Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology
Congratulations to Becky Rivoire for winning a 2009 CSU Administrative Professional Star Award! She was recognized for "During her many years of distinguished service to the University, Becky has selflessly offered her expertise, guidance, and assistance to those around her, even at the expense of extending her already full workload". Way to go Becky!
The 10th Annual CVMBS Research Symposium was held on Saturday, February 21 at the Ft. Collins Hilton.
MIP students recognized for outstanding work are:
Tim Kurt - Second Place for Outstanding Oral Presentation - Basic Science
Marcella Henao-Tamayo - First Place for Outstanding Poster Presentation
Patti Kiser - Second Place for Outstanding Poster Presentation
Congratulations to all the MIP students who participated in the event as follows;
Oral Presentations in Basic Science:
Oral Presentations in Basic & Clinical Science
Oral Presentations in Clinical Science
Check out the CVMBS Research Day Photo Gallery
Over 60 graduate students and postdocs from all of the biological and biomedical sciences at Colorado State University participated in the Annual Cell and Molecular Biology and Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Neuroscience poster symposium on Friday, February 27.
Congratulations to the MIP winners:
Congratulations to all the MIP Particpants:
• Nate Denkers
A big thanks to Marcia Boggs, Sandy Quackenbush, Mark Zabel, and Carol "Guido" Wilusz for their help in the planning and organizing the event.
Congratulations to former MIP'er Janice Riegel for receiving the UNC College of Natural Health Sciences 2008 Outstanding Administrative Assistant of the Year Award.
Jeff Wilusz receives his 2008 AAAS Fellow Award at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago on February 14th.
Monkeying around with Avian Influenza
By Airn-E Tolnay, Helle Bielefeldt-Ohmann (and 18 others)
PNAS 106: 3455-3460 (March 2009)
Four score and eleven years ago, the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic infected ~20% of the world’s population and caused up to a 100 million fatalities. If the sheer magnitude of that number doesn’t impress you, how about considering that that Spanish Flu may have killed more people than the Black Death Plague of the Middle Ages. In 2003, a new avian influenza strain of the H5N1 virus subtype emerged that can infect humans. As of March 11, there have been 411 cases of H5N1 Flu in humans with 256 deaths (6 having occurred so far this year). The 62.2% case fatality rate is truly scary and suggests that the H5N1 variant virus is a strong candidate for the next global influenza pandemic. The good news is that to date, H5N1 virus isolates do not effectively bind to α2-6 sialic acid receptors in the human upper respiratory tract – hence the virus is not efficiently transmitted from person to person. The bad news is that the virus mutates by both replication and packaging errors – so a new variant that can be more effectively transmitted in humans could very well arise. If that happens, the fallout resulting from the mortality of an avian influenza global pandemic could make the problems associated with our current economic crisis look like the good old days.
Our MIPaper of the month® for March involves a systemic comparison of infections with influenza viruses in an established cynomolgus macaque nonhuman primate model system to get a clearer picture as to why some strains are so much more deadlier than others. Viruses that were used in the comparison include a Vietnam Avian Influenza (H5N1) isolate, two recombinant viruses containing key glycoproteins and a non-structural protein from the killer 1918 strain, and a ‘standard’ H1N1 flu strain from Texas. The outcome of the infections was analyzed for virus replication, associated pathology, and immune reactions.
In a nutshell, while the 1918 Swine Flu recombinants caused significant problems, the avian influenza H5N1 virus came out on top in all categories that were assayed. H5N1 replicated about 100 times more efficiently in the lungs than the recombinant 1918 Swine Flu strains. Notably, H5N1 avian influenza had a much stronger propensity than other flu strains tested to infect Type II pneumocytes. These are key cells in your lungs that produce an important surfactant that coats the lung surface as well as replace damaged cells in the alveoli. Although H5N1 largely stayed put in the lungs of infected macaques, there was some evidence for spreading, including to tissues in the upper respiratory tract as well as viremia. Molecularly speaking, H5N1 caused the most dramatic up-regulation of interferon associated, acute phase response, complement and chemokine genes (reminiscent of the cytokine storm that previous studies have associated with 1918 Spanish flu virus infections). Pathologically speaking, H5N1 caused symptoms as early as day 1. These included anorexia, depression, coughing and diarrhea – hence infection could easily be confused with symptoms experienced by many students the night before the MIP302 midterm. Over the next few days, H5N1 caused a very pronounced and prolonged local inflammation and all lobes of the lung were eventually affected with a severe bronchopneumonia. Immunologically speaking, H5N1 appeared to perturb cell mediated immune responses (e.g. T cells were decreased probably due to vascular margination) and antigenic presentation was also likely down regulated due to an interesting drop in overall dendritic cell numbers. Collectively, these data provide a detailed picture of the multipronged mechanism for why H5N1 avian flu viruses cause such dramatic morbility and mortality.
