Post-doc named Canada's Young Ambassador for microbiology society

A post-doctoral research fellow is brushing up on his diplomatic skills now that he’s been named Canada’s young ambassador in his field.

Subba Rao Chaganti – known informally by his peers as “Rao” – has been named the country’s Young Ambassador for the American Society for Microbiology.

“I was really happy,” Dr. Chaganti – a Ministry of Research and Innovation scholar who currently works in the university’s Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research under the direction of professor and GLIER director Dan Heath – said of his reaction to the news of his selection. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Chaganti is “highly intelligent and has the uncanny ability to resolve research related issues,” according to engineering professor Jerry Lalman, who supervised Chaganti between 2008 and 2011 and nominated him for the distinction. “Aside from his technical and teaching abilities, he is approachable and friendly towards his peers. In addition, he is an excellent teacher and mentor.”

Converting municipal solid waste to biofuel using microbial fuel cell technology is the current focus for Chaganti, whose research covers the physiology and ecology of novel anaerobic microorganisms.

Worldwide, ASM young ambassadors are crucial for the society's efforts to engage students and microbiologists who are just beginning their careers.  Chaganti will help connect the Canadian scientific community with the ASM, and foster collaboration both between the U.S. and Canada, as well as collaboration between scientists on a global level. 

There are many benefits to being involved with the society for young scientists, Chaganti said, including the opportunity to network with influential administrators, faculty, and scientific leaders worldwide; and to positively contribute to the society’s mission of advancing microbiology globally.

Chaganti says he’s excited to begin his duties. He will travel to Washington D.C. in May for an ASM retreat, and then will fly directly to Colorado for the society’s three day conference.

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