Thomas J. Walsh, M.D., Ph.D. (hon), FIDSA, FAAM, FECMM

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Thomas J. Walsh, M.D., Ph.D. (hon), FIDSA, FAAM, FECMM (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19) - Waksman Foundation Lecturer       

Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University

1300 York Avenue, Room A-421

New York, NY 10065


Phone: 212-746-6320 (main office)

Fax:     212-746-8675




Primary Division        F          Medical Mycology

Secondary Division    C         Clinical Microbiology        




Advances in the Laboratory Diagnosis of Invasive Candidiases and Their Therapeutic Implications  

  1. Basic approaches for laboratory diagnosis of invasive candidiasis
  2. Biomarkers (serum (13)-­D‐glucan, and PCR) new laboratory technology for detection of Candida spp. (MALDI-­‐TOFF; T2 Biosystems)
  3. CLSI methods, interpretive breakpoints, and ECVs
  4. Therapeutic implications of Candida species
  5. New antifungal agents


Emerging Fungal Pathogens and Diseases

  1. New Candida species
  2. Multidrug resistant moulds: Scedosporium, Lomentaspora, Fusarium
  3. Cryptococcus gattii and its expanding impact
  4. Evolving patterns in dimorphic mycoses: Sporothrix spp., Coccidioides spp., Blastomyces dermatitidis
  5. Relevant changes in fungal nomenclature for clinical laboratories


Invasive Aspergillosis in Immunocompromised Patients  

  1. Aspergillus spp. and their epidemiological and clinical implications
  2. Performance and interpretation of serum galactomannan, serum (13)-­D‐glucan, and PCR for laboratory diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring
  3. Emergence of triazole resistant strains
  4. CLSI methods, interpretive breakpoints, and ECVs
  5. New antifungal agents


 Diagnostic and Therapeutic Challenges of Mucormycosis   

  1. Dynamic interaction between clinicians and laboratorians
  2. Rapid diagnostic procedures
  3. New advances in laboratory diagnosis
  4. Insights into pathogenesis and host defenses
  5. New therapeutic approaches


Special Hosts and Invasive Mycoses: Critical Interactions between Laboratory and Bedside toward Better Patient Care  

  1. Pediatrics: Hematogenous Candida meningoencephalitis; neonatal candidemia
  2. Primary Immunodeficiencies: Relationships between innate host defenses and fungal pathogens
  3. Trauma and Burns: Expanding recognition of mucormycosis
  4. AML and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Impact of antifungal prophylaxis
  5. Solid Organ Transplantation: Emerging hospital acquired and community acquired mycoses



Thomas J. Walsh, M.D., Ph.D. (hon), FAAM, FIDSA is Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Microbiology & Immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine of Cornell University and founding Director of the Transplantation-Oncology Infectious Diseases Program and the Infectious Diseases Translational Research Laboratory. He is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Sharp Family Foundation Scholar in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and Investigator of Emerging Infectious Diseases of Save Our Sick Kids. He served with distinction as the Chief of the Immunocompromised Host Section of the Pediatric Oncology Branch of National Cancer Institute for 23 years. He was then recruited to build the first Transplantation-Oncology Infectious Diseases Program in Weill Cornell Medicine and New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Walsh directs a combined clinical and laboratory research program dedicated to improving the lives and care of immunocompromised children and adults. The objective of the Programʼs translational research is to develop new strategies for molecular diagnosis, immunopharmacology, pharmacokinetics / pharmacodynamics, treatment, and prevention of life-threatening invasive mycoses and other bacterial, fungal, and viral infections in immunocompromised children and adults. These objectives are achieved through laboratory investigations using parallel in vitro systems, and robustly predictive in vivo animal model systems, leading to phase-I, phase-II, and phase-III clinical trials. The Programʼs current targeted laboratory investigations and clinical trials in medical mycology include invasive candidiasis, pulmonary aspergillosis, mucormycosis, fusariosis, and phaeohyphomycosis.


