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Association News

Deadline approaching at the end of the month!

In case you missed it, nominations for the 2022 MSA Society Awards have been extended to November 30! This is your opportunity to recognize outstanding contributions to our community from your colleagues. The Microscopy Society of America is committed to diversity and inclusion so please remember to consider nominating outstanding women and members of underrepresented groups. All applications must be submitted by Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Read our tips on how to write a nomination package!

Don't miss out on these scholarship opportunities!

Undergraduate Scholarship Applications

MSA's scholarships for undergraduate research are intended to foster the educational and research potential of full-time undergraduate students interested in pursuing microscopy as a career or major research tool. Applications for research involving any area of microscopy are suitable for the program. Applications are due by December 1, 2022.

Kenneth H. Downing Memorial Postdoctoral Scholarship Award

The Kenneth H. Downing Post-Doctoral Scholarship Award was created in honor of Professor Ken Downing, an MSA Past-President, MSA Fellow, and MSA Distinguished Scientist. The scholarship will support postdoctoral researchers in the development of methods and instrumentation applied to the Life Sciences. The award amount for the Kenneth H. Downing Memorial Postdoctoral Scholarship for 2022 will be $4,000 USD. Applications are due by December 15, 2022.

It's Time to Renew for 2022!

Renew today! Keep your membership active to maintain access to exclusive member benefits including peer networking, discounts on educational materials, savings on the annual Microscopy & Microanalysis conference, participation in Society activities, and so much more. Upon renewing, we'd like to ask for five minutes of your time to complete a brief membership feedback survey to ensure that we are providing you valuable benefits as an active member of MSA. 

M&M News

NEW for M&M 2022!

The M&M 2022 Call for Papers Brochure has gone digital! Visit the M&M 2022 website for up-to-date information and to view the finalized 2022 Symposia detailed descriptions.

The submission site opens in December. Check back for more details!

Register in advance for our final

2021 Distinguished Scientist Awardee Talk!

DSA Awardee Talk | From Deconvolution and Super-Resolution Light Microscopy to CryoEM Cameras to Beam Induced Motion Correction: Empowering Biology through Technology Developments

Thursday, November 18, 2021 | 1:00 PM EST

Presenter: Prof. David Agard 

Provided will be a brief summary of technological developments made by David Agard and John Sedat (UCSF) in pioneering 3D light and super-resolution microscopy, followed by a focus on cryoEM cameras culminating in the first single electron counting camera made in collaboration with Peter Denes at LBNL and Paul Mooney at Gatan. This will be followed by discussing our efforts in collaboration with Yifan Cheng (UCSF) to mitigate beam induced motion as a critical step in obtain high resolution reconstructions of biological systems. Register here.

Science News

Using optical microscopy to take a look beneath the skin of 'surfactant onions'

Surfactant onions form when layers of surfactant molecules organize around each other into a sphere. They are easily pictured by thinking of their vegetable namesake. Until now it has not been clear whether surfactant onions are perfect layered structures or whether they contain defects. Researchers from the University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science have used microscopy to get a better understanding of surfactant onion layers, which is important for their potential application. Their findings are published in Physical Review Research. Read more.

The art of microscopy

In this November issue of Nature Methods, we continue our yearly tradition of featuring the Nikon ‘Small World’ Photomicrography Competition winner on our cover. This year’s winning image of trichomes and stomata on a southern live oak leaf, captured by Jason Kirk of Baylor College of Medicine, certainly does not disappoint! It’s one of our all-time favorites. Read more.

MSA Student Council News

StC Appointed Position Applications Are Open!


The Call for Applications for the Appointed Positions (Social Chair and Regional Liaisons) will remain open until all positions are filled. There are only a few roles left, so please contact [email protected] for updated information on which positions are not yet filled!


The application and role descriptions can be accessed on the MSA Student Council website, Responsibilities page. If you are interested in getting involved but aren’t sure if you’re ready for a full position, keep an eye on our communications for information about committees!

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Call for Applications

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Application for Appointed Positions

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Laura Chaves

Meet Laura Chaves, MSA Student Council’s November Student Spotlight! Laura is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in planetary sciences at Purdue University, where she studies under Professor Michelle Thompson. Laura’s research focuses on space weathering, specifically how the surfaces of planetary bodies are affected by micrometeoroid impacts and exposure to solar radiation.

She leverages tools like transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and energy dispersive spectroscopy to understand how the microstructure and chemical composition of minerals are affected by such interactions. Laura recently presented her work on space weathering on sulfide minerals at Microscopy & Microanalysis 2021, for which she was recognized with a graduate student award. This was Laura’s second time attending M&M; she says the importance of electron microscopy and other characterization techniques in her own research makes M&M both a great place to present and to network with other researchers in the field.

Laura became interested in the planetary sciences through an internship she completed at Purdue while still an undergraduate student. Through that experience, she was able to marry her experience in geology and mineralogy with her interest in the space sciences; the opportunity was so impactful she decided to stay at Purdue and pursue her Ph.D.

Laura is passionate about outreach and education to promote student interest in research and science as a whole. She speaks about how, in her native Colombia, there is little emphasis on space sciences as a field of study. She has worked diligently to change that, engaging with students and adults alike and speaking with them about research and career opportunities in the sciences. She has had major platforms for these engagements, including through the Education Ministry and Planetarium in her hometown of Bogota. She has also worked with elementary school students, and she is involved in a departmental committee for educational outreach back at Purdue. Laura is driven to give back to and represent her community, as well as help increase the number of opportunities for minority students in the sciences.

