Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology

Volume 6, Issue 11
November 2009
Torsten runs for Senate Torsten Eckstein

MIP's very own Torsten Eckstein has decided to run for the Colorado State Senate in 2010. To learn more about his platform, check out his Campaign Website.

MIP Angels

MIP Adopt-A-Family 2009

MIP is adopting three needy families for the holidays through the Salvation Army's "Angels Among Us" program. Each family has three kids in need of clothes, toys and a good meal. A giving tree will be situated in the front offices of the Pathology, Microbiology and IDA buildings from Monday Nov 23rd. Please pick an item off the tree to purchase and bring it back unwrapped by December 11th.

Details: There is a spending limit of $50 per child plus up to $75 per family in grocery gift cards. The limits will be divided amongst the suggested items on the tree. All items should be NEW with the exception of bicycles which can be gently used but must be in good working order. Coats are exempt from the $50 limit. Any excess items we collect will be distributed by the Salvation Army to additional families. The gifts should be unwrapped to allow parents to be part of the gift giving process, but wrapping supplies would be appreciated. See the Adopt-A-Family Rules for more information.

Questions? Contact Carol Wilusz via email: cwilusz@colostate.edu or tel: 491-4919.

CVMBS Research Day

The 11th Annual CVMBS Research Day Symposium will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2010 at the Hilton, Fort Collins.
Call for abstracts: Abstracts are due December 11, 2009. For full details and to submit an abstract go to the CVMBS Research Day website. Research Day is open to all PVM students, graduate students, residents, postdocs, faculty and staff of the CVMBS.

In the News...

Kristy Pabilonia and members of the VDL were extensively quoted in a series of articles that appeared this month on animal testing for swine flu. Here’s one of the articles entitled, "CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Lab tests pets for H1N1, offers health tips to pet owners" that appeared in the High Plains Journal on Nov. 15th.

pub highlight

Impact of age and sex of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) on follicle counts from rectal mucosal biopsies for preclinical detection of chronic wasting disease

Terry R. Spraker, Kurt C. VerCauteren, Tom L. Gidlewski, Randy D. Munger, W. David Walter, Aru Balachandran

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a disease of deer and elk that is endemic in the part of the world that we call home, is caused by infectious proteins called prions (or more specifically PRPCWD). The disease affects up to 3% of the elk in our area, its invariably fatal, there is no cure, it’s clearly transmissible between animals and (to make matters even worse) there’s no effective control strategy. Heck, the BPOE#804 Lodge on Oak Street is about the only safe place to be an elk around here. An easy and accurate test to diagnose CWD at its very early stages is sorely needed. If this were available, Colorado elk ranchers could remove infected animals early and effectively minimize the spread of CWD in their herds.

MIP’s own Terry Spraker, the man who developed a widely used immunohistochemical test for CWD back in 1997, and a group from the National Wildlife Research Center here in Fort Collins may have just the answer to pre-clinical screening for CWD. The basis for their idea lies in the following two observations: (1) CWD prions can often be detected in lymphoid follicles and (2) that lymphoid follicles can be screened in live elk via rectal biopsies. Terry et al first published this concept back in 2006 and are now hard at work attempting to prove its utility. This paper is a report of some of their efforts along these lines. With the invaluable assistance of four Colorado elk ranches, Terry and colleagues were able to do rectal biopsies 1361 elk over the last four years (and you thought that all that bugling you’ve heard was due to the Fall rut....). The current study was designed to determine whether rectal lymphoid follicles varied in elk of different ages and sexes. While the group found no difference in the number of follicles in the rectal biopsies between males and females, there was a significant variation with age. While young (1 yr old) elk biopsies averaged around 85 follicles, this number dropped precipitously with age: Four year old elk had around 20 follicles /biopsy, 8 yr olds had ~11 and elk >9 yrs old had 7 or less follicles/biopsy on average. Current work by the group suggests that ~10 lymphoid follicles need to be assayed to diagnose CWD with reasonable confidence. This means that using rectal biopsies as a screen for elk >8.5 yrs old may miss a lot of disease and result in a lot of false negatives. However this may not be as much of a problem as it sounds with the test since the typical age of ranch-raised elk is 3-6 years.

So why did we chose this paper for our coveted MIPublication of the month®? Two main reasons. First and foremost, Terry and the gang from the National Wildlife Research Center continue to develop a very promising and exciting assay that may, for the first time, give us a powerful tool to control CWD in our elk herds. Second, it is Thanksgiving and the authors did use Tukey’s multiple comparison test to validate their data....

MIP Publications Late October - Early November 2009


Graduate Program Web Pages get Face-Lift

The MS/PhD Program web pages have been redesigned to provide better navigation and information.

Prospective students can now learn about the various research programs within MIP and the faculty involved with those programs. They can also find useful information regarding ‘How to Apply’, what courses MIP offers, and what to expect as an MIP Graduate Student.

Current Graduate students are now able to find information about courses, funding opportunities and--in the near future--a central place to find graduate program forms!

