Becas – Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows

Promoting Research Opportunities for Latin American Biochemists


The Promoting Research Opportunities for Latin American Biochemists (PROLAB) program allows Latin American graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to spend up to six months in U.S. or Canadian laboratories.

Participants get access to technologies and expertise that may not be readily available in their home countries, allowing them to grow their skills and contribute to capacity building in the life sciences at home. By strengthening collaborative ties between laboratories in North America and Latin America, the program bolsters research in the region.

PROLAB is a joint venture between the Pan-American Association for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PABMB), the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).


Applications are welcomed from trainees and new investigators (not more than five years past postdoctoral work) from all countries active in the PABMB, including Spain and Portugal.


The following documents should be provided in English:

  1. A research proposal of no more than two pages, single-spaced, indicating clearly:
    1. The nature of the project and the type of experiments to be carried out;
    2. The reason it is necessary to travel to a particular laboratory to conduct the experiments rather than to perform them in the applicant’s own laboratory;
    3. The rationale for the visit duration requested.
  2. A budget indicating sources of support, whether awarded or applied for;
  3. A short curriculum vitae of the applicant, including academic record (for graduate students) and a list of publications;
  4. A letter of agreement from the head of the host laboratory, stating that the institution will receive the applicant, listing papers published by the hosting faculty member during the past five years and current grant support for the laboratory, and indicating whether the host institution will contribute toward the costs of the visit.
  5. A letter of recommendation from the graduate student’s adviser, postdoctoral fellow’s mentor, or head of department of the applicant’s institution indicating how the award would be beneficial.


Puerto Varas, Chile, September 30-October 4, 2019
The meeting will cover a wide variety of topics centered on eukaryotic gene expression, from detailed molecular analyses to genome-wide studies. This conference aims to bring together scientists from all over the world, at different stages of their scientific careers, to discuss recent advances in this active and fast-paced area of research.

  • Transcriptional Regulation & Chromatin Structure
  • Epigenetics
  • Genome-Scale & Integrative Biology
  • Evolution
  • Post-transcriptional Regulation
  • Regulatory RNAs
  • Developmental Networks & Cell Signaling

The program features eight sessions devoted to oral presentations (including a “New PI” session) and two poster sessions. Some of the talks will be selected by the organizers from submitted abstracts. In addition, there will be a Reproducibility Workshop and two “Elevator Pitch” sessions, in which authors of selected poster presentations will have 3 minutes to present their work during plenary sessions.

Registration from   February 6, 2019   to    31 July, 2019

Fellowship application deadline  ​April 15, 2019

Abstract submission deadline  30 June, 2019

This will be a small conference, limited to max. 120 attendees, thus providing a prime opportunity for networking.

The organizers hope to have as many young people as possible attend this meeting. A limited number of fellowships (Registration Fee waivers) will be available to partially support students and postdocs.

More information here, o in Twitter and Facebook

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

“In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/70/212 declaring

February 11

as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.”

2019 Theme:  “Investment  in  Women  and  Girls  in  Science  for Inclusive Green Growth”

“At present, less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women. According to UNESCO data (2014 – 2016), only around 30 per cent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3 per cent), natural science, mathematics and statistics (5 per cent) and in engineering, manufacturing and construction (8 per cent).”

Less than 30% of scientific and technological researchers are women.

“Long-standing biases and gender stereotypes are steering girls and women away from science related fields. As in the real world, the world on screen reflects similar biases—the 2015 Gender Bias Without Borders study by the Geena Davis Institute showed that of the onscreen characters with an identifiable STEM job, only 12 per cent were women.”

Read more

Plant peptide hormone generates distinct cell structures for water flow

from Nature Plants volume 4pages1071–1081 (2018)  (Kakimoto T., Chai J. & col.)
Researchers form Osaka University, in collaboration with laboratories from China, Germany and others form Japan,  have found that a peptide hormone regulates two different cell division processes that generate centrally important structures for the flow of water through plants.

The study was carried out in Arabidopsis and it was shown that the genes encoding the peptide hormone CLE9/10 are active in cells that lead to the development of stomata in the leaf and also in cells that are precursors of water-conducting vessels (the xylem) in the root. The researchers identified  two different receptors and also revealed that a co-receptor protein is involved in the leaf signaling system.

