Lycoming College Department of Biology hosts American Society for Microbiology (ASM) meeting

Lycoming College Department of Biology hosts American Society for Microbiology (ASM) meeting

Dr. John F. Stolz, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University, speaks to the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology at Lycoming College.

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The Lycoming College Department of Biology hosted the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology Nov. 7-8 on the campus in Williamsport, Pa. This annual meeting featured Dr. John F. Stolz, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University as the keynote speaker. It also included hands-on workshops led by Dr. Jeffrey Newman, president of the Allegheny Branch and associate professor and chair of biology, and his students, in addition to a variety of student presentations.

“We welcome the opportunity to host fellow microbiologists at Lycoming,” said Dr. Newman. “We are eager to share our cutting-edge technology that has been made possible by two National Science Foundation grants in the past five years.”

Lycoming students gave six presentations at the meeting, four of which won awards.

  • Andrew Gale '15 won first place in the Medical & Molecular–Oral Presentation category for “A New Genomic Similarity Metric, the Reciprocal Orthology Score Average (ROSA).”
  • Samantha Stropko '15 won second place in the Medical & Molecular–Oral Presentation category for “Genome-based Reclassification of Bacillus cibi is a Latter Heterotypic Synonym of Bacillus indicus.”
  • Shannon Pipes '15 won second place in the Environmental–Oral Presentation category for “Genomic Analysis of Largemouth Bass Virus Isolates from Smallmouth Bass.”
  • Bayly Anderson '15 and Victoria Keyser '15, won second place in the Environmental–Poster Presentation category for “Genomic and Phenotypic Characterization of Two novel Pedobacter species.”

Other Lycoming presentations included “Genomic and Phenotypic Characterization of Two Freshwater Isolates of a Novel Flavobacterium,” by Jacob R. Miller '17, and Abigail Smith '15, and “Identification of Bacteria Cultured from Lesions on Smallmouth Bass,” by Miranda Giraldo '15 and Hannah Morrissette '15.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Stolz, has been a faculty member at Duquesne University for 24 years. He is the recipient of over 30 grants from several organizations, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Over 70 of his articles have been published in various publications. In addition, he has authored two books of his own and over 30 chapters in several other books. He received his doctorate from Boston University and his bachelor’s degree at Fordham University.

The workshops, led by Dr. Newman and his students, covered everything from genome assembly and annotation to analyzing organisms. Participants were encouraged to bring a few petri dishes with growing organisms to analyze in a few of the sessions.

Dr. Newman, associate professor and chair of biology, currently serves as the president of the Allegheny Branch. Dr. Newman and his students have been recognized for discovering a new species of bacteria in the Loyalsock Creek, a major branch of the Susquehanna River. He received his doctorate in molecular biology at Marquette University and his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of South Carolina.

The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. Its mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide. The Allegheny Branch includes Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia and 23 colleges and universities. For more information, visit the American Society for Microbiology website.

  • Dr. John F. Stolz, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University, speaks to the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology at Lycoming College.

    Dr. John F. Stolz, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University, speaks to the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology at Lycoming College.

  • Andrew Gale ‘15 and Samantha Stropko ‘15 working with some of the cutting-edge technology in the biology department at Lycoming College.

    Andrew Gale ‘15 and Samantha Stropko ‘15 working with some of the cutting-edge technology in the biology department at Lycoming College.

  • Andrew Gale ‘15 and Kirsten Fischer ‘16 working with some of the cutting-edge technology in the biology department at Lycoming College.

    Andrew Gale ‘15 and Kirsten Fischer ‘16 working with some of the cutting-edge technology in the biology department at Lycoming College.

  • Dr. Jeffrey Newman, president of the Allegheny Branch and associate professor of biology, presents to the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology at Lycoming College.

    Dr. Jeffrey Newman, president of the Allegheny Branch and associate professor of biology, presents to the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology at Lycoming College.

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