric mucins, had protective effects against common lung pathogens, says Frenkel. With this in mind, they suspected that salivary mucins would play a protective role, but they were not sure what that would be.

    “Defects in mucin production have been linked to common diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and ulcerative colitis,” says Frenkel. “There is increasing evidence that mucins aren’t just part of the mucus for structure or physical protection, but that they play an active role in protecting the host from pathogens and maintaining a healthy microbial environment. We wanted to apply these emerging ideas to a disease model that is a widespread, global public health problem—cavities. We chose to study the interaction of MUC5B with Streptococcus mutans because it is the primary cavity-causing bacteria in the oral cavity.”

    The research makes a fundamental contribution to scientific understanding of host-microbe interactions, says principal investigator Katharina Ribbeck, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA. “It is generating a paradigm shift from the textbook view of mucus as a simple catchall filter for particles, towards the understanding that mucus is a sophisticated bioactive material with powerful abilities to manipulate microbial behavior.”

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    Zoos Exonerated in Baby Elephant Deaths; Data Support New Branch of Herpesvirus Family

    WASHINGTON, DC – October 8, 2014 - Elephants are among the most intelligent non-humans, arguably on par with chimps, but both African and Asian elephants—separate species—are endangered. In 1995, 16-month old Kumari, the first Asian elephant born at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, died of a then-mysterious illness. In 1999, Gary Hayward of Johns Hopkins University and collaborators published their results identifying a novel herpesvirus, EEHV1 as the cause of Kumari’s sudden death. They now show that severe cases like this one are caused by viruses that normally infect the species, rather than by viruses that have jumped from African elephants, which was their original hypothesis. Hayward’s latest research appears ahead of print in two concurrently published papers in the Journal of Virology.

    At the time of Kumari’s death, anti-zoo activists seized on the situation to call for abandoning all efforts to breed Asian elephants in zoos, as they claimed that zoos were spreading the deadly herpesvirus, says Hayward. Contrary to that, in the current research, “We showed that whereas some identical herpesvirus strains infected both healthy and diseased animals concurrently at particular facilities, the majority were different strains, and there has not been a single proven case of the same strain occurring at any two different facilities,” says Hayward. “Therefore, the viruses have not spread between zoos, and the sources of the viruses were most likely wild-born elephant herdmates. In fact, we also found the same disease in several Asian range countries, including in orphans and wild calves, and showed that the EEHV1 strains in India displayed the same genetic diversity as those in Western zoos.”

    The papers also provide substantial data to support the hypothesis that the EEHV collectively represent a new, fourth major branch of the herpesvirus family, the proposed deltaherpesvirus subfamily (Deltaherpesvirinae), says Philip Pellett of Wayne State University, Detroit, who wrote an invited Commentary which accompanied Hayward’s papers. “Given that the three other branches were recognized over 30 years ago, establishment of a new subfamily would a big deal.”

    Pellett adds that “Further scientific significance arises from the discovery of 12 new herpesviruses and identification of some new wrinkles in our understanding of herpesvirus diversity and evolution.”

    In these studies, the investigators performed extensive DNA fingerprinting of the genetic signatures of all the known EEHV cases, as well as samples of EEHV virus that were obtained from wild Asian and African elephants, says Hayward. In the process, they identified seven different species of EEHVs and multiple different chimeric subtypes and strains of each.

    “Because these viruses cannot be grown in cell culture, we had to develop sensitive and specific PCR techniques to be able to identify and compare the sequences of multiple segments of many different types of EEHV genomes directly from pathological blood and tissue DNA samples,” says Hayward. “Later, by also examining benign lung nodules from culled wild African elephants, we determined that EEHV2, EEHV3, EEHV6, and EEHV7 are natural endogenous viruses of African elephants, whereas EEHV1A, EEHV1B, EEHV4, and EEHV5 are apparently natural and nearly ubiquitous infections of Asian elephants that are occasionally shed in trunk washes and saliva of most healthy asymptomatic adult animals.”

    Hayward notes that only one example of a lethal cross-species infection with EEHV3 into an Asian elephant calf has been observed, and that the viruses causing disease normally do so only in their natural hosts.

    Close monitoring of Asian elephant calves in zoos has so far enabled life-saving treatment for at least nine infected Asian calves, says Hayward, suggesting that such monitoring may ultimately enable determining why some animals become susceptible to severe disease after their primary EEHV1 infections, while most do not. “About 20% of all Asian elephant calves are susceptible to hemorrhagic disease, whereas symptomatic disease is extremely rare in African elephant calves under the same zoo conditions,” says Hayward.

    In another paper in the same issue of Journal of Virology, Hayward et al. demonstrate that the many highly diverged species and subtypes of EEHVs are ancient viruses that evolved separately from all other known subfamilies of mammalian herpesviruses within the ancestor of modern elephants, beginning about 100 million years ago.

    Philip Pellett, of Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, praises both of Hayward’s studies in this issue of the Journal of Virology: “The information gained in the new EEHV papers will be important for developing diagnostic tools for these viruses, and for developing therapeutic approaches to diseases caused by EEHV.”

    Elephant populations have been plummeting. African elephants declined roughly from 10 million to half a million during the 20th century, due largely to habitat destruction, and intense poaching has since further decimated their numbers. Asian elephants, once in the millions, now number less than 50,000. They are threatened mostly by habitat fragmentation.

    The full papers will appear in the December issue of the Journal of Virology.