In her free time, Laura enjoys traveling and being outdoors. Her research work has taken her all across the United States as well as to Japan, and she is planning a leisure trip to Peru this winter. She has an appreciation for the outdoors and enjoys being immersed in nature.

Regional Updates

Region II Update:

The Northwestern University Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center (NUANCE) recently announced the installation of a new state-of-the-art Electron Beam Lithography System (EBL) in their Micro/Nanofabrication facility—the Raith Voyager 100 EBL. This system is ideal for quickly patterning nano-scale structures (down to <10 nm) over large spatial areas (up to cm2 areas). It is also capable of accommodating a wide range of sample sizes, from just a few mm2 to 100 mm2. Researchers from across the country studying diverse disciplines are now able to reserve time on this system! Visit the website to learn more and use this instrument for your research!



Region III Update:

Thermo-mechanical processing of steel can lead to the transformation of austenite into martensite. The microstructure of the resulting martensite correlates well with the size of prior austenite grains (PAGs). By using a graph-cutting clustering algorithm, Brust and co-authors developed a new-and-improved probabilistic technique for reconstructing and visualizing prior austenite grains from electron backscatter diffraction data of tempered steel. This technique avoids artifacts often created by other austenite reconstruction codes and will help researchers better understand the austenite-martensite transformation.

To learn more about this research, consult the October issue of Microscopy and Microanalysis - Brust et al. (2021) “Probabilistic Reconstruction of Austenite Microstructure from Electron Backscatter Diffraction Observations of Martensite” https://doi.org/10.1017/S1431927621012484.


Region V Update:

In an exciting new research, a computational lens has been able to achieve the highest achievable numerical aperture and throughput to date. Researchers at the University of Connecticut were able to replace the traditional objective lens with a disorder-engineered surface. This super-resolution imaging technique is based on parallel-coded ptychography. This research was published in the Journal - ACS Photonics.

Shaowei Jiang, Chengfei et al. “Resolution-Enhanced Parallel Coded Ptychography for High Throughput Optical Imaging”, ACS Photonics. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsphotonics.1c01085


Region VI Update 1:

Dr. Joshua L. Vincent from Crozier Group in ASU has recently published a paper about observation of fluxional behavior of catalyst particles on the atomic level. By applying aberration corrected operando TEM, the structural dynamics is successfully being recorded at and near metal catalysis/reducible oxide interface during CO oxidation. They also showed that the fluxional behavior is closely related to the reaction process of CO oxidation, namely the Mars-van Krevelen mechanism.

The research is published in Nature Communication -- Vincent, J.L., Crozier, P.A. Atomic level fluxional behavior and activity of CeO2-supported Pt catalysts for CO oxidation. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-26047-8

Region VI Update 2:

An exciting development, researchers have recorded the first-ever breaking of a single chemical bond between Carbon (C) and Iron (Fe). The feat was achieved using high-resolution Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in a controlled lab setting. This collaborative research involving multiple universities was led by the researchers at Princeton University’s Imaging and Analysis Center. This work was published in late September in the Journal - Nature Communications.

“Chen, P., Fan, D., Zhang, Y. et al. Breaking a dative bond with mechanical forces. Nat Commun 12, 5635 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25932-6


Region X Update:

The Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre (PEMC) starts hosting a series of monthly seminars on a broad range of microscopy topics, including electron microscopy, optical microscopy, x-ray microscopy, and others. The first seminar, entitled “2D and 3D Optical Mesoscopy With The Mesolens”, held by Gail McConnell (University of Strathclyde), will take place on November 10 online. The program starts at 12 A.M. GMT, including a 35-minute talk, and will finish at around 1 P.M. GMT. The series will continue on December 8 and January 12. It is addressed to researchers, academics, and students and is free to attend. However, each event has to be booked via the link on their website: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/whats-on/pemc-imaging-matters-event-series-introduction

Local Affiliated Societies

Local Affiliated Societies News

by Ru-ching Hsia, LAS Director


LAS Business Meetings


The next LAS business meeting will be held on December 9, 1 to 2 PM EST. 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.


Please save the date in your calendar now.

Renew Your LAS membership


While you are renewing your MSA membership, please consider renewing your membership of your local microscopy society and support their activities too.


Regional LAS Activities


Find out more about your local microscopy society and what is happening in your neighborhood by checking the MSA community page at http://microscopy.org/communities/local.cfm.


LAS Programs

MSA provides LAS support with Tour Speakers, Grants-in-Aid, and Special Meeting grants. Details can be found at http://www.microscopy.org/communities/programs.cfm.


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 [email protected].


Enjoy the Fall! It’s the season to share a nice warm mug of apple cider or pumpkin spice Latte with your microscopy buddy.



Focused Interest Groups

MSA FIGs are groups of MSA members who have organized, with the approval of MSA Council, to promote a specific discipline relevant to microscopy or microanalysis. Each FIG must have a minimum of 10 members to remain active. All MSA members are eligible and encouraged to participate in the existing FIGs. There is an annual fee of $15 per FIG joined. Learn more about FIGs here.

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