Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter - September 2016

 

ASM ACTIVITIES

  • Assess Students’ Critical Thinking with ASM’s Test Question Bank
  • Discount ABRCMS Registration Ends October 12
  • ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Online Course
  • ASM Grant Writing Online Course
  • Integrate Quantitative Concepts into Your Courses with ASM M(icro)OOCs
  • Interested in becoming a Science Educator? ASM has the training for you!
  • Educators, let JMBE help you with your back-to-school planning!
  • 2017 ASM Biothreats: Research, Response and Policy
  • 33rd Clinical Virology Symposium
  • ASM Microbe 2017
  • ASM Microbe 2016 Session Recordings
  • Upcoming ASM Conferences
  • Academy Fellowship: Call for Nominations

FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES

  • Joint NSF/NIH Initiative on Quantitative Approaches to Biomedical Big Data (QuBBD)
  • Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID)
  • T Cell Reagent Research for the Study of Allergic Diseases (U19)
  • Coordinating Center for the HIV/AIDS and Substance Use Cohorts Program (U24)
  • Engaging Youth and Young Adults from Health Disparity Populations in the HIV Treatment Cascade (R01)

ARTICLES OF INTEREST AND OTHER UPDATES

  • Assistant Professor of Immunology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Ph.D. Position OSU Entomology, Urban Soil Ecology
  • Ph.D. positions - Host-microbe interactions at Cornell University
  • Postdoc Position - OSU Entomology, Urban Soil Ecology
  • Postdoc position in gut microbiome ecology
  • Postdoc in plant-insect and plant-microbe ecology
  • Recruiting 3 postdocs and a Ph.D. student for PyOM, microbes, and soils project

SPOTLIGHT ON MINORITY MICROBIOLOGISTS

  • Erica L. Sanchez, Ph.D.

ASM ACTIVITIES

Assess Students’ Critical Thinking with ASM’s Test Question Bank
Writing high-quality questions to measure student learning is often time-consuming. This is particularly true for questions that assess higher-order thinking. Thus, the ASM undergraduate education community recognized the need for a set of carefully crafted, peer-reviewed questions to aid their teaching, and faculty came together with ASM volunteers and staff to create the recently published ASM Sample Questions in Microbiology. As with all ASM education resources, the Sample Questions were a community-developed product. Building on and aligned to the previously community-created ASM Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Microbiology and General Microbiology Learning Outcomes, faculty developed questions and accompanying notes on their use. Learn more about the Sample Questions

Discount ABRCMS Registration Ends October 12
The 16th Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) will take place on November 9-12 in Tampa, Florida, and the deadline for discounted registration is fast approaching. Attendees can save $100 over the regular registration fee by signing up on or before October 12. Don't miss this opportunity to network with distinguished speakers and benefit from the special blend of workshops, presentations, professional development opportunities, and more at ABRCMS. See program and speaker updates. ABRCMS is sponsored by NIH award #T36GM073777.

ASM Scientific Writing and Publishing Online Course
Registration to the 2017 Scientific Writing and Publishing Online Course is now open. Led by ASM members who have published widely, reviewed manuscripts, and served on the editorial boards of major journals, this online webinar series provides graduate students, postdoctoral and early to mid-career scientists with didactic training in the writing, publishing, and review process. The webinars will take place January through April 2017. Registration is accepted on a first come, first serve basis until December 1. Learn more about the Scientific Writing and Publishing Online Course

ASM Grant Writing Online Course
Writing a grant and want a refresher on best practices? Attend the ASM Grant Writing Online Course. This six-part series, taking place from January – March 2017, will provide an overview of the NIH and NSF grant writing process, including how to create a powerful biosketch, viewing your grant from the reviewer’s perspective, and tips for writing success grants. Registration is accepted on a first come, first serve basis until December 1. Learn more about the Grant Writing Online Course

Integrate Quantitative Concepts into Your Courses with ASM M(icro)OOCs
This fall, ASM, in partnership with the Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES) project, has organized a new four-part webinar series focused on increasing quantitative biology in undergraduate education. This faculty development course will be coupled with an online mentoring network where participants can share and develop curriculua. Each of the 60-minute webinars will address common issues around teaching quantitative skills and reasoning, ranging from dilutions to graphing to data analysis. The program will run from September to December, 2016. The registration deadline is 14 September. Learn more and register 

