Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - November 2016

ASM ACTIVITIES

  • ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Online Course
  • Save the date! ASMCUE 2017 heads to Denver, Colorado
  • JMBE: New Journal Issue Available - Microbiology as a Nursing Curriculum Staple
  • Register for the Next ASM M(icro)OOCs Webinar on November 16th!
  • 2017 ASM Biothreats: Research, Response and Policy
  • 33rd Clinical Virology Symposium
  • ASM Microbe 2017
  • ASM Conference on Antibacterial Development
  • ASM Conference on Mechanisms on Interbacterial Cooperation and Competition
  • ASM Conference on Innovative Microbial Ecology for Mitigation of Antibiotic Resistance and Bacterial Diseases
  • ASM Conference on Tuberculosis: Past, Present and Future
  • ASM – ASV Conference on Interplay of Viral and Bacterial Pathogens – “Living as a Threesome in the Gut: Viruses, Bacteria and the Host”
  • Certify Your Worth!

FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES

  • Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Advanced Molecular Detection in Support of Systems for Prevention, Treatment and Control of HIV, HCV and Related Comorbidities in Rural Communities Affected by Opioid Injection Drug Epidemics in the United States (U24)
  • Collaborative Consortia for the Study of HIV-Associated Cancers: U.S. and Low-and Middle-Income Country Partnerships (U54)
  • Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases  (EEID)
  • Smart and Connected Health  (SCH)

ARTICLES OF INTEREST AND OTHER UPDATES

  • Postdoc position available at FAMU School of the Environment
  • Dr. Henry Williams, FAMU, selected as ASM Distinguished Lecturer

CMIIM Celebrates American Indian Heritage Month: Dr. Kat Milligan-Myhre, Assistant Professor Biological Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage

SPOTLIGHT ON MINORITY MICROBIOLOGISTS

Dr. Kat Milligan-Myhre, Assistant Professor Biological Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage
UAA 2015 by Rachel1.JPGMicrobes and their hosts exist in a delicate balance, which, when disturbed, can result in inflammation and/or increased susceptibility to disease in the host.  The host genetic background can influence this balance, in part through its influence on the strength of the immune response to microbes.  To examine the contribution of the host genetic background to this relationship, Dr. Milligan Myhre et al. developed the evolutionary model organism threespine stickleback fish to study how genetic background contributes to the host’s relationship with its microbes.  They found that although there were not differences in several other developmental and intestinal morphology measurements, stickleback from two genetically differentiated populations varied in their immune response to microbes, and that the populations differed in their gut microbiota.  This study, published in Disease Models & Mechanisms (doi: 10.1242/dmm.021881), lays the foundation for using stickleback as a model organism to identify genes that contribute to the relationship between microbes and their hosts. 

Dr. Kat Milligan-Myhre, Inupiaq, runner, mother, and scientist, is from Kotzebue, an Arctic village in Northwest Alaska.  She took a circuitous route to science via several career paths, including radio DJ, hotel administration studies at Cornell University, and pre-med studies.  She earned a BS in Medical Microbiology and Immunology and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin Madison.  Her microbial studies have included the genetic and environmental regulation of toxin production in S. aureus; characterization of genes that contribute to the pathogenesis of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii; and the immune response to microbes in zebrafish.  During her postdoc at the University of Oregon, Dr. Kat adapted the evolutionary model organism threespine stickleback for host-microbe studies.  As an assistant professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, she now focuses on how genetic background contributes to hosts’ relationships with their microbes.  

ASM ACTIVITIES

ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Online Course
How do you get started writing an introduction? What’s the best way to structure your discussion section? Find answers to these questions and more in our new ASM Education Department blog post, and if you’re looking for more help writing journal articles, consider our Scientific Writing and Publishing Online Course. Led by ASM members who have published widely, reviewed manuscripts, and served on the editorial boards of major journals, this online webinar series provides graduate students, postdoctoral and early to mid-career scientists with training in the writing, publishing, and review process. The seven part series will take place January through April 2017. Registration is accepted on a first come, first serve basis until December 1. Learn more about the Scientific Writing and Publishing Online Course

Save the date! ASMCUE 2017 heads to Denver, Colorado
ASM is excited to share the new dates and location for the ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE). Next year’s Conference will take place on July 27-30, 2017 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver Colorado. ASMCUE gathers nearly 400 microbiology and biology educators for an interactive four-day conference. Educators come from colleges, universities and international institutions to learn and share the latest information in the biological sciences and education research.

