Abigail A. Salyers
Professor Salyers has conducted research and taught for twenty-five years at the University of Illinois. She earned her Ph.D. in physics at George Washington University, Washington, D.C. After working as a physicist for nearly ten years, she made the transition to microbiology by doing postdoctoral work at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Va. Her research has focused on the bacteria that are normally found in the human intestinal tract, in particular the mechanisms by which these bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. She has published more than 200 scientific papers, two textbooks for undergraduate courses and a book aimed at the general public, Revenge of the Microbes.
She has served as a reviewer of grants for the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy. She was codirector of the Microbial Diversity Summer Course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, from 1995-99. She has provided expert testimony on genetically modified plants and antibiotic use in agriculture for a variety of regulatory agencies in Europe and the United States, and she has testified before a Congressional subcommittee on genetically modified plants. She served as president of the American Society for Microbiology from 2001-02.