Navigating science can be a science in and of itself… And this can hold students and postdocs back and detract from the awesome biochemistry! I’ve always been really passionate about breaking down some of these accessibility barriers, so I’m incredibly excited to announce that a group of proud biochemistry geeks, including myself, are starting the IUBMB (International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) Trainee Initiative (shout-out to our fearless Chair, Elyse Fischer and Co-Chair Osvaldo Contreras). And you can join us!

2/4/22 update: our webpage is live! https://iubmb.org/iubmb-trainee-initiative/

We’re in the very early stages, and still doing a lot of brainstorming… we’re brainstorming a lot of cool events ranging from practical skills tutorials, to career panels, to talks from world-renowned scientists – from all around the world. I can’t spill the beans yet, but we have a super duper exciting first event in the pipeline, to be followed by (hopefully monthly) special events hosted by each of the regional member societies (more on these below). Many of our events (especially in the near future) will be held virtually, but post-COVID we also hope to hold some regional events in-person. In addition to these special events, we’re planning to engage with people actively on social media, holding various contests, etc. and provide a multitude of resources.

We aim to make all of our content as freely accessible as possible. And we also want it to be as inclusive as possible. We recognize the immense value of having diverse voices at the table. Science training can vary quite a bit from country to country (even campus to campus…) so our leadership is made up of representatives from all geographical regions, in the form of “sub-committee” branches of the regional IUBMB member societies: FEBS (Federation of European Biochemical Societies), PABMB (Pan American Association for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), FAOBMB (Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists), and FASBMB (Federation of African Societies of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology). And it’s all operating with the full backing of the IUBMB, with all of its international connections and resources – huge thanks to IUBMB president Alexandra Newton for putting forth the idea, helping get it going, and providing support moving forward!

Our current trainee representatives include our chair, Elyse Fischer, our co-chair Osvaldo Contreras, Nefeli Boni-Katzantzidou, Chloe Lieng, Sunnie Kong, Hannah Pletcher, Elodie Ekoka, Victoria Patten, Tatenda Murigo, and me.

We will be introducing ourselves better to you over the coming weeks, but we still need to fill out our leadership board. So we hope you’ll hop on board! If you’re a grad student or postdoc interested in joining the leadership committee, please send your CV and a paragraph-ish explaining why you want to join to charysse@iubmb.org. Responsibilities will include attending regular Zoom meetings, helping plan events, and other stuff involved in getting a fledgling initiative off the ground.

For leadership, we’re asking that people please be either a grad student or post-doc, BUT our general “friendship” (we can’t technically have “members” sorry for the confusion) is also open to students of all levels! We welcome all of you to become friends of the Trainee Initiative – no dues required! Just fill out this quick form and you’ll be in the cool club 🙂 https://t.co/9LwF6Sd6aV

We’re still working out all the details but as “friends” you’ll be the first to know whenever we have something in the works. Additionally, we’re planning to send periodic newsletters and have some contests and things. So definitely worth joining if you’re a trainee interested in biochemistry or molecular biology.    

We have a lot of ambitious ideas, but we need YOUR help to do it! Please, consider becoming a friend, helping us build a strong foundation, and telling us what YOU want from us. Do you have event ideas? Other things you want? Do you have a cool idea for a logo or something? Let us know. Because, ultimately, we’re here for YOU. We’re all in this together and we want everyone to have a chance to thrive in biochemistry, no matter where they live, what their circumstances are, or what direction in biochemistry they want to go (academia, industry, policy, writing, etc.) 

You can now follow us on Instagram & Twitter (@iubmb_trainee)!

And check out our webpage: https://iubmb.org/iubmb-trainee-initiative/

You can also email us at trainee.initiative@iubmb.org with you ideas, suggestions, and questions.


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