Display Accessibility Tools

Accessibility Tools


Highlight Links

Change Contrast

Increase Text Size

Increase Letter Spacing

Readability Bar

Dyslexia Friendly Font

Increase Cursor Size

BMB Weekly #6: February 9, 2024

Vol. 57, No.6Horizontal banner with MSU helmet displaying College of Natural Science Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Twitter link iconFacebook link iconWeb site link icon



Noteworthy News

Professor Zachary Frome Burton | Learning to Code: tRNA and the Origin of Life

"The importance of tRNA goes beyond its role in protein translation. tRNA is the molecule that ‘learned to code’ – its primordial emergence led to the genetic code and life itself. Professor Zachary Frome Burton of Michigan State University and Professor Lei Lei of the University of New England have reportedly solved tRNA evolution – proposing a theorem that sheds new light on the origin of life."
Read the full article here.

LBC alum earns prestigious postdoctoral research fellowship and returns to MSU

"LBC alum Keenan Noyes is a Spartan through and through. He graduated from MSU in 2022 with a Ph.D. in chemistry and in 2016, with a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry and biotechnology from Lyman Briggs College."
Read the full article here.




Upcoming Seminars

Spring Colloquium Series: Sebastian Glatt
Please note location and time changes:
Location: BCH 101 & Zoom
February 22, 2024 — 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Sebastian Glatt from Jagiellonian University, Krakow Poland will be presenting "tRNAslational control of eukaryotic gene expression".

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

The Spring BMB Seminar Series will run through April 18, 2024. The complete schedule is available on the BMB Spring 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

Navigating Trauma Reminders and Reactions: Community Connection Sessions
February 15, 2024 — 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Attention: Graduate Students

As we acknowledge the one-year mark of the violence the MSU community experienced on Feb.13, University Health and Wellbeing’s Spartan Resilience Education is offering numerous virtual webinars aimed at growing skills to navigate trauma. This session will help graduate students builds skills to move through trauma. Learn more and register here.

AGEP Learning Community Meeting
February 15, 2024 — 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Attention: Graduate Students

The MSU AGEP Learning Community is an informal environment where students from varying disciplines can gather, share their research in a 10-minute presentation, or discover that their graduate toils are not unusual. Those in attendance are privy to information regarding fellowships, career opportunities, even summer internships, pertaining to the group. Learn more and register here.

MSU Latinx Film Festival
February 15, 2024 February 18, 2024

This edition of LxFF will continue our tradition of programming ground-breaking independent cinema from Latin America, Spain, and the United States while shining a cinematic light on social justice. Issues of immigration, race, class and gender remain central to the festival program, and it once again highlights the intersections of film, music and cultural politics. As always, the majority of LxFF films and special events are free & open to the public! Learn more here.

Luncheon with Molecular Plant Sciences Speaker Moises Exposito-Alonso
February 19, 2024 12:00 p.m.

Join us for MPS speaker Moises Exposito-Alonso from Stanford University. The seminar will be held at 4:00 p.m. in BCH room 101.

Moises’s talk is titled “The genomics of climate change adaptation (and extinction).” 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, February 16, 2024 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.

Introduction to R – Part 2
Attention: Graduate Students

Part 2: Friday, February 16 — 3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

Do you need R for your research but are not sure where to start? Have you tried learning R but struggled to learn on your own? This is for you!​ You are invited to participate in a workshop designed as an accessible and inclusive resource on how to learn R. This workshop will include a 60-minute seminar (Part 1), access to a curated set of resources for learning R, and a 90-minute working session (Part 2) to engage with the resources along with other R learners to complete data-driven tasks. Learn more and register here.

Conversations on Antisemitism and Islamophobia 
February 15 | February 20 | March 5, 2024 — 5:15 p.m.–7:15 p.m.
Case Hall, Club Spartan

In this series, faculty experts will discuss the history and current manifestations of these prejudices, which occur globally, nationally and on college campuses. Throughout the series, discussions will center on incidents that occurred globally, nationally and within the MSU community. Participants will have the opportunity to share their observations and ideas that will contribute to the inclusivity of MSU. Student participation may be used as an Honors Option, please check with faculty for more information. Faculty and staff attendance may be considered for annual reviews and promotions. Participants are encouraged to attend all in-person sessions for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the conversations. Complimentary pizza or Middle Eastern food will be provided at each session. Learn more and register here.

