It is our pleasure to announce the newly elected ASM President-Elect, members of the ASM Board of Directors and Council on Microbial Sciences, with terms beginning on July 1, 2024. ​Congratulations to our newly elected officers and council members, and thank you to all of the dedicated and accomplished candidates who stood for election.

We would also like to extend our thanks to all the members who participated in this year's election. Your engagement plays a crucial role in the great work of our Society!

Please send any questions regarding the election to Governance@asmusa.org.

National Officers

President Elect: 1-Year Term (2024-2025)

Alexander McAdam

Candidate Statement

I have been a clinical microbiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School for over 20 years and am the Interim Chief of the Department of Laboratory Medicine. In addition to my roles in ASM publications, discussed below, I have been an elected officer in other professional societies, including service as president. In these roles, I have led complex operations through changes and during difficult times. I am experienced in soliciting and discussing a range of opinions and working together to form a consensus.

I have been an active member of ASM for over 20 years. I am the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and, over the past 8 years, the editors and I have raised the quality of the journal, while also introducing new educational features for trainees and increasing coverage of issues related to the profession. I am also a volume editor of the Manual of Clinical Microbiology. I have participated in ASM meetings as a speaker and by convening sessions. Finally, I serve on committees related to ASM publications, and I was elected as a member of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2021.

ASM has an important role in the community of microbiologists, as the society provides the meetings, journals, books and, most importantly, scientific leadership that bring us together. ASM is the scientific society for all microbiologists, and the diversity of membership and staff contributes to the strength of the society. ASM also has impact on the larger society, as we are a voice of reliable and expert scientific information. If selected as president-elect, I would work collaboratively to build on the strengths of ASM, so we can continue to support and promote basic, translational and clinical microbial sciences.

ASM-Related Activities 

  • Editor, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2005—2015.
  • Editor in Chief, Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2015—present.
  • Member, ASM Journals Committee, 2015—present.
  • Participant, Clinical and Public Health Microbiology Retreat, 2017.
  • Member, ASM Publications Committee, representing the editors in chief, 2019—present.
  • ASM American Academy of Microbiology, elected fellow of AAM, 2021.
  • Volume editor (Bacteriology), Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 12th and 13th editions, 14th edition in preparation.
  • Editor, Manual of Molecular Microbiology, 1st edition, in preparation.

Board of Directors

At-Large Directors: 3-year term (2024-2027)

Suzanne Ishaq Pellegrini

Candidate Statement

I am an assistant professor of animal and veterinary science at the University of Maine, in the School of Food and Agriculture. I received my doctorate in animal, nutrition and food science from the University of Vermont in 2015, where my graduate study focused on the rumen microbiology of the moose. I held post-doctoral positions at Montana State University and a research faculty position at the University of Oregon. Over the years, my research has gone from wild animal gut microbiomes to soils, to buildings and back to the gut. Since 2019, my lab in Maine focuses on host-associated microbial communities in animals and humans and, in particular, how host and microbes interact in the gut and can be harnessed to reduce inflammation. I also work on the microbes associated with scallops and lobsters, to understand the connection between host, microbe and environment.  
In addition to my research on microbes, I am the founder of the Microbes and Social Equity working group, a global consortium of researchers from diverse fields and career levels. This group formed to examine, publicize and promote a research program on the reciprocal impact of social inequality and microbiomes, both human and environmental.

As the ASM Early-Career At-Large Board Director, I am eager to identify ways that ASM can remove barriers to participating in science that early-career researchers face, such as the financial burdens of conference travel, unpaid service or administrative labor, relocating for short-term contracts or trainee salary caps in areas with a high cost of living.

ASM-Related Activities

  • 2022: Ishaq, S. (convener), Trujillo, M., Kozik, A., Bonilla, C. Session: CTS16 (PPS). Microbes and Social Equity: The Microbial Components of Social, Environmental, and Health Justice. American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Microbe 2022, Washington, D.C., June 9—13, 2022. (2-hour session accepted, ~70 attendees).
  • 2021—present: mSystems Editor.
  • 2021—present: mSystems Editor on special collection: “Special Series: Social Equity and Disparities in Microbial Exposure."
  • 2022: ASM Microbe, presenter.
  • 2021: World Microbe Forum.
  • 2020—present: Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Students (ABRCMS), student abstract reviewer.
  • 2016: ASM Microbe, presenter.
  • 2014: ASM Microbe, presenter.
  • 2012—present: ASM member.

