Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - July 2012

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  • ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Grants Awarded
  • 2012 ABRCMS – Register Today!
  • Mentoring Breakfast Held at asm2012


  • Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE, NSF 12-552)
  • Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER, NSF 11-690)
  • SBE Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (SBE DDRIG, NSF 11-547)
  • Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL, NSF 12-560)
  • NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM, NSF 12-529)
  • National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium (NNTC) Clinical Sites (U24, RFA-MH-13-070)
  • Advancing Community-level Approaches to Reduce HIV Infection in Highly Impacted Communities (R01, RFA-MH-13-090)
  • Development and Testing of Novel Interventions to Improve HIV Prevention, Care, and Program Implementation (R34, PA-12-231)
  • IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) [P20, PAR-12-205]


  • The CMIIM List of Minority Microbiologists (CLMM) is expanding
  • Opening for Assistant/Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School
  • Postdoctoral position available
  • Research technician position available
  • Supervisory Research Ecologist, NOAA Fisheries, Santa Cruz CA, full time/permanent
  • Full-time permanent position in marine benthic ecology at IFREMER (ref. W12  12  092)
  • Postdoctoral position available at Mote Marine Laboratory
  • STEM Program Director Postdoctoral Fellowship, UNC - Chapel Hill


  • Melinda M. Pettigrew, Ph.D., Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut


ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Grants Awarded
During the asm2012 General Meeting in San Francisco, CA the awardees of the ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Grant were honored at the Education Board’s annual reception.  The ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Grant program offers travel grants to increase the participation of underrepresented minority (URM) groups in the ASM General Meeting. The following outstanding 2012 awardees were introduced at the ASM General Meeting:

Faculty Awardees
Jesse Dillon, Ph.D., California State University, Long Beach
Michele K. Nishiguchi, Ph.D., New Mexico State University
Teshome Yehualaeshet, Ph.D., Tuskegee University

Postdoctoral Awardees
Zomary Flores-Cruz, Ph.D., University of Georgia
Elise A. Lamont, Ph.D., University of Minnesota

The Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM) chair, Dr. Marian Johnson-Thompson presented the awards. The CMIIM developed the grant program for ASM.  

The ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Grant program selects post-doctoral scholars from underrepresented minority groups in the microbiological sciences or faculty from Minority Serving Institutions. Each grantee is offered up to $2000 to defray expenses associated with travel to the ASM General Meeting.  The grants are supported by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.  For more information about the grant program contact ASMGMTravelGrant@asmusa.org. The deadline for submission to apply for a grant to attend the asm2013 Meeting in Denver, CO is January 25, 2013. 

If you have colleagues or post doctoral members of your department who you think are eligible for the award, please let them know about the program.  The CMIIM would like to encourage as many applications as possible. For more information go to the ASM web page:  http://www.asm.org/asmgmminoritytravelgrant

2012 ABRCMS – Register Today!
Register today for the 2012 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), planned for November 7-10 in San Jose, Calif. For more than a decade, ABRCMS has provided opportunities for undergraduates to pursue advanced training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. While an ABRCMS focus is supporting undergraduate research, all attendees – including graduate students, postdoctoral scientists, and faculty and administrators – value the conference’s strong lineup of information-rich workshops, scientific presentations, professional development opportunities, and networking events.

This year the ABRCMS roster of distinguished speakers includes internationally renowned chemist Luis Echegoyen, leading AIDS researcher James Hildreth, former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General Susan Blumenthal, and author and radio host Michael Eric Dyson. In addition, the conference will commemorate milestone anniversaries of three trailblazing institutions committed to fostering scientific careers and improving workforce diversity: the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and its Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) and Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) programs.

Sites for ABRCMS exhibitor and attendee registration, abstract submissions, and travel award submissions are all open. Already planning to attend? Then why not register today? Registration by October 22 secures your place at the conference and offers $100 off the conference registration fee.

