Tuesday, 17 January 2017 13:59

Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - January


  • Join ASM Task Committees on the Workforce or Microbiology in Nursing
  • ASMCUE Abstract Submission Deadline: February 15, 2017
  • Upcoming ASM Conferences
  • ASM Microbe 2017
  • ASM Clinical Virology Symposium
  • 2017 ASM Biothreats: Research, Response and Policy
  • ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program
  • ASM Research Capstone Fellowship Program


  • NIAID Investigator Initiated Program Project Applications (P01)
  • Biosystems Design to Enable Next-Generation Biofuels and Bioproducts
  • Centers for Oceans and Human Health 3: Impacts of Climate Change on Oceans and Great Lakes (COHH3) (P01)
  • Dimensions of Biodiversity


  • Postdoc at Indiana University
  • Postdoc at Michigan State University
  • Graduate position at East Carolina University



Join ASM Task Committees on the Workforce or Microbiology in Nursing
ASM is seeking advisers to inform the Education Board on two issues:

  1. Employer needs for workforce-ready students from undergraduate microbial sciences programs.
  1. The practice of microbiology being reduced in or eliminated from some nursing curricula, particularly at two-year colleges.

Task Committees are being formed, with an initial commitment to ASM for six months from January - June 2017 via online meetings, surveys, and email correspondence. No travel obligation is expected at this time. If you are interested in becoming a member of either Committee, please visit the Task Committees’ website for more information and application instructions.

ASMCUE Abstract Submission Deadline: February 15, 2017
The ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE) gathers nearly 400 microbiology and biology educators for an interactive four-day conference (July 27-30, 2017) that includes plenary, concurrent, poster, and exhibit sessions. Educators come from colleges, universities and international institutions to learn and share the latest information in the biological sciences and education research.

The ASMCUE Steering Committee invites abstract submissions on any aspect of microbiology or biology education for the poster session. This opportunity provides an excellent venue for faculty to showcase their scholarly work in teaching microbiology. The deadline for abstract submissions is February 15, 2017. Learn more

ASM Research Capstone Fellowship Program
Do you know students who recently conducted research? Encourage them to develop their presentation and professional development skills through the ASM Research Capstone Fellowship program. Open to community college, undergraduate, and post baccalaureate students who are underrepresented minorities in the sciences, participants will attend the Microbe Academy for Professional Development and present their research results at ASM Microbe 2017 (if abstract is accepted). Travel funds are available. The application deadline is January 20, 2017.

ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program
Bring a nationally renowned program to your institution by encouraging your students to participate in the Undergraduate Research Fellowship program. Open to community college and undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in the microbial sciences, students will receive a stipend to conduct summer research at their home institution while being mentored by a faculty member. The following year students will be funded to attend the 2018 Microbe Academy for Professional Development (MAPD) and present their research results at ASM Microbe 2018 (if abstract is accepted). Apply by February 15, 2017.

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. Don’t miss the Keynote Session featuring Thomas M. Countryman and the Special Session featuring Anthony S. Fauci. Register before January 12, 2017, to secure early bird rates!

ASM Clinical Virology Symposium
May 7–10, 2017 | Savannah, GA
This international symposium delves into the relationship between rapid viral diagnosis, clinical course of viral infections, and preventive and therapeutic modalities for viral infections. Register to attend and submit an abstract today. View the preliminary program here

ASM Microbe 2017
June 1–5, 2017 | New Orleans, LA
Want to get your science in front of the world's most influential microbiologists? Your chances just got better. The number of oral abstract presentation slots for ASM Microbe 2017 has increased by nearly 50 percent! That means 1 in 5 accepted abstracts will be presentations selected from abstracts. Submit your abstract before January 9, 2017. Register today for the best rates.

Upcoming ASM Conferences

ASM Conference on Mechanisms on Interbacterial Cooperation and Competition
March 1–4, 2017 ǀ Washington, DC
Important Dates
Early bird registration deadline: January 19, 2017
Hotel 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
Important Dates
Abstract submission deadline: January 12, 2017
Early bird registration deadline: February 9, 2017    
Hotel reservation deadline: February 28, 2017 

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

ASM/ASV Conference on Interplay of Viral and Bacterial Pathogens
May 1–4, 2017 | Bethesda, MD
Important Dates
Abstract submission deadline: February 21, 2016
Early bird registration deadline: March 23, 2017
Hotel reservation deadline: April 10, 2017

2nd ASM Conference on Rapid Applied Microbial Next-Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatic Pipelines 
October 8–11, 2017 | Washington, DC

Save the dates for more 2017 ASM Conferences!



