Results from 2001 ASM
Institute In Preparation for Careers in Microbiology
the 2001 Summer Institute discuss their work.
In 2001, the ASM Committee on Graduate Education
proposed an annual institute for graduate students and
postdoctoral scientists to learn about and practice skills that
are often overlooked during their formal training. While
students have numerous opportunities to conduct scientific
research, developing skills in grant preparations,
communications, and teaching are frequently lacking or
inconsistent. To address these shortcomings in graduate
education, the committee began sponsoring the Summer Institute (SI)
for Preparation of Careers in Microbiology.
Twenty-one pioneers joined five committee
members in August 2001 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
for six intensive days of closely guided instruction and
practice in five key areas important for choosing and preparing
for a career as a microbiologist. The areas are grant
preparation, scientific presentations, effective teaching,
career opportunities, and scientific ethics. One year later, the
committee conducted follow-up interviews to assess the pioneers
development. The table on p. 567 summarizes the participants in
the 2001 and 2002 Summer Institutes.
Grant preparation. About 40% of the SI
training is dedicated to understanding the National Institutes
of Health (NIH) grant-making process and learning how to prepare
a competitive proposal. This requires preparation of a 20-page
proposal before attending the Institute, an onerous requirement
but one of the most valued experiences for all participants.
During the Institute, participants share their work in a series
of simulated review sessions, modeled after an NIH study
section. While members of the ASM Committee on Graduate
Education serve as coaches and referees, each student serves as
a reviewer, and all proposals are critiqued. About 40% of the
2001 SI respondents indicated that they revised their proposals
and 33% submitted it for funding after the Institute. One
respondent stated, "The SI helped me significantly in the
area of grant writing. After the Institute, I rewrote the
proposal that I wrote for the SI and submitted it to NIH.
Although it was not funded on the first attempt, I feel
extremely lucky to have gone through the whole process from
start to finish where the livelihood of my own lab didn't depend
upon getting the grant. It was so valuable to do all of the work
myself, and to also get the comments back from the reviewers.
What a tremendous learning experience. I never would have had
that experience if I hadn't attended the SI."
Scientific presentations and communications.
Before attending the Institute, participants prepare a 10-minute
oral presentation and accompanying visuals. The culminating
activity occurs when participants present their research,
learning from one another through highly interactive and
carefully coached sessions. In the follow-up interviews,
everyone reported to have revised and presented their work. One
wrote, "I have given many presentations, all of which have
been met with high praise. I think what I learned at the SI led
me to winning second place student presentation at the ASM
Virginia Branch Meeting in November 2001." Another
participant said, "I am planning to apply for postdoctoral
funding very soon. I gave an oral presentation at an
international Chlamydia meeting this summer and I used
the skills we learned at the Institute. It went really well and
right after my presentation I got four postdoc offers!"
Career opportunities. Students have
limited opportunities to learn about the diversity of careers in
microbiology in their formal training. For many, the Institute
is the first place to learn about different career
opportunities. About two-thirds of respondents in the follow-up
interviews indicated that they considered a new career that they
hadn't known about prior to attending the Institute. "The
Institute certainly exposed me to the diversity of career
opportunities. The experiences shared by the many speakers set
me thinking about which path to follow and the way to do it. The
candid discussions of starting salaries and what to ask for in
your interview were most informative. I have a much clearer idea
of how to proceed when I finish my degree," reported one
Learning about different career options benefits
undergraduate as well as graduate students participating in the
SI. "The speakers on different careers were most beneficial
to me. It was helpful to see all the options, not only for me,
but also for undergraduate students whom I may influence,"
says one participant.
