This action funds an NSF Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for FY2001. The goal of the fellowship is to prepare minority scientists for positions of scientific leadership in academia and industry. To attain this goal, the fellowship provides opportunities for postdoctoral training of the highest quality to recent doctoral recipients. This program is an effort by the NSF to increase the number of research scientists from underrepresented minority groups, thereby contributing to the future vitality of the Nation's scientific enterprise. It is expected that Fellows trained through these fellowships will play important roles in training of the future workforce.
The research and training plan for this fellowship is entitled "Understanding how membrane proteins involved in sporulation reach their proper locations." All cells can target proteins to specific locations, but the mechanism for this process is poorly understood in bacterial systems. During sporulation in Bacillus subtilis, many membrane proteins are specifically localized within the cell to division sites. Through mutant analyses and fluorescence microscopy using GFP fusions, this research is gaining a more detailed picture of how bacteria send proteins to specific regions of the cell.