Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - January 2015


  • Back by Popular Demand: ASM M(icro)OOCs!
  • Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
  • ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute
  • ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship
  • Biology Scholars Program
  • ASM-CDC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
  • 2015 ASM Biodefense & Emerging Diseases Research Meeting
  • 31st Annual Clinical Virology Symposium
  • asm2015: 115th General Meeting
  • NEW DATE: ICEID 2015: International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • ASM Conferences
  • Molecular Diagnostics Course


  • Division of Integrative Organismal Systems, Core Programs
  • Grants to Enhance Food Safety: National Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Competitive Grants Program (U18)
  • Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC) (P30)
  • New Technologies for Viral Hepatitis SBIR (R43/R44)


  • Medical Officer, Associate Chief for Clinical Trials Operations, Vaccine Research Center, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


  • Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM) Needs Your Help to Identify Factors Which Help Underrepresented Minority (URM) Groups to Succeed in the Life Sciences (please read how)


Back by Popular Demand: ASM M(icro)OOCs!
Free and available on a first-come, first-served basis, the second installment of the ASM M(icro)OOCs program will be offered again in spring 2015. Based on the concept of “massive open online courses,” ASM M(icro)OOCs will take place as three professional development webinars on the following topics:

  • Inclusive Pedagogy in Higher Education (February 18)
  • Course Design Using the ASM Curriculum Guidelines (March 25)
  • Lesson Plan Design Using the ASM Curriculum Guidelines (April 22)

Each M(icro)OOC is designed for ASM members (or potential members) who are currently educators or are interested in teaching. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a certificate of participation. To learn more or register, visit http://www.facultyprograms.org/moocs.

Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education
The December 2014 Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) is now available. The issue includes an editorial from editor-in-chief Samantha L. Elliott (St. Mary’s College of Maryland), highlighting recent JMBE endeavors. These include the launch of a thematic section, debuting in this issue. The focus of the inaugural section, led by guest editors Beth A. Fischer (University of Pittsburgh), Michael J. Zigmond (University of Pittsburgh), and Frederick Grinnell (UT Southwestern Medical Center), is scientific ethics. In a policy update designed to support safe practices when microbes are used in teaching laboratories, JMBE manuscripts must address the ASM Laboratory Safety Guidelines when discussing the use of microbes in activities. Other updates include (i) author guidelines in Spanish and Mandarin, (ii) details on IRB considerations for biology education research, and (iii) “JMBE Profiles,” an interview series about JMBE leaders, writing for scientific education journals, and issues in biology education. The first two episodes are available at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD2Sv5NskYtz5TmKq71VZ7BpS4AumecZi. JMBE welcomes submissions of articles that foster scholarly teaching in the biological sciences. Manuscripts are accepted on a rolling basis, and editors provide hands-on guidance throughout the review process. To view the journal’s media kit, articles, or submission instructions, visit http://jmbe.asm.org.

ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute
The ASM Committee on Graduate and Postdoctoral Education invites senior-level graduate students and early-career postdoctoral scientists to apply to attend the 2015 ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute. Sponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the institute will be held March 19-22 at ASM’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. Under close guidance from established journal editors and reviewers, institute participants learn strategies for writing and submitting manuscripts, writing abstracts and titles, selecting journals for submission, responding to reviewer comments, being a good reviewer, and addressing ethical issues in research and publishing. Apply by January 12. Learn more at http://www.asmgap.org/swpi.

ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship
The ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship program provides undergraduates interested in graduate careers (Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D.) in microbiology with opportunities to conduct full-time research at their home institutions and present research results. Fellows spend at least 10 weeks in the summer conducting research under the direction of ASM member faculty mentors. In addition, dependent on abstract submission and acceptance, fellows are supported to present their research results at the following summer’s ASM General Meeting. Apply by February 1. Note: This program requires a joint application from the student and an ASM member willing to serve as the faculty mentor for the duration of the fellowship. Learn more at http://www.asm.org/urf.

