Wednesday, 31 October 2018 12:33

In Memoriam: Sydney M. Finegold

Dr. Sydney M. Finegold, Emeritus Physician/Faculty of the West Los Angeles Medical Center in the Infectious Diseases Section and Emeritus Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, passed away on September 17, 2018.  He was a 70+year member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.  He gave the first Alexander Sonnenwirth Lecture at the ASM General Meeting (1986), and was awarded ASM’s Hoechst Marion Roussel Award in 1992 and the J. Becton-Dickinson Award in Clinical Microbiology in 1999.     Read more...

Monday, 27 August 2018 14:21

In Memoriam: Toby Merlin

Toby Merlin, MD, Director of the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infectious (DPEI) in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), died on Saturday, August 18, 2018, his 66th birthday.  Toby was a 20-year member of the American Society for Microbiology, and oversaw the ASM/CDC Fellowship program.   Read more…

Thursday, 16 August 2018 11:32

In Memoriam: Dr. Thomas Ray Jerrells

Thomas Ray Jerrells, Ph.D., long-time member of the American Society for Microbiology, died May 22, 2018. His expertise was in infectious diseases immunology, beginning with his Ph.D. dissertation, “Immunity to Coxiella burnetii: In Vitro and In Vivo Parameters,” and continuing through to his later focus on the effects of alcohol consumption on host immunity.  He retired as Professor of Immunology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center-Omaha in November 2011, after 36 years of research.

Dr. Jerrells was one of three co-founders of the Alcohol and Immunology Research Interest Group (AIRIG), and he served as Editor-in-Chief of Alcohol: An International Biomedical Journal (1999-2005).  He accumulated more than 250 peer-reviewed journal publications, book chapters, and scientific meeting abstracts in his name and mentored many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are now leading investigators in their respective fields.

Dr. Jerrells was a long-time member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), and served as Chair of ASM’s Immunology Division (Division E), 1998-1999.    Read more…


Thursday, 16 August 2018 10:15

In Memoriam: David Albert Preston

David Albert Preston, a long-time member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), passed away January 16, 2017 at the age of 77. Preston spent his professional career with Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was a respected scientific author, with many antibiotic development-related scientific publications to his credit. He served as a member of ASM’s ICAAC Programming Committee (1990-1995), and on the ICAAC Young Investigator Award Committee (1993-1994).    Read more...

Monday, 13 August 2018 16:33

In Memoriam: Roger W. Hendrix

Roger W. Hendrix, University of Pittsburgh Distinguished Professor, died on August 15, 2017 at the age of 74. He made many contributions to microbiology through his research on the structure, assembly and evolution of bacteriophages. He developed in vitro methods for viral assembly, thus laying the groundwork for detailed biochemical and structural analyses of the assembly process. In the early days of molecular biology, his findings on how viruses use bacteria to reproduce revealed a great deal about how the bacteria themselves work, which provided scientists with insight into other types of cells. Later, his studies of bacteriophage genomics impacted understanding of viral diversity and evolution.   

Hendrix was a member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. He served as Chair of ASM’s Bacteriophage Division (1988-89). He was recipient of the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award, Senior Scholar (1997) and was awarded the National Academy of Sciences Prize for Excellence in Scientific Reviewing (2009).        Read more...


Monday, 06 August 2018 17:59

In Memoriam: Mark E. Shirtliff

Mark E. Shirtliff, University of Maryland, Baltimore, died on July 12, 2018 as a result of a rafting accident on the Yellowstone River. Shirtliff was the lead inventor of a vaccine technology that is the basis for a multivalent vaccine against infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterial strain often resistant to antibiotics. His work on Staphylococcus aureus vaccines netted him the prestigious BioMaryland LIFE Award. Shirtliff was a leading expert in the field of biofilm, and worked at the Center for Biofilm Engineering, located in Montana, during the summers. He authored over 120 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters in which he examined the biofilm mode of growth and the chronic diseases caused by pathogenic microbes. 