Effective teaching. Most participants
will pursue academic careers; however, they will be at very
different types of institutions mentoring and teaching students
with diverse learning needs. Thus, about 10% of the training is
focused on effective teaching strategies. Many of the survey
respondents incorporated new approaches to teaching as a result
of the Institute. "Beyond the discussions about career
choices, I think our teaching discussions were most beneficial
to me. I have since earned a distinguished TA award at the
University of Maryland, one of two within our department. I have
also been asked to serve on a university-wide panel of three
experienced TAs for all incoming TAs this fall. Because I love
teaching, this type of recognition is important for me,"
Another wrote, "As a result of the
Institute, I have chosen a different path for my life. In
September, I will start teaching at a private high school. The
skills I learned in the teaching workshops really helped me
during the interview process for this job and helped me to have
the confidence that I really can do it." She continues,
"I know the Institute did not talk about this as a career
option, but I still feel it helped me in choosing a path of life
that I would like to do first. I say first because I also
realized that this may just be my first stop along an evolving
Perhaps the most talked-about benefits of the SI
are the genuine openness and contacts that one encounters. As
expressed by one participant, "The most important aspect I
gained from the ASM SI was the personal contacts made. It gave
me the confidence to network with individuals in my research
field. It taught me all the information they never taught us in
The 3rd Summer Institute will be held 3-6 August
2003 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Council Policy Committee Minutes
The Council Policy Committee (CPC) met in formal
session on Saturday, 15 December 2001 at the Chicago Hilton and
Towers Hotel in Chicago, Ill. The meeting was called to order by
Abigail Salyers, President, at 8:05 A.M.
Voting members of the CPC in attendance were:
Abigail Salyers (President), Ronald Atlas (President-Elect),
Martha Howe (Past President), Judy Daly (Secretary), Ronald
Luftig (Treasurer), Eugene Nester (chair, American Academy of
Microbiology), Clifford Houston (chair, Education Board), Peter
Maloney (chair, Meetings Board), Marie Pezzlo (chair, Membership
Board), Gail Cassell (chair, Public and Scientific Affairs
Board), Sam Kaplan (chair, Publications Board), Christon Hurst,
Stanley Maloy, and Roy Curtiss III, (Members at Large
[Divisions]), and Millicent Goldschmidt, James Beebe, and Joan
Rose (Members at Large [Branches]).
Invited guests and ex officio members in
attendance were: Michael Goldberg (executive director), John
FitzGerald (deputy executive director), Ron Butler (director,
Information Systems), Carol Colgan (director, American Academy
of Microbiology), Lorna Kent (director, Membership Services),
Barbara Hyde (director, Communications), Nancy Elder (director,
Meetings and Industry Relations), Linda Illig (director,
Journals), Jeff Holtmeier (director, ASM Press), Charlotte
Daniels (coordinator, Leadership Services), and Joseph Campos
(dean, College of the American Academy of Microbiology).
Abigail Salyers and Ronald Atlas both had
opening remarks prior to discussing the agenda items. Roll call
was noted. The CPC Agenda was unanimously approved with no
changes or additions. The minutes from the 24 May 2001 CPC
meeting were unanimously approved with no changes or additions.
It was noted that the Constitution and Bylaws were included in
II. A. Official Appointments. Judy Daly had
no official appointments at this time.
II.B. Nominating Committee for 2003. Martha
Howe presented the following individuals as members of the
Nominating Committee for 2003: Cathy Squires* (Tufts University
School of Medicine, Boston, Mass.), Judy Wall (University of
Missouri, Columbia, Mo.), Mike Doyle (University of Georgia,
Griffin, Ga.), Peter Maloney* (Johns Hopkins University,
Baltimore, Md.), David Hooper* (Massachusetts General Hospital,
Boston, Mass.), and J. Michael Miller (Centers for Disease
Control, Atlanta, Ga.). Members names followed by an * indicates
they are members of Council. Three members of the Council are
required. The committee was unanimously approved.
III.A. Submission of 2002 Schedule of Meetings.
The schedule was unanimously approved with the decision to hold
the September CPC Meeting, which is held in conjunction with
ICAAC, on Thursday, 26 September 2002.
III.B. Submission of 2002 Budget. CPC
approval is required for the FY 2002 Budget. Ronald Luftig
pointed out that the overall budget including investment income
and the financing cost on the headquarters building projects a
deficit. He noted out historically, the actual results are
approximately 3% above the revenue budget. Michael Goldberg
pointed out that the operating budget projects a surplus of
$6,000 making it a positive budget.
Roy Curtiss asked Ronald Luftig to present a
short resume of the due diligence exercised in preparing the
budget prior to asking for general approval of the budget.