NIAID Investigator Initiated Program Project Applications (P01)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites submission of investigator-initiated Program Project (P01) applications. The proposed programs may address scientific areas relevant to the NIAID mission including the biology, pathogenesis, and host response to microbes, including HIV; the mechanisms of normal immune function system development and function; and immune dysfunction resulting in autoimmunity, immunodeficiency, allergy, asthma, and transplant rejection; and translational research to develop vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to prevent and treat infectious, immune-mediated, and allergic diseases. Each P01 application submitted to this FOA must include at least two related research projects that share a common central theme, focus, and/or overall objective.  Full proposals are due January 25, 2017, and more information is available at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-16-413.html

Biosystems Design to Enable Next-Generation Biofuels and Bioproducts
Biological and Environmental Research (BER) of the Office of Science (SC), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hereby announces its interest in receiving applications for research of interest to the Genomic Science Program (http://genomicscience.energy.gov) in the following research areas: a) Integrating large-scale systems biology data to model, design, and engineer microbial systems for the production of biofuels and bioproducts: Interdisciplinary approaches to develop innovative, high-throughput modeling, genome-wide design and editing, and engineering technologies for a broad range of microbes relevant for the production of biofuels and bioproducts from biomass. b) Plant systems design for bioenergy: To develop novel technologies for genome-scale engineering to re-design bioenergy crops that can grow in marginal environments while producing high yield of biomass that can be easily converted to biofuels and bioproducts. Applications should include strategies to address biocontainment, minimizing risks of potential release of engineered organisms into the environment or other unintended outcomes.  Full proposals are due March 17, 2017, and more information is available at http://science.energy.gov/grants/foas/open/

Centers for Oceans and Human Health 3: Impacts of Climate Change on Oceans and Great Lakes (COHH3) (P01)
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to invite applications for multi-component projects that will investigate the impact of climate change on emerging public health threats associated with marine and Great Lakes Basin environments. The focus of the program will be to support research on the exposures, toxicities and human health impacts that arise in these environments and how climate change is influencing these factors now and in the future.  The FOA solicits applications that will achieve program goals through integrated, multidisciplinary scientific approaches and a community engagement component. Letters of intent are due February 7, 2017, and more information is available at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-ES-16-009.html

Dimensions of Biodiversity
Despite centuries of discovery, most of our planet's biodiversity remains unknown. The scale of the unknown diversity on Earth is especially troubling given the rapid and permanent loss of biodiversity across the globe. The goal of the Dimensions of Biodiversity campaign is to transform, by 2020, how we describe and understand the scope and role of life on Earth.  This campaign promotes novel integrative approaches to fill the most substantial gaps in our understanding of the diversity of life on Earth. It takes a broad view of biodiversity, and focuses on the intersection of genetic, phylogenetic, and functional dimensions of biodiversity. Successful proposals must integrate these three dimensions to understand interactions and feedbacks between and among them. While this focus complements several core programs in BIO, it differs by requiring that multiple dimensions of biodiversity be addressed simultaneously, in novel ways, to understand their synergistic roles in critical ecological and evolutionary processes, especially pertaining to the mechanisms driving the origin, maintenance, and functional roles of biodiversity.  The Dimensions of Biodiversity program again includes partnerships with the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) of Brazil in fiscal year 2017.  Investigators wishing to inquire about the suitability of potential projects for Dimensions of Biodiversity are encouraged to email a brief summary and contact information to Dimensions@nsf.gov.  Full proposals are due February 21, 2017, and more information is available at https://www.nsf.gov/mobile/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503446&org=NSF&from=home.  


Postdoc at Indiana University
We’re seeking a postdoc to join a multidisciplinary research team investigating carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. This position interfaces with several research groups collaborating on funded projects involving the application of metagenomics to the study of archaeal, bacterial, and fungal community composition and their links to soil biogeochemical processes. Qualifications: A Ph.D. in ecology, microbiology, molecular biology, environmental science, or biogeochemistry - completed before the start date. Demonstrated expertise in environmental metagenomics, microbial ecology, and soil biogeochemistry is required. Successful applicants will demonstrate the ability to work in interdisciplinary teams and will show promise as a group leader in environmental metagenomics analysis. Salary: $48,000 to $50,000 (commensurate with experience). Full benefits are included (see: http://www.indiana.edu/~uhrs/benefits/neweeo/support-index.html for details). Start date: We are looking to fill this position as soon as possible – we strongly prefer that the successful candidate start no later than May 31, 2017. The appointment is initially for a one-year period, renewable for an additional year based on satisfactory performance. To apply: Please submit 1) a brief cover letter describing your research/educational background, why you're interested in the position, and the date you are available to start and 2) a CV that includes the names and contact info (including email addresses) of three references to whitej@indiana.edu. We will begin reviewing applications on March 10, 2017. For questions about the position, feel free to email Dr. Jeffrey White (whitej@indiana.edu). 