At the time of his death, Shirtliff was a professor in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis in the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) and a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). He also was co-founder and chief scientific officer of Serenta Biotechnology, LLC. He was a member of the American Society for Microbiology, and had been actively involved in the ASM Biofilms Conference program. He was an active member of ESCMID, served on the ECCMID Programme Committee (2016-2018), and as a result of his service on that Committee, was elected as an ESCMID Fellow.    Read more…

Monday, 06 August 2018 15:25

In Memoriam: Delbert M. Shankel

Delbert (Del) M. Shankel, 90, Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Kansas, died on July 12, 2018. Shankel was a long-time member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), and served on the ASM Lab Practices for Microbiology Committee and the ASM Carski Foundation Award Committee. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. His academic career at the University of Kansas spanned 50+ years.                Read more…

Monday, 06 August 2018 13:34

In Memoriam: Donald Vesley

Donald (Don) Vesley, long-time member of the American Society for Microbiology, died on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Vesley was a tenured professor at the University of Minnesota, and also served as the University’s Director of Environmental Health and Safety. He taught classes at agencies and universities around the country on laboratory safety techniques for handling cancer viruses and recombinant DNA procedures. In 2001, he served as a consultant on anthrax decontamination for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. By the time he retired from teaching and research in 2003, Vesley was the author or co-author of more than 100 scientific articles and a book, and he had advised and mentored scores of students.     Read more…

Monday, 06 August 2018 11:58

In Memoriam: Richard W. Castenholz

Richard “Dick” Castenholz died Thursday April 19, 2018 at the age of 86. His unexpected passing marks the end of a career in microbial phototroph research that spanned seven decades, during which Dick deservedly gathered many honors, including: J.S. Guggenheim Fellow (1970-71), Fulbright Scholar (1977-78), Fellow AAAS, Trustee, Bergey’s Manual Trust (1991-2001), Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology (1996-his death), Bergey Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Bacterial Taxonomy, and American Society For Microbiology 2009 USFCC/ J. Roger Porter Award for studies of microbial diversity. Dick was a long-time ASM member.   Read more...

Monday, 06 August 2018 11:10

In Memoriam: Dannie G. Hollis

Retired CDC employee and ASM member Dannie G. Hollis (1922-2018) passed away on May 22, 2018.  Mrs. Hollis came to CDC in 1961 to work in the General Bacteriology Laboratory and remained in the same lab (now Special Bacteriology Reference Laboratory, SBRL) for 33 years until she officially retired from CDC in 1994.  Mrs. Hollis’s scientific expertise was the characterization and identification of rare and unusual pathogenic bacteria, and she astounded many of her colleagues with her incredible memory of organisms that she had encountered years ago when they reemerged as still unidentified pathogens.  Fortunately for SBRL staff, after retirement Mrs. Hollis continued to lend her expertise at least one day each week for another 18 years.  During her 51-year career, Mrs. Hollis was a long-standing member of ASM, the Southeastern Branch of ASM, Sigma XI, American Society of Clinical Pathologists, Southeastern Association for Clinical Microbiologists, The Scientific Research Society of America, and The National Registry of Microbiologists of the American Academy of Microbiology.   Read more...

Tuesday, 29 May 2018 17:27

In Memoriam: Stanley Falkow

Stanley Falkow, a world-renowned microbiologist widely regarded as the “father” of the field of microbial pathogenesis, passed away May 5, 2018 at the age of 84.  He is best known for applying genetic techniques to pathogenic bacteria to identify molecules responsible for disease.  His "Molecular Koch's Postulates" laid out the approach he used to identify bacterial virulence factors.  He also made significant contributions to studies of antibiotic resistance mechanisms, ecology and enterotoxins.  Falkow was a long-time member of the American Society for Microbiology and served as its President in 1998.


Tuesday, 29 May 2018 16:19

In Memoriam: Dr. Michael R. Smith

Dr. Michael R. Smith, a retired microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service at the Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California, passed away on December 19, 2017, at the age of 72, in Pasco, Washington.  He was a long-time member of ASM.  Early in his career, he isolated and characterized an acetate-fermenting strain of Methanosarcina (strain 227), and showed for the first time that acetate could be converted directly into methane and CO2 without the addition of external sources of H2. His further studies showed that acetate was the sole carbon and energy source for this microorganism, and he worked to elucidate the electron transport mechanisms involved in this conversion. 


Friday, 20 April 2018 16:41

In Memoriam: Richard Courtney

Dr. Richard Courtney, former chair of the Penn State University College of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Distinguished Educator and Professor Emeritus, passed away Wednesday, April 11, 2018.   A virologist, Courtney was most well-known for studying the herpes simplex virus, particularly the proteins found on the outside of the virus.

