Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - October 2015

ASM ACTIVITIES

  • ABRCMS 2015
  • ASM M(icro)OOCs
  • ASM Science Teaching Fellowship Program
  • Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
  • MicrobeLibrary
  • K-12 Classroom and Outreach Activities
  • ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute
  • Call for Academy Fellowship Nominations
  • 2016 ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting
  • 32nd Clinical Virology Symposium
  • ASM Microbe 2016
  • Upcoming ASM Conferences
  • Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 ASM Agar Art Contest!

FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES

  • Arctic Natural Sciences; Arctic Social Sciences; Arctic System Science; Arctic Observing Network and Cyberinfrastructure
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
  • Environmental Chemical Sciences  (ECS)
  • Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences: Investigator-initiated research projects (MCB)
  • Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID)
  • Population Dynamics Centers Research Infrastructure Program FY 2016 (P2C)
  • Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions(ATN) Coordinating Center (CC) (U24)

ARTICLES OF INTEREST AND OTHER UPDATES

  • Director, Office of Biodefense Research and Surety, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Graduate assistantship available for 1 M.S. student starting January 2016, LSU Environmental Sciences
  • Medical Mycology Course at Institut Pasteur
  • Graduate student opportunity at Tennessee State
  • Master’s Student Opportunity – Microbial Ecology at Western Michigan
  • Postdoc position in soil biogeochemistry-stable isotope ecology

SPOTLIGHT ON MINORITY MICROBIOLOGISTS

  • Dr. Santo Domingo, Research Microbiologist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH

ASM ACTIVITIES

ABRCMS 2015
The 15th Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) will take place on November 11-14 in Seattle, Wash., and the deadline for discounted registration is fast approaching. Attendees can save $100 over the regular registration fee by signing up on or before October 19. Don't miss this opportunity to network with distinguished speakers and benefit from the special blend of workshops, presentations, professional development opportunities, networking, and more at ABRCMS. For program and speaker updates, visit http://www.abrcms.org. ABRCMS is sponsored by NIH award #T36GM073777.

ASM M(icro)OOCs
ASM M(icro)OOCs, the popular webinar series based on the concept of “massive open online courses,”  is in full swing with its summer-fall offerings for science educators. Under a focus on “Integrating Teaching & Research,” this third installment of the series launched in August and extends through November 2015. Two of four webinars remain open for registrants, and there is a nominal participation fee (members, $25; nonmembers, $45) per webinar. The schedule is as follows:

  • August 26: Students as Research Collaborators (CLOSED)
  • September 23: How to Instruct & Assess Scientific Thinking (CLOSED)
  • October 21: Conducting Authentic & Inquiry-Based Research (CLOSING SOON! Register by October 19)
  • November 18: Publishing: Ethics in Responsible Conduct of Research (Register by November 16)

For more information or to register, please visit http://www.facultyprograms.org/moocs.

ASM Science Teaching Fellowship Program
Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists are encouraged to apply for the 2015-2016 ASM Science Teaching Fellowship Program, an online training experience that guides doctoral-trained participants in understanding the essentials of science teaching positions at non-doctoral, primarily undergraduate institutions such as community colleges, minority-serving institutions, and regional or state colleges. Program activities combine structured mentoring with in-depth webinars, pre- and post-webinar assignments, and a highly interactive community of practice focused on learner-centered teaching, curriculum design, active learning, and more. The experience is fast-paced, intense, and interactive, featuring practical examples in microbiology education. To join the program, apply by November 2. There is a participation fee of $100. Learn more at http://www.facultyprograms.org/stf.

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. Manuscript submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis, and editors provide hands-on guidance throughout the review process. To view the journal’s media kit, submission instructions, and learn about upcoming issues, 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). Library editors are now accepting submissions for the Briefs, Gallery, and SLAMD Collections. Submission deadlines are December 1 for publication in July 2016 and July 1 for publication in December 2016. Learn more at http://www.microbelibrary.org/.

K-12 Classroom and Outreach Activities
ASM Education welcomes microbiologist and educator submissions to the ASM K-12 Classroom and Outreach Activities Collection. Sponsored by the ASM Committee for K-12 Outreach, the collection contains fun exercises meant to illustrate the incorporation of the microbial world in the K-12 community through science courses or community-based events and programs. Each activity is reviewed for scientific and educational content, active learning and engagement, safety, alignment with the National Science Education Standards, and clarity of accompanying instructions. Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis and can be led by anyone — parents, teachers, scout troop leaders, science club members, or even the students themselves. To access the list of activities or for guidelines or other information about the exercises, please visit http://www.asm.org/classroomactivities.

ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute
The ASM Committee on Graduate and Postdoctoral Education welcomes applications to the 2016 ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute (SWPI) Program, an effort that supports beginning researchers in understanding the writing, publishing, and review processes for scientific journals. Led by ASM members who have published widely, reviewed manuscripts, and served on the editorial boards of major journals, the program is a two-part training initiative. The first part, known as SWPI Online, consists of several introductory webinars, and the second part, known as SWPI Face-to-Face, is a multiday in-person workshop. Participation in both programs is beneficial for attendees, but not required.

  • SWPI Online. SWPI Online is a three-month overview of scientific writing and publishing concepts. Open to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists, the experience includes six webinars, pre- and post-webinar assignments, structured mentoring, and a community of practice. The topics covered will include condensed discussions of titles and abstracts; introduction, results, discussions, and methods sections; figures and legends; and the manuscript review process. The 2016 program takes place in January through March, and the application deadline is December 1.
  • SWPI Face-to-Face.At the SWPI face-to-face workshop, emphasis is placed on substantial time for participants to benefit from one-on-one feedback from facilitators, writing practice, and stimulating discussions and interactions. The institute is open to senior-level graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists who are ready for an immersive and intensive writing experience. Before the institute, participants submit in-progress manuscripts for pre-SWPI assessment, and afterward, leave with detailed plans for improving their manuscripts, tools and resources for developing future publications, and a network of peers and mentors for critiques and advice. The next SWPI workshop will take place in the summer of 2016 in Washington, D.C, and the application deadline is April 10.

ASM offers the SWPI with partial support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. For more details about the institute, such as costs and eligibility criteria, please visit http://www.asmgap.org.

Call for Academy Fellowship Nominations
Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology recognize the exception and varied reach of the microbial sciences. Fellows are recognized for scientific excellence, originality, and leadership; high ethical standards as well as scholarly and creative achievement. They are elected each year through a rigorous peer-review process and selected based on outstanding records of scientific achievement and exceptional contributions to the advancement of microbiology.

Qualifications for Fellowship are:

  • An earned doctoral degree
  • Senior professional standing recognized at the national or international level
  • Outstanding and original contributions to the field of microbiology

Outstanding contributions may be evidenced by distinguished scholarly achievement and a strong publication record, supported by strong professional and editorial board service; honorary, scientific, educational, clinical, and professional achievement awards; inventions; patents; and board certification.

The Academy recognizes a new group of exceptional microbiologists each year. The deadline to nominate is November 1. Visit http://academy.asm.org/index.php/nomination-and-election for more details.

2016 ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting
February 8–10, 2016 | Arlington, Virginia
http://www.asm.org/biodefense2016
Submit your abstract today! Don’t miss your chance to debut your research in front of nearly 1,000 scientists, public health researchers, and policymakers.
Abstract Submission Closes: October 29, 2015

32nd Clinical Virology Symposium
May 19–22, 2016 | Daytona Beach, Florida
http://www.clinicalvirologysymposium.org
Stay up-to-date with the latest research on viral infections! New for 2016: the Symposium will take place from Thursday through Sunday, and will include increased networking opportunities.

ASM Microbe 2016
June 16–20, 2016 | Boston, Massachusetts
http://www.asm.org/microbe2016
Integrating ASM's General Meeting and ICAAC, this unique meeting showcases the best microbial sciences in the world and explores the complete spectrum of microbiology. Attend this meeting to hear from the field’s foremost leaders and network with your peers from across the globe. Check out the Schedule-at-a-Glance today.
Abstract Submission Opens: Mid-November, 2015
Abstract Submission Closes: January 12, 2016

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

ASM-ESCMID International Workshop on Dermatological Infections and Food-borne Diseases
October 15–16, 2015 | Hanoi, Vietnam

7th ASM Conference on Biofilms
October 24–29, 2015 | Chicago, IL

4th ASM-ESCMID Conference on Methicillin-resistant Staphylococci in Animals: Veterinary and Public Health Implications
November 2–5, 2015 | Chicago, IL

@ASM Conference on The Individual Microbe: Single-cell Analysis and Agent-based Modeling
March 18–20, 2016 | Washington, DC

