American Society for Microbiology honors Dianne K. Newman

The 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Eli Lilly and Company Research Award is being presented to Dianne K. Newman, Wilson Professor of Biology and Geobiology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This award recognizes fundamental research of unusual merit in microbiology or immunology by an individual on the threshold of his or her career.

Dr. Newman is a pioneering young scientist who has championed the field of geomicrobiology. Her seminal research in this field combines original thinking and powerful experimental approaches, and she has fundamentally changed perceptions of how the earth was formed by demonstrating the role that microbes have had in shaping the planet. Everyone in this burgeoning field benefits from the techniques, constructs, and physiological approaches that Dr. Newman has established for studying bacterial-geologic interaction. Her research applies traditional methods of genetics and molecular biology to poorly understood geological phenomena. She demonstrated that bacteria access insoluble iron by releasing extracellular electron transfer shuttle molecules that reduce and solubilize the iron, thereby making it available for use. She also identified and characterized the process of bacterial respiration of arsenate, and then developed a technique to rapidly and accurately identify arsenate respiring bacteria.

Dr. Newman holds a B.A. in German Studies from Stanford University and received her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Eli Lilly and Company Research Award was presented during the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), June 1 - June 5, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

American Society for Microbiology honors Edward F. DeLong

The 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Procter & Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology was presented to Edward F. DeLong, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This award recognizes distinguished achievement in research and development in applied and environmental microbiology.

Dr. DeLong is recognized for his distinguished achievements in the field of marine microbiology. His work has been at the forefront of an explosion of new information about marine microbial diversity, and he is a world leader in developing and using metagenomics to address environmental microbiological questions. One of Dr. DeLong's most important contributions is the breakthrough discovery that marine archaea are among the most abundant organisms in the deep ocean, while his work in sediment microbiology led to his identification of dystrophic associations of organisms that result in methane oxidation through new kinds of metabolism. Dr. DeLong's genomic approaches to the study of marine microbes have paved the way for a new understanding of the complexity of marine microbiology and provided fresh insight into marine microbial bioenergetics. Dr. DeLong has served on numerous editorial boards including Applied and Environmental Microbiology, has co-chaired several American Academy of Microbiology colloquia, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Dr. DeLong received his B.S. in Bacteriology from the University of California, Davis, and his Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

The Procter & Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology was presented during the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), June 1 - June 5, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

American Society for Microbiology honors Adrian M. Zelazny

The 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Young Investigator Award was presented to Adrian M. Zelazny, Staff Scientist, Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, NIAID, National Institutes of Health (NIH). This award recognizes outstanding applied research in clinical microbiology or antimicrobial therapy.

Dr. Zelazny is honored for his work studying infection susceptibility and resistance, microbial virulence, and host/pathogen interactions at the NIH. Dr. Zelazny came to the NIH in 2003 on a Fogarty International Center Fellowship. As a Fellow, he developed a method using PCR assay to detect and identify Leishmania species in patient specimens, and was recognized for this work with the NIH Fellow's Award for Research Excellence in 2005. Dr. Zelazny is currently directing a project to use this assay method to detect and identify Mycobacteria and Nocardia species. In 2007, he received a NIH Director's Science Group Award for his role in the discovery of Granulobacter bethesdensis, and he has applied for a patent as co-inventor for the method of detection and identification of Mycobacterium using SecA.

Dr. Zelazny received his B.S. in Clinical Biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

The Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Young Investigator Award was presented during the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), June 1 - June 5, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

American Society for Microbiology honors Anne M. Vidaver

The 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Founders Distinguished Service Award was presented to Anne M. Vidaver, Professor of Plant Pathology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This award recognizes an ASM member for outstanding contributions and commitment to the ASM as a volunteer at the national level.

For 30 years, Dr. Vidaver has been an outstanding leader and a persistent and effective advocate for research and policy issues related to microbiology, especially agricultural and environmental microbiology. Dr. Vidaver, who is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, is a two-time ASM Foundation Lecturer and a past Advisory Board member of the Center for the History of Microbiology. Her ASM service also includes the Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology, the Procter & Gamble Award Selection Committee, and the Public and Scientific Affairs Board Committee on Agricultural, Food and Industrial Microbiology, which she chaired from 1994-2003. In addition, she has organized and moderated several ASM symposia and participated in several AAM colloquia. Dr. Vidaver has accomplished all of this in addition to an outstanding national service record. From 2000-2002, she served as Chief Scientist for the USDA, where she chaired the Interagency Working Group for the Microbe Project, which enabled a collaborative effort on genomic sequencing of microbes that is now funded at over $20 million each year.

Dr. Vidaver received her received her B.A. in Biology from Russell Sage College, Troy, New York, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Bacteriology from Indiana University.