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters   



My mission as a physician-scientist in Medical Mycology is to improve the lives of patients suffering from invasive mycoses through direct care, translational research, mentoring, and teaching. I have been teaching Medical Mycology for three decades. The ASM Distinguished Lecture Program provides a wonderful opportunity to share this teaching experience and knowledge of Medical Mycology. As clinical microbiology laboratories and microbiologists encounter an ever expanding and challenging array of invasive fungal infections, the need for ongoing education and training is imperative for patient care, quality laboratory management, and basic understanding. During the past 32 years, I have taught Medical Mycology with the highest dedication to more than 6,000 medical students and graduate students in their core medical mycology courses in three universities. In further fulfillment of this educational mission, I have given numerous regional, national, and international lectures in Medical Mycology. In addition, I have mentored more than 180 trainees from 32 different countries, many of whom are recognized leaders in Medical Mycology and who continue the traditions of excellence in this vital field. As a member of the ASM since 1979, I have served as Division F Chair and Councilor, Member of the General Meeting Program Committee, Member of the Working Group for Coordination and Planning for Clinical Microbiology Sessions for the newly structured ASM General Meeting in 2011 and the Clinical Microbiology Task Force, 2010-2011, chair or convener of more than 20 educational or research roundtables, panels, symposia, or sessions, and the current lead author of ASMʼs premier textbook of medical mycology, Laroneʼs Medically Important Fungi, 6th edition. In summary, I believe that my combined multidisciplinary clinical and laboratory expertise, broad knowledge in Medical Mycology, and dedication to mentoring and teaching an entire generation of professionals will be a powerful asset to the ASM Distinguished Lecture Program.  

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Donald W. Schaffner

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Donald W. Schaffner (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19)       

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

65 Dudley Road

New Brunswick, NJ 08901    


Phone: 732-982-7475

Fax:     732-932-6776



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division        P          Food Microbiology

Secondary Division    Y         Public Health  




Should You Eat That? The Science behind the Five-second Rule

The popular notion of the “five-second rule” is that food dropped on the floor and left there for <5 seconds is “safe” because bacteria need time to transfer. Until recently, the rule had only been explored by a single study in the published literature and on at least two television shows. Dr. Schaffner and a graduate student recently published an extensive study in the ASM journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology with over 2,500 observations exploring the science behind the rule. In this talk Dr. Schaffner explains his reasons for undertaking this research, and the relevance of the findings for everyday life.


Handwashing and Hand Sanitizers from the Perspective of a Food Microbiologist

Over the past 15 years, Dr. Schaffner and his team have published on quantification and variability of bacterial cross-contamination rates in the kitchen, the effectiveness of glove barriers to bacterial cross-contamination, the suitability of alcohol-based hand sanitizer as an alternative to handwashing, an analysis of the published literature on the effectiveness of antimicrobial soaps, the effect of hand wash duration, soap use, ground beef debris, and drying methods on the removal of bacteria on hands, and the use of microbial risk assessment techniques to quantify the effect of antibacterial hand hygiene products on risk of shigellosis. This talk will provide an overview of how one food microbiologist looks at foodborne disease risk, and the role that handwashing and hand sanitizers can play in reducing that risk.


Food Safety Modeling and Risk Assessment for Fun and Profit  

This talk will provide an overview of the predictive microbiology and quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) as practiced by Dr. Schaffner’s lab. A variety of case studies will be used to demonstrate the application of these two tools. Case studies can be customized to areas of interest to the local Branch.    



Dr. Donald W. Schaffner is Distinguished Professor and Extension Specialist in Food Science at Rutgers University. His research interests include quantitative microbial risk assessment and predictive food microbiology and he has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers on these and other topics. Dr. Schaffner has served on a variety of national and international expert committees, including service to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Dr. Schaffner is active in several scientific associations including the International Association for Food Protection, the Institute of Food Technologists, the Society for Risk Analysis, and the American Society for Microbiology. He was elected a Fellow of the IFT in 2010, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2014, and of IAFP in 2017, and is an Editor for the ASM journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Dr. Schaffner holds a B.S. in Food Science from Cornell University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Georgia. He co-hosts a podcast on microbial food safety for professionals and the public, available at  


