Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology

Volume 5, Issue 7
July 2008

MIPnews is extremely pleased to report that effective July 1st, Dr. Ed Hoover has been named MIP Department Head.

A Letter from our New Dept Head to the MIP Community:

MIP People,
Again, thanks for your support. My first week confirms my suspicions that there is everything to do...on the upside, all immediately. So the DH office staff and I are trying, and rest assured that some of it gets done each day. I plan to divide my time (and maniacal desire for power) between Micro and Path building offices as well as find a place somewhere at Foothills.

We have an amazing Department.

Thanks for your help.

We wish to express our thanks to Dr. Carol Blair for 19 months of outstanding service as interim Head.

Congratulations to Pat Brennan for receiving the Becton Dickinson 2008 Gardner Middlebrook Award for "Significant Contributions in Mycobacteriology" at this year's national ASM meeting.

The Gardner Middlebrook Award honors scientists who have made significant lifetime contributions in the study, diagnosis, and treatment of mycobacteria. Only a small cadre of microbiologists have been chosen by their peers to receive this international award.

Alyssa Cohen
Outstanding Graduate - Spring 2008

Alyssa Cohen, an outstanding undergraduate Microbiology Major who graduated summa cum laude, was selected as our ‘Outstanding Graduate’ at the Spring CVMBS College Commencement.  Alyssa generated a terrific GPA while completing not only the rigorous curriculum for a degree in microbiology, but also the Honors Scholars Program as well. Interestingly, before coming to Colorado State, Alyssa was a professional tennis player, and she attributes her academic success in large part to lessons learned as a competitive athlete – how to stay focused, persevere when the going gets and tough, and stand up to a challenge.

Alyssa's academic record might make you think that she spent all of her time studying. In fact, she is a 'people person' with many interests. In addition to being a full-time student, Alyssa was also the coach for the CSU women's tennis team. The students on the team report that she did an amazing job in that role. Her patience and encouragement built team confidence and the team members were eager to practice and work hard to improve at the sport they love. Recently, Alyssa also served as a volunteer with a medical care program in Guatemala.

This fall, Alyssa will enter medical school at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She was one of the first (if not the first) student admitted to the medical program for the coming year. Undoubtedly impressed with Alyssa's accomplishments, they probably did not want to let her get away! Alyssa will be an outstanding physician - smart, capable, confident and caring - and we wish her good luck in her new career.

Despite a plethora of changes in key staff positions, the hard working MIP Administrative Staff have once again put in a bunch of hard days' nights and closed the books for fiscal year end and are busy now getting the department ready for FY ’09 (which began on July 1). Please take a moment out of your busy day this week, visit your facility office and thank the hardest working staff at the institution for their efforts in making MIP truly work.

In the News...

Dan Gould was featured on the cover of the June 26 edition of Fort Collins Now. Read the article.

On June 19th a reception was held in the Pathology Glover Gallery to congratulate the following individuals for successfully completing the residency program:

  • Jamie Bush, Anatomic Pathology
  • Colleen Duncan, Anatomic Pathology
  • Christie Mayo, Microbiology
  • Davis Seelig, Clinical Pathology (completed Anatomic in 2006)
  • Greg Wilkerson, Comparative Medicine
  • Marjorie Williams, Clinical Pathology

Check out the Photo Gallery from the event!

The following graduate students successfully completed their Masters in Microbiology:

  • Reem Al-Murbarak
  • Jamie Bush
  • Tiffany Richens
  • Deanna Scott

The following graduate student successfully completed her PhD in Microbiology:

  • Sara Reese

The following graduate student successfully completed her PhD in Pathology:

  • Lila Ramaiah

The following graduate student successfully completed his DVM/PhD in Pathology:

  • James Perry

Patients with a Rare Form of Hansen's Disease Draw Both Scientific Interest and Compassion from MIP/MRL Faculty and Students

Earlier this month, Dr. John Spencer and three students- Tammy Luttrell, Brittny Acres and Anna Kellund, visited Guadalajara and Culiacan Mexico using a small grant funded through the CSU International Office. The purpose of this visit was to make contacts and gain insight into areas in Mexico where a rare form of leprosy - diffuse lepromatous leprosy with Lucio's phenomenon - has been documented. Molecular analyses of ribosomal RNAs done at CSU and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center have suggested that a possible novel species of mycobacterium may be responsible (see Han, XY et al ACJP, In Press).

