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BMB Weekly #37: September 15, 2023

Vol. 56, No.37Horizontal banner with MSU helmet displaying College of Natural Science Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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Noteworthy News

Welcome Olorunseun Ogunwobi!

BMB welcomes Olorunseun "Seun" Ogunwobi as Chairperson.





Upcoming Seminars

Fall Colloquium Series: Sophia Lunt
Please note location and time changes:
Location: 136 Chemistry Building
September 21, 2023 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Sophia Lunt from Michigan State University will be presenting "Cancer metabolism & photodynamic therapy"

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

The Fall BMB Seminar Series will run through December 7, 2023. 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.


Mark Your Calendar

Luncheon with Molecular Plant Sciences Speaker Xin Wang
September 18, 2023 — 12:00 p.m.

Join us for MPS speaker Xin Wang from University of Florida. The seminar will be held at 4:00 p.m. in MPS room 1200.

Xin’s talk is titled “Creating Optimized and Robust Photosynthesis in Cyanobacteria. We would like to invite graduate students and postdocs to join the speaker for a lunch and discussion. Lunch will be provided at 12:00 p.m. in PLB 168. This is a great opportunity to meet our outside speaker in an informal environment. If you would like to participate in the luncheon, please RSVP to Keri Morris (morrisk@msu.edu) with any dietary restrictions by Friday September 15, 2023 at noon. All students and post docs 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.

Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RECR) Training
September 18, 2023 — 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Attention: Academic Staff, Graduate Program Directors, Graduate Program Assistants

Recent Functional Updates to the RECR page in SIS have gone into effect. During this webinar, the Graduate School’s SIS team will present information on the RECR page updates, basic RECR requirements, how students should fulfill the requirements, and staff responsibilities regarding RECR. Attendees of this training will have the opportunity to join a drop-in session on September 21. Learn more and register here.

Graduate School Write-In
September 22, 2023 — 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Attention: Current Graduate Students

Write-ins are hosted and facilitated to provide writers with an opportunity to write in a shared writing space where other writers are present, and a writing center consultant/staff member is present to provide consultations for writers who would like to have a consultation appointment during the session. Learn more and register here.

Check out the Library with COGS!
September 22, 2023 — 10:30 a.m.
Attention: Current Graduate Students

Join us for a fun and informative look at the bounty of resources on 2-West Main Library! Includes interactive tour of 360 and VR Rooms, Makerspace (including 3-D Printing services and Makecentral publishing services. Learn how you can get help with your research and other projects, while exploring and connecting with other graduate students. Please register on the COGS event website linked here!

Lunch with the Dean
September 26, 2023 — 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Attention: Current Graduate Students

The Dean of the Graduate School, Pero Dagbovie, invites graduate students to join him and his graduate school colleagues for lunch and conversation in Chittenden Hall along the beautiful and historic Laboratory Row. This unique opportunity allows Graduate Students the chance to connect with the Graduate School leadership and staff in a relaxed and informal lunch setting. Connect about career and school journeys, gain understanding of The Graduate School programs that empower graduate student success and engage in candid discussions about university and student life. Learn more and register here.

Writing a Research Statement: Where will your research program go in the future?
September 27, 2023 — 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Attention: Current Graduate Students

Writing an effective research statement is an important first step to move you from being an "applicant" to an "interviewee". During this session, participants will engage in a discussion about strategies for preparing an effective research statement that leverages your experiences and demonstrates your potential. Learn more and register here.

Graduate Research Fellowship Program Workshop Series
September 11, 2023 October 3, 2023
Attention: Graduate Students

The MSU AGEP Program is conducting a workshop series that will present NSF GRFP program information and provide structured practice to create competitive GRFP application. Students will participate in a 5-part series that will include an overview of the GRFP and application process, first-hand advice from GRFP reviewers and recent awardees, and two interactive sessions to review and revise their application documents. Learn more and register here.


Awards, Grants and Fellowships

Shari VanDelinder Endowed Fellowship
Application Deadline: September 22, 2023
Attention: Graduate Students

The Shari VanDelinder Endowed Fellowship has been established to further research and knowledge in the areas of autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) or Alzheimer's. Recipients shall be pursuing a graduate degree at Michigan State University with an area of study/research in autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) or Alzheimer's. Learn more and apply here.

