In Memoriam: Slaughter, Louise

In Memoriam: Slaughter, Louise


Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, a champion for public health and one of the most powerful and unique figures in the House of Representatives, died March 16, 2018. She was 88 and the oldest sitting member of Congress. Slaughter was the first woman to serve as chair of the Committee on Rules.

As the only microbiologist in Congress, she was an advocate for addressing the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, an issue which she explored in ASM’s Cultures magazine. She advocated for stringent restrictions on the use of antibiotics in healthy cattle, arguing that such use is a leading factor in the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. Her proposal, introduced in each congressional session since 2007, helped direct national attention to the issue. Her legacy carries on through the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), which restricts the routine use of antibiotics on factory farms and curbs the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Over the years, Congresswoman Slaughter hosted many of the American Society for Microbiology/American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows.

A complete obituary can be viewed at The Washington Post.