Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - July 2016



  • JMBE Editor Calls for Conversations About Gender Equity in the Classroom
  • Explore Entrepreneurship at ASM Course
  • ABRCMS 2016
  • ASM Biothreats Conference: Research, Response and Policy
  • 33rd Clinical Virology Symposium
  • ASM Microbe 2016 Session Recordings
  • Save the Dates: ASM Microbe 2017
  • Upcoming ASM Conferences


  • Conference for Early Stage HIV/AIDS Vaccine  Researchers (R13)
  • SBIR E-learning for HAZMAT and Emergency Response (R43/R44) 
  • Initiative to Maximize Research Education in Genomics: Diversity Action Plan (R25)
  • Faculty Early Career Development Program  (CAREER)
  • Division of Environmental Biology  (DEB)


  • Macalester College: Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology
  • Meharry study awarded multimillion-dollar NIH grant
  • AGU Fall Meeting 2016 - Abstract Submission
  • Fall Workshop in Introductory Bioinformatics
  • Fully-funded MSC & PhD positions studying plant-plant-animal interactions in the deserts of California.
  • Funded MS and PhD positions in Coastal Biogeochemistry (FL)
  • Funded PhD on intraspecific variability, population dynamics and ecosystem processes
  • Graduate Assistantship in Forest Nutrient Cycling at SUNY
  • M.S. Graduate Research Assistantship - Florida bonneted bat foraging ecology
  • Multiple Postdocs in Disease Ecology - EEB Dept., Univ. of Minnesota Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; University of Minnesota
  • PhD assistantship - Ecology of infectious disease NCSU
  • PhD Position in Ecology and Evolution of Diseases- University of Maine
  • Postdoc position with USGS - emerging infectious diseases
  • Postdoc-Wetland microbial processes-University of Florida
  • PhD position in Floodplain Biogeochemistry at UM-Amherst
  • Postdoc in soil quality of bioenergy crop production at Univ. of Idaho


  • Evida Dennis


JMBE Editor Calls for Conversations About Gender Equity in the Classroom
The newest issue of the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) – volume 17, number 2 – is introduced by an editorial from editor-in-chief, Samantha L. Elliott, Ph.D., that highlights research on gender equality in undergraduate biology. Dr. Elliott uses statistical data to provide insight into gender disparities and explores the retention gap between men and women in the scientific workforce. She prompts readers to consider how these issues may stem from the undergraduate experience and asks for ways educators can address gender bias at the classroom level. To read Dr. Elliott’s editorial as well as the new JMBE issue, please visit: http://www.asmscience.org/jmbe.

Explore Entrepreneurship at ASM Course
This entrepreneurship course features practical tips, advice, and resources from principals of leading start-up and small companies as well as legal and regulatory experts and will take place at ASM headquarters in Washington, DC on October 6-8. Course is open to ASM members and non-members. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until August 20. For more information visit: http://bit.ly/tsc16nl.

Registration is open for the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), set for 9-12 November in Tampa, Fl. As one of the nation’s premier conferences for undergraduates, ABRCMS is dedicated to guiding students in pursuit of advanced training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

While the ABRCMS focus is on supporting undergraduates, the conference is also attended by postbaccalaureates, graduate students, postdoctoral scientists, faculty, and administrators. All participants value the meeting’s lineup of information-rich workshops, scientific presentations, professional development opportunities, networking events, and more. At ABRCMS 2016, several eminent speakers will present on research topics focusing on regenerative engineering, public health, neurobiology and computer science and share insights on their career trajectory. Confirmed plenary lecturers include:

