This award supports undergraduate and graduate student attendance and participation in the 18th Annual Southeastern Regional Yeast Meeting (SERYM) to be held on the campus of Mississippi State University from March 11-13, 2011. This annual meeting provides a unique opportunity for yeast researchers from states in the southeastern region of the U.S. to come together to share their preliminary research findings and discuss new research tools and emerging technologies. NSF support will be used to cover the travel expenses of student participants in an effort to increase the number of undergraduate and graduate students attending the meeting. Particular emphasis will be placed on strengthening the participation of individuals underrepresented in the sciences through the recruitment of both women and minorities. This meeting, which is expected to attract between 100 and 125 participants, is an ideal venue for the inclusion of student presentations with the ultimate goal of facilitating interactions and discussions between students and senior scientists.
The 2011 SERYM conference brings together scientists studying basic biological processes in fungi by providing a forum for the exchange of research results, ideas and technical expertise. A key strength of this meeting is the opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students to present their research in oral and poster formats. The regional nature of this meeting provides numerous opportunities for students to discuss their research work with leading scientists, laying the foundation for future scientific development and collaborations. The meeting also provides the undergraduate attendees time to discuss graduate research opportunities directly with potential major professors prior to applying to that program. In addition, the diversity of topics covered exposes students to the current advancements in the field of cell and molecular biology of fungi increasing the educational impact of attendance.
The 18th Annual Southeastern Regional Yeast Meeting (SERYM) was held at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS from March 11-13, 2011. As a regional meeting, SERYM hosted yeast researchers from Universities and Colleges in the Southeastern region of the United States including Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Virginia. Funds provided by this award supported the participation of thirteen undergraduate and graduate students at the meeting. In addition to the opening Keynote address, seventeen platform and seventeen posters were presented over the three-day conference. Abstracts for all presentations were made available to meeting participants. Intellectual Merit: The 18th Annual Southeastern Regional Yeast Meeting provided an opportunity for individuals studying diverse areas of yeast cell biology to come together to present and discuss recent findings, evolving methodologies, and future scientific directions. Broad topics covered included transcriptional elongation, cell wall biology, DNA repair, chromatin packaging, telomere biology, translational regulation, and mitochondrial dynamics. Fifty individuals attended the meeting, with attendees representing an overall diverse group with regards to gender, ethnicity, and stage of academic career. Specifically, 60% of the attendees were female researchers and women presented 70% of the oral platform presentations and 59% of the poster presentations. In addition, undergraduate and graduate students made up 62% of the total participants and were responsible for 65% of the platform and 70% of the poster presentations made over the three-day event. The meeting was structured to include formal presentations as well as periods for informal discussions giving early career scientists ample opportunities to network with prospective mentors and senior scientists. Broader Impacts: Funding provided support for three undergraduate and ten graduate students to attend the meeting. These thirteen students contributed four oral presentations and eight poster presentations to the conference proceedings. Overall, the regional setting for this meeting provided a supportive environment for students to present their research findings. In addition, all early career scientists (postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students) that presented oral or platform presentations received constructive feedback on their performances from two conference attendees increasing the training potential associated with participating in the conference. The diversity of topics covered at the meeting, the presentation of the latest research, and the opportunity to interact with senior scientist provided a strong educational component to the conference.