During the visit, Dr. Spencer gave two seminars en espanol (no -he doesn't speak Spanish, but received excellent coaching by ex-MIPer Adrian Rosas), saw patients in the clinics and interacted with a variety of medical professionals and hospital administrators. As a result of observations made during the visit, Tammy is currently coordinating an effort to secure a variety of simple items to send to the clinic to improve patient care. These include monofilament test devices (to measure sensory loss), a doppler device (to measure whether the circulation is good or not in the affected limbs or feet), skin temperature measuring devices (to measure if the skin is too cool, indicating ischemia or circulatory problems), and other simple skin care materials. John is actively looking to obtain additional biopsy samples from patients with this rare form of the disease to attempt to grow the fastidious organism and continue its molecular characterization in collaboration with others, including MIP microarray guru Ric Slayden.

Charles Calisher is co-Editor of a killer new book published by Springer entitled, "Filoviruses: A Compendium of 40 Years of Epidemiological, Clinical, and Laboratory Studies ".

Congratulations to Pat Brennan, John Spencer, and everyone working in the Leprosy program for being highlighted recently in the NIAID/DMID - TB, Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases Newsletter. Read the Newsletter.

  • Eugene Azarkh presented his final seminar before his defense on Wednesday, July 9, entitled, "Characterization of mosquito densonucleosis virus non-structural protein NS2". His advisor is Dr. Jonathan Carlson

MIP Publications Late June - early July 2008

A thank you note from Nikki...

Nikki Marlenee completed the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer which consisted of 40 miles between Keystone and Breckenridge over the weekend of June 28/29th.  A great turn out (1,500 walkers) raised $3.3 million dollars for underprivileged people in Colorado who cannot afford mammograms as well as breast cancer research. The walk left her with tired feet, but otherwise was a wonderful experience. Nikki would like to thank all of you who supported her in this endeavor.

Nikki (left) and her friend Tami completed the walk and finished 74th and 75th out of the 1500 walkers.

Dean Crick and Anne Lenaerts outside the Trump Tower where the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development is located.

As Old Blue Eyes asked, start spreading the news……  Dean, Anne, Terry Opgenorth (MicroRx) and Todd Headley (MicroRx) were recently in New York City to meet with representatives from Global Alliance for TB Drug Development about future collaborations.  If they can make it there, then they can make it anywhere.

Check out the Photo Gallery.

New Robotics Capabilities at the PMF!

The Proteomics and Metabolomics Facility (PMF) is pleased to announce the addition of the Genomics Solutions ProPic II 2D gel spot-picking robot and the ProPrep protein digestion robot to their bevy of high end equipment available to MIP researchers. Housed in the Micro Bldg, Rm C111 within the PMF, these two new robots complete the PMF’s high-throughput 2D gel based proteomics workflow station and afford researchers high-end automation to assist with 2D gel imaging through protein identification by mass spectrometry. This workflow will be especially powerful in combination with Difference Gel Electrophoresis (DIGE), a 2D gel labeling technique for gel-based protein expression analysis. The digester was funded by an award from the Infectious Disease Supercluster (to Drs. Prenni, C. Wilusz and Slayden) and funds for the Propic were provided by MIP.

The ProPic II will be available for hands-on investigator use for a nominal fee/gel.  Small group training sessions have been scheduled for July 15th, 22nd, and 29th from 9-10 a.m.  Please contact Corey Broeckling at Corey.Broeckling@Colostate.Edu or 491-2273 if you would like to participate in one of these sessions.   

Meet Jim Frantz, the new Micro Facility Accounting Tech

Hello all,
I am very excited about helping Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology obtain its mission and look forward to working with the folks that have established a foundation of excellence in research, education, service and outreach within the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. I have worked at Colorado State University for almost eleven years and obtained a B.S. in Business Administration- Finance along the way. With a combination of education and experience it will be my privilege to assist you with your financial and administrative support needs. Together we can continue to meet and exceed the goals and expectations established by administration.

Before moving to Fort Collins twelve years ago I called Omaha, Nebraska home. I actually like the drive down I-80 and miss the tall corn fields from time to time. When I am not at work you can find me hanging out with my eight year old daughter Peyton. We like to bike in town, hike trails, and camp in the mountains. I have volunteered with Partner's Mentoring Youth in Larimer County for the past four years, and continue to mentor young men in our community. More often than not you can find me fishing at a quiet hole on the river though. "A River Runs Through It" by Norman Maclean is my favorite movie and enjoy tasting fresh trout. Oh yeah, I like to cook too! Be sure to stop by, say hello and swap some stories.
Cheers- Jim

  Laurie Baeten is a new Microbiology Resident with an interest in wildlife diseases. Originally from Wisconsin, she has lived in Colorado for 6 1/2 years and enjoys mountain biking and gardening.
  Laura Brandt is a new Clinical Pathology Resident with an interest in diagnostic cytology. Originally from Tennesee, she has only been living in Colorado for 1 1/2 weeks! Laura loves to travel and likes movies, music and occassionally cooking.
  Deanna Dailey is a new Anatomic Pathology Resident with an interest in epidemiology, zoonotic disease, and wildlife disease. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, she has been living in Fort Collins for 6 of the past 8 years. Deanna enjoys rock climbing, yoga and running.
  Matt Feirer is a new Clinical Pathology Resident with an interest in hematology, parisitology, and cytology. Originally from Green Bay, he has been living in Colorado for about one week now. Matt enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and road biking.
  Elizabeth Magden is a new Comparative Medicine Resident with a variety of interests, however right now she is considering moving towards infectious disease and/or primate medicine. Originally from Grinnell, Iowa, she has been living in Fort Collins for 5 years. Liz enjoys playing with her new baby boy, traveling, hiking and participating in outdoor social functions.
  Gopinath Palanisamy is a new Anatomic Pathology Resident with an interest in pathology and tuberculosis. Originally from India, he has been in Fort Collins for 4 years now and enjoys playing basketball and skiing.
  Brendan Podell is a new Anatomic Pathology Resident with an interest in surgical pathology and infectious disease. Orginally from New Jersey, he has been living in Fort Collins for 9 years. Brendan enjoys skiing, snowboarding and biking in his free time.

Greetings everyone! July is a very busy time for some (financial year end) and vacation time for others. Each month I hope to highlight some aspect of administration in the newsletter. I am aware that many people view administration as a boring and unimportant topic. Those of us in MIP administration find it exciting and are looking forward to providing outstanding "customer service" to all.

This month I would like to explain how Kathy Lassen fits into the MIP functional structure. Kathy is charged with knowing who and what is in housed in each room of all MIP buildings. You may see her anywhere at any time trying to do her job in a friendly way. Please let her know if you need space assigned to you or have other space-related issues. She will present requests to the Advisory Committee and communicate their space assignments to faculty and staff. Kathy also tracks all of our equipment and is our liaison with the property folks at B&FS. Her phone number is 491-6247 and email is Kathy.Lassen@Colostate.Edu.

Congratulations to Susan Gonzalez on her recent engagement to James Lucero!

July 15, 2008: Seven months into the project...

South-facing wall

West-facing wall with connection to VTH visible

Northwest corner of DMC

"When I race my mind is full of doubts - who will finish second, who will finish third?"

~Noureddine Morceli, Algerian athlete at the '96 Summer Olympics

Good Luck Team USA in Beijing!!

Discarded Headlines for the Ed Hoover, New Dept Head Story:

  1. MIP Dept Head Search isn’t over till its
  2. Dean puts the “Ed” back in hEaD!’
  3. Say Hello to “Head Hoover”
  4. As if studying prions wasn’t challenging enough….
  5. MIP is “Head-ED” in the Right Direction…..
  6. Hoov makes his move
  7. MIP diagnosed with ED
  8. Submit your own

Earlier this month, Dr. Herbert Schweizer had a brush with greatness and met Peyton Manning in the airport. Rumor has it that he got to touch #18's belt, but you'll have to get the full story on that from the Burkholderia Master himself.

One of several award/certificate presentations made by Dr. Christine Olver during this Spring's Resident Reception.
    Alternate Captions:
  1. Noticing the large number of spitballs on the wall behind Christine, Marjorie decides to keep her distance while receiving her award
  2. Emcee Olver makes a mental note not to wear such an overpowering perfume for next year's Resident reception
  3. Not sure if the subtle one finger salute under the certificates is intentional or not, Marjorie cautiously approaches Dr. Olver for her award
  4. Submit your own.

