Meeting brings microbiologists across NC to App State

BOONE, N.C. — The North Carolina Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (NC-ASM) held its annual meeting at Appalachian State University on Saturday, November 5, at Leon Levine Hall. The meeting was the first in-person meeting in two years. It was attended by approximately 120 students, faculty members and researchers, and academic and corporate sponsors.

The meeting brought together scientists at all levels to present and discuss research on a broad range of microbiology subdisciplines, including biomedical and environmental microbiology and both basic and applied research. The meeting provided an opportunity for students and early career researchers to share their research, discuss ideas, and meet and network with people from both academia and industry. For primary investigators, this meeting supported current collaborations and facilitated development of new collaborations and ideas.

"The positive atmosphere during this meeting after two years of online meetings was a clear reminder of how important personal connections are to sharing ideas and inspiring students," said meeting organizer Dr. Cara Fiore, assistant professor in App State's Department of Biology.

At the meeting, three invited speakers shared their work: Dr. Esther Babady from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center spoke about clinical microbiology, Dr. Blake Ushijima from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington spoke about the use of probiotics for coral disease, and a doctoral student from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Megan Damico, shared her experience with ASM advocacy. The speakers met with attendees throughout the meeting and Drs. Babady and Ushijima held two ‘meet the speaker’ opportunities that gave students and early career researchers a chance to meet with each speaker.

Fiore organized the meeting alongside Dr. Chequita Brooks, postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in the Department of Biology, with assistance from Department of Biology faculty members Drs. Maryam Ahmed, Rachel Bleich, Michael Opata, and Darren Seals and postdoctoral researcher Dr. Alicia Reigel. Support was provided by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Sarstedt, Bio-Rad, East Carolina University, BioLegend, VWR, Plasmidsaurus, and App State's College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biology, Office of Research, and Beaver College of Health Sciences.


About the Department of Biology
The Department of Biology is a community of teacher-scholars, with faculty representing the full breadth of biological specializations — from molecular genetics to landscape/ecosystem ecology. The department seeks to produce graduates with sound scientific knowledge, the skills to create new knowledge, and the excitement and appreciation of scientific discovery. Learn more at

About the Office of Research
Appalachian State University’s Office of Research provides support for the research, creative, and scholarly endeavors of Appalachian faculty, staff and students. The office consists of four units: Grants Resources and Services, Sponsored Programs, Research Design and Analysis, and Research Protections. The Office of Research also collaborates with the university’s Special Funds Accounting on the fiscal management of awarded projects. Learn more at

About the Beaver College of Health Sciences
Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS), opened in 2010, is transforming the health and quality of life for the communities it serves through interprofessional collaboration and innovation in teaching, scholarship, service and clinical outreach. BCHS offers nine undergraduate degree programs and seven graduate degree programs, which are organized into six departments: Nursing, Nutrition and Health Care Management, Public Health and Exercise Science, Recreation Management and Physical Education, Rehabilitation Sciences, and Social Work. The college’s academic programs are located in the Holmes Convocation Center on App State’s main campus and the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, a state-of-the-art, 203,000-square-foot facility that is the cornerstone of the Wellness District. In addition, the college supports the Blue Cross NC Institute for Health and Human Services and has collaborative partnerships with the Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Program, the Appalachian Regional Health System and numerous other health agencies. Learn more at

Written by Dr. Cara Fiore
Edited by Lauren Andersen

January 9, 2023

The North Carolina Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (NC-ASM) held its annual meeting at Appalachian State University on Saturday, November 5, at Leon Levine Hall.
Published: Jan 9, 2023 8:20am