Interested in becoming a Science Educator? ASM has the training for you!
The ASM Science Teaching Fellows Program prepares doctoral-trained individuals for science teaching positions at a variety of non-doctoral institutions. This 5-month, online professional development course delivers the skills and knowledge required to succeed in positions with a significant teaching component. Participants will learn the best practices in curriculum development, student-centered learning and pedagogies of engagement for scientific teaching. They will also be part of an online community with exclusive access to interactive webinars, readings and skill-building activities presented by experts in the field. The course runs from December 2016 to April 2017. The application deadline is November 2, 2016. Learn more and apply

Educators, let JMBE help you with your back-to-school planning!
Utilize our free, open-access content for peer-reviewed, assessed activities and tools that can increase student engagement, improve retention, and convey difficult science concepts. Our latest themed JMBE issue focuses on the interdisciplinary topic of scientific citizenship with important resources to get students involved in science and to help them understand the role it plays in everyday life. Here you will find fun activities and information on turning microbial data in to music, tracking Lyme disease, smelling armpit microbiota, using community labs for “DIY Biology” and much more! Read more

2017 ASM Biothreats: Research, Response and Policy
https://www.asm.org/index.php/biothreats-2017
February 6–8, 2017 | Washington, DC
This premier meeting discusses a wide-range of biological threats and emerging infectious diseases to stimulate knowledge-sharing amongst stakeholders in academia, industry and government; and to help the overlapping communities prepare for, mitigate, and prevent these global threats. Submit your abstract before October 27, 2016!

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 2017
June 1–5, 2017 | New Orleans, Louisiana
This unmatched event showcases 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. 

ASM Microbe 2016 Session Recordings
Recordings from ASM Microbe 2016 sessions can still be accessed via ASM Events online. Select the tracks that are of most interest to you or purchase the full package. Purchase your session recordings here.

Upcoming ASM Conferences
http://www.asm.org/conferences

6th ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes
September 9–12, 2016 | Seattle, WA

ASM Conference on Antibacterial Development
December 11–14, 2016 | Washington, DC
Abstract submission deadline: October 3, 2016
Early bird registration deadline: November 3, 2016

Save the dates for more 2017 ASM Conferences!

Academy Fellowship: Call for Nominations
The American Academy of Microbiology annually elects Fellows in recognition of their scientific excellence, orig­inality, leadership, and high ethical standards, as well as scholarly and creative achievement. Nominations for the 2017 Election to Fellowship are now open.

Qualifications for Fellowship are:

  • An earned doctoral degree
  • Senior professional standing recognized at the national or international level
  • Outstanding and original contributions to the field of microbiology

For more information about Fellowship nomination, please visit: http://academy.asm.org/index.php/nomination-and-election/instructions-for-nomination

Nominations are due: November 1st


FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES

Joint NSF/NIH Initiative on Quantitative Approaches to Biomedical Big Data (QuBBD)
Recent advances in medical and healthcare technologies are creating a paradigm shift in how medical practitioners and biomedical researchers approach the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases. New imaging technologies, advances in genetic testing, and innovations in wearable and/or ambient sensors are allowing researchers to predict health outcomes and develop personalized treatments or interventions. Coupled with the rapid growth in computing and infrastructure, researchers now have the ability to collect, store, and analyze vast amounts of health- and disease-related data from biological, biomedical, behavioral, social, environmental, and clinical studies. The explosion in the availability of biomedical big data from disparate sources, and the complex data structures including images, networks, and graphs, pose significant challenges in terms of visualization, modeling, and analysis. While there have been some encouraging developments related to foundational mathematical, statistical, and computational approaches for big data challenges over the past decade, there have been relatively few opportunities for collaboration on challenges related to biomedical data science. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognize that fundamental questions in basic, clinical, and translational research could benefit greatly from multidisciplinary approaches that involve experts in quantitative disciplines such as mathematics, statistics, and computer science. The Quantitative Approaches to Biomedical Big Data Program is designed to support research that addresses important application areas at the intersection of the biomedical and data sciences by encouraging inter- and multi-disciplinary collaborations that focus on innovative and transformative approaches to address these challenges.  Full proposals are due September 28, 2016, and more information is available at https://nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16573/nsf16573.htm.

Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID)
The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases program supports research on the ecological, evolutionary, and socio-ecological principles and processes that influence the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases. The central theme of submitted projects must be quantitative or computational understanding of pathogen transmission dynamics. The intent is discovery of principles of infectious disease transmission and testing mathematical or computational models that elucidate infectious disease systems. Projects should be broad, interdisciplinary efforts that go beyond the scope of typical studies. They should focus on the determinants and interactions of transmission among humans, non-human animals, and/or plants. This includes, for example, the spread of pathogens; the influence of environmental factors such as climate; the population dynamics and genetics of reservoir species or hosts; the cultural, social, behavioral, and economic dimensions of disease transmission. Research may be on zoonotic, environmentally-borne, vector-borne, or enteric diseases of either terrestrial or freshwater systems and organisms, including diseases of animals and plants, at any scale from specific pathogens to inclusive environmental systems. Proposals for research on disease systems of public health concern to developing countries are strongly encouraged, as are disease systems of concern in agricultural systems. Investigators are encouraged to develop the appropriate multidisciplinary team, including for example, modelers, bioinformaticians, genomics researchers, social scientists, economists, epidemiologists, entomologists, parasitologists, microbiologists, bacteriologists, virologists, pathologists or veterinarians, with the goal of integrating knowledge across disciplines to enhance our ability to predict and control infectious diseases.  Full proposals are due November 16, 2016, and more information is available at https://nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16592/nsf16592.htm.

T Cell Reagent Research for the Study of Allergic Diseases (U19)
This FOA is seeking applications from single institutions, or consortia of institutions, proposing research to understand the role of allergen epitope-specific T-cell responses in the pathogenesis and treatment of allergic diseases including allergic rhinitis, asthma and food allergy, by utilizing allergen epitope-specific reagents.   Identification, characterization and validation of new T-cell epitopes for allergens that have not been previously extensively examined (e.g. fungal allergens or food antigens such as milk), will also be supported under this FOA. Applicants are encouraged to submit multi-project research programs that propose to study immune responses to allergens at the level of epitope-specific T cell subsets, including comparative or interventional studies in humans.  Applicants are also encouraged to capitalize on the availability of allergen T cell epitopes, including those available through the NIAID-funded Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Resource (IEDB).  Letters of intent are due February 3, 2017, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AI-16-027.html.  

Coordinating Center for the HIV/AIDS and Substance Use Cohorts Program (U24)
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) supports a program of longitudinal cohorts to address emerging and high priority research on HIV/AIDS in the context of injection and non-injection substance abuse.  These cohorts provide a strong resource platform for current and future collaborative efforts with other investigators to address emerging questions related to HIV pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment in the context of substance abuse, as well as to foster the creativity and efficiency of investigator–initiated research projects. The diverse research activities among these cohorts include basic immunologic, and virologic studies, as well as studies on HIV prevention and treatment, and the co-morbidities and co-infections associated with HIV and substance abuse.  NIDA has determined that a coordinating center (CC) is needed in order to take advantage of these rich sources of data and bio-specimens and optimize collaborations among both the cohort investigators and other researchers not funded under the cohort program. In addition, the CC is expected to establish a virtual repository, and facilitate the leadership of the cohorts steering committee (SC), consisting of representatives from the NIDA-funded cohorts and NIDA staff.  Letters of intent are due October 14, 2016, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DA-17-019.html.

