Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - June 2012


  • CMIIM Special Interest Session at asm2012
  • 29th Annual Minority Microbiologists’ Mixer
  • Third Annual Mentoring Breakfast
  • Clinical Microbiology (CM) Mentoring
  • Learn More about ASM’s Involvement in the Development of Evidence-based Practice Guidelines
  • Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives at asm 2012
  • Now Available! JMBE, Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ICAAC 2012
  • ASM Conferences
  • ASM PRESS: New Titles


  • Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Translational Research Network (RTRN) (U54, RFA-MD-12-005)
  • Transition to Independent Environmental Health Research (TIEHR) Career Development Award (K22, PA-12-188)
  • NIGMS National Centers for Systems Biology (P50, PAR-12-187)
  • Small Business Innovation Research Program Phase I Solicitation FY-2013 (SBIR, NSF 12-548)
  • Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP, NSF 12-554)
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER, NSF 11-690) Program


  • ASM Submits Comments for NAS Conference on Women in Academia
  • The CMIIM List of Minority Microbiologists (CLMM) is expanding
  • Opening for Assistant/Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School
  • National Graduate Student Research Conference (NGSRC)
  • Research Associate position available at Caerus Discovery


  • Donald J. Alcendor, M.S., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, Meharry Medical College


CMIIM Special Interest Session at asm2012
The Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities is sponsoring a special interest session, “Microbiome: Racial and Ethnic Differences,” at asm2012 in San Francisco, CA. The session will take place in Room 306 of the Moscone Convention Center on Sunday, June 17 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Session Description:
Microbiome: Racial and Ethnic Differences
The human microbiota has a significant influence upon human physiology, immune responses, and nutrition. Consequently, multiple efforts, including the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, are underway to develop resources that enable the characterization of the human microbiota and analysis of its role in human health and disease.  A goal of this initiative is to understand whether changes in the human microbiome can be linked to changes in human health.  Recent studies that identified inherent differences in microbial communities between individuals of different racial and ethnic groups support the need for considering differences within the microbiota between individuals when performing risk assessments and disease diagnosis.  This session will examine the importance and benefits of ensuring broad racial and ethnic diversity among study participants as well as the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of these studies.  

Larry J. Forney, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, Diversity within the Vaginal Microbiome
J. Dennis Fortenberry, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, The Urethral Microbiome of Adolescent Males
Courtney J. Robinson, Ph.D, Howard University, Washington DC, The Intestinal Microbiota and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Ligia Peralta, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, Challenges in Recruiting and Incorporating Minority Subjects in Clinical Studies
Cecil Lewis, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, Diversity and Ethics of Human Microbiomes from Traditional Indigenous People

29th Annual Minority Microbiologists’ Mixer
Mix and mingle at the 29th Annual Minority Microbiologists’ Mixer. The tradition continues on Monday, June 18 from 9:00 – 10:30 p.m. in the Atrium at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. Close out the evening with dessert and networking with your fellow microbiologists. One free drink ticket per attendee will be provided while supplies last. Please contact Lyndsey Van Druff at lvandruff@asmusa.org with any questions.

Third Annual Mentoring Breakfast
ASM's Underrepresented Members Committee (UMC) and Committee on Minority Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM) are sponsoring the Third Annual Mentoring Breakfast on Tuesday, June 19 from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. in room Golden Gate A at the Marriott Marquis. The Mentoring Breakfast will offer students, postdoctoral scientists, and professionals the opportunity to discuss topics relevant to career transitions with committed ASM volunteer mentors.  Please contact Lyndsey Van Druff at lvandruff@asmusa.org with any questions.

Clinical Microbiology (CM) Mentoring
Learn more about career opportunities for CMs during informal chats with practicing CMs of various backgrounds! Learn about becoming a CM or enhancing your position as a CM.  Where/When?  Clinical Microbiology Lounge (Convention Center, Room 112) June 16-18, 11:00 am-noon and 1:00-2:00 pm. A list of CMs who will be on-site to talk with you will be posted on the CM Portal, http://clinmicro.asm.org.

