Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology

Volume 5, Issue 9
September 2008

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Sandra Quackenbush has agreed to serve as Associate Department Head for the Graduate Education. Thanks to Dr. Herbert Schweizer who has served in this position for the past several years.

Dr. Schweizer, however, isn't off the hook and will still maintain an administrative presence in the department, serving as Associate Department Head for the Foothills Research Campus.

Anne Avery has been named the new Director of the DVM-PhD Program. Congratulations and best of luck in this new position.


Nicole Garneau, who was the sole US student chosen by the ASM to attend the ASM-Australia conference this summer, was highlighted in the September issue of "Australia Microbiology" in an article entitled, "Bridging pathways: an initiation between two great scientific communities" as well as in ASM's Microbe. Read the stories:
ASM Microbe Story
Australia Microbiology Article

A big ‘Thank You’ goes out to several MIP faculty/staff for submitting, and successfully having published, 22 images in the MicrobeLibrary - ASM's peer reviewed education resource for undergraduate instructors.

The images can be viewed at: ASM's Microbe Library. Included are 16 acid fast images from Libin Shi, Delphi Chatterjee, Debra Kamstock, Diane Ordway, Ian Orme, Randy Basaraba, Peter Justice, Alan Schenkel and Erica Suchman, as well as 6 endospore images from Peter Justice, Alan Shenkel and Erica Suchman.

In the News...
  • Jennifer Lee, wife of John Anderson of the Wilusz2 Lab, was pictured in the August 26 Coloradoan Readers Corner along with her team of "Hot Mamas" which won the Denver Oyster Adventure Race for the 4th straight year. See the Picture.

  • Carolina Lopez presented her PhD defense on Friday, August 22 entitled, "Counter-Selection Markers for Allele Replacement in Burkholderia pseudomallei". Her advisor is Dr. Herbert Schweizer.

MIP Publications Late August - Early September 2008

With more changes and new faces than the 2008 New York Yankees pitching staff, navigating the MIP Administrative Office Structure may have gotten a little confusing for some over the last three months. We thought it would be a good idea to provide you with some updated floor plans/current room assignments for the Micro and Path facilities to orient you. Click on the links below to access the Micro and Path Building plans. Thanks goes out to Kathy Lassen for updating the info in these charts.
Pathology Floor Plan
Microbiology Floor Plan

An updated MIP Office Personnel Outline can also be viewed by clicking here.

On September 4, the Dlab faculty had a Tally-Ho meeting (some refer to these as retreats, but we try to think of them as moving forward rather than retreating) to re-visit the strategic plan of the diagnostic laboratory and develop future initiatives in the relaxing setting of TAMASAG on the Poudre River. With the help of Vern's cinnamon rolls to keep 'em all going, much discussion centered around ways to alleviate faculty workload. Everyone agreed that a case coordinator to help interface between the faculty and our clients, especially in a realm of food animal medicine and management, would be very useful. Significant discussion also centered around ways to bring in new faculty positions to the laboratory. Drs. Hoover and Powers will continue to develop these concepts. The 'Top Ten' other items addressed included: (1) Evaluation of staffing versus workload; (2) New initiatives and new testing modalities; (3) Moving into the much anticipated and badly needed new DMC building; (4) Implementation of the new computer system; (5) Quality assurance issues relative to the new AAVLD standards; (6) Teaching assignments and juggling teaching with regard to service and research; (7) Equipment needs; (8) Budgetary issues related to travel, publication costs and additional money for research or case investigations; (9) Increased outreach and effective marketing of the laboratory; (10) Whether or not the Cubs will win the World Series this year.

The American College of Veterinary Pathologists will be holding its annual certifying exam September 23-25 at Iowa State University in Ames.

Good luck to Greg Wilkerson, Colleen Duncan, Stu Vandeventer, and Jamie Bush!

To register for the meeting please go to the RMV Registration website.

Over the last 6 months Lars Eisen, in part based on funding from a CVMBS College Resource Council grant, developed a website for an umbrella program called "Risk Assessment and Management Solutions for Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases (RAMS-AID)".

