Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - April 2015


  • Education Board asm2015 Events
  • Back by Popular Demand: ASM M(icro)OOCs!
  • New Fellowship Opportunity for Undergraduate STEM Faculty
  • ASM Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship
  • ASM Kadner Institute
  • ASM Microbe 2016: Call for Sessions Now Open
  • asm2015: 115th General Meeting
  • ICEID 2015: International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • ICAAC/ICC 2015
  • ASM Conferences
  • Changes to Author Fees For ASM Journals
  • New Preprints Policy
  • Author Features 


  • Oral Immune System Plasticity in Chronic HIV Infection Under Treatment and Oral Co-Infections (R01)
  • Mechanisms of Immune Protection from TB among HIV-infected Individuals (R01)
  • HIV Vaccine Research and Design (HIVRAD) Program (P01)
  • Planning Grant for Global Infectious Disease Research Training Program (D71)  
  • Antarctic Research
  • Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM)
  • Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER and PECASE) 


  • Assistant/Associate/Full Teaching Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of Biological Sciences
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate in Benthic Phytoplankton Community Ecology Related to the BP DW Oil Spill
  • REU Opportunities Studying the Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Louisiana Salt Marshes and Coastal Environments
  • MS or PhD Opportunity in Rabbit Parasite Genetics at SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology One Year Masters Program Tulane University
  • Duke Summer REU Opportunity - Linking Urban Landscapes to Streamwater Quality & Quantity
  • MS Research Opportunity in Coastal Plant-microbial Ecology
  • ORISE Fellowship in Soil Microbiology and the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, NH
  • Postdoctoral Opportunity in Microbial Ecology and Evolution
  • The Minority Microbiology Mentor announces new Associate Editor, Andrea M. Rocha, Ph.D. 


  • Kristine M. Garza, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX.



Education Board asm2015 Events
During the asm2015 General Meeting, which is being held May 30 – June 2, 2015 in New Orleans, LA, the Education Board will be holding a career development workshop and a special interest session. Details about these events are below:

  • Career Development Workshop: Microbiology Career Choices: What’s Available and How to Succeed

Register today. This session, “Microbiology Career Choices: What's Available and How to Succeed” emphasizes information about alternatives to career in doctoral (and Medical) education. It is targeted to undergraduate and graduate students seeking careers in the microbiological sciences and especially to learn about opportunities that go beyond what they have seen or experienced in academic settings. Microbiologists from industry, clinical labs, government agencies and labs, non-profits, undergraduate teaching institutions, and other non-traditional employment settings will lead discussion groups of 8 to 10 participants. This highly interactive session has been successful in the previous three years with over 400 students participating each year. Although this workshop is complimentary, registration is required. Join us on Saturday, May 30, 2015 (1:00 pm – 4:30 pm).

  • Special Interest Session: Using an IDP to Plan a Successful Scientific Career

Whether you'll be a PI at a research university, a medical science liaison for a biotech company, or a policy advisor for a US Senator, you want to find a career path that you'll enjoy and find rewarding. There are more than FIFTY career paths available to biomedical sciences PhDs. If you'd like to see a list of these career paths, learn about how to select the best option for you, and start your own Individual Development Plan (IDP) that will help you achieve success along your path, then don't miss this thought-provoking interactive workshop! All are welcomed to attend on Monday, June 1, 2015 (4:45 pm – 6:30 pm). 

Back by Popular Demand: ASM M(icro)OOCs!
Free and available on a first-come, first-served basis, the ASM M(icro)OOC Program is back with a second installment of webinars. Based on the concept of “massive open online courses,” M(icro)OOCs are designed for ASM members (or potential members) who are educators or are interested in teaching. Space is still available for “Lesson Plan Design Using the ASM Curriculum Guidelines” This is the final M(icro)OOC set to take place in spring 2015. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a certificate of participation. To learn more or register, visit

New Fellowship Opportunity for Undergraduate STEM Faculty
Early-career (and future) undergraduate STEM educators are encouraged to apply for a 2015 ASM-LINK Undergraduate Faculty Research Initiative (UFRI) Fellowship. This new professional development resource trains STEM faculty to develop undergraduate research programs by initiating successful research partnerships. As part of the fellowship, ASM-LINK will provide travel subsidies of up to $2,000 to (1) increase participation of undergraduate STEM educators at seven eligible ASM-sponsored research conferences, (2) encourage networking and collaborations with potential research partners, and (3) access resources and mentoring to advance undergraduate research programs. Fellowship applications are accepted on a rolling basis for each of the seven eligible ASM conferences. Apply by April 20 to be considered for UFRI’s Fellowship for the ASM Conference on Prokaryotic Cell Biology and Development. To learn more, visit http://www.asmlink.org/ufri. 