Engaging Youth and Young Adults from Health Disparity Populations in the HIV Treatment Cascade (R01)
This initiative will support research projects that implement and test comprehensive service approaches to engage and retain youth and young adults (age 12 – 25 years) from health disparity populations in the HIV Treatment Cascade, which includes diagnosis, linkage to care, engagement in care, retention in care, initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART), and achievement of viral suppression.   More than one-quarter of all new HIV infections in the US occur in youth. These infections are disproportionately distributed among ethnic/racial minorities and men who have sex with men (MSM), with more than half of new infections occurring in young African American and Latino populations and 72% in young MSM populations. HIV-infected youth are also less likely than older individuals to receive appropriate HIV care. Among individuals living with HIV in the United States, only about one quarter have a suppressed viral load. The majority of HIV-infected individuals drop off in earlier stages of the HIV Treatment Cascade, which includes diagnosis, linkage to care, engagement in care, retention in care, initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART), and achievement of viral suppression. Among MSM, racial/ethnic minorities and youth have significantly lower engagement in each step of the HIV Treatment Cascade compared to non-Hispanic whites and adults. Existing research has identified numerous barriers to engagement and retention of youth in HIV care, including individual barriers (e.g., mental health problems, substance abuse, low health literacy, negative self-image), social barriers (e.g., lack of peer/family support, stigma) and system barriers (e.g., non-centralized HIV services, non-youth friendly services, clinician reluctance or lack of experience providing HIV care and ART in youth). These barriers are encountered across youth populations but are particularly prevalent among youth of color, and may require different strategies to address them in different subpopulations of youth. However, much of the previous intervention research in the US regarding HIV care has focused on a single stage within the Treatment Cascade (e.g., HIV testing or ART adherence) with adult and youth populations, and very little has focused on youth under the age of 18. It is therefore critically important to engage and retain youth, particularly youth of color, in developmentally and culturally appropriate HIV care to reduce HIV-related morbidity and mortality in this population and also lower their risk of transmitting HIV to others. Interventions to promote engagement of youth across the entire HIV Treatment Cascade, rather than a single phase of the cascade, have not been adequately studied.  Letters of intent are due November 7, 2016, and more information is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-MD-16-003.html.


ARTICLES OF INTEREST AND OTHER UPDATES

Assistant Professor of Immunology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
The Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin–Madison is seeking candidates for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the field of immunology.  The applicant will be expected to develop a strong research program addressing mechanisms of innate or adaptive immunity in health or diseases of animals/humans. Exceptional candidates for early-stage Associate Professor may also be considered. Minimum requirements include a PhD, 2 years of postdoctoral or equivalent experience in a relevant field, and evidence of potential for developing a nationally recognized research program. A DVM (or equivalent) is preferred, but not required.

There are excellent opportunities for the new faculty to complement the existing strengths in infectious disease, pathology, oncology, and translational research in the School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Global Health Institute, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center and Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

In addition to developing a strong extramurally funded research program, the successful individual is expected to make significant contributions to our professional, undergraduate, and/or graduate teaching programs and provide opportunities for research training in the Comparative Biomedical Sciences graduate program. Participation in departmental and university service and commitment to fostering a diverse academic environment are expected. Salary and start-up packages will be commensurate with the rank and experience of the selected individual.

The Department is one of four within the School of Veterinary Medicine (http://www.vetmed.wisc.edu/) and consists of 24 faculty members with expertise in infectious diseases (immunology, parasitology, vector biology, bacteriology, virology, epidemiology, and public health) and comparative pathology (anatomical and clinical). Faculty within the School participate in training graduate students in the Comparative Biomedical Sciences and other campus graduate programs. They also serve as trainers on a variety of NIH training grants administered through the School or other units on campus. The UW-Madison has a long tradition of excellence in research and graduate training. Annual research expenditures totaled more than $1.0 billion ranking UW-Madison as third in the nation for volume of research. The campus culture of collaboration and collegiality and the pleasant lifestyle offered by Madison, WI provide an outstanding environment in which to embark on an academic career.

Interested applicants must apply for PVL #87703 via the university web site

http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/Weblisting/External/index.aspx. The application should include: 1) a cover letter, including a description of your vision for your research program at University of Wisconsin-Madison and your teaching interests, and 2) a complete Curriculum Vitae. Applicants should also arrange to have three letters of reference emailed to pbs-admin@vetmed.wisc.edu. For full consideration, application materials

should be received by October 15, 2016. For more information, please visit the departmental website at: http://www.vetmed.wisc.edu/departments/pathobiological-sciences/.

For specific questions regarding this position contact:

Dr. M. Suresh, Search Committee Chair
Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Tel: 608-265-9791
Email: sureshm@vetmed.wisc.edu

The University of Wisconsin is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants, especially women and underrepresented minority candidates, are encouraged to apply.

