Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - September 2015


  • ASM Education Planning Calendar
  • ABRCMS 2015
  • ASM M(icro)OOCs
  • ASM Science Teaching Fellowship Program
  • ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute
  • ICAAC/ICC 2015
  • 2016 ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting
  • 32nd Clinical Virology Symposium
  • ASM Microbe 2016
  • Upcoming ASM Conferences


  • Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC)
  • Arctic Research Opportunities
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
  • Worker Training Program (WTP) Ebola Biosafety and Infectious Disease Response Training (UH4)
  • AIDS-Science Track Award for Research Transition (R03)


  • Postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA), Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML), Hamilton, MT
  • Two Ph.D. Positions: Grassland Ecology, Drought and Grazing (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
  • Fellowship: Pharmaceutical Environmental Assessment Research with FDA
  • Graduate Student Opportunity in Ecosystem Modeling at the University of Texas at El Paso
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow in Coastal Wetland Carbon Sequestration in a Warmer Climate
  • Postdoc - Institute of Ecology and Evolution
  • Postdoctoral Positions in Theoretical Ecology at U Illinois
  • Postdoctoral Position at University of Texas at Austin


  • Magdia De Jesus Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York, University at Albany, Albany, New York


ASM Education Planning Calendar
The 2016 ASM Education Planning Calendar is now available! With descriptions, deadlines, and other details about the Society’s education programs, the calendar highlights ASM activities and resources designed to help members deepen their knowledge and enhance their skillsets. It’s a must-read for educators, students, and postdoctoral scientists seeking success in the microbial sciences. Download the calendar today at http://www.asm.org/educationcalendar.

Registration is open and travel awards are available for the 2015 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), set for November 11-14 in Seattle, WA. At ABRCMS, distinguished speakers will share insights on hot topics and attendees will benefit from workshops, presentations, professional development opportunities, networking, and more. Undergraduates and postbaccalaureates are invited to submit applications for the FASEB MARC Program Travel Award. Postdoctoral scientists, faculty, and active researchers who serve as onsite ABRCMS student presentation judges are eligible for the ABRCMS Judges' Travel Subsidy. The application deadline is September 25 for both programs. For more information, visit http://www.abrcms.org. ABRCMS is sponsored by NIH award #T36GM073777.

ASM M(icro)OOCs
ASM M(icro)OOCs, a popular webinar series based on the concept of “massive open online courses,” is back with new offerings for science educators. This is the third installment of the series, which launched in August and extends through November 2015. Three of four webinars (all focused on “Integrating Teaching & Research”) remain open for registrants. There is a nominal fee to participate in the program, and prospective participants can register for each webinar separately (members, $25; nonmembers, $45) or purchase the entire series at once (members, $85; nonmembers, $165). All webinars will take place at 3:00 pm ET according to the following schedule:

  • August 26: Students as Research Collaborators (CLOSED)
  • September 23: How to Instruct & Assess Scientific Thinking (closing soon – register by September 21)
  • October 21: Conducting Authentic & Inquiry-Based Research (register by October 19)
  • November 18: Publishing: Ethics in Responsible Conduct of Research (register by November 16)

For more information or to register, visit http://www.facultyprograms.org/moocs.

ASM Science Teaching Fellowship Program
Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists are encouraged to apply for the 2015-2016 ASM Science Teaching Fellowship Program, a five-month online training experience that guides doctoral-trained participants in understanding the essentials of science teaching positions at non-doctoral institutions (community colleges, minority-serving institutions, regional or state colleges, and primary undergraduate institutions). Program activities combine structured mentoring with in-depth webinars, pre- and post-webinar assignments, and a highly interactive community of practice, all focused on four areas: teaching science to undergraduates, curriculum and course design and assessment, student-centered learning, and students as research collaborators. To join the program, apply by November 2. There is a participation fee of $100. For details, see http://www.facultyprograms.org/stf.

ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute
The ASM Committee on Graduate and Postdoctoral Education welcomes applications to the 2016 ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Institute (SWPI) Program, an effort that supports beginning researchers in understanding the writing, publishing, and review processes for scientific journals. Led by ASM members who have published widely, reviewed manuscripts, and served on the editorial boards of major journals, the program is a two-part training initiative. The first part, known as SWPI Online, consists of several introductory webinars, and the second part, known as SWPI Face-to-Face, is a multiday in-person workshop. Participation in both programs is beneficial for attendees, but not required.