Call for Abstracts for COGS 16th Annual Graduate Academic Conference!
Deadline: February 24, 2024
Attention: Graduate and Professional Students

The Council of Graduate Students is pleased to announce that the 16th Annual Graduate Academic Conference will take place on March 9, 2024, at the MSU Union. We are now accepting abstracts for poster and oral presentations and applications to present in the famous Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition! The presenters will have the opportunity to participate in workshops, network with peers and alums, get free professional photographs, get free CV/resume reviews, enjoy our keynote luncheon, and more! More information will be provided on additional features of the GAC in future emails and updated on the website! Learn more and here.


Awards, Grants and Fellowships

L'Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship
Application Deadline: February 16, 2024
Attention: Postdocs

The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science program awards five women postdoctoral scientists annually with grants of $60,000 each for their contributions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and commitment to serving as role models for younger generations. Candidates must have completed their PhD and have started in their postdoctoral research position by the application deadline. Learn more and apply here.

Robert (Bob) Moses Scholarship
Application Deadline: March 1, 2024
Attention: Graduate Students

This annually awarded national scholarship is designed to support the educational goals of a graduate student from an underrepresented group who is pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in mathematics education or a STEM discipline. The individual should also have a commitment to civic engagement. The inaugural scholarship is named in honor of the late Bob Moses, a pioneering civil rights leader and educator who founded The Algebra Project, a national U.S. mathematics literacy program aimed at helping low-income students and students of color achieve the mathematical skills in high school that are a prerequisite for success in college and beyond. Learn more and apply here.



How to Complete Your Grad Student or Nonresident/International Student Tax Return (and Understand It, Too!)   New!
Event Date: Asynchronous
Attention: Graduate Students

This Personal Finance for PhDs workshop is provided to you for free by the Graduate School Office of Well-Being, Council of Graduate Students, and the Graduate School at Michigan State University. This workshop teaches you the federal higher education tax benefits available to you, including how to tabulate, calculate, and report your funding and education expenses. Learn more and register here.

Spring 2024 Cultural Competency Workshops
Attention: Graduate Students, Staff

Through self-reflection and group activities, participants in these workshops will explore issues of power, oppression, and privilege. Participants will raise their self-awareness about social identities, identify systems of inequity and oppression, and learn a framework for cultural competency development. These concepts will be applied toward personal and organizational change, with a focus on our work at MSU. Learn more here.

Online Active Violence Incident Training
Attention: Students, Faculty, Staff

The MSU Department of Police and Public Safety has released an online Active Violence Incident Awareness Training program that is available for students, faculty, and staff. This training includes a presentation explaining how to respond during an active violence situation. Throughout the training, knowledge checkpoint questions will appear on screen to evaluate participants’ understanding of the content. In addition, a video is in development, which will be included in the training at a later time. Learn more here.

MSU Food Bank

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.


Job Postings

CSTAT Research Assistant — CSTAT   New!
Application Deadline: February 16, 2024
Attention: Doctoral Students

The Center for Statistical Training and Consulting will be interviewing to fill Research Assistant (RA) positions for Summer 2024 (05/16/2024–08/15/2024), and Fall 2024 (08/16/2024–12/31/2024), with possible continuation into future semesters depending on performance, staffing needs, and available funding. Doctoral students with strong quantitative methods, statistics, and research design skills are invited to apply. Learn more about this MSU Careers posting and apply at this link.

Research Assistant Professor in First-year Research Immersion — Binghamton University

The First-year Research Immersion (FRI) program at Binghamton University invites applications for a three-year renewable, full time Research Assistant Professor (also known as the Research Educator) position, to begin August 2024. This is a unique 10-month non-tenure track faculty position that directly combines teaching and research. This position is for Biomedical Chemistry (open to individuals with appropriate background in biochemistry, molecular biology, chemistry and/or pharmacology). Candidates must have completed PhD degree before starting. Learn more and apply here.

