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State of the Society Address

ASM President Timothy J. Donohue will open with the State of the Society Address. Dr. Donohue’s update will cover the ASM Futures Project, ASM Microbe 2016, and the search for ASM’s next CEO.
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Shifting Paradigms: Diversity in Chemotaxis Signling Systems

Chemotaxis signal transduction system composition shows intriguing and dramatic differences between different Bacterial and Archaeal species. The E. coli-centric worldview has allowed the uncovering of fundamental signaling principles, but you’ll be amazed at the smorgasbord of variety in signaling systems of different microbes. Careful dissection of systems in atypical microbes is now allowing us to understand the function of some of the diverse proteins, what benefit the differences confer, and how the different proteins affect chemotaxis.

Context Is Everything

Context determines what we understand of how microbes interact with their environment. We think of some microbes as frank pathogens, but then not everyone who becomes infected becomes ill. This may be accounted for by interactions with other microbes, or by the genetic predisposition of the host. Further, microbes may behave completely different when present in complex communities than they do as individuals, and certainly what we observe about their biological behavior can differ significantly if they are studied in the laboratory as opposed to in their natural environments. This session will present recent exciting work demonstrating expanded understanding of microbes developed from studies in highly relevant contexts.

Next Generation Microbiology Education: Tried and True Evidence-Based Learning Strategies and Outcomes

It has been pointed that we do not carry out laboratory research as we did a century ago; why would our teaching skills be different? Innovations in teaching strategies have come a long way to engage a diverse and changing population of students more actively in classroom and laboratory situations. A variety of new methods and technology have been used in recent years and data convincingly show that such strategies are more inclusive and lead to higher rates of student retention and improvement in student learning. While many methods were initially developed at teaching-intensive institutions, these proven strategies have been successfully applied to larger university settings and have influenced how university graduate teaching assistants are being trained, improving student outcomes and teaching effectiveness.