Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - November 2012

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CMIIM

SPOTLIGHT ON MINORITY MICROBIOLOGISTS

In recognition of National Native American Heritage Month and the many contributions of Native Americans to the microbiological sciences, The Minority Microbiology Mentor spotlights Megan R. Kiedrowski, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Iowa Department of Microbiology

ASM ACTIVITIES

  • ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Grant
  • ASM Congressional Science Fellow Secures Congressional Office Position
  • MicrobeLibrary: New Resources Wanted
  • ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute
  • JMBE: Now Accepting Submissions!
  • ASM Undergraduate Research Capstone
  • ASM-CDC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
  • New from ASM Press
  • ASM PRESS: Featured Titles
  • ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting
  • asm2013 | 113th General Meeting
  • ASM Conferences

FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES

  • Tuberculosis Research Units (U19, RFA-AI-12-045 )
  • Collaborative Network for Clinical Research on Immune Tolerance (UM1, RFA-AI-12-043 )
  • Epigenomics of Virus-Associated Oral Diseases (R01, RFA-DE-13-002)
  • Dynamics of Host-Associated Microbial Communities (R01, RFA-GM-14-001)
  • Ocean Acidification (OA, NSF 12-600)
  • Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID, NSF 12-587)
  • Algorithms for Threat Detection (ATD, NSF 12-502)

ARTICLES OF INTEREST AND OTHER UPDATES

  • Dr. Welton I. Taylor (1919 – 2012), Inventor, Microbiologist, Historian, and Academician, Memorial Service Slated for November 17, 2012
  • URM Postdoctoral Enrichment Program applications being accepted
  • Dr. Karine Gibbs receives Packard Foundation Award
  • Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA) Travel Awards available
  • Graduate Assistantships in the Florida International University Department of Biological Sciences
  • Resident Professor in Global Health (Ethnobiology) in Costa Rica
  • Faculty Position in Microbial Ecology
  • Contract Biologist Position

 


SPOTLIGHT ON MINORITY MICROBIOLOGISTS

In recognition of National Native American Heritage Month and the many contributions of Native Americans to the microbiological sciences, The Minority Microbiology Mentor spotlights Megan R. Kiedrowski, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Iowa Department of Microbiology
The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis are prominent causes of acute and chronic infections. The ability of staphylococci to establish biofilms has been linked to the persistence of chronic infections, which has drawn considerable interest from researchers over the past decade. Biofilms are communities of surface-attached bacteria encased in an extracellular matrix, and treatment of biofilm infections is a challenge due to their increased resistance to both antimicrobials and host immune defenses. In the review “New approaches for treating staphylococcal biofilm infections,” the authors introduce S. aureus and S. epidermidis biofilms and summarize current antibiotic treatment approaches for staphylococcal biofilm infections (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1241(1), 104–121). New, alternative strategies for preventing biofilm formation and dispersing established biofilms are also discussed, including matrix-degrading enzymes, small-molecule approaches, and manipulation of natural staphylococcal disassembly mechanisms. While many of these new approaches are still in the early stages of research, they have great promise for improved treatment of biofilm infections in the future.

Megan Kiedrowski is a member of the Sault St. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. She is currently a graduate student in the Microbiology PhD program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA. Her academic research focuses on biofilm formation by the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus and in particular, on the production of S. aureus extracellular nucleases and how these enzymes affect biofilm formation. In 2011, she was a recipient of a Baxter International Inc. Young Investigator award for her work on S. aureus nuclease. Prior to beginning studies in Iowa, Megan attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a B.S. in Medical Microbiology and Immunology in 2007. There, she worked in the laboratory of Joseph Dillard studying type IV secretion in the bacterial pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Megan was active in the UW-Madison chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), attending several AISES national conferences where she presented her research and helping to organize student retreat weekends that gave Native American high school students the chance to visit the UW campus prior to making their college decisions. She is defending her thesis on November 15 and will be graduating this December with her PhD. Following graduation, she will be beginning a postdoctoral research position in the early summer of 2013.


