American Society for Microbiology
The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of more than 30,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.
ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. 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.
ASM was founded in 1899 under the name the "Society of American Bacteriologists". In December 1960, it was renamed the "American Society for Microbiology."
ASM's mission is "to promote and advance the microbial sciences." The society seeks to accomplish this mission through:
- Publishing highly-cited publications
- Running multi-disciplinary meetings
- Deploying resources and expertise around the world
- Advocating for scientific research
- Fostering a deeper public understanding of microbiology
With more than 30,000 members, including researchers, educators and health professionals, ASM is one of the largest life science societies. ASM membership is open to all and is offered at a discounted rate to students, postdoctoral fellows and emeritus faculty. Members pay annual dues to support the activities of ASM. ASM's newest Clinical Lab Scientist membership category was established in 2019.
ASM provides professional development opportunities and content to members to help them improve their skills, enhance their job performance and advance in their profession. ASM supports microbiology professionals through 60 fellowships and 300 travel awards, webinars, conferences, workshops, networking opportunities, continuing education and honorific awards.
The ASM Board of Directors provides strategic direction to the society. It brings ASM’s mission to life and handles all legal, financial and governance matters.
ASM’s Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) is a new, dynamic governance structure representing the entire Society as we promote and advance the microbial sciences. COMS is the key connection between ASM’s members and ASM’s leaders—and the place where members can get involved with their society.
Working in partnership with the Board of Directors, the CEO and staff, COMS keeps a pulse on new developments in microbial sciences and helps develop innovative ways to move the field and ASM forward. COMS supports ASM by:
- Setting priorities for the Society.
- Identifying upcoming opportunities in the microbial sciences.
- Identifying scientific trends to ensure effective programs and activities.
ASM hosts meetings and conferences that provide unique forums to explore the complete spectrum of microbiology, including the flagship annual meeting ASM Microbe.
ASM Microbe, a combination of what was formerly the ASM General Meeting and the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, lets attendees delve into their scientific interests and specialties with sessions in eight specialty tracks:
- Antimicrobial Agents and Resistance
- Applied and Environmental Science
- Clinical Infections and Vaccines
- Clinical and Public Health Microbiology
- Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity
- Host-Microbe Biology
- Molecular Biology and Physiology
- Profession of Microbiology
Other ASM meetings and conferences cater to narrower audiences, including: ASM Biothreats (formerly ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research) which focuses on biodefense and emerging diseases, the Clinical Virology Symposium which focuses on viral infections, the Conference for Undergraduate Educators which focuses on biology education at the undergraduate level and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students which highlights microbiology research from underrepresented populations.
ASM publishes 18 journals that provide current, influential coverage of basic, applied and clinical microbial research. ASM journals comprised 44% of all microbiology citations and 17% of all microbiology articles in 2017. ASM accepts format-neutral submissions for all primary research journals since 2018. ASM's open-access journals are:
Other ASM journals include:
- Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
- Applied and Environmental Microbiology
- Clinical and Vaccine Immunology
- Clinical Microbiology Reviews
- EcoSal Plus
- Eukaryotic Cell
- Microbiology Resource Announcements
- Infection and Immunity
- Journal of Bacteriology
- Journal of Clinical Microbiology
- Journal of Virology
- Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews
- Microbiology Spectrum
- Molecular and Cellular Biology
The society also publishes Microcosm, a quarterly news magazine for members.
Additionally, through its publishing arm, ASM Press, the society publishes hundreds of books, authored by internationally renowned experts, covering diverse topics, from clinical microbiology and antimicrobial resistance, to inspiring stories of pioneering women in the field. ASM Press has recently begun an exciting, new partnership with commercial publisher Wiley, a global leader in research and education. The partnership aims to increase the impact and relevance of ASM’s non-journals content. Wiley is now the official copublisher and distributor of the ASM Press titles and is now selling and distributing 70 of ASM Press’s best-selling and recent books in print and as ebooks.
American Academy of Microbiology
The American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) is the honorific leadership group within the ASM. Members of the AAM, are elected through an annual peer-reviewed process based on their records of scientific achievements that have advanced microbiology. The academy administers ASM scientific achievement awards that honor important contributions to basic and applied research, microbiology education, and scientific and professional leadership.
Global Public Health Programs
ASM’s Global Public Health programs focus on strengthening laboratories in resource-limited settings in order to establish sustainable quality-assured diagnostic capacity, as well as improving quality management systems, biosafety and biosecurity (including biological waste management and disposal), strategic planning, outbreak detection and response, and workforce development. ASM’s International team implements these efforts through a combination of technical assistance, training and mentoring approaches, and leverage our cadre of over 500 subject matter experts (SMEs) and extensive locally-based ASM members.
ASM promotes a public understanding of microbiology through science festivals, public outreach campaigns and museum exhibits.
ASM engages the science-interested public and microbiologists through articles reaching nearly 25,000 readers per month, 9 podcasts with 1.5 million downloads and close to half a million social media followers.
ASM produces eight podcasts, including This Week in Microbiology, This Week in Virology, and This Week in Parasitism, hosted by Vincent Racaniello. Mundo de los Microbios hosted by Gary Toranzos, is ASM's weekly Spanish-language podcast. Meet the Microbiologist is a podcast hosted by Julie Wolf, Ph.D., that showcases the people behind the scientific discoveries in various cutting-edge areas of the microbial sciences.
In 2015, ASM launched the ASM Agar Art Contest to share the beautiful and diverse world of microbes with the public. Our participants have shown us time and again that you don't need to be an expert microbiologist to make beautiful agar art - it's something anyone can create with access to a basic laboratory.
ASM empowers members to advocate for the highest standards in scientific practice and provides members opportunities to advocate for evidence-based scientific policy.
- "Timeline of the Society. Reference Documents". Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
- "Who We Are". American Society for Microbiology. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
- "Membership". American Society for Microbiology.
- "American Academy of Microbiology". American Society for Microbiology. Retrieved 2 October 2016.