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Published: 13 March 2019

Vertical Transmission

Dena Lyras

President of ASM

Since this is my first communication with you this year I will start by wishing you all a happy new year and extend my best wishes to all of you for 2019.

The ASM Council and Executive Committee had a very productive meeting in February to review our activities and to plan ahead for the coming year, and I would like to bring to your attention several new and ongoing initiatives that give our members maximum value for their membership.

I am excited to announce the new ASM standing committee for Professional Development that will be chaired by A/Prof Priscilla Johanesen, the current student and early career microbiologist engagement co-ordinator. The Standing Committee is currently being formed and will consist of eight additional members including the Chair of the Workforce Standing Committee, the Chair of the Standing Committee on Clinical Microbiology, and the Convenor of the Education SIG. The role of the committee is to foster the development of student and early career microbiologists of the Society, including researchers and working microbiologists. This initiative will involve engaging students and early career microbiologists in a way that improves their careers by providing resources, activities and opportunities that will bring these members together and help to foster their professional growth and development. In this way we hope to support these members and enhance their overall experience of ASM.

Note also that a new initiative for 2019 includes an annual teacher’s travel award, valued at $4000, to attend the American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE), which is the world’s premier microbiology teachers’ conference. As we did for the first time in 2018, we are also providing 100 travel awards, each valued at $200, to make it easier for members within 10 years of attaining their highest qualification to attend our Annual Scientific Meeting. Our other awards are also on offer and have a closing date of 31 March, so do take the opportunity to apply or to encourage those around you to apply, or nominate others.

As we begin to approach the middle of the year, I am very much looking forward to seeing all of you at our national meeting in Adelaide (http://asmmeeting.theasm.org.au/), which will be held from 30 June to 3 July. We are in the final planning stages for the scientific and social program and the local organising committee and ASM executive committee are working hard to bring you an excellent meeting in every aspect. I can also announce that our next national meeting will be held in Melbourne and that planning is already well underway for 2020.

I would also like to congratulate and thank Dr Deirdre Gleeson and her committee for organising a very successful AusMe (Australian Microbial Ecology) conference, which was held over 11–13 February in 2019 in Western Australia. AusMe is an ASM initiative and the first meeting in 2017 was a wonderful success, with about 100 attendees. The meeting this year drew over 140 attendees and was very well received by all. The next AusMe will be held in 2021 with details to come; it is the perfect meeting to attend if you have an interest in any aspect of microbial ecology. Note also that one of our partner meetings, BacPath, is also being held this year from 30 September to 3 October in Western Australia. BacPath is a wonderful meeting for those interested in bacterial pathogenesis and molecular bacteriology, I encourage you to visit their website for more details (http://www.bacpath.org/).

Finally, I would personally like to thank members of ASM Council, the Executive Committee and state branch committees for the significant time and effort they invest in organising all of the activities described above. All of these people give their personal time to these activities and I would like to recognise them for making the Society the success that it is. Thank you.

As always, please visit our website www.theasm.org.au to access information regarding upcoming meetings and awards. 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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