Needed – Abstracts and Judges. Students (undergraduate sophomore through postbaccalaureate and graduate levels) are invited to submit abstracts for the conference. In addition, postdoctoral scientists, faculty members, and program directors are encouraged to serve as ABRCMS abstract reviewers and/or onsite presentation judges. Travel awards are available. Deadlines are September 7 for abstract submissions and the ABRCMS Travel Award and September 28 for the ABRCMS Judges' Travel Subsidy and the FASEB MARC Program Travel Award.

For the latest program and speaker updates, visit http://www.abrcms.org.

ABRCMS is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (award number T36GM073777) and managed by the American Society for Microbiology.

Mentoring Breakfast Held at asm2012
The 3rd Annual Mentoring Breakfast was held Tuesday, June 19, 2012 from 8:00-10:00 am at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, CA.  More than 30 mentors advised over 100 mentees at the Breakfast.  


Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE, NSF 12-552)
The Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE) program seeks to advance research at the frontiers of STEM learning and education, and to provide the foundational knowledge necessary to improve STEM learning and education in current and emerging learning contexts, both formal and informal, from childhood through adulthood, for all groups, and from before school through to graduate school and beyond into the workforce. The goals of the REESE program are: (1) to catalyze discovery and innovation at the frontiers of STEM learning and education; (2) to stimulate the field to produce high quality and robust research results through the progress of theory, method, and human resources; and (3) to coordinate and transform advances in education and learning research. In coordination with the Research on Gender in Science and Engineering (GSE) and Research on Disabilities Education (RDE) programs, REESE supports research on broadening participation in STEM education. REESE pursues its mission by developing an interdisciplinary research portfolio focusing on core scientific questions about STEM learning; it welcomes Fostering Interdisciplinary Research on Education (FIRE) projects, previously called for in a separate solicitation. REESE places particular importance upon the involvement of young investigators in the projects, at doctoral, postdoctoral, and early career stages, as well as the involvement of STEM disciplinary experts. Research questions related to educational research methodology and measurement are also central to REESE activities.  Deadline is July 17, 2012.  More information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12552/nsf12552.htm

Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER, NSF 11-690)
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.

PECASE: Each year NSF selects nominees for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from among the most meritorious recent CAREER awardees. Selection for this award is based on two important criteria:  1) innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology that is relevant to the mission of the sponsoring organization or agency, and 2) community service demonstrated through scientific leadership, education or community outreach. These awards foster innovative developments in science and technology, increase awareness of careers in science and engineering, give recognition to the scientific missions of the participating agencies, enhance connections between fundamental research and national goals, and highlight the importance of science and technology for the Nation’s future. Individuals cannot apply for PECASE. These awards are initiated by the participating federal agencies. At NSF, up to twenty nominees for this award are selected each year from among the PECASE-eligible CAREER awardees who are most likely to become the leaders of academic research and education in the twenty-first century. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy makes the final selection and announcement of the awardees.  Deadlines begin July 23, 2012.  More information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11690/nsf11690.htm

SBE Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (SBE DDRIG, NSF 11-547)
The National Science Foundation's Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS), Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES), National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), and the SBE Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (SMA) award grants to doctoral students to improve the quality of dissertation research. These grants provide funds for items not normally available through the student's university. Additionally, these grants allow doctoral students to undertake significant data-gathering projects and to conduct field research in settings away from their campus that would not otherwise be possible. Proposals are judged on the basis of their scientific merit, including the theoretical importance of the research question and the appropriateness of the proposed data and methodology to be used in addressing the question. Deadline is August 16, 2012.  More information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11547/nsf11547.htm

Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL, NSF 12-560)
The Advancing Informal STEM Learning program invests in research and development of innovative and field-advancing out-of-school STEM learning and emerging STEM learning environments.  The name of the program has changed from Informal Science Education (ISE) to Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL). AISL better emphasizes the priorities of the solicitation and the changes at NSF:

a. Advancing - This emphasizes that AISL seeks innovative projects that advance the field and that requests need to go beyond just proposing a new exhibit, program or film.

b. Informal - This continues to emphasize that the program is interested in out-of-school learning that makes learning Lifelong, Life Wide (occurring across multiple venues) and Life Deep (occurring at different levels of complexity).

c. STEM - This recognizes that the program is not just focused on science, but all of STEM.

d. Learning - This term is more appropriate than "education" based on what we know on how people learn. Also, "learning" is more connected with what people do for themselves, compared to "education" which is perceived as something that is done to them.

