October 07, 2020

Orihuela selected as a Distinguished Lecturer for the American Society of Microbiology

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corihuelCarlos Orihuela, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Microbiology and vice chair of Faculty Development, has been nominated and selected as a Distinguished Lecturer for the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) for the years 2020-2022.

ASM, originally referred to as the Society of American Bacteriologists, is an organization developed for scientists who study viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae, and protozoa along with other aspects of microbiology. ASM consist of over 30,000 members which include researchers, educators, and health professionals. The goal of ASM is to help scientists advance their research, continue developing their careers, network with their peers, and discover breakthroughs in their fields of study.

Orihuela’s research focuses on host-pathogen interactions that underlie development of invasive pneumococcal disease. This includes examining the role of necroptosis on pulmonary injury during bacterial infection, exploring the molecular basis of cardiac invasion during severe Streptococcus pneumoniae infection, and dissecting how the toxin pneumolysin kills lung cell and cardiomyocytes.

He has a robust background in microbiology, and has been a member of ASM since 2001. As an ASM Distinguished Lecturer (ASMDL), duties consist of speaking at ASM branch meetings and events, serving a 2-year term, and giving as many lectures as a speaker’s schedule allows. Lecturers also participate in career development and mentoring students, postdocs, and early career scientist.

“Being selected as an ASM Distinguished Lecturer is truly an honor,” says Orihuela. “It’s a way to pay back the profession for the wonderful opportunities it has given me. Now that I’m a bit older, it’s these types of interactions with trainees that I find to be most rewarding. Hopefully, I can get them as enthusiastic about microbiology as I was when I attended my first ASM meetings.”

Before his career at UAB, Orihuela received his B.A. from Baylor University. Later, he earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston where he was a Kempner Scholar. After, Orihuela completed his postdoctoral research training in the Department of Infectious Diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He returned to Texas in 2005 as an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. In the fall of 2015, Orihuela joined the Department of Microbiology at UAB.

Orihuela has received several awards and honors for his educational achievements, such as the Presidential Junior Research Scholar award, as well as the Distinguished Hispanic Faculty from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Over the past five years, Orihuela has been active in all the missional areas at UAB and in the School of Medicine, including his work with the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging, Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, Comprehensive Cardiovascular Center and the University Wide Microbiome Center. Moreover, Orihuela is currently a member of the Host Interactions with Bacterial Pathogens Study Section for the NIH, associate editor for the journals PLoS Pathogens and Infection and Immunity, and editor of a recent book on the molecular mechanisms of Streptococcus pneumoniae pathogenesis.