Ph.D. Position OSU Entomology, Urban Soil Ecology
A graduate research opportunity is available to study how a legacy industrial urbanization has influenced soil capacity to provide ecosystem services, with a focus on those needed to sustain urban agriculture. The selected PhD student will conduct field and laboratory research to measure biological, chemical, and physical facets of soil quality. The project will compare soils from urban vacant lots, urban farms, parks, and rural organic farms. The student could select to evaluate soils from these habitats for microbial community structure, invertebrates, metabolites, mineral and heavy metal levels, as well as predation activity and promotion of plant health and resistance. Interested applicants should contact project PI's for more information about the project and The Ohio State University graduate student application process. Project PI’s: P. Larry Phelan (phelan.2@osu.edu) and Mary M. Gardiner (gardiner.29@osu.edu). Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University (http://entomology.osu.edu/) The Ohio State University is committed to establishing a culturally and intellectually diverse environment, encouraging all members of our learning community to reach their full potential. We are responsive to dual-career families and strongly promote work-life balance to support our community members through a suite of institutionalized policies. We are an NSF Advance Institution and a member of the Ohio/Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia Higher Education Recruitment Consortium. The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer.

Postdoc Position - OSU Entomology, Urban Soil Ecology
A postdoc opportunity is available to research the legacy of urbanization on soil capacity to provide ecosystem services in former industrial cities. The postdoc will provide leadership on the project and participate in field and laboratory research to measure biological, chemical, and physical facets of soil quality. The project will compare soils from urban vacant lots, urban farms, parks, and rural organic farms for microbial community structure, invertebrates, metabolites, mineral and heavy metal levels, as well as predation activity and promotion of plant health and resistance. Qualifications include PhD in soil microbial ecology, ecosystem science, soil science, chemical ecology, or related fields. Candidates must have significant experience in field and laboratory research, analysis of multivariate datasets, and a strong record of peer- reviewed publications. Preferred experiences include molecular microbial community analysis and/or chemical characterization by GC-MS and LC-MS. Funding is available for two years through a contract with the USDA-AFRI Agroecosystem Management program. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter describing research interests and goals, current CV, and contact information for three references to the PI’s listed below. Project PI’s: P. Larry Phelan (phelan.2@osu.edu) and Mary M. Gardiner (gardiner.29@osu.edu). Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University (http://entomology.osu.edu/) Please submit an application by October 3, 2016 for full consideration The Ohio State University is committed to establishing a culturally and intellectually diverse environment, encouraging all members of our learning community to reach their full potential. We are responsive to dual-career families and strongly promote work-life balance to support our community members through a suite of institutionalized policies. We are an NSF Advance Institution and a member of the Ohio/Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia Higher Education Recruitment Consortium. The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.

Ph.D. positions - Host-microbe interactions at Cornell University
The Hendry lab at Cornell University is recruiting Ph.D. students to study host-microbe interactions. Specific research projects are flexible and dependent on the student’s interest. The Hendry lab uses comparative genomics, molecular evolutionary analysis, and ecological studies to understand bacteria-host interactions in a variety of systems. Much of the current work in the lab is focused on the interaction of the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae and hemipteran insects such as aphids. P. syringae is a common plant-associated bacterium and is also frequently found in numerous other habitats such as in precipitation and lakes and rivers. In addition to occupying diverse environmental niches, these bacteria can infect and kill a number of hemipteran insects. We are interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying this interaction, as well as the evolutionary and ecological outcomes for both the bacteria and insects, and the ecological and population dynamics of these partners in complex interspecific interactions and across habitats. Other ongoing projects include understanding genome reduction and the evolution of obligate host dependence in the luminous symbionts of marine fish, and investigating transmission and function of insect microbiomes. For more information, see the lab website (https://micro.cornell.edu/people/tory-hendry). The lab is located in the Department of Microbiology and interacts with researchers across Cornell, particularly those working on symbiosis, insect-microbe interactions, and plant-pathogen interactions. Cornell has a vibrant and diverse community of researchers in the biological sciences, with particular strengths in microbiology, insect-microbe and insect plant interactions, and host-microbe interactions more generally. Interested applicants can consider applying to the lab through the graduate fields of Microbiology (https://micro.cornell.edu/academics/graduate) or Entomology (https://entomology.cals.cornell.edu/graduate). Please email Dr. Hendry (th572@cornell.edu) for more information or to discuss research ideas!

