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BMB Weekly #34: September 16, 2022

Vol. 55, No. 34Horizontal banner with MSU helmet displaying College of Natural Science Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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Noteworthy News

Save the Date!
National Postdoc Appreciation Week: September 19 – 23, 2022

MSU will participate in the multi-institutional Postdoc Appreciation Week to recognize and celebrate the contributions that postdoctoral scholars make to research and discovery!
MSU will feature events and workshops related to:
Health and Wellness
Professional Development
Networking Lunch and Resource Fair
Programming from the Office International Students and Scholars

Join MSU PDA as we celebrate National Postdoc Appreciation Week!
Virtual and in-person events that celebrate the contributions of postdocs will be hosted by National Postdoc Association as well as Michigan State University campus to create awareness, advocate, and celebrate postdocs.
Visit the MSU Posdocs page for more.  



Upcoming Seminars

Fall Colloquium Series: Randy Stockbridge
September 22, 2022 — 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
BPS 1425

Randy Stockbridge from the University of Michigan will be presenting "The molecular basis of antiseptic resistance in bacteria."

To join us on Zoom, click this link. Password: bmbseminar

The Fall BMB Seminar Series will run through December 8, 2022. The complete schedule is available on the BMB Fall Seminar Series website. If you are interested in meeting with any of these speakers please email Leslie Williams, glady@msu.edu. Many speakers are planning to visit in-person. A zoom option will continue to be offered for all seminars.

Click this link to view the most recent seminar featuring Dr. Jin He.


Mark Your Calendar

Navigating the PhD
Session 1: September 16, 2022 — 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Register here.
Session 2: September 16, 2022 — 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Register here
Audience: Current PhD Students

This interactive, hybrid writing workshop is designed to help you develop an individualized plan for graduate writing, especially comprehensive exams, dissertation proposals, and dissertations. Session 1 is generally designed for students in the early years of their PhD study. Session 2 is designed for students in the latter years of their PhD study.

MSU Seminar Series Luncheon
Deadline to RSVP: September 16, 2022  — 12:00 p.m.
Luncheon: September 19, 2022  — 12:00 p.m. in PLB 168
Seminar: September 19, 2022  — 4:00 p.m. in MPS 1200
Audience: Current Graduate Students and Postdocs

We would like to invite graduate students and postdocs to join the speaker for a lunch and discussion on seminar days. Lunch will be provided at 12:00PM in PLB 168. This is a great opportunity for students to meet our outside speaker in an informal environment.
If you would like to participate in the luncheon, please RSVP to Heather Sharick at sharickh@msu.edu with any dietary restrictions by noon on Friday, September 16, 2022.
All students and postdocs who are interested in this week’s seminar topic are welcome to attend. You do not need to be in the MPS program or affiliated with an MPS faculty member.

The Exchange: VERITIESExploring scientific truths for deeper understanding of responsible conduct of research
September 20, 2022 — 7:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
Audience: Current Graduate Students

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Eric Berling and members of MSU’s VERITIES team. Note: we meeting at 7:30 a.m. today to allow for enough time for this engaging activity!
The Exchange is the weekly Tuesday morning event for graduate students. Please join us for our next meeting titled, "The Ph.D. qualifying exam—Tales from the Crypt and other true stories."

National Postdoc Appreciation Lunch
September 20, 2022 — 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Audience: Postdocs

Get to know the Graduate School with Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, Pero Dagbovie. Join us for lunch and conversation to learn about what the Graduate School has to offer. Learn more and register here.

COGS Coffee & Connection
September 22, 2022 — 9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
MSU Horticulture Gardens
1066 Bogue Street - look for us by the conservatory bldg./north gardens
Parking: pay by plate lot# 54, 1066 Bogue St., or Permit Lot #46, 578 Wilson Rd.
Audience: Current Graduate and Professional Students

The Council of Graduate Students is kicking off their popular coffee hour series with a special gathering on Sept. 22nd at the MSU Horticultural Gardens.  Drop by for a hot beverage, treats and camaraderie, and maybe even discover a new part of campus! The MSU Horticultural Gardens have beautiful areas to wander and to sit and chat! 