The conference program includes plenary, concurrent, poster, and exhibit sessions. Participants engage in formal and informal small group discussions between colleagues, all focused on the same goal: to improve teaching and learning in the biological sciences. The deadline to submit abstracts for poster presentations is February 15, 2017. Visit the ASMCUE website to check for updates to the preliminary program and important deadlines.

JMBE: New Journal Issue Available - Microbiology as a Nursing Curriculum Staple
The editors of ASM's Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) – the premier journal for microbiology and biology education research – are pleased to announce the publication of the December 2016 issue (volume 17, issue 3) of the journal. It will feature 35 articles available via 9 sections. The issue is introduced by an editorial from JMBE’s editor-in-chief, Dr. Samantha L. Elliott of St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The editorial seeks support from the community to keep microbiology as a mandatory component of the nursing curriculum.

Some other highlights of the new issue include: late-breaking abstracts from the 2016 ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators, research on student misconceptions, a guide for assessing a CURE, and a vetted statistics module for the classroom. There are over ten innovative, easily-implemented classroom and laboratory activities on topics such as quantitative modeling and using Twitter as a teaching tool. The December issue will also include a discussion of ASM’s Science Teaching Fellows online course structure and its impact on participants.

JMBE content – including the newly published December issue – is available at ASMscience.org, the one-stop shop for ASM books, journals, and reports. 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. View the journal’s media kit, author guidelines, and sign up for eTOC alerts

Register for the Next ASM M(icro)OOCs Webinar on November 16th!
The ASM M(icro)OOCs is a four-part webinar course focused on increasing quantitative biology in undergraduate education. The course is coupled with an online mentoring network, where participants can share and develop curricula. Each of the four 60-minute webinars will address common issues around teaching quantitative skills and reasoning, ranging from dilutions to graphing to data analysis.

Join our next webinar, Data Analysis: My Students Collected Data – Now What? on Wednesday November 16th at 3:00 PM ET. Participants may join at any time with access to previous recorded sessions in the series. Register here

2017 ASM Biothreats: Research, Response and Policy
February 6–8, 2017 | Washington, DC
Join the top minds in Biothreats to help prepare for, mitigate, and prevent global microbial threats. Register today to join your peers in government, academia, and industry to discuss a wide-range of biological threats and emerging infectious diseases.

33rd Clinical Virology Symposium
May 7–10, 2017 | Savannah, Georgia
This international symposium delves into the relationship between rapid viral diagnosis, clinical course of viral infections, and preventive and therapeutic modalities for viral infections. Submit an abstract today to present your cutting-edge research and recent discoveries at this leading event.

ASM Microbe 2017
June 1–5, 2017 | New Orleans, Louisiana
This unmatched event showcases the best microbial sciences in the world, and provides a one-of-a-kind forum to explore the complete spectrum of microbiology from basic science to translation and application. Stay tuned!  Abstract submission opens mid-November.

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

ASM Conference on Antibacterial Development
December 11–14, 2016 | Washington, DC
Hotel reservation deadline: November 18, 2016

ASM Conference on Mechanisms on Interbacterial Cooperation and Competition
March 1–4, 2017 ǀ Washington, DC
Abstract submission deadline: December 5, 2016
Early bird registration deadline: January 19, 2017
Housing reservation deadline: February 7, 2017

ASM Conference on Innovative Microbial Ecology for Mitigation of Antibiotic Resistance and Bacterial Diseases
March 22–25, 2017 | Crystal City, VA
Abstract submission deadline: January 12, 2017
Early bird registration deadline: February 9, 2017     

ASM Conference on Tuberculosis: Past, Present and Future
April 1–4, 2017 ǀ New York, NY
Abstract submission deadline: January 19, 2017
Early bird registration deadline: February 16, 2017  
Housing reservation deadline: March 10, 2017 

ASM – ASV Conference on Interplay of Viral and Bacterial Pathogens – “Living as a Threesome in the Gut: Viruses, Bacteria and the Host”
May 1–4, 2017 | Bethesda, MD
Abstract submission opens: December 1, 2016
Abstract submission deadline: February 21, 2016
Early bird registration deadline: March 21, 2017
Housing reservation deadline: April 10, 2017

Save the dates for more 2017 ASM Conferences!