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters  



I have been part of similar speaker programs for the Institute of Food Technologists, and the International Association for Food Protection in the past, and I have enjoyed the experience of traveling to speak to local organizations affiliated with national groups of which I am a member. I was delighted to learn that ASM has a similar program, and that I was being considered to be part of it. As a longtime member of ASM, and as an editor for Applied and Environmental Microbiology for more than 10 years, I am strongly committed to ASM, and to the field of applied microbiology. While I consider myself a food microbiologist, I do have broad interests that include the application of mathematics and statistics to solving microbiological problems. While we have done research primarily in the area of food microbiology, we are also very interested in handwashing and cross-contamination broadly applied. I'm strongly committed to graduate students, and I currently serve as the Graduate Program Director for the Food Science graduate program. I'm also active in the graduate program in Microbial Biology at Rutgers. I run my lab with M.S. and Ph.D. students, with a complement of undergrads working for research credits and hourly wages. 

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Ilhem Messaoudi-Powers, Ph.D.

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Ilhem Messaoudi-Powers, Ph.D. (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19)

Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

School of Biological Sciences

University of California Irvine

2400 Biological Sciences III

Irvine, CA 92697-3099          


Phone: 949-824-3078



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division        E          Immunology

Secondary Division    D         Microbe-Host Interactions      




Ebola Virus: From Mechanisms of Disease to Vaccination Strategies

This lecture will discuss why Ebola virus is so deadly and vaccination strategies to protect populations at risk.


Aging and Immune Response to Infection

By 2020, one third of the US population will be older than 65. This group is very vulnerable to specific infections. This lecture will explain why older individuals are at greater risk for infection and what we are doing to mitigate this risk.


How Alcohol Consumption Alters Our Immune Defense Mechanisms

Almost 70% of the US population consumes alcohol and 10-14% develop alcohol use disorder. This is associated with increased risk of infection, but the mechanisms are not very clear. This lecture will discuss how alcohol consumption alters the epigenetic and transcriptional landscape of the immune system.


Obesity during Pregnancy and Its Impact on Neonatal Immunity

Infants born to mothers who started their pregnancy as obese experience a greater number of admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit due to sepsis and enterocolitis. The reasons behind this higher vulnerability to infection are starting to emerge. This lecture will review our current understanding of the neonatal immune system and the impact of maternal obesity.  


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH – Ilhem Messaoudi-Powers, Ph.D.

Dr. Ilhem Messaoudi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and an Affiliate Scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. She received her B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Lafayette College (Easton, Pennsylvania) in 1996, followed by a joint doctorate degree in immunology from The Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 2001. She then carried out her post-doctoral training at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and Oregon National Primate Research Center. Dr. Messaoudi became an Assistant Professor at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, OHSU in October 2008, and in January 2013 joined the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine as an Associate Professor. Her research program is focused on studying: 1) host-pathogen interactions in a variety of viral infection models; 2) impact of chronic ethanol consumption on immune function; 3) impact of maternal obesity and nutrition on neonatal immunity; and 4) impact of age-related decline in sex steroid levels (and estrogen and androgen supplementation) on immunity. Dr. Messaoudi is the recipient of the Nathan Shock Junior Investigator Award, Brookdale Leadership in Aging Fellowship, Dolph O’ Adams Award and Women and Diversity Paper of the Year from the Society of Leukocyte Biology.


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters  



My journey to becoming a biomedical researcher who studies infectious diseases and vaccines has been far from traditional and has imbued me with a strong commitment to training the next generation of microbiologists. I was born and raised in the small African nation of Tunisia. My interest in microbiology was cultivated as I watched my paraplegic aunt struggle daily with the debilitating effects of polio. I was fortunate to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and then a Ph.D. in immunology in the United States. My life experiences are not dissimilar to those of first generation students who have to overcome significant hurdles in the pursuit of higher education. Moreover, growing up as a young Arab woman who wanted to be a microbiologist like Louis Pasteur, I know first-hand how insurmountable the challenges of restrictive cultural norms, gender stereotypes, and implicit bias can seem. I am greatly appreciative of the support I received and cognizant that my successes come on the shoulders of others. I am committed to repaying that forward, and believe that the ASMDL program will provide me with an opportunity to motivate and inspire the next generation of scientists, especially those from under-represented minorities. I will bring to this program not only my love for microbiology and my enthusiasm for the changes that ASM is undergoing, but a rare expertise in viral immunology with an emphasis in nonhuman primate models of emerging viral diseases and my international upbringing that allows me to speak to a broader audience.   

