ASM President's Bimonthly Newsletter -- January 2011

ASM - Members Bimonthly Newsletter


I hope the New Year finds you and your microbes doing well!  Below I provide some recent highlights from our various ASM activities.


I remind you that the General Meeting is approaching.  I hope you will attend.  The format is entirely new with broad plenary sessions in the morning and in-depth afternoon sessions covering topics in our various disciplines.  I'm especially excited to tell you that we are finalizing the program for the President's Forum which will be held on Monday May 23.  This year's topic is Policy Affecting Science and Science Affecting Policy.  I'm happy to announce that Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology has agreed to be one of our speakers.  Dr. Holdren is our nation's chief science advisor and he meets with President Obama every morning.  Dr. Holdren's talk is entitled "Science and Technology Policy in the Obama Administration: Challenges and Opportunities".  This ASM session, which will have Dr. Holdren as well as other top policy makers promises to inform us about how our work affects the nation's and the globe's vitality, how our work is translated into policy decisions made by government, and how we, in turn, can find new ways to be involved in making or promoting policy as citizen scientists.  As additional speakers are confirmed for this session, I will let you know who they are and what topics will be covered.  I hope you will join me at this session so, together, we can interact with top policy makers to ensure the World's scientific and technological health, to increase scientific literacy, and to enhance the public's understanding of the vital role that science and technology play in our daily lives.


Bonnie Bassler

Bonnie Bassler

   Advance Registration Open for General Meeting

Advance registration for the ASM General Meeting in New Orleans is now open through April 11.  To make the meeting more affordable and encourage attendance particularly for young investigators, registration rates have been reduced. Register here.


The Meeting features three new categories that will allow for selected abstracts to be presented as oral presentations:


Young Investigator
In an effort to provide more opportunities to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, assistant professors and other young scientists, each afternoon symposium (excluding the Medical Microbiology Track) will include four 15-minute oral presentations of abstract selected by symposia conveners. 


Medical Microbiology Track
These abstracts will be featured as part of one of two symposia, "The Best and Brightest in Diagnostic Microbiology and Epidemiology 1: 2011 Hot Abstracts" or the "Best and Brightest in Diagnostic Microbiology and Epidemiology 11: 2011 Hot Abstracts."


Late-Breaker Abstracts - (Submission opens February 3, 2011 with a deadline of March 23.) Abstracts submitted to this category will be peer-reviewed for quality research, scientific content and logical presentation.  Accepted late-breaker abstracts are scheduled as oral presentations or possibly posters.  This category is intended for submission of abstracts where the data is late-breaking, not for late submissions.

   ASM-UNESCO Update

UNESCO has formally agreed to renew financial support of the ASM-UNESCO Leadership Grant for International Educators, the ASM-UNESCO Visiting Resource Person Program and their financial support to cover promotional expenses associated with the ASM Global Outreach Program. In addition, UNESCO proposed to increase collaboration between ASM and UNESCO Regional offices worldwide.


The ASM-UNESCO Leadership Grant for International Educators enables a select group of educators from resource-limited countries to attend the ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE) and a pre-conference workshop. Grantees from the 2010 grant cycle continue to explore ways to transmit the information gained during the ASMCUE and participating in the one-year learning residency via the ASM Community.

   Volunteer Translators Network

The newly expanded Spanish, French and Portuguese Translation Networks are currently translating or updating key pages on the ASM website.  Additionally, the Spanish Translators Network continued efforts to translate the Atlas Protocol section of  Further collaborations are planned with ASM Education to expand the types of resources translated in 2011.

   ASM Helps African Society for Laboratory Medicine

ASM continues to contribute to the development of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM). ASLM will guide the further professionalization of laboratory science and practice on the continent, as part of strengthening health systems. LabCap has facilitated the creation of a clinical-laboratory interface framework for the organization.. The official launch of the ASLM is scheduled for March 11-13, 2011 in Ethiopia.

   ASM Education Programs Receive National Citations

Two nationally recognized publications carried stories about ASM education programs.  A New York Times editorial, The Country Can Learn a Lesson from These Students,  featured the 2010 Annual Biomedical Research Program for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Charlotte, NC.  More than 3,200 participants attended the conference and 1400 students presented about their research.   A leading education journal Change Magazine published Engendering Faculty Professional Growth that cited both the ASM/NSF Biology Scholars Program and ASM member and Biology Scholar Holly Ahern, who is a community college faculty responsible for introductory microbiology courses.

   Communications Educational Outreach

MicrobeWorld Video has published two videos about microbiology featured at the USA Science and Engineering Festival:


MW42USA Science and Engineering Festival - Part 1 (MWV42)
On October 23 2010, MicrobeWorld attended the first annual USA Science and Engineering Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In part 1 of this two-part video, Stanley Maloy, Dean of the College of Science at San Diego State University, takes us on a tour of the microbiology-related exhibits at the festival.


USA Science and Engineering Festival - Part 2 (MWV43)
Featured in this episode are members of the departments of biology and microbiology at the University of Georgia and Idaho State University. Maloy also introduces us to some of the work being done at The J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego, Ca.

MW 43


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   Meet the Scientist

New episodes of interviews with outstanding scientists are now available from MicrobeWorld:

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   Join us on Facebook

We currently have 8,028 fans on the Facebook fan page and have added a new tab to the page called "Careers."  This tab contains a listing of all the openings on the ASM job board. Become an ASM fan at!/asmfan.

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    Research Funding Support

A letter was sent in October from medical research organizations, including the ASM, asking Congress to approve the fiscal year 2011 appropriation for the Department of Health and Human Services and to support the $1 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health proposed in the President's budget request to Congress.  The letter is available on the public affairs web site at The PSAB will be discussing budgetary issues for research  with federal agency officials at its meeting on February 11 in Washington DC.

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   Codes of Ethics and Dual Use Research

Ronald Atlas, co-chair of the PSAB Biodefense Committee, made a presentation on codes of conduct and dual use research of concern (DURC) to the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity (NSABB). The NSABB invited ASM to discuss its Code of Ethics and issues involved in promoting codes of conduct for dual use research of concern. The presentation is at

   Oil Spill Colloquia Program

Capitalizing on current events, the first AAM mini-colloquium - Microbes and Oil Spills - was held on October 28th at ASM headquarters. The one-day format was designed to generate accessible, science-based answers to frequently asked question about the role of microbes in remediating oil spills. Look for the final report later this month.

   Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives Committee (CHOMA)

The Committee and the Archivist (with input from committee members) have prepared an expanded electronic version of the bibliography of pre-1915 American publications in bacteriology (Bacteriological Reviews 8:2, 1944). This bibliography, with introductory material, author index, and CHOMA holdings information has been added to the CHOMA web site.

January 2011

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