Ronald Luftig did a brief synopsis of the due diligence that was
done. There being no other questions, additions, or changes, the
budget was unanimously approved.
III.C. Revision of General Financial Policy. The
current policy focuses primarily on actual performance
measurements. Changes were proposed that provide more specific
guidance as to the role of the Finance Committee in the annual
budgeting process. New guidelines for budget targets and budget
preparation were also proposed. The proposed policy will
increase budgeting discipline, clarify the role of the Finance
Committee, and reduce the probability that large deficits will
be forthcoming from the preliminary budgeting process.
Roy Curtiss entered a motion that summaries of
the draft budget with the original letters from the Finance
Committee to the programs recommending cuts and approvals be
provided along with the actual budget to CPC members before the
CPC meeting. The background information will permit a more
realistic review of the budget prior to approval by CPC.
The motion was carried with a vote of 12 in
favor; 4 opposed; and 1 abstention.
It was pointed out that CPC members are always
invited and encouraged to attend the various Board and CPC
Committee meetings to gain a better understanding of the
development and funding needs of the numerous programs
undertaken by the Society.
An amendment was made to defer discussion of
Bullet 2 on page 2 until after discussion of Item III.D. The
amendment was agreed upon. Bullet 2 is as follows: Positive
net revenue producing areas of ASM should be budgeted and
managed to provide net revenues at least equal to the actual
average net revenue achieved for the previous five years
adjusted for inflation. If this is not possible, explanations
must be provided. Pricing decisions for products and
services should provide value for members within market
constraints, recognize a differential between members and
nonmembers, and be sensitive to general economic conditions and
membership perception. Overly conservative or aggressive
budget projections should be avoided as they may mislead the
Finance Committee and CPC. Also, such projections could imply
that programs lack an understanding of their market and
consequently cannot accurately project revenues and expenses.
The following changes to the General Financial
Policy are to be noted: In the paragraph labeled Solvency Goal,
The sentence "the major programs are publications and
meetings, which account for approximately 60 percent of ASM
expenses"now reads: " meetings, which
provide approximately 60% of the revenues necessary to support
Definitions of the following terms should be
provided in order that everyone reading the policy should have
the same understanding: "net operating income,"
"total operating revenue," "operating
income," and "total income."
Bullet 3 on page 2 should now read: "Program
areas should provide a proposed budget that produces a deficit
no greater than 5% higher than the prior year's deficit; unless
there are programmatic changes recommended by the CPC."
Bullet 6 on page 2 should now read: "...
(e.g., workshops, audioconferences, certification and CME
credits)" omitting the word "placement" since
it is now a free member benefit.
The General Financial Policy was unanimously
approved with the changes noted. As mentioned earlier, Bullet 2
on page 2 was tabled and not included in the vote.
III.D. Journals Program Budget. Sam Kaplan
brought the following issue to the CPC: "publications shall
not have a deficit budget." This has been, and continues to
be, interpreted to mean that journals are not expected to do
more than "break even" and books shall produce revenue
for the ASM (1989 draft report from ad hoc Committee on
Journal Growth and Financing).
According to Kaplan, "This stricture has
led the journals program to take a very conservative approach
towards the budgeting process, i.e., because it can't lose money
it must by necessity create some expectation of a cushion given
the vagaries of the journals publishing business over the course
of a year." This approach to journals operations, and
despite the estimate of a $1.6 million dollar net (a profit by
any reckoning) which far exceeds any historical admonitions, was
found by the Finance Committee in August to be an
"unacceptable business practice," i.e., we were
informed that we actually had a greater profit than budgeted.
Sam Kaplan entered the following motion: The
Journals Program budget is to be freed from any and all
expectations, positive or negative, with respect to the bottom
The motion was not carried with the vote tallied
at: 2 in favor; 12 opposed; and 1 abstention.
A second motion was entered proposing Bullet 2
on page 2 be reinstated in the General Financial Policy with the
following changes noted: Positive net revenue producing areas
of ASM (such as meetings, journals, and books) should be
budgeted and managed to provide net revenues at least equal to
the actual average net revenue achieved for the previous five
years adjusted for inflation. If this is not possible,
explanations must be provided. Pricing decisions for
products and services should provide value for members within
market constraints, recognize a differential between members and
nonmembers and be sensitive to general economic conditions and
membership perception.(start new bullet).
