Monday, December 19, 2016

Help us “Deck Our Halls”!

The USC Graduate School is pleased to announce the 2nd annual Deck Our Halls competition.  We would like to display the work of graduate students from across USC on the walls of our offices in STU 301. We are especially interested in data visualizations, paintings, photographs, graphics, textiles, or other contributions that reflect the interests and research pursuits of USC graduate students. Other than copyrighted images, all types of submissions are welcome. The work will be featured for up to one year and will be returned to the student at the end of 2017. Within reason, the Graduate School will cover the cost of professionally printing and mounting works selected for display. Featured students will also be invited to an open house next year.

To be considered, please visit and submit an application by January 6, 2017. Proposals will be reviewed the following week and final selections will be made by the end of January.

Monday, December 12, 2016

MEB Seminar | Collective functionality in bacterial groups

Please join us tomorrow, Tuesday Dec 13th, at 11am for Dr. Martin Ackermann's seminar in the AHF Torrey Webb Room. Below is a link to his website as well as an abstract for his seminar tomorrow. 

Look forward to seeing you there!

Abstract: How microbial diversity shapes the dynamics and processes in microbial communities is a fundamental question in microbial ecology. While the focus of such research is typically on biological diversity that results from genetic differences between strains and species, functional diversity can also arise in clonal groups, through phenotypic differences between individuals. My presentation will focus on this microbial individuality, that is, diversity at the level of single cells. Using examples from bacterial genetic model systems, I will discuss how microbial individuality can promote interactions within and between populations, allow microbes to cope with dynamic environments, and give clonal groups of bacteria new biological properties. Then I will discuss how one can test these laboratory-derived concepts in natural environments, and ask whether and how microbial individuality is an important driver of the dynamics of natural microbial communities. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

USC Wrigley Sustainability Prize


The USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies is announcing a new innovation competition on campus called the USC Wrigley Sustainability Prize. The goal is to promote marketable ideas from the USC community that can result in meaningful sustainability/environmental change. The competition is open to USC undergrads, grads, faculty and staff teams from ALL disciplines--teams can be mixed as long as there is student involvement in the group.

The competition is now open, with applications due February 10, 2017.

Applicants are invited to propose their ideas, then attend a business workshop where environmental and entrepreneurial experts will help teams refine their concepts and develop a business pitch. Finalists then present their concepts to a panel of judges and an audience at a showcase event in April 2017. 

First prize is $7,000 to help make the winning team's sustainable idea a reality! (2nd place - $5,0000, 3rd place, $3,000).

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Latin America CODHy Registration Is Now Open

The 4th Latin America Congress on Controversies to Consensus in Diabetes, Obesity and Hypertension (CODHy) will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 16-18, 2017

Registration is NOW OPEN! Register here.

Monday, December 5, 2016

USC Stem Cell Distinguished Speakers Series: Hesham Sadek, MD, Ph.D.

USC Stem Cell Distinguished Speakers Series

Tuesday, December 6th 

This week's guest will be Hesham Sadek. 

A webcast will be available at

The Saban Research Institute Floyd H. Gilles Lecture in Neuroscience Research presents...

“Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Neuronal Migration”

Pasko Rakic, MD, PhD
Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Neuroscience and
Professor of Neurology
Yale School of Medicine

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2016*
Time: 12 - 1 p.m.*
Location: The Saban Research Building, First Floor Auditorium, 4661 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027

Lunch will be provided to seminar guests, first come, first served.

About the Speaker:
Pasko Rakic, MD, PhD, received his medical and graduate degree from Belgrade University (former Yugoslavia). He immigrated to the US in 1969, and he was on Harvard faculty until 1978 when he moved to Yale, where he created Department of Neurobiology and Kavli Institute for Neuroscience. He presently holds the Duberg Chair in Neuroscience at Yale University.

Rakic’s research interests are in developmental neurobiology, particularly cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal proliferation, migration and synaptogenesis during development of the brain. His studies in human, non-human primates and rodents lead to the postulate of the “radial unit” and “protomap” hypotheses of cortical development and evolution that provide the framework for understanding genetic mechanisms of normal and pathological brain development. By manipulating the rate and pattern of neuronal migration using genetic tools and environmental factors, he, with his colleagues, discovered the hidden abnormalities of neuronal positioning that could not be discerned by routine postmortem examination. Rakic also provided the direct evidence for the competitive interactions among neuronal connections before birth, and showed that axons, synapses and neurotransmitter receptors are overproduced before attaining the adult levels by the process of activity-dependent stabilization and selective elimination. The major goal is to help understand pathogenesis of a variety of congenital brain malformations as well as to gain insight into possible developmental origins of disorders of higher brain functions.

Pasko Rakic is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and foreign member of the Royal Society (London), Norwegian, Serbian and Croatian Academies. He has also been President of the Society for Neuroscience and recipient of many awards including the inaugural Kavli Neuroscience Prize.

