[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 1729







Sponsored by:


District 12 (Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean)

Assemblywoman  ANNETTE QUIJANO

District 20 (Union)


District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)


District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)


Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Gopal, Diegnan, Assemblyman Houghtaling, Assemblywoman Downey, Assemblymen Dancer, Conaway and Mukherji






     Designates Streptomyces griseus as New Jersey State Microbe.



     As reported by the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee on September 17, 2018, with amendments.


An Act designating Streptomyces griseus as the New Jersey State Microbe1[,]1 and supplementing chapter 9A of Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.


Whereas, Streptomyces griseus is a soil-based microorganism that was first discovered in 1New Jersey in1 1916 by Dr. Selman Waksman and Dr. Roland Curtis; and

Whereas, Soon after its discovery, the microbe drew international acclaim for its groundbreaking use as an antibiotic; and

Whereas, In 1943, a research team from Rutgers University, led by 1[Dr. Albert Schatz and]1 Dr. 1[Selman]1 Waksman 1with Albert Schatz and Elizabeth Bugie1, used Streptomyces griseus to create streptomycin, the world’s first antibiotic for tuberculosis; and

Whereas, The original discovery paper for streptomycin, entitled “Streptomycin, a Substance Exhibiting Antibiotic Activity Against Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative Bacteria,” was co-authored by Dr. Waksman, Dr. Schatz, and Elizabeth Bugie, and published in the Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine; and

Whereas, After clinical trials showed that streptomycin cured ailing tuberculosis patients, Merck & Company, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company, quickly made the drug available to the public; and

Whereas, Prior to this discovery, tuberculosis was one of the deadliest diseases in human history and the second leading cause of death in the United States; and

Whereas, Within 1[ten] 101 years of streptomycin’s release, tuberculosis mortality rates in the U.S. fell to a historic low, with only 9.1 tuberculosis-related deaths per 100,000 people in 1955 compared to the rate of 194 deaths per 100,000 people in 1900; and

Whereas, According to a June 1947 New York Times article, streptomycin had “become one of the two wonder drugs of medicine” and offered the “promise to save more lives than were lost in both World Wars”; and

Whereas, Dr. 1[Selman]1 Waksman was later awarded a Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology in 1952 for his work in discovering Streptomyces griseus, creating streptomycin, and curing tuberculosis; and

Whereas, Streptomyces griseus and streptomycin were two of the most consequential discoveries in the fields of biology and pharmacology during the twentieth century; and

Whereas, The unlocking of the antibiotic potential of Streptomyces griseus is a testament to the hard work and tenacity that changed the world; and

Whereas, Few people are aware of the enduring social value of Schatz 1, Bugie,1 and Waksman’s research, as penicillin has overshadowed streptomycin as the twentieth century’s greatest antibiotic discovery; and

Whereas, It is altogether fitting and proper to renew the public’s awareness of this historic achievement, and New Jersey’s role in combating tuberculosis, by designating Streptomyces griseus as the official microbe of the State of New Jersey; now, therefore,


     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


     1.    Streptomyces griseus is designated as the New Jersey State Microbe.


     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.