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M&M News

M&M 2021 Call for Papers

Look for the M&M 2021 Call for Papers Brochure, included with the November/December issue of Microscopy Today

For more details, visit the meeting website,

Association News
MSA News Header

Deadline Approaching for MSA Society Awards Nominations for 2021
This is an opportunity to participate in your Society's activities and to participate in honoring deserving individuals. All nominations are submitted entirely through an online form: filling-in the basic nominee information and uploading the required supporting documents. For more information on these awards and the nomination process, click here. The deadline is October 31, 2020.

Renew Your MSA Membership for 2021!
The membership renewal process is currently underway! Get a head start on renewing your 2021 membership today. 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. Renew today!

Microscopy in the Classroom Symposium & Panel Discussion
Are you a parent/educator interested in using microscopes for STEM education? MSA's Education-Outreach Committee is hosting a virtual, interactive discussion with STEM education leaders from around the world. Come join us! Reserve your spot today at

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

Photoacoustic microscopy for identifying sentinel lymph nodes of breast cancer
Tumor metastatic sentinel lymph nodes are difficult to distinguish from normal or inflamed lymph nodes (Inf-LN). Researchers designed a dual-targeting nanoparticle 5K-HA-HPPS for fluorescent/photoacoustic imaging of sentinel LN. Photoacoustic imaging showed a distinct spatial distribution of 5K-HA-HPPS among different LN statuses, in which the signals were mainly distributed at the center of T-MLN but at the periphery of normal and Inf-LNs. This ability to distinguish T-MLN has potential application value for surgeons in tumor surgery.
Read more.

And the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and in Physics Goes to...

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna "for the development of a method for genome editing". Since Charpentier and Doudna discovered the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in 2012 their use has exploded. The genetic scissors have taken the life sciences into a new epoch and, in many ways, are bringing the greatest benefit to humankind. Read more.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 with one half to Roger Penrose "for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity" and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez "for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy". Read more.

MSA Student Council News

Student Council is continuing our tradition of holding educational and informative webinars with our series this year on the following topics:
  • Proposal Writing and Applying for Funding
  • Diversity and Inclusion in Microscopy
  • The Undergraduate Experience
  • Ask a Microscopist
  • Communicating Science: Data Visualization
  • Microscopy Careers Mini-series (Professors, Industry, National Labs)
  • Preparing for M&M
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!
Are you a PI, Technician, Post-doc, or other microscopist that is experienced or knowledgeable in any of the above topics? We'd love to have you as a panelist in one of these webinars! Please fill out the form at the following link to inform us of your interest:

StC Regional Liaisons Applications Are Open!
The Call for Applications for the Regional Liaisons is still open. The application and role descriptions can be accessed on the MSA Student Council website, Responsibilities page. Please contact for more information!
Call for Applications
Application for Regional Liaisons

Yana Danilova - Biological Sciences

For this month's MSA Biological Sciences Student Spotlight, we go to the other side of the world to Russia. Yana is a PhD student at Lomonosov Moscow State University as part of Dr. Olga Sokolova's research group. She completed her undergraduate studies in Biotechnology and is also a specialist in food regulation in Eastern European countries.

Yana's current research involves examining the structure and functions of macromolecular complexes in living cells as well as their intermolecular interactions. She employs cryo-electron microscopy and 3D image-reconstruction techniques to visualize large macromolecular assemblies. She presented her award winning work at this year's virtual Microscopy & Microanalysis meeting where she described using analytical EM and electron tomography to shed more light on the arrangement of unique nucleus-like shells, specifically in phiKZ bacteriophages, which tends to be resistant to all bacterial defenses. Understanding how viruses like this one persist may provide insight into combating them.
Though this year's M&M was not Yana's first attending, the virtual experience made it apparent to her that "science as well as approaches to share [and discuss] your results can take different forms". She was able to take advantage of the new format, getting to meet other scientists in her field, and being inspired by their work.

Yana's advice to incoming graduate students is to be thoughtful in choosing the right advisor for you. She adds that being your own critique is invaluable. She says, "A well-performed critical analysis can be effective in figuring out how prosperous an idea is and what the steps for its development are."

When she's not in the lab, Yana loves to go on walks and read novels. If you're looking for a good read, she recommends Erich Maria Remarque's The Night in Lisbon, saying it "really touched my heart".

Michael Xu - Physical Sciences

Michael Xu likes to see things differently. Perhaps that's why this graduate student at MIT was so drawn to electron microscopy. Michael studied materials science at Georgia Tech for his undergraduate degree, during which he experimented with battery materials and 3D printing through internships and research. All the while, he developed a hobby in photography. "Photography is about capturing memories," he said, "and there are so many variables that can completely change the feel and focus of that [memory]." When Michael started interviewing for PhD programs, he found microscopy as a way to continue exploring various materials systems while applying some of the same principles he'd learned as a photographer. Now in his second year working with Prof. James LeBeau, he hasn't looked back.

Michael currently works with high entropy alloys (HEAs), metals that have complex mixtures of different elements. HEAs can have favorable properties unique to other conventional alloys, but they are not well understood due to their complex chemistries. Michael researches how short-range order arises in these materials and how it affects deformation mechanisms. He primarily uses S/TEM to look at chemical ordering and atomic structure.

M&M 2020 was Michael's first conference. While the virtual format shook things up, Michael felt "like a kid in a candy shop" as he hopped between interesting sessions without needing to run across a conference center. His presentation involved using STEM to analyze atomic columns in a particular HEA. A second coherent phase was shown to exist, but conventional imaging methods could not detect it. Michael took a different approach. By looking at the Z-contrast and strain among columns, he found correlated chemical order and lattice parameter-direct evidence of the second phase.

When Michael isn't analyzing strain patterns, he's out in nature enjoying all that the New England area has to offer. "Hiking's always been a nice way for me to get away from the hustle and bustle... When you're hiking, you're in the moment, thinking of the next step. It's a great [break] from school, work, and life." Plus, he says there's always a reward at the end-the opportunity to capture the memory, change the variables, and make that image say exactly what you want.

Thanks to Michael for sharing his story in this month's Physical Sciences Student Spotlight. We're hoping to get to know you better at next year's PMC.

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: 

Northwestern University Holds "Art Of Science" Image Contest
"Northwestern University's Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center (NUANCE), a core characterization facility at Northwestern University, is hosting its annual "Art of Science" Image contest to make the nanoscale world more broadly accessible and to celebrate microscopy. Voting is open to the public as is NUANCE Fest, the finale event on International Nanoday (10/9). Inspired by the contest? Set up something similar at your local microscopy center!"

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. 

We're excited to announce the new LAS Director elected to MSA Council for 2021-2023!

Join us in welcoming Ru-Ching Hsia as the newly-elected LAS Director. We look forward to the new things in store beginning next year!

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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