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M&M 2021 News
The M&M 2021 Submission Site is now open! 

Go to the M&M 2021 website and click on the Submit Your Paper button, or go directly to the submission site:
The submission deadline is Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11:59 PM, U.S. Eastern Time.
This year, presenters will have to option to indicate their presentation preference (Virtual or In-Person) during the submission process. Even if you know you cannot attend the in-person meeting, please still submit your paper! The submission site will not open again after the deadline.

Look for the M&M 2021 Call for Papers Brochure with the November/December issue of Microscopy Today. For more information on M&M 2021, visit the website at
Association News
MSA News Header

Cast Your Vote in the 2021 MSA Elections by December 15!
One of the most important events for the Microscopy Society of America is the annual election of its leadership, and as an MSA Member, this is your opportunity to have an impact on the future of your Society. The MSA Nominations Committee has put together an impressive slate of candidates for the 2021 Election. Each candidate has submitted a brief bio, along with their credentials and their MSA Platform Statement, which can be found by visiting: MSA Elections. Members must have an active membership and log into the Members Portal on the MSA website in order to view the ballot and cast their vote. Please take a moment to review this information carefully. The voting process should take less than five minutes to complete. Cast your vote today!

Renew Your MSA Membership for 2021
The membership renewal process is currently underway! Keep your membership current to maintain access to exclusive member benefits. The deadline to renew is December 31, 2020. Take it a step further and consider adding a donation when you renew to help sustain the Society as we head into 2021. We hope that you'll take a moment to renew your membership and remain part of the community that brings microscopy and microanalysis professionals of all levels together. Renew today!

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
Other Microscopy News

Royal Society Publishing has recently published a special issue of Philosophical Transactions A entitled Dynamic in situ microscopy relating structure and function organised and edited by Pratibha Gai, Edward Boyes, Rik Brydson and Richard Catlow and the articles can be accessed directly at

Royal Society Publishing is currently seeking new theme issues. If you are interested in submitting materials, please visit the website at or contact the Editorial Office for more information at
Science News
Like us on FacebookThe MSA Facebook page regularly posts science news for you

Congrats to MSA Member and former MSA Council Member, Deborah Kelly!

Engineering professor named chair of NIH study section
Deborah Kelly, Penn State Lloyd & Dottie Foehr Huck Chair in Molecular Biophysics, director of the Penn State Center for Structural Oncology (CSO) and professor of biomedical engineering, has accepted an appointment as chair of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Macromolecular Structure and Function B (MSFB) Study Section, directed by the Center for Scientific Review. Kelly will oversee a group that reviews grant applications involving a broad range of biochemical, biophysical and computational modeling approaches to address basic structure-function relationships in a variety of biological systems. Read more.

Breakthrough in microscopy, endoscopy may soon revolutionize the study of cellular origin of diseases
A breakthrough in microscopy and endoscopy will soon revolutionize the study of the cellular origin of diseases, advancing the field of precision medicine. This is the goal of CRIMSON, a trans-disciplinary and trans-national research project recently funded by European Commission. It will develop the next-generation bio-photonics imaging device for biomedical research, combining advanced laser techniques with artificial-intelligence data analysis. This groundbreaking microscope will provide three-dimensional quantitative maps of sub-cellular compartments in living cells and organoids and enable fast tissue classification with unprecedented biomolecular sensitivity. Read more.
MSA Student Council News

The Undergraduate Experience webinar will be held on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 12 PM ET. This event is for undergraduate students to learn about navigating undergraduate research and gather information about the MSA Undergraduate Scholarship. Register to join us on Zoom, or watch on YouTube Live.
StC is excited to announce that any MSA member who attends all webinars in this series will be entered in a drawing to win a StC merchandise package including a T-shirt, mug and more!
If you missed our "Ask a Microscopist" webinar, you can find it, and other streamed StC events on our  YouTube channel.
Stay tuned for future webinars on the following topics:
  • Proposal Writing and Applying for Funding
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Microscopy
  • Communicating Science: Data Visualization
  • Microscopy Careers Mini-series (Professors, Industry, National Labs)
  • Preparing for M&M 

Student & Postdoc Social
The Student Council cordially invites all MSA undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs to attend our first ever social - a Virtual Game Night on Tuesday, December 15th from 8:00-9:30 pm EST! All attendees will be entered into a raffle to win a $25 Amazon gift card!
Please RSVP using the following link by Saturday, December 12th to receive instructions for accessing the Discord server. 

Cammy Truong - Biological Sciences

December's Biological Sciences Student Spotlight is a recent graduate, having successfully defended her PhD dissertation this past summer 2020. Cammy studied Cell Molecular Biology in Dr. Julie A. Oliver's lab at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Her research work involved investigating a novel treatment for ischemic stroke by targeting activated platelets in occlusive clots using fibrinogen-conjugated nanoparticles for magnetically induced hyperthermia. She uses a combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy techniques to determine clotting in whole blood and platelet-rich plasma in response to varying thrombin doses. Her findings have potential for ischemic stroke therapies.

Despite her disappointment in the change of format for this year's Microscopy and Microanalysis (M&M) Conference, she was pleased that she was still able to meet and stay connected with attendees, both new and old. She enjoyed sharing her award winning research at the meeting and a notes great feature of the virtual format was the unlimited access she had to posters and talks throughout the meeting. This year was also her first year attending M&M and her first ever virtual meeting, commenting that the bar has been set!

