About the Award

Illustration of the ASM Award wreath.

The ASM Lifetime Achievement Award is ASM's premier award for sustained contributions to the microbiological sciences.

2024 ASM Lifetime Achievement Awardee

Rita R. Colwell, Ph.D.

Rita R. Colwell, Ph.D.

University of Maryland at College Park and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Past Awardees
2023: James M. Tiedje
2022: John Mekalanos
2021: Bernard Moss
2020: Mary Estes
2019: Carol Gross
2018: Hiroshi Nikaido
2017: Kyung (June) Kwon-Chung
2016: Thomas Silhavy
2015: John Roth
2014: Roy Curtiss, III
2013: Julian Davies
2012: Stuart B. Levy
2011: Susan Gottesman
2010: Lucy Shapiro
2009: Carl Woese
2008: Bernard Roizman
2007: Norman R. Pace
2006: R. John Collier
2005: Jonathan Beckwith
2004: Alan Campbell
2003: Stanley Falkow
2002: Masayasu Nomura
2001: Bruce N. Ames
2000: Boris Magasanik
1999: Jonathan W. Uhr
1998: Charles Yanofsky
1997: A. Dale Kaiser
1996: Ralph S. Wolfe
1995: Julius Adler


Nominees must be advocates, active or retired, in any area relevant to the microbiological sciences. Nominees must be well respected in the microbial science community for their integrity, research and dedication to promoting and advancing the microbial sciences.

Nominators must address how the nominees meet the criteria and how they have made significant contributions to the microbial sciences field.

Nominations must include:

  1. Nomination Form. Nominator will need to create a free ASM account or log in to their current ASM account to complete the nomination. Self-nominations will not be accepted (in other words, you cannot nominate yourself for the award).
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV) of the nominee is required to complete the nomination. After the nomination form is submitted by the nominator, the nominee will be contacted by ASM and asked to provide a current CV or enter highlights from their CV on a CV template. Completing the CV template is highly recommended; however, the selection committee will accept either the template or the nominee’s current CV.
  3. Nominee Statement. Nominees will be asked to provide a nominee statement describing their most significant contributions to the field of microbial sciences, explaining how their contributions meet the criteria for the award and why they are deserving of the award.

Awardee Benefits

The Award Laureate will receive the following honors:

  • One time waiver to publish an article without charge in 1 of ASM Journals.
  • A cash prize of $1,400.
  • Personalized commemorative keepsake.
  • Be invited to speak at the next ASM Microbe meeting.
  • Be recognized at the next ASM Microbe meeting and be invited as honored guests at the ASM and American Academy of Microbiology leadership receptions.

Frequently Asked Questions

For answers to the most frequently asked questions about ASM awards, see the Awards and Prize FAQs page.

Award Selection Process

All eligible nominations will be reviewed by the respective award selection committee. The committee members will use the nomination materials to evaluate each nominee using the described eligibility criteria. The committee will discuss outstanding candidates and determine the awardee for that year. The committee takes into consideration various factors about the nominees in the decision to ensure the selected awardee is a strong example of excellence in the field.

Selection Committee Members

  • Heidi Goodrich-Blair, Ph.D. (Chair).
  • Annaliesa Anderson, Ph.D.
  • Paul Fidel, Ph.D.
  • Gustavo Goldman, Ph.D.
  • John W. Peters, Ph.D.

ASM awards are granted at the discretion of award selection committees and might not be awarded every year.

Questions? Contact awards@asmusa.org.