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Arthur Guruswamy is a clinical microbiologist in Virginia’s Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services and the winner of ASM's Scherago-Rubin Award in recognition of an outstanding, bench-level clinical microbiologist. His particular interest lies in mycobacterial and fungal diseases, including tuberculosis.
In his work, Mr. Guruswamy places a lot of emphasis on helping others. A while back, he traveled to his native Sri Lanka to train clinic staff in the use of a rapid, low tech method for identifying cases of tuberculosis. Using this method has probably saved many lives, since staff Mr. Guruswamy trained can now treat their patients quickly and avoid the three to four week wait for culture results.
Mr. Guruswamy is also involved in ASM’s Minority Mentoring Program so he can offer younger scientists the kind of assistance he says he got from other ASM members back at the beginning of his own career, when he arrive in the United States with less than $50 in his pocket.
In this interview, I asked Mr. Guruswamy about his work at the state lab in Virginia, about tuberculosis in this country, and about why he saw more unusual clinical cases during his time working at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota than he has during any other phase of his career.
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