Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology

Volume 6, Issue 10
October 2009
Congratulations Residents

The Annual American College of Veterinary Pathologist (ACVP) Board Exam was held September 22-24. Congratulations to the following residents for passing parts, if not all, of the exam!

Monali BeraMona Bera, passed 2 sections of the Anatomic Pathologist Exam.
Jamie BushJamie Bush, passed all 4 sections of the Anatomic Pathologist Exam.
Colleen DuncanColleen Duncan, passed all 4 sections of the Anatomic Pathologist Exam.
David GardinerDavid Gardiner, passed all 4 sections of the Anatomic Pathologist Exam.


Congratulations to Lorene Martinez for receiving the JVDI Best Manuscript Award from the American Association of Lorene MartinezVeterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians for her manuscript entitled, "Genotyping North American animal Mycobacterium bovis isolates using multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis." (J Vet Diagn Invest 2008;20:707–715).

Brett Webb

Congratulations to Anatomic Pathology Resident, Brett Webb, for receiving the C.L. Davis Scholarship Award. This Award is presented annually to a student who displays superior knowledge of pathology as well as leadership, dedication and accomplishment. The Charles Louis Davis, D.V.M. Foundation is the largest organization in the world composed of individuals who are engaged in the study of veterinary pathology and related scientific disciplines.

Donald Klein

Klein receives ASM Branch Lecturer status

Congratulations to Donald Klein for becoming a 2009-2010 ASM Branch Lecturer. Dr. Klein is one of 17 lecturers chosen throughout the nation for the 2009-2010 program year. Check out his lecture profile page

The American Society for Microbiology Branch Lectureships (ASMBL) Program gives ASM branches the opportunity to secure highly-qualified lecturers for their branch meetings. The program pays the travel and subsistence expenses for one lecturer per branch, per year.

In the News...

Gerald Callahan was featured in the Sept 18 issue of the Vancouver Sun in the article entitled, Breaking down the myth of two sexes.

The new Diagnostic Medical Center was featured in the Sept 22 issue of the Denver Post in the article entitled, CSU Scientists get new home.

John Andrews work at the Western Slope Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory was noted in the Sept 28 Grand Junction Sentinal article entitled, Germ complicates mystery of dog's death.

Undergraduate Microbiology Major, Christopher Lehmann was highlighted in the Horsetalk News Oct 1 article entitled, Mosquito-borne viruses made to glow.

Diane Ordway receiving the NIH New Innovator Award was highlighted in the Oct 5 article, CSU prof receives NIH grant to model tuberculosis of the Northern Colorado Business Report.

Torsten Eckstein was featured in the October 10 Coloradoan article entitled, "Professor launches diagnostic lab to help battle costly cattle diseases.

  • Rama Sakamuri defended his PhD immediately following his final seminar entitled, "Molecular Epidemiology of Leprosy in Cebu, Philippines, and Essentiality and Characterization of an Arabinosyltransferase Involved in the Cell Wall Synthesis of Mycobacteria", on Sept 30. His advisor is Vara Vissa.
  • Carolina Mehaffy defended her PhD thesis entitled, "Proteomic and biological diversity of closely related isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis" on Oct 1. Her advisor is Karen Dobos.

pub highlight

Molecular Basis of Rare Aminoglycoside Susceptibility and Pathogenesis of Burkholderia pseudomallei Clinical Isolates from Thailand

Lily Trunck, Katie Propst, V. Wuthiekanun, A. Tuanyok, S. Beckstrom-Sternberg, J. Beckstrom-Sternberg, S. Peacock, P. Keim, Steve Dow and Herbert Schweizer

Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases 3(9): e0000519

First a little surprise pop quiz:

In which of the following scenarios is missing 0.1% of the time considered unacceptable?

A. Chase Utley of the Phillies throwing to first base to complete a double play in a key playoff game situation
B. Attendance at Tuesday’s Graduate Student Seminar Series
C. Your spouse/partner’s birthday
D. Clinical diagnosis of Burkholderia pseudomallei
E. All of the above

While many of you may have marked ‘A’, the correct answer, we think is actually ‘E’. Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis. That’s not a disease named after the Nugget’s Carmelo Anthony, but rather an emerging disease of considerable biodefense importance. About 0.1% of B. pseudomallei isolates are susceptible to aminoglycoside antibiotics – and gentamicin (an aminoglycoside) is the basis of the selective Ashdown’s agar used to grow the bug in clinical laboratories. Therefore if an outbreak occurred today, the potential exists to misdiagnose the disease if a rare aminoglycoside-sensitive isolate was the underlying culprit. Hence it behooves us to (1) figure out why some B. pseudomallei are sensitive to this antibiotic and (2) develop a more comprehensive test for the bug. In this paper, Lily, Katie, Steve, Herbert and their collaborators from three continents decided to tackle the first question.

