Tuesday, 22 August 2017 13:58

Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - August

ASM ACTIVITIES

  • ASM-ESCMID Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)
  • 2018 ASM Biothreats
  • Save the Dates: 2018 Clinical Virology Symposium
  • Upcoming ASM Conferences
  • Hot Topics in Microbiology Education Course
  • The Benefits of Practicums and More in the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
  • Winter Online Courses from ASM Education
  • Help Diversify the Future STEM Workforce

FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES

  • Biological and Environmental Interactions of Nanoscale Material
  • Plant Biotic Interactions
  • Science of Science and Innovation Policy  (SciSIP)
  • EHR Core Research  (ECR)
  • Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program
  • NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08)
  • Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) (K12)
  • Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Advanced Research and Development to Expedite the Identification, Development, and Manufacturing of Medical Countermeasures against Infectious Diseases
  • Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Advanced Development of Medical Countermeasures for Pandemic Influenza- BARDA, Department of Health and Human Services
    Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
  • Strengthening Quality of Malaria Diagnosis and Treatment in Ethiopia, Agency for International Development Ethiopia USAID-Addis Ababa

ARTICLES OF INTEREST AND OTHER UPDATES

  • SBE Postdoctoral Research Fellowships  (SPRF)
  • ASM Career Connections

SPOTLIGHT ON MINORITY MICROBIOLOGISTS

  • Aisha T. Burton, B.A.

ASM ACTIVITIES

ASM-ESCMID Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance
September 6–8, 2017 | Boston, MA
Register today to rise to the challenge of antimicrobial resistance at ASM/ESCMID Conference on Drug Development to Meet the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance, September 6–8, 2017, in Boston, Massachusetts. Get two days of poster presentations and access to a Complimentary Pre-Conference Workshop: Antibiotic Development Bootcamp on September 5. 

Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)
November 1–4, 2017 | Phoenix, AZ
Join one of the largest communities of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at ABRCMS 2017. Abstract submission for students is open until September 8! Students can submit their abstract and apply for a travel award (deadline is August 25), if eligible.

2018 ASM Biothreats
February 12–14, 2018 | Baltimore, MD
With five all-new tracks, this 2018 ASM Biothreats meeting is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas that will shape the future of the important work you do every day. The call for proposals is now open! Share your ideas and help us design an exciting program for 2018. Submit your proposal today. Stay tuned! Abstract submission opens on September 11.

Save the Dates: 2018 Clinical Virology Symposium
Join us May 6–8, 2017, in West Palm Beach, Florida, for another exciting meeting. Stay tuned for updates in the coming months.  

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

2nd ASM Conference on Rapid Applied Microbial Next-Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatic Pipelines 
October 8–11, 2017 | Washington, DC
Early bird registration deadline: August 31, 2017

6th ASM Conference on Cell–Cell Communication in Bacteria
October 16–19, 2017 | Athens, GA
Abstract submission deadline: August 8, 2017
Early bird registration deadline: September 6, 2017

ASM Conference on Vibrio2017: The Biology of Vibrios
November 12–15, 2017 | Chicago, IL
Abstract submission deadline: September 6, 2017
Early bird registration deadline: October 3, 2017

4th ASM Conference on Viral Manipulation of Nuclear Processes
December 3–6, 2017 | Charleston, SC
Abstract submission deadline: September 25, 2017
Early bird registration deadline: October 24, 2017

Hot Topics in Microbiology Education Course
Through the ASM/NSF Biology Scholars Program, ASM has trained over 300 faculty in the development and testing of interventions and strategies designed to increase student learning. The principles of this training are now being offered online through the Hot Topics in Microbiology Education Course. Participants will learn how to design classroom or laboratory education research investigations, posing significant student learning questions that can be investigated empirically. The course syllabus includes a focus on building discipline-based education research skills, pre- and post-webinar assignments, in-depth training, and a faculty mentoring community dedicated to supporting leaders interested in advancing education reform. The registration deadline is August 28, 2017.