The ASM Founders Distinguished Service Award was presented during the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), June 1 - June 5, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

American Society for Microbiology honors Arturo Casadevall

The 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) William A. Hinton Research Training Award was presented to Arturo Casadevall, Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, New York. This award recognizes outstanding contributions toward fostering the research training of underrepresented minorities in microbiology.

Dr. Casadevall has provided exemplary training and mentoring to a significant number of minority scientists, and himself served as a role model of success. He is the first Hispanic Department Chair at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and has been recognized by the Hispanic Center for Excellence at Einstein for training minority students. Among Dr. Casadevall's trainees, nearly half are members of underrepresented minority groups, and more than half are women. The professional accomplishments of these young scientists are testaments to the supportive, nurturing, and individualized environment he creates for each student, as well as the scientific rigor and excellence they encounter in the laboratory. Dr. Casadevall has received numerous honors for his groundbreaking work in the field of infectious diseases, including a 2007 NIH Merit Award. He is also President of the Medical Mycology Society of America, Chair of the ASM Career Development Committee, Co-Chair of the NIAID Board of Scientific Counselors, a member of the American Association of Physicians, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Dr. Casadevall received his B.A. in Chemistry from Queens College, City University of New York, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from New York University.

The William A. Hinton Research Training Award as presented during the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), June 1 - June 5, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

American Society for Microbiology honors Bala Swaminathan

The 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Gen-Probe Joseph Award was presented to Bala Swaminathan, Vice-President, Technical and Business Development, IHRC, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. This award recognizes a distinguished microbiologist who has exhibited exemplary leadership and service in the field of public health.

Dr. Swaminathan is known worldwide for applying molecular biology techniques to the practical problems of public health. He was the driving force behind the development of PulseNet, a molecular subtyping-based network to detect outbreaks involving foodborne pathogens that has resulted in enhanced surveillance, more robust outbreak investigations, and an invigorated public health laboratory system. He also established a communication network for those participating in PulseNet to allow for rapid exchange of results. In 2000, PulseNet was awarded the Harvard/Ford Foundation Innovations in American Government Award. In 2002, it was chosen as one of the top 15 Innovations in Government among all awardees since 1986. PulseNet systems are now under development around the world. Dr. Swaminathan has made many other contributions in the areas of microbiology and public health, including extensive study of the foodborne disease potential of Listeria monocytogenes. He has authored more than 120 publications, and in 2001, he was awarded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Dr. Swaminathan received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Georgia.

The Gen-Probe Joseph Award was presented during the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), June 1 - June 5, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

American Society for Microbiology honors Bernard Roizman

The 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Abbott-ASM Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bernard Roizman, Joseph Regenstein Distinguished Service Professor of Virology, The University of Chicago. Sponsored by Abbott Laboratories, this is ASM's premier award for sustained, remarkable contributions to the microbiological sciences.

Dr. Roizman has been a leader in the field of virology for nearly half a century. In the 1960s, he was a pioneering investigator in the field of herpes simplex virus (HSV) biology, and he is widely recognized as the leading authority in nearly every area of HSV research. One of Dr. Roizman's most important early contributions was the identification of a viral gene that is responsible for HSV neurovirulence. In addition, he was one of the very first investigators to apply molecular tools to the epidemiological studies of a pathogen, and he continues to lead the way in elucidating molecular mechanisms underlying the virus-host cell interaction. Dr. Roizman is also an exceptional educator who has trained more than 100 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He has been honored with a number of distinguished awards, including the Centennial Medal from the Institut Pasteur (1987), the first annual ICN International Prize in Virology (1988), the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine (1997), and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Infectious Disease Research (1998). Dr. Roizman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Dr. Roizman received his B.A. and M.S. from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and his Sc.D. from The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

The Abbott-ASM Lifetime Achievement Award was presented during the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), June 1 - June 5, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

American Society for Microbiology honors D. Scott Merrell

A 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award was presented to D. Scott Merrell, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), Bethesda, Maryland. Sponsored by Merck Research Laboratories, the Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award is presented in memory of Irving S. Sigal, who was instrumental in the early discovery of therapies to treat HIV/AIDS, to recognize excellence in basic research in medical microbiology and infectious diseases.

Dr. Merrell earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine. As a graduate student, his primary research interest was to identify genetic factors associated with the virulence of Vibrio cholerae, and notably demonstrated that V. cholerae excreted by humans are more infectious than those found in the environment. During his postdoctoral studies at Stanford University Medical School, Dr. Merrell mastered DNA microarray technology, first to continue his study of V. cholerae, and then to explore mechanisms used by Helicobacter pylori to survive within the human body. This work identified an important regulatory protein, known as Fur, which he has gone on to characterize in his own laboratory.

The Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award was presented during the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), June 1 - June 5, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

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Contact: Garth Hogan
American Society for Microbiology

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