Public Release: 

American Society for Microbiology honors Bala Swaminathan

American Society for Microbiology

Washington, DC--May 28, 2008--The 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Gen-Probe Joseph Award is being presented to Bala Swaminathan, Vice-President, Technical and Business Development, IHRC, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. This award recognizes a distinguished microbiologist who has exhibited exemplary leadership and service in the field of public health.

Dr. Swaminathan is known worldwide for applying molecular biology techniques to the practical problems of public health. He was the driving force behind the development of PulseNet, a molecular subtyping-based network to detect outbreaks involving foodborne pathogens that has resulted in enhanced surveillance, more robust outbreak investigations, and an invigorated public health laboratory system. He also established a communication network for those participating in PulseNet to allow for rapid exchange of results. In 2000, PulseNet was awarded the Harvard/Ford Foundation Innovations in American Government Award. In 2002, it was chosen as one of the top 15 Innovations in Government among all awardees since 1986. PulseNet systems are now under development around the world. Dr. Swaminathan has made many other contributions in the areas of microbiology and public health, including extensive study of the foodborne disease potential of Listeria monocytogenes. He has authored more than 120 publications, and in 2001, he was awarded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Dr. Swaminathan received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Georgia.

The Gen-Probe Joseph Award will be presented during the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), June 1 - June 5, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. ASM is the world's oldest and largest life science organization and has more than 43,000 members worldwide. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences and promote the use of scientific knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

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