top of page

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

Thompson Picture copy.jpg

Karl Thompson

Associate Professor

Department of Microbiology

College of Medicine

Howard University

2400 Sixth Street NW,
Washington, D.C. 20059


Abigail Cunanan


Infection Preventionist

Inova Fairfax Medical Campus

3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church, VA 22042


Dr. Karen Bushaw-Newton
Secretary (2021-2023)


Department of Biology

Northern Virginia Community College

Ben Liu.jpg

Dr. Ben Liu
Councilor (2022-2023)

Assistant Director

Microbiology Laboratory

Children's National Hospital

Washington, District of Columbia 20010


Zachory Park
ASM Young Ambassador

Graduate Student

Georgetown University

Washington, D.C. 20057

Student Chapters

Uniformed Services University


Dr. George Liechti
Faculty Advisor


Dr. Karl Thompson
Faculty Advisor




Dr. Vincent T. Lee
Faculty Advisor




Dr. Deborah Polayes
Faculty Advisor

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

bottom of page