ASM President's Bimonthly Newsletter -- November 2011

ASM - Members Bimonthly Newsletter
  November 2011  

Dear ASM Members:

All of us are aware of the challenging problem of antibiotic resistance. Infectious diseases are a significant cause of illness and economic loss worldwide and new diagnostics and therapeutics are urgently needed to stem, control and treat them.  The ASM has endorsed a new campaign, Antibiotic Action, to raise awareness about the creation of new antibiotics and the problem of multi-drug resistance.  This campaign brings together stakeholders from across the globe to look at how we can stimulate industry R&D in antibacterial discovery and development in the face of a possible return to the pre-antibiotic era. For more information on the campaign and to sign a petition of support go to

In December please look for the debut of a new resource for clinical microbiology, ASM's clinical microbiology portal. The comprehensive online site is for bench technologists, supervisors, lab directors, students, and fellows, and it will house a rich compendium of all of ASM's clinical as well as relevant external content.

I'm pleased to note that my predecessor as ASM president, Bonnie Bassler, has just been named the 2012 North American Laureate for the prestigious L'Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science, which honors women who have made great advances in scientific research. The program also provides fellowships to support young women scientists around the world. Bonnie was honored for her work in understanding chemical communication among bacteria, which is providing new insights into the spread of infectious disease and possible control mechanisms. Congratulations!

Please see other ASM news below.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season,

Bonnie Bassler

David Hooper

   ASM General Meeting 2012 Scheduled for June

ASM2012 will take place in San Francisco June 16-19, a little later than usual. The housing and registration site will open on December 8. The Abstract Submission site will open on November 17 and close on January 16.  The speakers for the Opening Session are as follows: 

  • ASM Lecturer:  James Collins, Center for BioDynamics
  • Scott O'Neill, Monash University
  • Dianne Newmann, California Institute of Technology

The President's Forum will move from Monday evening to Monday from 12:30 - 2:00.

   Future Biomedical Workforce Issues Addressed by NIH

Ongoing concerns over the quality and quantity of the future biomedical workforce have stimulated actions by government agencies, academia, and other stakeholders to preserve the Nation's global leadership in biomedical sciences.  The NIH Working Group on the Future Biomedical Research Workforce is charged with developing a model for a "sustainable, diverse, and productive US biomedical research workforce using appropriate expertise from NIH and external sources."  It solicited input to design a model that will be used to "help inform decisions about how to train the optimal number of people for the appropriate types of positions that will advance science and promote health." ASM comments based on a survey of ASM members are posted on the ASM Policy website at

   Academy Issues Report on E. coli

The Academy convened its second a mini-colloquium - a one-day meeting designed to generate accessible, science-based answers to frequently asked questions about microbiology topics in the news. This mini-colloquium was entitled E. coli - the good, the bad, and the deadly. Access the new report here.

   News from Journals

Search engine optimization was implemented for EcoSal to increase discoverability of this site during Internet searches. In addition, the full text of all 131 EcoSal articles is now searchable via EcoCyc as part of the larger collection of 40,000 E. coli-related articles in this database. To try it out, visit and search the full-text articles.

The mBio article by Cantalupo et al., Raw Sewage Harbors Diverse Viral Populations was reported on by NPR, Fox News, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and many other national news outlets.

   2012 Education Events

The 2012 Education Planning Calendar is now available. The calendar features ASM faculty and student programs designed to help members enhance the knowledge and skills that lead to successful careers in the microbiological sciences. The document will keep you up to date on pertinent program events and deadlines. Many programs require advance application or registration. Please refer to the complete program descriptions for details.

   Just Published

Germ Theory: Medical Pioneers in Infectious Diseases tells the stories of a dozen scientists whose work changed the way we think about and treat infection. These fascinating accounts grew from author Robert Gaynes' lectures to medical students at Emory University Medical School. Dr. Gaynes and his book were recently mentioned in the Huffington Post).  Find out more here.

Thirty-five years in the making, Davise Larone's Medically Important Fungi: A Guide to Identification, 5th edition, provides the clinical microbiologist with an essential tool. This classic reference presents detailed descriptions, meticulously detailed hand-drawn illustrations, and guidance for distinguishing highly similar fungi. Find out more here



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