Overly conservative or aggressive budget projections should be
avoided as they may mislead the Finance Committee and CPC. All
programs should have an understanding of their constituency
and/or market and consequently should attempt to
accurately project revenues and expenses.
The motion was carried with the vote tallied at:
15 in favor; 1 opposed; and no abstentions.
III.E. ASMR Business Plan. Unanimously
approved during 9/25/01 conference call. Minutes of the call are
CPC Conference Call to Discuss Approval of the
ASMR Business Plan. Present: Abigail Salyers, Ronald Atlas,
Martha Howe, Judy Daly, Ronald Luftig, Eugene Nester, Clifford
Houston, Peter Maloney, Marie Pezzlo, Roy Curtiss III, Millicent
Goldschmidt, James Beebe, Joan Rose, Steve Lerner, Peter Rizik (ASMR),
Carol Nacy (ASMR), Michael Goldberg (ASM), John FitzGerald (ASM),
and Charlotte Daniels (ASM).
Carol Nacy introduced Peter Rizik as the
President and CEO of ASMR. She also offered a summary of his
background and expertise. Dr. Nacy explained that Dr. Rizik
would offer an overview presentation of the Business Plan and
encouraged the asking of any questions.
Dr. Rizik covered the mission, purpose and three
business elements key to the ASMR Business Plan. The three areas
of business involvement are: (i) Direct investment; (ii)
Alliance with other potential investors; and (iii) Market
It was pointed out that there is an error on
page 15 of the handout labeled III-E. The last line before Table
3 which reads: "The row `Operational Costs Increased 25%'
represents the baseline financial model run but with annual
operational costs reduced by 25%" should read ". . .
with annual operational costs increased by 25%."
The CPC was then asked to further discuss
approval of the business plan. The call for a motion was made.
A point was made that this type of investment is
a large risk. Also, the question was asked whether or not ASM
has the $7.5 million that ASMR is requesting.
Several points were brought up in response:
First, the entire $7.5 million would not have to be given all at
once but could be allocated over a time period. ASMR is
investing $300,000-$500,000 per company in a limited number of
The alliance activities and the market research
activities will generate funds to offset operating costs. This
will allow ASMR to maximize the money available for direct
The three businesses will be initiated in the
following priority: (i) alliance: easier to start up. The
upcoming Investment Forum is intended to generate a profit; (ii)
direct investment: already have a couple of investments in mind;
and (iii) market research: the hardest to start up.
A motion was made to approve the ASMR Business
Plan and authorize capitalization to a level of $5 million. Any
additional funding would have to be approved through the CPC.
A quorum of nine members was present and the
motion was approved unanimously.
III.F. Publications Board Chair Review
Committee. Ronald Atlas presented the following list of
individuals as members of the Publications Board Chair Review
Committee: Ronald M. Atlas, University of Louisville,
Louisville, Ky. (chair); Patrick Murray, University of Maryland
School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.; Roy Curtiss III, Washington
University, St. Louis, Mo.; Judy D. Wall, University of
Missouri, Columbia, Mo.; and Alan Weiner, University of
Washington, Seattle, Wa.
The committee was approved with a vote tallied
at 16 in favor with 1 abstention.
III.G. CME Mission Statement. In March,
2000, ASM received notification of approval of a four-year
accreditation status by the American Council of Continuing
Medical Education (ACCME) for sponsorship of continuing medical
education for physicians and clinical microbiologists. A review
of the CME Mission Statement by the responsible committee and
subsequent approval by the Society's leadership is required
annually to maintain this status.
The statement was unanimously approved with no
additions or changes.
III.H. Relationships with Other Microbiology
Societies. ASM should have guidelines governing our
responses to other organizations that propose affiliations or
that seek services.
Earlier this year, CPC approved a limited set of
guidelines for such relationships. Since then other examples
have occurred that require a revision of the current guidelines.
A request was made concerning Item 1. "Opportunity
to recruit new members" under Statement of Purpose
that an item be placed on a future CPC agenda to audit the
efforts to recruit new members.