ASM ACTIVITIES

ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Grant
In an effort to increase the participation of underrepresented minority (URM) groups in microbiology related fields, ASM will offer American General Meeting Minority Travel Grants to help defray expenses associated with travel to asm2013. Postdoctoral scholars, faculty from URM groups, and faculty from Minority Serving Institutions and Community Colleges who have demonstrated their interest in mentoring URM trainees in the microbiological sciences will be eligible to receive up to $2,000. Funding for this program is pending. For complete details on eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and to download the application form, please visit http:www.asm.org/asmgmminoritytravelgrant.

ASM Congressional Science Fellow Secures Congressional Office Position
Kristen E. Shatynski, Ph.D., ASM’s 2012-2013 Congressional Science Fellow has found a placement in the office of Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA). The American Society for Microbiology has supported Congressional Fellows since 1977. The ASM Congressional Science Fellowship Selection Committee selects a postdoctoral to mid-career microbiologist to spend one year on the staff of an individual congressman, congressional committee, or with some other appropriate organizational unit of Congress.   Prospective Fellows must be citizens of the United States, members of ASM for at least one year and must have completed their Ph.D. by the time the fellowship begins in September. The Congressional Science Fellowship is supported in part by the Frobisher Fund, a bequest made to ASM by Martin Frobisher.   Contact the Office of Public Affairs at publicaffairs@asmusa.org for more information on the ASM fellowship or go to the ASM web page for a program description: http://asm.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7535.  The deadline for applications for the 2013 – 2014 fellowship is February 22, 2013.

MicrobeLibrary: New Resources Wanted
Students and faculty are encouraged to visit and contribute to MicrobeLibrary – a repository of more than 1,600 free resources developed for and by educators. Newly organized as a peer-reviewed, digital media center, the library divides its vast resources into four searchable collections: Visual Media Briefs, the Gallery, Laboratory Protocols, and – coming in 2013 – the Critical Thinking Question Bank. Visual Media Brief editors welcome animations, images, and videos formatted as short research communications for a scientific journal (that is, with introduction, methods, discussion, and reference sections). Gallery editors welcome images, videos, and animations that can enhance lecture or lab presentations. Submission deadlines are July 1 (for publication in December) and December 1 (for publication in May). For author guidelines and instructions, visit http://www.microbelibrary.org.

ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute
December 1 is the deadline for senior-level graduate students and early-career postdoctoral scientists to apply for the 2013 ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute, which will be held March 21-24 at ASM’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. Co-sponsored by ASM and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the institute offers careful guidance in (i) writing and submitting manuscripts, (ii) writing abstracts and titles, (iii) selecting journals for submission, (iv) strategically suggesting the best editors and reviewers for a manuscript, (v) responding to reviewer comments and learning to be a good reviewer, and (vi) addressing ethical issues related to scientific research and publishing. Learn more at http://www.asmgap.org.

JMBE: Now Accepting Submissions!
The ASM Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) – the premier journal for microbiology and biology education research – welcomes submissions of articles that foster scholarly teaching in the biological sciences. Each issue of JMBE features peer-reviewed, practical tips for teaching, education research and perspectives, innovations in science, and reviews. Articles may be accessed at no cost, there are no page charges for authors, and journal editors provide hands-on guidance throughout the review process. Manuscripts are reviewed on a rolling basis, with dispositions provided within five weeks. However, to be considered for each volume, submissions must be received by July 1 (for the December issue) or December 1 (for the May issue). To view instructions for authors, access current and past issues, or sign up for eTOC alerts and reminders about submission deadlines, visit http://jmbe.asm.org.

ASM Undergraduate Research Capstone
Undergraduate students, especially those from minority groups that are underrepresented in the sciences, are invited to apply for the ASM Undergraduate Research Capstone Program. The capstone experience enhances the professional development of students by providing them with opportunities to present their microbiological-sciences-related summer research. Awardees are supported to attend the ASM General Meeting and the ASM Presentation Institute, with the meeting providing a national venue for them to practice the skills they learn at the institute. These skills include preparing effective abstracts and posters, making successful scientific presentations, and interacting professionally with colleagues. Note that capstone awards are contingent upon abstract acceptance to the ASM General Meeting; thus, applicants must also submit abstracts for participation in the meeting. The application deadline is December 1. Learn more at http://www.asm.org/urc.