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Beronda L. Montgomery

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Beronda L. Montgomery (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19)       

DOE Plant Research Laboratory

Michigan State University

612 Wilson Road, Room 106

East Lansing, MI 48824


Phone: 517-353-7802

Fax:     517-353-9168



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division        H         Genetics & Molecular Biology

Secondary Division    K         Microbial Physiology & Metabolism         




Seeing the Light: Color Vision and Developmental Acclimation in Cyanobacteria  

Photosynthetic organisms exhibit finely tuned abilities to sense and respond to changes in their ambient environment. As light is used to drive photosynthesis, which results in the production of chemical energy and important reductants, the perception of light and the resulting physiological and developmental changes that occur are among the most important adaptations in these organisms. Cyanobacteria respond to changes in light in a process known as chromatic acclimation, which tunes physiology and photosynthetic pigmentation to light cues. The photoreceptors and associated signaling pathways used to tune cellular responses and thus organismal fitness in cyanobacteria are described.


First Insight into Second Messengers: Roles of Cyclic Dinucleotides in Environmental Responses in Cyanobacteria  

Cyclic dinucleotides have only recently been investigated as second messengers in photosynthetic bacteria, including cyanobacteria. Photosynthetic organisms, such as cyanobacteria, are sensitive to changes in the light environment, a response which is linked to their ability to use light energy for production of chemical energy in the form of sugars. Recent studies indicated that second messengers are key molecules used by cyanobacteria to adapt to changes in the external environment. Ongoing studies in the Montgomery lab are providing significant insight into the roles of these second messengers in regulating life styles and evolution of cyanobacterial strains and providing tools for use in biotechnological or optogenetic applications.    


Shaping Up: Photoregulation of Cellular Morphology in Cyanobacteria  

Photosynthetic organisms depend upon light for carbon fixation and production of reductant. Thus, the ability to adapt to changes in the photoenvironment is critical. Some cyanobacteria alter the shape and volume of their cells in response to changes in ambient light, including changes in light intensity and predominant wavelengths or colors of light available. In this talk, the distinct molecular mechanisms used by these organisms to “shape up” in response to light are discussed, including parallels to known bacterial morphogenesis-regulating mechanisms and novel means used by cyanobacteria.


Lighting the Way: Building Bridges to Access and Success  

This topic involves translating the lessons that have emerged from investigating the specific ways in which largely immobile organisms adapt their patterns of growth and development to fluctuations in external environmental parameters to increase their survival and productivity to mentoring and professional development interventions. These lessons are intended to inform practices that promote the success of students and junior faculty in academic sciences. Discussed are evidence-based practices for supporting the comprehensive development of a diverse range of students and postdoctoral scientists as experimentalists, scientific thinkers and future independent scientists and practitioners.                                            


Cultivating a Career: From Seeds of Inspiration to a Harvest of Discovery, Mentoring & Transformation  

The cultivation of an integrated career that supports progressive research, education and service requires planning, strategic and intentional engagement of mentors, and career envisioning. I describe my path to date which has included key branch points that have advanced my core research in photobiology, while providing complementary opportunities to acquire new skills and integrate engagement in mentoring and leadership scholarship.   


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH – Beronda L. Montgomery

Dr. Beronda Montgomery completed doctoral studies at the University of California, Davis and was a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University. She is MSU Foundation Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Microbiology & Molecular Genetics in the Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory and Assistant Provost for Faculty Development – Research at Michigan State University. Dr. Montgomery’s laboratory investigates the mechanisms by which organisms such as plants and cyanobacteria which have limited mobility are able to monitor and adjust to changes in their external environment. The ability of these largely immobile organisms to adapt their patterns of growth and development to fluctuations in external environmental parameters, such as light and nutrient availability, increases their survival and maximizes their growth and productivity. Dr. Montgomery also conducts scholarship and training initiatives on mentoring, including issues related to mentoring diverse students and junior scientists, as well as faculty development. Her scholarly efforts have been recognized by receipt of an NSF CAREER Award, selection as a finalist in the 2014 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professors Competition, and as 2015 Michigan State University Nominee for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) U.S. Professor of the Year Award.