“In the primordial cells in leaves, binding of CLE9/10 to a protein receptor controls the number of stomatal pores,” said  Pingping Qian. “But in the roots, it binds to a different protein receptor, and there it controls the production of xylem vessels.”

Tatsuo Kakimoto explained: “In animals, there are examples of signaling molecules that are perceived by multiple receptors. …This study shows that the same types of signaling systems operate in plants. It is interesting that the two developmental processes, involving distinct receptors in different parts of the plant, generate completely different structures that are both essential for water flow. These results have implications for understanding how multiple processes in plant development are coordinated.”

A model for the action of CLE9/10

Fig. 7


CLE9/10 is perceived by two distinct receptor systems, one regulating stomatal development (left) and the other regulating xylem development (right). In the MMC, ER family receptor complexes are activated by EPF2 and the HSL1 complex is activated by CLE9/10. Signals from these receptor systems result in the phosphorylation and destabilization of SPCH. In the root meristem, CLE9/10 is perceived by BAM class receptors and represses the periclinal cell division of xylem precursor cells at the protoxylem file position.


“Ten simple rules for developing good reading habits during graduate school and beyond”

PLOS Computational Biology 14(10): e1006467. by Marcos Mendez

Good reading habits are essential at all stages of a scientific career. Senior scientists should cultivate them, caress literature, and instill these habits to their students as a part of their mentoring. In particular, Rule 10 can have an important part in the mentoring process as a way of giving example and as a tool for sharing knowledge and curiosity. A good deal of self-discipline underlies good reading habits, especially rules 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 9. As self-discipline is an important skill for early career scientists, they should not forget to include reading as a way to develop this skill. Finally, science is about the excitement of discovery and the amusement of enhanced understanding.

Rule 1: Develop the habit of reading on a daily basis

A first step toward good reading habits is to realize that reading is a fundamental part of your training (or activity) as a researcher. If you do not read regularly, you will soon get out of date and will not be able to join the scholarly conversation. Piling or archiving unread papers (see Rule 9) only leads to a delusion of knowledge. Cursory or urgent reading when preparing a new article is neither efficient nor desirable. Instead, dedicate daily time slot for reading at least one paper. When to read is a very personal decision. I use my daily commuting time in public transport for that task; others start their working day doing some reading. You may find a particularly quiet moment in the day, either at work or at home. If you can only devote short time slots during the day and need several sessions to go through a paper, keeping a routine of daily reading is still advisable; find this time!

Rule 2: Read thoroughly to build a sound background understanding of your topic

Particularly at early career stages, you need to get as much background information as possible. If you think you are short of time during your graduate period, just imagine how busy you will be later when you teach, supervise students, manage research projects; do not take shortcuts! Reading articles thoroughly will provide you a broad context about concepts, methods, results, and potential meanings and implications in your discipline. Once you have achieved a good background knowledge of a topic, you can start reading more selectively those papers or paper sections that fill a particular gap or curiosity. But a good background knowledge takes a long time to build; do your homework early in your career so that you can save time later.

Rule 3: Do not ignore the pillars of your discipline; read the classics

I repeat, read the classics! You may be working at the cutting edge of science, but your discipline surely has a long history behind it. It is naïve to think that you can go on in science by reading only what is new, starting at the moment you got involved in science, and ignore past fundamental steps in the building of your discipline (even if obsolete for current standards!). You need to identify and read the foundational papers of your discipline, concerning concepts, methods, or views. If this brings you back two centuries, so be it! Only by reading the classics you will get a deep understanding of your research topic. This will not only prevent you from reinventing the wheel but will enable you to build a robust context for significant advances. Repeat, read the classics!

Rule 4: If you have to get familiar with a new topic, consider reading in chronological order

Early in your career, or whenever you get into a new topic and gather a bunch of references to get a hint on the status of the field, consider reading them in chronological order. If all references are recent, this gives you an idea of how the conversation is developing and who is answering who. If the time lapse is longer, you will get surprised to discover how concepts, methods, or interpretations may have changed with time. Reading in chronological order will allow you to realize subtle—or dramatic—changes in term use or meaning that will profitably add to your background knowledge of the topic.

Rule 5: Avoid narrow-mindedness by reading beyond your discipline

Interesting ideas, concepts, methods, or implications are waiting for you in the work of other disciplines. Keep an eye to advances in other fields. You do not need to become the next Leonardo da Vinci; find a balance between focused and broad reading. The trick is to identify a few journals with a broad scope or that provide reviews in a broad spectrum of topics within a larger field and browse their content regularly (see Rule 6). You may also join journal clubs or follow renowned scientists outside your specific field using social networks.

