Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - June 2015


  • ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Awards
  • Impact of New Microbiology Technology on Patient Outcomes
  • Diagnosis and Advanced Molecular Detection of Cyclospora cayetanensis
  • Fellowship Opportunity for Undergraduate STEM Faculty
  • JMBE: Now Accepting Manuscripts for Themed Scientific Citizenship Issue – Submit by August 3
  • ABRCMS 2015:  Accepting Abstracts and Travel Award Submissions
  • Turning Your Science into a Company – an ASM Workshop on Launching Scientific Businesses
  • ASM Press: Just Published!
  • ICEID 2015: International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • ICAAC/ICC 2015
  • ASM Conferences


  • Partnerships for the Development of Host-Targeted Therapeutics to Limit Antibacterial Resistance (R01)
  • Mucosal Immunology Studies Team (MIST) (U01)
  • Ethical Issues in Research on HIV/AIDS and its Co-Morbidities (R01)
  • Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER)    


  • Call for Applications for the 2015-2016 Keystone Symposia Fellows Program
  • Graduate Assistantship (Ph.D. level)- Estuarine Phytoplankton Dynamics
  • Ph.D. opportunity - Predictive ecology, Zurich Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zürich
  • Ph.D. position - geochemistry and soil communities of vineyards (University of Copenhagen in Denmark)
  • Ph.D. Studentship - Selection in microbial communities
  • Post-Doc Opportunity with USDA         
  • Post-doctoral scientist position in public health (The Ohio State University)
  • Postdoc at US EPA
  • Postdoc position - soil microbial ecology
  • Postdoc position at UGA - pathogen dynamics and resource provisioning in urban feeding birds
  • Ph.D. positions available - virulence of chytridiomycosis in Australia


  • Andrea M. Rocha, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate, Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN


ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Awards
During the asm2015 General Meeting in New Orleans, LA the winners of the ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Award were honored at the Annual Minority Microbiologists Mixer.  The Mixer was hosted by the Chair of the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM), Dr. Dwayne Boucaud.  The reception was attended by members of the committee and the leadership of ASM. 

The ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Award program offers travel funds to increase the participation of underrepresented minority (URM) groups in the ASM General Meeting. The following outstanding 2015 awardees were introduced at the ASM General Meeting:

Thessicar E. Antoine, Ph.D., Georgia State University, Viral Immunology Center
Filipa Godoy-Vitorino, Ph.D., Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Metropolitan Campus
Camille A. Hardiman, Ph.D., National Institutes of Health
Laurice J. Jackson, Tufts University
Abria Magee, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
Lindsey L. O'Neal, University of Oklahoma, Department of Microbiology
Ashley S. Parker, Ph.D., National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute
Nina M. Poole, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
Elizabeth Roberts, Ph.D., Southern Connecticut State University
Natasha Weatherspoon-Griffin, Ph.D, University of Nevada Las Vegas

The ASM General Meeting Minority Travel Award program selects post-doctoral scholars and graduate students from underrepresented minority groups in the microbiological sciences or faculty from Minority Serving Institutions. Each grantee is offered funds to defray expenses associated with travel to the ASM General Meeting.  The awards are supported by the American Society for Microbiology.

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.

Impact of New Microbiology Technology on Patient Outcomes
ASM will launch a new course titled “Impact of New Microbiology Technology on Patient Outcomes” in June. As diagnostic microbiology laboratories evolve from profit to cost centers in the era of declining reimbursements, the clinical microbiologist will need a better understanding of how technology can impact the quality of patient care. In this course, the latest advances in technology for microbiology, some of the issues surrounding these methods, and the overall impact of these newer tests on patient care and health outcomes will be explored.

The accredited topics will be presented as both a webinar and a webcast. Webinars are limited to members who reside in the U.S. and Canada. Webcasts will be available to all members!

Learn more about course topics and register online by visiting the course website!

Diagnosis and Advanced Molecular Detection of Cyclospora cayetanensis
Don’t miss ASM’s June hot topic discussion “Diagnosis and Advanced Molecular Detection of Cyclospora cayetanensis”. The discussion is presented by Yvonne Qvarnstrom, Ph.D. and Michael Arrowood, Ph.D., Centers for Disease Control.  The presentation is currently posted to https://clinmicro.asm.org/index.php/portal/hot-topics for ASM members. Be a part of the discussion, log in and submit questions for the Q&A!

