Travel Awardee, Ibba 2013

IbbaMichael Ibba, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Microbiology
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
Award year: 2013
Mike Ibba and colleagues are seeking to understand (i) the mechanisms that determine how cells ensure accurate translation of the genetic code and (ii) how changes in the underlying processes impact cellular health and contribute to microbial pathogenesis and disease. Because many of these processes are essential and unique to particular systems, they are ideal potential drug targets. With a team comprising a group leader and typically two or three postdocs, five or six doctoral students, and two to four undergraduates, the Ibba lab has been successful in developing a strong research-training environment for undergraduate and graduate students both from the Ohio State University and elsewhere. The lab also collaborates extensively and share resources with several neighboring labs, “making for a vibrant larger community that stimulates research and learning.
Through programs like ASMCUE and LINK, Ibba says he hopes to develop summer internship programs and partnerships more directly with faculty from predominantly undergraduate institutions. “In order to expand our training program in this direction, I would like to identify and connect with current and future faculty instrumental in student learning in undergraduate biology,” he says. Specifically, Ibba plans to address three goals that are key to successfully developing research training opportunities tailored to the needs of students and educators from predominantly undergraduate institutions:
1. Connecting with current and future faculty to identify potential research collaborations. (To help establish such collaborations, the team will co-sponsor faculty research sabbaticals in their lab.)
2. Meeting with undergraduates to discuss training and mentoring components they look for in an academic research internship.
3. Discussing with undergraduate educators how to better prepare our own trainees who wish to pursue a career in education. 

ASM-LINK Welcomes Your Input
Looking for advice on ways to enhance undergraduate learning or just hoping to start a conversation about innovative ways to involve underrepresented minorities in research? The ASM-NSF Leaders Inspiring Networks and Knowledge (LINK) programs welcome your interest. Contact the individual awardee for details. 
LINK is sponsored by ASM with support from National Science Foundation grant no. 1241970.