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July 5, 2006

Griffin Elected President of American Society for Microbiology

Diane E. Griffin

Diane E. Griffin, MD, PhD, the Alfred and Jill Sommer Professor and Chair of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, has been elected president of the American Society for Microbiology. Her term runs through June 30, 2007. Griffin, a renowned leader of scientific research into viral diseases, previously served as the Society’s president-elect.

The American Society for Microbiology is the oldest and largest life science organization in the world. Membership has grown from 59 scientists in 1899 to over 42,000 members today scattered throughout the world. ASM represents 25 disciplines of microbiological specialization and, in addition, has a division for microbiology educators.

Griffin’s research focuses on how viruses cause disease. For example, Sindbis virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, in mammals and birds. She has studied how the virus infects and then kills selected nerve cells in mice and has identified ways that the immune system can clear the virus from neurons without harming the nerve cells themselves.

Griffin is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology and the Infectious Disease Society of America.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Kenna Lowe or Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu. Photographs of Diane E. Griffin are available upon request.