ASM Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship
Senior-level graduate students are invited to apply for a 2015 ASM Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship. With an aim to increase the number of students from underrepresented minority groups who complete doctoral degrees in the microbiological sciences, the Watkins fellowship provides students with support to complete and present their microbiology research. Fellows attend the ASM Kadner Institute for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scientists in Preparation for Careers in Microbiology or the ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute and, dependent on abstract submission and acceptance, are supported to present their research at the ASM General Meeting. Apply by May 1. To learn more, visit http://www.asm.org/watkins.

ASM Kadner Institute
Senior-level graduate students and early-career postdoctoral scientists are invited to apply for the 2015 ASM Kadner Institute for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scientists in Preparation for Careers in Microbiology. Sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the institute will be held in July 24-27, 2015 in Washington, DC. Participants receive careful guidance and mentoring in key topics important for succeeding in the microbiological sciences: (i) career preparation and opportunities; (ii) preparation, review, and critique of research proposals; (iii) scientific presentations and communication; (iv) effective teaching methods; and (v) professional ethics development. Apply by May 31. To learn more, visit http://www.asmgap.org/kadner.

ASM Microbe 2016: Call for Sessions Now Open
Call for sessions is now open through May 19, 2015 for the all-new ASM Microbe 2016 (June 16–20, Boston, MA) – an unparalleled event that brings ASM’s General Meeting and ICAAC under one roof.  Submit your session ideas for seven newly-established tracks that represent a new way of organizing the same science and topics you’ve always experienced at these two meetings. This is a single call for sessions that will inform the work of both the General Meeting and ICAAC program committees. Featuring nearly 200 sessions and more than 5,000 posters, ASM Microbe 2016 showcases the best microbial sciences in the world and explores the complete spectrum of microbiology. For more information on ASM Microbe 2016 and to submit your session ideas, visit http://www.asmmicrobe.org 

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

ICEID 2015: International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
August 2426, 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 Date:  Discounted Registration Rate Deadline: July 31, 2015

September 1721, 2015 | San Diego, California
This year, ASM’s Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) joins with International Society of Chemotherapy (ISC)’s International Congress of Chemotherapy and Infection (ICC) to bring you ICAAC/ICC 2015!

Abstract submission is now open, and a new topical category has been added!  See the Topical Category Descriptions page for more information.

Important Dates:

Abstract Submission Closes: May 21, 2015
Discounted Registration Rate Deadline: August 6, 2015

ASM Conferences

2016 @ASM Conference
Held at ASM’s headquarters in Washington, DC, the @ASM Conferences are ASM’s newest and most exclusive educational programs, designed to foster interaction and facilitate collaboration in a small-meeting environment.

Important Date: Call for Session Proposals Deadline: May 1, 2015

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

5th ASM Conference on Prokaryotic Cell Biology and Development 
June 1216, 2015 | Washington, DC

Important Date: Discounted Registration Rate Deadline: May 1, 2015

ASM Conference on Pseudomonas 2015
September 812, 2015 | Washington, DC

Important Dates
Abstract Submission Deadline: April 7, 2015
Discounted Registration Rate Deadline: July 1, 2015 

1st ASM Conference on Rapid Next-Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatic Pipelines for Enhanced Molecular Epidemiologic Investigation of Pathogens
September 2427, 2015 | Washington, DC

Important Dates
Abstract Submission Deadline: April 20, 2015
Discounted Registration Rate Deadline: July 13, 2015

Changes to Author Fees for ASM Journals
The final report with recommendations from the Journals Strategic Planning Task was approved by the CPC in October 2014 and by the Finance Committee in February 2015.  The report included a recommendation to reduce the publication fees paid by authors of articles published in ASM journals.  The following changes will roll out on April 1st, 2015:

  • Fees for color figures have been eliminated.
  • The increased rate for pages in excess of 8 and the Optional Open Access surcharge have been eliminated. Authors of research papers now have the option to pay either flat page charges for 6-month access control or an APC ($2250 for members/$3000 for nonmembers) for immediate open access to their articles. 
  • The page charge “holiday” announced in 2014 for JB authors will continue through December 2015, but JB authors will have the same open access option as authors publishing in the other journals.