Fellowship Opportunity for Undergraduate STEM Faculty
Early-career (and future) undergraduate STEM educators are encouraged to apply for a 2015 Undergraduate Faculty Research Initiative (UFRI) Fellowship, sponsored by the ASM Leaders Inspiring Networks and Knowledge (LINK) Program. This new professional development resource trains STEM faculty to develop undergraduate research programs by initiating successful research partnerships. As part of the fellowship, LINK will provide travel subsidies of up to $2,000 to (i) increase participation of undergraduate STEM educators at seven eligible ASM-sponsored research conferences, (ii) encourage networking and collaborations with potential research partners, and (iii) access resources and mentoring to advance undergraduate research programs. Fellowship applications are accepted on a rolling basis for each of the seven conferences. Apply by July 27 to be considered for UFRI’s fellowship for the ASM Conference on Rapid NGS and Bioinformatics Pipelines for Enhanced Molecular Epidemiologic Investigation of Pathogens.. To learn more, visit http://www.asmlink.org/ufri.

JMBE: Now Accepting Manuscripts for Themed Scientific Citizenship Issue – Submit by August 3
As a direct result of the success of the inaugural scientific ethics section published in December 2014, the ASM Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) is pleased to announce a call for manuscripts for a second thematic issue, which will be centered around scientific citizenship and published as a standalone issue in March 2016. This call solicits submissions that pertain to the following topics:

  • Teaching citizen science to students at the K-12, undergraduate, or graduate/professional level
  • Engaging, educating, and training citizens who have minimal science backgrounds
  • National and global citizen science initiatives
  • Policy issues stemming from citizen science
  • Service learning and outreach dedicated to citizen science
  • Citizen science research
  • Reviews of resources that promote discussion about citizen science
  • Scientific citizenship-related topics not identified above

Research articles, perspective pieces, tips and tools for education activities, and reviews of resources related to scientific citizenship are welcome. See http://jmbe.asm.org/ for additional guidelines. To be considered for the thematic issue, all manuscripts must be submitted by August 3, 2015.

ABRCMS 2015:  Accepting Abstracts and Travel Award Submissions
Exhibitor and attendee registration, abstract submissions, and travel award submissions are open for the 2015 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), set for November 11-14 in Seattle, Wash. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the conference, and attendees will benefit from a distinguished roster of speakers, along with numerous workshops, scientific presentations, professional development opportunities, networking events, and more.

Students (undergraduate through graduate levels) are invited to submit abstracts and travel award applications for the conference. Travel awards are also available to (i) postdoctoral scientists and faculty members who serve as ABRCMS onsite presentation judges and (ii) faculty who wish to establish research partnerships and advance undergraduate research programs. Deadlines are September 1 for ASM LINK Undergraduate Faculty Research Initiative (UFRI) Fellowships, September 11 for ABRCMS Student Abstracts and Travel Awards, and September 25 for ABRCMS Judges' Travel Subsidies and the FASEB MARC Program Travel Awards. For submission criteria, registration information, or program and speaker updates, visit http://www.abrcms.org.

ABRCMS is managed by ASM and supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number T36GM073777.

Turning Your Science into a Company – an ASM Workshop on Launching Scientific Businesses
To guide beginning investigators in combining their research interests with entrepreneurial ventures, ASM will offer the workshop Turning Your Science into a Company on October 1-3, 2015, in Washington, D.C. This is the second annual occurrence of the event, which covers the fundamentals of establishing scientific businesses and specifically targets advanced graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists. Join the program today to learn valuable tips, advice, and resources from successful principals of leading start-up and small scientific companies. Workshop content will feature examples from the biotechnology industry. Turning Your Science into a Company is sponsored by the ASM Committee on Graduate and Postdoctoral Education. The deadline for applications is August 20. For more information, visit  http://www.asmgap.org/tsc.

ASM Press: Just Published!