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters   



Participation in the ASMDL program provides new opportunities for me to engage with the microbiology community as a scientist-educator. It has been my long-standing career philosophy to build a competitive research program, while simultaneously ensuring that the research and training environment provides the highest level of evidence-based mentoring to ensure success of each of the individuals with whom I have the privilege to work. In these efforts, my group has developed robust research to understand dynamic molecular processes used by photosynthetic organisms to adapt to changes in their environment. As a part of my efforts to promote research excellence and sustained mentoring of scientists, including a targeted focus on those individuals from groups underrepresented in academe, I served for six years as Chair of the Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship and Professional Development Programs. Initially largely an ASM fellowship program, the Watkins Fellowship grew into a comprehensive academic and professional development program for sustained exposure of doctoral students to diverse career opportunities, long-term engagement of individuals in supportive career networks, and the provision of progressive mentoring under my leadership. Additionally, I served as founding chair of the steering committee and co-PI of a NSF-funded structured mentoring effort with ASM. In additional efforts in support of graduate students and postdocs, I serve as a mentor training specialist and as a consultant with several national graduate and postdoctoral training programs and academic institutions on issues related to mentoring diverse students and junior scientists, as well as development and support of faculty.

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Susan Lynch

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Susan Lynch (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19)       

University of California, San Francisco

513 Parnassus Avenue, S357D

San Francisco, CA 94143      


Phone: 415-476-6784



Speaker’s Websites:



Primary Division        N         Microbial Ecology

Secondary Division    D         Microbe-Host Interactions    




Gut Microbiome and Allergic Asthma

Lecture will cover studies of the early life gut microbiome and its role in allergic sensitization and asthma development in childhood. It will also include information on the microbiome of the built environment and its relationship with allergic asthma outcomes and on newer approaches aimed at targeting the gut microbiome in early life to prevent disease development.


Airway Microbiome and Chronic Inflammatory Disease

Studies of the airway microbiome in chronic sinusitis and childhood and adult asthma reveal relationships between the composition and activities of microbes on the airway mucosal surface and their capacity to drive chronic inflammation.


Gut Microbiome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Relationships between the gut microbe and IBD, including the emerging role of pathogenic states in driving distinct immune dysfunction within this patient population and microbiome manipulation approaches (fecal microbial therapy, rationally designed microbial cocktails) to mitigate disease.  



Dr. Lynch is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she also directs the Microbiome Research Core and acts as Associate Director of the Microbiome in Inflammatory Disease Program. Her research program focuses primarily on the gastrointestinal microbiome and its role in established chronic inflammatory diseases, including airway diseases. She is extensively published with over 100 peer-reviewed publications, and holds six patents. Dr. Lynch has been awarded the Rebecca Buckley Lectureship by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, was featured in International Innovation: Women in Healthcare, and was named one of Foreign Policy magazine’s “Global Thinkers” in 2016. She serves on the National Academy of Science Committee on Advancing Understanding of the Implications of Environmental-Chemical Interactions with the Human Microbiomes, and has recently founded Siolta Therapeutics, which develops next-generation microbiome therapeutics.


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters  



Microbiology has been my passion from a very young age, and has been an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling career to date. Though trained in bacterial physiology, I made the leap into the field of human microbiome research well over a decade ago, publishing our first microbiota paper in 2007. The combination of basic microbiology coupled with microbial ecology provides me with a relatively unique perspective in a field currently dominated by those with computational, medical or immunology training. I would love to be part of the ASMDL program as a means to encourage more microbiologists, particularly those in the early stages of training, to enter the nascent and exciting field of human microbial ecology so their voices and perspectives can play a role in shaping the literature and thinking in the field. Inter-disciplinary human research, with microbiology as a key focus, represents a potentially transformative field; preparing the next generation of microbiologists to lead this field represents one of my major motivations.  