Learn More about ASM’s Involvement in the Development of Evidence-based Practice Guidelines
Members are currently working on two guidelines. They will be available in the Clinical Microbiology Lounge (Convention Center, Room 112) on Sunday and Monday from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. to answer your questions and share what they have learned. Many of you may be interested to learn how to write your research so that it meets the evidence-based criteria.

Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives at asm 2012
The Center for the History of Microbiology/ASM Archives (CHOMA) Committee is pleased to announce its schedule of asm2012 meeting events.  Attend the History of Microbiology Lecture on “A Century of Bacteriophages” and the CHOMA Symposium on “The Culture of Rice: From Farm to Fermentation.”  Visit the CHOMA Booth in the Exhibit Hall to examine materials from the ASM Archives collection relating to two fascinating figures in American microbiology, each with a San Francisco connection – George Miller Sternberg (1838-1915) and Karl F. Meyer (1884-1974).  Click here for details:  CHOMA at the General Meeting (asm2012).

Now Available! JMBE, Volume 13, Issue 1
The editors of ASM's Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE), the premier journal for microbiology and biology education research, are excited to announce the publication of volume 13, issue 1, of the journal. A freely available, scholarly, and internationally indexed publication, JMBE provides broad coverage of science education via five sections: Research (articles about science education research), Perspectives (thoughts relating a current societal or educational concern to teaching and learning), Curriculum (classroom and laboratory exercises that are innovative, field-tested and assessed), Tips and Tools (innovative teaching guidance), and Reviews (appraisals of biology-related books and media). The newest issue includes all of the abstracts from the 2012 Annual ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE) along with numerous articles that promote good pedagogy and design, foster scholarly teaching, and advance biology education research.

JMBE editors welcome article submissions, and manuscripts are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. However, to be considered for each volume, submissions must be received by 1 December (for the May issue) and 1 July (for the December issue). For more information, visit http://jmbe.asm.org

JMBE eTOC alerts are available by visiting http://jmbe.asm.org/index.php/jmbe/user/register.

ICAAC 2012
52nd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
September 9-12, 2012 | San Francisco, CA
Late-Breaker Abstract Submission Now Open!
Travel Grant Application Submission Closes: June 29, 2012
Late-Breaker Abstract Submission Closes: July 30, 2012

Recognized for its acclaimed contributors, attendees and content, ICAAC 2012 brings you late-breaking research and the highest-quality scientific presentations from renowned professionals in the fields of infectious diseases and antimicrobial agents.

Travel Grant Opportunities

ICAAC boasts several travel grant awards for infectious disease fellows and students including:

-       ICAAC Infectious Diseases Fellows Grant Program

-       ASM Infectious Disease (ID) Fellow Travel Grant

-       ASM Student and Post-Doctoral Fellow Travel Grant

For complete details, please visit http://www.icaac.org.

ASM Conferences

6th ASM Conference on Biofilms
September 29 – October 4, 2012 | Miami, Florida

Registration and Housing are Open!

Abstract Deadline: July 9, 2012

Discounted Pre-registration Deadline: August 21, 2012

Housing Deadline: September 8, 2012

Biofilms, or surface-associated microbial communities, have a tremendous impact on industrial, clinical, and natural environments.  The 6th ASM conference on Biofilms will discuss the latest research findings, covering topics that range from diagnosis and study of clinically-relevant biofilms to environmental biofilms.  Additional topics include new technological developments that allow the study of structured communities and contributions made by the fields of nanotechnology and materials science.  The conference will help foster the interdisciplinary discourse that has been the hallmark of this meeting, bringing together researchers from disparate disciplines interested in a common topic.

4th ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes
October 22-26, 2012 | San Antonio, Texas

Registration and Housing are Open!

Abstract Deadline: August 1, 2012

Discounted Pre-registration Deadline: September 11, 2012

Housing Deadline: October 1, 2012

Humans and other animals have coevolved, and continue to coexist, with diverse assemblages of microorganisms that are required for normal health and development. Understanding of these normal host-microbe associations is essential if we are to understand the impact of pathogens and disease on the dynamic stability of these communities. Research utilizing a wide range of model systems has provided new insights and allowed for establishment of new technologies that provide critical insight into human health and clinical research. Also, we will be able to apply this knowledge towards improved probiotics, prebiotics and novel diagnostic approaches. The primary objective of this conference is to provide a forum for researchers in different scientific disciplines to discuss and exchange ideas regarding the role of beneficial bacteria in the promotion of health. The interdisciplinary nature of this field requires the expertise and cross-fertilization of several scientific disciplines.

