American Society for Microbiology
WHO WE ARE
WHAT WE DO
The Florida Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (FLASM) is dedicated to promoting the advancement of microbiological research in the State of Florida and to communicate these findings to other researchers, students and the general public. Throughout the year, we offer our members many opportunities to keep up with the latest developments and information in the field of microbiology.
FLASM offers an Annual Symposia each year where both local and national speakers present exciting information from their fields of expertise. These annual meetings are also student-centric where we try to provide numerous opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to present their research activities and findings.
FLASM also presents a different hands-on workshop each year that are dedicated to learning new scientific tools that will promote career development. Recent topics include using various new bioinformatic analysis tools for genome analysis; building educational outreach programs; and other career enhancement workshops.
Dr. Kelly Rice
Department of Microbiology & Cell Science, University of Florida
My research program focuses on aspects of bacterial physiology and cell communication that contribute to biofilm development of pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria.
Specific research projects currently under investigation include:
1. Determining the contributions of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) to biofilm, physiology and cell-signaling in Staphylococcus aureus.
2. Characterizing the role and regulation of cell death in Streptococcus mutans biofilms.
3. Investigating microgravity effects on S. mutans physiology, gene expression, and biofilm development.
Dr. Julie Torruellas Garcia
Department of Biological Sciences, Nova Southeastern University
Dr. Torruellas Garcia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences in the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography at Nova Southeastern University.
Research in the Torruellas Garcia Lab is conducted exclusively by NSU undergraduate students and focuses on identifying bacteria from everyday items for the news, examining the efficacy of electrostatic sprayers for the delivery of disinfectants and developing techniques to detect inhibition of bacterial Type III Secretion Systems.
Dr. Shannon McQuaig-Ulrich
Department of Natural Sciences, St. Petersburg College
The Ulrich lab targets human polyomaviruses (JC virus and BK virus) to assess water quality and predict human health risks.
I am currently an Associate Professor at St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, FL. My position is primarily teaching however I have a small undergraduate research group that works on projects ranging from pigmented bacteria to water quality.
Dr. Cory Krediet
Marine Science and Biology
My research interests lie in host-microbe interactions and specifically how mutualistic or commensal microbiota influence the host’s physiologic response to various abiotic and biotic stressors.
Dr.Terri N. Ellis
of Biology University of
The Ellis lab focuses on the outer surface of pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria.
We are interested in understanding how modifications to the outer surfaces, including the outer membrane, secreted outer membrane vesicles, and capsule, all contribute to the virulence of disease causing bacteria. Our current projects focus on the nosocomial pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae. Active projects include investigating the effect of porin loss in antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria, the effect of O-antigen modification on outer membrane protein composition, and environmental signals that trigger capsule production.
Graduate Student Advisor
Nicole is a Master's student in Interdisciplinary Ecology at the UF School of Natural Resources and Environment and studies changes in a coral's microbiome during restoration processes.
His research incorporates molecular biology and bioinformatics to define the microbiome associated with citrus plants and the interactions between native bacteria and the pathogen that causes citrus greening disease. He is also looking at how the citrus microbiome is impacted by novel, target-specific antimicrobial treatments.
These types of interactions are present in a wide array of systems ranging from humans and other vertebrates, to invertebrates and to plants. Tropical corals and the sea anemone Aiptasia, form mutualistic symbioses with dinoflagellate algae (in the genus Symbiodinium) and other microbial partners (bacteria, archaea, viruses, and fungi). Our understanding of all stages of this symbiosis (onset and establishment, maintenance, and breakdown) is extremely limited, which allows us to ask many exciting and challenging questions. I joined the faculty at Eckerd College in 2016 and my research aims to better understand how associated microbiota affect the physiology of the coral holobiont and what mechanisms underpin the overall success of the symbiosis. I regularly involve undergraduate students as assistants in my research.
The Foster Lab examines the complex interactions of symbiotic microbes with their surrounding environment using molecular techniques (e.g. metagenomics and metatranscriptomics).
Dr. Kurt Schesser
Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami
The focus of the Schesser lab is to identify and characterize novel eukaryotic host factors that impact (either positively or negatively) bacterial infection.
Dr. Mya Breitbart
College of Marine Science,
University of South Florida
The Breitbart lab uses molecular techniques (such as metagenomic sequencing) to examine the diversity, distribution, and ecological roles of viruses and bacteria in a wide range of environments - including seawater, animals, plants, insects, zooplankton, coral reefs, stromatolites, and reclaimed water.