Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Discovery of Streptomycin


Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Trayes Hall, Douglass Campus Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ

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Streptomycin, produced by Streptomyces griseus, was discovered by Schatz, Bugie and Waksman (1944) in the Department of Soil Bacteriology (the first such department in the country, 1901) at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (today’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences), the culmination of a systematic search for antimicrobials from soil microbes and other sources developed by Waksman’s group over several years. The successful Rutgers streptomycin discovery spurred efforts to find further broad-spectrum antibiotics and other microbial products and was a driving force in establishing New Jersey as a world center for the pharmaceutical industry. The discovery of streptomycin at the dawn of the antibiotic era, revolutionized the practice of medicine, disease control, and enhanced surgery. Internationally, it revolutionized the practice of public health including extending human life span. Confirmation of the momentous advance of the discovery of streptomycin was recognized through the award of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1952 to Selman A. Waksman. Martin Hall (Cook Campus) one of the world’s special scientific treasures is designated as an American Chemical Society Historic Landmark and a Milestones in Microbiology by the American Society for Microbiology. In 2019 Streptomyces griseus was honored as the official New Jersey State Microbe.

The Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Discovery of Streptomycin will be held:

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

8:00 am - 6:00 pm


Douglass Student Center - Trayes Hall
100 George St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901



8:00 am - 9:00 am


9:00 am - 9:30 am

Welcome, Max Häggblom (Biochemistry and Microbiology)
Executive Dean Robert Goodman (School of Environmental and Biological Sciences)
Chancellor Christopher Molloy (Rutgers-New Brunswick)

9:30 am – 10:10 am

Joan Bennett (Rutgers University, Plant Biology): Waksman et al. – Their lives with the microbes

10:10 am – 10:50 am

Lee Reichman (Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute) Tuberculosis –  How far we’ve come

10:50 am – 11:30 am

Cameron Currie (University of Wisconsin): Ants, agriculture, and antibiotics

11.30 am - 12:00 pm

President Robert L. Barchi

12.00 pm – 1:00 pm


1:00 pm – 1.40 pm

Richard Ebright (Rutgers University, Waksman Institute): Antibacterial drug discovery targeting bacterial RNA polymerase

1:40 pm – 2:20 pm

Todd Black (Merck Research Laboratories): Challenges in discovery and development of novel antibacterial therapies

2:20 pm – 3:00 pm

Karen Bush (Indiana University: Antibiotic Resistance – the Problem that Never Goes Away

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Coffee break

3:30 pm – 4:10 pm 

Martin Blaser (Rutgers University, Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine): Negative effects of antibiotic use

4:10 pm – 4:50 pm

Rita Colwell, (University of Maryland): Polymicrobial infections: the new normal

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm



**Note: Failure to register for Special Event Parking may result in a parking citation.**