ASM-CDC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Postdoctoral scientists are encouraged to submit applications for the ASM-CDC postdoctoral research fellowship program. Offered under 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, among others. The application deadline is January 15, 2013. For eligibility criteria and other information, visit http://www.asm.org/cdcfellowship.

ASM PRESS: Featured Titles
Genomes of Foodborne and Waterborne Pathogens
Editors: Pina Fratamico and Yanhong Liu
, Eastern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Sophia Kathariou, North Carolina State University
Hardcover: 978-1-55581-457-1
List Price: $159.95
Member Price: $127.95

Detailed interpretation of the environmental consequences of the latest findings from genome sequencing studies—presenting both scientific and public health opportunities.

  • Explains how understanding pathogen genomics can help ensure the safety of global food and water supplies.
  • Focuses on specific food- and waterborne pathogens that represent major public health threats.
  • Examines how global trends, such as climate change, increasing human populations, and rising levels of pollution, are stressing the ecosystems that food- and waterborne pathogens encounter, forcing them to adapt.
  • Serves as an excellent text for microbiology and genomics researchers, public health officials, regulators, food scientists, and other applicable professionals.

For more information related to Genomes of Foodborne and Waterborne Pathogens please visit: http://estore.asm.org/viewItemDetails.asp?ItemID=959.

Stable Isotope Probing and Related Technologies
Editors: J. Colin Murrell
, University of Warwick; Andrew Whiteley, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Hardcover: 978-1-55581-537-0
List Price: $159.95
Member Price: $127.95

The ideal starting point for investigating, developing, and implementing stable isotope technologies.

  • Guides researchers through basic, tested, and proven protocols including DNA, RNA, protein, and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) SIP, from concept and history through detailed methodology, troubleshooting, and interpretation to optimal and future uses.
  • Explores important and emerging applications of SIP in environmental microbiology, ranging from bioremediation and gene mining to carbon tracking and gut microflora function.
  • Examines explorations of further elegant isotope labeling technologies such as Raman-FISH, NanoSIMS, and isotope arrays.
  • Serves as a valuable resource for environmental microbiology students and researchers and genomics, biotechnology, and medical microbiology professionals.

For more information related to Stable Isotope Probing please visit:
http://estore.asm.org/viewItemDetails.asp?ItemID=961.

Bacterial Pathogenesis: A Molecular Approach, Third Edition
Authors: Brenda Wilson, Abigail Salyers, and Dixie Whitt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Malcom Winkler, Indiana University Bloomington
Hardcover: 978-1-55581-418-2
List Price: $89.95
Member Price: $89.95

Discover the strategies bacterial pathogens use to survive and multiply.

  • Focuses on core principles based on the growing understanding of the underlying similarities among pathogens and their mechanisms of action, and is a recommended text for one-semester microbiology courses.
  • Presents the latest research to help students explore the mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens cause infections in humans and animals.
  • Includes new coverage of key findings on the mechanisms of bacterial secretion, toxins, and regulation.

For more information related to Bacterial Pathogenesis, 3e please visit:
http://estore.asm.org/viewItemDetails.asp?ItemID=966.

Find all of these titles and more at http://estore.asm.org/press

When you buy books directly through the ASM Press, you support the society that supports the science of microbiology.

ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting
February 25-27, 2013 | Marriott Wardman Park Hotel | Washington, DC

December 3, 2012:        Abstract Submission Closes                
December 5, 2012:        Student Travel Grant Nominations Due
December 6, 2012:
        Website Opens                                               
December 6, 2012:        Registration & Housing Open    

Join leading scientists, public health researchers, and policy makers to learn about the latest advancements in the biodefense and emerging disease fields.

For more information go to: http://www.asmbiodefense.org

asm2013 | 113th General Meeting
May 18-21, 2013 | Denver, Colorado

November 15, 2012:      Website Opens
November 15, 2012:      Abstract Submission Opens                            
November 15, 2012:      Registration & Housing Opens              
January 15, 2013:         Abstract Submission Deadline
April 1, 2013:                Advance Registration Closes    

asm2013 will showcase the central role of microbes in the biosphere by reporting today’s best science in the diverse areas influenced by microbes. The breadth of this meeting provides participants with the chance to immerse themselves in their field of specialization and take forays into different disciplines.

