ASM 2021 Election Slate
On Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, all ASM voting members will receive a message from Intelliscan with your personalized voting link. All candidate biographies will be available on the Intelliscan voting website, accessible by your personalized voting link. If you do not receive this email with your link, check your spam filter.
As a dedicated ASM member, this is your opportunity to choose the next leadership positions for the society. We count on your vote to determine who will represent your interests as a microbiologist and guide ASM into the new microbial future.
Why should I vote?
- I want my profession to witness a positive impact.
- My science and my area of practice need to be represented.
- My leaders need to respond actively and quickly.
- It is my right to choose the next ASM candidate.
- My voice should be heard and represented.
Which positions are up for election?
- Board of Directors:
- At-Large Director, International
- At-Large Director, Early Career
- Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS):
- At-Large Counselor, International
- At-Large Counselor, Early Career
This is your decision and we ask that you choose the candidates that you think will strongly support us as a society and help us all discover, advance and excel in the microbial sciences.
1-year term (2021-2022)
Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically thrown into relief the tremendous Need (with a capital N) for microbial scientists and the Value (another capital) of the ASM. Within the COVID-19 pandemic, we have observed the urgent demand for new microbiological technologies for rapid testing, new preventive and therapeutic interventions and new preclinical testing strategies for diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive approaches. We clearly see why investment into fundamental discovery matters. Research related to viral pathogenesis, microbial evolution, epidemiology, mathematical modeling and the virology of non-human animals are all so important. We observe the need for better communication in a time of crisis; communication among experts, between experts and policy makers and between experts and the general public. We bear witness to the important realities of systemic racism, poverty and health inequity and how these amplify the damaging effects of the viral pandemic. We will be teaching and learning about our successes and failures to handle COVID-19 for, perhaps, centuries. Young people will become interested in careers in the microbial sciences as a result of this seismic event. Where will we meet them?
If I were fortunate to be in a President (and President-Elect) of ASM, I would strive to help the ASM help the world to meet the pressing needs described above. We need to pay close attention to the central puzzles and problems in the microbial world that existed before COVID-19. I will pay close attention to how we foster the community of established and emerging microbial scientists to work collaboratively on the challenges of our time. Diversity and inclusion are necessary features of a successful community, a successful society. The ASM needs to continue supporting and elevating leaders who use privilege to open doors for all; to live into the concept that we truly are all in this together. I am committed to leading with my ears first and my voice second; to listening to the voices of others and making sure that the ASM is inclusive and is an organization marked by its commitment to advancing the microbial sciences through collaboration, cooperation, inclusion, advocacy and mentorship.
Associate Chief Medical Officer, Emory University Hospital
If elected, my goal is to continue to position ASM as a distinguished advisor for the biological sciences. I will leverage my existing relationships on Capitol Hill with relevant congressional staffers to maximize exposure for our association. Utilizing my experience in providing recommendations to authorizers and appropriators, I would like to not only work on legislation that would be beneficial to ASM, but also ensure they are prioritized in funding. My experiences on the state taskforce have proven that the science and business communities could better align to take on some of the priorities that affect Americans at home and work. By working closely with individuals in industries outside of academia, scientists are able to show the important position that research and clinical applications have to our everyday lives. This has never been more apparent than during the pandemic, where there is a real need for pragmatic efforts to ensure how science and clinical care can happen safely. I want to ensure that ASM is at the table for decisions made around these topics.
Download full biosketches for President-Elect nominees.
At-Large Director, International
3-Year Term (2021-2024)
Senior Lecturer, University of Malawi
If elected to the position, I will ensure that we continue increasing the ASM membership in Malawi. I will work to reach-out to the majority of institutions involved in Microbiology activities in the country. Since during the past ASM events we did not manage to participate in conferences, I plan to participate in local conferences and set up a booth. I also plan to have an active students chapter at our University of Malawi and other Universities working together with the ASM Young Ambassador.
With the ASM support, I am hoping to continue being innovative and introduce new ASM services to increase ASM visibility in the country. To come up with plans for stable cost effective means of interacting with ASM members on regular basis to solicit ideas and feedback on how we can improve our operations.
First Secretary, Sanitary and Phytosanitary, Ministry for Primary Industries
Having been involved in ASM’s progress in the 5 years to modernize its structure and infrastructure in response to the needs of the membership, I believe ASM is well-positioned to respond and adapt to the fast-changing world we now live in.
ASM has done exceptionally well in response to COVID-19, but the uncertainty of what our world will become remains. In this current world with intensified public and political attention on science, I am excited by the opportunity to serve on the ASM board to further discussions on how ASM can maximize this once-in-a-life-time opportunity to prioritize and execute its strategic plan, and how ASM as an organization bring its members together to advance science and guide public opinion of science at such critical time in history.
I bring to the Board an international perspective, stakeholder engagement experience and communication skills to serve you, us as ASM members, and the society at large. If elected, I will continue to strive, as I have done in the past, to bring a variety of voices and views into the discussions and work with members of the ASM Board as well as ASM staff to bring ASM members together to advance the microbial sciences.
