ASM’s Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) is a key connection between ASM’s members and ASM’s leaders—and the place where members can get involved with their society.
In partnership with the Board of Directors, the CEO and staff, COMS keeps a pulse on new developments in microbial sciences and helps develop innovative ways to move the field and ASM forward.
The COMS CommunitiesCOMS members are organized by 8 broad communities. Each community conducts retreats on a 4-year cycle, helping set scientific priorities and ensure effective programs and activities by identifying opportunities in the microbial sciences. Each COMS community, and their respective areas of focus, are outlined below.
- Antimicrobial discovery and development from preclinical investigations to post-marketing data.
- Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) mechanisms.
- Surveillance and global epidemiology of AMR.
- Antimicrobial stewardship.
- Novel approaches to infection treatment.
- Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic principles to optimize antimicrobial design and use.
- How microbes work in diverse environments.
- Basic and applied microbiology in environments from soil to food, lakes and oceans to drinking water systems, deserts to urban population centers.
- Clinical and epidemiological studies in adult and pediatric infectious diseases.
- Emerging infectious diseases and tropical medicine.
- Recent developments and clinical studies in vaccines.
- Novel diagnostic technology.
- Antimicrobial susceptibility testing.
- Clinical laboratory biosafety and biosecurity.
- Antimicrobial and diagnostic stewardship.
- Surveillance and epidemiology.
- “One health.”
- Research that encompasses laboratory, clinical, engineered and natural settings.
- Ecological and evolutionary theory in microbes in basic and applied research.
- Microbial biodiversity.
Host-Microbe Biology (HMB)
- Research at the host-microbe interface.
- Pathogenic and symbiotic relationships between microbes and the host.
- Genetic, physiological and virulence mechanisms that shape host-microbe relationships.
- Understand the basic mechanisms of microbial life at the molecular, cellular and multi-cellular level.
- Microbiology education.
- Career choices and exploration.
- Professional development.
- Science communication and outreach.
Led by a Chair and Vice-Chair elected by COMS members, every part of ASM is represented on COMS:
- 10 At-Large Councilors elected by the ASM membership.
- 35 Councilors selected by the ASM Branches.
- 27 Councilors selected by ASM Divisions.
- 8 additional Interdisciplinary Division Councilors.
- 8 Program Committee Chairs.
- 7 non-voting members: 5 ASM officers, the ASM CEO and the Governors of the Academy Chair.
COMS 2019-2020 Chair Michael Schmidt is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 ASM Conference Grants Program. This year, COMS awarded $47,000 to support 6 meetings and conferences on topics spanning Pseudomonas, microbial metabarcoding and how COVID-19’s effects on tribal communities can further education on emerging infections, among other research areas. Grants of $5,000 to $10,000 were awarded to institutions from Tsaile, Ariz. to Karachi, Pakistan.