For more information go to: http://www.asm.org/asm2013

ASM Conferences
Save the date!

3rd ASMET - The ASM Emerging Technologies Conference
June 25 – 28, 2013 | Izmir, Turkey

4th ASM Conference on Salmonella: The Bacterium, the Host and the Environment
October 5-9, 2013 | Boston, Massachusetts

3rd ASM-ESCMID Conference on Methicillin-resistant Staphylococci in Animals: Veterinary and Public Health Implications
November 4 – 7, 2013 | Copenhagen, Denmark

For more information go to: http://www.asm.org/conferences

 


FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES

Tuberculosis Research Units (U19, RFA-AI-12-045)
The purpose of this FOA is to support the establishment of two to three multinational, multidisciplinary Tuberculosis Research Units (TBRUs) that will operate as a collaborative network to study tuberculosis latency and persistence and their relation to active TB disease, in humans and animal models. During the past 15 years, biomedical research in TB has led to an improved understanding of host/pathogen interactions, and many of these findings translated to a now sizeable pipeline of drug, vaccine and diagnostic candidates. However, a transformation in how this complex disease can be optimally managed continues to be hampered by a limited understanding of the stages of TB infection that precede active pulmonary disease (latency) or are implicated as the reason for prolonged antibiotic treatment (persistence). Latency and persistence are characterized by low levels of bacteria in secretions and likely other sites of infection (paucibacillary stages) which are inherently difficult to study and have also limited our understanding of their transition to active pulmonary or extra-pulmonary disease. Letters of intent are due January 14, 2013, and more information is available at
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AI-12-045.html.

Collaborative Network for Clinical Research on Immune Tolerance (UM1, RFA-AI-12-043)
The purpose of this FOA is to solicit applications for the Collaborative Network for Clinical Research on Immune Tolerance. The major goal of this Network is to develop new tolerogenic approaches for the treatment and prevention of disease in three clinical areas: asthma and allergic diseases; autoimmune diseases; and immune-mediated rejection of transplanted solid organs, tissues and cells. The scope of research to be carried out includes: 1) the design and conduct of clinical trials at all phases to evaluate the safety and efficacy of investigational products and approaches for the induction and maintenance of immune tolerance in humans; 2) the design and conduct of mechanistic studies and the development of tolerance assays as integral components of the clinical trials undertaken, including establishing and directing a consortium of laboratories; and 3) the provision of bioinformatics, data collection, validation and analysis resources. In addition, on a limited basis, the Network may support focused product development and nonclinical studies (e.g., toxicology, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, etc.) essential for the subsequent evaluation of promising tolerance induction approaches in humans. Letters of intent are due February 7, 2013, and more information is available at
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AI-12-043.html.

Epigenomics of Virus-Associated Oral Diseases (R01, RFA-DE-13-002)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), solicits novel, research project grant (R01) applications proposing to investigate the epigenetic basis of virus-associated oral diseases in order to guide the discovery and application of novel epigenomic-based clinical interventions. These studies are expected to: 1) discover and define the mechanisms of action of epigenomic modifications in viral and host epigenomes; and 2) demonstrate how modifications in the host and viral epigenomes cause pathophysiological changes in oral cells and tissues that result in oral diseases and may also cause diseases in other parts of the body. Letters of intent are due January 21, 2013, and more information is available at
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DE-13-002.html.

Dynamics of Host-Associated Microbial Communities (R01, RFA-GM-14-001)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), solicits applications that propose genetic, physiological, and ecological studies designed to reveal the basic principles and mechanisms that govern the symbiotic systems dynamics of host-associated microbial communities. Applicants may propose the use of human or simple-to-complex animal models or synthetic systems with a direct link to the host, but must describe how the model system proposed allows one to ask a basic biological question that is relevant to this FOA. One might reasonably expect that these studies will reveal evolutionary conserved principles that address questions such as: what factors distinguish microbes that comprise the core of the community from those that are transient; what are the key characteristics of niche environments that favor particular assemblages of microbes; by what means do the microbes in the community interact with each other and with the host, and how do the communities evolve – i.e., what is their natural history? Letters of intent are due December 14, 2012, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-GM-14-001.html.