Hosted by Marvin D. Nelson J.R., MD, MBA, FACR
Chairman, John L. Gwinn Professor of Radiology
Department of Pediatric Radiology
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Professor of Radiology
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California

Please click here to view event flyer and here to view Dr. Rakic’s CV.

Brought to you by the Office of Training, Education, Career Planning and Development (TECPAD).

For questions please contact

Monday, November 28, 2016

Bioinformatics Specialist Event - 12/7/16

Norris Medical Library Bioinformatics Service is recruiting a new bioinformatics specialist.  We cordially invite you to attend the second candidate presentation “ChIP-seq Data Analysis”.  This one-hour presentation will introduce the basic principles of analyzing ChIP-seq data.  Attendees will learn the fundamentals of ChIP-seq experimental design, data processing and downstream analysis with popular open-source tools on the Galaxy platform (

Topics will include:

  • Introduction to ChIP-seq
  • Quality control on sequencing reads
  • Reads alignment to a reference genome
  • Data normalization
  • ChIP-seq peak calling
  • Data visualization with the Integrated Genome Browser
  • Functional annotation of ChIP-seq peaks
  • Analyzing peaks for transcription factor binding sites

Time: Noon – 1pm, Wednesday, December 7th.
Location: HSC—West Conference Room (basement level), Norris Medical Library
UPC—Live broadcast, Learning Center, Wilson Dental Library

The presentation can also be viewed on your own computer via live broadcast

Lunch will be provided at both in-person locations, seats are limited.

Registration is mandatory:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bioinformatics Specialist Candidate Presentation #1

Norris Medical Library Bioinformatics Service is recruiting a new bioinformatics specialist.  We cordially invite you to attend the first candidate presentation “Identifying Quality Variation in High-Throughput Sequencing Datasets”.  This one-hour workshop will focus on identifying sets of variants that can be used for evolutionary and population genetic inference.  Attendees will learn the key concepts and steps to call and filter variants from sequencing reads.  

The workshop will 
  •  Be applicable to both model and non-model systems
  •  Cover the data structures of each of the major file formats in high-throughput data analysis (FASTQ, SAM, and VCF)
  • Introduce a number of standard analysis tools, including BWA and the Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK)
  • Include suggestions on how to appropriately filter variants
  • Illustrate how to perform analyses using the Unix command line and Galaxy

Time: 11 AM – noon, Wednesday, Nov. 30th.
Location: HSC—West Conference Room (basement level), Norris Medical Library
UPC—Live broadcast, Learning Center, Wilson Dental Library

The presentation can also be viewed on your own computer via live broadcast

Lunch will be provided at both in-person locations, seats are limited.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

USC Mentoring Awards



The USC Mentoring Awards honor individual faculty members for helping to build a supportive academic environment through faculty-to-student mentoring and faculty-to-faculty mentoring.


• Faculty Mentoring Faculty, Postdoctoral Scholars, Medical Residents, and Fellows

• Faculty Mentoring Students


Distinguished mentoring for academic and professional success occurs at USC through formal and informal channels, and may vary in style and substance from discipline to discipline. The main criterion for mentoring awards is demonstration of a continued commitment to, and effectiveness in, mentoring.

Individual awards will be given to faculty members who consistently perform one or more of the following:

1. Offer valuable information, insight, and counsel that helps advance and develop a mentee’s own path to success, both academic and professional.

2. Generously share time and expertise critiquing a mentee’s work and progress.

3. Involve peers and students in publications, grants, and conference presentations, as well as readily sharing knowledge of such opportunities.

4. Serve as a role model by maintaining high standards for excellence within their own discipline and in the University community more widely.


All faculty members—part-time and full-time—currently employed by USC are eligible for nomination. A nominee may not win two years in a row.


Submit a complete nomination form and maximum of TWO letters supporting the nomination in addition to the letter from the primary nominator. Letters can be solicited from past or present mentees of the nominee, the nominee’s department chair, the nominee’s dean, or other appropriate individuals. Letters should not exceed two pages each.

Letters of support can be submitted at the same time as the nomination form or separately here.

All nomination forms and letters of support must be submitted electronically by 5:00pm on Friday, January 29, 2016.

Paper nominations will not be accepted and nominations cannot be supplemented after the deadline.


Nominations submitted by 5:00 p.m., January 27, 2017
Selection announced by March 28, 2017
Awards Ceremony: April 6, 2017

For questions, please contact Dana Coyle, Program Manager at USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, at

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Internship Opportunity In Fitness/Dietary Products

Background & Summary

A Los Angeles-based start-up company that's in the very early stages of developing fitness/dietary products seeks a Genomics/Bioinformatics Intern.  
Summary: Work with a personalized genomics fitness start-up company to act as liaison between our fitness professionals and our DNA sequencing lab. Further, the position will develop web applications for visualizing the genetic data.

Minimum Education: Presently pursuing a Masters of Science or higher in Genomics, Bioinformatics, Computational Biology or a technical field that requires extensive genomic analysis and computational programming.

