Donohue Elected President of American Society for Microbiology

CONTACT:  Jim Sliwa


WASHINGTON, DC – February 12, 2013 – University of Wisconsin-Madison bacteriology professor Timothy J. Donohue has been elected incoming president of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Donohue will take up the post of ASM president-elect on July 1, 2013, followed by a one-year term as ASM president beginning July 1, 2014.


An elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Donohue is an expert on the genetic pathways and networks that microbes use to grow, generate biomass, and harness and convert solar energy. His research goals include using computational models to design microbial machines with increased capacities to generate renewable energy, neutralize toxic compounds and synthesize biodegradable polymers.


In addition to his research and teaching, Donohue directs the U.S. Department of Energy’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), as he has since its establishment in 2007. With facilities at UW-Madison and Michigan State University, the GLBRC conducts the basic research driving the development of technologies to convert cellulosic—or non-food—biomass into ethanol and other advanced biofuels. In December 2012, the GLBRC joined the Wisconsin Energy Institute, of which Donohue is now an executive committee member. Donohue is also a past director of a National Institute of General Medical Sciences Predoctoral Biotechnology Training Program at UW-Madison.


With his ASM election, Donohue continues in a long tradition of UW-Madison faculty members who have served in a leadership capacity for the society.  He has previously served as a councilor-at-large on the Society’s governing body and was chair of its Division on Genetics and Molecular Biology.  Donohue has also served on the editorial board of one of ASM’s flagship journals, the Journal of Bacteriology.


As president, Donohue will act as the chief officer and official representative of ASM, the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world. Founded in 1899, the Washington, DC-based society seeks to advance microbiology as a means to understand life processes for the improvement of global health, environmental and economic well-being. To that end, ASM, which has over 39,000 members, holds meetings and workshops, as well as public information and education programs. With 13 individual journals, the society is also responsible for publishing over 23 percent of all microbiology articles.

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