Download full biosketches for At-Large Director, International nominees.
At-Large Director, Early Career
3-Year Term (2021-2024)
Assistant Professor, Emory University
I am honored to be nominated for the role of At-Large Councilor-Early Career for the ASM Board of Directors. The profession of microbiology has challenges for young microbiologists that need to be approached in new ways. ASM can serve a crucial role in the development of the next generation, as it has for me. Ensuring individuals find value is critical for their engagement and sustained support through ASM membership, publication, and conferences. I hope to bring perspectives from young microbiologists and issues they face so that the Society can present itself as high-value to them. I am well-positioned to do so from this point in my career; junior enough that these issues are still fresh or impacting me, but experienced enough within the Society that I can confidently present these perspectives with an independent mind. Lastly, I would promote that ASM increases its public-facing presence. With growing cynicism for science and institutions, an authoritative source of vetted information on the microbial sciences is needed. ASM should be easily-identifiable as serving that role. Tactical recommendations include saturating the internet with high-quality content, such as a more outward-facing website, YouTube channel focused on short approachable videos, premade infographics for people to share on social media to combat disinformation, etc. Young microbiologists have the most to gain from increased visibility and long-term improvements in public discourse, and if tapped, can be engaged in these fixes.
Deputy Director, Tennessee State Public Health Laboratory
My first term serving on the Board of Directors has been inspiring, educational, and hugely motivational to stay involved with ASM. If elected to a second term, I’d like to facilitate the translation of the Society’s mission into concrete ideas and actions.
Based on the goals listed within the strategic plan, I plan to:
Our Community- Ensure that we build a forum that is inclusive, especially for early career scientists that may not find a “home” in one track or subject area. Today, many microbiologists move throughout different scientific arenas and have experience in a combination of academic research, clinical and public health microbiology, industry, as well as government at the local, state, federal, and international levels. Providing community to members means providing the fluidity to move seamlessly within COMS and the sub-communities within the microbial sciences.
Helping YOU advance- Create clear mechanisms and pathways for student members and early career scientists to get involved and stay involved within the Society. Communication of training and volunteer opportunities have improved remarkably in recent years but there is still room to build on that foundation. I’d like to develop and distribute tools that not only provide value to ASM members but propel them forward in their career trajectory.
Exceptional Experience- Continuously monitor and listen to the changing needs of ASM members. A well-run Society is one that maintains relevancy,
is sensitive to the political and social climate, and is nimble enough to respond accordingly. The organizational structure is in place, now I’d like to enhance communication lines and provide more access between ASM members and leadership.
Visionary Society- Anticipate future roles for ASM within the broader scientific and non-scientific communities. COVID-19 provided a platform to showcase our expertise, now we need to keep that engagement and find novel ways to share our knowledge.
ASM has made great strides in restructuring our organization and with that in place, the next step is to develop and shape the parts that connect them. If elected to a second term, I will do everything in my power to foster and build that connective tissue.
Download full biosketches for At-Large Director, Early Career nominees.
At-Large Councilor, International
3-Year Term (2021-2024)
Professor, Hospital de Niños Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez
Since taking on a role within the ASM, I have become increasingly aware of the breadth of the society’s influence and its global impact in this field.
My vision for the society would be to build on the existing strengths, using the expertise of the Board of Directors team, councils and every member interested in get involved. In addition, I would be seeking to ensure greater communication within and across committees, while also seeking to ensure greater engagement and contributions from all our members.
I would wish to boost the academic profile of the society, its expertise and the resources it can provide, considering a range of roles in different contexts; as i.e an academic partner, trustable information source or advisory expert.
Microbiology is a highly dynamic science and will continue to do so. On the other hand our Society has members worldwide, who have diverse backgrounds and needs, so ASM needs to work every day to provide the “scientific home” for each member and must rise to the occasion. Regarding this, it will become increasingly important for ASM to effectively involve and connect with younger members, students and trainees around the world. A priority within this perception would be the development of the Young Leaders Program, for (young) bright microbiologists, a programme that would be highly aspirational and worldwide recognized. This program would synergism with existing programs (like Ambassadors program) to contribute to the running of the society and to the research and advocacy activities among others.
Professor, The University of the West Indies
It has been a pleasure and honor to represent the international community on COMS for the past three years. If elected, my primary vision remains to continue to represent the views of the international community with the Society as we contribute to the further development of ASM as a global giant in the microbial sciences. I have learnt a lot from Vic DiRita, Vaughn Cooper, Mike Schmidt, Suzanne Fleiszig within the leadership of COMS, within the context of navigating the early years and setting the Council on a certain trajectory. There are several thorny issues within COMS that have been resolved, including the advancement of the Vice-Chair to the Chair without recourse to separate elections; streamlining the communities within COMS; clarification of the roles and responsibilities of Divisional chairs; and greater involvement of the international community in ideation and participation within the Society and Microbe meetings. It has been quite fulfilling so far and I think there are things to accomplish, especially in light of the current pandemic and the global implications. I feel that my continued participation will be even more valuable and will make the Society a better place for communities of domestic and international members, and to the broader fellowship of microbial science professionals. I bring to the table a strong commitment of time and talent, governance, negotiation and advocacy skills, and the ability to mentor and motivate young scientists, which will undoubtedly assist in the effective guiding of decisions and recommendations to be made to further the strategic goals of the Society.