Research Associate, Fixed Term — Quinn Lab

Quinn Laboratory in collaboration with the Coral Resilience Lab (PI: Drury) at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology are looking for a postdoctoral scholar to study the microbiome and metabolome of coral reefs. This project is a fully funded position from the National Science Foundation under its Organismal Response to Climate Change program that aims to understand the biochemistry and microbiology of coral bleaching. Recent research from our group has shown that unique lipids in the coral’s dinoflagellate symbiont reflect its tolerance to thermal stress. This project will integrate multi-omics analysis in the Quinn Lab with field sampling experiments in Kāneʻohe Bay, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi to further understand the dynamics of coral biochemical and microbiological response to temperature stress. Methods used will include mass spectrometry-based metabolomics and high-throughput nucleic acid sequencing. Experiments are designed to mimic future climate conditions and include direct restoration of reefs in Hawaii as part of the program. The position is based in East Lansing but will include field trips and experiments in Kāneʻohe Bay, Hawaiʻi. Learn more about this MSU Careers posting and apply at this link.


Recent Publications

Delmer, D., Dixon, R. A., Keegstra, K., & Mohnen, D. (2024). The plant cell wall-dynamic, strong, and adaptable-is a natural shapeshifter. The Plant cell,
koad325. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/plcell/koad325

Ford, K. C., & TerAvest, M. A. (2024). The electron transport chain of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 can operate bidirectionally to enable microbial electrosynthesis. Applied and environmental microbiology, 90(1), e0138723. https://doi.org/10.1128/aem.01387-23

Gasperini, D., & Howe, G. A. (2024). Phytohormones in a universe of regulatory metabolites: Lessons from jasmonate. Plant physiology, kiae045.
Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/plphys/kiae045

Mathieu, D., Bryson, A. E., Hamberger, B., Singan, V., Keymanesh, K., Wang, M., Barry, K., Mondo, S., Pangilinan, J., Koriabine, M., Grigoriev,
I. V.,Bonito, G., & Hamberger, B. (2024). Multilevel analysis between Physcomitrium patens and Mortierellaceae endophytes explores potential long-standing interaction among land plants and fungi. The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology, 10.1111/tpj.16605. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.16605

Nigam, S., Mohapatra, J., Makela, A. V., Hayat, H., Rodriguez, J. M., Sun, A., Kenyon, E., Redman, N. A., Spence, D., Jabin, G., Gu, B., Ashry,
M., Sempere, L. F., Mitra, A., Li, J., Chen, J., Wei, G. W., Bolin, S., Etchebarne, B., Liu, J. P., … Wang, P. (2024). Shape Anisotropy-Governed High-Performance Nanomagnetosol for In Vivo Magnetic Particle Imaging of Lungs. Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany), 20(5), e2305300. https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.202305300

Siew, J. J., Chen, H. M., Chiu, F. L., Lee, C. W., Chang, Y. M., Chen, H. L., Nguyen, T. N. A., Liao, H. T., Liu, M., Hagar, H. T., Sun, Y. C., Lai, H. L.,
Kuo, M. H., Blum, D., Buée, L., Jin, L. W., Chen, S. Y., Ko, T. M., Huang, J. R., Kuo, H. C., … Chern, Y. (2024). Galectin-3 aggravates microglial activation and tau transmission in tauopathy. The Journal of clinical investigation, 134(2), e165523. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI165523

Smith, K., Strand, D. D., Kramer, D. M., & Walker, B. J. (2024). The role of photorespiration in preventing feedback regulation via ATP synthase in
Nicotiana tabacum. Plant, cell & environment, 47(2), 416–428. https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.14759


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

Don't forget to follow us on social media!

Web site link iconFacebook link iconTwitter link icon

College of Natural Science | BMB Weekly | Vol. 57, No.6