The Benefits of Practicums and More in the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
The latest issue of JMBE offers a variety of open-access articles to aid faculty in improving their teaching. For instance, an article about going beyond internships to include practicums demonstrates that students are better prepared for bioscience industry careers when they have opportunities for industry-specific experiential learning.

Winter Online Courses from ASM Education
Mark your calendars! In addition to our fall 2017 online courses, ASM will be offering courses in curriculum design and scientific writing and publishing in early 2018.

Help Diversify the Future STEM Workforce
As a microbiologist, one way that you can help diversify the future STEM workforce (and your lab) is to mentor students at ABRCMS by providing feedback on the students’ presentations. Find out more on our Teaching Microbiology blog.

 


FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES

Biological and Environmental Interactions of Nanoscale Material
The Biological and Environmental Interactions of Nanoscale Materials program is part of the Environmental Engineering and Sustainability cluster, which includes also 1) Environmental Engineering; and 2) Environmental Sustainability. The goal of the Biological and Environmental Interactions of Nanoscale Materials program is to support research to advance fundamental and quantitative understanding of the interactions of biological and environmental media with nanomaterials and nanosystems. Materials of interest include one- to three-dimensional nanostructures, heterogeneous nano-bio hybrid assemblies, and other nanoparticles. Such nanomaterials and systems frequently exhibit novel physical, chemical, and biological behavior in living systems and environmental matrices as compared to the bulk scale. This program supports research that explores the interaction of nanomaterials in biological and environmental media.    

Research areas supported by the program include:

  • Characterization of interactions at the interfaces between nanomaterials and nanosystems with surrounding biological and environmental media, including both simple nanoparticles and complex and/or heterogeneous composites;
  • Development of predictive tools based on the fundamental behavior of nanostructures within biological and ecological matrices to advance cost-effective and environmentally benign processing and engineering solutions over full life material cycles;
  • Examining the transport, interaction, and impact of nanostructured materials and nanosystems on biological systems;
  • Simulations of nanoparticle behavior at interfaces, in conjunction with experimental comparisons, and new theories and simulation approaches for determining the transport and transformation of nanoparticles in various media.

Research in these areas will enable the design of nanostructured materials and heterogeneous nanosystems with optimal chemical, electronic, photonic, biological, and mechanical properties for their safe handling, management, and utilization.

Innovative proposals outside of these specific interest areas may be considered. However, prior to submission, it is recommended that the PI contact the Program Director to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review.

The duration of unsolicited awards is generally one to three years. The typical award size for the program is $100,000 per year. Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation with the Program Director, may be returned without review.

Proposals for this program will be accepted throughout the year.

Plant Biotic Interactions
The Plant Biotic Interactions (PBI) program supports research on the processes that mediate beneficial and antagonistic interactions between plants and their viral, bacterial, oomycete, fungal, plant, and invertebrate symbionts, pathogens and pests. This joint NSF-NIFA program supports projects focused on current and emerging model and non-model systems, and agriculturally relevant plants. The program’s scope extends from fundamental mechanisms to translational efforts, with the latter seeking to put into agricultural practice insights gained from basic research on the mechanisms that govern plant biotic interactions. Projects must be strongly justified in terms of fundamental biological processes and/or relevance to agriculture and may be purely fundamental or applied, or include aspects of both perspectives. All types of symbiosis are appropriate, including commensalism, mutualism, parasitism, and host-pathogen interactions. Research may focus on the biology of the plant host, its pathogens, pests or symbionts, interactions among these, or on the function of plant-associated microbiomes. The program welcomes proposals on the dynamics of initiation, transmission, maintenance and outcome of these complex associations, including studies of metabolic interactions, immune recognition and signaling, host-symbiont regulation, reciprocal responses among interacting species and mechanisms associated with self/non-self recognition such as those in pollen-pistil interactions. Explanatory frameworks should include molecular, genomic, metabolic, cellular, network and organismal processes, with projects guided by hypothesis and/or discovery driven experimental approaches. Strictly ecological projects that do not address underlying mechanisms are not appropriate for this program.  Quantitative modeling in concert with experimental work is encouraged. Overall, the program seeks to support research that will deepen our understanding of the fundamental processes that mediate interactions between plants and the organisms with which they intimately associate and advance the application of that knowledge to benefit agriculture. Note that PBI does not require submission of preliminary proposals.

