Branch History

The Washington, D.C. Branch of the ASM was formed by a group of bacteriologists, mostly governmental, on 17 January 1917. It shares with the Connecticut Valley Branch the honor or being the oldest among local Branches of the Society. J.J. Kinyoun was the first elected president. Nine members of this Branch have been elected national presidents. They are: Erwin F. Smith (1906), J. J. Kinyoun (1909), Lore A. Rogers (1922), A. Parker Hitchers (1924), Alice C. Evans (1928), James M. Sherman (1937), Charles C. Them (1940), R.D. Housewright (1966), and Rita R. Colwell (1984). 


The first scientific paper presented before the Branch was given at its second meeting (15 March 1917) by Erwin F. Smith entitled "Newer Studies on Crown Gall Bacteria with Special Reference to Tumor Formation". A plan was begun whereby members of a given institution or bureau would be responsible for the scientific program at a given meeting. Thus, the fourth meeting (14 December 1917) was the responsibility of the Microbiology Laboratory of the Bureau of Chemistry, the fifth (15 February 1918) the Hygienic Laboratory, and the sixth (5 April 1918) the Dairy Division, Bureau or Animal Industry. 


Currently, the Washington, D. C. Branch meets four times a year. The concentration of government laboratories, universities, industry, and private institutes has resulted in the creation of various consortia and fostered the development of current Microbiological themes such as Biotechnology, Microbial Pathogenesis, Immunology, Vaccine Development, Environmental Policy implementation in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. 


Prepared by Robert L. Gherna for the 1986 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C. 

Current Branch Officers

Dr. Kileen Shier


Science Director
​Microbiology & Donor Testing
Quest Diagnostics
Chantilly, VA 20151


Christina Ferreira


U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)
College Park, MD  20740

Dr. Kathleen Cusick


Assistant Professor

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Dept of Biological Sciences

1000 Hilltop Circle

Baltimore, MD 21225


Dr. Karen Bushaw-Newton

Secretary (2021-2023)


Department of Biology

Northern Virginia Community College


Dr. Britney Hardy

ASM Young Ambassador

Postdoctoral Fellow

Center for Cancer Research

National Cancer Institute

Bethesda, MD 20892

Yaprak Ozakman

ASM Young Ambassador

PhD Candidate

Department of Biological Sciences

The George Washington University
Washington, D.C., 20052


Dr. Denise M. Akob

Councilor (2020-2023)

Twitter: @DeniseAkob

Student Chapter Officers

Uniformed Services University
ASM Student Chapter

Mary Brockett


PhD Candidate

Dr. George Liechti's Lab

Christopher Healy

Vice President

PhD Candidate

Dr. Kristi Frank's Lab

Rama Atitkar


PhD Candidate

Dr. Angela Melton-Celsa's Lab

Dr. D. Scott Merrell

Faculty Advisor

George Mason University
ASM Student Chapter

Dr. Deborah Polayes

Faculty Advisor

George Mason University
Department of Biology
Fairfax, VA 22030

University of Maryland
ASM Student Chapter

Dr. Vincent T. Lee

Faculty Advisor

Associate Professor
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics
University of Maryland at College Park
College Park, MD 20742

Past Presidents

J. J. Kinyoun, 1917

Charles Them, 1918

George W. McCoy, 1919

Lore A. Rogers, 1920

L. V. Dieter, 1921

H. H. Nichols, 1922

C. S. Butler, 1923

A. Parker Hitchers,1924

Frank W. Tilley, 1925

W. D. Bigelow, 1926

Charles F. Craig, 1927

Alice C. Evans, 1928

Albert C. Hunter, 1929

Edwin J. Cameron, 1930

W. C. Frazier, 1931

J. S. Simmons, 1932

Harry W. Schoening,1933 

Roscoe R. Spencer, 1934

L. H. James, 1935

A. P. Hitchers, 1936

Sara E. Branham, 1937

Luther A. Black, 1938

Leland W. Parr, 1939

Mario Mollari, 1940

Nathan R. Smith, 1941

Arthur B. Crawford, 1942

Ida A. Bengston, 1943

Harold R. Curran, 1944

Chester W. Emmons, 1945

William A. Randall, 1946

John E. Faber, 1947

L. A. Burkey, 1948

Margaret Pittman, 1949

Angus M. Griffin, 1951

Ralph P. Tittsler, 1952

Glenn G. Slocum, 1953

Margaret Goldsmith, 1954

Wallace Bohrer, 1955

Michael J. Pelczar, 1956

Robert B. Lindberg, 1957

Bernice E. Eddy, 1958

Roy C. Dawson, 1959

Mary Louise Robbins, 1960

Howard Reynolds, 1961

R. N. Doetsch, 1962

Howard E. Noyes, 1963

Francis B. Gordon, 1964

Rudolph Hugh, 1965 

W. L. Sulzbacher, 1966

Lloyd G. Herman, 1967

Ruth Wittler, 1968

William A. Clark, 1969

P. Arne Hansen, 1970

Sotiros Chaparas, 1971

Carl Lamanna, 1972

Rita R. Colwell, 1973

Lewis F. Affronti, 1974

Joseph C. Olson, Jr., 1975

Charles H. Zierdt, 1976

June A. Bradlaw, 1977

Irvin C. Mohler, 1978

Frank Hetrick, 1979

George C. Royal, Jr., 1980

Thomas B. Elliott, 1981

Grace Lee Piccolo, 1982

Benedict T. DeCicco, 1983

Robert G. Coon, 1984

Edward H. Stephenson, 1985

Paulette H. Royt, 1986

Gerald V. Stokes, 1987

Virginia Scott, 1988

James R. King, 1989

Carolee Wende, 1990

Herman Schneider, 1991

DeLois M. Powell, 1992,

Ben D. Tall, 1983

David M. Rollins, 1994

LeeAnne Jackson, 1995

Ted Schutzbank, 1996

Robert H. Hall, 1997

Albert T. Sheldon, 1998

Malabi Venkatesan, 1999

Joel Unowsky, 2000

Keith Lampel, 2001

Sausan Altaie, 2002

Robert Jonas, 2003

Kay Briggs, 2004

Sufian Alkhaldi, 2005-2006

Terry Creque, 2007-2008

Christine Keys, 2009-2010

Eric Brown, 2011-2012

Rebecca Bell, 2013-2014

Chris Elkins, 2015-2016

Amit Mukherjee, 2017-2018

Denise M. Akob, 2018-2020