  • Juan E. Gilbert, Ph.D., Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor and Chair of the Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department at the University of Florida. Dr. Gilbert was recently named one of the 50 most important African-Americans in Technology.
  • Julie Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Vice President, Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy, and Population Health at Merck. In her six years as the first woman director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Gerberding guided the nation’s leading health protection agency through an era of rapid growth, globalization and innovative transformation.
  • The HeLa Panel will feature the family of Henrietta Lacks and members of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). An update will be given to the 2013 NIH-Lacks family agreement that enabled controlled-access to HeLa whole genome sequence data via the NIH database of Genotypes and Phenotypes, while respecting the Lacks family’s privacy.
  • Stefano Bertuzzi, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief Executive Officer of the American Society for Microbiology. Bertuzzi is responsible for implementing the society’s vision to promote and advance the microbial sciences. He has authored numerous research publications in neurobiology and science policy, which have been published in top scientific journals.
  • Cato T.  Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and University Professor at the University of Connecticut. A renowned physician-scientist, he is a pioneer in the area of Regenerative Engineering.
  • Wes Moore, M.S., New York Times best-selling author and Chief Executive Officer of BridgeEdU. Moore is a decorated Army combat veteran and youth advocate. As the CEO of BridgeEdU, he leads a national initiative focusing on addressing the college completion and career placement crisis by reinventing the freshman year of college. He is also the author of two instant New York Times best-selling books, The Other Wes Moore and The Work.

Students (undergraduates and postbaccalaureates) are invited to submit abstracts and travel award applications for the conference. Deadline is 26 August for ABRCMS Student Travel Awards and 9 September for ABRCMS Student Abstract submissions.

For submission criteria, registration information, or program and speaker updates, visit http://bit.ly/abr16nl.

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.

ASM Biothreats Conference: Research, Response and Policy
February 6–8, 2017 | Washington, DC
A premier event that focuses on the collaborative efforts to manage biothreat agents, pathogens, and global surveillance.

33rd Clinical Virology Symposium
May 7–10, 2017 | Savannah, Georgia
This international symposium delves into the relationship between rapid viral diagnosis, clinical course of viral infections, and preventive and therapeutic modalities for viral infections.

ASM Microbe 2016 Session Recordings
Access year-round audio-synched slides from ASM Microbe 2016 via the web. Select the tracks that are
of most interest to you or purchase the full package. Purchase your session recordings here.

Save the Dates: ASM Microbe 2017
Join us next year for an even bigger and better ASM Microbe as we head to New Orleans, Louisiana, June 15, 2017.

Upcoming ASM Conferences

ASM Conference on Streptococcal Genetics
July 31–August 3, 2016 | Washington, DC

2nd ASM Conference on Experimental Microbial Evolution 
August 4–7, 2016 | Washington, DC

5th ASM Conference on Salmonella
August 29–September 1, 2016 | Potsdam, Germany
Early bird registration deadline: July 21, 2016

6th ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes
September 9–12, 2016 | Seattle, WA
Early bird registration deadline: July 28, 2016

ASM Conference on Infection and Cancer
October 24–27, 2016 | Washington, DC
Abstract submission deadline: August 16, 2016
Early bird registration deadline: September 15, 2016

ASM Conference on Antibacterial Development
December 11–14, 2016 | Washington, DC
Abstract submissions open: July 12, 2016
Online Registration opens: July 12, 2016
Abstract submission deadline: October 3, 2016
Early bird registration deadline: November 3, 2016

Save the dates for more 2016 ASM Conferences!


Conference for Early Stage HIV/AIDS Vaccine Researchers (R13)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages Research Conference Grant (R13) applications to conduct intensive workshop/conference/meeting(s) that address the needs of early stage HIV/AIDS vaccine researchers as they translate preclinical research from nonhuman primates (NHPs) to human clinical trials. The objectives of the meeting supported by this FOA are to provide these early stage HIV/AIDS vaccine researchers with guidance on conducting preclinical research to inform HIV vaccine strategies for clinical trials and developing skills related to networking, work-life balance, grantsmanship, and goal/milestone-oriented projects. Conference topics should include, but not be limited to: critical aspects of human vaccine development, including statistical considerations, host genetics and others; methods to translate the results of NHP challenge studies to clinical trials in humans; and methods to develop milestone-driven projects.  Applications are due September 6, 2016, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-16-351.html.