Minimum Experience: In-depth understanding of genomics, genetic variation, SNP arrays and the ability to work with our fitness professionals to translate the data into easily understandable analysis for our fitness clients.

Other Requirements: Programming skills also required to convert the sequencing data into web-based reports in an automated and high volume basis. Experience with Perl, R, Java, SQL and/or Python.

Start Date: December 2016. 

Next Steps
Interested students can reach out to Douglass Burleson at

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ph.D. Defense | Comparative Ecology and Physiology of Critically Endangered Madagascar Tortoises

Andrea Currylow
Ph.D. Candidate
Integrative & Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program

Tuesday, November 29
1-2 PM
RRI 321

Abstract: For ectotherms, physiology and behavior are critically tied to environmental conditions. Feeding, metabolism, reproduction, and even movement are strongly influenced by temperature, cover availability, and resource quality.  The underlying mechanisms of these interactions are, however, poorly understood.  The use of seasonal baseline hormone concentrations and data on ranging behavior can be used to determining the potential reproductive output in both wild and captive populations.  Using three closely related, critically endangered Malagasy tortoise species as models, I assessed the tempo and mode of reproductive potential, activity, and health (stress and body condition) by measuring circulating stress and sex steroid hormones in conjunction with environmental, physical, activity, and behavioral data.

Two funding opportunities for graduate students

The Rockwell Dennis Hunt Scholastic Award honors USC graduate students whose undergraduate degree is from USC. The $5,000 award is bestowed at the USC Honors Convocation in April.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:
Earned a bachelor’s degree at USC within the last five years (2012 - 2016);
Completed at least three years of undergraduate work at USC;
Currently working towards a master’s or doctoral degree at the University of Southern California during 2016-2017

Applications are due through to the Graduate School by Friday, December 16, 2016. The online application is available here:


The Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship supports graduate students in any field of study. An applicant must be a US citizen. The application and more information about the award is available here:

An initial application is due to the graduate school on Friday December 16, 2016. Two candidates will be selected to move forward in the process. These candidates will be asked to complete the full Liebmann application and provide supplemental materials including a resume, statement of purpose, undergraduate and graduate transcripts, copies of graduate exam test scores, two letters of recommendation and a copy of the FAFSA. The complete submission will also require a copy of the USC Financial Aid Summary and a copy of your Federal Income Tax Return for the prior two years.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Guest Lecture | Jan Perry, "Communication approaches for navigating successful outcomes..."

Tuesday, Nov. 82 PMAHF B10
Ms. Perry will speak on indigent initiatives, group therapy, and helping individuals re-enter the workforce.

Jan Perry by uscbiscgrad on Scribd

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NSF Teaching Fellowship at Claremont Graduate University

The Claremont Colleges STEM Initiative (CCSI), an NSF funded project at Claremont Graduate University (CGU), has a fellowship opportunity for individuals that have or will be graduating with a degree in a STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The project provides 100% tuition and training to become a certified math or science teacher in an area public school. They are currently accepting applications for the 2017-2018 cohort.

Visit them on Twitter @PrepareInspire for more information!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Research & Fellowships Week!

The Graduate School and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs will be hosting the 2nd Annual Research and Fellowships Week from November 7-11, 2016.

USC students at all levels will have an opportunity to learn more about research and fellowships. A variety of panels, made up of fellow Trojans, USC Faculty and Foundation Representatives, will discuss how research and competitive fellowships enhance the undergraduate and graduate career. No RSVP is required. Unless otherwise noted, all sessions will take place in the Tutor Campus Center, Room TCC 227.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Great California Shakeout

On Thursday, October 20, 2016, at 10:20 a.m., USC students, faculty and staff will participate in The Great California ShakeOut.  The ShakeOut earthquake drill serves as our annual reminder that preparation is the best way to ensure safety.  I urge you and your colleagues to join the over 9 million other California participants practicing “drop, cover and hold on” in response to a hypothetical 7.8 earthquake.  Detailed instructions and other information are attached.  In addition, the USC Office of Fire Safety and Emergency Planning has posted drill information online at

The ShakeOut is also a reminder to take steps to protect your family and home from harm in an earthquake.  This may include developing a family disaster plan, obtaining a home emergency kit, and mitigating hazards in your home environment.  In addition, signing up for payroll direct deposit will ensure your paycheck is received in a timely manner should we experience an emergency. Further, if you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to download LiveSafe, USC’s Mobile Safety App, from Google Play or the Apple App Store.  Please visit for more information.

Besides the “drop, cover and hold on” drill, schools and many departments will test their earthquake response and business continuity plans.  The annual test helps to ensure the university is ready to respond to the needs of our students, faculty and staff.

