Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - December

ASM ACTIVITIES

  • Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
  • MicrobeLibrary
  • ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship
  • Biology Scholars Program
  • ASM-CDC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
  • 2015 ASM Biodefense & Emerging Diseases Research Meeting
  • 31st Annual Clinical Virology Symposium
  • asm2015: 115th General Meeting
  • NEW DATE: ICEID 2015: International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • ASM Conferences

FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES

  • Ocean Sciences Research Initiation Grants (OCE-RIG) Broadening Participation
  • Non-Traditional Therapeutics that Limit Antibacterial Resistance (R21/R33)
  • T32 Training Program for Institutions That Promote Diversity (T32)
  • Host-Directed TB Therapy: New Approaches (UH2/UH3)
  • Targeting Persistent HIV Reservoirs (TaPHIR) (R21/R33)

ARTICLES OF INTEREST AND OTHER UPDATES

  • Assistant/Associate Professor in Microbial Ecology: Microbiome/Infectious Disease - Michigan State University
  • PhD positions available in microbial ecology at Boston University
  • Fully-funded microbial ecology graduate student positions (M.Sc. or Ph.D.) available at the University of Montreal
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB)

SPOTLIGHT ON MINORITY MICROBIOLOGISTS

  • Tamika Payne, Ph.D., ASM/ Center for Disease Control (CDC) Resident Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases (NCPDCID), Atlanta, GA

 


 

ASM ACTIVITIES

Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
The ASM Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) welcomes submissions of articles that foster scholarly teaching in the biological sciences. Available in PubMed Central, JMBE features peer-reviewed, practical tips for teaching, education research and perspectives, innovations in science, and reviews. The journal is a freely available, open-access publication, and there are no page charges for authors. Manuscripts are accepted on a rolling basis, and editors provide hands-on guidance throughout the review process. To view the journal’s media kit, articles, or submission instructions, visit http://jmbe.asm.org.

MicrobeLibrary
Students and faculty are encouraged to visit and contribute to MicrobeLibrary, a peer-reviewed, digital media center of more than 1,700 free resources developed by and for educators. Library content is available through four searchable collections: Visual Media Briefs, the Gallery, Laboratory Protocols, and the Student Learning Assessments in Microbiology Database (SLAMD). Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis, and library editors are now accepting content for the Briefs, Gallery, and Protocol Collections. Learn more at http://www.microbelibrary.org/.

ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship
The ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship program provides undergraduates interested in graduate careers (Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.) in microbiology with opportunities to conduct full-time research at their home institutions and present research results. Fellows spend at least 10 weeks in the summer conducting research under the direction of ASM member faculty mentors. In addition, dependent on abstract submission and acceptance, fellows are supported to present their research results at the following summer’s ASM General Meeting. Apply by 1 February. Note: This program requires a joint application from the student and an ASM member willing to serve as the faculty mentor for the duration of the fellowship. Learn more at http://www.asm.org/urf.

Biology Scholars Program
Developed with support from NSF (grant no. DUE-1022542), the ASM-NSF Biology Scholars Program offers three professional development residencies that help biology and microbiology faculty in taking their classroom teaching and educational research to the next level. Each residency is a yearlong commitment comprised of online assignments, one or two face-to-face meetings, and specialized peer-to-peer mentoring. Assessment Residency participants learn to measure students’ foundational knowledge, monitor gains in learning, and collaborate with colleagues to improve student learning and performance. Research Residency participants design research projects that investigate student learning; understand methods for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting surveys and data on student learning outcomes; and identify venues for publishing study results. Transitions Residency participants “transition” from conducting scholarly work in student learning to publishing in biology and/or science education venues. Apply by 1 February. Learn more at http://www.biologyscholars.org.

ASM-CDC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Postdoctoral scientists are encouraged to submit applications for 2014 ASM-CDC Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. Offered through the ASM-CDC Program in Infectious Disease and Public Health Microbiology, each fellowship is a two-year research experience under the mentorship of CDC scientists. The goal of the fellowship is to support the development of new approaches, methodologies, and knowledge in infectious disease prevention and control in areas within the public health mission of the CDC. All fellows perform research at a CDC location. Available fields of study include bacterial and mycotic diseases, viral and rickettsial infections, and HIV/AIDS.Apply by 15 February. Learn more at http://www.asm.org/cdcfellowship.

