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Brady Butler, Director
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Pittsburgh, Nov. 1, 2007 — The Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology (ABASM) will hold its annual conference in McCandless Township at La Roche College, Babcock Boulevard, on Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17. The conference draws microbiologists and microbiology students from throughout western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, but is open to anyone interested in the field.

Gail Rowe, Ph.D., associate professor of biology at La Roche College, was named president of ABASM this summer and has planned the conference.

"We are excited to host three excellent keynote speakers from very different areas of microbiology: molecular medical microbiology, environmental microbiology and microbiology education. This conference also is a wonderful opportunity for microbiology students to give presentations of their research at a relatively small and supportive venue, and even compete for awards in recognition of their work," Dr. Rowe said.

The conference begins at 4 p.m. Friday with registration in the Zappala College Center on the La Roche campus. The evening’s keynote speaker is Alix Darden, Ph.D., from The Citadel, Charleston, S.C., who will lead a workshop titled “The Scholarship of Microbiology Education,” during which participants may discuss their ideas, questions and projects related to microbiology education research, assessment or publication. Dr. Darden also will present a keynote address on “The Intersection of Research and Teaching: Creating Conditions that Lead to Change in a Learner’s Brain.”

On Saturday morning, Terry Hazen, Ph.D., from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif., will present “Bioremediation: The Hope and the Hype for Environmental Cleanup.” Saturday’s second speaker, Margaret Bauer, Ph.D., Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Ind., will discuss “Molecular Mechanisms of Haemophilus ducreyi Resistance to Innate Immunity.”

Breakfast and lunch, the ABASM business meeting, oral presentations and poster sessions round out Saturday’s schedule, which ends with student award presentations.

For a complete schedule for the two-day event, as well as registration information, interested people should visit Or, they may contact Dr. Rowe at 412-536-1154.<

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