The New York City Branch first organized in 1917, was officially made a Branch of the Society of American Bacteriologists (SAB) on March 10, 1934. It wasn't until 1961 that the SAB became the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).
In our early years, the annual meetings were held at Wagner College on Staten Island. The meeting was comprised of scientific posters and several clinical microbiology topics. In 1988 the New York Penta Hotel adjacent to Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, became the Branch's new annual meeting site for many years. Many of the other New York City hotels have since housed the Branch's events. These scientific meetings which first began with only 15 exhibitors and 29 sustaining members have now grown to over 30 exhibitors and over 1000 members.
The NYCASM Branch now holds a minimum of two annual scientific meetings a year, an Annual Meeting in the Spring and the second in the Fall. The yearly meetings of the Branch play an essential role as a forum for the membership to experience scientific meetings at the local level. Our goal is to provide affordable continuing education and the opportunity for professional networking and growth to our members. In the past, the Branch has also sponsored a student chapter and science competitions which have helped to foster interest in our discipline among the student community.
As an organization we have also worked with local governmental agencies like the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to meet challenges imposed on us in the New York Metropolitan area after 911, such as the anthrax attacks and the lingering threat of bioterrorism. The NYC ASM has offered many diverse programs and symposia on topics relating to bioterrorism, newly emerging infectious diseases, as well as more routine topics to better prepare and update the clinical laboratory community on the changing trends in microbiology.