Ravens Sign Flacco to Record Contract Extension

Ravens Sign Flacco pic

Ravens Sign Flacco
Image: sportal.co.nz

Jef Boeke is the Director of NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. Outside his work in systems genetics, Jef Boeke is also a long time fan of the Baltimore Ravens.

Quarterback Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens have agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension worth $66.4 million. According to an ESPN report, the deal includes a monster $40 million signing bonus, which is $3 million more than any other signing bonus given out in league history.

Including the signing bonus, the deal includes a $4 million base salary in the first year, meaning Flacco will net a total of $44 million in guaranteed money in the deal. With this extension, Flacco is now under contract with the Ravens through the 2020-2021season.

Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome had gone through 12 quarterbacks in 15 years, before locking up Flacco, who he considers to be the team’s franchise quarterback for at least another six years. With free agency beginning the next season, the move creates an additional $6 million in cap space for the team to work with.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the deal is aimed at long-term stability for the organization, as Flacco’s cap hit will remain steady throughout the duration of the contract. The consistency in that figure gives the Ravens a good idea of how much cap room they have to work with to gather talent around their quarterback over the next few seasons, which are poised to be the prime of Flacco’s career.

About the American Society of Microbiology and the AAM

American Society of Microbiology pic

American Society of Microbiology
Image: asm.org

The founder of the Institute for System Genetics, Jef Boeke is a professor and director at the NYU Langone Medical Center. An experienced microbiology professor and researcher, Jef Boeke is also a member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).

Founded in 1899, the American Society for Microbiology has almost 40,000 members across the globe. As the world’s largest single life science member organization, the ASM works to advocate for and further the microbial sciences through education, networking, and research. Open to students and both domestic and international professionals, the society’s programs include the American Academy of Microbiology, which recognizes excellence in the field.

Established in 1969 through the merger of the Academy’s Board of Governors and the Council of the ASM, the American Academy of Microbiology grants two dozen awards each year, including the ASM Lifetime Achievement Award and the Beckman-Coulter Young Investigator Award, among others. Sponsored by AbbVie, the ASM Lifetime Achievement Award is the society’s most prestigious honor. To be considered, experienced microbiology scientists must be nominated by two supporters and include a curriculum vitae with a list of the nominee’s publications.

On the other end of the experience spectrum, the Beckman-Coulter Young Investigator Award is open to developers and researchers engaged in the field but not necessarily dedicated to microbiology. In addition to two supporters and a thorough curriculum vitae, nominees must also be no more than five years out of their postdoctoral training.

Potential Benefits of Transposons

Transposons pic

Transposons
Image: broadinstitute.org

Genetics researcher Jef Boeke is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. Jef Boeke’s research interests include mobile genetic elements in humans and yeast, often referred to as transposable elements, or “transposons.”

Commonly known as “jumping genes,” transposons are mobile pieces of DNA that can move from one segment of the genome to another. Because transposon insertion can interrupt the expression of important genes, many researchers think of transposons as harmful. However, recent research suggests that transposable elements may play a beneficial role in different types of organisms.

When two strains of bacteria, one with relatively few transposable elements and one with the normal amount, are grown in competitive conditions, the strain with more transposable elements tends to grow more vigorously. Although the exact reasons for this competitive advantage are not yet known, researchers have proposed that transposition facilitates the repair of chromosome breaks. More genetics research needs to be done on the role of transposons at a molecular level.

The Allied Genetics Conference to Take Place in July 2016

2016 Allied Genetics Conference pic

2016 Allied Genetics Conference
Image: genetics2016.org

A genetics and molecular biology researcher focusing on transposable elements and synthetic chromosomes, Jef Boeke is the founding director of the Institute for Systems Genetics at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. Among other professional associations, Dr. Jef Boeke belongs to the Genetics Society of America.

A professional organization dedicated to promoting the field of genetics, the Genetics Society of America organizes the Allied Genetics Conference on an annual basis. In 2016, the conference will take place July 13-17 in Orlando, Florida.

Held at the Orlando World Center Marriott, the 2016 Allied Genetics Conference will include meetings on topics ranging from gene expression and cell biology to yeast genetics and zebra fish development. The conference will also play host to the 57th Annual Drosophila Research Conference, as well as the Ciliate Molecular Biology Conference. Other events at the conference include trainee workshops for new faculty members, mentoring lunches, and plenary sessions for undergraduate researchers.

Dr. Jef Boeke will be a keynote speaker at the 2016 Allied Genetics Conference, as will Dr. Cori Bargmann, the Torsten N. Wiesel Professor in the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior at Rockefeller University. Other keynote speakers include Dr. Francis S. Collins from the National Institutes of Health and Dr. Harry Dietz from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Public Trust in Vaccines: Defining a Research Agenda

Vaccines pic

Vaccines
Image: amacad.org

A founder of biotechnology company CDI Labs, Jef Boeke serves as a professor and director with the NYU Langone Medical Center. Jef Boeke is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an organization that supports a range of independent research and public policy initiatives.

Released by the American Academy in 2014, Public Trust in Vaccines: Defining a Research Agenda is the result of a workshop that was chaired by authoritative professionals from the University of Washington, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This workshop worked to mitigate the erosion of public trust in childhood vaccines by determining the research measures that are necessary to better understand how the general public forms misperceptions about these vaccines.

The initiative concluded that public health leaders must make immunization education a top priority by developing evidence-based actions to promote the optimal use of vaccines. Public Trust in Vaccines recommends that government agencies and private foundations support cross-disciplinary research on the subject of vaccine decision-making, while continually evaluating the effectiveness of existing health communication strategies.

Build-a-Genome Course Introduces Students to Synthetic Biology

Jef Boeke pic

Jef Boeke

Currently instructing students and directing curriculum at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, Johns Hopkins professor emeritus Jef Boeke served more than 27 years with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSOM). In 2007, Jef Boeke became a founding director of the JHUSOM Build-a-Genome course, simultaneously spearheading the Build-a-Genome Mentor program and also developing the Build-a-Genome Parts Library course.

Sponsored by the JHUSOM and three other Johns Hopkins departments, Build-a-Genome also draws upon support from other biotechnology research organizations and institutions of higher learning. The course introduces students to the nascent field of synthetic biology through intensive laboratory work, and also exposes them to larger societal issues associated with emerging technologies.

Offered each semester and during the summer, the Build-a-Genome course attracts undergraduates from a range of academic fields, including biology, biomedical engineering, chemical and bio-molecular engineering, computer science, and biophysics. Students begin in a “boot camp phase, where they learn the workflows of the course. Eventually granting students 24-hour access to the lab, instructors assign each of them a specific segment of the synthetic yeast genome. Working an average of 15 to 20 hours a week, students must completely synthesize their genome segments and deliver accurate DNA results by the end of the semester.