Antibodies for Infectious Diseases
Editors: James E. Crowe, Jr., Diana Boraschi, and Rino Rappuoli
Provides a broad survey across important aspects for understanding mechanisms of immunity to infectious disease, including general features of antibodies and approaches to antibody discovery, individual chapters highlighting antibodies against particular pathogens, and state-of-the-art technical advances and expression systems.

List Price: $150.00
Member Price: $120.00
eChapter: $30
Print ISBN :
e-ISBN : 9781555817411

To purchase this title in print format or as an eBook visit: www.asmscience.org

Perspectives on Research Integrity
Editors: Samantha L. Elliott, Beth A. Fischer, Frederick Grinnell, Michael J. Zigmond

A collection of essays focusing on the importance of ethics consideration within the scientific community  Research misconduct and other ethical violations in science continue to be matters of concern to the international research community. Perspectives on Research Integrity addresses the need to provide ethics training early and often—in classroom settings and throughout a researcher’s career.

Written by ethics and education experts, Perspectives on Research Integrity presents an enlivened discussion on the globally important topics of responsible conduct of research (RCR) and ethics education. It synthesizes the current state of RCR and considers future directives and requirements.

A resource for how to teach RCR, Perspectives on Research Integrity was developed specifically for educators, researchers, and RCR offices to train responsible researchers. It is also useful as ancillary readings for students in any course involving research ethics.

List Price: $39.00
Member Price: $31.00
Print ISBN : 9781555819484
e-ISBN : 9781555819491

To purchase this title in print format or as an eBook visit: www.asmscience.org

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, this conference has been rescheduled to August. This 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 Rates Deadline: July 31, 2015

September 1721, 2015 | San Diego, California
Offering unmatched opportunity for discussion, cross collaboration, and advancement, this joint meeting will debut advances in drug development and infectious disease research and examine antibiotic resistance, new antibiotic development and antibiotic stewardship. This will be 2015’s principal meeting to better improve the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases around the globe.

Important Dates
Late-breaker Abstract Submission Opens: June 22, 2015
Discounted Registration Rates Deadline: August 6, 2015

ASM Conferences
What will the future of microbiology hold? The ASM Conferences Committee is seeking topic proposals for NEW 2017 conferences that will reflect traditional topics along with the transcendent science that is changing the field.  Submit your proposal [LINK to: http://conferences.asm.org/index.php/2012-02-09-21-04-52/conference-proposal-information]  before July 1, 2015.

ASM Conference on Pseudomonas 2015
September 812, 2015 | Washington, DC           
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           
Discounted Registration Rate Deadline: July 13, 2015

7th ASM Conference on Biofilms
October 24–29, 2015 | Chicago, IL           
Abstract Submission Deadline: August 8, 2015

4th ASM-ESCMID Conference on Methicillin-resistant Staphylococci in Animals: Veterinary and Public Health Implications 
November 2–5, 2015 | Chicago, IL           
Abstract Submission Deadline: August 17, 2015

Save the date for these 2016 ASM Conferences!


Partnerships for the Development of Host-Targeted Therapeutics to Limit Antibacterial Resistance (R01)
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) supports extramural research focused on understanding, controlling and preventing diseases caused by virtually all infectious agents. In response to the threat presented by increasing antibacterial resistance, the NIAID Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID) has established research programs to facilitate development of therapeutics for certain pathogens. The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to invite research applications for projects focused on preclinical development of candidate therapeutics that target host-encoded functions required for infection, replication, virulence, proliferation and/or pathogenesis of select bacterial pathogens.  For the purpose of this FOA, “candidate therapeutic” is defined as a product, or a collection of optimized products (e.g. lead candidate series), for which proof-of-concept data have been obtained, and “preclinical development” is defined as all activities beyond candidate therapeutic identification through IND-enabling activities required for initiation of Phase I clinical trials.  Letters of intent are due August 17, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AI-15-024.html.

Mucosal Immunology Studies Team (MIST) (U01)
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit applications from institutions/organizations to participate in a cooperative research group, the Mucosal Immunology Studies Team (MIST), focusing on immune defense mechanisms and immune regulation at mucosal surfaces of the respiratory, gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts. The purpose of this funding opportunity is to break new ground in the understanding of basic mucosal immune defense mechanisms by introducing new ideas, approaches and technologies that address the difficult questions remaining in mucosal immunology.  Letters of intent are due September 20, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AI-15-023.html.

