ASM President's Bimonthly Newsletter -- May 2012

ASM - Members Bimonthly Newsletter
  May 2012  

Dear Colleagues:

I look forward to seeing you soon at our 112th General Meeting in San Francisco June 16-19. We are particularly excited because this is the first time our General Meeting has been held in the City by the Bay. Based on your feedback from asm2011, asm2012 features speakers who represent a broader range of scientific disciplines, a focus on topics that are charting the course for the future, and more opportunities to participate in meaningful dialogue with your peers. Of special note, the ASM Public and Scientific Affairs Board (PSAB) has organized a Special Session on the H5N1 Research Controversy and Dual Use Research Issues, which is scheduled for Tuesday, June 19 from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm. Dual use research controversies will continue to have a significant impact on the practice of microbiology and may become a defining issue for our profession. Our speakers will discuss research, biosafety, biosecurity and US Government policy.

Our General Membership Meeting will take place on Monday, June 18. Join us as we review Society activities of the past year and take the opportunity to voice your opinions and questions. This meeting immediately precedes the President's Forum, which focuses on the use of advanced technologies to explore bacterial virulence.

This will be my last newsletter to you as ASM President before turning over the gavel July 1 to my successor Jeff Miller, although I intend to stay actively engaged with ASM as a volunteer. I am particularly grateful to the multitude of ASM volunteers who contribute so much to the extraordinary breadth of programs that ASM provides. It has been a privilege and honor to be able to work with many of you. Looking forward, I am excited about the ongoing dynamic changes to the General Meeting and ICAAC as well as beginning next year the implementation of a new dues structure that will provide members exceptional value at unparalleled low prices and the new integrated digital publishing platform that should streamline your being able to get the scientific information you want seamlessly and efficiently,whether from journals, books, or meetings proceedings. You will be hearing more about these new and expanded programs in future newsletters. I hope to see you all in San Francisco to take advantage of great science and a great city.


Bonnie Bassler

David Hooper

   ASM Participates in 'Woodstock of Science'

Woodstock of ScienceASM Communications developed and hosted an exhibit at the 2nd USA Science and Engineering Festival, a 3-day event in April held at the Washington Convention Center. Interactive activities at the exhibit included looking at microbes through a microscope, learning about the parts of a microbe through making a "magnetic" microbe, and demonstrating the importance of clean hands. ASM's exhibit had an estimated 10,000 visitors. ASM volunteers also participated in a career event designed to interest young people in microbiology. The Festival, known as the Woodstock of Science, had 3,000 exhibits and 150 stage shows. The Festival had more than 150,000 visitors, making it the second largest event ever held at the Washington Convention Center.

   State Department Supports ASM Global Engagement

ASM International was awarded additional support this month for work in 2012, including programs in India, as well as substantial support for the ASM Ambassador Program. These new awards add to the recent grant from the State Department for work in Malaysia and Yemen; combined State Department funding to ASM now totals more than $800,000 in 2012. The proposals include support for ASM "Institutional Mentorship" to strengthen collaboration among sister societies in Malaysia and India, as well as the development of technical training programs in each country. Further support for the ASM Ambassador network will allow the nearly 80 ASM Ambassadors to be convened for the first time, with a special program now in development.

   Professional Practices Committee Collaborates with APIC

ASM continues to work with the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) to focus on barriers to adopting targeted or full-house surveillance and providing appropriate resources to assist healthcare professionals in making diagnostic decisions. The organizations maintain a joint website that houses resources (e.g., webinars, references) to assist in building bridges between infection preventionists and laboratory professionals.

   Headquarters Renovation Receives Design Award

Headquarters RenovationASM's renovation of the connected building adjacent to headquarters, which provides additional office and meeting space, has won the Award of Merit for Best Renovation - Historic Restoration from the Maryland/DC Chapter of the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NIAOP). The renovation was designed by Fox Architects and can be viewed here.


   ASM Urges Congress to Address Antibiotic Resistance and Research

The ASM cosigned a February 22 letter to Congress, prepared by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), which urges legislators to address the serious and growing problems of antimicrobial resistance and the dry pipeline for antibiotic research and development in the upcoming Food and Drug Administration user fee legislation. The letter also asked Congress to incentivize the development of new related diagnostics and to strengthen federal efforts to promote appropriate use of antibiotics. Read the letter here.

   ASM Press Goes Green

The new ASM Press catalog will now be published digitally. Each member will receive an email containing a link to a digital magazine presentation that is easy to share. Printed copies will be distributed at meetings.