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Harry L. T. Mobley, Ph.D.

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Harry L.T. Mobley, Ph.D. (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19)       

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

University of Michigan Medical School

5641 Medical Science Building II

1150 West Medical Center Drive

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0620


Phone: 734-764-1466

Fax:     734-763-7163



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division        B         Microbial Pathogens

Secondary Division    D         Microbe-Host Interactions        




Bacterial Gene Expression during Human Infection  

Our traditional definition of bacterial virulence has been based on in vitro measurements of adherence, iron acquisition, toxin activity, protein secretion, and motility. Now we must consider what metabolic pathways are in play, what transport systems must be active, and, most importantly, which genes are actually being expressed during human infection. Novel techniques including RNA-Seq and Tn-Seq allow us to identify the most highly expressed genes and which genes are essential during actual infections. This leads to a better understanding of how bacterial pathogens outfox our immune defenses.


Strategies for Development of Vaccines against Mucosal Infections  

Using our current genomic tools, we no longer have to guess about what components we should include in a vaccine against a mucosal infection. Based on the genomic sequence of a bacterium, we can predict and test for which proteins reside on the bacterial surface, determine whether an immune response detects the antigen during experimental infection, determine precisely which genes are expressed during experimental, and in some cases, human infection, and determine whether those genes are essential for colonization and infection. Using all of these criteria, rational selection of antigens for a vaccine can be made and quickly tested.  


Stones, Spears and Swarming: Bacterial Social Aggression at Its Worst  

One of the most extraordinary bacterial species is a creature called Proteus mirabilis. This Gram-negative bacterial rod, named for the Greek god who changed shape to avoid capture, has fascinated microbiologists for more than a century with its unique swarming differentiation on agar plates, killing of opposing bacteria, and potent urease activity responsible for bladder and kidney stone formation. Transcriptome profiling during both host infection and swarming motility, coupled with the genome sequence, has revealed the mechanism of interbacterial competition and killing by use of a type VI secretion system, which injects toxins into the opposing bacteria. The bacterium also switches neatly between an adherent form and wildly swarming motile form.



Harry Mobley received his B.S. degree in Biology from Emory University in 1975 and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from University of Louisville in 1981. He conducted postdoctoral training in Biological Chemistry and Bacterial Genetics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He served on the faculty there from 1984 until 2004 and led the graduate program. In 2004, Mobley moved to the University of Michigan to chair the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and was installed as the Frederick G. Novy Collegiate Professor. Dr. Mobley, a fellow in AAAS and the American Academy of Microbiology, chaired the Pathogenesis and Host Response Mechanisms group of ASM. He serves on the editorial review board of Infection and Immunity and on NIH study sections. His research interests focus on the molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis. His lab studies virulence mechanisms of uropathogenic Escherichia coli and Proteus mirabilis and formerly studied Helicobacter pylori that causes peptic ulcer disease. Dr. Mobley has published 240 peer-reviewed articles, 38 book chapters and 4 books. His work has been cited in the literature nearly 15,000 times. He has trained 29 Ph.D. students and 34 postdoctoral fellows, and has delivered 201 invited lectures in 20 countries.


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters  



I currently serve as Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and served as Graduate Program Director at my previous institution, University of Maryland School of Medicine. I am most proud of receiving university-wide mentoring awards at both Maryland and Michigan. ASM has shaped my career as a microbiologist, being a member since 1977. During that time, I was invited speaker at eleven meetings including Division B Lecture in 2014 and have organized five sessions. I have been committed to service to ASM, serving as Division B Chair and two terms as Division II (Pathogenesis and Host Response Mechanisms) Representative and on General Meeting Planning and Colloquium Committees. I was honored as candidate for President-Elect in 2011. I have served on the Infection and Immunity Editorial Board since 1993 and have edited two books for ASM Press: Urinary Tract Infections - Molecular Pathogenesis and Clinical Management; and Helicobacter pylori - Physiology and Genetics. My lab has presented 148 abstracts at the General Meeting (Microbe Meeting). With respect to speaking, I have delivered 201 invited lectures in 20 countries. Indeed, presenting talks for the purpose of educating the next generation of scientists is one of my greatest joys. Interacting with students and postdocs could not be more enjoyable and rewarding. Seeing the development of young scientists and their career development is one reason I do the job I do. I believe that I could represent ASM well in the ASMDL program, reaching out to our next career microbiologists and passing on the passion for our field.    

