American Society for Microbiology honors D. Scott Merrell

July 14, 2008

Washington, DC--May 28, 2008--A 2008 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award is being presented to D. Scott Merrell, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), Bethesda, Maryland. Sponsored by Merck Research Laboratories, the Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award is presented in memory of Irving S. Sigal, who was instrumental in the early discovery of therapies to treat HIV/AIDS, to recognize excellence in basic research in medical microbiology and infectious diseases.

Dr. Merrell earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine. As a graduate student, his primary research interest was to identify genetic factors associated with the virulence of Vibrio cholerae, and notably demonstrated that V. cholerae excreted by humans are more infectious than those found in the environment. During his postdoctoral studies at Stanford University Medical School, Dr. Merrell mastered DNA microarray technology, first to continue his study of V. cholerae, and then to explore mechanisms used by Helicobacter pylori to survive within the human body. This work identified an important regulatory protein, known as Fur, which he has gone on to characterize in his own laboratory.

The Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial 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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American Society for Microbiology

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