SBIR E-learning for HAZMAT and Emergency Response (R43/R44) 
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications from small business concerns (SBCs) that propose to further the development of Advanced Technology Training (ATT) products for the health and safety training of hazardous materials (HAZMAT) workers; skilled support personnel; emergency responders in biosafety response, infectious disease training and cleanup; emergency responders in disasters and resiliency training; and for ATT tools to assist in research into the acute and long-term health effects of environmental disaster. This also includes the training of workers engaged in environmental restoration, waste treatment, and emergency response activities at sites in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons complex.  ATT as defined by the Worker Training Program (WTP) includes, but is not limited to, online training, virtual reality, serious gaming, and tools that complement all aspects of training from development to evaluation including advance technologies that enhance, supplement, improve, and provide health and safety training for hazardous materials workers. These products would complement the goals and objectives of the WTP http://www.niehs.nih.gov/careers/hazmat/about_wetp/. The major objective of the NIEHS WTP is to prevent work related harm by assisting in the training of workers in how best to protect themselves and their communities from exposure to hazardous materials.  The financial support for this initiative comes directly from NIEHS Worker Education and Training Branch SBIR funds.  Letters of intent are due July 29, 2016, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-ES-16-006.html.

Initiative to Maximize Research Education in Genomics: Diversity Action Plan (R25)
The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH.  The over-arching goal of this NHGRI R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce in genomics. This funding opportunity announcement seeks to expose underrepresented students at the undergraduate, postbaccalaureate and graduate levels to the foundational sciences relevant to genomics to enable them to pursue careers that span all areas of interest to NHGRI--genome sciences, genomic medicine and genomics and society.  To accomplish the stated over-arching goal, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on Research Experiences based on the foundational sciences relevant to genomics: genomic sciences (e.g. computational biology, quantitative sciences, bioinformatics and technology development); genomic medicine  (e.g. biostatistics, epidemiology, bioinformatics); and genomics and society (e.g. bioethics, social and behavioral sciences, law, the humanities) and Courses for Skills Development  appropriate for the career level and proposed outcome for the activity.  Complementary didactic activities are also encouraged, especially those academic courses in the foundational sciences that have the potential to increase opportunities for success at the next academic level. Courses are limited to those that are an integral part of the academic preparedness for a formal academic program such as GRE courses and foundational courses in the relevant areas listed above to prepare participants for graduate school.  Full applications are due September 25, 2016, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-16-345.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.  Full proposals are due July 20, 2016, and more information is available at https://www.nsf.gov/mobile/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503214&org=NSF&from=home.

Division of Environmental Biology (DEB)
The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) supports fundamental research on populations, species, communities, and ecosystems. Scientific emphases range across many evolutionary and ecological patterns and processes at all spatial and temporal scales. Areas of research include biodiversity, phylogenetic systematics, molecular evolution, life history evolution, natural selection, ecology, biogeography, ecosystem structure, function and services, conservation biology, global change, and biogeochemical cycles. Research on organismal origins, functions, relationships, interactions, and evolutionary history may incorporate field, laboratory, or collection-based approaches; observational or manipulative experiments; synthesis activities; as well as theoretical approaches involving analytical, statistical, or computational modeling.  Full proposals are due August 2, 2016, and more information is available at https://www.nsf.gov/mobile/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503634&org=NSF&from=home.



Macalester College: Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology
Applications are invited for a tenure-track position in Microbiology in the Department of Biology at the level of assistant professor. Areas of specialty could include but are not limited to the human microbiome, metagenomics, and/or infectious diseases. We are especially interested in applicants with expertise in quantitative and computational biology. We seek applicants who are committed to excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level and who are dedicated to developing an active research program that engages students in research. The successful candidate will teach at all levels of the biology curriculum, including the core Genetics course required of all biology majors. In addition, it is expected that the candidate will be able to contribute more broadly to the College curriculum by offering courses that support our First Year Seminar program and/or interdisciplinary programs and courses such as bioinformatics and/or community and global health, as well as contribute to pre-health career advising. The successful candidate is expected to begin the position June 2017.

