American Society for Virology

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The American Society for Virology (ASV) is an American scientific society serving the community of researchers in virology. The organization was founded in 1981 and was the first scientific society in the world dedicated exclusively to virology.[1]

Founding and history[edit]

Historically, virology has been considered a subdiscipline of microbiology. The motivation for founding a society specifically for virologists dates to the mid-1960s and originated in the community's dissatisfaction with its representation in existing microbiology societies, most notably the International Association of Microbiological Societies and the American Society for Microbiology. The society was formally founded following a meeting organized by Bernard Roizman of 40 prominent virology researchers at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on June 9, 1981. Its first official annual meeting, organized by Milt Zaitlin, took place at Cornell University in August 1982, by which time its membership had reached almost 1,000 scientists.[1][2]

The founding president of the ASV was Wolfgang Joklik, who served from 1981 to 1983. Other notable founding members who signed letters sent to members of the virology community soliciting opinions about the possible future society in advance of the O'Hare meeting were David Baltimore, Purnell Choppin, Harold Ginsberg, Thomas Merigan, Bernard Roizman, Peter K. Vogt, Bob Wagner, Julius Youngner, and Norton Zinder.[1] Ginsberg, Wagner, Choppin, and Youngner all served subsequent terms as president.[3]


The ASV continues to host an annual scientific meeting every summer, held on the campuses of host universities in the United States or Canada. The society also hosts career and educational information including an online jobs directory and received a grant from the Alfred Sloan Foundation to support a website documenting the history of virology, which is maintained by former ASV president Sondra Schlesinger.[4]

The current president as of 2019 is Andrew S. Pekosz of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.[5]


As of 2015 the ASV contained councils for seven subdisciplines: plant virology, animal virology, evolution and ecology, medical virology, veterinary virology, invertebrate virology, and prokaryotic virology. The ASV is headed by a president serving a two-year term and maintains standing committees for organizing meetings and other activities.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Joklik WK, Grossberg SE (2006). "How the American Society for Virology was founded". Virology. 344 (1): 250–7. doi:10.1016/j.virol.2005.09.022. PMID 16364755.
  2. ^ Joklik, WK (9 December 2005). "Adventures of a biochemist in virology". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 280 (49): 40385–97. doi:10.1074/jbc.x500005200. PMID 16326717.
  3. ^ "American Society for Virology Presidents" (PDF). American Society for Virology. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  4. ^ a b "American Society for Virology". American Society for Virology. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Governance". American Society for Virology. Retrieved 31 May 2019.

External links[edit]