The Small World Initiative® 3rd Annual Symposium (at ASM Microbe) took place June 16th-June 20th in Boston, Massachusetts. Please click here to download the program.

Keynote: A Conversation with Susan Whoriskey

On Saturday, June 18th at 6pm, Erika Kurt, President and CEO of the Small World Initiative, sat down with biotechnology entrepreneur Susan K. Whoriskey, Ph.D., a founding member of Momenta and Cubist Pharmaceuticals. A leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, Dr. Whoriskey was instrumental in bringing to market Cubicin (daptomycin), a lipopeptide antibiotic active against drug-resistant bacteria, in 2003. Dr. Whoriskey earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Molecular Biology Institute-University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Dr. Whoriskey shared some tales from the lab bench, from the boardroom, and from her inspirational scientific career. For coverage, please read A Conversation with Dr. Susan K. Whoriskey.

Poster Session

On Friday evening, June 17th, Small World Initiative students and faculty presented posters on their scientific research. Food and beverage were served.

Tapas: Just a Taste

Following the Keynote on Saturday evening, June 18th, Small World Initiative faculty presented a series of short (4-minute) talks on an exciting array of topics, from new lab methodologies implemented in Small World courses to special projects that are extending SWI’s reach beyond the university classroom. Light food and beverage were served. Please click here to download the slides from this session.

Full Schedule of Events

Thursday, June 16, 2016

  • Arrival and Registration for ASM Microbe: 7:00AM-8:00PM
  • ASM Microbe Opening Keynote (Bill Gates): 5:00PM-6:00PM
  • Opening SWI Reception: 6:30PM-8:00PM
    • Gather to meet SWI students and faculty
    • SWI Student Scavenger Hunt Kickoff (optional for faculty): 7:00PM

Friday, June 17, 2016

  • ASM General Session Distinguished Lectures: 5:45PM-7:30PM
  • SWI Poster Set-up (Seaport World Trade Center, Commonwealth Complex): 7:30PM
  • SWI Poster Session (Seaport WTC, Commonwealth Complex): 8:00PM-10:00PM
    • Session A: SWI student & faculty posters 1-10: 8:00PM-8:40PM
    • Session B: SWI student & faculty posters 11-20: 8:45PM-9:25PM

Saturday, June 18, 2016        

  • ASM General Session President’s Forum: 11:00AM-12:30PM
  • SWI Keynote Address: A Conversation with Susan Whoriskey (Seaport World Trade Center, Commonwealth Complex): 6:00PM-6:45PM  
  • SWI Symposium Awards: 6:45PM-7:00PM
  • SWI Student & Faculty Group Photograph: 7:00PM
  • SWI Faculty Tapas (Short 4-Minute Talks) Session: 7:15PM-8:15PM 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

  • ASM General Session: Antimicrobial Research Award Lecture: 11AM-12noon

Symposium Program

Please click here to download a copy of the program.

Table of Contents

  • Symposium Schedule
  • SWI Leadership and Symposium Organizers
  • About the Small World Initiative
  • Message from SWI's President
  • Keynote Speaker Profile (Susan Whoriskey)
  • Poster Abstracts
  • Tapas Presentations
  • SWI Attendees
  • Acknowledgements


Symposium Photo Gallery

Thanks to Meagan Moore, Baton Rouge Community College and Mustafa Morsy, University of West Alabama for generously sharing their pictures of the Symposium.


Scavenger Hunt Photo Gallery

Congratulations to Team ASM123 from the University of Pittsburgh for winning the scavenger hunt with an astronomical 10,550 points! This team was the only one to complete all 28 missions and was awarded exclusive SWI swag. ASM123 Dream Team Member Roster: Nicole Hunzeker, Ashwinee Manivannan, Stephen Reber, and Mason Trinkle. 

Baton Rouge Community College's BEARingthefacts took second place with 10,200 points and 26 completed missions. Team Roster: Tiffany Brown, Lee Chantel, James McCleary, Meagan Moore (photographer extraordinaire), and Ajay Prasad.

After an early lead, The Hockaday School, our only high school team, earned third place with a solid 8,800 points and 23 completed missions. werenotincollege Team Roster: Sara Held, Helena Hind, and Lily Johnson.



We wish to extend our gratitude to the Symposium Committee for all of their hard work in organizing the engaging content and complicated logistics of this year's SWI Symposium. In particular, we would like to thank Jean Schmidt* and Mustafa Morsy** for leading this Committee.

* Instructor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh

** Associate Professor, University of West Alabama