Betty A Forbes, PhD


Clinical Microbiology
Professor of Pathology
Director of Clinical Microbiology
Office: (804) 828-3494

Betty A. Forbes, PhD, D(ABMM), F(AAM)joined the Department of Pathology in September, 2003, having served as Director of the Routine Bacteriology and Virology Laboratory sections at Upstate Medical University and Director of the Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic Laboratory, Onondaga County Department of Health, Syracuse, N.Y.  She is currently the Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory.  Dr. Forbes received her Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Oklahoma City, OK and completed a two-year Fellowship in Medical Microbiology and Public Health at the University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI.  Following this two-year post-doctoral fellowship, she held a joint research fellowship for one year in Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine and the Department of Clinical Pathology at the University of Michigan Medical Center.  Dr. Forbes is board-certified by the American Board of Medical Microbiology and is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Dr. Forbes is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in clinical microbiology.  She is actively involved in the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) having served on numerous committees such as the American Board of Medical Microbiology Examination Committee, Program Planning Committee for the ASM General Annual Meeting and the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy; she also served as Chair of Division C (Clinical Microbiology) Division in the ASM, American College of Microbiology, and the Committee on Election to Fellowship for the American Academy of Microbiology.   She has also played a major role on national and international levels as the Chairperson in formulating the first guidelines for the laboratory diagnosis of mycobacterial infections through the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI); she will be participating in updating these guidelines through the CLSI.  She also served on the CLSI, Consensus Committee on Microbiology.  Most recently, she has been responsible for writing practice guidelines for the ASM related to the diagnosis of mycobacterial infections  and evidence-based practices for diagnosis of Clostridium difficile infections. Her publication record demonstrates numerous publications in peer-reviewed literature, book chapters, as well as an editor for one of the major teaching textbooks in diagnostic microbiology.  She is sought both nationally and internationally as an expert in clinical microbiology.  Currently, Dr. Forbes is an editor for both theJournal of Clinical Microbiology and the Clinical Microbiology Newsletter.  She also was the Editor-in-Chief for Clinical Microbiology Reviews (ranked #2 in top 20 microbiology journals for impact factor).

Dr. Forbes teaches CLS students, pathology and internal medicine residents, medical students and Infectious Disease Fellows.   In collaboration with Dr. Doern, a new 42-lecture series for internal medicine infectious disease fellows and residents has been developed and implemented.  Dr. Forbes has great interest in rapid laboratory diagnostics, and in particular, the implementation of nucleic acid-based techniques for the diagnosis of infectious diseases.  The diagnosis of mycobacterial infections has been a rewarding and specific focus of her research being instrumental in the development and implementation of nucleic acid amplification methods for detection and identification of this group of challenging pathogens.  She has received awards for her contributions to professional societies, education, and research.

Clinical Specialties: Clinical Microbiology, Infectious Diseases