Irene Newton, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Biology, has been elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, an honorific leadership group and think tank of the American Society for Microbiology.
Newton is a microbiologist whose work spans the fields of genetics, microbiology, genomics, bioinformatics, and evolution as she strives to unlock the molecular mechanisms of microbial symbioses. Symbiosis is the process where two organisms come together to form emergent traits that neither has alone.
Newton studies insect model systems as hosts, and her recent work focuses on both the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) and the honey bee (Apis mellifera) to understand how their associated microbes increase resilience to pathogens and environmental stresses. Newton’s lab has discovered microbes that benefit the host and have direct applications to vector control and food security.
A total of 65 fellows were elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2023. Fellows of the academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-reviewed process based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. There are over 2,600 fellows in the AAM representing all subspecialties of the microbial sciences and involved in basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry, and government service.
The American Society for Microbiology is one of the largest life science societies—composed of more than 30,000 scientists, educators, and health professionals. Its mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.