The Connecting Researchers and Public Audiences (CRPA) is no longer a program type, but individuals that wish to explore how to better engage the public or professional audiences with the results and societal implications of current STEM research are encouraged to consider applying under other project types.  Preliminary proposal (optional) is due August 14, 2012.  More information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12560/nsf12560.htm

NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM, NSF 12-529)
This program makes grants to institutions of higher education to support scholarships for academically talented students demonstrating financial need, enabling them to enter the STEM workforce or STEM graduate school following completion of an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate-level degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics disciplines. Grantee institutions are responsible for selecting scholarship recipients, reporting demographic information about student scholars, and managing the S-STEM project at the institution.  Deadline is August 14, 2012.  More information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2012/nsf12529/nsf12529.htm

National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium (NNTC) Clinical Sites (U24, RFA-MH-13-070)
This limited competition Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS) solicits applications to continue the activities of the National NeuroAIDS Tissue Consortium (NNTC) Clinical Sites as previously funded under RFA-MH-08-021. The NNTC Clinical Sites collect neuromedical and neuropsychiatric data from late stage, HIV-infected subjects who have indicated a willingness to participate in organ donation. The NNTC Clinical Sites perform clinical assessments, collect brain and neurological tissues and fluids, perform neuropathological diagnosis and laboratory assessments and transfer select data generated from these activities to the NNTC central database which is maintained by the Data Coordinating Center (DCC). The mission of the NNTC is to maintain a research resource that supports studies on the pathophysiology of nervous system complications of HIV infection in the current era of anti-retroviral therapy. The Clinical Sites work cooperatively with the DCC to provide the clinical data and specimen resources to research investigators.  Competitive applications for the NNTC DCC are being sought under a separate but related companion FOA (RFA-MH-13-071).  Letter of intent is due August 4, 2012.  More information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-MH-13-070.html

Advancing Community-level Approaches to Reduce HIV Infection in Highly Impacted Communities (R01, RFA-MH-13-090)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) seeks research to advance our understanding of community-level HIV-prevention and care interventions within geographic locations and specific populations highly impacted by HIV. In targeting communities, this FOA invites applications to address the need for efficacious interventions that simultaneously impact a large number of individuals. These interventions can target communities highly impacted by HIV based on geographic, social, or demographic criteria. Structural interventions and systemic interventions are encouraged.  The goal is to lower HIV infections and HIV viral load at a community-level by changing individual behaviors via cost-effective and sustainable means. Interventions proposed in response to this initiative should target communities as defined by geographic proximity, shared goals, and/or common characteristics, which may include but are not limited to race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, social economic status, education level, behavior, and identity.  This includes both populations that are vulnerable to HIV infection and individuals living with HIV. Intervention approaches should take into consideration the existing agencies or organizations in the community that are capable of adopting the efficacious community-level interventions that are developed and tested.  Letters of intent are due December 11, 2012.  More information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-MH-13-090.html

Development and Testing of Novel Interventions to Improve HIV Prevention, Care, and Program Implementation (R34, PA-12-231)
This FOA is issued by the National institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health for R34 applications, and provides resources to support (a) pilot or feasibility studies of new or adapted interventions to prevent HIV infection among populations where substance use may be a contributing factor; (b) pilot or feasibility studies of new or adapted interventions to improve the care of HIV infection among populations where substance use is prevalent, including interventions that integrate treatment for substance use disorders and HIV infection; or (c)  pilot or feasibility studies to increase the scale, uptake, delivery, and/or quality of HIV prevention or care interventions with established evidence of efficacy. Both primary and secondary prevention will be supported. The full range of substance use will be considered including problematic episodic use and substance use disorders, as well as a full range of substances and modes of administration. The most important consideration is that substance use may affect transmission directly as in the case of injection drug use or may affect transmission risk behavior. Domestic and overseas populations will be considered, with particular attention to populations with disproportionate burden of HIV infection and those where HIV infection and/or drug use are emergent.  Deadline is July 16, 2012.  More information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-12-231.html

IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) [P20, PAR-12-205]
The purpose of the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program is to augment and strengthen the IDeA-eligible state's biomedical research capacity. The grant awards are made to independent biomedical research institutes and/or biomedical research institutions that award doctoral degrees in the health sciences or sciences related to health within IDeA-eligible states. The INBRE program must represent a collaborative effort to sponsor research with other research intensive institutions and institutes, primarily undergraduate institutions, community colleges, and minority serving institutions (Hispanic-serving institutions, historically black colleges and universities, tribally controlled colleges and universities, Alaska native and native Hawaiian serving institutions).

The primary goals of the INBRE program are to: 1) build on the established multi-disciplinary research network with a scientific focus to strengthen the lead and partner institutions' biomedical research expertise and infrastructure; 2) build and increase the research base and capacity by providing support to faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students at the participating institutions; 3) provide research opportunities for students from primarily undergraduate institutions, community colleges and minority serving institutions and serve as a "pipeline" for these students to continue in health research careers within IDeA states; 4) enhance science and technology knowledge of the state's workforce.  Deadline is August 15, 2012.  More information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-12-205.html.  


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.

Postdoctoral Position Available
Professor Thomas P. Albright is hiring a postdoctoral collaborator on NASA-funded research investigating temperature regimes, climate change, and ecological consequences in complex terrain using remote sensing, sensor networks, geospatial modeling, and climate modeling. The postdoc will be based in Thomas Albright’s Laboratory for Conservation Biogeography, in the Department of Geography at the University of Nevada, Reno (USA).  The research is part of an interacting nexus of NASA and NSF-funded projects across several campuses (including UW-Madison, U. New Mexico, and Desert Research Institute) and federal agencies (USFS, USGS, USFWS) investigating the effects of extreme weather and climate change on avian physiology, ecology, and conservation.  Strong potential also exists to link to other taxa and ecological, hydrologic, and atmospheric questions and applications, including the Nevada Climate-Ecohydrological Assessment Network. For more information on Professor Albright, visit http://www.unr.edu/~talbright/LCB/ and http://www.unr.edu/geography/faculty/talbright.html.  The preferred start date is 15 September 2012; however there is flexibility in the start date up to January 2013.  The position, featuring competitive salary and benefits, is funded and slated for 2 years, pending strong progress. 

Qualifications (required):

  • Ph.D. in geography, ecology, natural resources, engineering, or related
  • Strong experience in remote sensing fundamentals, processing, & application
  • Computational skills: image processing, GIS, R or similar analysis environments, elementary (at least) programming and scripting for automation
  • Knowledge of applied statistics
  • A record of publication and presentation
  • Strong communication skills, enjoyment of collaboration & helping students

To express interest: send the following to talbright@unr.edu (subject: “postdoc application”):  a) cover letter highlighting your academic professional background/goals and outlining your research interests, b) CV, c) contacts for 3 references.  Include your last name in the title of any documents you send.  Consideration of interested applicants will begin after 23 July and will continue until the position is filled.   Please e-mail any questions.