Having recently completed her graduate studies, Cammy is in a unique position to provide both current and incoming students with advice. She encourages students to build relationships with their professors and peers, as well as "any other students from [their] home country" if they're an international student and do your best to maintain a work-life balance, reserving time for personal interests. Cammy also advises to be ready to work, but to "never see your failure as a downside" because science is full of failures, and failure is a learning experience. Despite the hard work and dedication that is required for graduate school, Cammy assures students that "when you graduate, you will earn knowledge, skills, a network, and a wider set of career opportunities".

Cammy is currently an associate lecturer at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. She says, "Teaching is where I unplug from research", adding that she enjoys the personal connections she makes with her students. She takes great pleasure in seeing a student's "lightbulb" moment and maintains that she learns as much from them as they do from her. "Teaching is absolutely the ultimate learning experience." Away from her university life, Cammy has many hobbies - cooking, dancing, crafting, iPhone-photographing, just to name a few.

We're so glad that Cammy is impacting the lives of future scientists. And please join me in congratulating her in obtaining her PhD!

Stephen Funni - Physical Sciences

Stephen is a third-year graduate student in the Material Science and Engineering program at North Carolina State University, where he is a member of Elizabeth (Beth) Dickey's group. While he's enjoyed his time at NCSU, he's looking forward to moving with the group to Carnegie Mellon in the near future. Stephen's work in lead free relaxors has led him from finite element modeling of piezoelectric ceramics into electron microscopy. He uses atomic resolution STEM imaging as a method of understanding how the modulated structure of tungsten bronzes relates to their relaxor behavior.

Stephen has walked a varied path bringing him to grad school. A graduate of the Naval Academy with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, he had already started into the Materials Science field, with undergraduate studies in failure analysis of high strength steels. After serving in the Marines for 11 years he started into the NCSU Masters degree program in MSE before changing his focus and taking on the PhD program. This background has contributed to a sense of scope and context, that he applies to his graduate studies. and a philosophy in research of broadening one's scope, because "You never know what knowledge might come in handy".

Before quarantine Stephen was frequently spotted with an ever-present mug of coffee in the halls of Centennial Campus. But he's equally at home doing back country hiking all over the state, from Raleigh out to Pisgah National Forest. His other hobbies include dabbling in furniture carpentry, including making the crib for his daughters (now 5 and 7).

Stephen joined the MSA StC this year as the Regional Liaison for Region III and is looking forward to meeting and working with new collaborators while helping build the community in the area. In all, his assorted background, knowledge, skill sets, and passions have contributed to producing a determined, friendly and reliable individual, that we're very happy to have working with us on the Student Council!

Social Media Committee Is Now Recruiting 
  • Looking to get involved? Help us create content for microscopists (informational) and for public outreach (creative)
  • Responsibilities tailored to your schedule
  • Contact Chris or Louisa for more information: 

Region III Update

U of M's Michigan Center for Materials Characterization recently installed a Thermo Fisher Helios G4 PFIB UXe. This instrument uses a Xenon plasma focused ion beam (PFIB) to mill samples. PFIB has significant advantages over older gallium FIB technologies. It mills much faster than Ga FIB and has significantly reduced sample damage and ion implantation. This is important for chemical tomography studies in the PFIB and for TEM and AFM sample prep. Sounds like an exciting and valuable addition to the center!

Region IV Update

Figure: Structure of N protein
In this research spotlight, we have highlighted Penn State scientists working on drugs/vaccine development for COVID-19. Dr. Yong Wand, a professor of biomedical engineering, is working on developing a cell therapy treatment for COVID-19. Cytokine storm is a severe immune reaction when the immune system releases too many cytokines in response to COVID 19 infection. Cytokine storms may cause tissue damage in infected patients. Dr. Wang's research aims to develop an effective cell therapy that will repair or replace damaged tissue. Dr. Scott Medina, an associate professor at Penn State, is working on developing a method to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine without a needle. His research team is developing nanoparticle gels, which are efficient in delivering drugs/vaccines to the immune system. Dr. Deb Kelly, a professor at Penn State, is working on determining the high-resolution structure of the Nucleocapsid (N) protein of COVID-19. N-protein is highly immunogenic, given N protein is highly expressed in the system upon infection. As a result, N protein is an ideal candidate for both drug and vaccine development. Dr. Kelly's lab is utilizing cryo-EM technology to study higher resolution structures of N protein.

Region V Update

Recently, there has been a significant development in the imaging performance of miniature microscopes. Researchers from Boston University, have used computational imaging techniques, a lightweight design along with LED array to enable single-shot 3D imaging across an 8 × 7-mm2 field-of-view and 2.5-mm depth-of-field, achieving 7-µm lateral resolution and better than 200-µm axial resolution. This advancement in miniature microscopes will be very useful for fluorescence imaging in biology and neuroscience. The research was published in Science Advances - "Single-Shot 3D Widefield Fluorescence Imaging with a Computational Miniature Mesoscope" DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb7508

Region VIII Update

Dr. Michelle Itano of the UNC-Chapel Hill Neuroscience Microscopy Core was recently featured in several interviews on her facilities' work pushing the studies of COVID-19 forward. This work, funded in part by the CZ Imaging Scientist grants brings together expertise in imaging techniques from multiple disciplines to keep pushing the collaboration between imaging researchers, theorists, and computational researchers. Congrats to the team over at UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as the CZI Imaging Awardees! CZI Feature 1MWIS Feature.
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 and 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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