The ShakeOut is organized worldwide by the Earthquake Country Alliance, which is administered by the Southern California Earthquake Center headquartered at USC.  For additional information about the upcoming drill, or for assistance with emergency planning, please contact the USC Office of Fire Safety and Emergency Planning at  To learn more about emergency preparedness at USC, please visit the USC Office of Fire Safety and Emergency Planning website at

The Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching

2017 The Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching

Deadline: October 28, 2016

Upcoming CET Events

Course Design for Student Success: Supporting Diverse Student Populations

Friday, Oct 21, 2016 | Noon–1pm
ACB 238 - Lunch provided

Discover universal design for an inclusive classroom. In this active-learning workshop, participants will explore course design strategies that reduce educational barriers for USC’s diverse student populations. Feel free to bring your course syllabus. Instructional designers will be available for consultation after the workshop.

Presented by: CET Instructional Designers, Katie Guevara & Bob Sweeney


Tips on How to Manage Distracted Behavior in the Classroom: Student Perspectives

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016 | 12:30–1:30pm
DML 233 - Lunch provided

Hear from USC students and faculty on how to manage distracted behavior in the classroom.

Presented by: CET Faculty Fellow Ruth Chung, Rossier; CET Undergraduate Fellows Kshitij Kumar and Wilson Lin


Becoming Residential Faculty at USC: Best Practices & How to Apply for a Position

Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016 | Noon–1:00pm
Kaufmann 240 - Lunch provided

Join a panel of experts as they discuss the new USC Village and its open residential faculty positions. Learn the duties and parameters of the job, how to apply, and best practices from current resident faculty as well as from the Director of the Office of Residential Education.

Emily Sandoval, Director, Office of Residential Education and Brett Sheehan, Faculty Master, Parkside Arts & Humanities, and John Pascarella, Resident Faculty at Marks Tower, South Area. Moderated by Oliver Mayer.


Active Learning Meet-Up: Turning a Guest Speaker into an Active-Learning Opportunity

Tuesday, Nov 8, 2016 | 12:30pm–1:30pm
Herklotz Library DML G28 - Lunch provided

Monthly informal Active Learning Meet-Ups start with a demonstration of an active-learning strategy appropriate for classroom courses, followed by Q&A and an opportunity for faculty to share their own active-learning strategies. CET Instructional Designers will be available after the Meet-Up for impromptu consultations on course design and classroom practices. A different active-learning strategy will be featured each month.

Presented by: CET Instructional Designers, Katie Guevara & Bob Sweeney


Bringing Arctic and deep-sea science alive for inner-city kids

Dieuwertje “DJ” Kast of USC Dornsife’s Joint Educational Project (JEP) is drawing on her summer research experiences aboard a deep-sea exploration vessel and at an Arctic research station to inspire young scientists at the USC Family of Schools.

Dieuwertje "DJ" Kast holds aloft a USC banner during her summer research trip to the Arctic. Photos courtesy of DJ Kast.

By Susan Bell - October 6, 2016

DJ Kast is still haunted by two unforgettable sounds.

The first is the gentle, if eerie, glassy tinkle made by perpendicular shards of candle ice in a thawing Arctic lake. “When the pieces of candle ice clink against each other, it sounds like wind chimes,” said Kast, USC Dornsife’s Joint Educational Project (JEP) STEM program manager. “It’s a strange and beautiful music.”

Link to complete story

Apply for an AAUW International Fellowship


Who may apply: Women pursuing full-time graduate or postdoctoral study in the United States who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents

Funding: $18,000–$30,000

Deadline: December 1

Find out more about AAUW’s other fellowships, grants, and awards.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

TODAY | Special expert panel on plastics in the Ocean

A special scientific panel discussion on biological effects of plastic pollution in the oceans will be held TODAY (Wednesday, Oct 12) at 1:00-4:00 pm in the Tudor Campus Center, Trojan Ballroom A. The panel will include several world-class biologists who study the topic, and the discussion will be moderated by Prof. Doug McCauley of UC Santa Barbara. Here is a link at which you can find more information:

This is a great opportunity for you to hear from the leading experts that are defining the magnitude of an ecological challenge that we face.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

$10,000 Dissertation Fellowships Available

Beginning this year, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi will award ten $10,000 Dissertation Fellowships. To be eligible, applicants must be an active Phi Kappa Phi member in the dissertation writing stage of doctoral study. Awards are for 12 months of dissertation writing. All pre-dissertation requirements should be met by the application deadline including approval of the dissertation proposal.

The deadline to apply is November 30 and recipients will be notified by February 1.
For more information, read the Dissertation Fellowship FAQs or download the fact sheet.
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me at or 800.804.9880, ext. 235.

Kelli Partin
Awards Manager
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
phone 225.923.7785  toll free 800.804.9880 x235
7576 Goodwood Blvd. | Baton Rouge, LA 70806 | Connect with us!

Phi Kappa Phi Student Recognition Awards

Scroll down for the submission page.

Pkp Student Recognition Program 2016 by Adolfo P Dela Rosa on Scribd

New BISC-599 Course! Convergent Biosciences

For Spring 2017

BISC-599 | Convergent Biosciences (Units: 3)
Mondays and Wednesdays
9 AM-10:30 AM
Room: TRF113

Course Description

This course will provide students with a unique transdisciplinary perspective on how the convergence of the Arts, Engineering and Sciences are necessary to enable innovation and to address complex, global problems in healthcare. Working on projects, pitching ideas, and discussions are all major components of the course, which will help students to learn why going beyond boundaries and disciplines is necessary for cutting edge research and futuristic technology development.  Invited lecturers are an essential part of this course, as they will provide a variety of opinions from many different fields and perspectives.