New Preprints Policy

ASM Journals will consider for publication manuscripts that have been posted in a recognized not-for-profit preprint archive, providing that upon acceptance of the manuscript for publication the author is still able to grant ASM copyright or agree to the terms of an Open Access license and pay the associated fee. It is the responsibility of the author to inform the journal at the time of submission if and where the manuscript has been previously posted.  If the manuscript is accepted for publication in an ASM journal, the author is required to ensure that the preprint is updated with a citation to the final published article that includes the DOI along with a link. 

Author Features

The ASM Journals program is proud to offer new features that we hope will benefit authors. Please visit our Authors page to stay abreast of all new developments.

  • Kudos: ASM Journals is working with Kudos, a new company that has developed a convenient set of tools to help researchers leverage social media to increase awareness of their articles. Authors who register with Kudos’ free service will be able to view the impact of social media efforts, including a Facebook share or Tweet, on their Kudos Author Dashboard. Corresponding authors will receive an email with instructions on how to register with Kudos. Here's a quick introduction video on how Kudos can help amplify readership of your research.
  • ORCID: ASM Journals is a member of ORCID and publishes author ORCID IDs in articles. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized. The ORCID Registry is available free of charge to individuals, who may obtain an ORCID identifier, manage their record of activities, and search for others in the ORCID Registry. To register for an ID, please visit the ORCID website.
  • Article Level Metrics: All 13 ASM journals display article level metrics for online journal articles.
    Readers can view cumulative and monthly online downloads for an article’s abstract, full-text or PDF. Displayed data will reflect usage from 1999 to the present. Each journal article will now include an Article Usage Statistics Center, which can be accessed by clicking on the “Article Usage Statistics” link located to the right of each article.
  • Lens: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy® (AAC), Clinical Microbiology Reviews® (CMR) and mBio® are participating in a Lens beta viewing pilot, which provides a more accessible view of the online article. In the optional “Lens” view, figures, tables, references, and additional information are presented in a panel to the right of the text, allowing readers to concurrently view the article text.  ASM encourages readers to send feedback via the link at the top of the article page.



If you have any questions, please contact us at ejournals@asmusa.org. We thank you for your continued support of the ASM Journals program.



Oral Immune System Plasticity in Chronic HIV Infection Under Treatment and Oral Co-Infections (R01)

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits research projects that study the mechanisms of oral immune system plasticity relevant to chronic HIV infection and oral coinfections.  In this context, we encourage studies on reversal of immune activation, residual inflammation, immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), and microbial and by-product translocation.  These conditions occur in persons chronically infected with HIV who are treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) and who also experience oral opportunistic infections.  The ultimate goals of this FOA are: 1) to gain knowledge regarding the pathogenesis and persistence of these oral conditions; and 2) to guide the development of novel oral immune modulatory therapies that will aid in re-building the oral immune system to reverse these diseases, mitigate their progression, prevent their occurrence, and eliminate persistence of residual HIV and other oral pathogens in reservoirs.  Letters of intent are due September 29, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DE-16-002.html.

Mechanisms of Immune Protection from TB among HIV-infected Individuals (R01)

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to support studies characterizing the genetic, epigenetic, and/or immunological correlates of protection against tuberculosis infection in highly-exposed but resistant individuals, and the interaction of these correlates with HIV infection. Studies may include identification of underlying genetic or epigenetic factors, as well as characteristics of the innate immune system and related regulatory genes and signaling pathways that play a role in protection from latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI).  Multidisciplinary collaboration is encouraged, incorporating clinical studies coupled with functional experiments using samples and data from well-defined cohorts.  Letters of intent are due June 22, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AI-14-072.html. 

HIV Vaccine Research and Design (HIVRAD) Program (P01)

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to support multi-component, multi-disciplinary projects that address important scientific questions relevant to AIDS prophylactic vaccine discovery research. Extensive modeling of vaccine concepts in non-human primates may be included.  The HIV Vaccine Research and Design (HIVRAD) program is designed to fund projects that further address hypotheses crucial to the design of an efficacious HIV/AIDS prophylactic vaccine. Applications for five years of support should include plans that have advanced past the exploratory stage and include preliminary data. Less fully developed applications can request less than 5 years of support to establish feasibility. Applications aimed at developing or optimizing a specific vaccine platform should lay out a research pathway with clear decision points. Extensive modeling of vaccine concepts in non-human primates may be included.  Letters of intent are due June 15, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-15-164.html.