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    Mineralization of Sand Particles Boosts Microbial Water Filtration

    WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 10, 2014 - Mineral coatings on sand particles actually encourage microbial activity in the rapid sand filters that are used to treat groundwater for drinking, according to a paper published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. These findings resoundingly refute, for the first time, the conventional wisdom that the mineral deposits interfere with microbial colonization of the sand particles.

    “We find an overwhelmingly positive effect of mineral deposits on microbial activity and density,” says corresponding author Barth F. Smets, of the Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby.

    Mineral coating develops on the filter grain surface when groundwater is treated via rapid sand filtration in drinking water production. Coating certainly changes the physical and chemical properties of the filter material, but little is known about its effect on the activity, colonization, diversity and abundance of microbiota

    Until now, rapid sand filters have been a bit of a black box, says first author Arda Gülay,one of Smets’ graduate students.

    “In rapid sand filters, a combination of chemical, biological, and physical reactions help in the removal and precipitation of the impurities—iron, manganese, ammonia, and methane, for example,” says first author Arda Gülay,one of Smets’ graduate students.  In time, the sand filter grains become coated with minerals, much of which the system managers remove, periodically, via backwashing.

    It turns out that the minerals form an abundant matrix around the sand particles, sort of honeycomb-like. “Bacterial cell density in these structures can be very high, and can be boosted further when extra ammonium is provided,” says Smets. The bacteria are normally engaged in removal of ammonium, manganese, and other impurities from the groundwater.

    In fact, during the investigation, the ammonium-removal activity increased as the mineral deposits grew. “These positive mineral-microbe interactions suggest protective and supportive roles of the deposits,” says Smets. The investigators also measured a high diversity of ammonium and nitrite-oxidizing species.

    The researchers’ direction involved a serendipitous twist. Early on, they discovered an unexpected positive correlation between the number of bacteria, and the degree of mineral coating of the sand particles, says Smets. “This was deemed worthy of further investigation, but we thought it would be a high risk effort. It was not until we saw actual cross sections of the mineral phases, which clearly reveal microbial cell like structures inside the deposits that we became aware of the unique discoveries we were making.”

    A major question the research raises is whether the microbes influence the development of the microporosity, or simply take advantage of it, says Gülay. Either way, it could lead ultimately to steering the mineralization to create micro-structures designed to house microbial cells to perform specific functions.

    The manuscript can be found online at http://bit.ly/asmtip1014a.  The final version of the article is scheduled for the November 2014 issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

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    Gut Bacteria Promotes Obesity in Mice

    WASHINGTON, DC – September 30, 2014 – A species of gut bacteria called Clostridium ramosum, coupled with a high-fat diet, may cause animals to gain weight. The work is published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

    A research team from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke in Nuthetal observed that mice harboring human gut bacteria including C. ramosum gained weight when fed a high-fat diet. Mice that did not have C. ramosum were less obese even when consuming a high-fat diet, and mice that had C. ramosum but consumed a low-fat diet also stayed lean.

    Previous studies have found C. ramosum and other representatives of the Erysipelotrichi class in obese humans, said senior study author Michael Blaut, PhD, head of the institute’s Department of Gastrointestinal Microbiology. This suggests that growth of this organism in the digestive tract is stimulated by high-fat diets, which in turn improves nutrient uptake and enhances the effect of such diets on body weight and body fat.

    “We were surprised that presence or absence of one species in a defined bacterial community affected body weight and body fat development in mice,” says Blaut.

    Blaut and colleagues investigated the role of C. ramosum in three groups of mice: some harbored a simplified human intestinal microbiota (bacteria) of eight bacterial species including C. ramosum; some had simplified human intestinal microbiota except for C. ramosum, and some had C. ramosum only. The researchers called the first group SIHUMI, the second group SIHUMIw/oCra and the third group Cra. Mice were fed either a high-fat diet or low-fat diet for four weeks.

    After four weeks eating a high-fat diet, the mouse groups did not differ in energy intake, diet digestibility, and selected markers of low-grade inflammation. However, SIHUMI mice and Cra mice fed a high-fat diet gained significantly more body weight and body fat, which implies that they converted food more efficiently to energy than did the SIHUMIw/oCra mice. By contrast, all groups of mice fed a low-fat diet stayed lean, indicating that the obesity effect of C. ramosum only occurred on high-fat diets.

    The obese SIHUMI and Cra mice also had higher gene expression of glucose transporter 2 (Glut2), a protein that enables absorption of glucose and fructose, and fat transport proteins including fatty acid translocase (Cd36).

    “Our results indicate that Clostridium ramosum improves nutrient uptake in the small intestine and thereby promotes obesity,” Blaut said. Associations between obesity and increased levels of lipopolysaccharides (components of the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria) causing inflammation, or increased formation of molecules called short chain fatty acids, reported by other researchers, were not found in this study, he said: “This possibly means that there is more than one mechanism underlying the promotion of obesity by intestinal bacteria.”

    Through additional studies Blaut said he hopes to learn more about how C. ramosum affects its host’s energy metabolism and whether similar results occur in conventional mice given the bacteria. “Unraveling the underlying mechanism may help to develop new strategies in the prevention or treatment of obesity,” he said.

    The current study was supported by the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke.

    # # #

    mBio® is an open access online journal published by the American Society for Microbiology to make microbiology research broadly accessible. The focus of the journal is on rapid publication of cutting-edge research spanning the entire spectrum of microbiology and related fields. It can be found online at http://mbio.asm.org.

    The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.

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