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Terje Dokland

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Speaker Term:  July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2019


Terje Dokland (term: 7/1/17 through 6/30/19)

Department of Microbiology

University of Alabama at Birmingham

845 19th Street South, BBRB 311

Birmingham, AL 35294


Phone: 205-996-4502



Speaker’s Website:



Primary Division        M        Bacteriophage

Secondary Division    J          Cell and Structural Biology                                        




Staphylococcal Pathogenicity Islands: Hijackers on the Phage Assembly Pathway

Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPIs) are mobilized at high frequency by specific “helper” phages. SaPIs have evolved many mechanisms to exploit their helpers for their own propagation, including the re-direction of the phage assembly pathway to produce small capsids that are unable to package complete phage genomes. We study this mobilization process using a combination of genetics, biochemistry and structural biology, especially high resolution cryo-electron microscopy.


Pirates of the Caudovirales

Some genomic elements are “pirates” that exploit “helper” bacteriophages for their own propagation, including the Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPIs) and the P4-like elements of E. coli. These elements employ a variety of strategies to usurp the replication and assembly machinery of their helpers. This talk will touch on the evolution, mechanisms and role in bacterial virulence of these pirates.


Taking Advantage of the Cryo-EM “Resolution Revolution” in Microbiological Research

Cryo-electron microscopy (EM) allows the structure determination of biological structures from proteins to entire cells in their native state. Recent innovations, especially the development of direct electron detectors, now allow structures of proteins to be determined to near-atomic resolution. Examples will be given from a wide range of systems, including our own work on phage assembly.


Scaffolding-mediated Assembly Control in the Bacteriophages

Scaffolding proteins provide control over the assembly process in bacteriophages and many other viruses. Analysis of scaffolding proteins from various bacteriophages provides insights into how these proteins act to control capsid assembly.



My research over the past 25 years has focused on the structural biology of viral and prokaryotic pathogens, starting with my Ph.D. work on cryo-electron microscopy of bacteriophages at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, through my postdoctoral work on crystallography of bacteriophage phiX174 and Norwalk virus in Dr. Rossmann’s lab at Purdue, to my subsequent years as an independent researcher in Singapore and at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). I have continued to publish extensively in this area, including crystallography and cryo-EM studies of eukaryotic viruses (PRRSV, West Nile virus, HIV, mumps), bacteriophages (P2/P4 and Staphylococcus aureus phage 80alpha), bacteria (Bacillus anthracis) and exosomes.


My main research focus over the past few years has been on the phage-induced mobilization of S. aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPIs). Genetic mobilization is a critical process in the evolution of virulence and antibiotic resistance in S. aureus, and phages play a key role in this process. We study this process by a hybrid approach that includes genetics, biochemistry, cryo-EM and NMR spectroscopy. These studies have revealed novel mechanisms of capsid assembly and size determination, phage-induced derepression, SaPI interference with phage multiplication, and DNA packaging by phages and SaPIs.


CV is available by request from at ASM Headquarters



While the main emphasis in the Department of Microbiology at UAB is on research, I have always remained committed to dissemination of knowledge, mentorship and training. Most of the research in my lab is carried out by graduate students, and I enjoy the process of mentoring them to successful careers in science. I was recipient of the Graduate School Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship in 2011 and I am one of the most actively involved in teaching in our Department. My main research project on the mobilization of Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPIs) straddles several fields of research, from structural biology to virus assembly to bacterial pathogenesis, allowing for the presentation of narratives that transcend these individual categories and that have been well received at numerous conferences and invited talks. Structural biology has recently been revolutionized by innovations in cryo-electron microscopy. My strong foundation in this cutting-edge methodology allows me to bring these innovations to bear on microbiology research. I hope to convey the excitement of structural biology to young investigators through narratives that are compelling to students and trainees in many areas of microbiology.

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