The RAMS-AID website aims to provide easy public access to research conducted at CSU on vector-borne diseases and currently includes information on:

  1. Decision support system for mosquito vector management and prevention, surveillance and control of dengue
  2. Predicting risk of exposure to mosquito vectors and West Nile virus disease in Colorado
  3. Predicting risk of exposure to the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni) in Colorado

On August 20th MIP welcomed new and returning graduate students to participate in the annual Rootles hunt. Rootles is a fun event that allows faculty and students an opportunity to get better acquainted with a challenging, fun competition. Following the hunt, participants enjoyed a delicious Qdoba taco bar while reflecting on the day's events. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Pictured above is the winning team captained by Dr. Claudia Gentry-Weeks.
Check out the Rootles Photo Gallery.

Ever wonder why recently Pete Justice has been closing incubator doors in Micro Lab with a side thrust kick? Well on 9/6, Pete received his black belt in Kem Po Karate at United Studios of Self Defense in Los Angeles. Congratulations Pete!

Best Wishes Tina!

Dr. Tian (Tina) Wang will be leaving MIP to dodge hurricanes and take a faculty position at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston effective October 1st. Thanks Tina for your service to the department over the last three years and we wish you all the best of luck in your future pursuits.

Best Wishes Susan!

Best wishes to Susan Gonzalez who has accepted a position with the CSU Admissions Department. Susan's new position title will be "Prospect and Inquiry Processing Lead" which will entail working with recruitment of new undergraduate students. Susan's last day with MIP will be September 17, her friendly smile and positive attitude will be greatly missed. Be sure to stop by the Pathology Office to wish her well in her new endeavor!

Best Wishes Pam!

Best wishes to Pam Burt who has accepted a position with the CVMBS Dean's Office. Pam will be replacing Jan Cordova as the Accounting Technician for the College. Currently Pam is working mornings with MIP and afternoons with the Dean's Office, but her last day with MIP will most likely be by October 1. We will miss her hard work and "can do" attitude. Be sure to stop by the office and wish her well!

Congratulations to Greg and Nicole Wilkerson on the birth of their daughter, Bonnie. Bonnie was born on August 23rd weighing 8 lb, 8 oz. Mom and baby are both doing very well and the family is feeling very blessed.

Congratulations to Andres Obregon and Marcela Henao-Tamayo on the birth of their son, Emilio Obregon-Henao. Emilio was born on August 17th weighing 6 lb, 5 oz. Mom, Dad and baby are all healthy and happy.

Congratulations to Nate and Natalie Denkers on the birth of their son Ryan. Ryan was born on September 3rd weighing 6 lbs 11 oz. Everyone is doing well and enjoying the new edition to their family!