Under Statement of Purpose, add a fifth
item: Provide new opportunities for current ASM members.
Under General Guidelines, the additional
paragraph below should be added to the end: "Any
relationship with another not-for-profit that extends beyond
these guidelines will be brought to the attention of the Council
Under Exhibit A, the section labeled
"Criteria," first paragraph "Requests for ASM
endorsement... will be forwarded for evaluation to
the Meetings Board in order..." In the sixth paragraph
"There is no financial support... although limited funds (not
to exceed $5000.00) can be made available..." The
last paragraph should now read "To avoid conflicts, ASM
Committees, but not Boards, who are organizing an
ASM-sponsored specific session at a meeting of another
organization must submit the proposal for review by the
President and for evaluation by the Meetings
Board. ASM Boards must submit proposals for review by the
President and for information to the Meetings Board."
Under Exhibit D, the section labeled
"Criteria," third paragraph "...the traditional
ASM meeting program as determined by the Meetings
Under Exhibit D, Managing Joint Meetings,
Conferences, or Workshops, the section labeled
"Criteria" for ASM Conferences, the second paragraph
"...with another non-profit organization, as
determined by the ASM Conferences Committee." The
section labeled ICAAC should now read "ICAAC and the
General Meeting." The first paragraph should also
read "...joint ICAAC or General Meeting..."
The third paragraph should read "The organization must
agree to ASM control of management of the meeting,
including administration of all funds." The next paragraph
should read "...if ICAAC or the General Meeting
were to be held..." "An agreement as to excess
net revenue allocated to the other organization..." The
last paragraph should now read "The quality of the
scientific program must be consistent with current programming policies
of the ICAAC Committee or the General Meeting
Unanimous provisional approval was
given to be re-presented at the next CPC meeting with the
changes listed for final approval.
IV.A. ASM Governance Structure. The
Governance Task Force presented its final report to CPC. The
report contained recommendations which would have significantly
changed the current governance structure and authorities.
A motion was made to thank the task force for
their considerable efforts and to end discussion of this
document. The motion was carried with the vote tallied at: 10 in
favor; 3 opposed; and 1 abstention.
An additional motion was made to establish a
committee, with Judy Daly to serve as the chair, in conjunction
with legal counsel. The committee is charged to examine if there
are differences between the Constitution and Bylaws and our
current practices. If illegal or inconsistent operations are
found, the committee is to bring these issues forward and
suggest corrective changes inside the current governance
structure. The motion was carried with the vote tallied at: 11
in favor;1 opposed; and no abstentions.
IV.B. "What Can ASM Do For Its
Members." In 1999 at the request of then
President-Elect Martha Howe, the CPC established a task force
charged with the goal of identifying ways that ASM could help
its members become more effective in their careers. The task
force met on the opening day of the 2000 General Meeting,
focusing its efforts towards generating answers to a number of
questions using a format much like that employed in strategic
planning. During the summer each board and CPC committee
prepared a reply to each relevant question. All the material was
posted 23 August on the ASM website. E-mail announcing the
availability of the report was sent to more than 34,000 members.
A member could use a reply box to comment on each of the 45
items. To date, 36 members have responded. A summary of comments
is incorporated after each question. Both the report and the
comments will be forwarded to the boards and committee for
further action as appropriate.
It was suggested and favorably received that
additional comments should be solicited perhaps through ASM
News. Comments can be grouped by areas and point membership
back to the website for additional comments. A summary of the
document should be sent to all Branch councilors to take back to
the Branches and each division should receive a copy. A booth
(perhaps part of the membership booth) should be placed at our
meetings to glean comments from the membership. An online
suggestion box should be instituted where in any all comments
would be forwarded to the appropriate boards.
IV.C. Finance Committee's Membership. ASM
Bylaws Article XVII, Section 1, defines the membership of the
Finance Committee. In addition to the Treasurer and Elected
Officers, it also adds two of the two most senior members of CPC
(who are not officers or board chairs). Whenever there are
instances of equal seniority, the two will be elected by CPC.
Although not clearly outlined in the Bylaws, there has been a
yearly rotation, although there is nothing stated regarding a
limitation on the number of years a person can serve.