Ethical Issues in Research on HIV/AIDS and its Co-Morbidities (R01)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites applications addressing ethical issues relevant to research on HIV and associated co-morbidities, including research with populations living with or at high risk of HIV acquisition.  The bioethics projects supported through this FOA should focus on at least one of the following three goals: 1) Development of the empirical knowledge base for human subjects protection and ethical standards in HIV/AIDS research; 2) Development of conceptual bioethics approaches to advance scholarship on difficult ethical challenges in HIV/AIDS research; 3) Supporting the integration of bioethics work with ongoing research in HIV/AIDS.  Full applications are due January 7, 2016, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-15-274.html.

Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER)
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 NSF, 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.  Full proposals are due July 21, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15555/nsf15555.htm.




Call for Applications for the 2015-2016 Keystone Symposia Fellows Program
Keystone Symposia is seeking applications for the 2015-2016 Keystone Symposia Fellows Program. Part of Keystone Symposia's Diversity in Life Science initiatives, this unique program now in its seventh year is for US citizens or permanent residents who are postdoctoral fellows at least two years into their program, new assistant professors, or researchers from industry. As participants in the Keystone Symposia programming process, Fellows have the opportunity to engage the giants in the field through a variety of formats including online study groups, teleconferences and two face-to-face Scientific Advisory Board meetings in January and June in Keystone, Colorado. Each fellow is paired with a mentor from the Scientific Advisory Board who is expert in the same research field.

A key component of the program is promoting diversity in the life sciences. Applicants do not have to be from underrepresented (UR) backgrounds, but all applicants must document face-to-face mentoring and support activities with scientists or trainees from UR backgrounds and a forward-focused commitment to broad participation in life science research. Graduates of the Keystone Symposia Fellows Program become members of a unique cadre of scientists who are well-connected, knowledgeable members of the life sciences community and active proponents of inclusive practices in life science research throughout their careers.

Applications can be downloaded from our website (www.keystonesymposia.org/fellows) and must be received June 1 - September 1, 2015. Candidates will be selected by the Keystone Symposia Fellows Program Admissions Committee. Notification will be made by early October, with a start date of October 15, 2015. Please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested.  More information is available at http://www.keystonesymposia.org/views/web/marketing/emails/2015_Fellows_Email.html.

Graduate Assistantship (PhD level)- Estuarine Phytoplankton Dynamics
A motivated student is sought to fill a graduate assistantship in the Marine Biology Ph.D. program (http://marinebiology.tamucc.edu/) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The position is available beginning in January 2016. The focus of this assistantship will be on viral and microzooplankton controls upon the brown tide organism, Aureoumbra lagunensis, in South Texas embayments. Ample resources are available for field sampling, experimental (mesocosm & laboratory) approaches, and or synthesis/modeling of existing data. The student will benefit from samples and field data already collected as part of ongoing (funded) water quality and plankton ecology studies in the systems of interest. Interested students should preferably hold a M.S. degree in ecology, marine science/oceanography, microbiology or a related field. Potential applicants with only a B.S. degree should have at least 2 years of research experience in an area related to plankton or estuarine ecology and evidence of strong writing and presentation skills. The graduate assistantship will have an excellent stipend relative to the cost-of-living. To be considered for the position, please email Dr. Mike Wetz at michael.wetz@tamucc.edu.  Along with a letter of interest, please send C.V., unofficial transcripts and GRE scores. For more information on laboratory and research interests, please see: http://wetzlab.tamucc.edu. Screening of applications will begin immediately and the position will be filled as soon as a qualified applicant is identified.