Full Proposal Deadline Date: September 1, 2017

Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP)
The Science of Science & Innovation Policy (SciSIP) program supports research designed to advance the scientific basis of science and innovation policy. The program funds research to develop models, analytical tools, data and metrics that can be applied in the science policy decision making process and concern the use and allocation of scarce scientific resources. For example, research proposals may develop behavioral and analytical conceptualizations, frameworks or models that have applications across the broad array of science and innovation policy challenges. Proposals also may develop methodologies to analyze science, technology and innovation data, and to usefully convey that information to a variety of audiences. Proposals that create and improve science, engineering and innovation data, including the design of new metrics and indicators, particularly proposals that demonstrate the viability of collecting and analyzing data on knowledge generation and innovation in organizations, are encouraged. The SciSIP program welcomes individual or multi-investigator research projects, doctoral dissertation research improvement grants, experimental research, and data collection and dissemination. The SciSIP program also places a high priority on interdisciplinary research and on broadening participation. It encourages proposals from junior faculty, women, and underrepresented minorities, Research Undergraduate Institutions (RUI), and EPSCoR states.

Full Proposal Target Date: September 11, 2017

EHR Core Research (ECR)
The EHR Core Research (ECR) program of fundamental research in STEM education provides funding in critical research areas that are essential, broad and enduring. EHR seeks proposals that will help synthesize, build and/or expand research foundations in the following focal areas: STEM learning, STEM learning environments, STEM workforce development, and broadening participation in STEM. The ECR program is distinguished by its emphasis on the accumulation of robust evidence to inform efforts to (a) understand, (b) build theory to explain, and (c) suggest interventions (and innovations) to address persistent challenges in STEM interest, education, learning, and participation. The program supports advances in fundamental research on STEM learning and education by fostering efforts to develop foundational knowledge in STEM learning and learning contexts, both formal and informal, from childhood through adulthood, for all groups, and from the earliest developmental stages of life through participation in the workforce, resulting in increased public understanding of science and engineering. The ECR program will fund fundamental research on: human learning in STEM; learning in STEM learning environments, STEM workforce development, and research on broadening participation in STEM.

Full Proposal Deadline Date: September 14, 2017

Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program
The National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program  seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science (including engineering and computer science) teachers. The program invites creative and innovative proposals that address the critical need for recruiting and preparing highly effective elementary and secondary science and mathematics teachers in high-need local educational agencies. The program offers four tracks: Track 1: The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarships and Stipends Track, Track 2: The NSF Teaching Fellowships Track, Track 3: The NSF Master Teaching Fellowships Track, and Track 4: Noyce Research Track.   In addition, Capacity Building proposals are accepted from proosers intending to develop a future Track 1, 2, or 3 proposal. 

Full Proposal Deadline Date: August 29, 2017

NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08)
The purpose of the NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Career Development Award (K08) program is to prepare individuals for careers that have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the nation. This program represents the continuation of a long-standing NIH program that provides support and protected time to individuals with a clinical doctoral degree for an intensive, supervised research career development experience in the fields of biomedical and behavioral research, including translational research. The NCI-sponsored K08 award is specifically designed to promote career development of clinical scientists from diverse backgrounds that have been shown to be underrepresented in health-related science and for those who are committed to a career in basic biomedical, behavioral or translational cancer research, including research on cancer health disparities. The expectation is that through this sustained period of research career development and training, awardees will develop enhanced research capabilities for cancer research careers and be better prepared to compete for research project grants (e.g. R03, R21, or R01) funding.   