The Biology Department has state of the art facilities and equipment and each faculty has their own research lab. Start-up funds are available. The most qualified candidates will have postdoctoral and teaching experience. To apply, send a letter, curriculum vitae, statements of teaching philosophy and research plans, and 3 letters of recommendation to: Dr. Mary Montgomery, Department of Biology, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105 (email: montgomery@macalester.edu). Review of applications will begin October 1, 2016. Macalester College is a highly selective, private liberal arts college in the vibrant Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, which has a population of approximately three million and is home to numerous colleges and universities, including the University of Minnesota. Macalester’s diverse student body comprises approximately 2000 undergraduates from 49 states and the District of Columbia and over 90 nations. The College maintains a longstanding commitment to academic excellence with a special emphasis on internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to society. We are especially interested in applicants dedicated to excellence in teaching and research within a liberal arts college community. As an Equal Opportunity employer supportive of affirmative efforts to achieve diversity among its faculty, Macalester College strongly encourages applications from women and members of underrepresented minority groups. For more details go to: http://www.asmcareerconnections.org/jobseeker/job/28805181/

Meharry Study Awarded Multimillion-dollar NIH grant
The Meharry Medical Center, along with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and the University of Miami, were recently awarded a five-year $11,600,000 grant to develop a new center to study precision medicine to eradicate health disparities, especially those among African-Americans and Latinos.  The new center will be named the Vanderbilt-Miami-Meharry Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine and Population Health.  The use of precision medicine will be important because it addresses individual variability and its contribution to health disparities, particularly in light of the fact that new treatment options are insufficiently inclusive of minorities when developed.  More information about this new center is available at http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2016/05/nih-awards-11-6-million-grant-to-vanderbilt-miami-and-meharry-for-new-center-to-study-precision-medicine-and-health-disparities/.

AGU Fall Meeting 2016 - Abstract Submission
Please consider submitting an abstract to the session “Geomicrobiology of extreme environments: Scarcity is the mother of invention” at the 2016 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (12-16 December 2016 in San Francisco, California). Co-convened with Dr. Laura Meredith (also at U of A), the session will emphasize microbial community dynamics in extreme environments. Microbial communities in extreme environments display an intricate network of resource scouring and sharing. By highlighting survival processes and ecosystem functions performed by these microbes, the session will focus on microbial community structure, function, and resilience strategies employed by the microorganisms in the face of scarcity, and explore novel links between geochemistry, geomorphology, and microbiology. We expect abstracts from researchers who study life in extreme environments including arid and semi-arid regions, permafrost, deep-sea vents, mine-tailings, hypersaline environments, and sub-surface sediments to name a few. Talks can range from '-omics' related findings, microbial modeling of extreme environments to better predict response to climate change scenarios, function of these microorganisms in providing soil stability and landscape evolution, and interactions at the geochemistry-microbiology interface. The deadline for abstract submission is Wednesday, 3 August 2016. Abstracts can be submitted at https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm16/preliminaryview.cgi/Session12747.html.  Feel free to contact me (asengupta@email.arizona.edu) or Laura Meredith (laurameredith@email.arizona.edu) if you have questions or need more information. 

Fall Workshop in Introductory Bioinformatics
The handling of large datasets has become intractable without some level of bioinformatic literacy. Many biologists find that there is a steep learning curve to develop the confidence required to explore their genomics datasets effectively. This bioinformatics short course includes a rich collection of hands-on instruction and lectures specifically intended to help novice users become comfortable with a range of tools currently used to analyze deep sequencing data. There is no prerequisite for this course other than a willingness to learn and to work hard throughout the week. All workshop exercises will be implemented via VirtualBox and focus primarily on Illumina data; however, we will also include PacBio data during the genome assembly tutorial. Course participation is limited to 25 students to ensure an intimate learning environment. Course tuition is $800 and is open to graduate students, postdocs, staff, faculty, and industry researchers on a first come basis. Full course information, contact, instructor info and application instructions at https://biodatatraining.wordpress.com at University of Maryland College Park, Maryland September 15-18, 2016.