Read more…

Tuesday, 27 March 2018 17:20

In Memoriam: Charles Yanofsky

Charles Yanofsky, one of the world’s most influential geneticists, passed away March 16, 2018 at age 92. Over the course of his career at Stanford University, Yanofsky made numerous groundbreaking discoveries that became the foundations of molecular microbiology. His contributions spanned 50+ years and had a direct and lasting impact on diverse areas of microbiology. Yanofsky, long-time member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), received the Albert Lasker Award in Basic Medical Research and the Genetics Society of America Medal, among many other awards, including ASM’s Eli Lilly Award in Bacteriology and Immunology in 1959 and the Abbott-ASM Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.



Thursday, 22 March 2018 17:19

In Memoriam: Louise Slaughter

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, a champion for public health and one of the most powerful and unique figures in the House of Representatives, died March 16, 2018. She was 88 and the oldest sitting member of Congress. Slaughter was the first woman to serve as chair of the Committee on Rules.  As the only microbiologist in Congress, she was an advocate for addressing the growing threat of antibiotic resistance,




Thursday, 22 March 2018 16:19

In Memoriam: Dan Stinchcomb

Dan Stinchcomb, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer for IDRI (Infectious Disease Research Institute) a Seattle-based global health nonprofit biotech, passed away Feb. 21, 2018, after a brief illness. Stinchcomb is well known for his expertise in flaviviruses and influenza, having developed a vaccine against Dengue and leading projects at IDRI to develop novel RNA-based vaccines.



Thursday, 22 March 2018 13:37

In Memoriam: Raymond Clark Bartlett

Raymond Clark Bartlett, M.D., prominent clinical microbiologist, with an international reputation for innovative teaching of microbiology laboratory practices focusing on cost containment and quality control, died on January 23, 2018 at the age of 87 in Avon, Connecticut. Bartlett was a long-time member of ASM, as well as a fellow of The College of American Pathologists, The American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP), and The American Academy of Microbiology.  In recognition of his many contributions to clinical microbiology ASM awarded him the Alex Sonnenwirth award in 1990 and the Becton Dickinson Award in 1994. 




Tuesday, 20 March 2018 15:46

In Memoriam: Mathilde Krim

Mathilde Krim, a geneticist and virologist who researched acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and whose scientific work inspired her efforts in public advocacy to address the stigma associated with AIDS, died January 15, 2018 at the age of 91. Krim, an ASM member, co-founded the AIDS Medical Foundation in New York in 1983, which merged with a similar California-based group two years later to form Amfar, the American Foundation for AIDS Research. Krim advocated on behalf of AIDS patients and led efforts to increase federal funding for research into the disease and expand access to experimental drugs. 


Tuesday, 20 March 2018 14:34

In Memoriam: Richard C. Tilton

Dr. Richard C. Tilton, past Director of Clinical Microbiology at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and past editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, died November 28, 2017. Tilton served in many leadership roles throughout his career in microbiology.  In addition, he was the first-ever recipient of the Abbott Laboratories Award in the Rapid Diagnosis of Human Diseases.

Read More... 

Saturday, 18 November 2017 14:53

In Memoriam: Milton J. Schlesinger

Milton J. Schlesinger, Ph.D., long-time member of ASM, and Professor Emeritus of Molecular Mcrobiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, died on Friday, October 27, 2017, at his home in Berkeley, California.  Schlesinger was an eminent virologist, having authored nearly 200 papers and books, including key studies on heat shock proteins and protein modification. Among his most noted discoveries, he identified the first examples in vertebrate cells of heat-shock proteins, which cells produce when their normal proteins unfold as a result of high temperature or other stressful conditions. Heat-shock proteins refold the damaged proteins, helping the cell survive.  


Wednesday, 01 November 2017 14:32

In Memoriam: Leonard Mortenson

Leonard (Len) E. Mortenson enjoyed a long career doing pioneering research on bacterial nitrogen-fixation as well as educating students and postdoctoral associates, both in academia and in industrial laboratories.  Len passed away peacefully at his home in Willow Street, PA on October 30, 2017. He was 89. 


Wednesday, 06 September 2017 11:38

In Memoriam: C.C. Wang

Molecular parasitologist and founding Editor-in-Chief of the ASM journal Eukaryotic Cell