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Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA)

ASM Archives Committee

Seeking Subcommittee Members for Center for History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA)

The Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA) Committee is pleased to invite ASM members interested in the history of microbiology to participate in this important (and fun) subcommittee.  Details below:

Description of CHOMA:  CHOMA collects, preserves, processes, and presents historical materials pertaining to the ASM and the microbiological sciences.  The CHOMA Committee supports CHOMA and the ASM Archivist.

Mission of the CHOMA Subcommittee:

  • Initiate and manage projects that increase awareness of microbiological history and its impact on society through education and outreach to the ASM membership, historians, educators, policy makers, the media, and the public.
  • Support scholarly research regarding the microbial sciences and microbiologists.
  • Support CHOMA’s efforts to preserve information for future generations.

Subcommittee Member Responsibilities:

  • Attend and participate in Committee meetings (normally 1 in-person meeting at ASM Microbe, and 2-4 additional virtual meetings per year, as needed)
  • Respond to Committee business conducted via e-mail or other electronic means.
  • Brainstorm ideas and discuss broad, general outlines of projects and policies.
  • Work with ASM staff to implement specific projects, based on individual interests and expertise.

Sampling of Current CHOMA Projects:

  • Annual history-related lectures, symposia, and exhibit at ASM Microbe.
  • Milestones in Microbiology – awards “Milestones” status to sites important to the history of microbiology.
  • History Travel Grant – awards travel grants for research at the ASM Archives.
  • CHOMA Website and ASM News snippets.
  • Developing regional and national exhibits highlighting the history of microbiology.
  • New Projects – there is room for growth!

To Apply: 


ASM Membership: Committee members must be current ASM members. Join/renew membership at






Tomislav Meštrović, MD, Ph.D., M.P.H. (’25), CHAIR

University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, USA


University Centre Varazdin, Croatia


Mailing address: Ulica 104. brigade 3, 42 000 Varazdin, Croatia

Melanie Armstrong, Ph.D. (’25)

University of Wyoming


Joan W. Bennett, Ph.D. (’23)
Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey

Franklin R. Champlin, Ph.D. (’23)
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

Shahana Kazmi, Ph.D. (’23)
Karachi, Pakistan         

Karen-Beth G. Scholthof, Ph.D. (’24)                        
Texas A&M University          

ASM Archivist:

Colleen Puterbaugh
Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery
University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)  

Archivists and Committee Chairs


Barnett Cohen               1935-1952

Leland S. McClung       1952-1982

Donald E. Shay              1983-1988*

James A. Poupard        1989-1993

Joan W. Bennett           1993-1994

William C. Summers   1994-2001

Joan W. Bennett           2001-2007

Patricia Charache        2007-2010

James A. Poupard        2010-2016

Melanie Armstrong     2016-2023

Tomislav Meštrović     2023-2025

*The Center for the History of Microbiology was established in 1985.


Barnett Cohen              1935-1952

Leland S. McClung      1952-1982

Peter Hirtle                   1984-1986

Toby Appel                     1987-1988

Helen Zilinskas            1988-1992

Jeff Karr                         1993-2022

Colleen Puterbaugh   2022-