  • SWPI Online. SWPI Online is a three-month overview of scientific writing and publishing concepts. Open to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists, the experience includes six webinars, pre- and post-webinar assignments, structured mentoring, and a community of practice. The topics covered will include condensed discussions of titles and abstracts; introduction, results, discussions, and methods sections; figures and legends; and the manuscript review process. The 2016 program takes place in January through March, and the application deadline is December 1.
  • SWPI Face-to-Face.At the SWPI face-to-face workshop, emphasis is placed on substantial time for participants to benefit from one-on-one feedback from facilitators, writing practice, and stimulating discussions and interactions. The institute is open to senior-level graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists who are ready for an immersive and intensive writing experience. Before the institute, participants submit in-progress manuscripts for pre-SWPI assessment, and afterward, leave with detailed plans for improving their manuscripts, tools and resources for developing future publications, and a network of peers and mentors for critiques and advice. The next SWPI workshop will take place in the summer of 2016 in Washington, D.C, and the application deadline is April 10.

ASM offers the SWPI with partial support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. For more details about the institute, such as costs and eligibility criteria, please visit http://www.asmgap.org.

September 1721, 2015 | San Diego, California
http://www.icaac.org/icaac-iccAttending ICAAC/ICC 2015? Enhance your meeting experience by adding a course or workshop to your agenda. Offered on Thursday, September 17, these courses and workshops feature practical tools, tips, and useful information. Find out more here.

2016 ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting
February 8–10, 2016 | Arlington, Virginia
Abstract submission is about to open for the ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting! Don’t miss your chance to debut your research at this premier event focused on the collaborative efforts to manage biothreat agents, pathogens, and global surveillance.
Abstract Submission Opens: September 8, 2015
Abstract Submission Closes: October 29, 2015

32nd Clinical Virology Symposium
May 19–22, 2016 | Daytona Beach, Florida
Stay up-to-date with the latest research on viral infections at the 32nd Clinical Virology Symposium. New for 2016: the Symposium will take place from Thursday through Sunday, and will include increased networking opportunities.

ASM Microbe 2016
June 16–20, 2016 | Boston, Massachusetts
Integrating ASM's General Meeting and ICAAC, the all-new ASM Microbe 2016 will showcase the best microbial sciences in the world and provides a one-of-a-kind forum to explore the complete spectrum of microbiology from basic science to translation and application. The call for abstracts will open in November and close in early 2016. Be sure to check the ASM Microbe 2016 website for more information later this month.

Upcoming ASM Conferences
Pseudomonas 2015 – The 15th International Conference on Pseudomonas
September 812, 2015 | Washington, DC
Invite your scientific peers to attend Pseudomonas 2015, and both of you could win a free ASM 2016 Premium Level Membership, valued at $120! Click here to find out more.

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

7th ASM Conference on Biofilms
October 24–29, 2015 | Chicago, IL
Discounted Pre-Registration Deadline: September 11, 2015

4th ASM-ESCMID Conference on Methicillin-resistant Staphylococci in Animals: Veterinary and Public Health Implications
November 2–5, 2015 | Chicago, IL
Discounted Pre-Registration Deadline: September 25, 2015

@ASM Conference on The Individual Microbe: Single-cell Analysis and Agent-based Modeling
March 18–20, 2016 | Washington, DC
Held at the ASM headquarters in Washington, DC, @ASM Conferences are designed to foster interaction and facilitate collaboration between only 50 participants in small, highly interactive settings. The 2016@ASM Conference on The Individual Microbe will feature engaging trans-disciplinary sessions, a half-day modeling workshop, various social events, and more. Submit your online application today.
Online Application Deadline: November 10, 2015

Save the dates for more 2016 ASM Conferences!


Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC)
This program seeks to enhance and expand the national resource of digital data documenting existing vouchered biological and paleontological collections and to advance scientific knowledge by improving access to digitized information (including images) residing in vouchered scientific collections across the United States. The information associated with various collections of organisms, such as geographic, paleogeographic and stratigraphic distribution, environmental habitat data, phenology, information about associated organisms, collector field notes, and tissues and molecular data extracted from the specimens, is a rich resource providing the baseline from which to further biodiversity research and provide critical information about existing gaps in our knowledge of life on earth. The national resource is structured at three levels: a central coordinating organization, a series of thematic networks based on an important research theme, and the physical collections. The national resource builds upon a sizable existing national investment in curation of the physical objects in scientific collections and contributes vitally to scientific research and technology interests in the United States. It will become an invaluable tool in understanding contemporary biological issues and challenges.  Full proposals are due October 9, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15576/nsf15576.htm.

Arctic Research Opportunities
The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites investigators at U.S. organizations to submit proposals to conduct research about the Arctic. Arctic research includes field and modeling studies, data analysis, and synthesis about the arctic region.  The goal of the NSF Section for Arctic Sciences, Division of Polar Programs (PLR), is to gain a better understanding of the Arctic's physical, biological, geological, chemical, social and cultural processes; the interactions of oceanic, terrestrial, atmospheric, biological, social, cultural, and economic systems; and the connections that define the Arctic. The Arctic Sciences and other NSF programs support projects that contribute to the development of the next generation of researchers and scientific literacy for all ages through education, outreach, and broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Program representatives from polar and other non-polar NSF programs that support arctic research coordinate across NSF, including joint review and funding of arctic proposals and mutual support of special projects with high logistical costs.  Full proposals are due October 9, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14584/nsf14584.htm

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and in STEM education. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM and STEM education. NSF especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, and veterans to apply. NSF also encourages undergraduate seniors to apply.  Full proposals are due October 26, 2015, and more information is available at http://nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15597/nsf15597.htm.

Worker Training Program (WTP) Ebola Biosafety and Infectious Disease Response Training (UH4)
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP) invites applications for cooperative agreements to support the development and implementation of occupational safety and health and infection control training programs for workers who may be at risk during infectious disease outbreaks.  The awarded programs (awardees) will focus on dissemination of environmental infection control and hazard recognition training within a broad-set of occupational and community settings, including healthcare and non-healthcare job sectors.  Awardees will identify target worker populations, environments or tasks that increase exposure to high risk pathogens (described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Category A Priority Pathogens/Agents at http://www.bt.cdc.gov/bioterrorism/overview.asp and http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/biodefenserelated/biodefense/pages/cata.aspx. Letters of intent are due September 21, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-ES-15-018.html.

AIDS-Science Track Award for Research Transition (R03)
This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) seeks to facilitate the entry of both newly independent and early career investigators to the area of drug abuse research on HIV/AIDS. This FOA, AIDS-Science Track Award for Research Transition (A-START), encourages Small Research Grant (R03) applications to support research projects on drug abuse and HIV/AIDS that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources. Applications under this FOA are welcomed from all areas of HIV/AIDS research that NIDA supports.  Full proposals are due January 7, 2015, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-15-290.html



Postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA), Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML), Hamilton, MT
Postdoctoral IRTA position is available in the Virus Ecology Unit within the Laboratory of Virology at the RML campus of NIAID in Hamilton, MT. The laboratory studies the ecology of high- or maximum-containment RNA viruses, including coronaviruses, filoviruses, henipaviruses, and orthomyxoviruses.

The Virus Ecology Unit is interested in the identification and understanding of the biological drivers of zoonotic transmission for emerging viruses. Our laboratory uses a combined field ecological and experimental laboratory approach to understand the emergence of novel viruses.

Field ecological research includes long-term study sites in the Republic of Congo under the NIH International Centers of Excellence in Research (ICER) program, in close collaboration with the National Public Health laboratory in Brazzaville and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Fundamental experimental approaches of the laboratory include molecular-, cellular-, and immunological-based techniques and animal models of pathogenesis and transmission. Studies are carried out in biosafety level (BSL)-2, BSL-3, and BSL-4 laboratories. The successful applicant is expected to combine field and experimental research to study the underlying biotic or abiotic changes in virus-host ecology involved in virus emergence.

RML is located in the scenic Bitterroot Valley of western Montana with easy access to some of the best hiking, skiing, kayaking, mountain biking, and trout fishing in North America.

The Laboratory of Virology is located in the new Integrated Research Facility (IRF) on the RML campus. The IRF offers state-of-the-art BSL-2, BSL-3, and BSL-4 laboratories, as well as BSL-4 animal space. Additional BSL-2 and BSL-3 animal space and state-of-the-art genomics, flow cytometry, and microscopy facilities are available to researchers on the RML campus.