2015 ASM Biodefense & Emerging Diseases Research Meeting
February 9-11, 2015 | Washington DC
http://www.asmbiodefense.org
From expert researchers to early-career scientists, this year’s ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting offers opportunities for all who are carrying out research to defend against the growing threat of bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases.

Important Date

Discounted Registration Rate Deadline: January 12, 2015

31st Annual Clinical Virology Symposium
April 26-29, 2015 | Daytona Beach, Florida
http://www.clinicalvirologysymposium.org
Present your research to over 1,000 biomedical researchers and primary care physicians from around the world. Here is your chance to put your work at the center of this year’s discussion on rapid viral diagnosis, clinical course of viral infections, and preventive and therapeutic modalities for virus infections.

Important Dates

Abstract Submission Deadline: February 24, 2015

asm2015: 115th General Meeting
May 30 – June 2, 2015 | New Orleans, Louisiana
http://www.asm.org/asm2015
asm2015 will host a wide range of interactive workshops, scientific sessions, and networking events specifically designed to explore each unique area of microbiology — including yours!

Important Date

Discounted Registration Rate Deadline: April 13, 2015

NEW DATE: ICEID 2015: International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
August 24 - 26, 2015 | Atlanta, Georgia
http://www.iceid.org
The response to the Ebola outbreak has redirected much of our community’s work. In order to deliver the strongest program possible the conference has been rescheduled to August.   The conference brings together public health professionals to encourage the exchange of scientific information on global emerging infectious disease issues in the United States and abroad.  

Important Dates
             Abstract Submission and Registration Opens: February 12, 2015
             Abstract Submission Closes: March 23, 2015

ASM Conferences
http://www.asm.org/conferences

@ASM Conference on Mechanisms of Interbacterial Cooperation and Competition
March 13-16, 2015 | Washington, DC

4th ASM Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance in Zoonotic Bacteria and Foodborne Pathogens
May 8 - 11, 2015 | Washington, DC

Important Dates
Abstract Submission Deadline: March 2, 2015

5th ASM Conference on Prokaryotic Cell Biology and Development
June 12 - 16, 2015 | Washington, DC

Important Dates
Abstract Submission Opens: January 6, 2015

 


FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES

Ocean Sciences Research Initiation Grants (OCE-RIG) Broadening Participation
The Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) offers Research Initiation Grants in an effort to increase the participation of under-represented groups in the ocean sciences. Research Initiation Grants provide startup funding for researchers who have been recently appointed to tenure track (or equivalent) positions, with the twin goals of enhancing the development of their research careers and broadening the participation of under-represented groups in ocean sciences. In this solicitation, the term under-represented groups will refer to and include the following: veterans, persons with disabilities, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders. Full proposals are due January 13, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13606/nsf13606.htm.

Non-Traditional Therapeutics that Limit Antibacterial Resistance (R21/R33)
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is to solicit applications for early-stage translational research projects focused on discovery and development of novel non-traditional therapeutics that provide alternative treatment modalities for infected patients and address the growing health care threat of increasing antibiotic resistance. Letters of intent are due January 23, 2015, and more information is available at
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AI-14-066.html.

T32 Training Program for Institutions That Promote Diversity (T32)
The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to enhance the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic and sleep disorders research across the career development continuum. The NHLBI’s T32 Training Program for Institutions That Promote Diversity is a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Program intended to support training of predoctoral and health professional students and individuals in postdoctoral training institutions with an institutional mission focused on serving health disparity populations not well represented in scientific research, or institutions that have been identified by federal legislation as having an institutional mission focused on these populations, with the potential to develop meritorious training programs in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep disorders. The NHLBI’s T32 Training Program for Institutions That Promote Diversity is designed to expand the capability for biomedical research by providing grant support to institutions that have developed successful programs that promote diversity and serve health disparity populations and that offer doctoral degrees in the health professions or in health-related sciences. These institutions are uniquely positioned to engage minority and other health disparity populations in research, translation, and implementation of research advances that impact health outcomes, as well as provide health care for these populations. Letters of intent are due February 18, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-16-007.html.