Planning Grant for Global Infectious Disease Research Training Program (D71) 

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites new planning grant applications for the Global Infectious Disease (GID) Research Training Program from applicants at low- and middle-income research institutions (LMICs). The application should propose plans to develop a collaborative research training program with a U.S. institution that will strengthen the capacity of the applicant institution to conduct infectious disease (excluding HIV/AIDS and select agents) research.  Planning grants should describe the planning process and detailed vision for developing a research-training program that focuses on major endemic or life-threatening emerging infectious diseases, neglected tropical diseases, infections that frequently occur as co-infections in HIV infected individuals or infections associated with non-communicable disease conditions in LMICs.  Letters of intent are due June 29, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-15-160.html.

Antarctic Research

Scientific research, along with operational support of that research, is the principal activity of the U.S. Antarctic Program in Antarctica. The National Science Foundation's Antarctic Sciences Section (ANT), Division of Polar Programs, fosters research on globally and regionally important scientific problems. In particular, the Antarctic Sciences Section supports research that expands fundamental knowledge of the region as well as research that relies on the unique characteristics of the Antarctic continent as a platform from which to support research. Antarctic fieldwork will only be supported for research that can only be performed or is best performed in Antarctica. The Antarctic Sciences Section strongly encourages research using existing samples, models, and data as well as research at the intersection between disciplines.  Full proposals are due April 15, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15529/nsf15529.htm.

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM)

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) is a Presidential award established by the White House in 1995. The PAESMEM program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  Each "Individual" or "Organizational" PAESMEM awardee will receive a $10,000 award and a commemorative Presidential certificate. Awardees are also invited to participate in an award recognition ceremony in Washington, DC which includes meetings with STEM educators, researchers and policy leaders. Up to 16 awards may be made from the nominations received on or before June 19, 2015.  PAESMEM awardees serve as leaders in the national effort to develop fully the nation's human resources in STEM. To locate PAESMEM awardees in your state, please visit PAESMEM.net.  Full proposals are due June 19, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15551/nsf15551.htm.

Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER and PECASE)

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.  Full proposals are due starting July 21, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15555/nsf15555.htm.




Assistant/Associate/Full Teaching Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of BiologicalSciences

The School of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri – Kansas City invites applications for full-time Teaching Faculty who can teach Biochemistry, Microbiology, Cell Biology and/or General Biology course(s) starting in August 2015.  The successful candidate should be able to accomplish course and curriculum development and to work collaboratively with other faculty members involved in teaching the Biochemistry, Microbiology, Cell Biology and/or General Biology curriculum to undergraduate, graduate, or professional school students.  College teaching experience is desirable and a commitment to excellence in teaching is expected.  Candidates must provide evidence of a strong record of classroom teaching.

The School of Biological Sciences has current strengths in structural biology, molecular genetics, and developmental biology. It has a strong track record in attracting faculty who develop successful research programs with extramural support. The School grants degrees in B.S, B.A, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, the later in two disciplines, Cell Biology & Biophysics and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry.  UMKC has a strong focus in life sciences, with programs in the School of Biological Sciences, the School of Medicine, the School of Pharmacy, the School of Dentistry, and the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

Application Instructions

Applicants must possess a Ph.D., M.D., or DVM and at least two years of postdoctoral experience.  Applicants should submit in one .pdf file of the following: a letter of interest, CV including list of courses taught and number of students, previous teaching evaluations, a brief statement of teaching philosophy, and contact information for three references.

Submit application materials to: http://apptrkr.com/596416

Review of applications will begin immediately, the position will remain open until filled.  Please direct other related inquiries and correspondence to Mary L. Flores (floresm@umkc.edu), School of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 5007 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110. 

For questions about how to apply, please call 816-235-1621, or if experiencing technical problems, please call 855-524-0002.

An Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer. 