Learning Objectives

Students will have a better understanding about the convergence of Arts, Engineering and Sciences, including both how to create interdisciplinary collaborations and how to best utilize the strengths of each field.  They will learn from various examples about the importance of these collaborations, not just within one’s own discipline, but across disciplines to expand to engineering, life and physical sciences, and cinematic arts.
The course will help students learn the necessary skills for initiating and maintaining collaborations via projects and discussions with scientists and artists from both academia and industry.
Students will understand the importance of the Arts to communicate scientific ideas and their own research in a more effective way.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thesis Center Information Sessions - Oct. 5 and 12

I will be hosting Thesis Center information Sessions for students who are submitting their thesis or dissertation. The sessions will be about 50 minutes long. Advisors and faculty are welcome and encouraged to attend.

There will be one session on University Park Campus, and one session on Health Sciences Campus:
     UPC: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5TH, in THH 202 at 12:00 PM
     HSC: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12TH , in MCH 156 at 12:00 PM

Topics will include important information for both students and advisors, such as:
·         Thesis Center navigation
·         submission deadlines
·         required documentation
·         Finalizing publishing information with the USC Digital Library

There will be an opportunity for questions following the presentation. These dates and times will also be listed in myGradSchool for reference. Hope to see you there!

Fight On!

Samuel Mantell
Academic Services Coordinator
The Graduate School
Office of the Provost
University of Southern California
3601 Trousdale Pkwy, STU 301N
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1695
(213) 740-9033

Help save the endangered turtles of Sulawesi!


I'm a graduate student in IEB and have been working on a project to save endangered turtles in Indonesia. We are in the middle of a fundraising campaign.

~ Andrea Currylow

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

CLC Genomics Workbench On-Site Training at USC, September 30

This is the only on-site training on CLCbio Genomics Workbench in next 12 months, don’t miss it!

Starting the week of Oct. 3, 2016, we will offer free access of the CLC Genomics Workbench Software, along with the Microbial Genomics Module and the Genome Finishing Module, to all USC users.

To help USC researchers get started with this software, QIAGEN will provide an one-day on-site training.  Please follow the link below to register for the online training.

CLC Genomics Workbench On-site Training at USC

Date and Time:       10 am to 4 pm, Friday September 30, 2016
Location:                   Aresty Auditorium, Health Science Campus
Lunch will be provided

Training Agenda

10-11 am—Introduction to the CLC Genomics Workbench

Overview of Application: Reqsequencing, RNA-seq, Small RNA, Epigenomics, De Novo Assembly, Microbial and Metagenomics
Preprocessing of Data
Incorporation of MetaData
Building a workflow/pipeline
Installation and setting up reference database(s)

11am-noon—DNA-seq, ChIP-seq, and Bisulfite-seq Pipelines

Map reads to reference
Indels and structural variants
Local realignment
Variant determination
Annotate, filter and compare variants
Histone ChIP-seq and bisulfite sequencing

Noon to 1 pm—Lunch will be provided

1:00 pm-2:30 pm—Microbial Module Tools and Metagenomics Pipelines

Microbiome Analysis: Explore the taxonomic and functional composition of Microbial communities
Analyze 16S rRNA or other amplicon data.
From raw reads to interactive visualization in four steps.
De novo or reference based OTU-clustering
Supports common OTU Databases Greengenes, Silva, and UNITE.
Analyze and browse micro biome composition at different taxonomic levels and in the context of metadata.

Whole metagenome function analysis: Functional Profiling of Microbiomes
Assemble whole metagenome datasets
Functional profiling
Stacked bar charts, area charts and zoomable sunburst diagrams to explore and compare the functional composition of metagenomic samples, or sample groups.

Typing and whole genome based analysis of microbial isolates
Confirm the identity of pathogens, or starter cultures.
Establish an association between an outbreak and its source.
Monitor pathogens outbreaks.
Manage samples, meta-information and results all from a convenient Analysis Dashboard.

2:30 pm-3:30 pm—De Novo Assembly and Genome Finishing Tools and Pipelines

Use reads to assemble an estimate of genome regions
Support for a variety of data formats, including both short and long reads, and mixing of paired reads
Assess quality of assembly/QC
Automate scaffolding, contig joining, and the ordering of contigs relative to each other or to a closely related reference genome

Let us know if you have any questions.