Dr. Karen Klomparens Endowment in Support of Graduate Fellowships
Application Deadline: October 5, 2023
Attention: Graduate Students

This fellowship is awarded in honor of Dr. Karen Klomparens, Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Provost for Graduate Education at MSU from 1997 until 2014, in honor of her unwavering commitment to graduate education. Applicants should be enrolled in masters or doctoral programs at MSU in any discipline including professional degree programs. Learn more and apply here.



MSU Food Bank   New!

Eligible to undergraduates, graduates, and professional students enrolled in Fall/Spring semester and without a dining plan. Fruits, soups, pasta, rice, protein, cereal, bread, and fresh produce available year-round! To learn more about visiting the MSU Foodbank, or to donate, visit here.

Biology on Tap Speakers Wanted!

BoT is a monthly community outreach event during which two scientists give 15–20-minute non-technical talks on topics in biology to the public at a local pub. In addition to engaging in the presentations, the audience can participate in trivia related to the talks for a chance to win prizes! 2023-2024 BoT will be held at Michigan Wildlife Conservancy's Wildlife Pub on the first Thursday of each month at 7 PM, starting in October. That said, we are currently looking for speakers! Talks can be about any topic in biology that interests you and we will work to pair speakers together under a common theme. Scientists at any stage in their career are encouraged to speak. Learn more and register here.

BioRender Software Now Available at a University Rate
Attention: GPDs, GPAs, Graduate Students

BioRender is a cutting-edge, scientific graphic software designed to revolutionize the way the scholars communicate their research findings. Many faculty and students across the MSU research community are already using this exciting tool and have found great value in it. The Office of Research and Innovation is excited to offer BioRender at the subsidized rate of $100 per year, providing faculty and students with an affordable solution to create stunning, publication-quality graphics that effectively convey complex scientific concepts. Learn more here.

Welcome Information for International Graduate Students
Attention: Graduate Program Directors

International graduate students for the upcoming Fall 2023 semester will need to complete various tasks and attend events prior to the start of the semester. A list of these action items can be found here.

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.


Job Postings

Research Associate, Fixed Term — Balbach Lab

A Postdoctoral Research Associate position is available in the laboratory of Melanie Balbach in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The Research Associate will focus on the metabolic changes and underlying regulatory pathways in the male germ cell during activation and during zygote development. Opportunities for professional development include participation in grant proposal writing, attending and presenting at scientific research symposiums and conferences, networking with other scientists within and outside MSU as well as mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students. Learn more about this MSU Careers posting and apply at this link.

Undergraduate Researcher — Rhee Lab

The Rhee lab is hiring undergraduate researchers to investigate plant adaptive strategies to extreme environmental conditions such as drought and heat stress. We focus on metabolic traits at multiple scales including individual genes, pathways, and networks. Current work would assist in growing, genotyping, and transforming plants; developing phenotypic assays for plant growth and seed germination; live cell imaging and microscopy; data collection and analysis; and media preparation. This position has the potential for multi-year, part-time employment in the Rhee lab as well as the possibility to develop your own research projects. If interested, please send a description of how your interests align with our lab, your resume, and your availability to Sterling Field (fieldst4@msu.edu).

Assistant Professor in Molecular Biology, Tenure Track — Colgate University

The Department of Biology at Colgate University invites applications for a tenure-stream position in molecular biology at the rank of Assistant Professor beginning fall semester 2024. The successful candidate will join a biology faculty committed to innovative teaching and undergraduate-accessible research in a liberal-arts setting. The successful candidate is expected to develop a productive independent research program in molecular biology or genetics with a preference for laboratory-based research. The individual hired will team teach in a foundations course called Molecules, Cells, and Genes; elective courses in molecular biology or genetics; and a senior research tutorial in their area of interest. Learn more and apply here.