Held at the ASM headquarters in Washington, DC, @ASM Conferences are designed to foster interaction and facilitate collaboration between only 50 participants in small, highly interactive settings. The 2016@ASM Conference on The Individual Microbe will feature engaging trans-disciplinary sessions, a half-day modeling workshop, various social events, and more. Submit your online application today.
Online Application Closes: November 10, 2015

13th ASM Conference on Candida and Candidiasis
April 13–17, 2016 | Seattle, WA
Abstract submission, registration and hotel reservations open: November 12, 2015

Save the dates for more 2016 ASM Conferences!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 ASM Agar Art Contest!
The challenge was to create a piece of art using microbes as the paint and agar as the canvas. The winners:

  • First: Neurons, submitted by Mehmet Berkmen of New England Biolabs with artist Maria Penil.
  • Second: NYC Biome MAP, created by citizen scientists and artists at Genspace: New York City's Community Biolab.
  • Third: Harvest Season, created by Maria Eugenia Inda, a postdoctoral researcher from Argentina working at Cold Spring Harbor Labs.
  • People's Choice: Cell to Cell, also created by the first place winners, Mehmet Berkmen with artist Maria Penil.

 


FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES

Arctic Natural Sciences; Arctic Social Sciences; Arctic System Science; Arctic Observing Network and Cyberinfrastructure
The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites investigators at U.S. organizations to submit proposals to conduct research about the Arctic. Arctic research includes field and modeling studies, data analysis, and synthesis about the arctic region.  The goal of the NSF Section for Arctic Sciences, Division of Polar Programs (PLR), is to gain a better understanding of the Arctic's physical, biological, geological, chemical, social and cultural processes; the interactions of oceanic, terrestrial, atmospheric, biological, social, cultural, and economic systems; and the connections that define the Arctic. The Arctic Sciences and other NSF programs support projects that contribute to the development of the next generation of researchers and scientific literacy for all ages through education, outreach, and broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Program representatives from polar and other non-polar NSF programs that support arctic research coordinate across NSF, including joint review and funding of arctic proposals and mutual support of special projects with high logistical costs.  Full proposals are due October 19, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14584/nsf14584.htm.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and in STEM education. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM and STEM education. NSF especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, and veterans to apply. NSF also encourages undergraduate seniors to apply.  Full proposals are due October 26, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15597/nsf15597.htm.

Environmental Chemical Sciences (ECS)
The Environmental Chemical Sciences (ECS) Program supports basic research in chemistry that promotes the understanding of natural and anthropogenic chemical processes in our environment.  Projects supported by this program enable fundamentally new avenues of basic research and transformative technologies. The program is particularly interested in studying molecular phenomena on surfaces and interfaces in order to understand the inherently complex and heterogeneous environment.  Projects utilize advanced experimental, modeling and computational approaches, as well as developing new approaches.  Topics include studies of environmental surfaces and interfaces under laboratory conditions, the fundamental properties of water and water solutions important in environmental processes, dissolution, composition, origin and behavior of molecular scale systems under a variety of naturally occurring environmental conditions, chemical reactivity of synthetic nanoparticles and their molecular level interactions with the environment, and application of theoretical models and computational approaches to discover and predict environmental phenomena at the molecular scale.  Full proposals are due November 2, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503416&org=NSF&sel_org=NSF&from=fund.  

Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences: Investigator-initiated research projects (MCB)
The Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB) supports quantitative, predictive, and theory-driven fundamental research and related activities designed to promote understanding of complex living systems at the molecular, subcellular, and cellular levels. MCB is soliciting proposals for hypothesis-driven and discovery research and related activities in four core clusters: Molecular Biophysics, Cellular Dynamics and Function, Genetic Mechanisms, Systems and Synthetic Biology.

MCB gives high priority to research projects that use theory, methods, and technologies from physical sciences, mathematics, computational sciences, and engineering to address major biological questions. Research supported by MCB uses a range of experimental approaches--including in vivo, in vitro and in silico strategies--and a broad spectrum of model and non-model organisms, especially microbes and plants. Typical research supported by MCB integrates theory and experimentation. Projects that address the emerging areas of multi-scale integration, molecular and cellular evolution, quantitative prediction of phenome from genomic information, and development of methods and resources are particularly welcome. Highest funding priority is given to applications that have outstanding intellectual merit and strong broader impacts. Proposals that include research motivated by relevance to human health or address the molecular basis of human diseases and treatment are not appropriate for the Division and will be returned without review.  Full proposals are due November 15, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13510/nsf13510.htm.

Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID)
The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases program supports research on the ecological, evolutionary, and socio-ecological principles and processes that influence the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases. The central theme of submitted projects must be quantitative or computational understanding of pathogen transmission dynamics. The intent is discovery of principles of infectious disease transmission and testing mathematical or computational models that elucidate infectious disease systems. Projects should be broad, interdisciplinary efforts that go beyond the scope of typical studies. They should focus on the determinants and interactions of transmission among humans, non-human animals, and/or plants. This includes, for example, the spread of pathogens; the influence of environmental factors such as climate; the population dynamics and genetics of reservoir species or hosts; the cultural, social, behavioral, and economic dimensions of disease transmission. Research may be on zoonotic, environmentally-borne, vector-borne, or enteric diseases of either terrestrial or freshwater systems and organisms, including diseases of animals and plants, at any scale from specific pathogens to inclusive environmental systems. Proposals for research on disease systems of public health concern to developing countries are strongly encouraged, as are disease systems of concern in agricultural systems. Investigators are encouraged to develop the appropriate multidisciplinary team, including for example, modelers, bioinformaticians, genomics researchers, social scientists, economists, epidemiologists, entomologists, parasitologists, microbiologists, bacteriologists, virologists, pathologists or veterinarians, with the goal of integrating knowledge across disciplines to enhance our ability to predict and control infectious diseases.  Full proposals are due November 19, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14592/nsf14592.htm.

Population Dynamics Centers Research Infrastructure Program FY 2016 (P2C)
The goal of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to advance the field of population dynamics research by increasing research impact, innovation, and productivity; develop junior scientists; and maximize the efficiency of research support.  The primary objectives of this initiative are to: increase the scientific impact, innovation, productivity of population dynamics research; increase competitiveness for peer-reviewed external funding in population dynamics research; support experiences for junior population dynamics scientists that will contribute to their research independence; and maximize the efficiency of funding for population dynamics research by minimizing the financial and time burdens of providing administrative and other research support services associated with research projects.  A secondary objective is to support the broad dissemination of data, methods, and materials in the field of population dynamics research.

This initiative will provide funding for research infrastructure cores at already productive population research centers. Applicants are required to describe the scientific areas in which they expect to make their most significant contributions to population dynamics research in the next five years. Applicant Centers are expected to have a recent record of high impact, innovative scientific publications and competitiveness for peer-reviewed external funding. Other activities demonstrating productivity include dissemination of innovative data, methods, or materials related to population dynamics.  Letters of intent are due November 21, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HD-16-017.html.  

Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions(ATN) Coordinating Center (CC) (U24)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites applications from institutions/organizations for a Coordinating Center (CC) to provide the data management, coordination and logistical support infrastructure for the Cooperative Research Program grants, RFA-HD-16-035, of the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN). The Network will have the capacity to develop and conduct innovative behavioral, community-based, translational, therapeutic, microbicide and vaccine trials in HIV-at-risk and HIV-infected youth ages 12 to 24 years, with a focus on the inclusion of minors.  Investigators with innovative thinking and novel approaches to address the public health issues facing adolescents are encouraged to apply.  Letters of intent are due December 19, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HD-16-040.html.

 


 

ARTICLES OF INTEREST AND OTHER UPDATES

Director, Office of Biodefense Research and Surety, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is seeking an exceptional and visionary leader for the position of Director, Office of Biodefense Research and Surety (OBRS), Office of the Director (OD), NIAID. NIAID supports well over 100 major research programs and initiatives within three broad, distinct mission areas: biodefense research, AIDS research, and immunologic and infectious diseases.

The mission of OBRS is to serve as the NIAID focal point for coordinating, planning, and implementing biodefense research supported by the NIAID Biodefense Research Program and to serve as the coordinating body for biosafety, biocontainment, and surety systems and procedures in offices across NIAID. To fulfill this mission, OBRS plans, manages, and executes the emergency preparedness planning and continuity of operations planning offices. OBRS also develops, administers, and maintains key databases for NIAID management, evaluation, continuity of operations physical security, and personnel reliability repository. Such databases will include an up-to-date inventory on all biosafety practices for research, as well as national and international biosafety level (BSL)-3/4 facilities and staff clearance and levels.

