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Published: 3 September 2018

Vertical Transmission

Dena Lyras

President of ASM

This is my first Vertical Transmission posting as the new President of our Society, after having served as the Vice-President Scientific Affairs since 2014. I would like to thank the Executive Committee and the ASM Council for being confident in my abilities to serve in this important role. I thank Roy Robins-Browne for the wonderful leadership he provided over the last two years, and I am grateful that he will continue to support and guide me and the ASM over the coming year.

Several changes in people holding key ASM roles have recently occurred. Jonathan Iredell has stepped away from the Executive Committee. Kate Seib has replaced me as Vice-President Scientific Affairs and Rebecca LeBard has taken over from Jack Wang as Vice-President Communications. Anthony Baker is serving as Vice-President Elect Corporate Affairs. I would like to say a very big thank you to Jonathan Iredell and Jack Wang, and acknowledge the impact of their involvement in ASM – both helped to move the Society forward successfully during a time of difficult change.

I also want to acknowledge and thank Stephen Graves for his major contribution to ASM and Council. Stephen is stepping down from his role as Chair of the Clinical Microbiology Standing Committee, a position he has held for many years. He will be succeeded by Jonathan Iredell who, as a former President of the Society and clinician, will ensure that Clinical Microbiology is well looked after.

Our recent Annual Scientific Meeting in Brisbane was a great success. We have changed the style and format of our annual meetings to increase speaking opportunities, particularly for our early and mid-career members, and time for networking. We invited 72 national speakers for symposia at this meeting, and provided 72 speaking opportunities for those who submitted abstracts. The invited plenary speakers were excellent and inspirational. The various specialised workshops that were scheduled throughout the meeting were diverse and well attended. In particular, our student and early career day was a tremendous success and showcased our Nancy Millis Student Award speakers, and our poster sessions were a social and scientific success.

The Local Organising and Scientific Program Committees, chaired by Kate Seib and Nick West, respectively, deserve our grateful thanks and warm congratulations on a valuable, enjoyable and stimulating conference that showcased the wonderful world of Australian microbiology. Another excellent Annual Scientific Meeting is planned for Adelaide next year from 30 June to 3 July 2019 – please add the dates to your diary.

The focus and activities of the ASM have changed in recent years, in parallel with the rapid changes in science and microbiology that have occurred – we have embraced these changing times. We have set up or aligned ourselves with several specialist meetings, have provided more financial support for our members to attend our annual meeting, and have increased the number and range of our awards. We are committed to inclusion and promoting diversity, and our 2018 meeting embraced these ideals. I will keep you updated on the positive changes we are making, and welcome your input and ideas on how we can provide what our members need from the Society.

Finally, please visit our website: www.theasm.org.au to see a list and photos of our award winners for 2018, as well as information regarding upcoming meetings, awards, and, for those who may be interested, our financial statements and minutes of recent meetings. You may also like to follow, and contribute to ASM on Twitter, @AUSSOCMIC, or on Facebook to make sure you keep up with the latest news, trends and developments in microbiology in Australia and around the world.

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