Ocean Acidification (OA, NSF 12-600)
The need for understanding the potential adverse impacts of a slowly acidifying sea upon marine ecosystems is widely recognized and included as a priority objective in the new National Ocean Policy. The effects of ocean acidification could significantly affect strategies for developing practices towards the sustainability of ocean resources. Basic research concerning the nature, extent and impact of ocean acidification on oceanic environments in the past, present and future is required. Research challenges include: understanding the geochemistry and biogeochemistry of ocean acidification; understanding how ocean acidification interacts with biological, chemical and physical processes at the organismal level, and how such interactions impact the structure and function of ecosystems, e.g. through life histories, food webs, biogeochemical cycling, and interactions with other changes in the ocean (e.g., temperature, stratification, circulation patterns); and understanding how the earth system history informs our understanding of the effects of ocean acidification on the present day and future ocean. Applications are due December 4, 2012, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12600/nsf12600.htm.

Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID, NSF 12-587)
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 on 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; or 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 involve the public health research community, including for example, epidemiologists, physicians, veterinarians, food scientists, social scientists, entomologists, pathologists, virologists, or parasitologists with the goal of integrating knowledge across disciplines to enhance our ability to predict and control infectious diseases. Applications are due December 5, 2012, and more information is available at
http://nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12587/nsf12587.htm

Algorithms for Threat Detection (ATD, NSF 12-502)
The Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) has formed a partnership with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) to develop the next generation of mathematical and statistical algorithms for the detection of chemical agents, biological threats, and threats inferred from geospatial information. This program solicits proposals from the mathematical sciences community in two main thrust areas: mathematical and statistical techniques for genomics, and mathematical and statistical techniques for the analysis of data from sensor systems. Applications are due January 10, 2013, and more information is available at
http://nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12502/nsf12502.htm.


 

ARTICLES OF INTEREST AND OTHER UPDATES

Dr. Welton I. Taylor (1919 – 2012), Inventor, Microbiologist, Historian, and Academician, to be laid to rest on November 17, 2012
The microbiology world mourns the loss of Dr. Welton I. Taylor, who passed away on Thursday, November 1, 2012. Dr. Taylor earned his B.A. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1941, where he majored in bacteriology and minored in chemistry. He joined the ROTC and served valiantly in World War II as a Tuskegee Airman. He went on to earn his master's and doctorate degrees in microbiology in 1947 and 1948, respectively.

He served as an instructor and assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and became world renown for his research of gas gangrene and tetanus. He was successfully brought on as a consultant by Swift and Company to help with a salmonella outbreak and was heavily sought in the U.S. and Europe in standardizing microbiological analyses and characterizing and preventing outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. At Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital he served as Microbiologist-in-Chief specializing in nosocomial and iatrogenic infections in patients, which led to further establishment of Dr. Taylor as a knowledgeable specialist in the field.

Eventually the World Health Organization requested his presence in England and France, where he continued to make contributions so outstanding that the Centers for Disease Control named Enterobacter taylorae in honor of him and colleague Joan Taylor of the Colindale laboratory in London, England. He was the original developer of SS media, which aided in the diagnosis of Shigella and Salmonella infections in the young. He was the owner of several patents and developed a device for certifying foods as bacteria-free and went on to establish a business, Micro-Palettes, Inc., as a result.