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Benthic Phytoplankton Community Ecology Related to the BP DW Oil Spill

Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium seeks a Postdoctoral Research Associate for a project on benthic phytoplankton community ecology related to the BP DW oil spill. Knowledge of HPLC techniques for phytoplankton pigments and their analysis is required. Individual must be capable of directing an HPLC laboratory with one Research Assistant. Publications are expected. Individuals should be capable of managing, analyzing and synthesizing large data sets with multivariate approaches and time series analyses, and generating graphics with contouring and GIS-based techniques. Position is at the LUMCON Marine Center in Cocodrie, Louisiana; visit http://www.lumcon.edu. Term is up to three years with satisfactory performance. A letter of interest, a current resume, and the name, address, phone and email of three individuals qualified to comment on scientific and work qualifications should be sent to Dr. Nancy Rabalais, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, 8124 Highway 56, Chauvin, LA 70344; 985-851-2801; nrabalais@lumcon.edu. LUMCON offers state benefits and is an Equal Employment Opportunity/ADA Employer.

REU Opportunities Studying the Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Louisiana Salt Marshes and Coastal Environments

Two Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) positions are available at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) for the summer of 2015. The REU students will design and conduct studies that contribute to the larger Coastal Waters Consortium (http://cwc.lumcon.edu) collaborative effort studying the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Louisiana salt marshes and coastal environments. Our the past 3+ years CWC researchers have been studying the impacts of the spill at paired oiled- unoiled marshes across the southeastern Louisiana coast. The REU students will be expected to work with a team of researchers (under the supervision of Dr. Brian Roberts and/or Dr. Nancy Rabalais) to develop studies which address aspects of the larger effort. We are particularly interested in students interested in conducting projects on wetland biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, plant ecology, sediment microalgae and/or subtidal benthos. The REU students will be involved in both the field and laboratory components of their project as well as a variety of related projects and experiments being conducted by other LUMCON and CWC researchers. Candidates must be available for a ten week period beginning in early June 2015. We will provide a $500/week stipend, room and board at the Marine Center in Cocodrie, LA (http://www.lumcon.edu), and support for their research. Application deadline: April 15th 2015. Applications should include: copy of unofficial transcripts, contact information for two academic references, CV/resume, and a one page statement that describes your interest in the REU position, academic goals, and any previous research experience. Applications should be sent to Dr. Brian Roberts at broberts@lumcon.edu with “2015 REU application” in the subject line.

MS or Ph.D. Opportunity in Rabbit Parasite Genetics at SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry

A collaborative group of researchers at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is seeking graduate applicants to investigate diversity and genetics of parasites found in Northeastern rabbits. The research team is focused on wildlife ecology, disease, parasitology, and population genetics (Whipps lab http://whippslab.weebly.com/; Cohen lab http://jcohenlab.weebly.com/; Ryan lab http://sadieryan.weebly.com/). The successful applicant would use molecular tools (PCR, DNA sequencing) to identify and distinguish gastrointestinal parasites and ectoparasites from native New England cottontail (NEC) Sylvilagus transitionalis, which is being considered for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and the introduced and more abundant Eastern cottontail (EC) Sylvilagus floridanus. This investigation will integrate into ongoing studies of rabbit nutrition, body condition, and rabbit population genetics. Required Qualifications: Experience with PCR, DNA sequencing, and sequence analysis. Interest and experience in Parasitology and/or Wildlife Diseases. Strong organization and communication skills. Preferred Qualifications: Strong background in Parasitology and Molecular Biology. Experience in fieldwork for extended periods of time, trapping and handling rabbits or other wildlife, radio telemetry. Term of Position: We are seeking an applicant to begin August 2015 and have support for 2.5 years. Possibility of Summer start as technician. Application Deadline: Although applications will be accepted until the position is filled, candidates should submit their application by April 8, 2015 to assure optimal consideration. Send the following to cwhipps@esf.edu: CV, statement of research goals, copy of transcripts, copy of GRE scores. The email should contain the subject line "rabbit parasite genetics".