Check out the new MS/PhD Program pages !

Thanksgiving Potluck

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

FAS is Coming

AIDL New Parking

The new parking lot to the West of AIDL opened for our use on November 12. The work that was supposed to be done before it was opened is being put off until the spring. The main road will remain open to IDA and the other parking lots for a few more weeks, until they can get in the equipment to recycle the asphalt from that section of road. Barricades will be put up a few days before that work begins.

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.

IsTec Program

The Information Science and Technology Center (ISTeC) Doctoral Students Scholars Program recognizes excellence of individuals that hold promise of making a significant impact in the ISTeC areas of interest. These areas include the design and innovative application of computer, communication, and information systems. The intent of the program is to reward exceptional students early in their Ph.D. studies.

The ISTeC Doctoral Student Scholar is a one-time award, and once awarded, the student will retain the title of ISTeC Doctoral Student Scholar until graduation. ISTeC Doctoral Student Scholars will be awarded a one-time amount of up to $1,000 toward expenses to present research at a professional conference. The Scholars will have the additional following benefits:

  1. having dinner with ISTeC Distinguished Lecturers
  2. presenting their research at a meeting of the ISTeC Industrial Advisory Council
  3. attending ISTeC RAC meetings and participating in their activities

Applications are due Feb 15th. For more information and an application, go to the ISTeC web site.


Check out the latest issue of PATHways, a joint publication of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and the Society of Toxicologic Pathology for students interested in Veterinary Pathology.
PATHways November 2009


Medical Device & Biological Product Translation Informational Networking Session at Fitzsimons BioBusiness Incubator

BioMARC, in partnership with the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, Fitzsimons BioBusiness Partners, and the Colorado Bioscience Association is pleased to announce that it will be bringing its short course series to the Fitzsimons Life Sciences District. This half-day introductory course will focus on the overall product translational pathway for both biopharmaceutical/small molecule and medical device products in two separate sessions. Attendees from both groups will have the opportunity t o network with attendees from academia and industry during the combined luncheon session.

For more information, see the Course Brochure


Best Wishes Tansi!

MIP is sadly losing one of our accounting technicians to UNC in Greeley. Tansi Hayes, AIDL, has accepted a position at UNC and her last day with MIP was Friday, November 13th. Tansi lives in Greeley and is glad to be eliminating the long commute to Fort Collins each day. We wish Tansi much success at UNC.

Baby Congrats

Brynnan Dickson Congratulations to Alexa Dickson, postdoc in the Wilusz Lab, and her husband on the birth of their second child, Brynnan Clara-Joy. Brynnan was born at 4:54am on October 25 weighing 7lbs 4oz, 20 inches long.

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.

Free Cell Subscription

Cell, one of the leading biology/molecular biology journals, offers free print (and on-line electronic versions for those of us who want to ‘Go Green’) subscriptions to qualified individuals. Since you are an individual employed/studying at an institution which has an on-line subscription to Cell, then you may qualify to receive a FREE personal subscription to Cell - 26 issues per year.

For more info, please visit the Free Subscription Website

MIP Bits

Quote of the Month

“Marge, don't discourage the boy! Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals! Except the weasel. ”

 ~ Homer Simpson

Sheriff Suchman
    Alternative Captions:
  1. Move over, Dr. Mason - thar's a new ‘stache’ in town...
  2. Psst - hey I hear that the MIP Dept has a tenured faculty member nicknamed ‘Deadwood’.
  3. Dr. Suchman's version of ‘Going Rogue’
  4. Submit your own

MIP Halloween Pics

Halloween would not pass without the festive MIP'ers showing up in their creative costumes. Check out this year's Costume Highlights!


Questions for MIPuzzle #48
MIPuzzle #48 Answers
MIPuzzle 48

NIH Happenings
  • Roadmap Transformative Research Projects Program (R01)

    Yo! – MIP researchers with creative, high risk-high impact ideas. NIH is once again committing $25 million to this initiative designed to fund innovative high impact research ideas for 5 years at ‘R01’ levels of funding. Applications are due on January 22nd. For more info, check out the NIH Website.

New Grant Awards

grantMary Jackson, "Deciphering the Function of Mce Proteins from Mycobacterium Tuberculosis", INTA-Argentina Nat'l Institute of Agriculture

grantDiane Ordway-Rodriguez, "ARRA Immune Modulation by Highly Virulent Clinical Isolates of M.tuberculosis", NIH

grantMark Zabel, "Aptamers for Ante-Mortem Diagnostics of Prion Infection", IST-Infoscitex Corporation

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

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
Grad Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
3 4
7 8
Grad Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
10 11
21 22 23
Univ Holiday
Offices Closed
Univ Holiday
Offices Closed
Christmas Tree
Univ Holiday
Offices Closed
28 29 30 31  

Do you have NEWS or PICTURES you would like to share?

Send In your ideas or newsworthy items. Contributions make the Newsletter better!