Certify Your Worth!
The National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM) offers certification to those who work in the following microbiology laboratories: food safety and quality, pharmaceutical and medical device and biological safety. It is achieved by passing an online multiple-choice exam that is offered daily in the month of April at testing centers worldwide. The application deadline for the April 2017 exam is February 1.

Certification is a voluntary process in which individuals are recognized for demonstrating required skills and knowledge.  Many individuals seek certification to obtain credentials that will set them apart from others. Employers sometimes use certification to differentiate between similar candidates for a position.

Visit http://www.asm.org/nrcm to learn more!


FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Advanced Molecular Detection in Support of Systems for Prevention, Treatment and Control of HIV, HCV and Related Comorbidities in Rural Communities Affected by Opioid Injection Drug Epidemics in the United States (U24)
This FOA will support a Center for HCV next-generation sequencing (advanced molecular detection) using Global Hepatitis Outbreak and Surveillance Technology (“GHOST”) to be developed in collaboration with CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis. The GHOST Center will support HCV next-generation sequencing activities of research projects funded by the companion RFA (RFA-DA-17-014).  This FOA also will support a Center for HCV next-generation sequencing (advanced molecular detection) using Global Hepatitis Outbreak and Surveillance Technology (“GHOST”) to be developed in collaboration with CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis. The GHOST center will support HCV next-generation sequencing activities of research projects funded by RFA-DA-17-014," HIV, HCV and Related Comorbidities in Rural Communities Affected by Opioid Injection Drug Epidemics in the United States: Building Systems for Prevention, Treatment and Control (UG3/UH3)" which will conduct community assessments of HIV, HCV and comorbid conditions as well as intervention projects which increase public health services available for the prevention and detection of HIV, HCV, HBV, STIs and linkage to care, as well as linkage to drug treatment. Organizations that apply for the community research projects to be funded under RFA-DA-17-014 also are eligible to apply to this FOA, although study teams must submit separate applications for each FOA and each application should reflect the distinct aims, objectives, expertise, etc. needed for each project. U24 recipients will need to participate in project planning and implementation activities with PDs/PIs from the RFA-DA-17-014 awards.

Letters of intent are due December 10, 2016, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DA-17-023.html.

Collaborative Consortia for the Study of HIV-Associated Cancers: U.S. and Low-and Middle-Income Country Partnerships (U54)
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to fund research on HIV-associated cancers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) through collaborative efforts between investigators in United States (U.S.) and investigators in LMICs. The FOA will also support the enhancement of research capacity of LMIC institutions for research in this area. The FOA solicits applications for Specialized Center Cooperative Agreements (U54) for research on HIV-associated cancers from research institutions in the U.S. and LMICs.  Each application is required to propose between two to three research projects that address high-priority questions relevant to both the LMIC and the NIH HIV/AIDS research agenda.  The proposed projects may range, as appropriate, from basic research to translational efforts as well as population and implementation studies. Clinical trials, however, will not be supported.  In addition, the proposed consortium must include two mandatory cores; an Administrative Core and a Career Enhancement Core.  Additional cores such as Shared Resource cores may be included as appropriate for the needs of the projects.

Letters of intent are due November 20, 2016, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-CA-16-018.html.

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 16, 2016, and more information is available at https://www.nsf.gov/mobile/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5269&org=NSF&from=home.

Smart and Connected Health (SCH)
The goal of the Smart and Connected Health (SCH) Program is to accelerate the development and use of innovative approaches that would support the much needed transformation of healthcare from reactive and hospital-centered to preventive, proactive, evidence-based, person-centered and focused on well-being rather than disease. Approaches that partner technology-based solutions with biobehavioral health research are supported by multiple agencies of the federal government including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The purpose of this program is to develop next generation health care solutions and encourage existing and new research communities to focus on breakthrough ideas in a variety of areas of value to health, such as sensor technology, networking, information and machine learning technology, decision support systems, modeling of behavioral and cognitive processes, as well as system and process modeling. Effective solutions must satisfy a multitude of constraints arising from clinical/medical needs, social interactions, cognitive limitations, barriers to behavioral change, heterogeneity of data, semantic mismatch and limitations of current cyberphysical systems. Such solutions demand multidisciplinary teams ready to address technical, behavioral and clinical issues ranging from fundamental science to clinical practice.  The purpose of this interagency program solicitation is the development of next generation health and healthcare research through high-risk, high-reward advances in the understanding of and applications in information science, technology, behavior, cognition, sensors, robotics, bioimaging, and engineering. Collaboration between academic, industry, non-profit and other organizations is strongly encouraged to establish better linkages between fundamental science, clinical practice and technology development, deployment and use. This solicitation is aligned with the visions (e.g., PCAST, NRC, IOM) calling for major changes in health and wellbeing as well as healthcare delivery and is aimed at the fundamental research to enable the change. Realizing the promise of disruptive transformation in health and healthcare will require well-coordinated, multi-disciplinary approaches that draw from the social, behavioral, and economic sciences, engineering, medicine, biology, and computer and information sciences. One class of proposals will be considered in response to this solicitation, Integrative Projects (INT), with multi-disciplinary teams spanning 1 to 4 years.  Full proposals are due December 8, 2016, and more information is available at https://www.nsf.gov/mobile/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504739&org=NSF&from=home.