He was one of the first African-American members of the American Society for Microbiology, having joined the Society in 1947, and he attended and spoke at several General Meetings and the Minority Mixer. He was the first African-American member of the University of Illinois's ROTC, and the oldest living African-American microbiologist. He chaired the committee that originally established the publication of a journal of clinical microbiology and served on the journal's first editorial board. He was a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and served on several ASM committees. He was the recipient of numerous other awards and served on countless boards and committees over the years. He was featured in the ASM News "Faces of ASM" series (ASM News 68 (1), January 2002, http://www.asm.org/images/PSAB/Taylor.pdf) and was presented with the Tanner/Shaughnessy Merit Award from the Illinois Society for Microbiology (March 2007). More recently, he was honored by the Tuskegee Airmen and authored a memoir entitled "Two Steps from Glory" (http://www.amazon.com/Two-Steps-From-Glory-Confronts/dp/0983867712/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1345559444&sr=8-3&keywords=two+steps+from+glory), which he published with the help of his daughter, Karyn J. Taylor. More information is available on Dr. Taylor at: http://www.asm.org/index.php/underrepresented-members/97-policy/documents/2099-clmm, and http://www.asm.org/index.php/underrepresented-members?id=2113.

Visitation will be at 10:00 AM, and the service starts at 10:30 AM. Immediately after, the Repast will be held at Church of St. Paul and the Redeemer, 4945 S. Dorchester Ave, Chicago, IL 60615. All visitors are welcome and encouraged to attend.  

Associate Editor's personal note: I first met Dr. Taylor at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Minority Mixer in Chicago, IL in May of 1999 during the 3rd year of my Ph.D. studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He was there sharing stories about his days in the military, in graduate school, at Swift and Company, and at the University of Illinois. Here was an 80-something year old black microbiologist who was probably the first in almost any category imaginable, plus a few more that he never even knew about. This was my future. Dr. Taylor represented both where we (as scientists in general, as blacks in general, as microbiologists, as food microbiologists, etc.) had been and where we were going. He was a pathfinder, a way-maker, a pioneer, and was still around to talk about it. He represented everything I wanted to be when I was 80-something, and he was willing to serve as my mentor. He had so much to share, and he told it with excitement and panache, often with a conspiratorial wink and wiggle of the eyebrows. Here was a microbiologist, an inventor, and a Tuskegee Airman with decades of knowledge and a willingness to share it. He had survived racism in Birmingham, AL, World War II, graduate school, segregation, academia, and was still lucid enough to tell about it.

He spoke of how he discovered bacterial salt requirements in SS agar by simply sprinkling a few crystals on the plate and watching the Salmonella grow toward the salt gradient. He spoke of working in Europe and the U.S. as a consultant and how his criticisms of how the chickens were housed were not well received. "Well of *course* you have a Salmonella problem, your chickens are walking around in their own feces!" he would say. His logic was met with fierce resistance but eventually accepted as obvious truth. He spoke of how he developed improved methods for transporting samples back to labs by simply keeping them in a semi-moist state. He spoke of how today's microbiologists need to "get out of the cell," in other words stop focusing so much on the molecular interactions and remember that bacteria are interacting with their environments too. Sage advice, indeed, for this microbial ecologist who now has made a career of studying how Vibrios interact with their environments. Dr. Taylor was a big part of who I am as a microbiologist today. He was always respected, loved, and admired by many more than he could ever have known. I am thankful for his playing such an important role in my life. I am thankful he paved the way, advised, educated, and inspired. Thanks so much to Karyn, Shelley, and Mrs. Taylor for sharing him with the rest of us. He will be missed.

URM Postdoctoral Enrichment Program applications being accepted
The URM Postdoctoral Enrichment Program award provides a total of $50,000 over three years as outlined below to support the development of a URM postdoctoral fellow in a degree-granting institution (or its affiliated graduate and medical schools, hospitals and research institutions) in the United States or Canada. Individual URM postdoctoral fellows conducting biomedical or medical research are eligible to apply. This award cannot be used to provide the postdoctoral fellow’s salary or to purchase reagents or equipment commonly found in the mentor’s laboratory. A qualified mentor is required for the URM Postdoctoral Program. It has been documented that minorities are less likely to enter and remain in science and engineering when they lack mentors and role models. In most science and engineering disciplines, the percentage of URMs among faculty recently hired is not comparable to that of recent minority Ph.Ds. and is far below that of recent bachelor degree recipients. This results in fewer minority faculty who act as role models for minority students. (A National Analysis of Minorities in Science and Engineering Faculties at Research Universities, Nelson and Brammer, January 2010). This program is designed to encourage innovative scientists with broad ranging backgrounds in the biomedical and medical sciences and with experiences in working with postdoctoral fellows to consider serving as mentors. Applications are due January 15, 2013, and more information is available at http://www.bwfund.org/pages/669/URM-Program-Application/.