OBRS develops NIAID procedures and coordinates Institute activities regarding access to and use and protection of classified national security information and sensitive information related to Institute biodefense research; participates in the governance of the high-containment taskforce; and serves as the NIAID liaison with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) OD, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other federal departments and agencies regarding intelligence gathering and analysis that may affect NIH programs and operations. In addition, OBRS provides guidance and direction to the Medical Chemical Defense Research Countermeasure Program (CounterACT).

The program consists of a chemical research budget of approximately $48 million, 7 Institutes, 6 Research Centers of Excellence, 54 individual research projects, numerous small business awards, and 6 interagency agreements with the Department of Defense.

The director, OBRS, reports to the deputy director for science management (DDSM), NIAID; serves as advisor and chief coordinator to ensure effective operations with NIAID's biosafety, biocontainment, and surety systems and procedures; and coordinates NIH’s biodefense research program. In this capacity, the director will oversee and direct two branches: 1) the Biodefense Research Countermeasures Branch and 2) the Surety and Preparedness Coordination Branch.

In addition, the director represents NIAID/NIH on interagency/interdepartmental committees, working groups, and professional meetings, as well as international forums and symposia dealing with biodefense, emerging infections, biosecurity, and biocontainment. The director provides support to the NIH Biodefense Research Coordination Committee, which serves as a focal point for trans-NIH communication and planning for biodefense activities, and participates in governance of the NIH High-Containment Taskforce.

Requirements

Qualifications: Applicants must have an M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent degree, be a U.S. citizen, and demonstrate the following: 1) worked independently in planning and organizing biomedical research and/or biosafety, biocontainment, and bio-surety programs in fields consistent with the NIAID mission; 2) served effectively in research program administration in these fields, which must include managing policies and procedures associated with biodefense, biosafety, biocontainment, and surety; 3) acquired an understanding of the history, interests, internal dynamics, and relationships of the Institutes and Centers of NIH and of organizations in which health research is conducted; 4) worked in a complex electronic environment with an understanding of project management, databases, and repositories; and 5) demonstrated interpersonal skills to facilitate effective interactions with multiple and varied sectors. Preference will be given to those known and respected within their profession, both nationally and internationally, as distinguished individuals of outstanding scientific competence and those who possess a record as a science program leader.

Application Process: Applicant must be a U.S. citizen. Salary is commensurate with experience, and a full package of benefits is available, including retirement, health and life insurance, long-term care insurance, leave, and savings plan (401(k) equivalent). The selected candidate must obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance based on a special background investigation with eligibility for sensitive compartmented information (SCI). Submit your curriculum vitae and bibliography to NIAID-OBRSDirector-Apply@mail.nih.gov. Electronic applications are preferred; however, you may submit paper applications to Ms. Lisa Poindexter-Steed, Office of Science Management and Operations, NIAID, 9000 Rockville Pike, Room 7A l 8, Bethesda, MD 20892-2520, and reference announcement number NIAID-OBRSDirector-Apply.

Contact NIAID-OBRSDirector-Apply@mail.nih.gov with questions or for more information about the position.

The announcement closes on October 23, 2015. Review of applications will begin on or about October 26, 2015. All information provided by applicants will remain confidential and will be reviewed only by authorized NIAID officials.

Visit Careers at NIAID to learn more about NIAID and how you can play a role in this exciting and dynamic research organization.

NIH is dedicated to building an inclusive and diverse community in its training and employment programs. HHS, NIH, and NIAID are equal opportunity employers.

Graduate assistantship available for 1 M.S. student starting January 2016, LSU Environmental Sciences
The principal investigator (PI) is seeking 1 M.S. student interested in studying antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in songbirds.  The student will collect fecal and cloacal samples from birds extracted from mist nets in south Louisiana.  Samples will be processed in a molecular microbiology laboratory using culture-based methods along with molecular methods, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis.  Student will assist the Louisiana Bird Observatory (http://www.braudubon.org/labo/) in the preparation of field supplies for the capture and banding of songbirds.  Student must be mature, responsible, capable of working independently, meticulous, patient, and tolerant of early mornings, warm temperatures, and biting insects.

Tuition is paid, and a stipend of up to $19343 per 12 months will be provided for 12 to 24 months starting in January 2016.  Student will spend 50% of time in the lab, 25% of time in the field, and 25% of time at the computer.  Academic requirements are a GPA of at least 3.0, a GRE score of at least 150 verbal and at least 150 quantitative, and for international students an internet TOEFL score of at least 80. 