Ph.D. opportunity - Predictive ecology, Zurich Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zürich
Predicting the consequences of environmental change requires an understanding of their effects across multiple levels of ecological organization: individual, population, community, and ecosystem. Also required is an understanding of how effects at one level of organization create knock-on effects at other levels of organization. The PhD is part of a SNF funded research project concerning the predictability of temperature effects on ecological dynamics. The PhD will study lab-based microbial communities subjected to experimental manipulations of environmental temperature using recently developed automated video monitoring (www.bemovi.info). The postdoctoral position (held by Frank Pennekamp) will focus on theory and synthesis. The SNF project is joined in the Predictive Ecology Group by numerous related projects researching ecological predictability. The PhD will be jointly supervised by Prof. Owen Petchey and Dr. Frank Pennekamp, in the Predictive Ecology Group of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. Funding is available for at least 3.5 years. Applicants must have a Masters Level Degree in Ecology or a closely related subject, and should provide as a single pdf a CV, including the names and contact details of three academic referees, and a cover letter including relevant information (e.g., highlighting relevant previous experience and interests). Informal enquiries should be made to owen.petchey@ieu.uzh.ch or frank.pennekamp@ieu.uzh.ch. Applications should be submitted by July 1st 2015 via the Life Science Zurich Graduate School (select the PhD Program in Ecology as your first choice) www.lifescience-graduateschool.ch. We invite outstanding applicants to visit. For more information see Owen Petchey (http://www.ieu.uzh.ch/staff/professors/petchey.html),  Frank Pennekamp (http://www.ieu.uzh.ch/staff/postdocs/fpennekamp.html), and Predictive Ecology Group (http://www.ieu.uzh.ch/research/ecology/extinction.html).

Ph.D. position - geochemistry and soil communities of vineyards (University of Copenhagen in Denmark)
Exciting opportunity to join a diverse network of PhD students and faculty exploring the community of microorganisms that lie at the heart of wine (see: http://www.microwine.eu). This PhD opportunity will focus on the geochemistry and microbial community of vineyard soil. The research will explore different soils types to understand the spatial distribution of elements in landscapes from both formerly glaciated and non-glaciated region in Europe. Experience with molecular methods and/or soils is a plus. A MS degree or equivalent experience is expected. If interested, please contact Tom Gilbert with a brief description of your background/ research interests and your CV (mtpgilbert@gmail.com). We would like to fill the position by September 1st, 2015. The PhD will interact with several different lab groups: Tom Gilbert (http://geogenetics.ku.dk/research_groups/gilbert_groups/), Kurt Kjær (http://geogenetics.ku.dk/staff/?pure=en/persons/77403), Lars Hestbjerg Hansen (http://pure.au.dk/portal/en/persons/id(f1afca6a-5a5a-4fec-b0f5-cc7bbb39a088).html), and Aimee Classen (http://web.utk.edu/~aclassen/Home.html).

Ph.D. Studentship - Selection in microbial communities
Exciting funded PhD studentship available to explore the factors that influence the efficiency of selection at different levels of biological organization is available with Dr. Etienne Low- Décarie and with the co-supervision of Dr Corinne Whitby in the School of Biological Sciences of the University of Essex. The PhD Student will use artificial selection applied to phytoplankton communities to change a target trait (lipid production/pollutant degradation). The approach will allow the investigation of the importance of biodiversity and initial community composition for the response to selection, the determination of the mechanisms such as dispersal across a meta-community that can maintain diversity during the selection process and the predictability of the change in community composition as a response to selection. More about the position is available at: http://etiennelowdecarie.org/2015/05/14/industrial-strength-eco-evolution-artificial-selection-of-microbialcommunities/.

Post-Doc Opportunity with USDA
The USDA-ARS Plant Science Research Unit in Raleigh, North Carolina is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate for a one year appointment with potential extension for an additional year. The incumbent will assess electrophoretic protein banding patterns of extracts from different root classes of soybean grown in aeroponics and soil. The incumbent will also determine Community Level Physiological Profiles (CLPP) of the microbial communities found in the rhizosphere of different root classes in soil grown soybean plants, correlate the CLPP data with the protein analyses, and, if time permits, begin an assessment of specific proteins/microbes involved in the interactions. Individuals with a recent (within 4 years) PhD in Plant Physiology or a related field (such as Biochemistry, Genetics, Plant Pathology, or Soil Microbiology) and interest in the biology of the plant root-soil interface should contact Kent Burkey by email (Kent.Burkey@ars.usda.gov) or telephone (919-515-1620) for further information about this position and the formal application process.

