The American Academy of Microbiology, an honorific leadership group within the American Society of Microbiology, Jan. 16 announced its 2018 Fellows, with three Indian Americans and two others working in Bangladesh among the honorees.

AAM Fellows are elected annually through a highly-selective, peer review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology, according to the academy’s news release.

Among the 96 2018 Fellows named are Ashok Chopra, Atin Datta, Rajeev Misra, Reeta Rao, Samir Saha, and Niyaz Ahmed.

Chopra is a tenured professor of the University of Texas Medical Branch in the microbiology and immunology department. Additionally, Chopra is a scientific staff member at the Galveston, Texas-based Shriners Burns Institute, a member of the UTMB Center for Tropical Diseases, senior scientist at the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, and a member of the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases. He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from Kurukshetra University in India and a C.Sc. degree from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Datta is a supervisory research microbiologist and branch chief for the Department of Health and Human Services. He has held his role at HHS since November 2006. Prior to his time there, Datta worked at the Food and Drug Administration, serving as a research microbiologist and then a senior scientific coordinator from 1986 until 2006. A graduate of Vidyasagar College at the University of Calcutta (bachelor's and master's) and the University of Bombay (doctorate), Datta earlier in his career was a visiting Fellow at the National Institutes of Health and a research associate at the University of Maryland.

Misra, a microbial geneticist who studies how proteins, synthesized in the cytoplasm, are targeted to the bacterial outer membrane, is a professor at Arizona State University's School of Life Sciences. The Indian American scientist earned his bachelor's degree from Christ Church College at Kanpur University, his master's at G.B. Pant University and his doctorate degree from Adelaide University in Australia. He has served in varying roles at ASU since 1991 and was previously a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at Princeton University. In 1999, he also spent a few months as a visiting professor at U.C. Berkeley.

Rao is an associate professor in biology and biotechnology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. The educator is affiliated with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as well as UMass Medical School's Institute of Drug Resistance. She earned her doctorate degree from Pennsylvania State University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research. She earned her B.Pharmacy at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science and her master's in biotechnology at Drexel University.

Saha works at the Dhaka Shishu Hospital Department of Microbiology in Bangladesh. He serves as professor and head of the microbilogy department. He has been at Dhaka Shishu Hospital since 2000. He also holds positions at the World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins University and Sabin Vaccine Institute, among others. He earned a bachelor's in botany, zoology and biochemistry and master's in microbiology from the University of Dhaka and a doctorate in microbiology from the Institute of Medical Sciences at Banaras Hindu University.

Ahmed is a professor of microbial sciences, genomicist, and a veterinarian by training, and serves as a senior director at the International Centre for Diarrhoel Disease Research in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Additionally, he serves as a member of the Senior Leadership Team of the center while on leave from the University of Hyderabad. He is a graduate of Manipal University where he earned a doctorate in molecular medicine.

There are over 2,400 Fellows representing all subspecialties of the microbial sciences and involved in basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry and government service, AAM said.

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