Dr. Karine Gibbs receives Packard Foundation Award
In 1988 the Packard Foundation established the Fellowships for Science and Engineering, the goal of which was to support promising young scientists. This year's award recipients included Dr. Karine Gibbs, who was featured previously (The Minority Microbiology Mentor, Vol. 3, No. 12, December 2008). Dr. Gibbs is currently an assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard University, where she also earned her B.A. cum laude in Biochemical Sciences.   As a Ph.D. student at Stanford University, she studied the cell biology of pathogens and developed tools to follow the movements of proteins on the bacterial surface and was the recipient of both an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and an ASM Robert D. Watkins Minority Graduate Research Fellow. She completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of Washington. More information on the Packard Foundation Awards is available at http://www.wiareport.com/2012/10/three-academic-women-win-packard-fellowships/?utm_source=Women+In+Academia+Report&utm_campaign=d2618d9b69-Women_in_Academia_Report_6_14_116_13_2011&utm_medium=email.

Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA) Travel Awards Available
The Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA) Committee is pleased to announce two Travel Awards of $1500 each for research at the ASM Archives in the area of the history of microbiology.   The grants support research of the awardees’ choosing, and awardees may be invited to present their research at the ASM Annual Meeting and/or prepare an article for Microbe, the ASM membership magazine. The CHOMA collections, located at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), include 9,000 volumes on microbiology and related topics; photographs of scientists and microbes; topical files on various aspects of microbiology; biographical materials; instructional materials, including slides and motion pictures; records of the Society from its founding in 1899 to the present, including journals and proceedings of meetings; and several collections of personal papers. For additional information on the collection, go to http://www.asm.org/choma or contact the ASM Archivist, Jeff Karr, at jkarr@asmusa.org.

Applicants for the History of Microbiology Research Travel Awards must provide a CV (any length), a detailed description of the proposed project (three pages maximum) clearly demonstrating its historical intent, and a tentative list of archive materials to be used based on the descriptions of CHOMA holdings found at the website. In addition, a short description of previous historical research undertaken by the applicant (if applicable) and/or an indication of how/why the applicant became interested in the history of microbiology must be provided. Finally, applicants should arrange to have two letters of recommendation sent by e-mail. All applications and letters of recommendation are due by November 15, 2012 to the ASM Archivist, Jeff Karr, at jkarr@asmusa.org. Awards will be announced by December 30, 2012. For additional information on the award and award guidelines, click on the “Research Travel Awards” link on the Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA) website (http://www.asm.org/choma).

Graduate Assistantships in the Florida International University Department of Biological Sciences
Three Ph.D. graduate assistantships are available in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University (FIU) ( http://casgroup.fiu.edu/Biology) to conduct research in the Everglades, beginning Fall 2013. These positions are affiliated with the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research program (http://fcelter.fiu.edu/) and will include integrative field and experimental research approaches, and public outreach. *Wetland Ecosystems:* The candidate’s research interests should include freshwater ecology, especially metabolic demand and stoichiometry. The student will be expected to develop research related to understanding how nutrient concentrations and biological oxygen demand influence carbon cycling in coastal Everglades mangrove soils that are modified by sea level rise. Interested applicants should contact John Kominoski (jkominos@fiu.edu) before applying. *Coastal Ecosystem Dynamics**: *The candidate’s research interests should include coastal ecosystem ecology, especially plant productivity and C dynamics. The student will be expected to develop research related to understanding how plant productivity, nutrient concentrations and salinity influence carbon cycling in coastal Everglades wetlands and landscape vegetation change. Interested applicants should contact Tiffany Troxler ( troxlert@fiu.edu) before applying. *Algal Ecology:* The candidate’s research interests should include aquatic ecology, algal ecology, and/or paleoecology, in alignment with those of the algal ecology laboratory at FIU (http://www.fiu.edu/~algae). The student will be expected to develop research related to understanding how benthic algal communities mediate carbon cycling in coastal Everglades wetlands, and how algal distribution and function may be modified by sea level rise. Interested applicants should contact Evelyn Gaiser (gaisere@fiu.edu) before applying.

