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BMB Weekly #8: February 23, 2024

Vol. 57, No.8Horizontal banner with MSU helmet displaying College of Natural Science Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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Noteworthy News

Art Exhibit Features Historical Black Plant Scientists

"The Plant Resilience Institute (PRI), in coordination with Plant Cell Atlas (PCA), is excited to announce an art exhibit featuring historically significant Black scholars in plant science on display in the Molecular Plant Science (MPS) building February 2024 to honor Black History Month."
Read the full article here.




Upcoming Seminars

Spring Colloquium Series: Ursula Jakob
Please note location and time changes:
Location: BCH 101 & Zoom
March 7, 2024 — 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Ursula Jakob from the University of Michgan will be presenting "Early life ROS as modulators of aging and age-associated diseases".

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

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 updates to the website! Learn more and here.

Spring Break Staycation Lunch
February 24, 2024 — 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Attention: Graduate Students

Sticking around East Lansing for Spring Break? We are too! Come grab lunch on Monday, February 26, 2024 at noon to hang out with other graduate students and staff from the Graduate School. There will be MSU Swag Giveaways! We will be providing grab and go lunch, more details to come. Learn more here.

Luncheon with Molecular Plant Sciences Speaker Jeongmin Choi
March 4, 2024 12:00 p.m.

Join us for MPS speaker Jeongmin Choi from the University of Cambridge. The seminar will be held at 4:00 p.m. in BCH room 101.

Jeongmin’s talk is titled “Harnessing the benefits of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal symbiosis in crops.” 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 23, 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.

Conversations on Antisemitism and Islamophobia 
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.

How to Decide Between an Academic and Nonacademic Career
Every Wednesday in March — 12:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m.
Attention: Doctoral Students, PhDs, and Postdocs

This is a virtual webinar series designed to help PhDs explore and evaluate their career options. Beyond Prof will walk participants through a series of exercises to help them evaluate career options and identify next steps in building their career either as faculty or beyond the professoriate. This series is uniquely designed for doctoral students, PhDs, and postdocs from all academic disciplines who are wondering:

  • Is a faculty career path right for me?
  • What other career options are available to PhDs in my discipline?
  • How to identify career pathways that are right for me?
  • What can I do with my PhD?

This series will be available through live and recorded sessions. Learn more and register here.

The 16th Annual Graduate Academic Conference
Saturday, March 9, 2024
MSU Union

The GAC is a forum for graduate students to gain experience communicating their research to a non-specialized audience. Our adjudicators are MSU Alums (many graduate school alums!) with wide-ranging professional backgrounds who provide feedback that can help students fine tune their presentation skills. ALL MSU Graduate & Professional students! Masters/PhD and all professional students are eligible to participate– at any point in your program. ALL disciplines. ALL colleges. The GAC is a great place to hone your skills as a communicator and presenter! Communication is a skill that takes practice. The GAC helps students get the practice and provides feedback they need to become better communicators. Learn more and register here.

First International Summit on Plant Resilience
Registration Deadline: April 15, 2024
Event Dates: May 16, 2024 —May 17, 2024

The Plant Resilience Institute's first International Plant Resilience Summit will convene an international cohort of world-class plant science researchers at Michigan State University from May 16-17, 2024. A detailed schedule is available online. The event is FREE and open to all MSU community members. Please register using the online form. Registration closes on Monday, April 15, 2024, at 5 pm ET. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Gaëlle Cassin-Ross (cassin@msu.edu).


Awards, Grants and Fellowships

HHMI – Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program
Application Deadline: February 28, 2024
Attention: Postdocs

The Hanna H. Gray Fellows program seeks to increase diversity and the professoriate by supporting early career researchers who show exceptional promise of becoming academic scientists, which includes the potential to build and contribute to an equitable and inclusive scientific culture. Through their successful careers, Hanna Gray Fellows will move science forward and will recruit, mentor, and inspire the next generation of scientists form all backgrounds. Fellows receive funding for their postdoctoral training and during their early years as the independent faculty. In addition to financial support, they benefit from professional development, mentorship, a cohort of peers, and inclusion in HHMI’s broader scientific community. The program is designed to encourage, support, and develop promising scientist form a broad range of backgrounds and sciences. 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.

Future Academic Scholars in Teaching (FAST) Fellowship Program   New!
Application Deadline: March 18, 2024
Attention: Doctoral Students

The primary goals of the FAST Fellowship Program are to provide opportunities for a diverse group of doctoral students to have mentored teaching experiences and gain familiarity with materials on teaching and assessment techniques. The program is for doctoral students with interests in teaching, learning, and assessment in higher education who are enrolled in programs associated with the Colleges of Natural Science, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Engineering, Social Science, Nursing, Osteopathic Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine or whose college or department has an approved Certification in College Teaching Program. Learn more and apply here.



How to Complete Your Grad Student or Nonresident/International Student Tax Return (and Understand It, Too!)
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.

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

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

Chen, J., Xu, Y., Yang, X., Cang, Z., Geng, W., & Wei, G. W. (2024). Poisson-Boltzmann based machine learning (PBML) model for electrostatic analysis. Biophysical journal, S0006-3495(24)00107-3. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2024.02.008

DeLoose, M., Cho, H., Bouain, N., Choi, I., Prom-U-Thai, C., Shahzad, Z., Zheng, L., & Rouached, H. (2024). PDR9 allelic variation and MYB63 modulate nutrient-dependent coumarin homeostasis in Arabidopsis. The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology, 10.1111/tpj.16678. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.16678

Guzior, D. V., Okros, M., Shivel, M., Armwald, B., Bridges, C., Fu, Y., Martin, C., Schilmiller, A. L., Miller, W. M., Ziegler, K. M., Sims, M. D., Maddens, M. E., Graham, S. F., Hausinger, R. P., & Quinn, R. A. (2024). Bile salt hydrolase acyltransferase activity expands bile acid diversity. Nature, 10.1038/s41586-024-07017-8. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-024-07017-8

Nigam, S., Gjelaj, E., Wang, R., Wei, G. W., & Wang, P. (2024). Machine Learning and Deep Learning Applications in Magnetic Particle Imaging. Journal of magnetic resonance imaging : JMRI, 10.1002/jmri.29294. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmri.29294

Parson, W. W., Huang, J., Kulke, M., Vermaas, J. V., & Kramer, D. M. (2024). Electron transfer in a crystalline cytochrome with four hemes. The Journal of chemical physics, 160(6), 065101. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0186958


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College of Natural Science | BMB Weekly | Vol. 57, No.8