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Our History

History of ACM

The medically qualified Microbiologists in Trivandrum , Kerala, India met in the Department of Microbiology, Medical College, Trivandrum on 15-12-1995. There were 18 participants. Dr. Mabel Legori, Professor and Head of the Department of Microbiology, welcomed the gathering and suggested the need for an association or an academic body to be formed to bring out changes in the nature of Microbiology Laboratory Service.

Monthly meetings were held and the draft byelaw was presented by Dr. Mabel Legori at the 4th meeting on 1st March 1996. It was decided to have a journal for the Academy and the name “The Journal of the Academy of Clinical Microbiologists” (JACM) was approved at the meeting on 7th July 1996. The emblem was presented at this meeting and was also approved. The Academy of Clinical Microbiologists was registered as a Charitable Society at the Registrar’s Office, Trivandrum on 24th July 1996 (Reg. No. 668).

The formal inauguration took place on 12th August 1996 at the Silver Jubilee Auditorium, Medical College, Trivandrum.

President (Dr. Mabel Legori), Secretary (Dr. Kavita Raja), Treasurer (Dr. P.T. Iype), Editor (Dr. P.M. Sivan Pillai) and Sub-editor (Dr. M. Sumangala Bai)

The first issue of the JACM was released on 10th December 1997 at the one-day CME programme on “Antibiotic Use” held at the Medical College Auditorium. This was followed by the annual general body meeting when a decision was made to have conferences only once in three years and the founder membership period was extended upto 31st December 1998.

The Ist Triennial Conference took place at the Medical College Auditorium, Trivandrum on 2nd September 1999 with a pre-conference CME on “Recent Advances in Infection Management” on 1st September 1999.

The II Triennial Conference took place on 4th September 2002 at the IMA State Head Quarters, Trivandrum. The pre-conference CME programme was on Hospital Infection and Leadership Development. At last, the ball gained momentum with Dr. Krishna Prakash from Delhi as President, Dr. David Tompkins from Leeds (U.K) as Senior Vice President and Dr. Lizy Mathew from Trivandrum as Secretary.

The III Triennial Conference took place at the Govt. Medical College,Thiruvananthapuram on 2nd August 2005 with a pre-conference seminar on “Infectious Diseases and the Control of Epidemics.” Election of office bearers took place on 1st August 2005. Dr. David Tompkins from Leeds (U.K) became the President and Dr.Sumangala Bai (Senior Vice President), with Dr.Mabel Legori (Secretary), Dr.Ramani Bai (Treasurer) and Dr.Kavita Raja (Editor). ACM had 36 founder members and 108 life members as on 15th January 2007.

The IV Triennial Conference took place at Medical College, Trivandrum on 23rd August 2008 with a pre-conference CME on 22nd August, on "Changing trends in Hospital Infections". A totally new team were elected on the evening of 22nd August consisting of Dr.Sumangala Bai(President), Dr.Renu Mathew (Senior Vice-President), Dr.Anitha PM (Secretary) , Dr.MiniPN (Treasurer) and Dr.Muralidharan (Editor)

The Website was inaugurated at Medical College, Calicut, Kerala, India on 20th February 2010 by the Professor and Head of Microbiology, Dr.Rema Devi at the CME on Clinical Microbiology

Fifteen years after the inauguration of the Academy, the fifth triennial conference was also organised at Medical College, Trivandrum on 16th October, 2011. The theme of the pre-conference CME on 15th October was "Anti-microbial Resistance- Role of the Clinical Microbiologist". This was in the circumstance of rising anti-microbial resistance in the world and in India in particular. The role of the clinical Microbiologist was getting more clearly felt and during the General body meeting a lively discussion was on how to improve the MD curriculum so that the future consultants in Microbiology could meet the challenge of antibiotic stewardship. The new team elected included : Dr.Renu Mathew-President, Dr.Prithi Nair- Vice-President, Dr.Lancy J - 2nd Vice-President ,Dr.Anitha Pm- Secretary, Dr.Mini PN- Treasurer and Dr.Ramani Bai- Editor. Membership at the time of GB stood at 202 and growing.

For the first time, the Triennial Conference was organised outside Trivandrum and for the first time, an additional day of workshop was also introduced. The workshop was on practice of clinical microbiology- by a team of Dr.Mitul Patel from Birmingham, UK and Dr.Sanjay Bhattacharya from Kolkota . They were complemented by a team of spirited clinicians from Medical College, Thrissur to conduct a sparkling session on interaction between clinician and microbiologist. \the second day on CME, was handled by expert faculty including Dr.Savithri Sharma from Hyderabad, Dr.Vaidehi and Dr.Sangeetha Joshi. Tuberculosis management was discussed at length by Dr.Sanjeev Nair, Chest diseases, Trivandrum. As is the practice, the 5th ACM Oration was delivered by the outgoing President, Dr.Renu Mathew, on Parasitic diseases. The new team consisting of Dr.Prithi Nair, President, Dr.Chithra Premkumar, Secretary and Dr.Reena John, Treasurer took charge. Dr.Kavita Raja got another turn at Editorship with a totally new team to support her. Now that the journal is online with Medknow, it is hoped that more good quality articles will be published. After the GB meeting, it was decided to increase the membership fee and also the article fee, due to the escalating costs of publishing. New initiatives like Eqas program, curriculum development etc. are on the anvil.