Read more about the Virus Ecology Unit in the NIAID Laboratory of Virology.

Highly motivated candidates with a strong background in molecular biology, disease ecology, epidemiological modeling, and infectious disease animal modeling are encouraged to apply. Experience working in high biological containment laboratories (BSL-3 or BSL-4) and experience with infectious disease field research would be an advantage.

Well-developed oral and written communication skills are essential. Candidates must hold a Ph.D., D.V.M., or M.D. in virology, molecular biology, or other appropriate discipline and have less than three years of postdoctoral experience. Applicants may be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or international citizens; for an IRTA, visa requirements apply. Trainee will receive a stipend (commensurate with his or her experience) and health insurance.

Send curriculum vitae, a letter expressing career goals and interests, list of publications, and three letters of reference with contact information no later than November 16, 2015, to Kay Menk, Laboratory Operations Specialist, Laboratory of Virology, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH, 903 S 4th Street, Hamilton, MT 59840, 406-375-9624 (phone), 406-375-9620 (fax), or email menkk@niaid.nih.gov.

Stay connected to NIAID Careers to see how you can join NIAID and make a difference: Visit us on the Web; subscribe to email updates; and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

HHS, NIH, and NIAID are proud to be equal opportunity employers.

Two Ph.D. Positions: Grassland Ecology, Drought and Grazing (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
The University of Alberta is seeking two PhD students for a fully funded project examining the impact of drought and grazing regimes on system wide responses in grasslands. The project is designed to investigate the combined effects of drought and different grazing systems on ecosystem functions, and their controlling mechanisms, across a natural precipitation gradient in grasslands. The first PhD position will focus on above- and below-ground plant responses to drought and grazing systems. The student will reside in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta and will be cosupervised by Drs. JC Cahill and Cameron Carlyle.  The second PhD position will focus on greenhouse gas fluxes and carbon pools in response to drought and grazing systems. The student will reside in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Alberta and will be co-supervised by Drs. Cameron Carlyle and Scott Chang. http://www.afns.ualberta.ca/Graduate.aspx.  The university offers competitive stipends and opportunity for teaching assistantships and other scholarships. Successful candidates can begin now or as late as 31 May 2016. Please direct questions or, to apply, send a cover letter detailing research interests, CV and unofficial transcripts to Cameron Carlyle: cameron.carlyle@ualberta.ca  and JC Cahill cahillj@ualberta.ca

Fellowship: Pharmaceutical Environmental Assessment Research with FDA
Opportunity: Pharmaceutical Environmental Assessment Research - CDER
Organization: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Program: Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER)
Reference Code: FDA-CDER-2015-0062
Academic Levels: • Postdoctoral • Post-Master's

Description: The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires all Federal agencies to assess the environmental impact of their actions. To comply, FDA implements 21 CFR Part 25, which includes a requirement for an environmental assessment (EA) if “extraordinary circumstances” indicate that the specific proposed action may significantly affect the quality of the human environment. The new EA draft guidance, Questions and Answers Regarding Drugs with Estrogenic, Androgenic, or Thyroid Activity, informs drug applicants that recent research indicates that some drugs with hormonal activity in the environment may exhibit “extraordinary circumstances” and that the Agency may require additional ecotoxicity testing for applications submitted for drugs with hormonal activity. In addition, antimicrobial, additivity/synergism, nanotechnology, and other properties have been implicated for possible adverse environment effects, as well as human effects through environmental pathways. Project objectives include: 1. Identify appropriate ecological toxicity endpoints, study designs, and testing approaches to best characterize risks due to the introduction of drugs with hormonal activity into the environment. 2. Assess the potential environmental role of other properties and effects, including antimicrobial resistance, nanotechnology, and additivity/synergism, for drugs normally subject individually to a categorical exclusion. 3. Evaluate approaches currently established or undergoing research, guidance development, and regulatory changes by other Centers, agencies, and countries/regions. 4. Determine how to best incorporate the results within CDER’s current regulatory structure and in harmony with other Centers, agencies, and countries/regions. For more information see http://orise.orau.gov/fda/applicants/description.aspx?JobId=18495.