Resident Professor in Global Health (Ethnobiology) in Costa Rica
The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is seeking applicants for the position of Resident Professor with the OTS Global Health Undergraduate Semester Abroad Program in Costa Rica. This is a field-based program designed to provide undergraduate students with outstanding training in tropical medicine, public health, ethnobiology, research methods, community interaction, and Spanish language and culture. More information about the program can be found at http://ots.ac.cr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=339&Itemid=467. Successful applicants will work closely with the Education Director, Undergraduate Programs Coordinator, and two other Resident Professors in curriculum design and implementation, and will be responsible for teaching the Ethnobiology course and assisting with teaching the Research Practicum course. The professor should be comfortable with developing and conducting short but rigorous research projects with students in the field and in the community. Ideal candidates will have a background in ethnobiology or a related field, such that they could complement the expertise of the other resident professors in medicine and anthropology. The position is based in Costa Rica, and requires a commitment of 18 weeks in Costa Rica with 13 weeks in the field and 5 weeks in the OTS office in San Jose during each semester (Spring and Fall). This is a fulltime position with a required commitment of at least one year. Any questions about the position should be directed to undergradprograms@ots.ac.cr . The OTS Undergraduate Semester Abroad Programs are accredited by Duke University and maintain high educational standards, so applicants should have excellent teaching skills.

Faculty Position in Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University
The W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) of Michigan State University seeks to fill a tenure
track, academic year faculty position in microbial ecology. This position is part of a Universitywide Global Water Initiative to enhance and expand the capacity of MSU to address fundamental and applied research questions related to the sustainable use of water. The position is available beginning in Fall 2013 and can be filled at either the Assistant or Associate Professor level. Applicants should show evidence of their capacity to develop externally funded and collaborative research that uses microbes to address fundamental ecological and evolutionary questions. KBS is ideally suited to a fieldfocused research program that links microbial processes and population, community, ecosystem, and/or landscape dynamics. While the specific research area of interest is open, the individual selected for this position should have a demonstrated interest in research involving aquatic systems. The successful applicant will be expected to contribute to graduate research training at KBS and in their oncampus department and participate in summer teaching and research programs at KBS. Joint appointments in the Departments of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Zoology or Plant Biology, which would be the tenure home for the successful applicant, will be evaluated as part of the search process. The specific campus teaching assignment for this position will depend on the candidate's home department, but will be equivalent to one course per year. They will also be expected to participate in the interdepartmental graduate training programs at MSU in Ecology, Evolution and Behavioral Biology (EEBB) and/or Environmental Science and Public Policy (ESPP). Opportunities for research in collaboration with other KBS faculty and in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Plant Biology, Zoology, Geology and other departments involved in the establishment of the MSU Global Water Initiative will be encouraged. Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Review of applications will begin on 1 December 2012. Application materials should be submitted to MSU's online application website (https://jobs.msu.edu; position number 30198796, posting number 6950), including: a letter of interest, CV, a statement of research accomplishments and goals, a statement of teaching accomplishments and goals, and contact information for three references. Questions about these positions should be addressed to MicrobialEcologySearch@kbs.msu.edu or Dr. Steve Hamilton (Hamilton@kbs.msu.edu), Chair of the Search Committee. Michigan State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Applications from women and members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged. Persons with disabilities have the right to request and receive reasonable accommodation.

Contract Biologist Position in the Vaccine Research Center, ImmunoTechnology Section, NIH
A contract biologist position is available immediately in the Vaccine Research Center’s ImmunoTechnology Section at the NIH. Responsibilities will include performing state of the art flow cytometric analysis on non-human primate specimens to study indicators of HIV/SIV disease progression. A strong background in immunology, flow cytometry, and molecular biology is preferred. Position will be comparable to a GS7/9 level position. Interested applicants should contact Diane Bolton at dbolton@nih.gov.


 

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., Associate 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.

If you are interested in placing an ad in the MMM, please send the copy to CMIIM@asmusa.org by the first of the month.

 

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