Federico Bernardo Sisti 

Candidate Statement 

Looking at the position description, my academic journey has been deeply intertwined with the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) from the very beginning of my doctoral studies. Over the years, I have dedicated my career to studying pathogen-host interactions, leading a prominent research group in Argentina.

My commitment to advancing microbiology extends beyond my research work. I had the privilege of participating in governing bodies of scientific institutions, as a member of the Board of Directors at the Institute of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology (IBBM). Currently, I hold the position of Secretary at the Argentine Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SAIB), one of the oldest and most distinguished scientific societies in the country. These experiences have provided me with valuable insights into how to facilitate scientific development and promote collaboration among scientists from diverse disciplines.

Technology is rapidly evolving, and this poses many challenges, including how to store, share and integrate data. But it also provides countless opportunities. I firmly believe in the importance of fostering international and multidisciplinary collaboration. My involvement with ASM will enable me to actively encourage the participation of the international scientific community, as well as integrate other communities, in this Society. I recognize that only through interaction among peers from different parts of the world can we advance our understanding of microbiology and address the challenges that this discipline presents from a global One Health approach. Being from and working in Argentina, I am very familiar with the challenges that we encounter, and increasing diversity, equitability and inclusion, will be one of my goals, to provide future generations with more and more equitable opportunities.

My experience, dedication and passion for microbiology drive me to actively seek this position and make my own contribution to the advancement of this fascinating field.

ASM Related Activities

  • Student at the Molecular Aspects of Microbial Pathogenesis course. National Academy of Sciences and American Society for Microbiology. Santiago, Chile 1999.

Conferences Attended

  • 114th General Meeting. American Society of Microbiology. 2014, Boston.
  • ASM Conference on Salmonella: Pathogenesis, Epidemiology and Vaccine. 2003, with poster presentation: A Salmonella enteritidis dam Mutant of lLaky Phenotype as a Potential Vaccine Strain. M. N. Giacomodonato, S. H. Sarnacki, F. Sisti, R. Caccuri, M. C. Cerquetti.
  • ASM Microbe 2002, with poster presentation Flagellin, a bvg-Repressed Factor, Has a Critical Role in Bordetella bronchiseptica-Host Interaction, J. Fernández, F. Sisti, M. Rodríguez, O. Yantorno and D. Hozbor.
  • ASM Microbe 2014, with poster presentation A c-di-GMP Effector System Controls Biofilm Formation in Bordetella bronchiseptica, Ambrosis, N., Sisti F., Boyd C., O´Toole G.A., Fernández.

Council on Microbial Sciences

At-Large COMS Councilors (2024-2027)

Cheryl Andam

Candidate Statement

ASM has certainly made a tremendous positive impact in my scientific career. Beginning 2008, when I first joined ASM as a graduate student, ASM has supported me by giving me numerous opportunities to present my research and build lasting networks with colleagues. This includes the 2011 ASM Kadner Institute (for graduate students and postdoctoral scientists in preparation for careers in microbiology) that I participated in and was instrumental in my training. I am deeply grateful to ASM.

At this point in my career, I want to give back to the Society by sharing my time, knowledge, skills and experience to move the field of microbiology and ASM forward. This is my motivation for applying to the ASM COMS At-Large Councilor position. I consider myself qualified for this position because of the following reasons:
  1. My educational and research background span different fields in microbiology—from ancient evolution and evolutionary mechanisms, population genomics, public health microbiology (surveillance, epidemiology, One Health) to antimicrobial resistance. Although we divide microbiology into various scientific tracks, and we often become siloed within our respective research areas, we need to recognize that each scientific field informs others in more ways than one. I enjoy and am able to communicate well with scientists from various fields, and I recognize the importance of building these connections. Transformation and innovation materialize from the bridges we build between disparate scientific disciplines within, and outside of, microbiology.
  2. I have long been interested in the history of science, medicine and microbiology. I think that as we move forward to face new technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, coding, data science, network, robotics, gamification) and adversities (e.g., global warming, microplastics, multidrug resistance), we also need to recognize and appreciate historical approaches, perspectives, trends and discoveries. History helps us understand the present and prepare for the future.