Yibu Chen and Meng Li
Bioinformatics Service Program
Norris Medical Library
University of Southern California
323-442-3309 (Yibu)
323-442-3447 (Meng)

Hertz Foundation Fellowship

Eligible: Domestic PhD students, i.e. U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

Friday, September 23, 2016

Dr. Steven Finkel awarded ASM award

*Photo credit: Mark Berndt, USC Trojan Family Magazine

USC Professor Steven Finkel has been selected to receive the William A. Hinton Research Training Award for 2017. This award honors outstanding contributions toward fostering the research training of underrepresented minorities in microbiology. It is given in memory of William A. Hinton, a physician-research scientist and one of the first African-Americans to join the ASM. This award is also associated with an award lecture at the 2017 Microbe meeting in New Orleans.

Job Posting | Social Media Specialist

Ad_Social Media Specialist


Thursday, September 22, 2016

University Staff Club Scholarship

Following this announcement is the flyer, application, and instructions for the University Staff Club Scholarship. The deadline to apply is Monday, October 3rd by 3:00 pm PST.

Criteria: All students who preferably, have an undergraduate degree from USC, (but not limited to) and are currently enrolled in a USC graduate program are eligible for one of the twenty five (25) $1000 scholarships. Criteria for selection include: financial need, academic record, activities, service, and future goals.

If you have any questions about the scholarship, please e-mail them to

Insight Fellows Programs

Now accepting applications for January 2017 Insight Fellowships!

600+ Insight alumni are now data scientists and data engineers at Facebook, LinkedIn, The New York Times, Apple, Airbnb, Netflix, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Uber, Seven Bridges Genomics, Twitter, Bloomberg, NBC, Microsoft, and 200+ other top companies.

Insight Fellowship:
  * 7 week, full-time, post-graduate training Fellowship
  * Mentorship from leading industry data scientists and data engineers
  * Join an active community of Insight alumni
  * Self-directed, project-based learning with support from Insight throughout the whole process
  * Tuition-free with need-based scholarships available to help cover living costs

Insight awards three distinct Fellowships:

Data Science (New York City, Silicon Valley & remote)
Deadline: October 24th
For post-docs or PhD students who will graduate by May 2017
Apply at

Health Data Science (Boston & Silicon Valley)
Deadline: October 24th
For post-docs, MDs, MD students, or PhD students who will graduate by May 2017
Apply at

Data Engineering (New York City & Silicon Valley)
Deadline: November 3rd
For post-docs or Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD students who will graduate by May 2017
Apply at

Not yet ready to apply? Sign up for our Notification Lists: Data Science, Data Engineering, Health Data Science

Questions? Email us at

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Like or Follow us NOW!

The Department of Biological Sciences has unveiled its new Facebook page and Twitter handle. All content submissions can be made to We look forward to sharing your stories and tweeting with all of you!

Fall 2016 Graduate Student Luncheons

The USC Graduate School's Vice Provost for Graduate Programs, Sally Pratt invites you to attend one of the four Fall 2016 Graduate Student Luncheons.  These events serve as an opportunity to create an inclusive community for graduate students from both the University Park Campus and the Health Science Campus. You have the opportunity to talk with the Vice Provost about a variety of graduate and professional student topics that range from Diversity, Inclusion, and Access to International Student experiences to Academic Professional Development; including your own concerns and discussion items. Vice Provost Pratt is interested in hearing your news, updates, and concerns as well as what you think the USC Graduate School does well and what it can improve upon and how.

The event is open to all USC Graduate Students, and attendance will be limited to 20 Graduate Students per luncheon. Since space is limited, please remember that your RSVP does not guarantee you a seat at the luncheon. The exact location of each luncheon will be communicated through a confirmation email sent to the first 20 students, per event, who have expressed interest in the particular meeting date.

The menu for these events consists of salads, sandwiches, beverages, and dessert.

Below are the luncheon dates, and times (lunch location TBD):

University Park Campus - Monday, October 10th – 12:00pm – 1:30pm
University Park Campus - Wednesday, October 12th – 12:00pm – 1:30pm
University Park Campus - Monday, October 17th – 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Health Science Campus - Tuesday, November 1st – 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Reserve your space today: Graduate Student Luncheon with Vice Provost Sally Pratt

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Academic Careers Week - Sept. 26-29

More Information

Writing Your Cover Letter & CV - Monday, Sept. 26th, noon - 1:00 pm
Doheny Memorial Library (DML) 240
Putting together a cover letter and CV can be a daunting task. How will yours stand out among all the other applicants? Professor Rachel Walker from the Linguistics department and Professor Najm Meskati from the Civil and Environmental Engineering department will provide insight into what faculty look for when they review cover letters and CVs.
Lunch Provided
Instant Contact: How to Shine in 1 or 2 Minutes on your Interview Day - Tuesday, Sept. 27th, 12:30 - 1:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library (DML) 240
On your interview day you will meet many people and only have a minute or two to explain to them your academic interests. This program will allow you to practice! An overview of a typical interviewing day will be presented. Following this, you will break into small groups, where you will have a chance to explain your research interests in a short one or two minute description. The members of your small group along with a USC faculty member will provide constructive comments on your short description.
Lunch Provided


