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M&M 2020 News

Meeting Update as of April 3:
The MSA and MAS leadership are monitoring the COVID-19 situation very closely. At this time, we continue to plan for the M&M 2020 meeting in Milwaukee, August 2-6. We remain watchful, and mindful of everyone's health and well-being, but also focused on delivering a highly-anticipated and important event for the M&M community.

The M&M 2020 Early Registration deadline has been pushed back to July 1, 2020 to allow for maximum planning flexibility. Because the news surrounding and effects of the pandemic are changing daily, we encourage you to wait to register and/or make travel plans until after June 1. At that time, we hope to be able to more effectively analyze the situation as it relates to summertime events and travel.
Association News
MSA News Header

Congratulations to the 2020 Major Awards Winners!

Distinguished Scientist - Physical Sciences
David N. Seidman

Distinguished Scientist Awards 
recognize preeminent senior scientists from both the Biological and Physical disciplines who have a long-standing record of achievement during their career in the field of microscopy or microanalysis.

Distinguished Scientist - Biological Sciences
Xiaowei Zhuang

Distinguished Scientist Awards recognize preeminent senior scientists from both the Biological and Physical disciplines who have a long-standing record of achievement during their career in the field of microscopy or microanalysis.

Burton Medal - Physical
James M. LeBeau

The Burton Medal was initiated to honor the distinguished contributions to the field of microscopy and microanalysis of a scientist who is less than 40 years of age on January 1st of the award year.

Burton Medal - Biological
Brent L. Nannenga

The Burton Medal was initiated to honor the distinguished contributions to the field of microscopy and microanalysis of a scientist who is less than 40 years of age on January 1st of the award year.

Hildegard H. Crowley Award
Joseph D. Mowery

Outstanding Technologist Awards
 honor technologists from both the Biological (Hildegard H. Crowley Award) and Physical Sciences (Chuck Fiori Award) who have made significant contributions such as the development of new techniques which have contributed to the advancement of microscopy and microanalysis.

Chuck Fiori Award
Lijun Wu

Outstanding Technologist Awards honor technologists from both the Biological (Hildegard H. Crowley Award) and Physical Sciences (Chuck Fiori Award) who have made significant contributions such as the development of new techniques which have contributed to the advancement of microscopy and microanalysis.

John Shields

The Morton D. Maser Distinguished Service Award was initiated to recognize outstanding volunteer service to the Society as exemplified by Mort Maser, who served the Society for many years with great dedication. This award is made to honor an MSA member who has provided significant volunteer service to the Society over a period of years.

Andrew B. Yankovich

The Albert Crewe Award was initiated to recognize the distinguished contributions to the field of microscopy and microanalysis in the physical sciences of a postdoctoral fellow of not more than 6 years' standing (since doctoral graduation).

COVID-19 and Safety in Microscopy and Microanalysis Laboratories

I hope by the time this editorial is published the most difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic is over and most microscopists are no longer relegated to working from home. In each issue of Microscopy Today we publish NetNotes, a column that addresses current topics posted on microscopy listservers. As might be expected, a recent topic has been COVID-19 and how to prevent the spread of this highly contagious virus in heavily used microscopy laboratories. Many of these posts have made me, as a core facility director, and others reconsider Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for cleanliness and disinfection of equipment. While COVID-19 is the current concern, there are many viruses and other infectious agents that can be transmitted through use of common equipment.

Comments on COVID-19 from the Confocal Microscopy Listserver are summarized here. The full thread is available at Many policies that have been implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as no face-to-face training, thorough disinfection of all instrument components between each user, and limited access are not practical in daily operation of a microscopy facility. However, some protocols are certainly applicable to everyday operation of instruments. Having directed and visited core facilities for more than 40 years I cannot remember encountering SOPs that included daily disinfection of microscope eyepieces and all microscope knobs and keyboards, but these all provide a surface for transmission of infectious diseases. Suggestions for daily disinfection include the use of 70% ethanol (or methanol) or a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The use of ethanol was the most common suggestion, but precautions such as the use of anhydrous high-quality ethanol must be taken to avoid contaminants that can affect optics. Histology-grade ethanol common in many laboratories contains impurities that can affect objectives and eyepieces. Even with the use of high-quality ethanol, care must be taken to minimize damage to paints, rubber surfaces, and objectives. It was noted several times that ethanol should be applied to lens tissue for cleaning objectives or Kimwipes for cleaning keyboards and surfaces rather than spraying onto surfaces.

