May 27, 2021 Newsletter

The Microbes and Social Equity Symposium

The Microbes and Social Equity working group and The University of Maine Institute of Medicine present an inaugural symposium on:

Microbes, Social Equity, and Rural Health

June 14 – 18th, 2021
Format: virtual meeting, Zoom platform.
Microorganisms are critical to many aspects of biological life, including human health.  The human body is a veritable universe for microorganisms: some pass through but once, some are frequent tourists, and some spend their entire existence in the confines of our body tissues.  The collective microbial community, our microbiome, can be impacted by the details of our lifestyle, including diet, hygiene, health status, and more, but many are driven by social, economic, medical, or political constraints that restrict available choices that may impact our health.   


2021 Virtual Research Expo hosted by Northern Light 

This half day virtual event on Wednesday, May 26  focused on COVID-19 Research.

This year’s Poster (Video) Presentations, 20 in total, are available online:

The keynote speaker was Edison Liu, MD, President and CEO of The Jackson Laboratory.  The topic of his address was "the Future of Translational Medicine". Eight students from GSBSE joined in for a post address session with Dr. Liu and discussed career options, set backs in research, resilience and the many opportunities they will have not only in academics but in business, science communication, or other fields.  

UMaine professor debunks COVID-19 misinformation on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

A University of Maine professor was featured on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” last week, helping to bust some misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Melissa Maginnis— a professor in the University of Maine’s molecular and biological sciences department — was asked by Kimmel if she knew anything about the size of the spike proteins that surround the COVID-19 virus, after a vaccine misinformation-spreading Idaho YouTuber said “nobody knows” how big they are.

Maginnis, who has a doctorate in virology, said that yes, in fact, they do know how big the spike proteins are — to the nanometer.


Summer Offerings from the Roux Institute

The Future of Precision Epidemiology
Dr. Samuel V. Scarpino, Assistant Professor in the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University will discuss what is needed to improve public health decision-making during pandemics, how we can move towards "precision epidemiology", how we can leverage ML/AI for integrating data, and more. This virtual event is free and open to the public. Reserve your spot here
June 04 | noon

EAI Distinguished Lecturer Series
Neural Databases: Natural Language Generation Meets Databases
June 02 | 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

CBER BEST Initiative Seminar Series
Methods for Monitoring the Safety and Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines
We review statistical methods used in observational studies of the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
June 16 | 11:00 am

Other Roux events at


The University of Maine Center on Aging Awarded $99,202 to Support Senior Volunteer Service

May 5, 2021 

The Center on Aging has received an AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP re-competition grant of $99,202 (base award for year one of six years) from the AmeriCorps federal agency to support 119 RSVP volunteers serving in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington Counties where the organization has been providing service opportunities for older Americans (age 55+) as an RSVP project since 2003. Every six years, RSVPs undergo a competitive grant process to determine whether or not it should remain as the current sponsor. This award permits the Center on Aging to continue to oversee RSVP at the University of Maine under the leadership of its longtime director, Paula Burnett.

“Winning the 2021 Americorps Seniors RSVP Competition Award was terrific news. It underscores the University of Maine Center on Aging’s long-term commitment, under the leadership of the programs’ committed staff, to promote the state’s health and well-being by creating a critical vehicle through which older Mainers can share their wisdom and expertise through civic engagement in their local communities.” – Dr. Lenard Kaye, Director UM Center on Aging.


Student Research:  48th MDIBL Biological and Medical Sciences Symposium Poster Awards

The 48th Maine Biological and Medical Sciences Symposium (MBMSS) took place virtually on April 28-30, 2021.  The event was organized in partnership with GSBSE, UMaine Graduate School  of Biomedical Science and Engineering, Maine INBRE and the Maine Technology Institute, MTI.  Congratulations to the many University of Maine students who presented their research and received awards.

Please join us in congratulating all Poster Award Recipients! This year's MBMSS was chock full of fascinating and impactful research from innovative and hardworking students all throughout the state of Maine. We thank each and every one of you for your participation and all the amazing work you put into making MBMSS 2021 a huge success. We thoroughly enjoyed the two packed days of research sharing, scientific conversation, and networking among students, speakers, faculty, and staff.


Student Highlight

Marissa McGilvrey was the winner of the spring 2021 UMaine Institute of Medicine seminars raffle. Graduate students who attended the most seminars in the spring had a chance to enter a drawing to win an iPad.

Marissa is a University of Maine GSBSE Ph.D. student within Dr. Lucy Liaw’s lab at MMCRI. Her research is focused on perivascular adipose tissue and how dietary restriction of methionine, an essential amino acid, modifies this tissue to influence the blood vessel microenvironment.

“The Institute of Medicine Seminar Series this Spring provided many opportunities to learn about interesting research topics that are outside my thesis topic and unique discussions with the researchers themselves” said Marissa. “The wide variety of topics was helpful for me to practice communicating broadly with the medical community as a biomedical science doctoral student.”

Post doc opportunity at MDIBL

 The Madelaine Laboratory at the MDI Biological Laboratory is currently accepting applications for a Post-doctoral research fellow with a strong background in developmental biology and/or physiology, or related field, for an anticipated start date in July, 2021. The research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of neural stem cell activation and neuronal regeneration and primarily uses the zebrafish as a model organism to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms of retinal and olfactory neurons regeneration.
The Laboratory is in the Kathryn W. Davis Center for Regenerative Biology and Aging and employs a range of imaging and molecular technologies including confocal microscopy, live imaging, transgenesis, CRISPR-genome engineering and single cell RNA sequencing to study the biological mechanisms underlying neural stem cell reprogramming in vivo.
More details and apply at this link:
Contact: PI Romain Madelaine (

Post doc opportunity at the Jackson lab (JAX)

Postdoctoral Associate - Cardiac Regeneration, Rosenthal Lab
The Rosenthal Lab at the Jackson Laboratory (JAX) in Bar Harbor, Maine is seeking a Postdoctoral Associate to join an international consortium of researchers exploring the inflammatory-fibrosis axis in ischemic heart failure. The group seeks to establish the genetic and molecular basis by which myocardial inflammation orchestrates key elements of adverse left ventricular (LV) remodeling including myocardial fibrosis. Fibroblasts adopt unique phenotypes in the failing heart, characterized by markers of activation and diversification into distinct cell types. However, the exact mechanisms of fibroblast cross-talk with other cardiac cell-types and infiltrating immune cells are incompletely understood.

For more information and to apply go to at:

Do you have a research project or publication you would like included in a future UMaine Institute of Medicine newsletter?  Please email

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