Seventh Triennial Conference of ACM was held at Govt Medical College, Kozhikode from 4 th to 6 th August 2017. The theme was “Current concepts and Diagnostic Challenges in Clinical Microbiology”. There were two pre-conference workshops on Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing(Dr.Sohan Lal and Dr.Kavita Raja), Mycology(Dr.Rema Devi and Dr.Fairoz CP) and Mycobacteriology(Dr.Gomathi NS and Dr.Aishwarya P). On 5 th August, for the CME on the same topic, the speakers were Dr.Arunaloke Chakraborthy, Dr.Renjani Ramachandran from the WHO County Office, Dr.Sanjay Bhattacharya, Dr.Savitha Nagara and Dr.Anup R Warrier. The afternoon session was interesting being mainly discussion on Hepatitis viruses and a panel discussion on outbreaks led by Dr.Anitha PM. On the day of the Conference , the new team(2017-20) took charge with Dr.Lancy as President, Dr.Manjusree as Secretary, Dr.Reena John as Treasurer and Dr.Sahira as Jt Secretary. Dr.Sanjay Bhattacharya took over as Chief Editor of the JACM.

The first CME of 2018 was conducted in Govt Medical College Thrissur organized by Dr Preethi Nair Professor and Head of Department of Microbiology, Govt Medical College Thrissur.The second CME of 2018 was on “Recent Advances in Clinical Microbiology” held in Government Medical College, Ernakulam, Kerala on Aug 4 th 2018 organised by Dr.J.Lancy ,Professor and Head of Department of Microbiology, Govt Medical College,Ernakulam.In the Academic meeting held in connection with the CME there was discussion about the problem with the appointment of MSc Microbiologists in Medical Colleges. Regarding this matter, a letter which was signed by the office bearers of ACM has been sent to MCI, AIPCMA,TCMC and IMA .

The next CME was held at Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata, India in December 10 and 11 th 2018. CME and Workshop “Bio-safety and the use of Technology and Knowledge bank in Modern Medical Practice “held in Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, India on Dec 10 and 11 th 2018 . The programme was organised by Dr.Sanjay Bhattacharya ,Professor and Head of Department of Microbiology, Tata Medical Center,Kolkata. The CME was very special to all ACM members as it was supported by CDC (Centres for Disease Control, India).

Dr. Sherwal, IAMM President, expressed his interest to collaborate with organisations like ACM and to maintain interdisciplinary and inter-association relations where all associations could work together along with clinicians.

The next CME of 2019 was held in Hyderabad , India Which was organised by Dr.Ranganathan Iyer, Senior Consultant in Clinical Microbiology, ID and Infection Control, Gleneagles Global and Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Hyderabad and Dr.Radha Rani, HOD and Chief Infection Control Officer, Basavatharakam Indo-American Cancer Hospital & Research Institute. CME programme wason “Infectious Diseases and its impact on public health”.

The first CME of 2020(CMID 2020) was held at Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology on Feb 29 th 2020 which was organised by Dr.Kavita Raja Vice Pesident ACM Professor and Head of Department of Microbiology, SCTIMST, Trivandrum Kerala India.

The 8th Triennial Conference was postponed to March 18th to 20th 2021 and was conducted fully online. The COVID19 pandemic resulted in cancellation of the General body to be held at St Johns Medical College Bangalore on 7th August 2020. However, it was necessary to elect the new office bearers and present the audited report. Election was conducted online. There were only single candidates for all the vacant posts and hence ballot polling was not necessary. The list of candidates was sent by e mail to all members and since no objection was raised by anybody it was decided that all those who applied for the vacant posts could be installed by an online meeting of current office bearers and new office bearers. The ACM online meeting was scheduled for 05.09.2020 from 6.30 pm to 8pm.Current (2017-2020) and new (2020-2023) office bearers of ACM were invited to join Google meet using a link.Dr.Muralidharan S was elected as the new President, Dr.Kavita Raja, the new Vice-President and Dr.Rakesh Sehgal took over as the new 2 nd Vice-President. Dr.Baijayanthi Mishra became the new Secretary and Dr.Smitha Mary Rockey, the new Treasurer. Dr.Ranganathan Iyer became the Chief Editor of JACM and Dr.V.Mangayarkarasi, the new Jt Secretary.

In view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation, the Eighth Triennial Conference of the Academy of Clinical Microbiologists was held from 18th to 20thMarch 2021 online from 1 to 4 p.m. organized by the Department of Microbiology at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore. The workshop on 18/3/2022 covered two important newer diagnostic techniques such asMALDI-TOF-standardization and implementation for routine use in a microbial laboratory and The molecular pursuit-Infectious Diseases.

The workshop was appreciated well by the participants. The scientific paper covered on day twowere by Dr. EKTA Gupta on “Viral Hepatitis-Recent advances in diagnosis and management”, Dr. Kavita Raja “Infective Endocarditis diagnostic dilemma” and byDr. Jayanthi Savio“Cases Demystified (Fungal) using conventional and new diagnostic tests”. The third day was memorable as DR. Ragini Macaden, Ex-HOD of Microbiology of St. John’s Medical College was felicitated for her lifetime achievements on behalf of ACM& her oration was on “An odyssey in Microbiology” followed by free paper presentation by the registered participants.Two best prizes were awarded to the winners of both oral and poster presentation. Each registered participant was awarded 3 CME credit hours as applicable by the KMC.

The ACM is committed to propagate the concept of practice of Clinical Microbiology. The ACM conducts 2 CMEs every year and 2issues of the Journal of Academy of Clinical Microbiologists are released yearly. There are 401 members [ 36 founder members & 365 life members]enrolled in the Academy of Clinical Microbiologists as on July 2020.