Fully-funded MSC & PhD positions studying plant-plant-animal interactions in the deserts of California
A funded position(s) with Dr. Christopher Lortie at York University is available to do research either at the MSC or PhD level on positive interactions using shrubs, annual plants, and animals Our lab website is http://www.ecoblender.org, and the personal blog of Lortie is found is http://christopherlortie.info.  The primary focus of the research is exploring how we might better use positive interactions between plants for restoration and management of arid systems. In particular, we want to examine influences on other taxa such as insects (including pollinators), endangered animal species (such as leopard lizards and kangaroo rats - cute), and on community biodiversity dynamics. The research is in California, and we have partners with the BLM and Nature Conservancy. Each Fall, we plan experiments, analyze data, and write papers. In these deserts, it is a winter growing season with some rains. Hence, January to May is spent in California. Summers usually spent in Toronto for teaching assistant positions provided by university. Please contact lortie@yorku.ca for more information. Start date as early as Sept 8, 2016 if you apply rapidly and have a GPA of B+ (with experience) or an A.

Funded MS and PhD positions in Coastal Biogeochemistry (FL)
The Aquatic Biogeochemistry Lab at the University of Central Florida is currently recruiting motivated, energetic graduate students with a strong background in ecology and/or environmental chemistry to fill multiple positions at the M.S. and Ph.D. level. Students who are offered one of these competitive positions will be supported on NSF-funded Graduate Research Assistantships (includes full tuition and stipend) and will work as part of an interdisciplinary team to assess the ecological impacts of coastal and wetland restoration efforts on biogeochemical processes. Positions are available now and students will need to begin no later than Fall 2017. Interested student should visit: https://biology.cos.ucf.edu/abl/ and email Dr. Lisa Chambers (lisa.chambers@ucf.edu) for more information.

Funded PhD on intraspecific variability, population dynamics and ecosystem processes
In the UK PhD Graduate Teaching Assistant (PhD Studentship) position supervised by Drs Manuela Gonzalez Suarez and Tom Oliver is available at the University of Reading (Reading, UK). The project seeks to develop functional trait-based approaches from the individual through to the community level. The student will work on linked projects with another PhD student in a dynamic and cohesive research group and, through a combination of experimentation and theoretical analysis, will investigate how intraspecific variability in functional traits affects population dynamics and ecosystem processes. This project will largely focus on insect population dynamics using a combination of controlled experiments on pest species, such as the rice weevil, and/or species used as biocontrol of invasive plants in the UK, as well as macroecological approaches in order to understand the importance of intraspecific variability for population dynamics and ecosystem processes. The University of Reading is in the top 1% of the universities worldwide. Reading is a nice very livable city located only 30 minutes away from London. For more information and to apply: https://www.reading.ac.uk/15/about/jobs/about-jobdetails.aspx?vacancy_id=348103AaGx.  For additional inquires contact: Manuela Gonzalez Suarez (manuela.gonzalez@reading.ac.uk).

Graduate Assistantship in Forest Nutrient Cycling at SUNY
Ruth Yanai is seeking new graduate students (MS or PhD) to participate in a large collaborative project investigating above and belowground carbon allocation, nutrient cycling, and tradeoffs involved in multiple resource allocation. Research in the MELNHE project includes soil respiration, soil mineralization, beech bark disease, leaf production by species, foliar nutrient resorption, water use, mycorrhizae, forest productivity (among species and stand age classes), and snail and arthropod diversity. More information on the project can be found at http://www.esf.edu/melnhe. Funding will consist of a combination of research and teaching assistantships. A stipend, full tuition waiver, health insurance, and a summer position with the field crew in New Hampshire will be provided. Prospective students may apply to the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management or the Graduate Program in Environmental Science, both at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY. We appreciate communicating with students as part of the application process. Students are encouraged to review MELNHE related data and publications and supply their own ideas for research in relation to the project. Prospective students should begin that conversation by requesting the password for Ruth's project materials from Mary Hagemann at forestecology@esf.edu.