Biology Scholars Program
Developed with support from NSF (grant no. DUE-1022542), the ASM-NSF Biology Scholars Program offers three professional development residencies that help biology and microbiology faculty in taking their classroom teaching and educational research to the next level. Each residency is a yearlong commitment comprised of online assignments, one or two face-to-face meetings, and specialized peer-to-peer mentoring. Assessment Residency participants learn to measure students’ foundational knowledge, monitor gains in learning, and collaborate with colleagues to improve student learning and performance. Research Residency participants design research projects that investigate student learning; understand methods for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting surveys and data on student learning outcomes; and identify venues for publishing study results. Transitions Residency participants “transition” from conducting scholarly work in student learning to publishing in biology and/or science education venues. Apply by February 1. Learn more at http://www.biologyscholars.org.

ASM-CDC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Postdoctoral scientists are encouraged to submit applications for 2014 ASM-CDC Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. Offered through the ASM-CDC Program in Infectious Disease and Public Health Microbiology, each fellowship is a two-year research experience under the mentorship of CDC scientists. The goal of the fellowship is to support the development of new approaches, methodologies, and knowledge in infectious disease prevention and control in areas within the public health mission of the CDC. All fellows perform research at a CDC location. Available fields of study include bacterial and mycotic diseases, viral and rickettsial infections, and HIV/AIDS. Apply by January 15. Learn more at http://www.asm.org/cdcfellowship.

2015 ASM Biodefense & Emerging Diseases Research Meeting
February 9-11, 2015 | Washington DC
From expert researchers to early-career scientists, this year’s ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting offers opportunities for all who are carrying out research to defend against the growing threat of bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases.

Important Date

Discounted Registration Rate Deadline: January 12, 2015

31st Annual Clinical Virology Symposium
April 26-29, 2015 | Daytona Beach, Florida
Present your research to over 1,000 biomedical researchers and primary care physicians from around the world. Here is your chance to put your work at the center of this year’s discussion on rapid viral diagnosis, clinical course of viral infections, and preventive and therapeutic modalities for virus infections.

Important Dates

Abstract Submission Deadline: February 24, 2015

asm2015: 115th General Meeting
May 30 – June 2, 2015 | New Orleans, Louisiana
asm2015 will host a wide range of interactive workshops, scientific sessions, and networking events specifically designed to explore each unique area of microbiology — including yours!

Important Date

Discounted Registration Rate Deadline: April 13, 2015

NEW DATE: ICEID 2015: International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
August 24 - 26, 2015 | Atlanta, Georgia
The response to the Ebola outbreak has redirected much of our community’s work. In order to deliver the strongest program possible the conference has been rescheduled to August.   The conference brings together public health professionals to encourage the exchange of scientific information on global emerging infectious disease issues in the United States and abroad.  

Important Dates

Abstract Submission and Registration Opens: February 12, 2015

Abstract Submission Closes: March 23, 2015

ASM Conferences
@ASM Conference on Mechanisms of Interbacterial Cooperation and Competition
March 13-16, 2015 | Washington, DC

4th ASM Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance in Zoonotic Bacteria and Foodborne Pathogens
May 8 - 11, 2015 | Washington, DC

Important Dates
Abstract Submission Deadline: March 2, 2015

5th ASM Conference on Prokaryotic Cell Biology and Development
June 12 - 16, 2015 | Washington, DC

Important Dates
Abstract Submission Opens: January 6, 2015

Molecular Diagnostics Course
ASM is repeating its popular intermediate course on Molecular Diagnostics titled “Molecular Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases: Applications and Challenges”. This course is an intermediate practical course for laboratory personnel and is intended to provide in-depth discussions of current trends and challenges associated with molecular diagnostic methods as they are used and encountered in the clinical microbiology laboratory.

Each presentation is approved for .5 P.A.C.E.® credit. CE credits can only be claimed by the purchaser. ASM is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® Program. 

All ten course topics are currently available for purchase on ASMscience. Once purchased, webcasts can be viewed by the purchaser an unlimited number of times until December 31, 2015. Learn more about the course and purchase online by visiting http://bit.ly/188lT5p!