Post-doctoral scientist position in public health (The Ohio State University)
Post-doctoral Scientist in Public Health The Ohio State University - Environmental Microbiology Laboratory, College of Public Health Description: Drs. Jiyoung Lee, Stuart A. Ludsin, and Jay F. Martin have 1.5 years of support for a Post-doctoral Scientist to determine if cyanobacteria blooms in Lake Erie pose a risk to human health. The incumbent will lead an effort to use liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to determine if consumption of fish from Lake Erie, or consumption of fresh produce that is grown with water from Lake Erie and its region, poses a risk to human health, owing to contamination by cyanobacteria (e.g., Microcystis spp.) and their toxin, microcystin. Funds are available to support the position for a minimum of 1.5 years, beginning immediately. Location: The incumbent would reside in the lab of Dr. Jiyoung Lee (http://cph.osu.edu/people/jlee) within The Ohio State University's College of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, but also work closely with a dynamic, interdisciplinary team of OSU faculty, researchers, and students, including Dr. Stuart Ludsin (Aquatic Ecology Laboratory; http://www.ludsinlab.com/) and Dr. Jay Martin (Ecological Engineering; http://fabe.osu.edu/our-people/jay-f-martin). Minimum qualifications include a PhD in environmental microbiology, ecology, or a related field. An ideal candidate would have experience with toxin (e.g., microcystin) detection, molecular methods, aquatic ecology, and (or) public health. How to apply: Interested candidates should email a single PDF file as an attachment to lee.3598@osu.edu with a subject line titled "Cyanotoxin Application". The PDF file should contain 1) a cover letter indicating interest in the project, 2) a curriculum vitae, 3) a list of three references including names, email addresses, and telephone numbers, and 4) two representative publications.

Postdoc at US EPA
Microbial ecology and genomics in nutrient-enriched freshwater systems A postdoctoral position is available in the National Exposure Research Laboratory of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH. The US EPA is interested in exploiting genomic technologies and ecological process information for microbial communities to explore new methods for monitoring and managing nutrient contamination and its biological consequences in inland waters. The successful candidate will work with an interdisciplinary team (microbiology, ecological genomics, aquatic ecology, watershed modeling) to develop research products that address one or more of the following key needs: 1) Development of sensitive metagenomic indicators of nutrient enrichment and nutrient stress (e.g, linkage of community structures to nutrient impairment with genomic indices) ; 2) Metagenomic and ecological approaches to predicting harmful algal blooms and/or prediction of facultative toxin (e.g. microcystin) production based on analysis of community structures and successional trends. 3) Assessment, monitoring and optimization of favorable microbial processes (e.g., nutrient processing, certain biotransformations), along with associated microbial communities and gene functions, in alternative green infrastructure applications (e.g., artificial wetlands, daylighted streams). This is an opportunity for a highly motivated, ambitious investigator to help define and build a new programs of research at the US EPA. The salary is highly competitive but the deadline for application is fast approaching (June 8, 2015). For more details on the position and information on how to apply please go to: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ordpd/PostDoc_Lab.cfm?Lab=NERL. The position is referenced as EERD-05-04-2015-08.  

Postdoc position - soil microbial ecology
A postdoctoral research associate position is available at Michigan State University, in the lab of Dr. Lisa Tiemann. I am seeking a highly motivated individual to work on a funded project focused on 1) understanding the genetic controls on bacterial extracellular polysaccharide production and; 2) how extracellular polysaccharides contribute to soil organic matter formation. The positions will include the following activities: Molecular work including DNA and RNA extraction, high-throughput quantitative-PCR, and sample preparation for amplicon sequencing; isolation and lab incubations of Pseudomonas species; data analysis and manuscript preparation; presentation of results at national and international scientific meetings. In addition, the research associate will assist with some lab organization and mentoring of graduate and undergraduate students. The successful candidates must have a Ph.D. with a research focus in soil ecology, microbiology, biogeochemistry, or a closely related field with preference given to those with experience in molecular methods. Strong candidates will also possess the following attributes: A strong publication record from their Ph.D. (papers published, in press, or submitted); creativity, independence, and the desire to learn new things; excellent communication skills, both written and oral. This is a 2-year position contingent upon funding and/or performance. A start date of September 1, 2015 is preferred, but alternative timelines will be considered and should be noted in the cover letter. All questions about the position and application materials should be submitted to ltiemann@msu.edu. Applications should include a single pdf containing: 1) a brief cover letter (no more than 2-pages) that highlights past research accomplishments and describes future research goals; 2) a curriculum vitae; 3) names and contact information for three references. MSU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