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

ASM PRESS: New Titles

Food Microbiology: an Introduction, Third Edition

Authors: Thomas Montville, Karl Matthews, and Kalmia Kniel

Hardcover: 978-1-55581-636-0

List and Member Price: $109.95

Authoritative coverage presented in a format designed to facilitate teaching and learning.

The newly updated and expanded third edition:

  • Includes expert perspectives on parasites, viruses and prions, and non-thermal processes.
  • Incorporates instructors' input to further clarify complex topics in the field of food microbiology.
  • Encourages students to venture beyond memorization and think critically to gain a broader conceptual understanding of food microbiology and acquire the understanding and skills necessary to ensure the safety of tomorrow's food supply.
  • Presents explicit learning goals to focus students on the core principles of food microbiology.
  • Introduces the genetics and molecular mechanisms important for the understanding of foodborne microbes

For more information related to Food Microbiology: an Introduction, 3e please visit:


Microbes and Evolution: The World That Darwin Never Saw

Editors: Roberto Kolter and Stanley Maloy

Paperback: 978-1-55581-540-0

List and Member Price: $14.95

Explore the fundamental role of microbes in the natural history of our planet…

Inspired by a 2009 colloquium on microbial evolution convened at the Galapagos Islands, Microbes and Evolution continues to celebrate Charles Darwin and his landmark book On the Origin of Species. Through this collection of 40 first-person essays written by microbiologists with a passion for evolutionary biology, you’ll come to understand how their thinking and career paths in science were influenced by Darwin’s seminal work.

The essays in Microbes and Evolution explore how the evidence of microbial evolution deeply and personally affected each scientist. Prepare to be surprised and delighted with their views on the importance of evolutionary principles in the study of a variety of aspects of life science, from taxonomy, speciation, adaptation, social structure, and symbiosis to antibiotic resistance, genetics and genomics.

For more information related to Microbes and Evolution please visit:


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

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


Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Translational Research Network (RTRN) (U54, RFA-MD-12-005)
The Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Translational Research Network (RTRN) was established in 2007 to enhance collaboration across RCMI institutions.  It includes multiple academic institutions, clinical sites, community health care providers, and community groups that have a goal of developing and conducting clinical and translational research on those diseases that disproportionately impact minority populations, and on health disparities in general.  The network is designed to engage all stakeholders in the translational research process, increase the quality and efficiency of clinical and translational studies, facilitate study participant recruitment and retention, and increase the efficiency of the implementation and dissemination of research advances to improved health outcomes.

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to provide infrastructure to support overall network coordination, expand the Research Coordinating Center (RCC) functions, and support Data Coordinating Center (DCC) functions of the RTRN. Applications responding to this FOA are limited to grantees currently funded via the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (RCTR) and /or the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) G12 Centers programs.  Letters of intent are due July 9, 2012.  More information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-MD-12-005.html.

Transition to Independent Environmental Health Research (TIEHR) Career Development Award (K22, PA-12-188)
The Transitions to Independent Environmental Health Research (TIEHR) Career Development Award is a 3-year bridge scholar development program for newly independent faculty who intend to pursue careers focused on environmental health sciences research.  At the conclusion of the career development period the candidates are expected to demonstrate they can successfully compete for research funding in the environmental health sciences.  Applications are due October 12, 2012.  More information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-12-188.html.

NIGMS National Centers for Systems Biology (P50, PAR-12-187)
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) invites grant applications from institutions/organizations proposing to establish Centers of Excellence in Systems Biology.  The goal of this initiative is to promote pioneering research, research training, education, and outreach programs focused on systems-level inquiries of biomedical phenomena within the NIGMS mission.  The description of the NIGMS mission can be found on the website, www.nigms.nih.gov.  Letters of intent are due September 23, 2012.  More information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-12-187.html

Small Business Innovation Research Program Phase I Solicitation FY-2013 (SBIR, NSF 12-548)
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program stimulates technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening the role of small business concerns in meeting Federal research and development needs, increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.  Applications are due June 19, 2012.  More information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12548/nsf12548.htm.

Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP, NSF 12-554)
AGEP is committed to the national goal of increasing the numbers of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (URMs), including URMs with disabilities entering and completing graduate education and postdoctoral training to levels representative of the available pool of URMs. Increased URM participation in advanced STEM education and training is critical for supporting the development of a diverse professional STEM workforce especially a diverse STEM faculty who serve as the intellectual, professional, personal, and organizational role models that shape the expectations of future scientists and engineers. To achieve this long term commitment, the AGEP program will support the development, implementation, study, and dissemination of innovative models and standards of graduate education and postdoctoral training that are designed to improve URM participation, preparation, and success.  Proposals are due July 12, 2012.  More information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12554/nsf12554.htm.

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER, NSF 11-690) Program
CAREER: The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from junior faculty members at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.  Proposals are due as early as July 23, 2012.  More information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11690/nsf11690.htm.


ASM Submits Comments for NAS Conference on Women in Academia
The ASM submitted comments to the National Academies (NAS) in response to their request to provide testimony on a conference they are holding in June called, "Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia."  The comments were written by the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM).  The NAS requested that the testimony cover the following topics:  Data on women of color within your organization or discipline by gender, race/ethnicity, educational level, and employment sector; Challenges or barriers to success that confront women of color in your organization at various stages in their careers from graduate student to working professional; Policies and/or programs implemented by your organization to enhance the participation of women of color and to advance their academic careers; and Lessons learned from any policy and/or program efforts and overall policy recommendations to increase the representation and career satisfaction of women of color in your discipline or organization.

To draft the testimony, the CMIIM conducted a survey of ASM women members asking them questions about their work and educational experiences.  The results of the survey are summarized in the statement, along with an overview of ASM programs and activities related to advancing URM microbiologists.  The statement is available on-line at:  May 24, 2012 - ASM Submits Comments to NAS on Seeking Solutions Conference.

The CMIIM List of Minority Microbiologists (CLMM) is expanding
The recently published CMIIM List of Minority Microbiologists (CLMM) is now expanding to include new additions.  All new additions will be considered by the CMIIM for inclusion to the CLMM.  To submit requests to be added to the CLMM, please submit a biosketch of at least one paragraph, along with a .jpg image of yourself, to CMIIM@asmusa.org.  The committee reserves the right to make slight modifications to each biosketch, but the final version will be submitted to you for final approval before publishing.

Opening for Assistant/Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School
The Division of Immunology, recently inaugurated in the Department of Microbiology & Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School, invites applications for a tenure track position with a rank of assistant or associate professor. We seek an outstanding scientist addressing fundamental or translational questions in immunobiology. The successful applicant's preferred area of research emphasis should address the interface of the innate or adaptive immune system with pathogens, commensals or non-pathogenic microorganisms.  This position offers outstanding scholarly and scientific resources in a collegial and collaborative department with strong ties to related departments throughout Harvard University; the Harvard affiliated teaching hospitals and the Boston immunology/microbiology community. The position provides the opportunity to join a growing coalition of researchers at Harvard Medical School interested in molecular and quantitative approaches to basic immunological and microbiological diseases.  The position also offers the opportunity to teach exceptional graduate and medical students with strong interests in immunology/microbiology. The research space will be located in a recently constructed research building at Harvard Medical School. Candidates must have a Ph.D., M.D. or an equivalent graduate degree.  For consideration please upload to the website below a cover letter, a C.V. and a concise summary of research accomplishments and interests which should include a list of publications.  Submit all materials via http://academicpositions.harvard.edu/postings/4115.  Harvard Medical School is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified female and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

National Graduate Student Research Conference (NGSRC)
The 2012 Conference, to be held on October 9 and 10, will introduce 120 advanced graduate students in the sciences to the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) to share their science and meet with NIH scientists. This year the Conference will be held in conjunction with the NIH Research Festival, which highlights recent significant biomedical advances made at the NIH. Conference participants will have the opportunity to attend Research Festival Sessions, career development workshops, and more!  The deadline for receipt of applications is June 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm (EDT).  More information is available at https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/ngsrc.