In normal SOPs the use of gloves while operating a microscope should not be allowed. Gloves are used to protect an individual when handling dangerous reagents. Any contaminants on gloves can be transferred to microscope components and the next user. Some labs have relaxed this policy during the COVID-19 outbreak, and fresh gloves are provided for each user. 

Microscopy training typically involves proper handling of fixatives and other chemistries but seldom includes proper methods for disinfecting an instrument. With the new awareness associated with COVID-19, SOPs and demonstrations on how to properly clean an instrument should become a training component for all microscopists.
Bob Price
Science News
Like us on Facebook  The MSA Facebook page regularly posts science news for you

Scientists uncover a novel generic mechanism for the division of artificial cells into two daughter cells 
The success of life on earth is based on the amazing ability of living cells to divide themselves into two daughter cells. During such a division process, the outer cell membrane has to undergo a series of morphological transformations that ultimately lead to membrane fission. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam, and at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, have now achieved unprecedented control over these shape transformations and the resulting division process by anchoring low densities of proteins to the artificial cell membranes. Read more here

Lab on a chip: Developing a tiny, super-resolution optical microscope
Imagine shrinking a microscope, integrating it with a chip and using it to observe inside living cells in real time. Wouldn't it be great if this tiny microscope could also be incorporated into electronic gadgets, in the same way that smartphone cameras are today? What if doctors manage to use such a tool for diagnosis in remote areas without the need for large, heavy and sensitive analysis devices? The EU-funded ChipScope project has made significant progress towards achieving these objectives.  Read more here
MSA Student Council News

MSA Student Council Executive Council Announcement and Call for Nominations


MSA Student Council is pleased to announce the Call for Nominations for the StC Executive Officer positions.


The Call for Nominations for StC elected positions is now open 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. The President-Elect serves a three-year term, one each as President-Elect, President, and Past-President while the 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 all while advancing the growth of the student community in MSA.


The Call for Nominations letter can be accessed on the MSA Student Council website, Responsibilities page. Application materials must be submitted by April 30th to 

Share your Images with the Community!

Want the world to see your awesome images? You could be featured on the MSA #MicroscopyMonday posts. Submit to the MOSAIC: click "Upload a Photo" at .

2020 Webinar Series

We are excited to announce that each student who attends the remaining webinars in this year's series will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card! Make sure you leave your email address with us during this upcoming webinar to receive more information on this opportunity.
Did you miss the last webinar about User Facilities? No worries! Watch the full webinar ( ), subscribe to our YouTube channel, and join our future webinars.

Future Webinar Topics
Applications Scientist: Career Options in Industry
Basic Microscopy Techniques
Preparing for M&M

MSA Student Bursary Program for M&M 2020
Once again, MSA is offering the student bursary program for the Microscopy & Microanalysis 2020 meeting. Students are encouraged to attend the annual meeting with the opportunity to offset some of the meeting costs.

Many Student Council officers and members started their M&M experience as student bursars, which is a great opportunity to interact with peers and assist the society throughout the conference. If you would like to participate in the student bursary program for 2020 to help offset your meeting costs send an email to the Student Council at the link below. Registration is now open.

Questions about the bursary/volunteer program or would like to participate contact: 
Erica Stevens - Student Council President
Email subject: "Student Bursary" to

Sarah Goodman

Our April Student Spotlight is mental health advocate, educator, vlogger, and recent MIT grad, Sarah Goodman. Sarah received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Rutgers University, where she also minored in Spanish. She graduated in February with her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT. As part of Silvija Gradečak's research group, Sarah studied the effects of electron beam induced carbon deposition on compositional analysis of InGaN and V-pit-induced wavelength broadening in InGaN/GaN quantum well LEDs. Though an avid researcher, Sarah's passion is education and science outreach. While in grad school, she volunteered in schools that allowed her to educate and practice Spanish with students with English as a second language. Sarah currently has an internship for a nonprofit organization called Education for Sharing and was based in Mexico City until the COVID-19 outbreak required her to return home. This internship has given her the opportunity to develop educational priorities in students from a young age. After her internship is finished, Sarah will continue her work with Prof. Gradecak as a Postdoctoral scholar at the National University of Singapore where she will be able to remain in academia and continue science outreach.

Sarah attended the Microscopy & Microanalysis conference for the first time in 2019. On the experience, she explained, "...there were people who use microscopes in many different capacities such as technicians and people in industry. It was really interesting for me because my research has to do with carbon contamination in the TEM which is somewhat controversial, and I often am told by other grad students or professors that I'm not being careful enough with my samples and that's the reason for the contamination, and that my work is wrong. But the technicians I talked to at M&M completely validated the importance of my research and expressed that they were glad someone was working on this..." Sarah vlogged her experience at M&M that you can find on her YouTubeChannel,  sarahsSTEMstories .