Postdoc position in gut microbiome ecology
We seek a postdoc to analyze functional patterns in community assembly of gut microbiomes applying community ecology principles, including trait-based approaches and network analyses, to existing data. Strong quantitative skills and experience with bioinformatic and statistical analyses of microbial communities is expected and a familiarity with ecological and evolutionary theories is desired. The successful candidate should have a PhD in microbial ecology, microbiology, community ecology or bioinformatics, publication record and desire to work in interdisciplinary setting. The position is for one year with a possibility of renewal for another 1-2 years. The postdoc will be co-supervised by Elena Litchman (Department of Plant Biology and Kellogg Biological Station) and Ashley Shade (Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics) at Michigan State University and will have the opportunity to interact with a wide range of researchers in ecology, microbiology, evolution and computational sciences. Please send the statement of interest, CV and contact information for three references to Elena Litchman (litchman@msu.edu). Review of applications will begin September 15, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled.

Postdoc in plant-insect and plant-microbe ecology
The Forister lab at the University of Nevada, Reno, seeks applicants for a postdoc position to join a large research group (at UNR and collaborating universities) investigating the process of host plant colonization by herbivorous insects and microbes (bacteria and fungi). We are interested in the interaction of multiple layers of biodiversity as they affect the evolution of novel interactions. The postdoc filling this position will lead field work across Nevada and the Great Basin, studying plant and insect populations during the spring and summer months, and will supervise graduate and undergraduate students in the lab and field. The person filling this position will have the opportunity to interact with labs specializing in: phytochemsity, population genomics, and microbial ecology. The University of Nevada, Reno, is a Tier I institution offering a highly productive research environment. The Biology Department is home to 44 faculty members that maintain nationally recognized, extramurally funded research programs, mentor a large community of graduate students, and participate in undergraduate teaching. Our rapidly growing department includes a concentration of labs focused on plant-animal ecology, and the Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology graduate group hosts a weekly colloquium that brings national and international speakers. Reno is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Lake Tahoe, and has been recently rated as one of the best small cities in the US for outdoor recreation and overall quality of life. A huge number of natural habitats can be easily accessed within a short drive from campus, which makes Reno a great place to be a field biologist. Please visit: https://www.unrsearch.com/postings/21446 for more details and to apply.

Recruiting 3 postdocs and a Ph.D. student for PyOM, microbes, and soils project
Recruiting: Three postdoctoral researchers and one Ph.D. student Project: Systems biology enabled research on the roles of microbial communities in carbon cycle processes – Determination of the roles of pyrophilous microbes in the breakdown and stabilization of pyrolyzed forms of soil organic matter Institutions: University of Wisconsin-Madison (Dr. Thea Whitman), University of California- Berkeley (Dr. Matthew Traxler and Dr. Tom Bruns), and Joint Genome Institute (Dr. Igor Grigoriev) We are recruiting one Ph.D. student (UW-Madison) and three postdocs (UWMadison, UC-Berkeley, and the JGI) to work on a DOE-funded multi-institutional project investigating the role of microbes in post-fire soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics. Post-fire soil systems have fundamental direct and indirect effects on global C storage. For example, fires result in the transformation of a large pool of C, which persists as dead and partially pyrolyzed material with long residence times and constitutes a significant C pool in fire-prone ecosystems. In addition, fire-induced hydrophobic soil layers, caused by condensation of pyrolyzed waxes and lipids, may increase post-fire erosion and lead to long-term productivity losses. Soil microbes are likely responsible for the cycling of all of these compounds, yet little is currently known about the organisms or metabolic processes involved. Successful candidates will join a dynamic team of researchers to use a systems biology approach, coupling small experimental “pyrocosms”, highly controlled production of 13C-labeled pyrolyzed substrates, fungal isolates, genomics, transcriptomics, stable isotope probing of nucleic acids, gas flux analyses, and mass spectrometry to dissect the effects of microbes on post-fire SOM dynamics. For one postdoc position and the Ph.D. student (Whitman lab, UW-Madison), the ideal candidates will have expertise and interest in the following areas: microbiology and soil science, stable isotope probing of DNA, culturing, bioinformatics, microbial community ecology, soil carbon cycling or pyrogenic organic matter cycling, soil incubation studies, and gas flux tracing using stable isotopes. For the second postdoc position (Traxler lab, UC-Berkeley), the ideal candidate will have expertise and interest in metabolomics, high-resolution mass spectrometry, and HPLC. 2 Applicants with experience analyzing soil or other high-complexity sample types will be given extra consideration. For the third postdoc position (Grigoriev lab, JGI), the ideal candidate will have interest in fungal genomics and experience with bioinformatics algorithms, data mining, and genomics data analysis, programming experience and familiarity with database systems. Positions could start as soon as September, 2016. If you are interested in this project, please contact us at twhitman@wisc.edu, mtrax@berkeley.edu, or ivgrigoriev@lbl.gov, sending a statement of interest and your cv. We will be happy to meet with potential candidates at ISME in Montreal or MSA in Berkeley this August, or will invite applicants for in-person interviews.


