Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Named a Milestones in Microbiology Site

May 3, 2024

Washington, D.C.—May 3, 2024—The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is honored to designate the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as a “Milestones in Microbiology” site for its many research accomplishments that have had broad international impact on fundamental and translational microbiology. The school will be designated as a Milestones site during a celebration and ceremony on May 3, honoring noted scientists and historic first achievements.   

The “Milestones in Microbiology” program was established by ASM to promote greater awareness and appreciation for the microbial sciences and to stimulate interest in our microbiological heritage. The award recognizes sites where major developments and pivotal discoveries occurred. 

“ASM is proud to recognize the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as a Milestones in Microbiology site for its many achievements that have impacted scientific inquiry and continue to broaden our understanding of microbiology,” said Virginia Miller, ASM President. “By all standards, the Bloomberg School of Public Health has met and exceeded the criteria for recognition as a Milestones site.” 

Since the School’s founding in 1916, faculty members and their teams, in what are now the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and the Department of Epidemiology, have contributed numerous scientific advancements and historic “firsts” in microbiology. Among them: 

  • 1916—First independent, multidisciplinary school of public health founded by bacteriologist and pathologist William Henry Welch. 

  • 1916—First department of immunology established under Welch’s leadership. 

  • 1922— Introduction of the first formal course on filterable viruses (virology) by Charles E. Simon, who collected viruses from across the U.S. and around the world. 

  • 1925—First department of virology (filterable viruses) established. 

  • 1941-1947—First delineation of paralytic poliovirus pathogenesis by David Bodian, Howard Howe and Isabel Morgan.  

  • 1944-1949—First identification of the 3 pathogenic poliovirus serotypes that were incorporated into effective vaccines by Isabel Morgan, David Bodian and Howard Howe.  

  • 1953—First demonstration that gram-negative bacteria induced rapid coagulation of the hemolymph from horseshoe crabs by Frederik B. Bang. This observation is the basis for the near-universally used, life-saving Limulus amebocyte lysate assay for endotoxin. 

  • 1957—First isolation of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by Robert Chanock, Bernard Roizman, Ruth Myers and Laurence Finberg. 

Learn more about ASM’s Milestones in Microbiology program and 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 36,000 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. 

Author: ASM Communications

ASM Communications
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