Note that we’ll be changing locations/days/times throughout the semester so hopefully folks will find time to come out and say hello and get to know the campus community along the way.  Stay tuned to the COGS events page and social media. We hope to see you there!

International Employee Resource Group: Welcome Session!
September 22, 2022 — 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Audience: International Employees

The International Employee Resource Group (International ERG) is a place for Spartans to connect on issues related to our international community. The goal of the ERG is to connect, build community and share best practices. It is an opportunity to discuss everyday issues, relationships with friends and family, campus and community connections, and social activities that will help to build community. The International Employee Resource Group will meet every 3rd Thursday of the month, unless otherwise noted on our calendar due to holidays or other conflicts. Register here.

Navigating the Master’s
September 23, 2022 — 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Audience: Current Master's Students

This interactive, hybrid writing workshop is designed to help students develop an individualized plan for understanding graduate school more generally and graduate writing more specifically. Learn more and register here

COGS 2022 Tailgate: MSU vs. Minnesota
September 24, 2022 — Front Lawn at Chittenden Hall 
Audience: Current Graduate and Professional Students

Thanks to all who came out to our first tailgate on Sept. 10th !  We hope you'll come out to join your fellow graduate & professional students on Sept. 24th as we enjoy some food, Live DJ, lawn games and fun with friends old and new! COGS Tailgates take place 3 hours before kick-off and are located in front of Chittenden Hall - 466 W. Circle Drive. Want to go to the game? Click on this link for information for Graduate/Professional students. Go Green! Go White!

DID YOU KNOW there is a dedicated Graduate/Professional Student Section in Spartan Stadium?  For information and ticket purchases, please contact the MSU Athletic Office: 1.800.GO STATE or 517.355.1610 or check out our webpage with links to MSU Athletics here.
We hope you'll join us for COGS Tailgates and other COGS Social Events and workshops throughout the year! Keep an eye on our Events page for updates and information.

Telling Better Stories with the Same Facts
September 27, 2022 — 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Audience: Current Master's Students

This workshop will teach you the following and more: ​

  • How to tell stories that about your research accomplishments that grab the interviewer’s interest, even when they don’t understand the science at all.
  • How to make your stories engaging and memorable.
  • Five things you can tell stories about that help an industry hiring manager see that you will be a great addition to their team.

Learn more and register here

Virtual Dissertation Support Group
Registration ends: September 30, 2022
Attention: Doctoral Students

This 6-week group provides doctoral students with a supportive, structured environment that helps mitigate the sense of isolation and frustration that often accompany the dissertation process. This group is open only to PhD students who are actively working on their dissertation. Learn more and register here

International Symposium on “Technologies in Brain Cancer”
September 30, 2022 — October 1, 2022
Audience: All

The University of Michigan BioInnovations in Brain Cancer is now accepting abstract submissions and registrations.  The symposium will bring together scientists to bridge the gap between brain cancer biology research and novel technological developments in order to advance the diagnosis and treatment of glioma.  The symposium will include talks from key opinion leaders from the basic sciences to translation covering a wide range of topics in pharmaceutical sciences, engineering, clinical care, and biomedical innovations. There will be a poster session, exhibitions and networking events in order to share knowledge and build a community of diverse expertise.  Learn more here.

Starting Strong in Graduate School: Increasing Motivation
October 11, 2022 — 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Audience: Current Graduate Students

One of the most difficult things about graduate school is having to sustain high levels of motivation for a very long time. If you are feeling your motivation fading and aren’t sure how to keep going, you are not alone! In this workshop, we will talk about specific strategies to build and/or recover sustainable motivational structures and practices in your life. Register here

For more great workshops, programming and professional development events, check out The Graduate School Calendar here.