ASM-Related Activities

  • Recipient of ASM Career Development Grant for Postdoctoral Women (2016), ASM Corporate Activities Program Travel Grant (2009).
  • Editorial Board Member, Microbiology Spectrum. 2021-2024.
  • Peer reviewer for Microbiology Spectrum (2 months in 2023, 1 month in 2022), mSystems (1 month in 2018, 2021, 2023), mSphere (1 month in 2020).
  • My symposium proposal “Drivers, constraints and consequences of microbial recombination” has been selected for ASM Microbe 2024.

Contributed Talks and Sessions Convened: 

  • World Microbe Forum. ASM and FEMS. 2021 (online). 
    Symposium convener: Accessory genome ecology: How do different selection pressures influence accessory genome content?
  • ASM Microbe. San Francisco, 2019. 
    Talk: Biogeography of recombining bacterial pathogens (in Meet-the-Experts session). 
    Symposium convener: Microbial species: Causes and consequences of heterogeneity in microbial populations.
  • ASM Microbe. Atlanta, 2018. 
    Symposium convener: Adapt or perish: Evolutionary rescue in clinical and environmental microbes.
  • ASM Microbe. New Orleans, 2017. 
    Talk: Patterns of horizontal gene transfer in terrestrial Streptomyces bacteria reveal impacts of historical demographic processes on genome and population structure. 
    Convener in plenary session: Sex in microbes: horizontal gene transfer between genomes, species and microbiomes.
  • ASM Microbe. Boston, 2016. 
    Talk: Ecological and evolutionary drivers of antibiotic resistance in non-vaccine type pneumococcus.
  • 112th Meeting. San Francisco, 2012. 
    Talk: Evolutionary divergence and biogeography of Streptomyces populations in soil (selected for the Young Investigators Oral Presentation).
  • 111th Meeting. New Orleans, 2011. 
    Talk: Biased gene transfer and the pre-LUCA origins of rare aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (selected for the Young Investigators Oral Presentation).

Poster Presentations:

  • 114th Meeting. Boston, 2014.
  • 113th Meeting. Denver, 2013.
  • 109th Meeting. Philadelphia, 2009.

Invited Talks at ASM Regional Meetings:

  • Eastern N.Y. branch. Albany, N.Y., 2022.
  • 52nd Annual Region I Meeting: The Challenging Microbial Landscape. University of Connecticut, 2017.

Alison Criss

Candidate Statement

ASM makes a difference everyday in advancing microbial sciences in education, research, professional advancement, policy and communication with the public. I was honored to contribute to these missions of ASM by serving as an At-Large Member of the Council on Microbial Sciences the past 3 years, and as Community Leader in Host-Microbe Biology this past year, where I led an online retreat to consider the interdisciplinary future of HMB. Over this time I have seen the role of COMS become mature, and I would be honored to rejoin this community and embrace the opportunities to make a difference in the future of microbial sciences. Participating in COMS is a unique opportunity to work with ASM's broad membership and inclusive leadership to promote the microbial sciences within the society and more broadly to the public. My experiences in interdisciplinary research will help to forge connections between members from different research and educational backgrounds. I would welcome the chance to once again work with the energetic, creative community of COMS to help ASM achieve its mission to promote the future of the microbial sciences.

ASM-Related Activities

  • Meetings Strategy Committee, 2023-2026.
  • COMS At-Large Member, 2020—2023.
  • COMS HMB Community Leader, 2022—2023 (Ran online HMB retreat for ASM, May 30-June 1, 2023).
  • Minisymposium Co-Convener, ASM General Meeting, 2015.
  • ASM-Virginia Branch lecturer, 2014.
  • Invited speaker, ASM General Meeting, 2013.
  • ASM Virginia Branch Annual Meeting Co-Chair, 2011.
  • Invited speaker, ASM General Meeting, 2009.
  • Have attended all ASM Microbe conferences (in person/virtual) since 2009.
  • Member of ASM and ASM Virginia Branch since 2009.