Host-Directed TB Therapy: New Approaches (UH2/UH3)
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit applications for support of preclinical evaluation, planning for and conduct of proof-of-concept clinical studies for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) treatment that will be applicable in the context of HIV co-infection using host-directed agents already approved for clinical use or in late-stage clinical trials for other conditions. Host-directed therapies (HDT) for TB that may also have activity against HIV, either directly or by enhancing immunologic reactions, are of particular interest. Funds from the NIH will be made available through the UH2/UH3 cooperative agreement award mechanism. The initial UH2 award (up to two years) will support the development of critical preclinical data, development of study partnerships, and development of the proof-of-concept (POC) trial protocol and all supporting plans and documentation. Once UH2 pre-clinical and clinical milestones have been met, the UH3 award (up to 3 years) may be made to support the planned POC clinical trial. Letters of intent are due February 25, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AI-14-058.html.

Targeting Persistent HIV Reservoirs (TaPHIR) (R21/R33)
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to stimulate the development of innovative tools and strategies for curing HIV infection. HIV establishes latent infection in long-lived cells that form a reservoir of virus that persists in infected individuals even after years of treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Curing HIV infection requires innovative strategies to identify and eliminate these reservoir cells. The task is especially difficult given the lack of HIV protein expression during latency and the low frequency of latently infected cells during treatment. Novel approaches are therefore sought to efficiently monitor and specifically target reservoirs of latently infected cells to facilitate the testing of strategies to cure HIV infection in vivo. Full proposals are due April 7, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-15-041.html.

 


ARTICLES OF INTEREST AND OTHER UPDATES

Assistant/Associate Professor in Microbial Ecology: Microbiome/Infectious Disease - Michigan State University
The Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University seeks candidates at the Assistant or Associate Professor levels for a position in the microbial ecology of infectious disease including interactions between host, microbiome, pathogen and environment. Of special interest within the broad area of the microbial ecology of infectious disease are systems biology and evolution at the molecular level, physiology and metabolic networks of microbial consortia, interactions of pathogens with mammalian hosts, insect vectors, and/or microbiota within them, host innate immunity to microbes, and the application of “omics” technology to study these areas. Significant opportunities exist for collaboration with faculty associated with the NSF BEACON Center (Evolution in Action), the NIH Enterics Research Investigational Network, the NIH International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research, the RDP, and the Center for Water Sciences. A strong record of research accomplishment and/or potential for an independent, externally funded research program with national visibility is expected. Academic rank will be commensurate with experience. Teaching in graduate, professional, and/or undergraduate programs is expected. The offer will include a competitive startup package and laboratory facility.

Applications should be submitted electronically at https://jobs.msu.edu (posting #0519) with requisite material (letter of interest, curriculum vitae listing past and current funding if appropriate, a statement of future research goals, and names of three potential references (not to be contacted until approval is received from the applicant)) uploaded as a single PDF. Review of applications will begin immediately and remain open until filled.

Additional information could be obtained via email to the Search Committee Executive Assistant at mmgchair@msu.edu. http://www.mmg.msu.edu

Minimum qualifications: Ph.D. and one year of post-doctoral experience and one first author paper in both graduate school and post-doctoral.

Desired qualifications: Ph.D. or equivalent in microbiology, genetics, immunology, cell biology, biology or a closely related field.

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through diversity. The University actively encourages applications of women, persons of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities, and we endeavor to facilitate employment assistance to spouses or partners of candidates for faculty and academic staff positions.

For more information go to ASM Career Connections at: http://www.asmcareerconnections.org/c/job.cfm?site_id=756&job=21322764.