In part the issue is a result of two independent
changes to the Bylaws. In the first and earlier revision, the
composition of the Finance Committee was established. In the
second revision, at large members of CPC, who are elected by the
Council, can stand for a second term of three years.
The item was tabled after agreement that a
subcommittee be formed to bring a proposal to the spring
IV.D. Board of Professional Development and
Credentialing. Joseph Campos (Dean of the College of the
American Academy of Microbiology) was introduced as a
participant in the discussion. Currently the credentialing and
accreditation programs are components of the College of
Microbiology, which in turn is an arm of the American Academy of
Microbiology. The credentialing programs have been associated
with the Academy since their inception. Last year the leadership
of the College convened a task force to reexamine the
relationship between the College and the Academy. The task force
considered a number of alternatives, ranging from status quo to
incorporation as an organization independent of both the Academy
and ASM. The preferred option was establishment of a new board
to include the College.
The point was made that establishing a new board
to handle credentialing and accreditation would perhaps be
premature. A better beginning would be as a committee of the
CPC. It was suggested that a CPC Task Force be established to
identify a potential operating budget and to approach the
affected boards (PSAB, Meetings, and Education) to identify the
areas that would be nurtured better by the committee.
Roy Curtiss entered a motion to establish a CPC
task force to pursue the idea of establishing a new committee of
the CPC specifically dealing with postdoctorate-continuing
education and professional development. Ronald Atlas was
suggested to serve as chair or to find someone else to serve as
The motion was carried with the vote tallied at:
13 in favor; 1 opposed; and no abstentions.
V.A. Update on Microbial Physiology Task Force.
Abigail Salyers updated the CPC with respect to relationships
with NIH. The task force has been unable to meet or form an
agenda because of the 11 September crisis. She pointed out that
NIH has become fixated on bacteria, which is a positive benefit.
The task force has 12 members and is determing a more favorable
time to begin. She feels that the task force should be able to
move forward soon and will have a more definite report at the
next CPC meeting.
V.B. Update on NIH Study Section Task Force. This
fall, ASM received a request from NIH for recommendations of
immunologists to serve on the NIH panel that will reorganize the
distribution of specific topics to study sections in the
immunology IRG. Martha Howe assembled a group of prominent ASM
immunologists which met by conference call followed by e-mailed
rankings of candidates discussed. This group identified 10
excellent individuals from the clinical and basic immunology
arenas that have been recommended to serve on the panel. She
suggests that ASM also submit a letter to the panel identifying
any areas of concern we might have. ASM expects to receive a
letter in January requesting recommendations for the
Microbiology IRG panel by March.
Gail Cassell stated that the number of
outstanding immunologists who are either ASM or AAM members is
too small. ASM needs to do something to stimulate more
immunologists to join ASM. One potential mechanism could be to
identify immunologists in the AAM and NAS, who are also ASM
members, and solicit their participation in an ASM Conference in
order to get them more involved in ASM and to gain their support
of our efforts.
V.C. Update on President's Task Force to Examine
Relationships with IDSA. The task force will meet and have a
report available before the next CPC meeting.
VI. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned
at 5:06 P.M.
James Mihelcic, a professor of civil and
environmental engineering at Michigan Technological University (MTU),
has been selected to receive the 2002 AEESP/Wiley Interscience
Award for Outstanding Contributions to Environmental Engineering
and Science Education from the Association of Environmental
Engineering and Science Professors.
The award includes a $1,000 cash prize donated
by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. It honors educators for the
development of innovative teaching methods, including the
application of these methods in the classroom and the
dissemination of methods to the academic community."
Mihelcic was a leader in establishing MTU's
Peace Corps Master's International Program in Civil and
Environmental Engineering, the only engineering program of its
kind in the nation. He actively promotes the environmental
engineering profession among area high school students and has
instituted innovative teaching approaches at the undergraduate
and graduate level.
Environmental Engineering Degree Program
He coauthored the textbook Fundamentals of
Environmental Engineering, which was recently translated
into Spanish, and also spearheaded the successful participation
of MTU undergraduates in the WERC International Environmental
Design Contest. His environmental engineering website,
which he codeveloped with fellow MTU faculty member Kurt
Paterson, provides prospective students with a broad base of
information about the profession.