Graduate Student Opportunity in Ecosystem Modeling at the University of Texas at El Paso
The Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso seeks two highly motivated graduate students (Masters or PhD level) to conduct research on how global change affects terrestrial biogeochemical processes of carbon, nitrogen and water. Individuals are sought who are interested in 1) Methane and nitrous oxide fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems; 2) Model-data integration for soil microbial functions; 3) Biogeochemistry in arid region; 4) Land surface modeling in the Earth System Modeling framework. Qualifications: The candidate must have at least a B.S. (M.S. if entering the PhD program) in environmental science, soil, computer science, ecology, hydrology, geography or closely related field. The preferred candidate should have a strong quantitative background. Start Date is preferably January 2016 but is negotiable. To apply, send a letter of interest including statement of goals and research interests; a resume or curriculum vitae; and contact information for three references (electronic versions of all materials are required) to the email below. Please attach all materials in one PDF file. Review of potential applicants will begin immediately and prospective candidates encouraged to apply to the appropriate UTEP graduate programs (http://science.utep.edu/biology/index.php/2014-04-22-20-30-52/2014-04-22-20-55-16/on-line-application-fordepartment-of-biological-sciences). For more information concerning this position, please contact Dr. Xiaofeng Xu (xxu2@utep.edu). The University of Texas at El Paso is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or sexual orientation in employment or the provision of services.

Post-Doctoral Fellow in Coastal Wetland Carbon Sequestration in a Warmer Climate
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Fellow to investigate the biogeochemical responses of a tidal brackish marsh to ecosystem warming and elevated CO2. The successful applicant will be part of an interdisciplinary team that includes biogeochemists, microbial ecologists, and modelers. The goal is to actively manipulate air and soil temperature (to 1.5 m soil depth), and model responses at both at an ecosystem and regional scale. The research will be conducted at the Global Change Research Wetland (G-CREW), an NSF-LTREB site and home to three related tidal marsh global change experiments (http://serc.si.edu/GCREW).  The site is located on the campus of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, a 2,650 hectare complex of upland forest, farmland and wetlands (http://www.serc.si.edu). Many of the Center’s 100+ full-time employees commute from nearby Annapolis, MD and Washington, DC. This is a one year, grant-funded position with continuation for 1.5 years (2.5 years total) given satisfactory performance. Candidates with research interests in biogeochemistry or microbial ecology are preferred. The position comes with a stipend of $48,000 per year plus a health care allowance. Please e-mail a short letter of interest that describes experience and qualifications (1-2 pages), CV, and list of references by 1 Oct 2015 to Dr. Patrick Megonigal (megonigalp@si.edu). Review of applications will begin immediately, and the search will continue until a suitable applicant is found. The candidate is expected to start between January and March 2016.

Postdoc - Institute of Ecology and Evolution
The Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Oregon seeks to create a pool of applicants for potential funding contingent postdoctoral research positions. Positions are limited duration appointments potentially renewable for up to a total of three years. In limited circumstances, there is the possibility of renewal beyond three years based on programmatic need, funding and performance. Postdoctoral scholars will be conducting research under the direction of a principal investigator for the purpose of acquiring research training. Ph.D. in biology or related field is required. Topics of particular interest are molecular evolution; evolutionary genetics; evolution, development, and genomics; microbial ecology; functional ecological genetics; biological oceanography; and conservation biology and global change. Please see website (http://ie2.uoregon.edu) for more information about the type of research being done. Salary dependent upon experience, hires from this pool may require a criminal background check. To apply, please send a cover letter stating areas of interest, three references and current CV as a single attachment to : ie2jobs@uoregon.edu with subject: Pool 150610 Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis and remain active through June 30, 2016. Screening of applications will take place as positions become available and continue until positions are filled. The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status. Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity, 677 East 12th Ave., Suite 452, 5221 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5221. Office (541) 346-3123, Fax (541) 346-4168.