Lily et al carefully analyzed the sequence of three clinical B. pseudomallei isolates from Thailand and came up with the following conclusions. First, there are at least two ways for B. pseudomallei to become naturally sensitive to aminoglycosides. Either they can outright delete the key efflux pump AmrAB-OprA (surprisingly not as a surgical deletion but rather in a gross 141kb fashion that deleted ~90 other genes along with the efflux pump) or they can down-regulate the expression of the pump via a novel regulatory mechanism that does not involve mutation of known transcription regulatory signals. Second, the ~90 genes missing in the deletion strain (which include some thought-to-be very important proteins such as a siderophore and a vitamin B12 biosynthetic pathway) are obviously not required for virulence since this strain had no problems causing severe disease in a 32 year old male. Finally, since gentamicin sensitivity is clearly not required for virulence, these studies in many ways validate the use of the AmrAB-OprA (no relation to OprAh Winfrey) deletion strain that was previously engineered by the Schweizer lab as a genetically manipulatable model organism for the disease.

So aside from not wanting to miss the opportunity to evoke Mr. Anthony and Ms. Winfrey’s names to make inane puns, why did we choose this article for our coveted Paper of the Month®? There were two key reasons. First, it’s among the first papers out of the department (if not the first) to use ‘next generation’ sequencing technology to rapidly sequence three entire bacterial genomes. Only a few short years ago, accomplishing such a feat would have been considered akin to the Chicago Cubs winning a World Series title (aka not in a hundred years). Second, the paper is overall a nice piece of molecular biology that illustrates the power of genomic analysis to identify the molecular basis for microbial phenotypes. With next generation sequencing now available at CSU in Ric Slayden’s Genomics & Proteomics Core, stop reading this electronic drivel, get back to your labwork and generate the data for your own MIPaper of the Month® in 2010!

MIP Publications Late September - Early October 2009

Rocky Mtn Virology Mtg

About 60 Front Range Virologists spent a stimulating weekend with the pine beetles and moose up in Pingree Park from October 2-4 for the Ninth Annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Virology Club. Highlights of the weekend included a keynote address on HIV from Tom Campbell (Chief of the ID Division in the Dept of Medicine at the UCD School of Medicine), a round table discussion on the growing H1N1 influenza epidemic, and Friday night’s meatloaf dinner. In spite of some truly intense scientific competition, we’re proud to report that Steve Erb (AIDL) took home a second place award for his oral presentation on Dengue virus infection of mosquito midguts and Kevin Sokoloski (Wilusz2 Lab) garnered first place honors in the poster category for his presentation of a "tail" of viral RNA stability. Kudos to Randy Cohrs from UCD for doing the lion’s share of work in organizing the meeting and to New Belgium and Beckman Coulter for their support of the meeting. Check out some photos from the meeting!

Thanksgiving Potluck

When: Nov 20th
Where: B120 Micro
Time: 11:30am

Rocky Mountain ASM Mtg

The Fall meeting of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Society for Microbiology will be held on Saturday, November 21st at the UCD Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. Randy Cohrs and Adela Cota-Gomez are hosting the festivities. The event will be held in the Hensel Phelps East Auditorium with poster session in the second floor atrium. Oral and poster presentations at the meeting are encouraged. If you are interested in attending and/or presenting at the meeting, please contact either Branch President Nancy Sasaki at Nancy.Sasaki@du.edu or Branch President-Elect Randall Cohrs at Randall.Cohrs@UCHSC.edu.

Carlson Emeritus
Baby Congrats

Isabella RodriguezBelated Congratulations to Diane and Michael (Ordway) on the birth of their daughter, Isabella Linda Rodriguez, born June 3rd weighing 6 lbs and 19 inches long.


Ryan TroyerCongratulations to Patti Kiser and Ryan Troyer on the birth of their first son, Evan, born Sept 9, weighing in at 8.5 lbs.


BenjaminCongratulations to Mauren and Alfredo Emanuelli, now the new proud parents of a healthy baby boy, Benjamin, born at 5am on October 1st, weighing 7lbs, 8 oz.


Ian Congratulations to Martha and Mike MacMillan, on the birth of their first son, Ian Alden, born October 18th, weighing 10 lbs. 5oz, and 23 inches long.

Admin Notes

International Travel Policy Changes

ALL international travel done by any CSU employee (faculty, staff or student) that is paid for using university funds, MUST BE approved by the Dean and the Provost's office PRIOR to the traveler leaving the country.

This process also includes receiving approval from the CSU Office of Risk Management - by completing their online application.

The Office of Risk Management approval must be attached to the international pre-trip travel voucher when it is sent to the Dean's office and Provost office for signature. Students traveling internationally must also contact the Office of International Programs to complete additional requirements.

Several international travel forms recently submitted by CVMBS to the Provost's office have been submitted AFTER the traveler has left on their trip. University policy REQUIRES all approvals be signed and completed prior to leaving Fort Collins. This not only covers the university but it also covers the traveler should something happen while traveling.

If you plan on doing any international travel, please contact your departmental office as soon as you know the dates you will be traveling and have them assist you with completing the appropriate paperwork.

New CRG Policy

Full support for Windows based machines will be limited to Dell models that are ordered through the College Computing Resource Group (CRG). In order to assist with the ordering process, the CRG will work with the individual to specify the system needed, order the system (the department and/or individual will need to provide an account number), have it delivered directly to the CRG unit (main campus or south campus), install necessary software and deliver the fully functional system to the ordering individual. This process will ensure that we have all the necessary warranties in place to fully support the system.