Postdoc position at UGA - pathogen dynamics and resource provisioning in urbanfeeding birds
The University of Georgia is seeking a postdoctoral researcher to join an interdisciplinary team studying the consequences of human-provided resources for the cross-scale dynamics of an enteric pathogen (Salmonella) in White Ibis inhabiting urban and natural environments in South Florida. The position, funded by an NSF EEID grant, will be based in the laboratory of PI Sonia M. Hernandez (Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the College of Veterinary Medicine) and will also work closely with co-PIs and collaborators in the Odum School of Ecology, College of Public Health, and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Project background: Urbanization has caused wildlife declines and biodiversity loss, but some species benefit from resources offered by human-altered habitats, with consequences for the dynamics of infectious diseases. The goal of the project is to examine how wildlife use of anthropogenic resources influences pathogen dynamics across organizational scales, from the colonization of individual hosts to transmission across the landscape. Our research focuses on interactions between Salmonella and White Ibis (a wading bird species) in South Florida. Activities integrate field, experimental and modeling approaches to address processes at three scales: (1) individual host susceptibility, pathogen shedding, and recovery, (2) local-scale transmission dynamics, and (3) pathogen transmission and impacts on hosts at the landscape level. A general modeling framework will be developed to examine the net consequences of provisioning for disease dynamics, and will be informed by fieldwork and laboratory experiments to estimate key parameters. Qualifications: We seek an enthusiastic, motivated, independent individual with a strong work ethic who has demonstrated experience and future interest in studying wildlife health and wildlife infectious diseases at the population and individual levels. Candidates should have a DVM or a PhD in epidemiology, ecology, microbiology, infectious diseases, or related fields. Responsibilities: The postdoc will be based in Dr. Sonia M. Hernandez’s laboratory at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia.  Application: To apply, candidates should submit (1) a cover letter describing background and interest relevant to the project and include a separate statement of research experience and interests; (2) an academic CV; (3) three letters of recommendation from three professional references that can specifically attest to the applicant’s interests, work ethic, skills and motivation for a career in wildlife diseases and disease ecology. Application screening will begin on June 15th and continue until a suitable candidate is identified. The preferred start date is August 15th, 2015. A competitive salary will be offered that is commensurate with experience. Please email shernz@uga.edu with any questions.

Ph.D. positions available - virulence of chytridiomycosis in Australia
Two Ph.D. opportunities to study virulence of chytridiomycosis at James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia are available. Chytridiomycosis has caused amphibian declines and extinctions globally as it has spread through naïve populations. It is now endemic in much of its suitable range in Australia where it still causes high mortality rates and threatens amphibian biodiversity. We have funds to investigate mechanisms of virulence and how virulence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is evolving as it adapts to new habitats. One project is focused on how Bd causes disease and will involve bioassays, toxin identification and possibly gene knockouts. The second project involves comparing Australian Bd strains to assess growth characteristics and virulence. Both projects may involve frog transmission experiments. The students will be able to pursue areas of interest within this framework. The candidates will be part of the enthusiastic and supportive One Health Research Group at JCU, see  http://www.jcu.edu.au/cphmvs/public-health-tropical-medicine/JCU_107907.html and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/onehealthresearchgroup/info.  The projects are multidisciplinary and involve collaborators such as Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane. The outcomes of the projects will to lead to the improved conservation of amphibian biodiversity and may contribute to theories on host/pathogen dynamics. The selected applicants would need to apply for an APA or international Ph.D. scholarship (due31 Aug). Please see http://www.jcu.edu.au/grs/scholarships/index.htm.  Ideal Ph.D. candidates will have: 1. 1st class honours, Masters of Science by research or equivalent research credentials in a relevant discipline such as biology or veterinary science majoring in microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology or pathology. 2. Demonstrated publication record in high impact journals 4. Demonstrated interpersonal and communication skills. Please send CV, cover letter and 2 reference letters to Lee.Berger@jcu.edu.au and Alex.Roberts@jcu.edu.au.