Please email (1) GPA, (2) GRE score, (3) picture of transcript (unofficial is acceptable), (4) the names/emails/phone numbers for three references, (5) resume, and (6) the code 32748 in the subject line to cnjohnson@lsu.edu.  The PI, Dr. Crystal Johnson, will evaluate and interview applicants, and finalists will be encouraged to submit formal applications to the LSU Graduate School for evaluation by the Environmental Sciences department. Applicant must also have 3 hours of introductory statistics, 3 hours of chemistry, 3 hours of introductory biological science for science majors, and 6 hours of natural science courses.  Incoming students who need to satisfy any prerequisite requirements are expected to have taken the appropriate courses by the end of the second semester of residency.  More information can be found at http://www.sce.lsu.edu/profile/crystal-johnson/ and http://www.environmental.lsu.edu/

Medical Mycology Course at Institut Pasteur
A medical mycology course is being offered at Institut Pasteur in Paris March 21th – April 15th 2016.  Technical lectures will focus on choice of media, slide cultures, storage of isolates, molecular diagnosis and identification (PCR, qPCR, sequencing, MALDI-TOF), typing techniques (microsatellite, MLST), antifungal susceptibility testing (CLSI/EUCAST microbroth dilution methods, commercially available tests), antigen/antibody detection, and histopathology.  Practical lectures will focus on spectrum of action and pharmacokinetics/dynamics of antifungal drugs, role of the laboratory in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients (direct examination, histopathology, antigen detection, antifungal susceptibility testing results, qPCR…), use and limitation of public and specific databases for molecular identification, and discussion of clinical cases.  Fungal lectures will focus on sexual and asexual reproduction, phylogeny, species identification, resistance mechanisms. Medical lectures will focus on epidemiology, diagnostic criteria for infections due to common and emerging yeasts or filamentous fungi (including invasive and mucocutaneous infections, endemic mycoses), principles of therapeutic management, and practical guidelines.  Deadline is November 1, 2015, and more information is available at http://www.pasteur.fr/teaching/mycology.

Graduate Student Opportunity at Tennessee State
Graduate Student Opportunity in soil microbial modeling A M.S. or Ph.D. Fellowship is available starting in Spring or Fall of 2016 at the Lab of Climate Change and Soil Biogeochemistry (http://jwli.weebly.com/). Research topics may include soil decay modeling, abiotic and microbial interactions and feedbacks, integration of long-term datasets with soil models and data assimilation. Applicants need to be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident for this Fellowship. Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree or M.S. degree (for PhD position) in ecology, soil science, environmental science or a closely related field. Strong desire to work with large datasets and quantitative modeling are expected. The GRA is expected to build strong collaborations with research scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (http://climatechangescience.ornl.gov/). To apply, please send a statement of interest, complete CV, and contact information for two professional references as a single PDF file to jli2@tnstate.edu.  Transcripts and GRE scores are required though unofficial copies are accepted for review purpose. Review of applicants will begin immediately and the earliest start date is in January 2016. Questions should be addressed to Dr. Jianwei Li (jli2@tnstate.edu), Department of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee 37209. Website: http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/resumes/jianwei_li.aspx Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university. TSU has rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. The city of Nashville is a so called “capital for the music”, and along with one of the most vibrant music scenes in America, Nashville is home to a busy arts scene.

Master’s Student Opportunity – Microbial Ecology at Western Michigan
The Department of Biological Sciences at Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo, Michigan seeks one Master’s student to conduct research exploring microbial communities in the atmosphere. The main goals of this research are to examine how urban/rural land use, ecosystem type and atmospheric altitude influence airborne microbial communities. Research will involve inter-disciplinary collaborations with faculty and students in WMU’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Funding for this project provides full summer support in 2016 and 2017 and teaching/research assistant support during academic years. Extensive travel and field work in various locations throughout the United States will be required in summer 2016 and spring 2017. Qualifications: The candidate must have a B.S. degree in biology, environmental science, ecology, microbiology, or a closely related field, and previous research experience prior to start of the position. The successful candidate should be able to demonstrate excellent organizational and writing skills. The research project will require coordination with land managers at various research sites throughout the country and will require the student to work independently and with inter-disciplinary team members. A valid driver’s license and passport are required. Desired Experience: The project will require expertise in DNA extraction, use of bioinformatics pipelines to analyze microbial sequence data and use of multivariate statistics. While not required, experience in these research areas is beneficial. Previous teaching or tutoring experience is also desirable. Start Date: Preferably May 1, 2016. To Apply: Send a letter of interest, including statement of goals and research interests, a resume or curriculum vitae and contact information for three references to the email below. Electronic versions of all materials are required. Please attach all materials as a single PDF file. Review of potential applicants will begin immediately and a short- list of candidates will be encouraged to apply to WMU’s graduate program for the February 2016 deadline. For more information concerning this position, please contact Dr. Kathryn Docherty (kathryn.docherty@wmich.edu) WMU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities and all other qualified individuals are encouraged to apply. 

