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M&M 2021 News

M&M 2021 - Post-Deadline Virtual Posters
Post-deadline posters will be accepted between April 12 and June 30, 2021.
  • To submit, click on the Google Form link:
  • Submissions will only be accepted via the Google Form
  • Submission deadline is Wednesday, June 30 at 11:59 PM, U.S. Eastern Time. Submissions received after that deadline will not be considered.
  • Post-deadline posters are not included in the program proceedings and are not considered "published".
  • Post-deadline submissions will be available to view on the M&M 2021 virtual platform in a separate poster section.

M&M 2021 has gone virtual! For more information, look for the Official Pre-Meeting Guide along with the May issue of Microscopy Today, or visit Registration will open late April 2021.

Association News
MSA News Header

Visit to see the MOSAIC live!
The MOSAIC is a digital platform for you to share your microscopy and microanalysis work on the MSA homepage. It is through your eyes that we can focus the big picture of the Society. Share your world within our world!
  • Click the Upload Photo button at the top of the MOSAIC
  • Search names, techniques and subjects to connect with other members of the society
  • Cultivate the community and share the MOSAIC

Have you completed the latest crossword puzzle in the March Edition of
Microscopy Today? Keep your mind sharp and try this interactive version!

Submit an Article to Microscopy Today
The Editors of Microscopy Today (MTO) encourage and greatly appreciate submission of articles from microscope users as well as microscope manufacturers and suppliers. Of particular interest are summaries of in-depth articles published in peer reviewed journals and articles that describe new equipment and applications. Microscopy Today is open access and there are no charges for publishing in MTO. All articles are available free to our subscription list of over 18,000 microscopists and through our collaboration with Cambridge University Press over 8,000 libraries worldwide. For further information email the Editor-in-Chief at or visit

Pioneer Nominations
We are looking for individuals to highlight in the Pioneers section of Microscopy Today. The aim is to feature pioneers of our era in both physical and biological sciences who have impacted the field of microscopy. Please send your suggestions to Bob Price ( Recommended individuals will be contacted to ensure their willingness. 

Upcoming Microscopy Today Webinar

Sponsored by:
Ultrafast Transmission Electron Microscopy: Techniques and Applications
 Tuesday, May 11, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. ET

With the growing applications of temporally-resolved electron microscopy for basic phenomena and reducing damage in samples, this webinar will provide an introduction to the field of ultrafast transmission electron microscopy, including techniques, equipment and historical perspectives from technical experts. A combination of historical developments with recent advances will help attendees in considering ultrafast capabilities for their own research, or satisfy general interests. The ultrafast technology review will also include a broader scope of applications enabled by ultrafast techniques using a variety of sample stimuli from multidisciplinary fields. Register here

Science News
Like us on FacebookThe MSA Facebook page regularly posts science news for you

Jason McLellan, a structural biologist at the University of Texas at Austin. His research on coronavirus spike proteins aided the development of the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax vaccines.

Credit: Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times
Researchers Are Hatching a Low-Cost Coronavirus Vaccine

A new vaccine for Covid-19  that is entering clinical trials in Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam could change how the world fights the pandemic. The vaccine, called NDV-HXP-S, is the first in clinical trials to use a new molecular design that is widely expected to create more potent antibodies than the current generation of vaccines. And the new vaccine could be far easier to make. Read more.

Scientists use cryo-electron microscopy to unravel how 'guardian' of the genome works
Scientists from the Genomic Integrity and Structural Biology Group led by Rafael Fernández-Leiro at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have discovered how certain proteins ensure the repair of errors introduced into the DNA during its replication. Using cryo-electron microscopy, they made the MutS protein, also known as the guardian of our genome, visible. That enabled them to describe how this single protein is able to coordinate the essential DNA repair process from beginning to end. Read more.