M.S. Graduate Research Assistantship - Florida bonneted bat foraging ecology
Seeking a highly motivated M.S. student to join the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida, starting EITHER fall 2016 (August) or spring 2017 (January). This student will join an existing research team working with Dr. Holly Ober to conduct research on the enigmatic Florida bonneted bat, Eumops floridanus. Applicants must have a B.S. in wildlife, ecology, natural resource conservation, environmental studies, or a related field; strong quantitative skills and demonstrated writing ability; and competitive GPA and GRE scores. Applicants should be willing to work independently and as part of a team. Preferred applicants will be highly motivated, have experience using molecular techniques, experience with GIS, field experience handling bats and extracting them from mist nets, strong quantitative skills, and competitive GPA/GRE scores. If interested, send (1) a cover letter briefly describing your research interests, career goals, an explanation of why you would like to pursue a graduate degree, and your preferred start date (Aug 2016 or Jan 2017); (2) your CV; (3) unofficial copies of GRE scores and academic transcripts; and (4) a list of the name, phone number and email address of 3 references. For more information, contact Dr. Holly Ober, holly.ober@ufl.edu.  

Multiple Postdocs in Disease Ecology - EEB Dept., Univ. of Minnesota Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; University of Minnesota
Our research group seeks to hire 2-3 motivated and conceptually driven post-doctoral associates to work collaboratively using empirical and/or theoretical approaches to test community ecology and behavioral ecology theory in pathogen communities. This work will focus on, but not necessarily be limited to, (i) investigating the role of vector behavior on pathogen dynamics, (ii) testing the relevance of resource competition and metacommunity theory to pathogen communities, and (iii) investigating the interactions between disease and movement broadly. We are particularly interested in applicants with strong skills in mathematics, statistical and analytical techniques, or molecular techniques relevant to the detection of phytoviruses using qPCR or metagenomics techniques. Questions about this position should be addressed to Drs. Allison Shaw (ashaw@umn.edu), Elizabeth Borer (borer@umn.edu), or Eric Seabloom (seabloom@umn.edu). Apply for this position (Job Opening ID: 310245) via the University of Minnesota Office of Human Resources website: http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/employment/ and https://www.myu.umn.edu/psp/psprd/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_APP_SCHJOB.GBL?Page=HRS_APP_JBPST&Action=U&FOCUS=Applicant&SiteId=1&JobOpeningId=310245&PostingSeq.  

PhD assistantship - Ecology of infectious disease NCSU
A graduate assistantship is available in Lanzas lab at NCSU to work on the area of the ecology of enteric pathogens and antimicrobial resistance. Our research integrates multiple data sources, epidemiological analysis and mathematical models to study transmission mechanisms and drivers of enteric and antimicrobial resistant pathogens, including Enterohemorraghic E. coli, Clostridium difficile and Salmonella. A number of potential research projects are available and so the research focus may be tailored to the interests and skills of the individual. For more information on current projects and publications visit http://www.lanzaslab.org.  Qualifications: Applicants with undergraduate in ecology and evolutionary biology, environmental sciences, or other related degree in a related area, or DVM degree are preferred. Individuals with an interest in quantitative methods and infectious diseases are encouraged to apply. Applicants must meet the requirements of the Comparative Biomedical Sciences graduate program at NCSU. For more information on the graduate program see: https://cvm.ncsu.edu/education/graduate-programs/comparative-biomedical-sciences/.  Interested applicants should submit a letter of intent, curriculum vitae and the names and contact information for three references to clanzas@ncsu.edu. Review of applicants will begin immediately and continue until suitable candidate is identified.