James E. Crowe, Jr., associate professor of
pediatrics and assistant professor of microbiology and
immunology, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tenn.,
has been selected as the recipient of the 2002 Judson Daland
Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Patient-Oriented Clinical
Research by the American Philosophical Society (APS).
Crowe has made significant contributions through
his work on defining fundamental mechanisms underlying
pathogenesis and immunity associated with respiratory syncytial
virus (RSV) infection and immunization. He has generated more
than 100 different live attenuated RSV vaccine candidates,
several of which have been tested in phase I trials at
Vanderbilt and other vaccine centers.
Arnold Strauss, director of Vanderbilt
Children's Hospital, nominated Crowe for the award. "He has
made critical contributions to patient-oriented research
endeavors through his fundamental work in the fields of vaccine
development, molecular immunology of human responses, and
virology of important human pathogens," Strauss said.
Judson Daland was a dedicated physician noted
for his research into the causes of disease and after his death
in 1937, he left the bulk of his estate to APS as an endowment
to be used to support research in clinical medicine.
William Robert Romig, past chairman of the
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), died of
complications of emphysema on 11 March 2002. Bob is survived by
his wife of 43 years, Mary, their two sons, Claude and Stuart,
and two grandchildren. He was a member of ASM for over 50 years
and was very active in the local as well as the National
Bob was born in Hope, Ark., on 4 March 1926. He
attended school in Clinton, Okla., graduating valedictorian from
Clinton High School. He received a Bachelor's degree in
Education from Southern Oklahoma State University in 1948. He
taught three years in public schools in Oklahoma, teaching
mainly mathematics, but also general science, biology,
journalism, and assorted other courses.
While on a visit to Los Angeles in 1948, he took
a night course in Bacteriology at the University of Southern
California. He subsequently enrolled at the University of
Oklahoma working for a Master's degree in Bacteriology. During
the summers, Bob worked at the Communicable Disease Center (now
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). His first
scientific paper was presented at a meeting of the Oklahoma
Academy of Science on the results of work on the respiration of Histoplasma
capsulatum. Bob was encouraged to continue his education,
and he enrolled at the University of Texas, Austin, in 1954 and
received his Ph.D. in August 1957. He got a job as Instructor of
Bacteriology and started teaching in the Bacteriology Department
at UCLA in September 1957. He had no research experience in
bacterial genetics and had taken only one course in general
genetics. He learned bacterial genetics the hard way, and became
an outstanding teacher and practitioner of the subject.
Similarly, with little formal training in virology, in
collaboration with Jack Stevens he developed the first course in
virology in the College of Letters and Sciencealso a venture
with remarkable results. In 1965 he received the coveted
Distinguished Teaching Award from the Academic Senate at UCLA
for outstanding instruction.
Bob focused his research efforts on studies on
the structure and genetics of bacterial viruses, mechanisms of
genetic exchange in bacteria, and later on the genetic bases of
virulence, primarily using Vibrio cholerae as model
system. One of Bob's very early research contributions, and one
that brought him considerable prominence among bacterial
geneticists, was the demonstration that highly purified Bacillus
subtilis phage SPO1 DNA, when introduced into competent B.
subtilis cells, gave rise to a burst of phage progenythe
phenomenon of transfection. This work supported and extended the
recently published experiments of Hershey and Chase. Bob and his
graduate student Fred Eiserling, now Dean of Life Sciences at
UCLA, published a series of classic papers describing in
beautiful detail the structure of several bacteriophages. These
papers became models for the study of bacterial virus structure.
In the 1970s the Romig laboratory focused
primarily on Vibrio cholerae genetics. Using methods his
group developed for performing insertion mutagenesis, and
polarized chromosomal transfer, he reported the first extensive
genetic linkage maps for this organism, and also reported the
genetic characterization of cholera toxin regulatory mutations
and the biochemical analysis of the toxin. Several other Romig
associates during this period, including Stephen Johnson,
Charlotte Parker, Robert Goldman, and Katie Richardson, went on
to successful research careers studying pathogenic microbes
utilizing primarily genetic tools gleaned in the Romig lab.