DOE’s Office of Science Is Now Accepting Applications for Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Awards
Deadline: November 9, 2022
Attention: Current Graduate Students

The SCGSR program supports awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory or host site in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist — with the goal of preparing graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission. Learn more here

Pauling Fellows Applications
Deadline: November 14, 2022
Attention: Current Graduate Students

The applications for the next class of Pauling Fellows are open. This is a prestigious fellowship that offers the candidate a great deal of freedom while working with national lab tools and expertise. For application help, please reach out to wendy.shaw@pnnl.gov

Finishing Strong in Graduate School: Preventing Burnout
November 15, 2022 — 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Audience: Current Graduate Students

When it’s crunch time, we can push ourselves to the point of burnout, and once we’re truly burned out it may take a long time to recover. If we catch it early, we can stop ourselves from getting so overwhelmed that we shut down. We’ll talk about how to know when you’re getting close to burnout, and ways you can prevent it. Register here



Unofficial International Academic Records – Temporary Policy & Process for Summer & Fall 2022
Attention: Graduate Program Directors & Graduate Academic Program Coordinators

International Graduate Admissions – a friendly reminder that FS22 enrolled international graduate students who have not yet provided official copies of their final, international academic records (e.g., transcripts and diplomas) to the Office of Admissions must do so no later than Friday, September 30th.
Please ensure you work with your impacted students to meet this deadline. Please contact Patrick Leahy, Senior International Credential Analyst, in the Office of Admissions for assistance. Learn more here

MSU Joins the Association for Women in Science
Attention: Faculty, Academic Staff, and Graduate Students

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) announced a new partnership with Michigan State University. MSU students, staff and faculty may join AWIS now free under the MSU institutional agreement. AWIS offers webinars, career resources and more. Learn more here

Institute for Citizens & Scholars Fellowship Opportunities
Attention: Graduate Students

The Institute for Citizens & Scholars has opened its 2023 competition for several fellowships that support either dissertation completion or junior faculty progress toward tenure. Learn more here

The Sci-Files
Attention: Graduate and Professional Students

The Sci-Files is always looking for MSU graduate & professional students to speak about their research on the MSU student radio station, Impact 89FM - https://impact89fm.org/. The Sci-Files is an award-winning show with over 150 episodes highlighting the research of MSU students. Students from any discipline are welcome to email scifiles89fm@gmail.com if you are interested in being interviewed.  Check out the Sci-Files Podcasts here: https://impact89fm.org/the-sci-files/.

MPS Seminar Schedule for 2022/2023 Academic Year

A vibrant seminar series fosters discourse, exposes participants to diverse scientific thought, builds networks and cements community. Seminar participation is for everyone; graduate students gain insight into the wider world of research, postdocs make valuable contacts for future jobs and faculty members keep current on new trends and technologies. During the last two years, our full participation in MPS seminars has been hampered, but with the coming Fall series we can engage in this series more fully. We strongly encourage everyone now to set aside Mondays from 4:00-5:00 apart for this academic year. Attached you will find the schedule for our speakers with their topics. 

To increase participation in the seminar we offer the following changes and reminders about the series: 

  • All the talks for the 2022/2023 year can be added to your calendar automatically using the attached icalendar file. 
  • There will be an additional 15 minutes after the talk ends at 5:00 to meet with the speaker over refreshments 
  • Nominees for the 2023/2024 year will be accepted on a continuous basis using paper submission or this link: https://bit.ly/3AnK55K 
  • Note that all interested students and postdocs may join the luncheon with the speaker Mondays at 12:00 regardless of formal affiliation with the MPS program. If you would like to join the luncheon, simply let Heather Sharick (sharickh@msu.edu) know at least 5 days before the speaker comes. 

The PEER (Promoting Education & Emotional Resilience) Program
Attention: Graduate Students

The PEER (Promoting Education & Emotional Resilience) Program seeks to empower students to learn about their mental health and develop positive coping skills. This 6-week workshop will help students develop resiliency skills derived from evidenced-based practices such as Mindfulness, ACT, CBT, DBT, and Resiliency training in collaboration with the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) and Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS). Learn more and register here

New Electronic Thesis & Dissertation Webpage
Attention: Faculty, Academic Staff, and Graduate Students

There is a new webpage that has been created on the grad.msu.edu website (https://grad.msu.edu/etd) that provides information related to Electronic Theses and Dissertation submissions. You can access deadline dates, formatting guides, and more at this link.

COVID-19 Guidance for International Travel
Attention: Staff, Faculty, Research Associates, and Graduate Students

To help field questions, Global Safety has developed a guide with recommended steps and resources. This is available as a PDF and on the Global Safety website at www.globalsafety.msu.edu/positive-COVID-19. The first step is to call ISOS for guidance.