Deadline: October 12, 2017 5:00 PM

Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) (K12)
The purpose of the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) Program is to develop a group of highly trained biomedical scientists to address the Nation’s biomedical workforce needs. The strategy is to promote effective partnerships between research-intensive institutions (RII) and partner institutions that have a historical mission or a demonstrated commitment to educating students from backgrounds underrepresented in the biomedical research enterprise of the nation. The IRACDA program provides support for a traditional mentored postdoctoral research experience at an RII combined with an opportunity for these fellows to develop critical academic skills, including teaching, through workshops and mentored teaching assignments at a partner institution. The primary goals of the IRACDA program are to (1) develop a group of highly trained biomedical scientists who have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue independent research and teaching careers in academia; and (2) enhance science educational offerings at partner institutions, and promote links between RII and the partner institution(s) through research and teaching collaborations.

Deadline September 19, 2017

Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Advanced Research and Development to Expedite the Identification, Development, and Manufacturing of Medical Countermeasures against Infectious Diseases - BARDA
BAA-16-100-SOL-00003
BARDA encourages the advanced research, development and acquisition of medical countermeasures such as vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, as well as innovative approaches to meet the threat of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) agents in support of the preparedness mission and priorities of the HHS Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE) articulated in the 2014 PHEMCE Implementation Plan for CBRN Threats. The Implementation Plan is located on the ASPR website: http://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/mcm/phemce/Documents/2014-phemce-sip.pdf

The Pandemic and All Hazard Preparedness Act Pub. L. No. 109-417, 42 U.S.C. § 241 et seq. (PAHPA; http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-109publ417/pdf/PLAW-109publ417.pdf) and The Pandemic and All Hazard Preparedness Reauthorization Act Pub. L. No. 113-5, (PAHPRA: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-113publ5/pdf/PLAW-113publ5.pdf) authorizes BARDA to (i) conduct ongoing searches for, and support calls for, potential qualified countermeasures and qualified pandemic or epidemic products; (ii) direct and coordinate the countermeasure and product advanced research and development activities of the Department of Health and Human Services; (iii) establish strategic initiatives to accelerate countermeasure and product advanced research and development (which may include advanced research and development for purposes of fulfilling requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or section 351 of this Act) and innovation in such areas as the Secretary may identify as priority unmet need areas; and (iv) award contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and enter into other transactions, for countermeasure and product advanced research and development.

Due Date: October 30, 2017

Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Advanced Development of Medical Countermeasures for Pandemic Influenza- BARDA
BAA-16-100-SOL-00002
BARDA encourages the advanced research, development and acquisition of medical countermeasures such as vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, as well as innovative approaches to meet the threat of Pandemic Influenza in support of the preparedness mission and priorities of the HHS Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE) articulated in the 2014 PHEMCE Implementation Plan. The Implementation Plan is located on the ASPR website: http://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/mcm/phemce/Documents/2014-phemce-sip.pdf
The Pandemic and All Hazard Preparedness Act Pub. L. No. 109-417, 42 U.S.C. § 241 et seq. (PAHPA; http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-109publ417/pdf/PLAW-109publ417.pdf) and The Pandemic and All Hazard Preparedness Reauthorization Act Pub. L. No. 113-5, (PAHPRA: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-113publ5/pdf/PLAW-113publ5.pdf) authorizes BARDA to (i) conduct ongoing searches for, and support calls for, potential qualified countermeasures and qualified pandemic or epidemic products; (ii) direct and coordinate the countermeasure and product advanced research and development activities of the Department of Health and Human Services; (iii) establish strategic initiatives to accelerate countermeasure and product advanced research and development (which may include advanced research and development for purposes of fulfilling requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or section 351 of this Act) and innovation in such areas as the Secretary may identify as priority unmet need areas; and (iv) award contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and enter into other transactions, for countermeasure and product advanced research and development.