PhD positions available in microbial ecology at Boston University
The Talbot lab is seeking Ph.D. students to join the lab in the Fall of 2015. We seek motivated students to work on projects focused on the ecology and biochemistry of microorganisms in the environment, with the goal of understanding the mechanisms of microbial community dynamics and their role in biogeochemical cycles. Students will have the opportunity to become proficient in molecular, biochemical, ecological, and mathematical approaches to study microbes in both the laboratory and field systems. Our work focuses on the ecology of fungi, because they are responsible for moving large amounts of energy and elements between the biosphere and the atmosphere, their taxonomic and ecological diversity is immense, and because new tools are emerging to study these aspects of fungi in exciting and creative ways. However, we also offer the opportunity to work on other types of microbes important to the functioning of ecosystems. The Talbot lab is located on the Charles River Campus at Boston University, where we interact with a variety of research programs spanning the Department of Biology, the Department of Chemistry, which houses the new Chemical Instrumentation Center (http://www.bu.edu/chemistry/resources/cic/), and the Department of Earth and Environment. We also have a large and diverse Department of Microbiology at the BU medical school, where the new National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratory (NEIDL: http://www.bu.edu/neidl/) is located. In addition to the graduate program in the Department of Biology, the College of Arts and Sciences hosts a number of interdisciplinary graduate research programs that span departments, including the Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry program (http://www.bu.edu/mcbb/), the Biogeosciences program (http://www.bu.edu/bio-geo/), and the Bioinformatics program (http://www.bu.edu/bioinformatics/). Applicants with a background in ecology, chemistry, molecular biology, mycology, and/or microbiology are encouraged to apply. Ideal students would have interest and experience in molecular and/or chemistry techniques. More information on our lab’s current activities can be found on the lab website: https://microbesatbu.wordpress.com/. Interested candidates should contact Jenny Talbot via email (jmtalbot@bu.edu) with information about their previous experience and their interest in joining the lab. Information about the BU Department of Biology Graduate Program, including graduate admissions deadlines, can be found here: http://www.bu.edu/biology/graduate/.

Fully-funded microbial ecology graduate student positions (M.Sc. or Ph.D.) available at the University of Montreal
Fully-funded graduate student positions (M.Sc. or Ph.D.) are available for motivated students interested in studying the ecology of microbial communities (microbiomes) associated with spruce budworm and their host trees during the current outbreak that is having major impacts on Quebec forests. The objectives of the project are to use field surveys and experimental manipulations of spruce budworm and host tree microbiomes, in order to understand the processes responsible for variation in microbial community structure in the budworm gut at multiple scales, and to quantify the effect of gut microbes on budworm growth, survival, and ecological interactions. Students will be co-supervised by Dr. Steven Kembel (UQAM) and Dr. Patrick James (UdeM), and/or Dr. Daniel Kneeshaw (UQAM). The students will also work closely with a multidisciplinary team carrying out research on spruce budworm outbreak dynamics and forest ecology, including Dr. Louis DeGrandpré, and Dr. Deepa Pureswaran (Canadian Forest Service, NRCan). Students will have the opportunity to develop projects and receive training in diverse areas including field ecology, laboratory and greenhouse experiments, high-throughput environmental sequencing, biostatistics, and bioinformatics for the quantification of microbiome structure. The ideal candidate will have a strong academic record and an interest in ecology (insect, plant, or microbial) and quantitative methods in community ecology or bioinformatics. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions have been filled. To apply, please submit a cover letter stating your research interests, CV, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for three references to: Dr. Steven Kembel (kembel.steven_w@uqam.ca), Dr. Patrick James (patrick.ma.james@umontreal.ca), and Dr. Daniel Kneeshaw (kneeshaw.daniel@uqam.ca).

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB)
The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) awards Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology to recent recipients of the doctoral degree for research and training in selected areas supported by BIO and with special goals for human resource development in biology. The fellowships encourage independence at an early stage of the research career to permit Fellows to pursue their research and training goals in the most appropriate research locations regardless of the availability of funding for the Fellows at that site. For FY 2015 and beyond, these BIO programs are (1) Broadening Participation of Groups Under-represented in Biology, (2) Research Using Biological Collections, and (3) National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. These areas change periodically as new scientific and infrastructure opportunities present themselves. For this reason, this solicitation will be changed as necessary to reflect the areas being funded. Full proposals are due January 8, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15501/nsf15501.htm.