MSA Student Council News
MSA StC will host a Communicating Science: Data Visualization webinar on Wednesday, April 14 at 3:00 PM ET for students to learn best practices for designing figures. Participants who register can join us on Zoom, ask questions during the panel discussion, and even bring figures for expert advice and feedback. The webinar will also be live streamed on YouTube (

Remember; any MSA member who attends all webinars in this year's Webinar Series will be entered in a drawing to win a StC merchandise package including a T-shirt, mug and more!

MSA Student Council Executive Council 
Nominations open through April 30!
The Call for Nominations for StC elected positions opens March 15th 
and will close on April 30th.
A description of the roles for the three executive positions (President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer) can be found on the MSA Student Council website, Responsibilities page.
  • President-Elect serves a three-year term, one each as President-Elect, President, and Past-President
  • Secretary and Treasurer positions serve a one-year term.
Graduate and undergraduate students that are members of MSA are encouraged to apply. This is a wonderful opportunity to hone your professional skills in leadership, communication, conference planning, and networking while advancing the growth of the student community in MSA.


 Andrew Soltisz - Biological Sciences

April's Biological Sciences Student Spotlight is a Biomedical Engineering PhD student at The Ohio State University in Dr. Rengasayee (Sai) Veeraraghavan's Nanocardiology lab. Andy's love for programming has made him an invaluable asset to both Dr. Veeraraghavan and to his collaborators. In particular, Andy helps answer a simple question: Where are biomolecules localized in a cell or a tissue? Determining the answer to this question is not a trivial task and there are no readily available tools to answer it quantitatively. Andy uses MATLAB, a programming language, to process the hundreds of light microscopy images his team members generate, and develops algorithms to quantitatively analyze those images. He has the ability to, for instance, examine the spatial relationship between two different biomolecules in a given tissue. He can also measure the distance of the biomolecules from specific landmarks like the nucleus or cell membrane. These answers are crucial for understanding how these biomolecules function under normal and disease conditions.

Joining Dr. Veeraraghavan's team proved to be a serendipitous encounter. At the time, Andy was exploring realms of research that could exploit his programming skills and Dr. Veeraraghavan was in need of a good programmer. The rest is history!

After graduating, Andy has plans to work in industry, likely with a microscope company to help develop user-friendly image analysis software to accompany their hardware. A few companies do provide these software tools, but the advantage Andy has over other computer scientists (who are typically employed as software developers) is his understanding of the biology and the questions a microscopist might want to answer.

Andy is currently mentoring two high school students to use MATLAB for image analysis, but his outreach experience began as an undergraduate student. One of his projects involved teaming up with a physical therapy practice and an engineering firm, in which he and his team designed and built a tandem wheelchair for a family with two wheelchair-bound children. They still use it today!

Andy is an avid soccer player, but sadly has not been able to play since the pandemic. He also enjoys hiking and backpacking with his fiancée, taking a trip every few months to explore new trails.

We are pleased to feature Andy as this month's spotlight and we are excited to see his impact in the field of image analysis.

Salva Salmani Rezaie - Physical Sciences

Salva is a senior Ph.D. graduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After completing her Master's degree at the University of Alberta, Canada, she joined Susanne Stemmer's group at UC Santa Barbara where she uses STEM to interrogate the properties and structures of quantum materials. In addition to preparing for her defense and writing her thesis, she is also currently preparing for a move east to Cornell to join David Muller and Lena Kourkoutis for a Kavli Post-Doctoral fellowship in the fall.

Salva has had a varied academic career ranging from biomaterials study to in situ perovskite STEM analysis, which all originates from a central piece of advice, "Never be afraid to learn something new". In application this has been put into place by adapting to changing techniques, material systems and fields of study on each shift from university to university. Each study has been different, but all have been motivated on a fundamental level just by not knowing everything.

Her personal research philosophy and advice for students who might find themselves just starting their research career is to start out by taking the vast number of tools and techniques available to you and just start looking to truly see what's happening in your system. Even a more mature and well-understood material system can lack consensus on concepts that you can actually observe. Summed up: Study your material, then study your data and only then figure out the story.

