ASM President's Bimonthly Newsletter -- March 2013

ASM Bimonthly Newsletter - January 2013

ASM President's Bimonthly Newsletter
Jeffery F. Miller, Ph.D., Professor,
Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics, UCLA
March 2013


Jeffery F. Miller


Dear ASM Members:


I am excited to announce that the ASM has received a sizable grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund a strategic initiative spearheaded by our Education Board. The ASM-NSF Leaders Inspiring Networks and Knowledge (LINK) Program seeks to connect active research investigators with undergraduate educators and students with the goal of broadening participation in science, building interdisciplinary collaborations, and contributing to discovery and understanding among the next generation of researchers.


A primary strategy of the LINK program leverages two longstanding, national conferences managed by the Society -- The Annual ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE) and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS).


The LINK Program provides support for research scientists to participate in these two meetings and network with undergraduate biology faculty, future faculty, and early-career scientists.


The first of these opportunities is coming up with the ASMCUE in Colorado this May. Researchers who wish to identify and connect with mid- or early-career faculty, and future faculty involved in undergraduate biology education have the opportunity to apply for ASMCUE-LINK Travel Grants, which provide limited travel support and complimentary registration for the conference.


If you are eligible for NSF support or are currently supported by NSF, I highly encourage you to consider this opportunity to invest in the next generation of scientists.  Click here for more information on this exciting initiative.  The April 5 deadline is only a few weeks away.


And a final reminder that the deadline for advance discounted registration for the General Meeting is April 1.  You can find out more, register, and secure your housing through the General Meeting website.  I look forward to seeing you there!





Jeff Miller Signature

Jeff F. Miller, Ph.D.

ASM News


New FAQ Report Focuses on Beer


Every time someone brews a batch of beer, in a very real sense he or she is doing a microbiology experiment.  And with the growing popularity of homebrewing, the American Academy of Microbiology decided to focus the latest edition of their FAQ colloquium report series on the microbiology of beer.  If the Yeast Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy is based on the deliberations of 18 participants who convened for a day to discuss the relationship between microbiology and brewing.  The FAQ colloquium report series is designed to provide easy to understand explanations about the roles microbes play in the world, from cleaning up oil spills to causing epidemics, to producing many useful products.



Threading the NEIDL: New BSL-4 Documentary


In honor of the 200th episode of the ASM-supported podcast This Week in Virology (TWiV), podcast host and ASM Communications Committee Chair Vincent Racaniello teamed with ASM's Microbeworld Video to produce a documentary offering a rarely seen behind-the-scenes view of a biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory. The result, "Threading the NEIDL," is a 1-hour documentary in which Assistant Director Ron Corley along with Elke Mühlberger and Paul Duprex, virologists that will be working the facility, lead the TWiV team on a walkthrough of the BLS-4 laboratory. TWiV co-hosts Alan Dove and Rich Condit join Vincent to take a look at how the NEIDL is secured from unauthorized entry, what it's like to wear a BLS-4 level safety suit, how the facility is constructed to make it safe and how workers carry out experiments with highly dangerous viruses such as Ebola virus and Lassa virus without jeopardizing their health. Click here to view the video.


New ASM eBook Platform


ASM Press is going digital. A new free application allows you to purchase, download and read electronic versions of books from the ASM Press library right from your computer or iPad.  Just go to to get started.



Microbes After Hours


As part of our ongoing public outreach, the ASM hosted a "Microbes After Hours" event in January featuring former ASM President Bonnie Bassler of Princeton University and Steven Lindow of the University of California, Berkeley, who presented on "The Secret Language of Bacteria," or how microbes use chemical signals to sense and communicate with one another.  Launched in May 2012, "Microbes After Hours" is a happy hour series which gathers together scientists and curious citizens at ASM headquarters in Washington DC for relaxed evenings of appetizers, local brews and exciting microbiology talks by renowned experts.  The talks were live-streamed on the internet and the video can be found online here.


New Academy Fellows


I am proud to announce that this year 87 microbiologists have been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology.  Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. There are over 2,000 Fellows representing all subspecialties of microbiology, including basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry, and government service. The full list of new fellows can be found here.  Please take a moment to read the announcement and congratulate your colleagues on their achievement.



Sequestration Update


A reminder that on March 1, 2013 the automatic, across-the-board budget cut of more than 5% to nondefense and defense discretionary government funding, known as sequestration, took effect.  To keep our members updated on this important issue, the ASM maintains a webpage with information relating to the sequester and the FY 2013 and FY 2014 budgets for federal agency programs of interest to microbiology. The web page includes a link that allows members to create a customized email message to policy makers describing the consequences of the sequester on research and public health funding.



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