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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Designated “Milestones in Microbiology” Site

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., has been named a Milestones in Microbiology site by ASM.

This ASM program recognizes institutions and the scientists who worked there that have made signifıcant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology. A ceremony unveiling the plaque that will mark the site was held August during the CSHLmeeting on Bacteria, Archaea, and Phages.

Anne Dempsey, ASM Membership Department; Doug Eveleigh, ASM Archives Committee; and Jim Poupard, Chair of the ASM Archives Committee at the unveiling of the Milestones plaque at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.Since its opening in 1890, the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has signifıcantly advanced the science of microbiology through its research and education programs. “An intensive summer course on bacterial viruses (or phage) begun at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1945 resulted in advances in bacterial and phage research that led to our understanding of what genes are and how they are expressed, and ultimately germinated the fıeld of molecular biology,” says Stanley Maloy, a Past President of ASM who made the presentation of a commemorative plaque.

“In addition, each summer Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory held meetings that facilitated the enthusiastic exchange of new discoveries and ideas in the rapidly growing fıeld of molecular biology, stimulated largely by microbial geneticists. These discoveries have influenced every aspect of microbiology,” Maloy adds.

The phage course continued for many years and by the mid-1970s had evolved into a course on Advanced Bacterial Genetics that taught new generations of scientists how to use new genetic tools that fertilized the biotechnology industry. Research at the Laboratory has always been associated with major trends in biology: Darwinian evolution, classical genetics, penicillin production, the use of microbes as model organisms to explore fundamental life processes, and the development of molecular biology techniques. The advanced courses and meetings that are still held here make the Laboratory amecca for microbiologists.

By placing explanatory plaques at Milestone sites, ASM hopes to increase professional and public recognition of the signifıcance of the science of microbiology. Previously designated Milestones in Microbiology are 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; and the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

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