When not in the lab or buried in writing she finds herself surrounded in plants both indoor and out, hiking, and visiting roughly 20+ national parks in 3 years, while returning home to a thriving collection of 40+ plants. As such, she credits the National Park Services for helping her survive graduate school.

Salva has enjoyed the sense of community and camaraderie at M&M since submitting her first abstract 2 months into graduate school. Like the rest of us, she is looking forward to the return to in-person meetings once the pandemic calms down.

Region II Update

Researchers at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign describe their new techniques called Photonic Resonator Interferometric Scattering Microscopy (PRISM) in Nature Communication, which is a new low-cost techniques to count viruses or proteins in real time without any chemicals or dyes. This new method amplifies the interaction between light and biological materials for rapid diagnostic testing, with numerous applications including monitoring of HIV and the virus that causes Covid-19.

Region VII Update

Thermo Fisher Scientific partnered with NextGen Precision Health at the University of Missouri to install a number of new microscopes in their Cryo-EM facility. These new tools are meant to facilitate research collaborations between researcher and clinicians in the health care space. We're looking forward to see all these exciting new cryo-EM results from Mizzou!

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Local Affiliated Societies
Local Affiliated Societies News
by Ru-ching Hsia, LAS Director

MSA members across the country have also established 25 local affiliated societies (LAS).  These LAS hold regular meetings, social events and publish newsletters to provide regional networking and outreach opportunities for the local microscopy community. 
Regional LAS activities
Oklahoma Microscopy Society (OMS) will be hosting a virtual Spring meeting on April 22-23, 2021. Agenda includes scientific research presentation, new product introduction and image analysis workshop. Register at No registration fee is required.
Find out more about your local microscopy society and their activities in the LAS community page at
LAS Programs

MSA provides LAS support with Tour Speakers, Grants-in-Aid and Special Meeting grants. Details can be found at
LAS Business Meetings
LAS Business Meeting of 2021 will be held on the second Thursday in the month of March, June, September, and December.  Officers and Members of LAS are welcome to attend the meeting.  Different LAS will be featured in each meeting and present their activities and events. We will also share ideas and tips for running local societies and events during the meeting.  LAS are encouraged to work with regional liaisons from the MSA Student Council (StC), local colleges, and other regional scientific or teachers' societies, etc.
The next LAS business meeting will be held on June 10th, 1 to 2 PM Eastern Time. Arizona Imaging and Microanalysis Society (AIMS) and Oklahoma Microscopy Society (OMS) will share their experiences on their most recent virtual meetings. Dr. Treva Brown, the Director of the Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) committee of the MSA will also be present to give us an introduction on many initiatives the DEI committee have been implementing.
If you are interested to start an Affiliated Society in your region or have any questions and concerns, please feel free to contact me at

Focused Interest Groups

Renu Sharma, Chair

In order to make the biological EM pre-meeting congress more accessible and enjoyable to all, the   Biomedical Microscopy Focused Interest Group (DBM-FIG) has decided to convert PMCX61 into a series of BioEM Talks. This series of talks will be held virtually on four consecutive Fridays on July 31st, August 6th, 13th and 20th from 10:00 AM to 1 PM EDT (2 to 5 PM GMT). Attendance is free but registration is required. Each session in the series will include live presentations with three invited speakers, vendor exhibits and pre-recorded flash talks in the Gather Town virtual space. Attendees are encouraged to submit 5 min video flash talks along with a PowerPoint presentation of no more than ten slides. These flash talks (replacing traditional poster boards) will be grouped and presented on demand in the BioEM virtual Town Hall along with vendor exhibits.
More details about this series and instructions on flash talk submission will be posted on the DBM website ( very soon. Please feel free to contact the chair of the organizing committee, 
Dr. Ru-ching Hsia ( for any inquiries.
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