Susan Okie receives microbiology communcations award

May 16, 2000

Susan Okie, medical reporter at The Washington Post, has been named the recipient of the 2000 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Public Communications Award. Her winning entry "Science Races to Stem TB's Threat" and "TB Fights Back," a two-part series on tuberculosis that appeared August 10 and August 17, 1999, examines the advances made toward eliminating tuberculosis and the current worldwide resurgence of the disease. The articles illustrate just how difficult it is to control microbes like the tuberculosis bacterium, despite all of the past century's medical advances.

Beginning her report in New York City, Okie followed public health workers as they struggled to keep drug-resistant tuberculosis under control. She interviewed experts about the complex scientific, social, economic, and political difficulties involved in such an undertaking and clearly conveyed how the tuberculosis bacterium mutates and evolves to remain a major public health threat. In conclusion she stressed the importance of researching new medicines and vaccines for tuberculosis if it is to be eradicated.

"Okie realized that the battle against tuberculosis provided the perfect opportunity to show how far medicine has come in combating pathogenic agents as well as the limits of modern science in fighting age-old scourges at the dawn of a new century," said The Washington Post Science Editor Rob Stein, who nominated her for the award.

A native of Los Angeles, Okie has been reporting for The Washington Post since 1979. She was the paper's science editor from 1994-1996, and currently covers medicine on the national staff. Trained as a physician, Okie completed her residency at the University of Connecticut Medical School in Farmington in 1983, and served on the faculty there until 1985. She has won journalism awards for a number of her articles and is the co-author of the children's book To Space and Back, an account of a trip on the space shuttle.

The annual award carries an honorarium of $2,500 plus expenses to attend ASM's General Meeting in Los Angeles May 21-May 25, 2000. It recognizes outstanding achievement in increasing public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of microbiology.

Runner-up awardees in this year's competition are Charles Petit and Laura Tangley of U.S. News and World Report for their story "The Invisible Emperors" about the expanding field of microbial research, and Ellen Licking of Business Week for her report on biofilms, entitled "Getting a Grip on Bacterial Slime." These short yet successful articles touched on many themes and conveyed comprehensive information about microbiology.
-end-
The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, with 43,000 members worldwide who work as scientists, teachers, physicians, and health professionals. Its mission is to promote research and research training in the microbiological sciences and to assist communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public to improve health, the environment, and economic well being.


American Society for Microbiology

Related Tuberculosis Articles from Brightsurf:

Scientists find new way to kill tuberculosis
Scientists have discovered a new way of killing the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB), using a toxin produced by the germ itself.

Blocking the iron transport could stop tuberculosis
The bacteria that cause tuberculosis need iron to survive. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now solved the first detailed structure of the transport protein responsible for the iron supply.

Tuberculosis: New insights into the pathogen
Researchers at the University of W├╝rzburg and the Spanish Cancer Research Centre have gained new insights into the pathogen that causes tuberculosis.

Unmasking the hidden burden of tuberculosis in Mozambique
The real burden of tuberculosis is probably higher than estimated, according to a study on samples from autopsies performed in a Mozambican hospital.

HIV/tuberculosis co-infection: Tunneling towards better diagnosis
1.2 million people in the world are co-infected by the bacteria which causes tuberculosis and AIDS.

Reducing the burden of tuberculosis treatment
A research team led by MIT has developed a device that can lodge in the stomach and deliver antibiotics to treat tuberculosis, which they hope will make it easier to cure more patients and reduce health care costs.

Tuberculosis: Commandeering a bacterial 'suicide' mechanism
The bacteria responsible for tuberculosis can be killed by a toxin they produce unless it is neutralized by an antidote protein.

A copper bullet for tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is a sneaky disease, and the number one cause of death from infectious disease worldwide.

How damaging immune cells develop during tuberculosis
Insights into how harmful white blood cells form during tuberculosis infection point to novel targets for pharmacological interventions, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Valentina Guerrini and Maria Laura Gennaro of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and colleagues.

How many people die from tuberculosis every year?
The estimates for global tuberculosis deaths by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) differ considerably for a dozen countries, according to a study led by ISGlobal.

Read More: Tuberculosis News and Tuberculosis Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.