SPOTLIGHT ON MINORITY MICROBIOLOGISTS

Erica L. Sanchez, Ph.D.EricaSanchezPhoto
Erica L. Sanchez recently completed her PhD with the Molecular and Cellular Biology program at the University of Washington in Seattle. Before graduate school, Erica was previously an NIH Academy IRTA postbaccalaureate fellow in Dr. Lawrence Brody’s lab at the NHGRI from 2010-2011 and did undergraduate research at the UC Davis Genome Center with Dr. Peggy Farnham from 2007-2009. Dr. Sanchez completed her thesis research with Dr. Michael Lagunoff in the Microbiology Department, working to elucidate the host metabolic requirements during infection with Kaposi’s Sarcoma Herpesvirus (KSHV). KSHV is the etiological agent of Kaposi’s Sarcoma, an endothelial cell based tumor: the most common tumor in Africa and the most common tumor in untreated AIDS patients worldwide. The Lagunoff lab is interested in how KSHV infection alters human cells to cause cancer. Erica’s work, and the work of others in the Lagunoff lab, has found that the virus dramatically alters cellular metabolism, similar to alterations seen in cancer cells. Dr. Sanchez has shown that glutamine metabolism is required during latent KSHV infection and is currently finishing an additional first author manuscript which explores the requirement for altered host cell metabolism during lytic replication of KSHV. Overall, Dr. Sanchez’s findings expand our understanding of the required metabolic alterations established during latent and lytic KSHV infection of endothelial cells, and may provide novel therapeutic targets for the inhibition of both latent and lytic KSHV infection, and ultimately KS tumors. Dr. Sanchez will continue academic research as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California San Francisco, and has been awarded an Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA). As an IRACDA fellow, she will both conduct research in the lab, as well as gain undergraduate teaching experience in STEM. Ultimately, Dr. Sanchez plans to run a small research lab and teach science at the undergraduate level, while mentoring students, specifically, URM undergraduate researchers.

Erica’s manuscript, “Latent KSHV Infected Endothelial Cells Are Glutamine Addicted and Require Glutaminolysis for Survival,” was published in the journal Plos Pathogens, in July 2015. If KSHV infected cells are treated with drugs that target glutamine metabolism, only cells infected with KSHV are killed, while uninfected healthy cells survive and continue to grow. Specifically, this work has shown that glutamine metabolism is elevated during KSHV infection and that this alteration is required for maintenance of viral infection. Interestingly, KSHV infection of endothelial cells induces the expression of c-Myc and MondoA proteins, which have been shown to coordinately regulate glutamine metabolism in cancer cells. Inhibition of MondoA leads to similar infected cell death rates as glutamine deprivation and was rescued with supplementation of metabolites for the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Therefore, glutamine metabolism is elevated by KSHV infection to support the maintenance of the TCA cycle for production of biosynthetic and bioenergetics intermediates. Importantly, drugs targeting glutamine metabolism and other metabolic pathways are currently being tested in human clinical trials for cancer treatment use. This is meaningful because KSHV and KS greatly impact countries where drug development is unavailable. Repurposing a drug to treat KSHV and KS is far easier than developing a completely new drug, especially for a disease that is a global health issue often affecting underserved communities. Thus, these research findings have the potential to influence therapeutics that could be implemented into future clinical trials.


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

 

 

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