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology One Year Masters Program Tulane University

The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at Tulane University supports a one year non-thesis Master's degree program designed for students planning to enter more advanced professional degree programs (e.g., law, public health, medicine, veterinary medicine, natural resources management) and for students intent on pursuing additional academic training (e.g., Ph.D. degree programs). The program also will be useful for students interested in seeking employment with environmental agencies of federal, state, and municipal government; non-governmental organizations; and in private industry, including environmental consulting firms. The Plus One MS degree program is intended to provide foundational and advanced academic training in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Organismal Biology, and related disciplines. The program involves completion of coursework and recommended completion of an independent study with departmental faculty (see: http://tulane.edu/sse/eebio/faculty-and-staff/faculty/) or an internship with an approved off-campus organization. The opportunity to undertake independent study or to accrue on-the-job training with a governmental agency or private entity through an internship lends a unique character to this program and may provide students an advantage when seeking employment following graduation. Tulane University is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, a select group of the 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada with 'preeminent programs of graduate and professional education and scholarly research.' Tulane is located in the historic Gulf Coast city of New Orleans, which is known for its culture, food and music. Applications are due May 1.Those interested in the program are encouraged to contact the program advisor (Dr. Richards-Zawacki, cori@tulane.edu) or any faculty member whose research is of interest. More information can be found at http://tulane.edu/sse/eebio/academics/graduate/plus-one-ms.cfm.

Duke Summer REU Opportunity - Linking Urban Landscapes to Streamwater Quality & Quantity

The Bernhardt lab (http://bernhardtlab.weebly.com/) at Duke University has a research experience for undergraduates (REU) position open for the summer of 2015. The REU student will design and conduct a study that contributes to a larger project examining how variability in urban watershed development affects receiving streams. Most of the urban growth projected until 2030 is expected to occur in medium to small sized cities (population 1-5 million), yet neither the structure nor the effects of the intermediate intensity development characteristic of these cities on aquatic ecosystems are well understood. This project is exploring how differences in urban landscape characteristics within a narrow range of intermediate development intensity drive variation in the water quality of receiving streams. Over the past year and a half we have been monitoring the pour point of 24 watersheds throughout the NC Piedmont Triangle. The REU student will be expected to work with a team of researchers to develop a study which addresses an aspect of our overarching question. Potential projects include linking urban landscape characteristics to: suspended sediment and contaminant transport during storm flows, stream metabolism during disturbance events, variation in microbial activity, organic matter and nutrient dynamics, and other related projects. The REU student will be involved in both the field and laboratory components of this work. She/he will also participate in some of the stream monitoring, which will provide the background data needed to interpret the results within the broader context of the project.  Experience with field research in an ecology, hydrology, or biogeochemistry lab a plus but not necessary. Background or at least one environmental science, ecology, and chemistry course is required. Must be self-motivated and able to work without direct supervision. Must have a driver’s license and be willing to drive a large lab vehicle. We are especially interested in students who would like to gain research experience that will contribute to a thesis.

MS Research Opportunity in Coastal Plant-microbial Ecology

The Van Bael laboratory in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University seeks applications from students who are interested in pursuing a one year master's degree (non-thesis) in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, combined with a research experience on coastal plant ecology and microbial ecology. Selected master's students will work with Dr. Van Bael and a team of Ph.D. and undergraduate students to gain research experience in plant ecology studies, sterile culture work with bacteria and fungi, and molecular techniques. This research experience is a perfect opportunity for students deciding whether or not to pursue a Ph.D., or for students that need to strengthen their graduate school applications. Read more about our lab's research at: http://www.tulane.edu/~vanbael25/sunshine/Home.html. Tulane University is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, a select group of the 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada with 'preeminent programs of graduate and professional education and scholarly research.' Tulane is located in the historic Gulf Coast city of New Orleans, which is known for its culture, food and music. The program deadline is May 1 for starting in August. Please read more about the one year master's program at: http://tulane.edu/sse/eebio/academics/graduate/plus-one-ms.cfm. For information or questions about the research experience, email Dr. Sunshine Van Bael, at svanbael@tulane.edu. Please be sure you have read the information at the link above before inquiring. No financial aid is available for this program. For general information or questions about the one-year masters program, email Dr. Cori Richards- Zawacki, at cori@tulane.edu.

ORISE Fellowship in Soil Microbiology and the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, NH

A fellowship position is available for one year with the possibility of extension, contingent on sufficient funding. We are looking for a highly motivated researcher to join the soil microbiology team investigating the role of soil microorganisms in changing landscapes, contaminated remote biomes, and ancient ice samples. The position includes laboratory and potentially some field assignments. Field assignments may include remote locations. All applicants must have a BSc or a MSc in a relevant field. Research experience in next-generation sequencing and associated bioinformatics (e.g. QIIME) to sort through large data sets and expertise in statistical analysis of microbial processes are essential. A strong interest in modeling biology is desirable. An understanding of soil water potential and familiarity with soil chemistry and fertility concepts and techniques are also desirable. Duties include developing experiments, conducting field work, and optimizing molecular methodologies, reagents and protocols, and enzyme and protein analyses. Strong organizational as well as oral and written communication skills should be demonstrated. The candidate will assist in generating data and subsequent analyses needed for model development in various soils and climates. The position includes a competitive salary. Please send your application (CV, three references, and cover letter highlighting your research interests and goals) by email to Robyn.A.Barbato@erdc.dren.mil.  