Rule 6: Create a list of relevant journals

Find out which journals publish relevant information for your research and subscribe to the online alerts for new content. Think big; if you find yourself checking less than 20 journals, you are probably missing relevant sources. Include journals that only occasionally publish relevant information. Do not forget those journals in which new analytical, experimental, or statistical methods are published, as they not always overlap with the journals in which primary research is published. Be prepared to reassess your list of journals during your scientific career; journals bust and fade and editorial lines change.

Rule 7: Not all interesting stuff will appear in articles; read books

Books distil accumulated knowledge or suggest groundbreaking ideas. Read books, both classic and recent. Spotting the classic books is relatively easy and, with luck, you may be allowed to “plunder” the library of the elders around (Rule 10). However, finding new relevant books is not as straightforward as finding new articles. Google Scholar and most of the big editorials offer alerts or mailing lists for new books that can be customized. Another possibility is to identify the journals that include regular sections on new books, such as Quarterly Review of Biology. Finally, check with the library of your institution how new books are advertised—probably as electronic alerts—as the traditional shelf with novelties is almost extinct.

Rule 8: Use a reference manager to keep track of your literature

Reference managers [6, 7] will avoid chaotic accumulation of nonretrievable literature. Some discipline is required to avoid misuse of reference managers. First, devote some time every day to update your recent readings. Second, never store in your reference manager papers you have not read; scientific databases already do that for you. Unread papers are best filed in a “to read” folder, that can be subdivided according to topics or urgency. Third, remember that storing a paper in a reference manager forces you to identify meaningful key words. Thus, refrain from merely importing key words already included in the reference and create your personalized list of keywords because this will contribute to building your background knowledge of the discipline.

Rule 9: Keep a long-term review for your own use as a way to remember what you read

The more you read, the more you forget! A fruitful way to remember what you read is to open one (or several) review(s) of a topic for your own use. You may use your reference manager to do that (Rule 8). Nevertheless, I recommend going a step further and have a spreadsheet or a text document to store basic information or main messages from the primary literature. Whatever the format you choose, this review will allow you to retrieve much more easily confirmatory or negative evidence that you might use when writing an introduction or a discussion. At the same time, it will serve as a “note to yourself” for future surveys in the topic. Of course, it can eventually lead to a formal review paper.

Rule 10: Build your own library to make yourself independent and inspire others

As soon as you can, start your own collection of papers and books. Do not rely exclusively on your supervisor’s (or your colleagues’ or your institution’s) library. Certainly, the internet is there to store the information for you …except when it is not! The same applies to the library of your institution, particularly outside the top scientific countries where research funding is haphazard [8, 9]. Consider subscribing to some particularly interesting journal or becoming a member of a society that publishes a relevant journal. Building your own library in paper might be challenging early in your career due to funding limitations or movement between institutions during your postdoc stage. Nevertheless, applying this rule should not wait until you get a permanent position, and a digital library is always an option. For scientists at later stages in their career, a personal library should be considered a must, as an important part of mentoring. I might be a little old-fashioned, but for those of us who grew intellectually surrounded by books and journals in our departmental library—and plundered others’ libraries—the mere presence of books around creates an inspiring atmosphere. Provide the same atmosphere for your fellow students or colleagues.

I Reunión Nacional de Micología y sus Aplicaciones en el Ámbito Agrícola (RNMAA 2019)

Mar del Plata, 11 y 12 de abril de 2019

Lugar: Vieytes 3103, Mar del Plata, sede del INBIOTEC y de FIBA

Organizan: Dras.  V. Fabiana Consolo y Fernanda Covacevich (INBIOTEC-CONICET)

Programa Preliminar, I-RNMAA-Programa Preliminar

Inscripción abierta, en:

Cupo Limitado

Fecha límite para inscribirse: 1º de abril de 2019

Costo Inscripción:  Becarios doctorales, $ 500.-;   Profesionales sector académico, $ 700.-; Representates del Sector Privado, $ 1.500.-

Más información:



The Annual Plant Biology Meeting

San Jose, California, August 3-7, 2019

Organized by de American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB)
Registration is now open

Grants to attend Plant Biology 2019 are: