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Jun 16
​Two New Junior Members Join the Board of Directors

In order to include the viewpoints of our members-in-training in society decision making and congress planning, the IS-MPMI Board of Directors (BOD) has added two junior members. The BOD received applications from several impressive candidates from around the globe and evaluated each based on excellence in scholarship and training, collaboration within the society, leadership at his or her institution, and outreach within his or her community. We are pleased to welcome Patricia Baldrich and Charles Roussin-Léveilléeto the board! Read further for more about Charles and Patricia.

Patricia Baldrich 

Dear IS-MPMI members,

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Blake Meyers, at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (Saint Louis, Missouri, United States). As a scientist who has worked in three different continents, I have witnessed the ability that diverse perspectives have in creating great interdisciplinary and international collaborations, which I believe are the driving forces that move science forward. My passion for plant-microbe interactions and learning how organisms from different kingdoms communicate has guided my career journey. The focus of my research is on small RNAs and their use as communication tools in the interaction of plants and their associated microbes.

I believe that communication is essential for successful interactions, not only for plants and microbes, but also for humans. I would love to serve as a reliable bridge between junior members and the BOD. My goal is to establish effective and sustainable avenues to bring the voice of the junior members to the society. Together, with your input and support, we will introduce innovative and beneficial ideas into our congress, meetings, and journals. I am here to listen and understand. 

Charles Roussin-Léveillée 

Bonjour/Hi!

My name is Charles and I am thrilled to join the IS-MPMI BOD as a junior member. I am currently a first year PhD candidate in the research group of Peter Moffett at the Université de Sherbrooke, in Quebec, Canada. I investigate how microbes manipulate their host cells to induce an ideal living space in the apoplast. I discovered the field of plant-microbe interaction as an undergraduate and have travelled around the world to learn more about this topic through amazing internships. Outside the lab, I am a passionate hiker who loves to participate in discussions about anthropology, diversity and inclusion, as well as science in general (anything that can help advance society and address inequalities). 

The scientific wealth that has been generated by humankind since our beginning is staggering. To push even further, science will require a richness of diversifying ideas. Therefore, collaboration between every nation and the breakdown of diversity barriers will send scientific knowledge to unseen heights. During my time on the IS-MPMI BOD, my goals will be to address diversity and inclusion issues as well as to propose ideas to increase collaboration between developed and less developed countries to enrich our scientific community. Our society has made big jumps in these topics over the last few years. However, much more has yet to be done and understanding each others’ issues will help build stronger bonds between our current and future members.

As such, in collaboration with other IS-MPMI members, I would like to determine the ‘top 10’ issues impacting our society. By aiming the spotlight at these issues, I believe that we will be able to discuss more in-depth about the solutions that could be undertaken to resolve them. I intend to promote the sharing of scientific knowledge between continents by suggesting the creation of scientific summer schools in molecular plant-microbe interactions. I can’t be more excited to discuss varying topics with our members worldwide. 

I look forward to participating in the advancement of the large and vibrant research society that is the IS-MPMI.

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