Research Technician Position Available
The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) has an opening for a research technician on a team using geographic information system (GIS) technology and ecological modeling in regional studies of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and estuary.  The research considers the factors controlling material discharges from watersheds; the relationships between landscape characteristics and aquatic ecosystem health; and the linkages among watersheds, wetlands, and estuaries.  Applicants should have experience with GIS and statistical analysis and a Bachelors or Masters degree in science, geography, mathematics, or information systems (or equivalent experience).  The successful applicant will build skills in watershed modeling, landscape ecology, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, nutrient transport, hydrology, stream ecology, computer programming, data base management, remote sensing, and ecological assessment of water quality and stream biota.  This is a Career Federal Civil Service position offered at the GS-7 or GS-9 level with a full performance level at GS-9.  Starting salary is $42,209 at the GS-7/1 level or $51,630 at the GS-9/1 level (plus benefits).  The official announcement and application instructions are available at http://www.usajobs.gov.  Refer to announcement number: 12R-RB-297836-DEU-SERC.  Please direct all inquiries to the contacts listed in that announcement.  For more information on SERC visit http://www.serc.si.edu.  Closing date is Tuesday, July 31, 2012.

Supervisory Research Ecologist, NOAA Fisheries, Santa Cruz CA, Full Time/Permanent
The National Marine Fisheries Service is recruiting a Supervisory Research Ecologist to lead a research team at it's laboratory in Santa Cruz, California.  The Landscape Ecology Team has expertise in fisheries biology, aquatic ecology, geomorphology, and hydrology, and uses field, laboratory and modeling studies to improve the scientific basis of anadromous fish and habitat management.  The team focuses on connections between habitat and the dynamics of fish populations, with emphasis on spatial aspects and the development and application of quantitative methods.   The incumbent will provide intellectual leadership to the team's research program, perform the full range of supervisory duties, and carry out their own research leading to publications in the peer- reviewed literature.  Other duties may include providing technical advice to conservation managers and advising graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.  Applicants should have a substantial record of research accomplishments in a relevant discpline and experience leading an interdisciplinary research program.  Experience supervising employees and knowledge of anadromous species conservation issues is desirable but not essential.  Information about the laboratory and Landscape Ecology Team is online at http://swfsc.noaa.gov/fed.   This is a full-time, permanent position with a salary between $67,963 and $148,806 per year.   Applications will be accepted from any U.S. citizen.  Applications will be accepted from Monday, July 09, 2012 to Wednesday, July 18, 2012.  The official announcement and application instructions are online at http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/320887200.

Full-time Permanent Position in Marine Benthic Ecology at IFREMER (ref. W12  12  092)
The Department of Dynamics of Coastal Ecosystems at IFREMER invites applications for a full-time research permanent position in the Benthic Ecology laboratory. We are seeking broadly for individuals who develop research in marine benthic ecology, to overall understand structural and functional diversity in coastal shallow waters habitats. The individual must possess a Ph.D., a strong commitment to developing internationally recognized research programs, and a desire to contribute significantly to the dynamic of the laboratory by initiating new collaborations.

The successful candidate will join a growing team to enhance research and complement strengths in the study of macrobenthic communities, in field research such as:

(1) the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning;

(2) the relationships between environmental parameters and variability in benthic species assemblages (diversity and composition);

(3) the development of statistical and/or predictive modelling tools to better understand the distribution of species and/or communities.

Besides a Ph.D. in Marine (Benthic) Ecology and preferably postdoc experience(s), the required qualities for this position are a good knowledge in oceanography in general; a solid knowledge in macrobenthic species (biological trait and identification); good skills in numerical statistics and treatment of databases; being perfectly fluent in English as well as handling French basics.

To apply, please collate the following into a single pdf file: a cover letter (including the reference W12  12  092), an extended curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests and arrange to have up to 3 letters of reference sent in support of the application. All information should be sent electronically to both Chantal.Le.Bris@ifremer.fr (human resources) and Philippe.Cugier@ifremer.fr (head of the team).  Review of applications will continue until September 15.

Postdoctoral Position Available at Mote Marine Laboratory
The new Postdoctoral Fellow is expected to begin between Oct. 15, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2012, but exceptional candidates with a firm expectation of graduation by Dec. 31, 2012 will be considered. The full-time position includes an annual salary of $40,000. Health insurance is also provided, with family options. Benefits include an opt-in retirement plan with employer matching, leaves for holidays, illness, and vacation, and other benefits. The Postdoctoral Fellow will also have an established researcher assigned to serve as a dedicated mentor and will receive office/laboratory space and funds for startup, operations, and travel.

