ASM Names University of Iowa as "Milestones in Microbiology" Site

May 19, 2023

Washington, DC – The American Society for Microbiology is honored to designate the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Iowa as a “Milestones in Microbiology” site. The university will be designated as a Milestones site on May 19 at a symposium celebrating the 85th anniversary of the department. ASM President Colleen Kraft, will present the Milestones plaque to the University of Iowa on behalf of ASM.

The “Milestones in Microbiology” program was established by ASM to promote greater awareness and appreciation of microbiology. The award recognizes sites where major developments and pivotal discoveries occurred. The University of Iowa is being recognized for its many research accomplishments that have had broad international impact on fundamental and translational microbiology.

“The University of Iowa has not only met, but exceeded the criteria required for recognition as a Milestones in Microbiology site,” said Kraft. “ASM is proud to recognize the University of Iowa as a Milestones site for its many findings that have had far-reaching impact in the sciences and society at-large.”

Since its founding in 1938, the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Iowa has been scientific home to numerous researchers who have made breakthroughs in microbial pathogenesis, infectious diseases and immunology, including:

  • Johan Hultin (1924-2022), who recovered and studied lung tissue from 1918 flu victims buried in Alaska, facilitating sequencing of the deadly virus.
  • J. Roger Porter (1909-1979), who conducted internationally recognized research on bacterial physiology, which had significant impact on nomenclature.
  • David Gibson (1938-2014) (Member, Nat’l Acad Sci, 2005), who contributed key studies of bacterial dioxygenases that have had wide-ranging impacts on the pharmaceutical and bioremediation industries.
  • Mark Stinski, who discovered and patented the cytomegalovirus promoter used in research and translational medicine worldwide.
  • Michael Apicella, who systematically identified the pathogenic mechanisms involved in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae infections of human epithelial cells. 
  • E. Peter Greenberg (Member, Nat’l Acad Sci, 2004), who revolutionized the field of bacterial quorum sensing and social behavior.
  • Patrick Schlievert, who described the first defensin, as present in human amniotic fluid, and identified the toxins that cause toxic shock syndrome.
  • Stanley Perlman, who made critical contributions in coronavirus pathogenesis, vaccination and therapies for over 40 years.
  • Gail Bishop, who led research in lymphocyte regulation in viral infections and in cancers arising in lymphocytes.
  • Wendy Maury, who identified novel cell surface receptors that interact with lipids in viral membranes of several pathogenic viruses.
  • And many others.

Learn more about ASM’s Milestones in Microbiology program.
Learn how to apply for Milestones in Microbiology recognition.


The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest professional societies dedicated to the life sciences and is composed of 30,000 scientists and health practitioners. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications, educational opportunities and advocacy efforts. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.