Bob was internationally respected for his many
contributions to diverse areas in the field of bacterial
genetics. His breadth of knowledge was truly remarkable, and he
gave freely of his time and experience. Bob, with his students
and postdocs, published about 100 scientific papers in various
journals. About 25 Ph.D. students trained in his laboratory. Bob
was a superb graduate advisor dedicated, compassionate, freely
giving of his time and extensive knowledge, and above all, of
his wisdom on the strategies of experimentation. He was gentle
with criticisms, and always free with praise for a good
experiment or an innovative thought.
He was a consultant to NASA, working on the
Biosatellite Project that preceded the moon landings, and helped
design and supervise microbiological experiments for the
satellite. He was appointed to the Advisory Committee to Fort
Detrick, Md., and frequently visited there for consultations
with bacterial geneticists at that facility. He served as an
editor of the Journal of Bacteriology and on review
boards of Virology and the Journal of Molecular
Biology. He was appointed to grant review Study Sections of
the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration,
the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense.
In 1968 he was appointed Chairman of the Department of
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
Bob was a wonderful colleague and friend who
will be sorely missed by those of us who had the good fortune to
University of California Los Angeles
2002 ASM-NAS MIRCEN Research Grant Awardees
In the early 1970s, the United Nations called
for the establishment of centers in developing regions of the
world to conduct an integrated program for the preservation and
use of microbial resources. In 1984, the United Nations
Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and
the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) funded pilot
microbial resource centers (MIRCENs) in Brazil, Egypt,
Guatemala, Kenya, Senegal, and Thailand. The project was an
outstanding success, and the MIRCEN network currently consists
of 34 MIRCENs in 26 countries around the globe.
The global MIRCEN network conducts activities in
collaboration with the international science community. The
MIRCENs are associated with academic and governmental
institutions, and, in cooperation with other national, regional,
and international organizations, these associations encourage
and develop novel ways of approaching problems concerned with
technological development and natural resource management. The
MIRCENs network engenders partnerships among all countries,
regardless of cultural, social, or economic development, and
provides training in microbiology, molecular biology,
fermentation technology, and bioengineering.
The International Cell Research Organization (ICRO)
was founded in 1962 as a nongovernmental organization
specifically designed to assist UNESCO in the implementation of
its cell biology program. ICRO was in a position to assess the
prevailing trends and promise of cell research as well as the
best methods for its dissemination. UNESCO in turn worked out
planning mechanisms based on its awareness of the needs of
member states. This collaboration, together with ICRO's
flexibility of operation as a nongovernmental organization,
ensured the success and the high standards of this program.
Research projects at MIRCEN and ICRO facilities
that have been funded by ASM over the years include
research/training in ethyl alcohol production from food plants
fluid wastes, food microbiology and biotechnology, marine
biotechnology, biological nitrogen fixation, bioconversions of
organic waste materials into edible protein in north and central
Asia, screening and characterization of petroleum
hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria for degradation of oil wastes,
culture collections, and toxic waste management and development
of cleaner processes and products.
This year the following grants were awarded:
Lodewyk Kock, Industrial Biotechnology
MIRCEN, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South
Africa; a grant to support the research project "Technology
transfer regarding nuclear large subunit (26S) ribosomal DNA
partial sequences for use in yeast classification."
Thomas Egwang, ICRO, Med Biotech
Laboratories in Kampala, Uganda; a grant to support the research
project "Mapping Anopheles gambiae pyrethroid
resistance in Uganda."
Mamadou Gueye, Rhizobium MIRCEN, Centre
ISRA-IRD, Dakar, Senegal; a grant to support the research
project "Edaphic factors limited production of stylosanthes
Gitonga Nkanata Mburugu, Rhizobium MIRCEN,
Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya; a grant to support the
research project "Diversity of Rhizobia nodulating tepary
beans in Kenyan soils."
Faustino Siñeriz, Biotechnology MIRCEN,
Planta Piloto de Procesos Industriales Microbiologicos, Tucumán,
Argentina; a grant to support the research project
"Characterization of microbial community of altiplano (Puna)
wetlands of Northwestern Argentina."
ASM Branches and Divisions on the
The following ASM Branches have established numerous websites