Application Process and Selection Criteria for the Annual Peggy Award Travel Award

Description: Each year, National ASM awards three travel awards for early career branch members to attend ASM Microbe to the Branch for early career ASM National (contributing or premium) and branch members. Selected recipients will represent EPA-ASM at the microbe meeting. Microbe 2023 will be held Jun 15 – 19, 2023 in Houston, Texas, USA.

Use of Awards: Awardees must use the travel award funding towards costs associated with registration, accommodation, and travel to ASM Microbe.

Definition of Early Career: Nominations must fall into the one of the following Early Career categories for consideration AND be members of the EPA-ASM branch:

· Postdoctoral fellows (up to 12-years beyond terminal degree).

· Clinical Laboratory Scientist -MLT-MLS Bench Techs (up to 12-years beyond terminal degree).

· Early Career Faculty (either tenure track or non-tenure track, e.g., Assistant Professors, Research Assistant Professors, Visiting Assistant Professors, etc.) (up to 12-years beyond terminal degree).

· Early-Stage Investigators (ESI’s) (up to 12-years beyond terminal degree).

· Other – as determined by Branch, but only individuals who are up to 12-years beyond terminal degree.

· NOTE – Students are NOT eligible for this award. Past recipients of this travel award are NOT eligible to receive the award again.

· EXCEPTIONS – Exceptions to the 12-year time limit may be made in special circumstances (career delays, parental leave)

Application Process: EPA ASM Application Form can be completed online at the following link:

The following information will be required to complete the online application:

· Nominator name (principal investigator or supervisor) for postdocs or Clinical laboratory scientists

· Early Career Faculty name (self-nomination)

· Name of Postdoc or Clinical laboratory scientist

· Credentials/terminal degree

· Year of matriculation of terminal degree

· A link to upload the abstract that was submitted to ASM Microbe Conference

· A short statement (250 words) explaining why the candidate should receive the travel award to attend Microbe and nominee’s contributions to the branch. How will attending the meeting help advance their science and career? This can be written by the nominator/supervisor or by the early career faculty who self-nominated.

· Gender and race/ethnicity of the nominee (with option to not disclose). ASM requests demographic information of awardees.

Selection Process: The EPA-ASM selection committee will be made up of 3 members of the branch executive committee including the (1) President or the President-elect, (2) Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) member, and a (3) Clinical Microbiology faculty representative. In addition, the selection committee will include 2 officers from the student chapter (unless conflict; for example, the nominated

faculty or postdoc is part of their thesis advisory committee or thesis research mentor). A quorum is required for voting which equals at least 2 faculty members and 1 student member.

Selection Criteria:

· Nominee must be member of ASM National (contributing or premium) and EPAASM members.

· Preference will be given to applicants who are active in the branch (for example: participate in monthly meetings, clinical symposium, Philadelphia Infection, and Immunity Forum (PIIF), or other branch committee work). Preference may be given to faculty members who have given a lecture at the Monthly Meeting Program, postdoctoral fellows who have given an oral presentation at the annual PIIF.

· Considerations may be given to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.

· While Peggy Cotter Award recipients are not guaranteed poster or oral presentations at ASM Microbe, exceptional abstracts may be given priority.

· Nominees have evidence as a “multiplier/influencer” or display exceptional mentorship.

· While not restricted based on training, to increase the diversity of interests/experience/expertise, EPA-ASM branch aims to award one early career (up to 12-years beyond terminal degree) basic research faculty/clinical microbiologist faculty member, one postdoctoral fellow, and one Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS)/Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS)/Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT).

· Previous Peggy Cotter awardees are not eligible. If you receive another travel award from ASM/Microbe, you would not be eligible to receive the Cotter award.

Application and Selection Timeline:

1. Nominations/Applications accepted: 1/30/23 to 2/20/23 (midnight)

2. Selection Committee reviews applications and meets to select awardees: 2/21/23 through 2/24/23

3. Announcement of Awards: 2/24/23 emails to recipients; awardees must accept award by 2/27/23

4. EPA-ASM awardees are communicated to ASM National by March 1, 2023

Expectation of selected awardees: Awardees are expected to complete a short online survey evaluation of their experience at Microbe after the conference in June, and to give a 5-to-10-minute summary of their science and ASM experience at a future monthly branch meeting. Awardees should acknowledge the EPA-ASM branch on their Microbe poster or oral presentation and consider sharing photos from Microbe and lessons learned through social media (tagging EPA-ASM branch). Awardees ultimately serve as an ambassador of our branch and should be willing to share experiences and lessons learned back to their institution and our branch.

Jason Carlyon, Ph.D.
Microbiology and Immunology
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, Virginia

“Pathogen as Cell Biologist: Infection Strategies of Tick-Transmitted Bacterium, Anaplasma phagocytophilum”

Evolution at the host-microbe interface has selected for obligate intracellular bacteria to act as
“master cell biologists” that co-opt/modulate eukaryotic cellular processes to their advantage.
Understanding the mechanisms by which these pathogens invade, propagate within, and
disseminate from host cells could yield new targets for preventing or treating infectious disease. Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a tick-transmitted obligate intracellular bacterium that causes granulocytic anaplasmosis, a potentially severe infection of humans and some domestic animals. Treatment options for this globally emerging health threat are limited, and no vaccine exists. Its lifestyle as an obligate endosymbiont that infects neutrophils to complete its enzootic cycle engenders A. phagocytophilum success as a pathogen when vectored to accidental human and other non-reservoir hosts. This lecture will describe how A. phagocytophilum uses multiple adhesins to facilitate entry and how interfering with one or more of these interactions impairs infection. The A. phagocytophilum vacuole (ApV) is a hub that acquires vesicular traffic from numerous organelle sources to drive its intracellular parasitism and infectious progeny production. The lecture will also mechanistically explain how the ApV promiscuously interacts with multiple membrane trafficking pathways as well as how this strategy can be targeted to impede different infection cycle stages. Overall, this talk will review insights into A. phagocytophilum molecular pathogenesis and potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

NEW LOCATION: Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), Drexel University Campus in University City, 3245 Chestnut Street (33rd and Chestnut), Philadelphia 19104

Reception (free): 5pm

Lecture: 6 – 7pm

Parking: Drexel University Parking Garage, 34th Street between Chestnut and Market Streets, entrance is on 34th and Ludlow), Philadelphia, PA 19104. Parking validation will be provided if using this garage at a cost of $5.00.

Septa Subways and Trolleys: The Market-Frankford Line (the Blue Line) stops at 30th and 34th streets, and all trolley trains (the Green Lines) stop at 30th and 33rd streets. Directions to PISB are below. 

  • From 30th Street Station to Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB): Walk one block south to Chestnut Street. Follow Chestnut Street west, passing under a train bridge, to the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB) located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut streets.
  • From 33rd or 34th Street and Market Street to PISB: Walk one block south to Chestnut Street. Proceed east on Chestnut Street. The Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building is located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut streets. 

Meeting Recording: For those individuals who cannot make it to the meeting, we will live stream the meeting either by Zoom (see branch email) or our Branch YouTube Channel,

“What’s New in 2022: Clinical Microbiology Update”

Friday, November 11, 2022
Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Alumni Hall
1020 Locust Street
Philadelphia 19107

Register Here – Registration

Early Registration
$50 members
$75 non-members
After November 4
$75 members
$100 non-members