Wadsworth Center and Albany Medical College members of the ASM Postdoctoral Chapter (l-r) Kris Spaeth, Gwendowlyn S. Knapp, Magdia Jesus, Timothy J. Sellati (Faculty Advisor), Jennifer Wilson-Weider, and Sarah N. Buss
On 26 May 2010, the first American Society for Microbiology postdoctoral chapter was approved at the ASM council meeting. The chapter was proposed by postdoctoral scientists at the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health and Albany Medical College with the support of the ASM Eastern New York Branch.
The need to create a postdoctoral chapter came from the fact that many postdoctoral scientists took advantage of all of the opportunities offered by ASM at the student level including the establishment of chapters. Unfortunately, upon transitioning to the postdoctoral level, individuals were no longer eligible for full membership in student chapters. Additionally, postdoctoral members are too junior to enjoy all of the benefits available for more senior microbiologists at the faculty level. Postdoctoral scientists, unlike students and faculty members, are in a period of transition in their careers and thus there is an important need for a common place for resources such as networking, travel awards, fellowships, and professional development opportunities.
ASM offers all of these great resources for postdoctoral scientists, but this information can be further communicated through the implementation of ASM postdoctoral chapters at the grass-roots level. Having ASM postdoctoral chapters is incredibly powerful since it provides a central source of information for members and it also provides the Society with a group of talented young scientists that are about to make the transition to independence and even fuller participation in the national ASM.
At the Wadsworth Center and Albany Medical College we strongly and enthusiastically agree that the purpose of the ASM postdoctoral chapters is (i) To promote communication amongst postdoctoral members interested in microbiology; (ii) to provide scientific and career guidance for new postdoctoral members interested in microbiology; (iii) to facilitate intellectual exchange between members and promote faculty/ postdoctoral member interactions; (iv) to promote awareness of career and networking opportunities available in the field of microbiology; (v) to sponsor meetings where outside speakers will be invited; and (vi) to encourage activities between the local postdoctoral chapters and the national Society.
We invite other postdoctoral members to establish their own postdoctoral chapters and continue to use the American Society for Microbiology as a valuable career tool.