UW–Madison, Department of Bacteriology designated as a “Milestones in Microbiology” site

MADISON, WI – August 28, 2014 – The Department of Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been named a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). A dedication ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 12:00 Noon in the Ebling Symposium Center in the UW-Madison Microbial Sciences Building.  The ASM Milestones in Microbiology program recognizes institutions and scientists that have made significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology.

Even before officially founding a Bacteriology program in 1914, the University of Wisconsin-Madison had been a leader in microbiology education. The topic was introduced as early as 1877, and in 1881, a Bacteriology course included in the Botany program became what is believed to be the first Bacteriology course taught at any American university. Over the years the course offerings expanded and eventually formed the basis for the Department of Bacteriology. Through its 100-year history, the UW Department of Bacteriology has trained over 100,000 undergraduate and graduate students to be scientific leaders in the field. The Department is most notable for its research in Agricultural and Dairy Microbiology, Soil Biology, Antibiotics, Molecular Biology, Toxins and Biofuels. 

[The UW Microbiology Department has] a long history of pioneering work from the faculty, staff and students as well as excellence in education and training of future scientists.

Tim Donohue

The UW Bacteriology program has also enjoyed a close relationship with the American Society for Microbiology. Nine scientists from UW have served as ASM presidents to date. The plaque that commemorates the Milestones in Microbiology designation will be presented by Dr. Tim Donohue, the current President of the Society and also a UW-Madison faculty member.

"I'm honored to designate the University of Wisconsin Department of Bacteriology as a Milestones in Microbiology site," said Donohue. "There is a long history of pioneering work from the faculty, staff and students as well as excellence in education and training of future scientists.  I am delighted that this plaque will serve as a permanent tribute to those who have come before us and as an inspiration to future students, staff and faculty." 

Previously designated Milestones in Microbiology sites include the Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Connecticut; the Waksman Laboratory at Rutgers University; Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, California; the site of the University of Pennsylvania Laboratory of Hygiene; Scripps Institution of Oceanography; the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; and the Microbial Diversity Course at Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole. For more information on these sites, visit:  www.asm.org/milestones-in-microbiology.  


 The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals.  ASM’s 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.  More information is available at www.asm.org.