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American Society for Microbiology honors Marvin Whiteley

Washington, DCMay 28, 2008A 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award is being presented to Marvin Whiteley, Assistant Professor, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Texas at Austin. Sponsored by Merck Research Laboratories, the Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award is presented in memory of Irving S. Sigal, who was instrumental in the early discovery of therapies to treat HIV/AIDS, to recognize excellence in basic research in medical microbiology and infectious diseases.

Dr. Whiteley, who earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Iowa and completed his postdoctoral work at Stanford University, is a leader in the field of bacterial cell-cell communication. His accomplishments include several discoveries that have impacted the understanding of chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. As a graduate student, Dr. Whiteley provided the first experimental evidence that quorum sensing is a global regulatory system in P. aeruginosa infection, responsible for modulating numerous processes aside from virulence. He went on to show how quorum sensing-controlled genes are controlled temporally work that provided the basis for understanding density-dependent gene expression in many other bacterial species. Dr. Whiteley also was the first to examine gene expression in biofilm-growing bacteria, providing the novel hypothesis that biofilm bacteria possess limited critical changes in gene expression.

The Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award will be presented during the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), June 1 June 5, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.


Contact: Garth Hogan
American Society for Microbiology

Page: 1

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