Due Date: October 30, 2017

Strengthening Quality of Malaria Diagnosis and Treatment in Ethiopia Agency for International Development
Ethiopia USAID-Addis Ababa
RFA-663-17-000003
The general objective of the activity is to improve the quality of malaria diagnosis and treatment services to 85% from baseline in project supported facilities. The specific project objectives are to: 1. Strengthen partnerships and coordination at national and regional levels 2. Strengthen and scale up quality assurance (QA) systems for malaria diagnosis and treatment 3. Improve infrastructures (minor renovation) and human resource capacity for malaria diagnosis and case management 4. Enhanced program learning and operational research to impact policy and programming related to malaria case management This Activity will be implemented consistent with the principles of collaborating learning and adapting (CLA). Consistent with CLA, this Agreement covers any activities that consistent with CLA principles will contribute to the four objectives and key results specified above, consistent with the implementation planning requirements and other provisions of the Agreement.

Due Date: September 13, 2017


ARTICLES OF INTEREST AND OTHER UPDATES

SBE Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (SPRF)
The Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) offers Postdoctoral Research Fellowships to encourage independence early in the Fellow's career through supporting his or her research and training goals. The research and training plan of each fellowship must address important scientific questions within the scope of the SBE Directorate and the specific guidelines in this fellowship solicitation. The SPRF program offers two tracks: (I) Fundamental Research in the SBE Sciences (SPRF-FR) and (II) Broadening Participation in the SBE Sciences (SPRF-BP). See the full text of the solicitation for a detailed description of these tracks. 

Full Proposal Deadline Date: October 9, 2017

ASM Career Connections
Find Your Future at ASM Career Connections. Job highlights this week include Laboratory Manager, Lecturer and Chief of Microbiology.

 


SPOTLIGHT ON MINORITY MICROBIOLOGISTS

ASM Microbe Travel Grant Winner Feature
Aisha T. Burton, B.A.
AishaTBurtonBacteria regulate transcription via alternative sigma factors that recognize different promoters and receives RNA polymerase. Bacillus subtilis encodes 16 sigma factors, each dedicated to unique gene sets that regulate various functions such as peptidoglycan synthesis, sporulation, stress response, and motility. Unlike domesticated strains, the ancestral strain of B. subtilis contains a putative sigma factor, ZpdN, encoded on a large, low-copy number plasmid, pBS32, that was lost during domestication. A competence inhibitor, biofilm repressor, and prophage genes are present on pBS32. Artificial overexpression of ZpdN causes cell death in the presence of pBS32, potentially due to activation of prophage genes by ZpdN. Aisha plans to determine the mechanism of ZpdN’s activation, its transcriptional activity, and the prophage regulon.

In the summer of 2008, prior to starting her undergraduate education, Aisha was exposed to her first research experience through the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience Program at Northwestern University. After participating in this program, Aisha continued her growth as a scientific researcher, at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she conducted undergraduate research in the lab of Dr. William Walden studying iron-sulfur cluster biogenesis in yeast and Dr. Nissim Hay’s lab studying tumorgenecity of prostate cancer cells. During this time, Aisha decided to become a biology professor because she enjoyed learning how biological systems function. After graduating from UIC, Aisha attended the University of Missouri’s NIH funded Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program and joined the lab of Dr. Judy Wall where she isolated a transducing phage for Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough. As a participant of PREP, she took several graduate level courses, gained research presentation skills, and presented her research at the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) 2013 General Meeting. In the fall of 2013, Aisha started graduate school at Indiana University where she received the James Holland Fellowship for her first year. She is working in the lab of Dr. Daniel Kearns, which focuses on understanding the mechanism of a plasmid-encoded putative sigma factor. Aisha presented her recent findings at the ASM Microbe 2017 meeting, with the support of the ASM Microbe Minority Travel Award. Her long-term goal is to pursue a career in academia as a professor of microbiology researching basic bacteriophage biology.

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, 22 August 2017 14:14

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