Postdoctoral Opportunity in Microbial Ecology and Evolution

A University of Minnesota research group seeks to hire a post-doctoral associate in the ecology and evolution of plant-associated microbes. Successful applicants will work on an experimental project with global reach as part of a team of ecologists and evolutionary biologists in the University of Minnesota's departments of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior and Plant Pathology. The appointment is for one year (with potential for renewal), to begin as soon as possible. The scientific goal of this project is to examine the abiotic and biotic predictors of diversity in fungal, bacterial, and viral symbiont communities of plant hosts, and determine plant microbiome effects on disease transmission. Experiments will encompass scales ranging from individual hosts and local host communities to regional and global spatial scales. Research will use high-throughput sequencing, culturing, and manipulative experiments to estimate diversity in microbial communities and examine the effects of these microbial communities on host pathogen resistance, and on microbial fitness and transmission. Additional opportunities include work with mathematical modelers to test predictive models. We are particularly interested in applicants with metagenomics and fungal or bacterial organismal expertise in microbial biology and training in community ecology or evolutionary biology. Successful applicants will have experience and ability in laboratory techniques necessary for high-throughput sequencing and quantitative skills for manipulating and analyzing metagenomic, ecological or evolutionary datasets, as well as the capacity to work well in this collaborative research project. A conceptual overview of the larger project is described in Borer et al. 2013 (found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2013.08.009). Questions about this position should be addressed to Dr. Georgiana May (gmay@umn.edu) and Dr. Linda Kinkel (kinkel@umn.edu). Review of applications will begin on 15 March 2015. Apply for this position via the University of Minnesota Office of Human Resources website: https://employment.umn.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/position/JobDetails_css.jsp.   

Recruiting Students in Evolutionary Ecology at University of Tokyo

The Shefferson lab at the Dept of General Systems Studies at the University of Tokyo’s Komaba Campus is recruiting graduate students at both the MS and PhD levels. Competitive fellowship opportunities are available at all levels. The Shefferson lab specializes in plant and microbial evolutionary ecology, with a particular focus on evolutionary demography, population dynamics, and life history evolution, although we also work extensively on plant-fungal symbiosis and coevolution. We are a part of the recently developed Graduate Programs in English at the Komaba Campus of the University of Tokyo (http://gpes.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp/). The GPES program allows students to start in April or October of every year, with an application deadline coming up in May for fellowship consideration and entry in April 2015. Students with an interest in the program are encouraged to contact me ASAP to learn about fellowship and application opportunities and procedures. The following are examples of current projects that graduate students may wish to be involved in: 1. Life history evolution and evolutionary dynamics in exceptionally long-lived plants 2. Eco-evolutionary population and ecosystem dynamics 3. The evolutionary impacts of symbiosis 4. The evolutionary impacts of conservation management 5. Plastic traits and their influence on evolutionary dynamics The Shefferson lab is global in its scope, with active field sites in the Japan, USA, Europe, and Central America. Although we work with all plants and even fungi, we are particularly interested in herbaceous plants, and are quite happy to work on them wherever they occur. If interested, please contact cdorm@mail.ecc.u-tokyo.ac.jp. More information is available at www.sheffersonlab.com.

The Minority Microbiology Mentor announces new Associate Editor, Andrea M Rocha, Ph.D.

The Minority Microbiology Mentor has chosen a new Associate Editor, Andrea M Rocha, Ph.D.  Dr. Rocha earned her B. S. in Biology from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, her M.S. in Oceanography from Old Dominion University, and her Ph.D. in Engineering Science from the University of South Florida.  Currently she is an ORAU Postdoctoral Research Associate within the Biosciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.   As part of her research, she is working on a collaborative project, ENIGMA [Ecosystems and Networks Integrated with Genes and Molecular Assemblies], to determine keystone bacteria species differences in gradients of pH, nitrate, uranium, and conductivity to enable modeling of microbial community resiliency. The ENIGMA (Ecosystems and Networks Integrated with Genes and Molecular Assemblies) is a multi-consortium funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Scientific Focus Area (SFA) grant program and managed by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Recently, Dr. Rocha’s was profiled on the Oak Ridge Associated University page for her work on the ENIGMA project (http://www.orau.org/science-education/research-experiences/14-postdoc-andrea-rocha.aspx).

