On being an honorary member of Arny’s army: some musings about fungal fermentations, secondary metabolism, and scientific communities



This essay is an unabashed celebration of applied microbiology and secondary metabolism, and how one scientist—Arnold Demain—has been a spokesman for industrial microbiology and biotechnology. There are many reasons for Arny’s professional success. During his long and distinguished career, Arnold Demain has expanded and enriched our understanding of the importance secondary metabolism. He has studied topics that ranged from pickles, to pectinolytic enzymes, to penicillin. His experimental versatility was conducted under the unifying theme of fermentation microbiology. In addition, one of his most positive achievements was his ability to bring scientists from different disciplines and national backgrounds together and thereby nucleate new collaborations. I am one of many people who has benefited from Arny’s generous mentoring and speak from the heart when I say that industrial microbiology could not have a better representative. Arny has been the catalyst for much of that has gone right in my professional life and the lives of the many other applied microbiologists who have had the good fortune to know him.



I am grateful to Erick J. Vandamme and Richard H. Baltz for giving me the opportunity to contribute this essay and thereby thank Arny in writing. I also thank Jody Demain for her willingness to share Arny on the dance floor.


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Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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