ARTICLES OF INTEREST AND OTHER UPDATES

Dr. Henry Williams, FAMU, selected as ASM Distinguished Lecturer
Dr. Henry Neal Williams, Professor at Florida A&M University’s School of the Environment, has been selected to serve as an American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer for a two year term, from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018. The American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer (ASMDL) Program annually selects a scientifically diverse group of distinguished lecturers to be available to deliver lectures at meetings and events of any of the 35 ASM Branches throughout the country.  Lecturers are chosen through a competitive nomination process, and only the most distinguished lecturers and researchers are chosen to participate in the program. Williams has been an active member in the ASM for over 40 years and has been nationally recognized through several organizational awards and appointments. He was selected in 1980 as the ASM Congressional Science Fellow and served the year in the office of United States Senator, Charles McC. Mathias. For his work mentoring and training students and young university faculty, including members traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, Williams was the selected recipient of the 2003 William A. Hinton Award.  Also in 2003, he was elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology, an honorific leadership group that recognizes excellence, originality and creativity in the microbiological sciences. In recent years he has served on Advisory Boards of the NSF Science and Technology Center – The Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations at the University of Southern California; the Florida Center of Ocean Sciences Education Excellence and the NSF Division of Graduate Education Committee of Visitors IGERT/GK12.  Williams has served as a consultant for private companies as well. He has held faculty and administrative appointments at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Morgan State University. Williams’ appointment makes FAMU the first HBCU to have a regular full time faculty to be selected as an ASM Distinguished Lecturer.  The ASM Distinguished Lecturer Program has continued the tradition of scientific excellence that has made it a mainstay of Branch programming for over 50 years.   The program makes it possible for ASM Branches to secure outstanding microbiologists as speakers at their local scientific meetings.  The program stimulates attendance and participation at these meetings, indirectly promotes membership, and allows Branches to bring in excellent speakers which they often could not do without the financial support of the program.  In addition, the program encourages formal and informal interaction between the program speakers and students, postdocs, junior faculty, and other early career scientists. In the last 20 years alone, ASM Distinguished Lecturers have provided over 500 lectures to thousands of Branch meeting attendees. The ASM Distinguished Lecturer program is administered through the Office of Branch Activities in the Membership Services Department of ASM. For more information, see http://www.asm.org/distinguished-lecturer. (Credit: Florida A & M University press release)

Postdoc position available at FAMU School of the Environment
Seeking a postdoc to work on a study involving bacterial predators (bacteriophage, protists, Bdellovibrio like organisms). Expertise required in molecular microbial ecology and experience in DNA isolation, PCR, qPCR, and use of bioinformatic tools and software such as mothur, R and/or Perl programming.  Enumeration and characterization of bacteria by plating methods, quantitative real-time PCR, and epifluorescence microscopy. The qualified individual must be able to carry out these techniques independently. Also required is experience in basic bacteriological techniques such as culturing, isolation, maintenance of lab culture collections, etc. Experience in flow cytometry and light and electron microscopy a plus. Applicants should be experienced in conduct of microbial ecology field and laboratory experiments. Considerable travel between two laboratories required. A vehicle and license to operate a vehicle in the U.S. is mandatory. Laboratory management skills and training of students is required. Send CV to: Henry N. Williams, Ph.D., Professor, Florida A&M University, School of the Environment, 1515 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32301 or e-mail: henryneal.williams@famu.edu

Applicants must be able to start within six weeks following receipt of an offer.


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://www.asm.org/index.php/subscriptions2, 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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