Office of Admissions Raising Cutoff Score for Duolingo 
Attention: Graduate Program Directors, Graduate Academic Program Coordinators, and Students

The Office of Admissions is raising the cutoff score for Duolingo from 105 to 110 for both undergraduate and graduate applicants, with a provisional admission score range of 95 to 105. This change will apply to Fall 2023 applicants and beyond. Learn more here

WRA 495: Working with Multilingual Writers
Audience: Current Graduate Students

This course aims to raise awareness of how people develop written and digital literacy skills in an additional language and how to apply this knowledge when providing feedback on writing with multilingual writers in university contexts. Learn more here.

MSU Graduate Career Advising Dropbox
Audience: Current Graduate Students

MSU graduate students can now have their professional documents (resumes, cover letters, etc.) reviewed by a Graduate Career Advisor through the Office of Graduate Career Development electronically and without needing to make an appointment. A response with feedback on your document(s) will be emailed with one week. Simply complete this form. You must be signed into Google via your MSU email address to access the form.


Job Postings

Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Biology (Plant Biology)

Kenyon College invites applications for a tenure-track position in the Department of Biology starting in July 2022. We seek a broadly trained biologist with expertise in plant biology at the organismal level. To complement current faculty expertise, we seek candidates whose research focuses on plants, including structure, physiology, systematics, biochemistry, plant disease, environmental biology, and related fields. Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to excellent teaching, and we seek candidates who will provide inclusive course experiences, effective mentoring, and strong academic support for our diverse student population. Teaching expectations are 5 courses per year, including introductory biology as well as existing (e.g. Plant Biology or Plant Physiology) and/or new courses at the upper level. Opportunities exist for interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship within and outside the sciences. We expect a vigorous research program that involves undergraduate students, leads to publications, and has potential to attract extramural funding. Applicants should hold a Ph.D degree; post-doctoral experience is preferred. We encourage applications from all groups historically underrepresented in the sciences. A full overview of the position can be found on the application page.

All application materials must be submitted electronically through Kenyon's employment website: http://careers.kenyon.edu. Review of applications will begin on September 12, 2022.  Please direct questions to Wade Powell, Search Committee Chair (powellw@kenyon.edu). 

Experienced Senior Scientist — VxBiosciences   New!

Description: The ideal candidate would be an MS- or PhD-level molecular biologist who can develop assays for testing novel gene therapeutic agents in a new state-of-the-art facility in Oakland/Berkeley for an NIH funded biopharma startup. Expertise in standard molecular biology techniques (PCR, cloning, characterization, etc.) as well as cell culture techniques (e.g. flow cytometry) is a requirement. Excellent communication skills are highly prioritized.
Education: M.S. or Ph.D in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Bioengineering or closely related field from an accredited institution with 5 years or more of work experience. International applicants will be considered.
Contact: john.reville@vxbiosciences.com

VxBiosciences is a biotech startup located in Oakland, CA that is actively recruiting students from MSU. Their company is a spin out from the world-renowned UCSF Gladstone Institutes. They are currently developing a therapeutic for SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious diseases.

Research Scientist — Analytical Biochemist   

The Vamsi Mootha lab at Massachusetts General Hospital is searching for a talented, independent analytical biochemist with expertise in small-molecule LC-MS and GC-MS to join their team as a full-time research scientist.  They have a highly collaborative team that combines a variety of methods to study mitochondrial biology and disease.  There will be ample opportunities for high-quality publications and compensation will be very competitive.   

If you know of someone in your group or department who might be interested in this position, please forward this email and attachment to them.  Please also consider posting the attached PDF of our ad on your bulletin boards.  Our posting can also be found at the HHMI careers site.  