The Fellowship position will be for a period of two years (assuming appropriate first-year progress). The Mote Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program is planning on having eight concurrent Fellowship positions overlapping each year by 2020. 

Applications are due by Sept. 7, 2012.  More information is available at http://www.mote.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=PostDocFellowshipProgram&category=Main.

STEM Program Director Postdoctoral Fellowship, UNC - Chapel Hill
The Office of Science, Training and Diversity (STaD, http://www.med.unc.edu/oge/stad/about-us) at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill has a postdoctoral level position available for a recent PhD graduate who is interested in pursuing a program director or administrative career track within academia.  The fellow will work with current STaD program directors to run innovative pre-graduate and graduate-level programs and initiatives focused on diversity recruitment and retention, science outreach, and cross-disciplinary graduate education.  The position will provide training in grant writing, higher education administration, and program planning.  In addition, the fellow will have the chance to make substantive contributions to programs administered by the STaD group.

Requirements/Desired Background

  • A recent Ph.D. in a STEM field is required
  • We encourage applications from scientists from underrepresented groups
  • Applicants must be available for multi-day travel to national conferences in the fall

The position is for 1 year starting in early-September 2012.  Individual health insurance is provided.  The salary is $39,000. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, CV, and contact information for 3 references to Dr. Ashalla Freeman, Director of Diversity Affairs at ashalla@unc.edu. Applications received prior to Friday, August 3rd will receive full consideration. Hiring decisions will be made irrespective of gender, race, religion, or sexual preference.


Melinda M. Pettigrew, Ph.D., Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut
Pettigrew and colleagues from the Yale School of Public Health and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine recently published a novel study describing the important role played by the normal upper respiratory tract flora in moderating risk of acute otitis media in children (Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2012, online ahead of print, doi: 10.1128/AEM.01051-12). Acute otitis media (i.e. ear infection) is a common pediatric illness and the leading reason antibiotics are prescribed to children in the United States. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis are the three most frequent acute otitis media pathogens. These bacteria asymptomatically colonize the upper respiratory tracts of a majority of children and must successfully compete with hundreds of commensal bacterial species in order to cause disease. Pettigrew et al. used culture-independent, high-throughput 16s rRNA gene pyrosequencing based approaches to compare nasal samples from healthy and sick children. They identified specific commensal members of flora that were protective for acute otitis media. Interestingly, these relationships differed by history of antibiotic use. Children with recent antibiotic use and a greater abundance of Lactococcus and Propionibacterium were 54% less likely to have a diagnosis of acute otitis media. In contrast, children without recent antibiotic use and a greater abundance of Corynebacterium and Dolosigranulum were 49% less likely to have an acute otitis media diagnosis. Increased understanding of how commensal members of the upper respiratory tract flora protect against acute otitis media will facilitate the development of novel treatment and prevention strategies for this important disease.

Dr. Melinda M. Pettigrew (http://publichealth.yale.edu/people/melinda_pettigrew.profile) earned her PhD in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases from Yale University then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases at the University of Michigan. Soon after, Dr. Pettigrew started her career at the Yale School of Public Health.  Dr. Pettigrew has published extensively concerning otitis media and diseases of the upper respiratory tract. She has received many honors and awards including a fellowship from the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women and a Yale Global Health Initiative Travel Award. Dr. Pettigrew has also been designated as a Microarray investigator for the NIAID sponsored Pathogen Functional Genomics Resource Center at TIGR, and has been elected to the governing council of the Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association.  Dr. Pettigrew is a standing member of the NIH study section, Clinical Research and Field Studies of Infectious Diseases and is on the editorial board of a number of journals including the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. She is currently the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Yale School of Public Health where she continues to research pneumococcal otitis media.



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.