PhD Position in Ecology and Evolution of Diseases- University of Maine
PhD Position: Ecology and Evolution of Diseases- University of Maine A Ph.D. research assistantship is available through the Ecology & Environmental Sciences Program (http://umaine.edu/ees-graduate/) in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture, School of Food and Agriculture at the University of Maine, Orono. The student will develop and conduct research on the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases in wildlife and domestic animals using genetic approaches. Research topics may include the investigation of: (1) eco- evolutionary drivers of transmission and spillover, (2) host-pathogen adaptation, (3) the genetic basis for heterogeneity in host susceptibility, and (4) disease transmission pathways using genetic data. Salary: $19,467 annual stipend, tuition waiver (up to 9 credit hours/semester, 1 credit hour in summer), 50% health insurance Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, evolution, microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, genetics, bioinformatics, or a related field. Preferred candidates will have a Master’s degree or equivalent experience and be accomplished in writing, statistics, molecular methods, population/ phylogenetic analyses, and field skills. Interested qualified applicants are encouraged to email a cover letter, CV/resume, unofficial transcripts, writing sample, and the names and contact information for three references. Start Date: January 17, 2017 Last Date to Apply: September 1, 2016 Contact Person: Pauline Kamath Email: paulinekamath@gmail.com  

Postdoc position with USGS - emerging infectious diseases
The increasing the number of novel infectious diseases over the past few decades, especially those caused by fungal pathogens, has resulted in substantial population declines and loss of biodiversity. Two wildlife pathogens of particular interest to US agencies include white nose syndrome (WNS) in bats and the salamander chytrid fungus (Bsal). Qualifications: Competitive candidates will have skills in modeling, estimation, and optimization, with previous experience leading a collaborative research project and familiarity with disease ecology, epidemiology, amphibian ecology or bat ecology a plus but not necessary. The successful candidate will also have excellent writing and personal communication skills. Applicants are expected to have earned a Ph.D. degree in a relevant discipline, preferably within the last 5 years. Benefits: Salary and benefits is competitive, with support available for 1 year with possibility of extension for an additional 2 years pending satisfactory progress. Application: Send a letter describing your background and experiences as they relate to this position, and a CV with names and contact information for three references to Evan Grant (ehgrant@usgs.gov).

Postdoc-Wetland microbial processes-University of Florida
A short-term postdoctoral position in aquatic and wetland biogeochemistry is available in the Soil and Water Science Department at the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Inglett. The postdoc will manage a project assessing environmental controls (e.g., temperature, dissolved oxygen, flow rate) on enzyme expression and microbial activities in a constructed wetland designed for phosphorus removal. The ideal candidate will have familiarity with fluorescent enzyme approaches, microbial biomass and respiration measurements, basic isotopic measurements (13C) and sediment core or bottle-type studies. Candidates should have field experience including boats and sampling in wetland environments. The strongest candidates will also have excellent English communication skills and a demonstrated ability to publish. Duration: 1 year, with an additional year pending performance and funding. Salary: $35,000-45,000 depending on qualifications Start Date: August- October, 2016. Application: Interested candidates should send a detailed CV, a brief narrative describing their interests and fit for the position, and a list of three references to pinglett@ufl.edu (include BGCHEM POSTDOC in the subject field). Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

PhD position in Floodplain Biogeochemistry at UM-Amherst
Project: Organic Matter Mineralization and Metal Cycling During Flood Plain Evolution We are inviting applications for a fully funded PhD positions in the Soil and Microbial Biogeochemistry group at the University of Massachusetts—Amherst. Research: The successful candidate will conduct research into the metabolic constraints on the biogeochemical cycling of organic matter within floodplains. Qualifications: Applicants with Bachelor degree in soil science or a related field (environmental science, geoscience, microbiology, or environmental chemistry) are encouraged to apply. We expect the student to have a general interest in fundamental biogeochemical mechanisms in soils, and to creatively integrate his or her own ideas within the broader framework of the project. Location: UMass Amherst. Application: Interested candidates are asked to send their CV, copies of Bachelor and/or Master degrees (including academic transcripts), and a list of two potential references (including full contact addresses). These materials, and inquiries for further information, should be sent to Dr. Marco Keiluweit (keiluweit@umass.edu) by July 15, 2016, or until the position is filled. The start date is negotiable, but ideally Sept 2016 or Jan 2017.