Click Here for the questions to MIPuzzle #32
Click Here for the answers to MIPuzzle #32

  • Training and Career Awards Are Going Electronic - Career development awards (K) will become electronic on February 12, fellowships (F) on April 8, and training grants (T) on September 25.
  • Why Are There So Few Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) Awards from NIAID? - From the start, NIAID committed to funding only six K99/R00s a year.  This decision was due to the success of its ten year old NIAID Research Scholar Award (K22).   Like the K99, the K22 helps postdocs make the transition to independent researcher.  From FY 1999 to FY 2006, NIAID's was the most successful NIH K22 Program with 54 percent of its awardees receiving one or more R01s after the K22.   NIAID plans to fund approximately 20 to 25 "transition" (K22 and K99) grants each year, so we suggest that MIP postdoctoral fellows consider both options.
  • Supplemental NIH Funding for Fiscal Year 2008 - Ready for some rare ‘good news’ on the federal funding front?  On June 30, President Bush signed a supplemental appropriations bill with $337.5 million in additional funding for science agencies, including $150 million for NIH. Most of these funds will be distributed to the institutes and centers. NIGMS plans to use its ~ $10 million to make a number of awards for highly scored R01 applications, including those from new investigators, before the end of this fiscal year.
  • ALERT: Thar' Could be Major Changes in Grant Applications Coming Our Way: Recommendations for enhancing the NIH peer review system- Some of the key recommendations for actions (see NIH website document) presented to the NIH director in June are to:
    1. Allow reviewers to spread their 12-session commitment over 4-6 years.
    2. Increase the expectation that certain classes of NIH grantees will serve on study sections if asked.
    3. Allow reviewers who serve at 18 or more full study section meetings to apply for an administrative supplement of up to $250,000 in total costs to compensate for the time and effort related to their outstanding and sustained service, and permit such reviewers to request that they be considered for MERIT/Javits awards on a competitive basis.
    4. Modify the rating system to include separate scores for specific review criteria including impact, investigator(s), innovation/originality, project plan/feasibility, and environment.
    5. Restructure the summary statement to align with the explicit rating criteria.
    6. Shorten and restructure applications, with 12 pages allowed for R01 applications and other mechanisms scaled appropriately.
    7. Cluster review of applications from early stage investigators and clinical research applications within study section meetings.
    8. Continue to fund at least a target number of new and early stage investigators.
    9. Continue to support potentially transformative research through the NIH Director's Pioneer, NIH Director's New Innovator, and EUREKA awards, as well as through new transformative R01 awards.
    10. Establish policies to carefully rebalance success rates among A0, A1, and A2 applications to increase system efficiency.
    Two key possible actions, considering all applications as "new" and requiring at least 20% effort from all principal investigators, will not be taken due to substantial concerns expressed by the scientific community regarding potential unintended consequences. Detailed implementation plans are now under development. Some of the actions should be relatively straightforward to implement whereas others will be more complex. It is anticipated that full implementation will take approximately 18 months.

New Grant Awards

Brian Foy, "Endectocides for Malaria Controal", NIAID.
Delphi Chatterjee, "Biosynthesis and Transbilayer Flipping of Mycobacterial PIM Glycolipids", NIAID.
Torsten Eckstein, "Characterization of an In-Vivo Lipid Associated with Mycobacterium Avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis", Pennsylvania State University.
Lars Eisen, "Mapping Vector and Dengue Data in Chetumal, Mexico", Tides Foundation.
Herbert Schweizer, "Therapeutics Targeting Fatty Acid Synthesis in P. aeruginosa", Microbiotix, Inc.
Jeffrey Wilusz, "Mechanism of Regulation of mRNA Stability", NIH-National Institute of General Medical Science.
Mark Zabel, "Key Molecular Mechanisms of Extraneural Pathogenesis and Transmission of TSEs", NIH-National Institute for Neurological Disorders & Stroke.

JULY 2008

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
  1 2 3 4
Independence Day! Univ Office Closed
7 8 9 10 11
14 15 16 17 18
21 22 23 24 25
28 29
Faculty Mtg Path 103
30 31  


Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
4 5 6 7 8
Beijing Olympics Begin
11 12 13 14 15
18 19 20 21 22
First day of Fall Classes
26 27 28 29

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