Gemma Reguera recognized for advancing women in microbiology
Michigan State University microbiologist Gemma Reguera was among 17 scientists and researchers who were recognized by the American Society for Microbiology’s (ASM) 2022 Awards and Prize Program for outstanding contributions to the microbial sciences. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee from among a competitive list of candidates nominated by their peers.
Reguera received the 2022 ASM Alice C. Evans Award for her outstanding contributions toward the full participation and advancement of women in the microbial sciences. This award was established by ASM's Committee on the Status of Women in Microbiology, and is given in memory of Alice C. Evans, the first woman elected ASM President, in 1928.
“I am extremely honored to receive an award that recognizes efforts to empower women in the microbial sciences,” said Reguera a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG) in the College of Natural Science. “Perhaps most special is the fact that I was nominated by Dr. Arpita Bose, a colleague that I deeply admire at the scientific and personal level. I am humbled by the recognition and more committed than ever to efforts that elevate and benefit the advancement of women in science.”
“Gemma is such a rock for so many young women and men in academia, and this recognition of her support to others is long overdue,” said Arpita Bose, associate professor, Department of Biology, Washington University in St Louis. “I thank ASM for recognizing her unsung role as an outstanding mentor in microbiology for many years.
“Gemma and I met for the first time when I was on the academic and industrial job market in 2014, and learning about her path through science was awe-inspiring,” Bose added. “She is that unique person who comes into a field every once in a while to completely change our perspective about science, mentorship and creating a culture of inclusion.”
“The ASM recognized a very special person with the Alice C. Evans Award,” said Victor DiRita, Rudolph Hugh Professor and MMG chair. “Gemma works tirelessly to promote opportunities for women in science and is a wonderful role model. She is inspiring, really, given all she does at such a high level of performance. Throughout the years ASM has been giving this award, going back into the early 1980s, Alice C. Evans Awardees are a remarkable group of people recognized widely for their leadership in the field of microbial sciences along with their specific passion for supporting women in our field. Gemma now joins that group and fits extremely well within it.”
The Reguera lab pursues broad interests in applied and environmental microbiology, with research projects spanning human, terrestrial, and anthropogenic environments. The lab’s research is highly interdisciplinary and aims at harnessing microbial components, microorganisms and microbiomes as technologies that prevent human exposure to contaminants, pollutants and pathogens.
Most recently, the Reguera lab demonstrated that microbes are capable of soaking up toxic pollutants, opening the door for applications in the recycling of toxic metals.
The American Society for Microbiology’s mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications, educational opportunities and advocacy efforts. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. ASM provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.
For a complete accounting of ASM Awards and Prize Program recipients for 2022, visit https://asm.org/Press-Releases/2021/August/ASM-Recognizes-Over-a-Dozen-Microbiologists-wi.
Banner image: Gemma Reguera (far right) said that she is extremely honored to receive an award that recognizes efforts to empower women in the microbial sciences. Credit: Kurt Stepnitz