Division of Integrative Organismal Systems, Core Programs
The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) supports research aimed at understanding why organisms are structured the way they are and function as they do. Proposals should focus on organisms as a fundamental unit of biological organization. Principal Investigators (PIs) are encouraged to apply systems approaches that will lead to conceptual and theoretical insights and predictions about emergent organismal properties. Areas of inquiry include, but are not limited to, developmental biology and the evolution of developmental processes, nervous system development, structure, and function, physiological processes, functional morphology, symbioses, interactions of organisms with biotic and abiotic environments, and animal behavior. Preliminary proposals are due January 16, 2015, and more information is available at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13600/nsf13600.htm.

Grants to Enhance Food Safety: National Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Competitive Grants Program (U18)
FDA announces the availability of funding and requests applications for Grants to Enhance Food Safety: National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Competitive Grants Program for fiscal year (FY) 2015 to address the needs of small and medium-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers, especially as they relate to the implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Projects will help increase their understanding and adoption of established food safety standards, guidance, and protocols. Projects will also facilitate the integration of food safety standards and guidance with a variety of agricultural production systems, encompassing conventional, sustainable, organic, and conservation and environmental practices. Letters of intent are due February 16, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-FD-15-003.html.

Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC) (P30)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites grant applications from qualified institutions to support Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHS CC). A Core Center Grant is an institutional award to support centralized scientific resources and facilities shared by investigators with existing research projects. By providing intellectual leadership, advanced technologies/ methodologies, and supporting community engagement, a core center is intended to enhance the ability of scientists working in the field of environmental health sciences to identify and capitalize on emerging issues that will translate into advances improving the understanding of the relationships among environmental exposures, human biology, and disease. Letters of intent are due March 22, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-ES-15-007.html.

New Technologies for Viral Hepatitis SBIR (R43/R44)
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage small business companies to address viral hepatitis research opportunities as delineated in the Department of Health and Human Services Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis and within the research missions of the participating institutes. Full proposals are due April 5, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-15-077.html.



Medical Officer, Associate Chief for Clinical Trials Operations, Vaccine Research Center, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the largest Institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is seeking an exceptional and motivated leader for a medical officer to serve as the associate chief for clinical trials operations in the clinical trials program (CTP) at the Vaccine Research Center (VRC). This position reports directly to the CTP chief. The associate chief for clinical trials operations will have direct responsibility for a team of approximately seven staff members and oversee protocol operations, data management, and conduct of clinical studies under external contracts, as wellas otherresponsibilitiesas assigned.

An internationally recognized NIAID/NIH center, the VRC fosters collaboration and interactions among researchers across the vaccine development continuum. The associate chief will work closely with CTP clinical operations staff and with the heads of VRC translational research programs including preclinical development and vaccine process development, manufacturing, and regulatory. The position presents a unique opportunity for a physician to be directly involved in the entire vaccine research continuum, developing vaccines and monoclonal antibodies against major diseases that currently threaten public health, such as HIV, Chikungunya virus, influenza, and Ebola virus.

The CTP includes clinicians, public educators, protocol specialists, and data specialists, as well as support staff. The CTP maintains a staff of approximately 25 and initiates three to five clinical trials per year at the NIH Clinical Center. The CTP also maintains and oversees contracts and collaborations with external clinical research organizations to conduct additional clinical trials with VRC candidates.

