Colorado State Researcher Elected to Prestigious American Academy of Microbiology

Professor Ian M. Orme, Ph.D., Director of Mycobacteria Research Laboratories at Colorado State University has been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. Dr. Orme is one of only 1700 scientists elected to Fellowship in the 47-year history of the organization.

Dr. Orme has developed a mouse model for the study of tuberculosis that is now widely used in vaccine and drug screening and he has made important contributions to understanding the mechanisms at work in immunity to tuberculosis.

Most recently, Dr. Orme and his team have working with broad-spectrum antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class to discover a drug that is effective in fighting latent tuberculosis without creating drug resistance. The researchers hope to combine the drug with other drugs already in use to possibly shorten the course of treatment, reduce the dosages and side effects and provide a new treatment option at a lower cost.

American research on vaccines and anti-TB drugs almost ceased a few decades ago as public health officials assumed the disease was on the way to becoming completely eradicated. However, tuberculosis is now the leading bacterial killer in the world, causing 10 million new cases and 3 million deaths each year. It is resurgent in developing countries and, in America, in prison populations, among the homeless and in HIV/AIDS-infected patients. A factor in its return, and one of particular concern to Orme is that some strains are resistant to several anti-TB drugs.

Members of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) are elected by their peers through a highly selective, annual evaluation process and admitted to Fellowship based on records of leadership and outstanding, original work that has advanced the microbiological sciences. Academy Fellows represent 35 countries and all subspecialties of microbiology, including basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry, and government service.

The mission of the American Academy of Microbiology is to recognize scientific excellence and foster knowledge and understanding in the microbiological sciences. The AAM is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the world’s oldest life science organization with more than 43,000 members.

For more information about the programs of the American Academy of Microbiology, contact: Andrea Lohse at 202.942.9292, via fax at 202.942.9353 or via e-mail at