Need your comments/feedback

Caroline Szymeczek-Seay css at
Sat Jul 3 00:15:37 EST 1999

Hi Maria,
I'm going to have to give you vague info, but maybe someone else will be able to
fill in the gaps.  It seems to me that the American Association of University
Women has scholarships for women (i think specifically women in science)  who
are reentering the work force after an absence.  I do not know if this grant
still exists or if as a resident of Canada that you would be eligible.  But,
although I have very little job experience, the one thing that I believe has
made an impression on people from whom I was seeking a job was to have in my
hand a copy of the grant that I had just written.  Of course, it would certainly
be better to have received a grant, but at least by writing one you can show
initiative.  And it can help to focus you on what you want to do.  It also gives
your potential employer an idea of whether you have what she thinks you need to
succeed in her lab.  Anyway, maybe seeking out a grant such as the one mentioned
above would give you a little edge.  Writing my first grant gave me kind of
confidence boost, as well.  Good luck!


Maria M wrote:

> Hi All,
> I completed my Ph.D degree in Plant Science in 1996. Due to unavoidable
> reasons, I could not continue research or take up a job after that. Now I
> would like to continue my research. However the long gap in my career is
> preventing me from getting an offer. I would like to get your comments
> and/or suggestions as how to proceed from where I left my career.
> Is there any way I can upgrade my skills and learn new techniques? Does
> anyone know any short term courses available to bring my skills up to date?
> I have attached my resume for your reference (MS-Word 6/95).
> Any comments would be appreciated.
> Maria M.
> bcgeorge at
> ps. I am a permanent resident in Canada.
> Career  Interest: Research  and  Development in Plant Biochemistry and Plant
> Molecular Biology
> Education:
> Ph.D.  Department of Plant Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University, India.
> Submitted October 1994 Awarded Nov. 1996
> Thesis Title: Stress Tolerance in Photosynthetic Systems; It’s Biology and
> Mechanisms.
> Advisor : Dr. A. Gnanam
> Master of Science in Bio-Chemistry  Apr. 1988,  University of   Madras,
> India.
> Bachelor of Science in Bio-Chemistry  Apr. 1986,  University of  Madras,
> India.
> Special Training: Demonstrated and Conducted experiments in Plant Molecular
> Biology as a team member for the Short term training course on “Structure,
> Function and Molecular Biology of Chloroplasts”, organized by the School of
> Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University, India in May 1991.
> Participated in the short course on “Methods in Plant Molecular Biology”,
> organized by International centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology,
> New Delhi, India in Aug. 1989.
> Fellowship Awards:
> Senior Research Fellowship awarded by  University Grants Commission, India,
> Mar. 1993- Feb. 1995
> Junior Research Fellowship awarded by  University Grants Commission, India,
> Mar. 1990- Feb. 1993
> Junior Research Fellowship awarded by  USDA for the PL480 Phase II project,
> Nov. 1988- Feb. 1990
> Technical Skills:
> Isolation and Purification of total DNA and chloroplast DNA from plants,
> isolation of plasmid DNA, agarose gel electrophoresis, restriction analysis,
> Radioactive labeling of DNA, Southern Hybridization analysis, Isolation and
> Purification of plant proteins, SDS - Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis,
> invitro translation, Western Blot analysis, Isolation of total RNA from
> plants, purification of mRNA, oligodT cellulose column chromatography,
> alkaline and formaldehyde gel electrophoresis, isolation of intact
> chloroplast, Sucrose and Percoll density gradient centrifugation, gel
> filtration, invitro protein synthesis, cell culture, transformation of
> plants using A.tumefaciens and invitro propagation of plants.
> Publications :
> 1. Mariamma M, Muthukumar B, Veluthambi K. and  Gnanam A. (1997) Effects of
> high temperature stress on the expression of low molecular weight heat
> proteins in rice leaves. J.Plant Physiol. 151:763-765.
> 2. Mariamma M, Muthukumar B. and  Gnanam A. (1997) Thermotolerance and
> effect of heat shock on the stability of the ATPase enzyme in rice. J.Plant
> Physiol. 150:739-742
> 3. Muthukumar B, Mariamma M, Veluthambi K.  and Gnanam A. (1996) Genetic
> transformation of cotyledon explants of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata  Walp)
> using A. tumefaciens.  Plant Cell Reports 15(12) : 980-985.
> 4. Muthukumar B, Mariamma M, and  Gnanam A. (1995) Regeneration of plants
> >From primary leaves of cowpea. PCTOC 42(2) : 153-155.
> 5. Gnanam A, Muthukumar B, Mariamma M and Veluthambi K (1995) Genetic
> transformation of cowpea by A. tumefaciens using cotyledons as explants,
> Vol.III Proceedings of the Xth International Photosynthesis Congress
> (FRANCE) 24-25.
> 6. Muthukumar B, Mariamma M and Gnanam A. (1996) Agrobacterium mediated
> transformation and regeneration of transgenic plants from epicotyl explants
> of cowpea. Manuscript  submitted.
> 7. Muthukumar B, Mariamma M, Gnanam A. (1999) Regeneration of plants from
> nodal explants of  cowpea. Manuscript submitted.
> Research Work: Elevated soil temperature constitute a major limitation to
> successful crop production of tropical plants such as rice, which is an
> important crop. The objective of this study  was to characterize the heat
> shock response in rice leaves concentrating on the expression of heat shock
> genes at the level of translation in particular.
> Characterization of  the heat shock response in rice leaves under various
> conditions was followed.
> • Rapid decline in  cell viability and loss in the plasma membrane activity
> were observed in rice leaves subjected to rapid heat shock. In contrast,
> rice leaves pretreated at a mild heat shock induced tolerance to survive
> better at higher temperature and the activity of the plasma membrane also
> was not much affected.
> • The HSP enriched fraction from rice was found to be very effective in
> protecting the plasma membrane from the direct effects of heat .  The
> stability of the plasma membrane bound Mg2+ - K+   ATPase in rice was found
> to be proportional to the amount of post-ribosomal HSP fraction added.
> • Gradual  exposure to a high temperature elicited a comparatively better
> response than the   application of a sudden heat shock and heat shock
> proteins were found to be synthesized even at a very high temperature of
> 45°C after a preincubation at a slightly lower temperature of 42.5°C which
> was not possible upon  a sudden heat shock.
> • The decline in the synthesis of HSPs in rice leaves was not co-ordinate.
> Low molecular weight HSPs and their mRNAs were more stable and have a higher
> half life than that in the high molecularweight range.
> • Antibiotic studies indicated that the HSPs in rice are synthesized on
> cytoplasmic ribosomes and not in the organelles and heavy metals like
> Arsenite and Cadmium were found to mimic the heat shock response in rice
> leaves. Etiolated rice leaves also synthesized HSPs in a temperature
> dependent manner as in green leaves.
> • Homologous genes and their transcripts to pea and soybean low molecular
> weight HSPs were identified in rice by Southern and  Northern  analysis.
> • Cross reaction of rice HSPs were observed with pea low molecular weight
> antibodies on Western  analysis. Homologues to pea Class I Low molecular
> weight HSP and the pea chloroplast localized low molecular  weight HSP were
> identified in rice leaves.
> Additional Research Interest: Regeneration  and Transformation studies in
> legumes. Helped in the establishment of regeneration protocols for
> regeneration of cowpea, rice and peanut from different explants and in the
> successful transformation of cowpea and peanut.
>                      Name: BETRES7.doc
>    BETRES7.doc       Type: Winword File (application/msword)
>                  Encoding: x-uuencode

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