Research Associate position available at Caerus Discovery
Caerus Discovery is looking for an immunologist to join our R&D group. The candidate will join a small team and support the development and testing of new subtractive immunization protocols, and will contribute to our biomarker discovery program. Qualifications include master’s degree in Biological Science, or equivalent, with 1-5 years of relevant laboratory experience, experience with rodent handling and antibody development is strongly desired, and familiarity with ELISAs and mouse models of disease are desired. To apply, please submit a resume and a brief cover letter summarizing your relevant laboratory experience. Caerus Discovery is a Virginia based company focused on rapid discovery of new molecular targets and development of monoclonal antibodies. Caerus utilizes a patented technology platform for vaccine and therapeutic development, in a broad range of human diseases. Equal Opportunity Employer. M/F/V/D Candidates must be authorized to work in the US.  For more information, contact soren@caerusdiscovery.com.   


Donald J. Alcendor, M.S., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, Meharry Medical College
The blood-brain barrier is represented as a layer of specialized cells that help to protect the brain from injury and infection.  Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV or CMV) is a virus that infects humans and is very common even in healthy individuals. However, if a woman becomes newly infected during pregnancy the baby is vulnerable to infection of the central nervous system by CMV.  CMV infection of a developing child in the womb can be life-threatening and can result in babies being born with hearing loss, blindness and mental retardation.  Collectively, CMV is the leading infectious cause of these problems in babies. The goal of a recent study published in Journal of Neural Inflammation (2012 May 18;9(1):95) was to determine if brain pericytes can be infected by CMV and if so how do brain pericytes respond to virus infection.  This paper describes the infection of brain pericytes by CMV and their release of proteins involved in inflammation after infection.  Understanding these details will help determine the path that CMV takes to infect the brain. It will also help identify the predominant cell type in the brain that supports virus infection compared to other cell types. This study will provide information that will help determine whether infection likely contributes to inflammation in the brain as observed in infants with CMV brain disease and, going forward, aid in the development of novel treatment strategies for combating congenital disease in children.

Donald J. Alcendor, M.S., Ph.D., (http://www.mmc.edu/faculty/som-dalcendor.html) received his B.S., in Microbiology from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; M.S. in Bacteriology from Louisiana, State University in Baton, Rouge and completed his doctoral studies in Molecular Virology at the University of California at Davis. He completed his post-graduate studies at the NIH and Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore Maryland in departments of Molecular Virology and Viral Oncology respectively. He is a recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Patricia Roberts Harris Graduate Fellowship, a University of California Davis Mentorship Fellowship, a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Pre-doctoral Fellowship, a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Post-doctoral Fellowship, a Floyd and Mary Schwall Dissertation Fellowship, a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Spring Fellowship, and the Merck Special Service Award. Dr. Alcendor has been a research consultant to the Viral Vector Core Laboratory in Viral Oncology and is currently a Simian Cytomegalovirus Expert for the FDA. He has also served as a summer mentor for the Leadership Alliance for the American Society of Microbiology and has also been selected as a Minority Scholar in Cancer Research by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). He is a committee member on the independent Research Evaluation and Decision Panel (REDP) for the AIDS Cancer and Specimen Resource of the NCI-AIDS Malignancy Program.  He is currently the Principal Investigator and interim Project Director for Project SAVED, a CDC funded HIV capacity building assistance initiative. Finally, he organized the 1st and now annual HIV/AIDS awareness Summit for Teens sponsored by the HIV Center at Meharry Medical College.


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: 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 Marian Johnson-Thompson, Ph.D., retired Director of Education and Biomedical Research Development at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, in Research Triangle Park, NC. The Minority Microbiology Mentor Editor-in-Chief is Dwayne W. Boucaud, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Quinnipiac University Department of Biomedical Sciences in Hamden, CT and the Associate Editor is Crystal N. Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.