Postdoctoral Positions in Theoretical Ecology at U Illinois
Multiple postdoctoral positions in theoretical ecology are available to work in the lab of PI James O’Dwyer, supported by recent awards from the Simons Foundation and McDonnell Foundation. Candidates with training in theoretical ecology are welcomed, and also in other quantitative fields. Start date is flexible, and funding is available for multiple years, contingent on satisfactory progress. Broad research themes in the lab include Macroecological Theory, Microbial Ecology, Phylogenetics, and Species Interactions and Evolution. The O’Dwyer lab is highly interdisciplinary, drawing from mathematics, physics, and bioinformatics, while the collaborative environment at UIUC provides an opportunity for postdoctoral fellows to bridge multiple fields, across different departments and institutes. The group is closely affiliated with the UIUC Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation and the Institute for Genomic Biology. To apply, send a CV, a one page statement of research interests, a representative paper, and contact information for three references to James O’Dwyer at jodwyer@illinois.edu. . Applications will be considered as they arrive, and informal inquiries are welcome. For further information also check out the lab site: http://publish.illinois.edu/odwyerlab/.

Postdoctoral Position at University of Texas at Austin
A postdoctoral position is available at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Integrative Biology to work with Dr. Kathrine Behrman and collaborate with Dr. Thomas Juenger’s Lab at the University of Texas and model developers at the USDA-ARS and NRCS in Temple, TX. This multi-scale modeling position is part of a Department of Energy funded grant to address the sustainability of switchgrass production across continental-scale environmental gradients. The candidate will work as part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers analyzing the whole-plant physiology, ecosystem services, microbial ecology, evolution, genetics, genomics, and modeling. One of the primary objectives of the grant is to incorporating genetic variation and local adaptation into process oriented models of plant growth and ecosystem functioning (i.e. EPIC, APEX, ALMANAC, DSSTAT, DAYCENT). Furthermore, the candidate will have the flexibility to work with many different data types to incorporate plant-microbiome-soil interactions into models of ecosystem processes, analyze the potential limits to niche evolution, predict crop phenotypes in response to environmental change, identify gene-by-environment interactions, etc. The position requires a PhD in Ecology, Evolution, Genetics, Plant Biology, Statistics, or a related field. The ideal candidate will have experience with process based modeling, population/landscape genomics, statistics, and computer programing. The candidate should be interested in landscape ecology, agronomy, molecular biology, and physiology. Excellent oral and written communication skills are required with a strong publication record. Please email applications to kate.behrman@gmail.com with the subject “Postdoctoral Application”. Applications should include a cover letter detailing experience and research interests, CV, and contact information for three professional references. The position is funded for two years, with possibility of refunding. Start date is flexible with the option to start as soon as Fall 2015.



Magdia De Jesus Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York, University at Albany, Albany, New York
Magdia De Jesus is a newly appointed assistant professor in Biomedical Sciences with a joint appointment at the State University of New York, University at Albany, School of Public Health and the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health.  De Jesus earned a B.S. in Biology at New York University and both an M.S. and Ph.D in Microbiology and Immunology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed her postdoctoral training at the New York State Department of Health in the laboratories of Kimberlee A. Musser and Nicholas J. Mantis. Her general research interests include fungal pathogenesis, mucosal immunology and public health diagnostics. De Jesus has served on the first ASM Junior Advisory group (JAG), ASM Futures group and ASM membership tiers taskforce. She is currently the president of the ASM Eastern New York branch and serves on the ASM Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities (CMIIM).  De Jesus is extremely passionate about mentoring students in science as she describes herself as a product of pipeline mentorship.

In the United States alone, it is estimated that more than 1.4 million individuals suffer from recurrent inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) with an overall health care cost of more than $1.7 billion. Fungal members of the Candida genus, including C.albicans and C.tropicalis were demonstrated to be increasingly associated with gastrointestinal infections, IBD and Hirschprung-associated enterocolitis.  In a recently accepted paper in Immunology Letters, De Jesus and colleagues are the first to describe the early events of C. albicans and C. tropicalis transcytosis into gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) such as Peyer’s patches in the small intestine. The investigators demonstrate that these fungal organisms are transcytosed rapidly by specialized microfold (M)-cells in the follicle associated epithelium (FAE). Following transcytosis though M-cells C. albicans and C. tropicalis then preferentially localize and persist within a recently identified sub-population of Peyer’s patch dendritic cells (DCs) distinguished by their expression of the C-type lectin receptor, Langerin. The benefit of understanding the early events of Candida sampling is two-fold as it provides insights to potential therapeutic targets for individuals with IBD and it allows for the understanding of how fungi are presumably kept in check by the mucosal immune system.

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