Graduate Assistant Faculty and Academic Staff Development
Attention: Graduate Students

The Office of Faculty and Academic Staff Development (FASD) is seeking a creative and innovative graduate student to help with data collection and benchmarking in support of our current work portfolio, as well as conducting landscape analysis to inform proposals related to MSU’s Strategic Plan. This half-time assistantship will require 20 hours per week and comes with a stipend, tuition reimbursement, and health insurance. Work hours are typically spread across weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Some work will be done in person (e.g. support, staff meetings), and some of the work can be done remotely. The position runs through May 15, 2024. Learn more and apply here.


Recent Publications

Arias, C. L., García Navarrete, L. T., Mukundi, E., Swanson, T., Yang, F., Hernandez, J., Grotewold, E., & Alonso, A. P. (2023). Metabolic
         and transcriptomic study of pennycress natural variation identifies targets for oil improvement. 
Plant biotechnology journal21(9), 1887–1903                                  https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.14101

Boger, B. L., Manfredi, J. M., Loucks, A. R., Salamey, M. Z., Kapeller, L. E., Fricano, A. G., Winkler, A., Yob, C., & Colbath, A. C. (2023).
         Intra-articular triamcinolone acetonide injection results in increases in systemic insulin and glucose concentrations in horses without insulin                                   dysregulation.
Equine veterinary journal, 10.1111/evj.14003. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/evj.14003

Chen, J., Woldring, D. R., Huang, F., Huang, X., & Wei, G. W. (2023). Topological deep learning based deep mutational scanning.
         Computers in biology and medicine164, 107258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compbiomed.2023.107258

Feng, H., Wang, R., Zhan, C. G., & Wei, G. W. (2023). Multiobjective Molecular Optimization for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Using
         Generative Network Complex. Journal of medicinal chemistry66(17), 12479–12498. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.3c01053

Heyza, J. R., Mikhova, M., & Schmidt, J. C. (2023). Live cell single-molecule imaging to study DNA repair in human cells. DNA repair
         129, 103540. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dnarep.2023.103540

Johnson, L. Y. D., Major, I. T., Chen, Y., Yang, C., Vanegas-Cano, L. J., & Howe, G. A. (2023). Diversification of JAZ-MYC signaling function
         in immune metabolism. The New phytologist239(6), 2277–2291. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.19114

Khatri, K., O'Malley, A., Linn, C., Kowal, K., & Chruszcz, M. (2023). Role of Small Molecule Ligands in IgE-Mediated Allergy. Current allergy
         and asthma reports
23(9), 497–508. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11882-023-01100-2

Kulke, M., Olson, D. M., Huang, J., Kramer, D. M., & Vermaas, J. V. (2023). Long-Range Electron Transport Rates Depend on Wire
         Dimensions in Cytochrome Nanowires. 
Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany), e2304013. Advance online publication.                                                      https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.202304013

Li, X., Chou, M. Y., Bonito, G. M., & Last, R. L. (2023). Anti-fungal bioactive terpenoids in the bioenergy crop switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)
         may contribute to ecotype-specific microbiome composition. Communications biology6(1), 917. https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-023-05290-3

Sarkar, D., Lee, H., Vant, J. W., Turilli, M., Vermaas, J. V., Jha, S., & Singharoy, A. (2023). Adaptive Ensemble Refinement of Protein
         Structures in High Resolution Electron Microscopy Density Maps with Radical Augmented Molecular Dynamics Flexible Fitting. 
Journal of chemical                       information and modeling, 10.1021/acs.jcim.3c00350. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jcim.3c00350

Sharaf, A., Ndiribe, C. C., Omotoriogun, T. C., Abueg, L., Badaoui, B., Badiane Markey, F. J., Beedessee, G., Diouf, D., Duru, V. C., Ebuzome,
         C., Eziuzor, S. C., Jaufeerally Fakim, Y., Formenti, G., Ghanmi, N., Guerfali, F. Z., Houaga, I., Ideozu, J. E., Katee, S. M., Khayi, S., Kuja, J. O., …                         Ebenezer, T. E. (2023). Bridging the gap in African biodiversity genomics and bioinformatics. 
Nature biotechnology41(9), 1348–1354.                                           https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-023-01933-2



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College of Natural Science | BMB Weekly | Vol. 56, No.37