Abbe Ames - Graduate Student. Abbe has been in Fort Collins for 1 month, originally from New Jersey. She is working on her PhD in Vector Biology and Emerging Infectious Diseases. Abbe received a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries from the University of Tennessee, a BS in Microbiology from Colorado State University, and her DVM from Colorado State University. She enjoys exotic performance cars, traveling, and living life to its fullest!
Jeret Ammon - GRA for Dr. Dick Bowen. Jeret originally from Golden, Colorado, is now living in Greeley. Her research emphasis is on Immunology and Pathology. Jeret received her BS in Biology from CSU in 2005 and enjoys spending her free time outdoors backpacking, hiking, fishing and running with her husband, Matt, and her dog Brewer.
Megan Cassidy - GRA for Dr. Bill Black. Megan, originally from Durango, has been in Fort Collins for 5 years now. When not focusing on her studies of Microbiology, she enjoys Cycling, Nordic Skiing, and just being outside!
Emily Driver - Graduate Student and Research Associate for Dr. Anne Lenaerts. Emily has been living in Fort Collins for 2.5 years now, originally from Marshall, Michigan. Her graduate program is focused on latent TB in guinea pigs and a regulator gene active in the necrotic core. She is also working on developing a microassay to optimize dectection of TB bacilli killing. Emily received a BS at the University of Michigan in Cellular Molecular Biology in 2004. She works as a relief vet tech at an emergency clinic and enjoys taking her pit-bull mix, Mya, hiking and camping. By default, she has become semi-proficient at home improvement while updating her historic home in Loveland.
Sarah Eck - GTA for Dr. Sandra Quackenbush. Sarah, originally from Syracuse, New York, has been living in Fort Collins for the past 2 years. Sarah received her bachelor's degree from Hobar and Williams Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY and plans to focus her graduate research on bacteriology. She enjoys running, biking, bouldering and playing volleyball in her spare time.
Hee Jin Kim - Graduate Student and Research Associate for Dr. Patrick Brennan. Hee Jin, a native of Korea, has been living in Fort Collins for 10 years now. She is pursuing her PhD in Mycobacteriology. Since obtaining her MS degree in Molecular Microbiology, she has been working in the field of Mycobacterial research for 12 years with her focus on early diagnosis and prevention of microbial disease. She has also obtained significant experience and publications in the field of genomics and proteomics. Her role in the Leprosy contract focuses on generating and analyzing protein antigens from M. Leprae.  Hee Jin also has studied the biochemistry of synaptotagmin I in synaptic transmission under Dr. Reist's research group in the CSU Dept of Neuroscience (Nov 2003-Jan 2006).  In addition to her keen interest in mycobacteria, Hee Jin also strives to be the coolest mom in the world. She also enjoys gardening and sewing if time allows.
Marta Lishnevsky - GTA for Dr. Ramesh Akkina. Marta, currently living in Denver, was born in Moscow, Russia.  She attended High School in Chicago and completed her undergraduate studies in Denver. Her degrees include a BS in Biology, a BA in Chemistry, as well as an MS.  Besides science, her interests include reading, creative writing and art.
 Aaron Phillips - Graduate Student and AIDL Core Support Program Manager. Aaron is from Portales, New Mexico. He received a BS in Microbiology from CSU and his MS in Molecular Biology from Hood College. Having just completed a 5 year enlistment in the US Army, where he was stationed at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, he is at CSU to further his development as an arthropod-borne virus researcher. He is currently in charge of managing the Arthropod-Borne Infectious Disease Laboratory's BSL-3 facilities. His specific research interests include the use of in vivo imaging of animal models in the evaluation of experimental therapeutics. With two children (ages 5 and 1), Aaron stays pretty busy developing functional human beings. This is a bigger job than he could have ever imagined. He is looking forward to his graduate experience at CSU and will do everything he can to help propel this institution into the forefront of research and development.
Nicole Podnecky - GTA for Dr. Claudia Gentry-Weeks. Nicole has been in Fort Collins for 1 week, originally from Bridgewater Corners, Vermont. She received her BS in Microbiology from the University of Vermont and then worked as an APHL/CDC Emerging Infectious Disease Fellow at the CDC in Atlanta. When Nicole isn't working on her PhD in Microbiology she enjoys skiing, soccer, tennis, hiking and adventure racing. She's looking forward to getting involved with mountain biking and rock climbing while in Colorado.
Moner Ragas - Graduate Student. Moner earned his first class honor BS in Laboratory Medicine in 1998 from Omar Almukhtar University in Libya. He is now pursuing his PhD in Pathology with focus on immunological diseases. In addition to science, he also enjoys playing soccer and spending time with his family and friends. Moner loves Fort Collins and considers it as his second home, "the kind people and the green mountains here remind me of my beautiful city Derna".
Breanna Smith - GTA for Dr. Herbert Schweizer. Breanna has been living in Lyons, Colorado for the past five years while working for MicroPhage, Inc. (a small biotech company) in Longmont. She received her degree in Microbiology from Western State College in 2002. Breanna has entered the PhD program with an interest in select agents and use of bacteriophages to detect pathogens and antibiotic resistance. Her interests and hobbies include her dog, rafting, climing, her dog, gardening, traveling, cooking, and her dog....he's a very cute dog!
Carl Soffler - GRA for Dr. Dick Bowen. Carl was born in New York and has lived in Fort Collins for the last three years. He's currently pursuing a PhD degree by working on the development of a large animal model of Burkholderia pseudomallei with a desire to expand the work into B. mallei. Carl received his BS from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and a DVM from Cornell. He completed his three year veterinary residency in equine internal medicine at CSU in July '08 while also earning a MS in Clinical Sciences. He is Board Certified in large animal internal medicine. Aside from his research and clinical interests, Carl enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, nature photography and racquetball. He's married and has a four year old son - and is expecting a second son in October.
Natalia Voge - GRA for Dr. Lars Eisen. Natalia is a medical doctor very interested in infectious diseases, particularly viral diseases. She loves nature, animals (especially cats), reading and sports.
Lisa Wolfe - GRA for Dr. Karen Dobos-Elder.
Teresa Wolfe - GTA for Dr. Jeffrey Wilusz. Teresa is originally from the Pacific Northwest (Seattle mostly) and has been living in Fort Collins for one week now. She is working on her PhD with an interest in arboviruses, specifically Dengue. Teresa received her bachelor's degree in Medical Technology from the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Oregon. She then earned her Masters in Laboratory Medicine from the University of Washington in 2007 after which she participated in the Emerging Infectious Disease program at CDC in Atlanta from 2007-2008. Teresa likes to participate in long-distance cycling. She rode her bike from Seattle, Washington to Portland, Oregon in the STP which was approximately 280 miles. She has participated in several 100+ mile rides around the Olympic peninsula and parts of British Columbia. Teresa also likes sea kayaking and hiking and would really like to learn to snowboard while in Colorado!
Britta Wood -GTA for Dr. Carol Blair. Britta is originally from California and has been in Colorado for 1 week now. She is pursuing her PhD in Microbiology with an interest in virology and vector biology. Britta received her BA from Willamette University and her MS from the University of Utah. She was an Emerging Infectious Disease Fellow in the New York State Department of Health. Other interests include traveling, hiking, running and photography.

