Inspiring Bench Scientist Careers at ASM Microbe 2016

Ten young clinical laboratory scientists were recognized for their enthusiasm and commitment to the clinical microbiology profession and given a chance to gain valuable insight into career advancement. The recipients were awarded professional development grants to help facilitate their attendance at ASM Microbe 2016. Funding was generously provided by Accelerate Diagnostics, Alere North America, Applied Maths, Beckman Coulter, BioFire Diagnostics, Bruker Daltonics, Cepheid, GenMark Diagnostics, Hardy Diagnostics, Medical Chemical Corporation, Nanosphere, Quest Diagnostics, Quidel, TECHLAB, TIB MOLBIOL, and ASM.


"Attending my first ASM conference through the New Tech Professional Grant Program was an incredible and inspiring experience. The information gained through attending sessions and perusing the exhibit hall only skimmed the surface of what I walked away with. I believe that the heart of my experience was in the opportunity to network with the fellow grant recipients and mentors. The chance to talk with fellow micro techs and listen to the mentors' stories of their progress in the field left me feeling very optimistic about my future in microbiology. Attending this conference made me realize that ASM is truly for people like me and I cannot wait to get more involved."
-Rachel Hissong, MLS (ASCP)CM, 2016 AwardeeRChow

"I am truly grateful to be given the opportunity to attend ASM Microbe 2016 through this grant. I was able to gain a lot of insight from fellow mentees and mentors about local ASM branch meetings, other laboratories' operations, and online resources available."
-Raymond Chow, 2016 Awardee


Established by the Clinical Microbiology Mentoring Committee (CMMC), the ASM 2016 New Tech Professional Development Grant Program provides an opportunity for the awardees to interact with pre-assigned mentors, attend symposia, and visit poster sessions. Awardees also get the chance to network with fellow bench scientists and mentors, peruse industry-sponsored exhibits featuring the latest technological advances, and learn more
about the profession of microbiology.

"I have never been more excited for my profession. Attending ASM Microbe 2016 was an invaluable experience. Not only did I get to see vendors showing the latest technology and attend lectures about the latest microbiology research, I got to meet other clinical microbiologists like myself at different stages in their careers. The world of microbiology is incredibly large and diverse, something that's easy to forget, working day after day on the bench. I am incredibly grateful to ASM for awarding me a professional development grant. I now have better ideas on where I would like to take my career. And another highlight? I was able to bring Ebola back to my lab—as a stuffed animal."
– Charlotte Lea, MLS (ASCP)CM, 2016 AwardeeLawler

"This grant allowed me to learn far more than I expected to learn about the field of microbiology – beyond the scope of my current position. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting others at various facets of the profession and hear their journeys to their present line of work."
- Alex Lawler, MLS (ASCP)CM, 2016 Awardee

The awardees for 2016 are:

  • Maria Bui, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, CA
  • Raymond Chow, Kaiser Permanente Regional Laboratory, Berkeley, CA
  • Tyrell Cox, Banner University Medical Center, Tucson, AZ
  • Lara Crosthwaite, University of California San Diego Health System, CA
  • Lisa Hernandez, Children's Medical Center, Dallas, TX
  • Rachel Hissong, Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis, IN
  • Leeann Korprapun, University of California Irvine Medical Center, Arcadia, CA
  • Alex Lawler, Durham VA Medical Center, NC
  • Charlotte Lea, Regional Medical Laboratory of St. John Health System, Tulsa, OK
  • Allison Tsan, Huntington Memorial Hospital, San Gabriel, CA

"This opportunity to attend ASM Microbe through the professional development grant couldn't have come at a better time for me. I learned more than I anticipated about where I can go with my career and I met some wonderful people that were happy to share their thoughts and experiences. I felt encouraged to take the steps I had been hesitant to pursue in order to advance my career."
– Lara Crosthwaite, MLS(ASCP)CM, 2016 Recipient

 To be eligible for the grant, applicants must be ASM members, have less than five years of clinical laboratory experience, are non-doctoral bench-level clinical microbiologists, never attended an ASM General Meeting, and not presenting a poster or talk at ASM Microbe 2016. Information on the 2017 application process will be available in January 2017. Visit the Clinical Microbiology Portal,, for specifics.