Professor, Atma Jaya Catholic University
My plans and how will they help support the ASM Strategic Plan
As informed in COMS section that as a COMS we need to: Setting priorities for the society, Identifying upcoming opportunities in the microbial sciences and identifying scientific trends to ensure effective programs and activities. To fulfill these duties I would suggest some of the following plans: In my opinion related with society there are students (high school, college and university); young scientist, senior scientist and public. We need to develop sustainability program for each of these society.
- From my experience collaborate with other scientists and biology teacher abroad, I noticed that microbiology education in high school especially in developing countries is require to be Improve. If we can introduce better education of microbiology as early as possible in the future it is also will improve and increase number of qualified microbiologist. I would suggest program to improve microbiology education for high school students through:
- Guidance for curriculum design,
- Mentoring biology teacher through worksho
- Organize competition to encourage teacher to improve quality teaching in microbiology
- Partnership with industries (from several areas such as food, medical, agriculture and environments) for corporate social responsibility program to develop :
- ASM research grants for young and senior scientist. The research area can cover all of the area mentioned above.
- ASM travel award for mutual research collaboration between young scientists (from abroad) with senior scientist from USA.
- Organize webinar to facilitate more audience or member with limited travel budget especially young scientists member.
- For face to face conference give additional program participant who can only join online (with lower registration fee) to give more opportunity for scientists abroad to participate and improve their knowledge
- For public we need to educate through young or country ambassador to develop science communication program in their own language related with hot issues in microbiology
- We need to engage country ambassador as well to gather information and design program that more effective and fit with the need of broader countries.
Associate Professor, Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento
If elected my proposal is built upon three drivers: scientific careers, membership and science communication. As a first approach, my intentions will be focused on exploration of scientific programs and activities within each sub-discipline to begin working on the development of new ideas achieving a balance in the offered opportunities. These emerging ideas will be primarily aimed at the engagement of young ASM members, contributing to their professional development. I consider that promoting young microbiologists’ involvement is a strategic long-term investment for a prolific future society. In the same direction, but in a second stage, innovative activities planned for senior scientists will improve their commitment with ASM. Making available more opportunities in all fields of Microbiology will gradually increase interest in membership and this is part of the second core idea to work on. Promotion of regional activities and ensuring equality in eligibility requirements among US and international members will build trust in potential new associates. As third driver, other crucial point is to enhance the interaction between the science community and citizenship, keeping social, environmental and public health concerns present on ASM agenda. A correct communication of microbial sciences demands the generation of different educational strategies that will help eliminate misinformation from general public.
Download full biosketches for At-Large Councilor, International nominees.
At-Large Councilor, Early Career
3-Year Term (2021-2024)
Lecturer, San Francisco State University
The year 2020 has globally impacted and changed the fields of clinical and diagnostic microbiology due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it has become more important than ever, to quickly and accurately diagnose emerging infections and prevent community transmission. This adversity has brought us a chance not only to improve and enhance existing methods of infection control, disease detection, treatment and prophylaxis but also to investigate and introduce newer strategies in the relevant fields. In this scenario, my plans and goals would be the following:
- A recent Executive Order by the Governor of California has allowed lab personnel with only CLIA-mandated qualifications to perform COVID-19 testing. This provides us a great opportunity at the ASM front to arrange workshops, seminars and lectures on all the ‘nuts & bolts’ of precise and accurate testing methods. If the required training is not provided to such personnel it will prove more detrimental than beneficial in the already unprecedented times.
- ASM’s COMS can coordinate with different branch chapters to plan and conduct informational meetings and seminars for their local microbiology professionals in the field of academia, clinical and public health microbiology. This will provide a resource for the local branches to further the ongoing efforts in the field of emerging infectious diseases. A lot of biotech companies could pitch in and provide training to the local microbiologists for advanced testing methodologies.
- As an active member of academic and scientific community and utilizing my leadership skills acquired through NCASM, I would plan to advocate for the advancement in research studies of novel infectious agents, development of rapid yet cost-effective molecular diagnostic methods and vaccine candidates not only in USA but also across the globe.
Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
I look forward to further contributing to our wonderful society by being the voice of my peers to help shape the future of ASM. This position is an ideal opportunity for me to fulfill my desire to build upon my contributions by advancing the future direction and scope of our society and advocating for our field.
Download full biosketches for At-Large Councilor, Early Career nominees.