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Microbiology Graduate Student Organization


MGSO (the Microbiology Graduate Student Organization) is a group of graduate students at Iowa State University whose research concerns some aspect of Microbiology. Over the course of the school year, MGSO coordinates invited speaker visits, student socials, and community outreach programs. MGSO is affiliated with the Interdepartmental Microbiology department, and our IM majors have been part of more than 15 different home departments, but we also include members with majors in other departments such as Veterinary Microbiology and Interdepartmental Genetics. Because our members are part of an interdepartmental program and spread across campus and further, such as the NADC and the Veterinary Medicine campus, MGSO acts as a crucial social network to tie us together academically and socially. Microbiology majors in Interdepartmental Microbiology are heavily encouraged, though not required, to participate in MGSO.

MGSO is also an excellent way to network across the ISU research community. You will meet a very diverse group of people whose studies cover everything from plant viruses to insect-transported bacteria to microarray statistics to edible vaccines. If nothing else, you can hear about a broad selection of topics and applications for various research tools, and maybe one day when you cannot get your ELISA to work, you will be able to ask some of the people in MGSO for help.

While we are most certainly biased, we really do feel that MGSO is a great opportunity for graduate students, and we hope you have the time to become involved with the organization.

About MGSO

  • MGSO logoThe Microbiology Graduate Student Organization (MGSO) is affiliated with the Iowa State University Interdepartmental Microbiology Program.
  • MGSO is an American Society for Microbiology student chapter.
  • We are represented by one senator in the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS), the self-governing body for graduate students and an important connection between graduate students and new administration policies and programs.
  • Meetings are usually held on the first Friday of every month during the school year in 221 Science I and include free pizza.
  • Dues are $20 per semester. Attendance is not mandatory, although you get the most out of MGSO if you attend often.
  • At least one group social event is organized during each semester. Past events have include ice skating, tubing, canoeing, bowling, and trips to science museums.
  • We typically host two invited speakers every year who are nominated and voted on by our members. We have accommodated speakers from across Iowa, the United States, and the world.

MGSO regularly participates in local elementary school science nights. There are a variety of microbiological educational presentations that we are able to offer. If you represent a local Ames area school, science group, or other educational organization and would like MGSO to be involved, please contact our current outreach coordinator.


  • To organize activities that benefit graduate students involved in all aspects of Microbiology.
  • To represent the interest of MGSO members in all matters that may effect them during their stay at Iowa State University (ISU).
  • To foster an environment of friendship, camaraderie, and cooperation among MGSO members, between MGSO and faculty and staff, and between MGSO and other ISU associations or organizations.
  • To help new Microbiology related students adjust to life at ISU.