Inspiring Bench Scientist Careers at ASM Microbe 2017

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 during ASM Microbe 2017. The recipients were awarded professional development grants to help facilitate their attendance at the meeting.  Funding was generously provided by Accelerate Diagnostics, Alpha-Tec Systems, Beckman Coulter Foundation, BioFire Diagnostics, Bruker Daltonics, Check-Points BV, COPAN Diagnostics, DiaSorin, GenMark Diagnostics, Hardy Diagnostics, Luminex Corporation, Medical Chemical Corporation, OpGen, Puritan Medical Products Company, Quest Diagnostics, Quidel, TECHLAB, and TIB MOLBIOL.


"ASM Microbe 2017 was an incredible experience. It helped open up doors to more opportunities and networking with others in the clinical microbiology profession. This experience has helped me focus on the direction in which I hope to move my career and provided me with knowledge on how to achieve my goals."

- Morgan Waddell, MLS (ASCP)CM, 2017 Awardee



"I learned a lot about publishing and making connections from my mentor Scott Cunningham, Mayo Clinic, who is revered in the field of whole genome sequencing and specialized testing. After the meeting I am looking forward to volunteering abroad with ASM and attending ASM Microbe 2018 in Atlanta. Hope to see you there!"
- Perceus Mody, 2017 Awardee


Established by the Clinical Microbiology Mentoring Committee (CMMC) in 2014, the ASM 2017 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.Hackbarth Headshot


"A number of us spent a morning together at a local restaurant enjoying breakfast and a great discussion on current mycobacteriology workflow processes. Since we all represented different parts of the country and labs of different sizes, this informal discussion proved to be very insightful and I think we all took something back to our own labs from it."
Kristen Hackbarth, MLS (ASCP)CM, 2017 Awardee



"The mentor-mentee dinner on the first night was especially enlightening as we each spoke about the difficulties we were facing in our careers and our personal experiences at laboratories across the country. We all offered support and advice from our unique situations."
- Christine Yang, M (ASCP)CM, 2017 Awardee

The awardees for 2017 are:

  • Jessica Alban, Cleveland Clinic, OH
  • Kristen Hackbarth, Marshfield Clinic, WI
  • Marisol Hamilton, Providence Alaska Medical Center, Anchorage
  • Amber Jones, St. Mary's Medical Center, Huntington, WV
  • Cheryl Jordan, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, CA
  • Perceus Mody, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Jennifer O'Neill, Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Michael Tipton, ProMedica Health Systems, Toledo, OH
  • Morgan Waddell, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville
  • Christine Yang, Massachusetts General Hospital, CambridgeTipton

"Being able to attend ASM 2017 was an absolute amazing experience. The amount of microbiology knowledge that is able to be obtained is an incredible aspect of attending the ASM conference, but the thing that I found to be the most beneficial to my career and my department, is the ability to network with other clinical microbiologists. Having the opportunity to make long-term connections and "see" how other laboratories are going about their day-to-day operations is extremely beneficial in being able to advance my own knowledge, career, and department."
 Michael Tipton, MLS (ASCP) CM, 2017 Awardee


To be eligible for the grant, applicants must be ASM members, have less than five years of clinical microbiology laboratory experience, are non-doctoral bench-level clinical microbiologists, and have never attended an ASM General Meeting or Microbe Meeting. Additionally, applicants cannot be presenting a poster or talk at ASM Microbe the year they are applying for the grant. Information on the 2018 application process will be available in December 2017. Visit the Clinical Microbiology Portal for specifics.


2017 Grant Recipients with 2017 ASM President, Dr. Susan Sharp


             Hindler 2
            2017 Grant Recipients with Grant Sponsor, Medical Chemical Corporation


Cunningham and Mody
2017 Grant Recipient, Perceus Mody, and Mentor, Scott Cunningham

                 BioFire-Craft                                       2017 Grant Recipients with Grant Sponsor, BioFire Diagnostics