ASM’s Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) is a new, dynamic governance structure representing the entire society as we promote and advance the microbial sciences. COMS is the key connection between ASM’s members and ASM’s leaders — and the place where members can get involved with their society.

Working 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. COMS supports ASM through the following:
  • Setting priorities for the society.
  • Identifying upcoming opportunities in the microbial sciences.
  • Identifying scientific trends to ensure effective programs and activities.

The COMS Members

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 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. 

Peggy Cotter Travel Awards Early Career Branch Members

Upcoming Activities & Events


Past Activities & Events

June 2020: COMS Meeting, Held Virtually
Dec. 17, 2019: Antimicrobial Agents and Resistance Retreat, ASM HQ - read the report
June 2019: COMS Meeting, San Francisco Marriott, San Francisco
May 2019: COMS Orientation Webinar
March 21, 2019: Profession of Microbiology Retreat, ASM HQ - read the report
Dec. 16-17 2018: Molecular Biology and Physiology Retreat, ASM HQ - read the report
July 24-25 2018: Host-Microbe Biology Retreat, ASM HQ - read the report
Dec.19-20, 2017: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity Retreat, ASM HQ - read the report
May 25-26, 2017: Clinical and Public Health Microbiology Retreat, ASM HQ - read the report