Negotiating the Academic Job Offer - Wednesday, Sept. 28th, noon - 1:00 pm
Doheny Memorial Library (DML) 240
You’ve been made an offer! Now what? How does one go about negotiating an academic job offer? A panel including Dani Byrd, Professor of Linguistics & Executive Vice Dean of USC's Dornsife College; Andrew Goodney, Lecturer, Computer Science, Viterbi School; and Bruce Zuckerman Professor of Religion, Dornsife College will share their experiences with negotiating academic job offers.
Lunch Provided

Drafting Your Teaching Philosophy / Research Statement - Thursday, Sept. 29th, 12:30 - 1:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library (DML) 241
How does one go about articulating a teaching philosophy and a research statement? How are these documents used by search committees? Professor Armand Tanguay, Jr. from the Viterbi School of Engineering will share his insights on crafting these two documents. Presented by Professor Mark Schroeder, Donrsife College & Professor Sandy Sawchuk, Viterbi School
Lunch Provided


Monday, September 12, 2016

The DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research program is now accepting applications!

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science is pleased to announce that the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications for the 2016 Solicitation 2.  Applications are due 5:00pm ET on Monday November 21, 2016. 

Starting from 2015 Solicitation 2, the SCGSR program is open to graduate students with Permanent Resident status, in addition to U.S. Citizens, who meet all other eligibility requirements. Detailed information about the program, including eligibility requirements and access to the online application system, can be found at:  

The SCGSR program supports supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist for a period of 3 to 12 consecutive months—with the goal of preparing graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission.

The SCGSR program is open to current Ph.D. students in qualified graduate programs at accredited U.S. academic institutions, who are conducting their graduate thesis research in targeted areas of importance to the DOE Office of Science. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students’ overall doctoral thesis/dissertation while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories. The supplemental award provides for additional, incremental costs for living and travel expenses directly associated with conducting the SCGSR research project at the DOE host laboratory during the award period.

The Office of Science expects to make approximately 50 awards in 2016 Solicitation 2, for project periods beginning anytime between June 1, 2017 and October 2, 2017.

Since its inception in 2014, the SCGSR program has provided support to about 160 graduate awardees from over 75 different universities to conduct thesis research at DOE national laboratories across the nation.

The SCGSR program is sponsored and managed by the DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS), in collaboration with the six Office of Science research programs offices and the DOE national laboratories, and the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE).

For any questions, please contact the SCGSR Program Manager, Dr. Ping Ge, at

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Should we license CLC Genomics Workbench?

We need your input for making the right decision!

Dear Colleagues,

We invited QIAGEN to give four webinar demos of CLC Genomics Workbench’s features and functionalities, and we need to know if you find this software useful to your research before making a decision on the licensing.  Please follow the link below to submit your feedback no later than Sept. 6, 2016:

If you were unable to attend the webinar demos, you can watch the recorded sessions via the links below:

Session 1—Introduction and basic molecular manipulation (1hr)

Session 2—RNA-seq analysis (including small RNA) (1hr)

Session 3—DNA-seq analysis and epigenomic (ChIPseq) pipelines (1hr)

Session 4—De novo assembly and Microbial Module (metagenomics) (1.5hr)

Please let us know if you have any questions,

Yibu Chen and Meng Li
Bioinformatics Service Program
Norris Medical Library
University of Southern California
323-442-3309 (Yibu)
323-442-3447 (Meng)

Bridge Arts and Science Alliance: Bridgeable mixer

Are you a scientist or engineer looking for an artistic way to publicize your research OR an artist looking for scientific inspiration? and funding for an interdisciplinary project?!

Then COME AND JOIN US for the Bridge Arts and Science Alliance Mixer!

Along with meeting artists, scientists, and engineers, you'll learn about funding opportunities for your multimedia project ideas. Our mission is to help students interested in convergent and interdisciplinary projects develop their ideas and connect with USC artists, scientists, and engineers to create innovative collaborations.

We'll have snacks, drinks, and games to get the ideas rolling.

WHEN:   Friday Sept 2nd
WHERE:    Front lawn of SCI

Can't make it to the mixer? Visit our website for more info and our calendar of future events!

Workshop for International TAs

USC Center for Excellence in Teaching Event

Wednesday, Sept 7, 2016 | 5:00-6:00pm
DML 240



Tuesday, Sept 8, 2016 | 12:30-1:30pm
Ahamnson Center for Biological Studies, ACB 238

RSVP for Repeat Offering 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

EASC Grad Forum Series

EASC Grad Forum series returns in the 2016-17 Academic Year as part of the Graduate Professionalization Series, co-sponsored by the Center for International Studies, East Asian Studies Center and Korean Studies Institute. This academic year, we present an expanded set of topics designed to provide USC graduate students with essential professionalization tools to help them embark on their academic careers, featuring faculty speakers from various USC graduate programs. The series is open to all USC graduate students. Please see this FLYER and details listed below.