Postdoc Position in Soil Biogeochemistry-Stable Isotope Ecology
Postdoc position in soil biogeochemistry/stable isotope ecology: Linking redox fluctuations to soil organic matter dynamics using stable isotopes. I am seeking a postdoctoral researcher with broad interests in soil biogeochemistry and strong analytical skills who will develop and apply a laboratory incubation system to make automated high-frequency measurements of soil CO2 fluxes and isotope composition using a tunable diode laser. This project is focused on understanding the impacts of redox fluctuations on soil C dynamics across a spectrum of ecosystems spanning temperate and tropical biomes. The candidate will have flexibility to generate original research questions and experiments within this framework. The candidate will be based in Steven Hall’s laboratory at Iowa State University and will have opportunities to collaborate on an NSF-funded project in the Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory, Puerto Rico, in conjunction with Whendee Silver (UC Berkeley) and Aaron Thompson (U of Georgia). They will interact with a cohort of two other postdocs based in Berkeley and Georgia. Starting date is negotiable, ideally before Jan 2016. The position is for one year with potential renewal based on performance. Competitive salary and benefits will be provided. Required Qualifications: A PhD in ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, chemistry, microbiology, geoscience, or soil science. Expertise in analytical methods for quantifying trace gas dynamics, interests and fluency with current conceptual debates in soil C cycling, and basic facility in R or Matlab. Desired Qualifications: Analysis of CO2 isotope composition and programming Campbell Scientific dataloggers (ie, CR basic). Please send a single pdf file via email to stevenjh@iastate.edu with [deltaCO2-postdoc] in the subject line, including: (a) a one-page cover letter outlining research interests and relevant skills; (b) a CV; and (c) contact information for two references. Evaluation of applications will begin October 1, 2015 and continue until a suitable candidate is hired.

 


SPOTLIGHT ON MINORITY MICROBIOLOGISTS

Dr. Santo Domingo, Research Microbiologist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH
Dr. Santo Domingo is a Research Microbiologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more than 15 years the focus of his work has centered on the development of molecular assays to track sources of pollution and the use of phylogenetic tools to study the composition of drinking water, environmental waters, and wastewater. He holds a PhD in Microbiology from Michigan State University and a MS in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico. He co-authored 96 peer reviewed manuscripts and 18 book chapters and co-edited two books. He was an ad-hoc reviewer for more than 30 scientific journals and federal and international agencies. His current interests relate to molecular microbial ecology, microbial water quality, nitrogen removal and biological phosphate recovery in wastewater, antibiotic resistance, microbial genomics and metagenomics.

Effective monitoring of microbial contamination in drinking water distribution systems is critical to protecting public health. Despite the number of outbreaks associated with drinking water sources, our understanding of microbial contamination in drinking water systems is largely based on data from culture-based methods. In a recent paper by Gomez-Alvarez, V., B. W. Humrighouse, R. P. Revetta and J. W. Santo Domingo [J. Water Health 13(1): 140-51], researchers used molecular methods to analyze the bacterial composition of drinking water samples in two distribution systems. The results show that hundreds of different bacterial groups can inhabit drinking water distribution systems; this includes some that are difficult to detect using culture-based methods. The relative abundance of some of these bacteria may be influenced by the source of the water (ground water vs. surface water) and the treatment process; these factors differed for each distribution system sampled. The resiliency of several bacterial groups found in multiple points within each distribution system was also demonstrated. Overall, the data further enhances our understanding of the microbial community in drinking water systems.


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 Crystal N. Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, and the Associate Editor is Andrea M. Rocha, Ph.D., ORAU postdoctoral research associate within the Biosciences division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN.

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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