Graduate Students not pictured:
Tammy Luttrell - GRA for Dr. John Spencer

South-facing wall, half bricked (but hopefully not half baked)

Close-up of workers laying bricks on south facing wall.

Walkway between VTH and DMC.

North-facing wall.

Close-up of north-facing wall.

"A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing. "

Emo Phillips~

The full quote on top of the Jar:
"We didn't exactly love him, but at least we saw him eat"

Click here for answer


Focus on Immunology

Click Here for the questions to MIPuzzle #34
Click Here for the answers to MIPuzzle #34

Ever notice the rack of business cards on the front desk of the Micro Facility???
    Alternative Captions:
  • Dr. Hoover announces the new Assoc Head for Lunch
  • Upset that more folks are taking Uncle's business card than his, Dr. Mason is now offering free hot wings to anyone who'll make an appointment with him.
  • You now know seven people who really deliver on the CSU Campus
  • Submit you own

  • What to Expect in NIAID Paylines for FY 2009 -

    From the ‘at least things aren't getting any worse’ category: For fiscal year 2009, NIAID plans to set its interim R01 payline at the 10th percentile. Once Congress passes the appropriations bill, NIAID hopes to reach the 12 percentile for the actual R01 payline.

  • Avoid a Common Mistake: Cite only NIH Support in publications that directly supported the published research
      To meet NIH citation requirements in your papers, follows these two simple rules:
    1. Mention only the NIH grant(s) that directly supported the published research
    2. Don't cite grants that pay for a different line of work, even if they pay part of your salary
    3. NIH's Rationale: If you cite grants not directly related to the research, it can cause data mining problems for the research community and NIH.
  • Learn How to Avoid Conflicts of Interest -

    As we continue developing the ‘Supercluster’ mode of research at CSU, it is important to remember that NIH is very serious about making sure its funded investigators do not have a financial conflict of interest with their research. If you have any questions, be sure to check out the above link.

  • New (and FREE!) ‘Niche Assessment’ Program for SBIR Grantees

    NIH SBIR Phase I grantees are eligible to participate in the newly renewed Niche Assessment Program.  Here's how the program works. An NIH contractor, Foresight Science and Technology, will assess potential uses of the technology in your grant and prepare a Technology Niche Analysis report. This report may help you prepare the commercialization plan required for your SBIR phase II application.  Act fast -- there are only seventy-five slots for all NIH. Check out the August 6, 2008, Guide notice.

New Grant Awards

Alan Schenkel, "Beyond PECAM: Mechanisms of Transendothelial Migration", Northwestern University
Anne Avery, "Markers of Prognosis in Canine CD8 T Cell Leukemia", Morris Animal Foundation
Ian Orme, "Guinea Pig Model of Persisting Tuberculosis", Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Paul Avery, "Immunophenotypic Analysis to Determine Etiology and Prognosis in Feline Lymphocytosis", Morris Animal Foundation

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
Univ Holiday Offices Closed
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Microscope Seminar, 8am, Path 103
Dept Seminar 9am, Path 103
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Grad Student Seminar, 12pm, Path 103
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Grad Student Seminar, 12pm, Path 103
Faculty Mtg 4pm Path 103

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
Microscope Seminar, 8am, Path 103
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Dept Seminar 9am, Path 103
Regional RCE Mtg
Regional RCE Mtg
Grad Student Seminar, 12pm, Path 103
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Dept Seminar 12pm, Path 103
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Microscope Seminar, 8am, Path 103
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Grad Student Seminar 12pm, Path 103
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Microscope Seminar, 8am, Path 103
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