ETSU hosts American Society for Microbiology regional conference

East Tennessee State University hosted the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Fall Regional In-Person Conference on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22.

The conference was hosted by the university’s ASM student chapter and the Department of Health Sciences in the College of Public Health. Funding was provided by the national and Kentucky/Tennessee regional ASM organizations, as well as a grant from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). Additional sponsorship was provided by the College of Public Health and its Department of Environmental Health, the Department of Biomedical Sciences in Quillen College of Medicine, the Department of Biological Sciences, and the ETSU Center for Inflammation, Infectious Disease and Immunity.

“The conference had 153 attendees from 21 universities, more than 60 posters and presentations in addition to two very impressive invited guest speakers,” stated Dr. Ranjan Chakraborty, Chair of the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health’s Department of Health Sciences. “Most importantly, it was a great experience and exposure for our undergraduate and graduate students to cutting edge scientific research.”

The ETSU Department of Health Sciences, which sponsors the university’s ASM student chapter, has high rates of student placement into a variety of professional and graduate schools. According to Dr. Sean Fox, ASM faculty co-advisor, 68% of the department’s graduates go to graduate or professional school, including medical, physician assistant and pharmacy school, while others go directly into the workforce.  

“Our ETSU chapter of ASM helped plan, coordinate, and staff the entire conference,” said ASM faculty co-advisor Dara Young.  “At the time of planning, we had around 40 members.  This small number of students not only helped host a regional conference, they grew the chapter to over 100 members this semester.  We are very proud of them and very appreciative of everyone who assisted with the conference.”