Dr. Rocha was first introduced to ASM as a 2013 recipient of the Minority Travel Grant and it was through her participation the General Meeting she learned about the ASM Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM).  In 2014, she joined the CMIIM as an ad hoc member and is now serving as an official committee member.  Her passion for working with underrepresented groups is demonstrated in her current and past involvement with a number of university programs, professional societies, and mentorship programs. 

Dr. Rocha has served as a NASA Motivating Undergraduates in Science & Technology (MUST) mentor and currently is mentoring undergraduate research assistants working with her research group.  In 2007-2008, she served as student representative on the board of directors for SACNAS, an organization dedicated to helping Latinos and Native Americans pursue graduate degrees in science, engineering, and mathematics. Through her participation with SACNAS, she chaired and facilitated professional development sessions on surviving and succeeding in graduate school, served on the program committee, and student presentations committee.  In 2010 she was appointed Region 7 Graduate Student Representative for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), where she worked with student chapters to promote graduate student programs.



Kristine M. Garza, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX.

Leptin is an adipokine produced primarily by white adipose tissue with a major role in satiety, food intake and energy expenditure.  The pleiotropic function of leptin extends to other body systems, which include innate and adaptive immunity. Ramirez and Garza recently published studies using leptin deficient (Lepob) mice to examine leptin’s effects on splenic dendritic cells (sDCs; Int Immunol. 2014 Nov; 26(11):627-36). Unlike other studies that focus on bone marrow-derived DC, this study evaluated a population of DC from adult mice that have matured entirely within the leptin-deficient environment.  The Lepob sDCs resembled wild-type sDCs in phenotype, response to external stimuli, antigen acquisition and antigen processing.  Nevertheless, Lepob sDCs presented an increased ability to stimulate interferon gamma production in mixed-lymphocyte reactions and more interleuking-2 from antigen-specific T cell hybridomas relative to sDCs of litter mate controls. Moreover, Lepob mice were better at controlling the bacterial load after systemic infection with Mycobacterium avium, and the infected mice presented with increased numbers of activated T cells.  Although the sDCs were shown to respond normally to leptin, the absence of leptin during DC maturation appears to enhance their immunogenicity ex vivo and in vivo.  The data thus suggested that normal concentrations of leptin may function as a negative regulator during DC maturation in vivo.

Kristine M. (Tina) Garza obtained her B.S. in Biology at St. Mary’s Univ., her Ph.D. in Immunology at the Univ. of Virginia, and conducted her postdoctoral studies at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto, Canada.  She returned to her hometown of El Paso in 2000 to join the Univ. of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Dept. of Biological Sciences.  Her research program is focused in two areas: 1) the impact of leptin on dendritic cells and their ability to induce effective T cell-mediated immunity; and 2) the influence of anthropogenic nanocarbon material on pulmonary microbial clearance by macrophages.  Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program).  In addition to research, Dr. Garza commits her teaching and service activities to the training and mentoring of underrepresented minority students in STEM.  Such activities include Principle Investigator and Program Director of the UTEP Summer REU Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology; Program Director of the UTEP-Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Undergraduate Science Education Program; member of the Board of Directors of SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science); member of the NIGMS Minority Programs Review Committee; member of the NSF-Biology Research Experience for Undergraduates Leadership Council; and participant & mentor for the National Academies/HHMI Summer Institutes on Undergraduate Education in Biology.  Her efforts have been recognized regionally (Distinguished Achievement Award for Service to the UTEP College of Science, Jack Bristol Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching), by the state of Texas (Regents Outstanding Teaching Award), and nationally (National Academies Education and Training Mentor in the Life Sciences).  Dr. Garza’s most recent mentoring and service activity involved a one year leave-of-absence from UTEP to serve as the Executive Director for SACNAS (July 2012 – August 2013).  With her return, she has re-opened her research laboratory, is teaching new courses, and is again serving students through teaching and mentoring (most recently, this involved serving as an Institutional Coach for the American Association of Colleges and Universities initiative “Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in Stem” - TIDES). 


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