Specific responsibilitiesinclude the following:

  • Serve as protocol chair orprincipal or associate investigator forPhase Iand IIinvestigational vaccineand monoclonal antibodytrials
  • Oversee clinical research protocol development and management
  • Oversee data management strategies and conduct; analyze data from clinical and translational vaccine immunologyresearch
  • Oversee vaccine clinical trials conducted by the VRC under contract
  • Participate onVRC vaccine clinicaldevelopmentteams
  • Serve as member on NIHandexternalcommittees and boards as assigned bythe chief
  • Publish VRC clinical researchfindings
  • Present VRC researchfindings publicly (domesticallyandinternationally)
  • Participateas team member, co-chair, orchair ofdomestic andinternational protocol/clinical trialsteams involvingVRC vaccine products conducted through collaborations with outside investigators
  • Mentor junior scientistsandclinicians, includingclinical fellows

A potentially qualified physician candidate must have either an M.D. or D.O. and experience and expertise in conducting or overseeing clinical trials assessing an investigational product (vaccine or monoclonal antibody clinical research is strongly preferred). Board certification in internal medicine is also strongly preferred. Fellowship training in either infectious diseases or allergy and immunology is preferred, but other subspecialty training will be considered. Excellent written and oral communication skills are also required.

Salary is dependent onexperience andqualifications.

To applyfortheposition, interested candidates should email a curriculumvitaeand bibliography (no morethantwo pages)toCarmencita Artis, artisc@niaid.nih.gov. Applications will beacceptedthrough   March 1, 2015.

See more information about VRC laboratories.

Learn more about NIAID and howyou can play a roleinthisexciting anddynamic research organization:

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HHS and NIH are equal opportunity employers.

For more information go to ASM Career Connections at: http://www.asmcareerconnections.org/jobseeker/job/21668889/.

NAS Report Addresses Postdoc Positions
NAS Report Addresses Postdoc Positions. A new report from the National Academies recommends higher pay and better mentoring for postdoctoral researchers and suggests that a person spend no more than five years total in postdoctoral positions. Given the lack of tenure-track jobs in academia, the reports says, graduate students should consider a broad range of career paths and not view a postdoc position as the default step after completion of a Ph.D. More information is available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog/18982/the-postdoctoral-experience-revisited?utm_source=eloqua and at http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=18982.


CMIIM to Help Identify Factors Which Help URMs to Succeed
The ASM's CMIIM, in association with other life science societies, have developed a survey through Cornell University in an attempt to understand factors that contribute to the success of life scientists from underrepresented minority groups (URM; as defined by the NIH). Many studies have been done which focus on factors which contribute to the loss of underrepresented scientists at various stages of the professional pipeline. Despite these findings some individuals succeed. This study would like to identify common variables which help one to become successful. This survey is anonymous and the results will be used to help augment policy and approaches currently being used to increase minority participation in science careers. If you are interested in participating please go to the following link;
https://cornell.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8p4kjElplmqyCxv. The survey will be accessible starting in mid-January, 2015 and be available until February 15, 2015.


In July 2006, the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM) of the American Society for Microbiology Public and Scientific Affairs Board developed a monthly e-newsletter which contains information pertinent to minority microbiologists. Currently, there are very few minority-based newsletters for scientists, and there are none for microbiologists.

This e-newsletter provides a central means of distributing pertinent information to underrepresented minorities in the field of microbiology. Some examples include career advice, networking tips, relevant news articles, unique funding and career opportunities, microbiological issues affecting minorities (e.g., HIV), minority issues affecting microbiologists (e.g., minority retention), and scientific articles published by minorities or by minority-serving institutions (MSIs).

The target populations are African-Americans, Latino-Americans, Native Americans, Alaska natives, and Pacific Islanders; however, all ASM members are invited to sign up and to share this information with others who may find this e-newsletter beneficial.  

Signing up to receive The Minority Microbiology Mentor is very easy and is open to ASM members and non-members: simply go to http://asm.org/index.php/component/content/article/31-forms/forms/238-subscribe-to-listserv, enter your email address, and select "MinorityMicroMentor" then submit, and you will receive confirmation of your subscription by email. If you are an ASM member, you will be prompted to Log In before signing up.

The Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities is chaired by Dwayne W. Boucaud, Ph.D., Professor in the Quinnipiac University Department of Biomedical Sciences in Hamden, CT.  The Minority Microbiology Mentor Editor-in-Chief is Dr. Floyd L. Wormley Jr., Ph.D., Associate Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Associate Editor is Crystal N. Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.

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