Postdoc at Michigan State University
A postdoctoral position is available in the Evans Lab (www.saraheevanslab.weebly.com) at Kellogg Biological Station (Michigan State University) to examine the role of microbial dispersal and colonization in soil or plant processes. The postdoc would take advantage of ongoing experiments and datasets from the Namib Desert, Namibia (hyper-arid, fog-driven desert), and and/or on-site experiments on managed lands (KBS LTER, GLBRC) addressing questions related to microbial effects on ecosystem function, precipitation/wind-mediated dispersal, and the role of dispersal in functional legacies to land use or global change. Qualifications: A PhD in an appropriate discipline is required, as is demonstration of strong written and oral communication skills. Experience with metagenomic/metatranscriptomic techniques, pipelines, and statistical analysis is preferred, but other skillsets that can be applied to research projects will also be considered (e.g. isotopes, microscopy, modeling). Start date and salary: The postdoctoral appointment is renewable annually for at least 2 years, after which is contingent on funding. Ideal start date is May 2017, other start dates (preferably March-August 2017) will be considered; constraints should be described in a cover letter. Salary will begin at $50,000. To apply: Please send a 1) cover letter (including research accomplishments, future research interests and directions, and relevant field, lab, and data analysis skills), 2) CV, 3) a representative publication (published or in press), and 4) contact information (name, position, phone, email) for three references to evanssa6@msu.edu. We will begin reviewing applications February 1, 2017, and continue until the position is filled (notice will be posted on lab website). The Evans Lab: (www.saraheevanslab.weebly.com): is interested in topics ranging from microbial community biogeography and assembly to the role of microbes in global carbon cycling and plant growth.

Graduate position at East Carolina University
The graduate program in the Department of Biology at East Carolina University invites applications from prospective PhD and MS students for fall 2017. TA-ships are readily available in our two MS programs and Biology faculty members also supervise students in ECU's Coastal Resource Management PhD program. The Biodiversity Initiative at East Carolina University also provides graduate students with opportunities to participate in journal clubs, workshops, and outreach events and access to high performance desktop computers. In addition to resources within faculty labs, students also have access to a Central Environmental lab, a genomics core facility, and a high performance computing core. Application deadlines vary with particular programs but students applying early will have a greater chance of receiving financial support. Please visit http://www.ecu.edu/biology/ to find out more about our department, faculty and graduate programs. In addition to visiting departmental and faculty websites, please contact prospective mentors directly or our director of graduate studies, Ed Stellwag (stellwage@ecu.edu), for more information. We are happy to arrange visits for competitive prospective students and additional scholarship support may be available for the strongest applicants.


Kiana Frank, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pacific Biosciences Research Center, University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa, HawaiiKianaFrank-2
At hydrothermal vents, thermal and chemical gradients generated by the mixing of hydrothermal fluids with seawater provide diverse niches for prokaryotic communities. To date, our knowledge of environmental factors that shape bacterial and archaeal community composition and metabolic activities across these gradients within the active sulfide structures is limited. In a study titled “Key factors influencing rates of heterotrophic sulfate rate reduction in hydrothermal massive sulfide deposits,” (doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.01449) the influence key chemical variables (i.e., temperature, pH, H2S, SO42-, and DOC) have on microbial sulfate reduction rates and metabolic energy yields in material recovered from a hydrothermal flange from the Grotto edifice in the Main Endeavor Field, Juan de Fuca Ridge are highlighted. Sulfate reduction is a ubiquitous metabolism in hypoxic to anoxic marine habitats and likely has a significant impact on the global carbon budget. The data from this study underscore that thermodynamics (which constrains potential metabolic energy yields) does not necessarily describe the kinetics of vent microbial communities. These data suggest that the variability in sulfate reduction rates reflect the response of the active microbial consortia to environmental constraints on in situ microbial physiology, toxicity, and the type and extent of energy limitation. These experiments help to constrain models of the spatial contribution of heterotrophic sulfate reduction within the complex gradients inherent to seafloor hydrothermal deposits and provide a framework for modeling sulfate reduction in mid-ocean ridge systems.

Dr. Kiana Frank is a graduate of Kamehameha High school and earned her B.S. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Rochester, NY. Under the auspices of a NSF graduate fellowship and a Center for Dark Energy Biosophere Investigation graduate fellowship, she completed her M.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard University in the Molecular Cell Biology program investigating the relationship between geochemistry and microbial community structure of hydrothermal vents. Her work represents the interface of multiple disciplines showcasing a comprehensive assessment of endolithic microbial communities, from diversity to activity and thereby contributing to advancing our understanding of biogeochemical sulfur and carbon cycling at vents. Dr. Frank continues to investigate environmental drivers of microbial dynamics and to characterize the impact of microorganisms on biogeochemical cyclingin mineral-hosted ecosystems from mountain ridges to mid-ocean ridges as an Assistant Professor in the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa. Dr. Frank focuses on understanding the specific biogeochemical redox reactions that occur in these ecosystems, the kinetics of these processes, the factor(s) most likely governing activity at in situ conditions, the taxonomy and physiology of the organisms responsible, and the extent to which they influence the ecosystem as a whole. Her current work is focused on environmentally tractable ecosystems in Hawaiʻi (e.g. coastal estuaries – fishponds, terrestrial agricultural systems - taro patches and dryland cropping systems,andgroundwater aquifers). Dr. Frank is an indigenous educator integrating contemporary scientific methodologies with the traditional knowledge and values of her Native Hawaiian ancestors as a way to reestablish and innovate traditional management practices, as well as to engender indigenous students to pursue STEM.  Community service, outreach and mentoring are an integral part of Dr. Frank’s research program. Her research program provides a unique vehicle for bridging the fields of physical and social science, with culture.

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., Senior Staff Scientist with Geosyntec Consultants in Knoxville, 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

Last modified on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 12:20