Postdoctoral Research Associate Position — Quinn Lab

Rob Quinn in BMB seeks a Research Associate to work on an NIH funded project to understand the role of the lung microbiome in Cystic Fibrosis. Patients with this disease battle complex lung infections throughout their lifetime and our laboratory is studying how microbial metabolism and dynamics may be responsible for the progression CF disease. This project involves a multi-faceted approach including microbial culture models of the lung environment, big data multi-omics analysis, and mathematical modelling. Skills in microbiology and multi-omics data generation, including mass spectrometry and high-throughput nucleic acid sequencing, are highly desirable. The research associate will work tightly with clinicians and other scientists in the laboratory to develop a comprehensive approach to understanding these important clinical events of CF disease.  This position will involve generation and analysis of metabolomics and microbiome sequencing data. There will also be a large culture-based approach involving multi-species biofilm communities and perturbations of the lung microbiome in a mucus-plugged bronchiole microcosm. This position will require an understanding of multi-variate statistics and methods for integration of multi-omics datasets. Experience with computer coding languages for data analysis such as Python and R are highly desirable. The Research Associate will also gain experience in mentoring undergraduates and graduate students in scientific studies related to the project.  Apply at MSU Careers posting 799757.

Postdoctoral Research Associate Position — Vo Lab

The lab of Tommy Vo, BMB, is seeking to hire a postdoc available to study the regulation of epigenetic histone modifications during development and stress response. Available projects in the lab will employ genetic, genomic, molecular, and biochemical approaches to understand the mechanistic role of transcription machinery in specifying and modulating histone modifications in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The position is in a young lab in which the research associate will uniquely benefit from experiencing, first-hand, a new lab environment.  Contact Tommy Vo for information votommyv@msu.edu. See job posting and apply at this link.

Postdoctoral Research Associate Position — He Lab

The Jin He lab in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is seeking a Research Associate to use mouse models to study the epigenetic mechanisms in brain development and neurodevelopmental diseases such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and attention deficits/hyperactivity disorder.  A PhD is required in Neuroscience, Genetics, Molecular Biology.   Please contact Jin He directly hejin1@msu.edu.  See the job posting and apply at this link

Paid Research Opportunity for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

The Guys/Girls Opt for Activities for Life (GOAL) trial research team is in immediate need of students to assist with this large-scale NIH-funded study.  We are starting in 4 urban schools with approximately 63 adolescent-parent dyads per school in the fall of 2022 and will continue into the spring of 2023. We are recruiting for Data Collectors, Physical Activity and Nutrition Intervention Coaches (1-2 days/week for 13 weeks), Intervention Leads (1-2 days/week for 13 weeks), Dietary Recall Specialists, as well as Process Evaluators. The positions that require transportation to schools will have transportation provided.

These research assistant positions offer $12.00-15.00/hour, in addition to gaining invaluable research experience to strengthen a resume.

Students can contact the Project Manager Aisha Hilliard of the GOAL trial at hillia51@msu.edu if interested in discussing these outstanding opportunities.


Recent Publications

Bird, K.A., Jacobs, M. et. al.  “Parental origins of the cultivated tetraploid sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.).”  Plants People Planet.          (2022).

Bibik, J.D., Weraduwage, S.M., Banerjee, A., Robertson, K., Espinoza-Corral, R., Sharkey, T.D., Lundquist, P.K., Hamberger, B.R.         “Pathway engineering, re-targeting, and synthetic scaffolding improve the production of squalene in plants.”  ACS Synthetic         Biology Vol. 11, Iss. 6 (2022).

Orlowska, K., Fling, R. R., Nault, R., Sink, W. J., Schilmiller, A. L., & Zacharewski, T. (2022). Dioxin-elicited decrease in cobalamin
        redirects propionyl-CoA metabolism to the β-oxidation-like pathway resulting in acrylyl-CoA conjugate buildup. The Journal of
        biological chemistry298(9),102301. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2022.102301   New!

Rossi, M., Altea-Manzano, P., Demicco, M. et. al.  “PHGDH heterogeneity potentiates cancer cell dissemination and metastasis.”         Nature 605, 747–753 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04758-2

Tinney, K.R., Dover, J.A., Doore, S.M., and Parent, K.  “Shigella viruses Sf22 and KRT47 require outer membrane protein C for         infection.”  Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Biomembranes  Vol. 1864, Iss. 7 (2022).

See story on Sophia Lunt’s collaborative research on molecular workings of a certain form of metastatic Breast cancer in MSU Today.

Professor A. Daniel Jones recently contributed to a piece published online at The Conversation dealing with treating PFAS-contaminated wastes. Check it out here!   

To provide feedback or submit content, please email bmb.web@msu.edu.

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College of Natural Science | BMB Weekly | Vol. 55, No. 34