Support for all other systems will fall into the minimum support category. Existing systems that were under the full support model are grandfathered into the new full support model. Typically other systems such as HP or IBM are purchased to be used with research equipment that requires specific support outside of the CRG.

Charlie Kerlee in the CATS laboratory will be providing limited support for the Macintosh platform. This support is predicated on the basis that a majority of the issues associated with the Macintosh relate to software installations and connection to central services such as E-mail.

More detailed information can be found on the CRG website.

Colorado Combined Campaign

The Colorado Combined Campaign is an annual statewide campaign that allows Colorado State University faculty and staff to contribute to charitable agencies across Colorado through payroll deduction and other convenient means. Colorado’s charitable and human service organizations are facing greatly increased demand and need our support more than ever. Please reflect on the impact your contribution makes and consider donating again this year.

MIP Bits

Quote of the Month

“We don't ground our children. But we're going to talk to him”

 ~ Fort Collins’ own Richard Heene, aka Balloon Boy's Dad

Happy Halloween

Dwayne Hamar and Cam the Ram

"That lab coat, made by Jenny Harding, sure looks perty on that sheep"


Questions for MIPuzzle #47
MIPuzzle #47 Answers
MIPuzzle 47

Hana Van Campen

Hana Van Campen posing with some friends in front of Purdue Vet School on the occasion of her 25th vet school class reunion

Alternative Captions:
  1. Calm down citizens of Northern Colorado - MIP researchers are on top of Swine Flu (we’re just taking them on one at a time)
  2. Is it more than a coincidence that ‘Van Camp’ is a manufacturer of Pork & Beans and that the family’s name was shortened from ‘Van Campen’?
  3. Unwilling to commute on a Harley, Hana finds an alternative hawg to ride
  4. Animals who lost to Cam the Ram in the CSU Mascot Competition: Pat the Cat, Tony the Pony, and Dr. Van Campen’s favorite, ‘Hama’

NIH Happenings

Major NIH Grant Application Changes will be effective January 2010

  • New Application Structure and Length

    These changes will affect ALL applications (new, renewal, resubmission and revision). Exceptions will be considered only for AIDS applications from members of review committees. Specifics vary with the type of application (research, training, resource, etc.). For more, see:

    NIH Guide notice
    Details of application changes
    Table of page limits
    Links to more information for applicants and reviewers

  • Implementation of the new changes

    • When submitting an application due on or after January 25, you must download the new application forms. You may sign up to be notified when new application packages become available, which will be in December.
    • Applications submitted early must follow the instructions for the actual due date (e.g., applications submitted on January 24 for the February 5 R01 due date must use the new forms).
    • You can begin working on your applications now and paste the text into the appropriate form when it’s available.
    • NIH will not accept any applications using any part of the old forms, including biosketches
    • All existing Funding Opportunity Announcements (both electronic and paper) will be revised to incorporate these changes and will be reissued by December 2009.
    • Parent announcements will be reissued and have new Funding Opportunity Announcement numbers.

NIAID’s Interim paylines are currently set at the 6th percentile for regular R01’s but at 10% for new investigators.

MIP Successful at ARRA Grants

Of the 26 ARRA grants awarded to CSU in 2009, MIP has received 12, almost half. Information found at NIH ARRA Reporting Website.

New Grant Awards

grantRamesh Akkina, "ARRA: Dengue Viral Infection, Immunity and Insect Transmission in a Novel Humanized Mouse Model", HHS-NIH-NIAID

grantJohn Belisle, "Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence Core A Administration", HHS-NIH-NIAID

grantJohn Belisle, "Mycobacterium tuberculosis in vivo", Gates Foundation

grantTorsten Eckstein, "Evaluation of a Newly Developed Approach to Detect Cattle with Johne's Disease and to Predict Disease Development", USDA-CSREES

grantMary Jackson, "ARRA: Development of Adamantyl Ureas against MDR/XDR M.tb", HHS-NIH-NIAID

grantBecky Rivoire, "Global vaccines, Inc. -RCE Core D", HHS-NIH-NIAID

grantRic Slayden, "ARRA: Development & Formulation of Broad Spectrum Antimicrobials for Biodefense", HHS-NIH-NIAID

grantSue VandeWoude, "Mechanisms of Feline Lentivirus Control and Interference", HHS-NIH-NHLBI

grantVara Vissa, "ARRA: Molecular Epidemiology of Leprosy: An International Effort", HHS-NIH-NIAID

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
Faculty Seminar
5 6
Grad Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
8 9
Faculty Seminar
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Microscopy Seminar
PTR Faculty Mtg, 2pm, 103Path
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19 20
Grad Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
22 23
Faculty Seminar
26 27
Grad Seminar
Faculty Mtg
Microscopy Seminar
Faculty Seminar

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
2 3
Grad Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
5 6
9 10
Grad Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
Faculty Seminar
16 17
Grad Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
19 20

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