SPOTLIGHT ON MINORITY MICROBIOLOGISTS

Tamika Payne, Ph.D., ASM/CDC Resident Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases (NCPDCID), Atlanta, GA
CD8+ T cells are associated with long term control of HIV-1 replication to low or undetectable levels in a population of HIV+ therapy-naïve individuals known as virus controllers (VCs). These subjects’ ability to inhibit HIV-1 replication in the absence of antiretroviral therapy makes them a gold standard for the type of CD8+ T-cell response that should be induced with a vaccine. Previous research has shown that the CD8+ T cell population in VCs is heterogeneous in its ability to inhibit virus replication and distinct T cells are responsible for potent virus inhibition. Tamika’s work focuses on elucidating the antigen specificity, genetic signature(s), and mechanism of genetic regulation at work in those select CD8+ T cells that can potently inhibit HIV-1 replication. Tamika’s recent publication (Journal of Virology (2014): JVI-00802.) showed that there is a prevalence of p24 and Nef specificity among CD8+ T cells capable of HIV-1 inhibition. These p24 and Nef specific cells exhibit an up-regulation of multiple effector molecules including macrophage inflammatory proteins (MIPs) and lymphotactin (XCL1) which can block HIV-1 entry. Results indicate that mRNA stability, in addition to transcription, is key in regulating the expression of these and other anti-HIV-1 effector molecules in antigen-specific memory CD8+ T cells and indicates that antigen-specificity may dictate mechanism of genetic regulation employed by CD8+ T cells. These findings, along with Tamika’s other work, allow for better evaluation of T cell-directed vaccine modalities, development of new strategies to identify how CD8+ T cells are able to carry out anti-HIV-1 functions, and may inform the design of new therapies.

Tamika was born and raised in Guyana, South America and immigrated to the United States at age six. In May 2009, Tamika graduated with her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) where she was a Meyerhoff, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and MARC U*STAR scholar as well as an UNCF/ Merck Undergraduate fellow. Currently, Tamika finished her Ph.D. as a member of the laboratory of Dr. Georgia Tomaras in the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology program at Duke University. While at Duke, Tamika has engaged in many activities away from the bench including involvement in Duke University Bouchet Society (a student-led organization which works to strengthen the efforts of underrepresented minority graduate students and promote diversity and inclusion in the sciences) as well as BOOST, a mentoring program for local 6th-8th graders. After completing her Ph.D. this fall, Tamika will join the laboratory of Dr. Ellen Kersh where she will study the interplay of contraception use and HIV-1 acquisition as an ASM/CDC Resident Postdoctoral Research Fellow. In her free time, Tamika enjoys spending time with her family, driving around the country with her husband, and watching sports.

 


In July 2006, the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM) of the American Society for Microbiology Public and Scientific Affairs Board developed a monthly e-newsletter which contains information pertinent to minority microbiologists. Currently, there are very few minority-based newsletters for scientists, and there are none for microbiologists.

This e-newsletter provides a central means of distributing pertinent information to underrepresented minorities in the field of microbiology. Some examples include career advice, networking tips, relevant news articles, unique funding and career opportunities, microbiological issues affecting minorities (e.g., HIV), minority issues affecting microbiologists (e.g., minority retention), and scientific articles published by minorities or by minority-serving institutions (MSIs).

The target populations are African-Americans, Latino-Americans, Native Americans, Alaska natives, and Pacific Islanders; however, all ASM members are invited to sign up and to share this information with others who may find this e-newsletter beneficial.  

Signing up to receive The Minority Microbiology Mentor is very easy and is open to ASM members and non-members: simply go to http://asm.org/index.php/component/content/article/31-forms/forms/238-subscribe-to-listserv, enter your email address, and select "MinorityMicroMentor" then submit, and you will receive confirmation of your subscription by email. If you are an ASM member, you will be prompted to Log In before signing up.

The Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities is chaired by Dwayne W. Boucaud, Ph.D., Professor in the Quinnipiac University Department of Biomedical Sciences in Hamden, CT.  The Minority Microbiology Mentor Editor-in-Chief is Dr. Floyd L. Wormley Jr., Ph.D., Associate Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Associate Editor is Crystal N. Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.

The MMM can post employment ads only if they are first featured on the ASM’s Career Connections site: http://www.asmcareerconnections.org/home/index.cfm?site_id=756. Career Connections is offering a discount for job postings that are featured in the MMM. Please contact CMIIM@asmusa.org with your ad needs.

For more information about the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM) go to the committee’s web page: http://www.asm.org/cmiim

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