Time Management
David Kang, Director of KSI and CIS | Professor of International Relations and Business
Monday, September 26, 2016  | 12:00PM - 1:30PM | SOS B40 | RSVP

Portfolio Management
Brett Sheehan, Director of EASC | Professor of History and East Asian Languages & Cultures
Monday, October 31, 2016 | 12:00PM - 1:30PM | SOS B40 | RSVP

Care and Feeding of Faculty Advisors
Patrick James, Professor of International Relations
Akira Lippit, Vice Dean of Faculty in SCA | Professor of Cinematic Arts, Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages & Cultures
Monday, November 28, 2016 | 12:00PM - 1:30PM | SOS B40 | RSVP

Work-Life Balance
David Kang, Director of KSI and CIS | Professor of International Relations and Business
Wendy Wood, Professor of Psychology
Monday, January 30, 2017 | 12:00PM - 1:30PM | SOS B40 | RSVP

Dissertation Writing
Brett Sheehan, Director of EASC | Professor of History and East Asian Languages & Cultures
Monday, February 27, 2017 | 12:00PM - 1:30PM | SOS B40 | RSVP

Funding Applications
Carol Wise, Associate Professor of International Relations
Sonya Lee, Associate Professor of Art History, East Asian Languages & Cultures, and Religion
Monday, March 27, 2017 | 12:00PM - 1:30PM | SOS B40 | RSVP

Job Search
Erin Baggott, Assistant Professor of International Relations
Edgardo Perez Morales, Assistant Professor of History
Monday, April 24, 2017 | 12:00PM - 1:30PM | SOS B40 | RSVP

Please RSVP at least a week before each workshop, if you would like to attend. We hope to see many of you there!


East Asian Studies Center
USC David and Dana Dornsife
College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
University of Southern California
3454 Trousdale Parkway, CAS 100
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0154
Tel: 213.740.2991 

Job opportunities in whole-cell modeling @ Mt Sinai in NYC

The Karr Lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is seeking talented, ambitious researchers to help develop whole-cell computational models of individual cells, as well as new technologies to enable larger and more accurate whole-cell models.

Despite advances in molecular biology and genomics, we still do not understand the details of how phenotype arises from genotype. We are developing whole-cell computational models which comprehensively predict how behavior emerges from the molecular level by representing all of the biochemical activity inside cells. Our goal is to use whole-cell models to advance bioengineering and medicine. Our research is highly interdisciplinary, involving systems biology, genomics, bioinformatics, data integration, parallel simulation, and software engineering, and highly team-oriented.

Desired skills/experience
Because whole-cell modeling is highly interdisciplinary, we're looking for team members with a broad range of skills and experience:
•         PhD, MS, or BS in computational biology or related field
•         Strong experience dynamical modeling, genome-scale modeling, cell biology, genomics, bioinformatics, computer science, and/or software engineering
•         Strong desire to tackle challenging problems and deep commitment to innovation
•         Abilities to think creatively and integrate diverse concepts
•         Passion for biology, bioengineering, and medicine

More information
Please see our website ( or contact Jonathan Karr (

How to apply
Please send a cover letter outlining your research interests and a CV to Jonathan Karr (

Jonathan Karr
Assistant Professor
Institute for Genomics & Multiscale Biology
Department of Genetics & Genomic Sciences
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Register for "Epigenetic Control and Cellular Plasticity" Symposium at UCI

The UCI Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism is hosting a Symposium titled "Epigenetic Control and Cellular Plasticity" on October 6-7, 2016 at the Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering in Irvine, CA.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Register for the 4th Annual Research Symposium at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

We would like to invite you to present your ongoing, basic and translational biomedical research at the 4th Annual Research Symposium at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.    Our annual symposium is planned and conducted entirely by the graduate student body here at Cedars-Sinai. It is our belief that this symposium, by students and for students, provides a unique opportunity to foster inter-institutional relations all across Southern California and throughout the state.

This year we are proud to present our keynote speaker, Jeffrey D. Rothstein MD, PhD. Dr. Rothstein is the John Griffin Director of the Brain Science Institute and professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA. He is the founder and director of the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins, the largest collaborative academic organization dedicated towards understanding ALS and developing novel therapeutics.  Dr. Rothstein has made significant contributions to the scientific community, with over 250 peer reviewed publications and over a dozen patents on candidate drugs and biomarkers for ALS and Neurodegenerative Diseases. Dr. Rothstein will embody the spirit of this symposium through his work at the intersection of medical practice and medical research.

We invite all who are participating to share their work and submit an abstract of no more than 500 words as part of their registration.  This symposium caters towards both basic and translational biomedical research. Masters and PhD students are encouraged to present a poster of their research, and outstanding abstracts will be chosen for oral presentations.  Additionally, cash awards will be given out for best posters and presentations.  To register for the symposium and to submit an abstract, please go to and click REGISTER NOW on the home page.  Please see the flyer attached for additional information and where to submit questions or comments.

Thank you for your time and we hope to see you and your research this year.

- 2016 CSMC Graduate Student Association

Ryan Middleton, MS
Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute
8700 Beverly Blvd , 1094 Davis Bldg.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310-423-8940 |