Postdoc in soil quality of bioenergy crop production at Univ. of Idaho
A post-doctoral opportunity is available to study chemical and biological soil quality of wood-based bioenergy feedstock production at University of Idaho in the Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences. The postdoc will conduct field and laboratory research to determine relative soil microbial activity, nutrient and greenhouse gas fluxes, and sediment loss in poplar energy crops compared to agricultural and managed forests systems. Qualifications include PhD in forest or ecosystem science, microbial ecology, soil science, biogeochemistry, or related fields; significant field and laboratory research experience; biometric capabilities to analyze, model and synthesize long-term multivariate data sets. Candidates should demonstrate research productivity through a consistent record of peer-reviewed publications. Funding is available for one year. Other potential sources of support depend on qualifications. Find detailed position description and application information under Posting Number: SP000987P at https://uidaho.peopleadmin.com/postings/14391. First consideration will be given to those who apply by July 13, 2016. Project information is available at hardwoodbiofuels.org and http://www.uidaho.edu/cnr/ifc.



Evida Dennis
Mucoid bacteria, predominately Pseudomonas aeruginosa, are closely associated with the respiratory decline of patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Recently, E. A. Dennis published a manuscript titled, “The Effects of CFTR and Mucoid Phenotype on Susceptibility and Innate Immune Responses in a Mouse Model of Pneumococcal Lung Disease” (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140335). Here, the authors report that mucoid Serotype 3 Streptococcus pneumoniae is very prevalent in the respiratory tracts of children with CF. However, whether mucoid S. pneumoniae contribute to respiratory failure among patients with CF remains unknown. To determine whether mucoid S. pneumoniae causes more severe lung disease than non-mucoid S. pneumoniae in CF, the authors used a mouse model of CF to study mucoid and non-mucoid pneumococcal infection. Results show that mice deficient in cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) are more susceptible to infection with S. pneumoniae compared to mice with functional CFTR.  Among CFTR deficient mice, mucoid S. pneumoniae was associated with higher mortality and higher lung bacterial loads whereas non-mucoid strains were cleared more efficiently. No differences were observed in TNF-α, CXCL1/KC concentrations or in lung histopathology between mice with and without CFTR, suggesting that differences in susceptibility between mice do not appear to be dependent on early cytokine production. Ongoing studies include analysis of biofilm formation by serotype 3 S. pneumoniae under in vitro and in vivo conditions as the potential mechanism of increased virulence and persistence by highly mucoid S. pneumoniae in CF lung disease.

Evida A. Dennis is currently a graduate student in the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where she is pursuing her M.D. and Ph.D. in Immunology. She completed her B.S in Biological Anthropology from the George Washington University then earned her M.S. in Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she studied biofilm formation by S. pneumoniae and the role of mucoid S. pneumoniae in Cystic Fibrosis lung disease under the mentorship of Dr. David Briles. She is now pursuing her doctoral thesis under the dual mentorship of Dr. Phillip Smith and Dr. Bill Britt, where she is investigating the mechanism of cytomegalovirus (CMV)-associated mucosal inflammation. Her project addresses the role of monocytes and intestinal macrophages in the pathogenesis of CMV-induced mucosal disease. In completion of this project she hopes to set the stage for future studies addressing the prevention and treatment of CMV-related inflammatory conditions. Her long-range goal is a career as an academic physician-scientist in pediatric infectious diseases. Specifically, she plans to combine her training in both basic science and clinical medicine to investigate host-pathogen relationships with the goals of vaccine and novel therapeutic development.

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://www.asm.org/index.php/subscriptions2, 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., associate 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