Andrea M. Rocha, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate, Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
ENIGMA – Ecosystems and Networks Integrated with Genes and Molecular Assemblies – is a multi-institutional consortium whose researchers seek to advance our understanding of microbial biology and the impact of microbial communities on their ecosystems. Team members collaborate closely to generate detailed quantitative understanding across scales - from the molecular to the cellular to the community level.  In a recent issue in ASM’s mbio (M. B. Smith*, A. M. Rocha*, C. S. Smillie, S. W. Olesen, C. Paradis, L. Wu, J. H. Campbell, J. L. Fortney, T. L. Mehlhorn, K. A. Lowe, J. E. Earles, J. Phillips, S. M. Techtmann, D. C. Joyner, D. A. Elias, K. L. Bailey, R. A. Hurt, Jr., S. P. Preheim, M. C. Sanders, J. Yang, M. A. Mueller, S. Brooks, D. B. Watson, P. Zhang, Z. He, E. A. Dubinsky, P. D. Adams, A. P. Arkin, M. W. Fields, J. Zhou, E. J. Alm, and T. C. Hazen. “Natural Bacterial Communities Serve as Quantitative Geochemical Biosensors” mbio 6(3):e00326-15. Doi:10.1128/mBio.00326-15. *Contributed equally to this article.), Drs. Andrea M. Rocha and Mark B. Smith co-led a paper investigating the ability to use natural bacterial communities as in situ sensors to detect contaminants, such as uranium.  The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge field research site provided the perfect location for this study due to the presence contaminants, such as uranium and nitrate, across the site. As a result of early nuclear weapons development under the Manhattan Project, a number of post-processing contaminants were stored in unlined ponds.  Over the years, these contaminants leached out creating a groundwater contaminant plume and sharp geochemical gradients across the field site.  Due to history of this site, ENIGMA researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Tennessee, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) conducted a survey of 93 geochemically distinct groundwater wells to determine if natural bacterial communities could be used as Andrea Rocha, a postdoctoral fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, led the field sampling efforts that took place from October 2012 – February 2013.  For each well, 38 geochemical and physical parameters, as well as, filtered groundwater samples for nucleic acid extraction were collected.  Mark Smith, a former MIT graduate student, conducted the computational analysis.  After assessing a suite of nine machine-learning tools, the Random Forest algorithm was selected as the best tool for identifying contamination.  The model was initially trained using pH measurements and then trained using uranium and nitrate from the field site.  To inform the model, sequenced bacterial 16S rRNA genes from the wells were used as “features.” Results show that DNA from natural microbial communities can be used to identify environmental contaminants.  Additionally, the model was able to distinguish between unpolluted sites versus contaminated areas. Based on the results, we show that naturally occurring bacterial communities can be used as biosensors capable of detecting perturbations caused from human activity. 

Dr. Andrea M. Rocha earned a B.S. in Biology at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, M.S. in Oceanography from Old Dominion University, and Ph.D. in Engineering Science from the University of South Florida.  Currently, she is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Terry Hazen’s research group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  As part of her Postdoctoral research, Andrea is studying the spatial and temporal dynamics of groundwater microbial communities along various geochemical transects at the Oak Ridge field site. Her general research interests include aquatic microbial ecology, microbial interactions, bioenergy, and bioremediation. In addition to her research, Andrea serves on the ASM Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM) and is passionate about mentoring underrepresented students in science.

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 Crystal N. Johnson, Ph.D., assistant professor at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, and the Associate Editor is Andrea M. Rocha, Ph.D., ORAU postdoctoral research associate within the Biosciences division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN.

The MMM can post employment ads only if they are first featured on the ASM’s Career Connections site:  http://www.asmcareerconnections.org/home/index.cfm?site_id=756. Career Connections is offering a discount for job postings that are featured in the MMM.  Please contact CMIIM@asmusa.org with your ad needs.

For more information about the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM) go to the committee’s web page:  http://www.asm.org/cmiim