Virginia Miller, Ph.D.

Virginia Miller, Ph.D.

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC

Candidate for Board of Directors
Professor of Genetics and of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Dr. Miller earned her B.A. at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Harvard University where she studied regulation of cholera toxin expression.  She then pursued postdoctoral training at Stanford University where she began her studies on Yersinia and Salmonella.

Professional Experience:
After postdoctoral training at Stanford University, she joined the faculty at UCLA where she was granted tenure in 1994.  She then moved to Washington University in St. Louis in 1996 and in 2008 she moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Education in the School of Medicine.

ASM Activities:
Dr. Miller has served as Chair and Chair-elect of Division B for ASM, Councilor at Large, and as Divisional Group II Representative.  She has served on the ASM Conferences Committee, as Vice-Chair and Co-Chair of the ASM Biodefense Research Meeting and on the General Meeting Planning Committee. She also has served on the Editorial Boards of Infection & Immunity and Journal of Bacteriology.  She previously served as Chair of the Distinguished Service Award Selection Committee, and on the Committee on Elections (Chair in 2016) for the American Academy of Microbiology.  She was elected to the ASM Board of Directors in 2018 and serves on the Finance Committee and Publishing Committee (Chair) of the Board of Directors.

She has published 100 peer-review original research articles and nineteen peer-reviewed review articles.  Link to publications:

Research Interests:
She began her studies on the molecular analysis of Yersinia enterocolitica-host interactions as a postdoctoral fellow and has continued those interests in her own laboratory.  The overall goals of her research are to understand the bacteria-host interaction at the molecular level to learn how this interaction affects the pathogenesis of infections. She has a long-term interest in understanding how pathogens co-ordinate the expression of virulence determinants during an infection. To do this her laboratory uses genetic, molecular and immunological approaches in conjunction with mouse models of infection.  Currently her lab is focusing on studies of Yersinia pestis and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

ASM has had a significant impact in my scientific career and professional life and I have always felt it is important to ‘give back’. Serving on the BoD has been an extraordinary opportunity to serve and have an impact on the organization and community of scientists that ASM represents. I am very excited about the recent efforts on the part of ASM to reorganize and refocus its efforts to meet the changing needs of our community and would be honored to continue to serve on the BoD as ASM continues the transition to a society that meets the needs of the 21st century. I feel that continuing to offer core services that have made ASM so valuable to its members but doing it in a way that excites and energizes the current, and next, generation is essential. Microbiology touches so many different aspects of human (and other) life that ASM needs to be the ‘go to’ for issues related to microbiology, both for members and for the public. I feel there are three core missions of the society:
  • Support microbial science research by supporting outstanding options for publishing and outstanding conferences as a means for scientists to present their work and exchange ideas. I strongly support the reorganization of how ASM envisions the interactions between different disciplines that are part of microbiology today. Breaking down barriers and promoting interactions will only strengthen the science as well as the community.
  • Support the career and professional development of microbiologists at all levels and in all sub-disciplines (teaching, clinical, research) both by providing programs, but also resources for networking. I am very excited about the expanded programming ASM has begun developing and implementing to enhance the career and professional development of members and trainees.
  • Providing a strong voice and source of information about microbiology to the public as well as increasing the visibility of microbiology (and science in general) in science policy, advocacy and funding.
Back to Ballot