Katherine Lemon

Candidate Statement

My fascination with the microbial world, along with my collaborative approach to research, fits perfectly with the role of an At-Large Councilor to think and engage broadly with others about the future of microbial sciences. In graduate school, I followed my curiosity into bacteriology and worked on Bacillus subtilis with Dr. Alan Grossman. As a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Roberto Kolter, I initially worked on Listeria monocytogenes. I became fascinated by the breadth of microbial sciences and the many opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. Spurred by my clinical experiences as a pediatric infectious diseases doctor, and by a growing curiosity about microbial communities, I began exploring the human nasal microbiome. The long-term goal of my research is to identify bacterial strains and compounds that will be leads for new ways to prevent and treat infections caused by the common nasal pathobionts Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae, and to mitigate the severity of viral respiratory tract infections. To accomplish this, my lab identifies factors that mediate microbe-microbe and microbe-epithelial interactions in human nasal microbiota using human nasal epithelial organoids. As a physician-scientist, I regularly interact with microbial scientists across the spectrum of basic, translational and clinical microbiology. As a microbiome researcher, I interact with scientists working on microbial communities in habitats that range from the environment to invertebrate and vertebrate hosts. As an At-Large Member of the Council on Microbial Sciences, I will engage in open and thought-provoking dialog to creatively identify current and future opportunities for ASM.

ASM-Related Activities

  • mBio Board of Editors 2017—present.
  • Reviewer for ASM Journals 2008—present, including mBio, mSystems, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, mSphere, Journal of Bacteriology.
Conferences Attended:
  • ASM General Meeting/Microbe 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2023.
  • 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016).
  • 6th ASM Conference on Cell–Cell Communication in Bacteria.
  • 4th ASM Conference on Biofilms.
  • 2023 ASM Host-Microbe Biology (HMB) retreat. (Participating in this retreat really sparked my interest in COMS and desire to be more involved with ASM).

 

COMS Vice Chair: 1-Year Term (2024-2025)—Voted on Exclusively by Current COMS Members.

Michelle Dziejman

Candidate Statement

It is often difficult to navigate times of transition, especially for a large professional society. Changing practices, reorganizing membership and serving myriad needs present challenges. However, as the oldest life science professional membership organization, change is familiar to ASM. The society has successfully navigated transitions in the past. For our current set of challenges, if we can connect scientists who are willing to participate in efforts that reach outside their own labs, careers and institutions, then we can work together to improve the impact the society has on members and the world outside our own. Adaptation and forward-thinking vision are key. Like many who were trained as bacterial geneticists, my research program has grown and expanded to incorporate other disciplines, such as cell biology and genomics. New tools, new concepts and new viewpoints keep the questions current and relevant, with the goal of anticipating the next question that needs to be asked. Likewise, my interactions over more than 20 years with undergraduate, medical school, graduate and high school students have offered windows into different viewpoints and educational needs. Importantly, it has also made me aware of the visions and goals held by those who will inherit the future. Serving as a COMS At-Large Councilor, I’ve enjoyed interacting with fellow councilors and learning about ASM governance, and serving as a liaison to ASM members who are eager to think about “big-picture” problems, discuss ideas and offer suggestions. Based on my experiences, I believe I have demonstrated necessary qualifications for the role: to continue reaching out to others, asking questions to prompt creative thinking and listening to feedback in an impartial manner so that collective ideas can be distilled and synthesized into recommendations for shaping our future as microbiologists and for the next round of ASM evolution.

ASM-Related Activities

  • I have been an ASM member since graduate school, attended ASM General Meetings on numerous occasions and attended ASM Microbe most recently in 2021 (virtual), 2022 and 2023.
  • My students typically also attend and present. The division that currently best aligns with my research focus is HMB, although my work with virulence gene regulation overlaps with genetics and molecular biology.
  • I am a member of the Western New York Branch and attend the annual Buffalo Microbial Pathogenesis Conference, along with students, who present posters.