Having recently graduated, Sarah has a unique perspective to provide students considering graduate studies. To those grappling with the decision, she advises, "There is no wrong reason to go to grad school. A lot of people will tell you, only go to grad school if you're 100% sure it's something you want, or only if you love your research more than anything. I don't think that's true. I think that any reason to go to grad school is valid, because we don't all love our research. If you want to go to grad school to take advantage of the flexible schedule to work on side projects, because you want a few more years before having a real adult job, because you want to stay in an academic environment a little longer - all of these reasons are just as valid as wanting to go to grad school because you absolutely love the subject." Sarah's additional advice is to have something else you love and care about outside of school. Since research does not often go as planned, it is important to have something else to look forward to.

Aside from her work, Sarah enjoys singing, writing, pole dancing workouts, and teaching. She is a mental health advocate, and, as such, maintains a blog where she is transparent about her own struggles with imposter syndrome and anxiety. While social distancing, Sarah has been sewing masks to donate to local health care centers and encourages our readers to sign up at .

You can keep up with Sarah by subscribing to her YouTube channel, linked above, or by following her blog: 

Sarah teaching a group of young students about transmission electron microscopy in her lab at MIT.

Staying Sane While Social Distancing
We're certainly living in tumultuous times. Most of the news is bad, and can this be detrimental to our mental health. To combat some of the negativity, StC has gathered links to a few of the happy corners of the internet that will hopefully brighten your day. Stay at home, wash your hands, and enjoy the following!
John Krasinski (a.k.a. Jim from The Office) recently started a YouTube Channel called "Some Good News." His first special guest was Steve Carell!
The Owl Research Institute has a webcam. The video quality is not great, though perhaps the expression on the great horned owl captures how we are feeling these days

A goat farm in upstate has a baby goat cam set-up. When they are awake it is a guaranteed way to get an instant smile.

At the link below you can virtually explore the national parks.

The MSA Student Council (StC) is organizing the 4th annual Pre-meeting Congress for Students, Postdocs, and Early-career Professionals in Microscopy & Microanalysis (PMCx60), to be held on the Saturday preceding M&M 2020 in Milwaukee, WI.
The PMCx60 is a one-day conference organized by and for students and early-career professionals and offers a highly interactive forum for participants to share cutting edge research, network, and engage with peers ahead of the main meeting.

The StC is soliciting financial support from the MSA community and welcomes corporate sponsorship and donations from individuals/organizations to help build the future of microscopy and microanalysis.

Please consider sponsoring, donating to, and attending the 2020 PMCx60 in Milwaukee, WI. To learn about the benefits of being a PMCx60 sponsor, email the StC at , or donate to the PMCx60 via the MSA donation page ( , include "PMCx60" in the "Donation Made by:" field).
For event details visit . Please email the PMCx60 Program Chair, Eric Hoglund, at if you are interested in sponsorship or have any questions about the PMC.

Local Affiliated Societies
Local Affiliated Societies News
by Patty Jansma, LAS Director

MSA's Local Affiliated Societies provide networking and outreach opportunities for the microscopy community. The list of LAS can be found on the LAS community page at

LAS Meetings
Check the individual LAS websites for more details. 

Support your local affiliated society! Invite students, early career scientists & technologists to your LAS meetings. Better yet, bring a new member to your local meeting and get them involved!

LAS Programs
MSA provides LAS support with Tour Speakers, Grants-in-Aid and Special Meeting grants. Details can be found at

As always, you may contact me at with comments, questions or concerns. 

Focused Interest Groups
Renu Sharma, Chair

Join a FIG ! FIGs are groups of scientists that practice or have interests in specific disciplines (currently 11) to which microscopy and microanalysis is applied. As an MSA member, you can join one or more (FIG Communities). FIGs not only boost scientific understanding through knowledge sharing, but also provide opportunity to network with scientists who share common interests. FIGs may organize lunches, symposia or pre-meeting congresses at M&M. A complete list of FIGs is on MSA website or by clicking  here . You may contact the FIG leader directly or attend a business meeting at M&M to learn more. Visit the  FIG Store  to sign up. Are you already a member of a FIG? Consider volunteering and make an impact! It's members are what makes FIGs successful. Talk to your FIG leader. Interested in starting a FIG? Start by reviewing the updated version of the FIG Guidelines and then contact me. FIGs are for students too! If you are a student, your fees are waived for the first FIG you join.

Are you interested in highlighting your FIG in an MSA Update? Contact me for more information.
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