We chose this work for our paper of the month for three main reasons. First, it presents a fundamental molecular, immunological and pathological description of the early events of infection using highly pathogenic influenza viruses in a very good animal model system. Given the immense importance of these viruses to human medicine, these data are key to the development of potential disease management strategies. Second, the article highlights the synergy often exhibited in MIP Departmental research – in this case to a collaborative, multi-center infectious disease research project. Finally, the paper was highlighted in the March 6 edition of Cell in the Leading Edge – Immunology Select section where one of Airn Tolnay’s images was showcased. Congratulations Airn on this nice accolade!
MIP Publications Late February - Early March 2009
Budget Update from the DH
The exact amount of our budget cut will not be known until later this month. We have submitted yet another plan based on three possible levels of reduction for this and the next (2010) fiscal year. The sort of good news is that these levels of reduction are significantly lower than in previous iterations. We should know what our definitive cut is by April 1. We will do our best to minimize impact on MIP staff, faculty, and our education and research programs.
MIP Takes You Out to the Ballgame
MIP has reserved a block of tickets in section 117 to see the Colorado Rockies take on the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, August 8th at 6:10PM at Coors Field in Denver. The price per ticket is $40 - a $10 savings over the face value. All members of the MIP family are invited - so bring the spouse, bring the kiddies, etc. Tickets are going fast - so please email Jeff Wilusz ASAP if you'd like to reserve some tickets to this ‘can't-be-missed’ Departmental outing.
Twelve prospective graduate students visited the department on Friday Feb 27th. They met with faculty during the day, attended the joint recruitment poster session in the afternoon, and enjoyed the lively Olde Town experience at Coopersmith’s in the evening. Saturday events included a tour of the RBL with Dr. Schweizer, hiking, and brewery tours. Thanks to all of the MIP faculty, students and staff who helped to put this together and give our visitors a taste of that legendary MIP hospitality.
The 2009 RMASM meeting will take place on April 24th and 25th at the University of Northern Colorado. The deadline to submit a presentation is March 31. See the attached registration forms for more information and submission details.
Faculty Council Addressing Postdoc Concerns
It was announced at the March meeting of the CSU Faculty Council that a task force is being formed to address a variety of concerns of postdoctoral fellows on campus - including benefits and mentoring. The committee will be chaired by Peter Dorhout, Dean of the Graduate School.
Know a State Classified or Administrative Professional employee that does an outstanding or exemplary service to the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences? Want to recognize them for their excellence?
Nominate them for this years' College Outstanding Employee Service Award. Nominations must be sent to Janice Brown in the Dean's Office no later than 5 PM MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2009 via email to Janice.Brown@Colostate.Edu or through campus mail to Janice Brown, CVMBS Deans Office, 1601 Campus Delivery.
Each nomination MUST INCLUDE;
• Your Name
Information is now available on the web at the CVMBS Website. At this website, you will find the Call for Proposals information letter, as well as the CRC Face Sheet and signature page. Proposal deadline is 5:00pm on Monday, March 23, 2009.
Judges are needed for the 2009 Colorado Science and Engineering Fair to be held at CSU on April 9-11th. Approximately 260 Grade 6-12 students from 13 Colorado Regional Science Fairs will be competing at this years event. As a Grand Awards Judge you will be selecting the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Team Project Nominees and Honorable Mention award winners from your assigned category and division.
To SIGN-UP ON-LINE at the Colorado State Science Fair Inc. Website, the sponsor of CSEF.
ATTENTION MIP UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHERS
The CURC poster session is scheduled for Tuesday, April 21, 10:00am to 2:00pm and will feature poster presentations by undergraduate science students from all over campus.
For more information and to sign up, go to; http://curc.colostate.edu"
Best Wishes Claire!
Claire Petray, Administrative Assistant in the Pathology Facility, has decided to leave MIP for other opportunities, her last day was Friday, March 6th. We wish her well in her future endeavors, but for those of you who have worked with Claire know how much we will miss her cheerful smile and willingness to help.
2009 ASM Kadner Institute in Preparation for Careers in Microbiology
This is a five day, intensive skills training workshop for the 'other things' you need to excel in a career in Microbiology. Topics include grant writing, presentations, teaching and mentoring, career planning and ethics. The institute is open to senior level graduate students and postdoctoral scientists in the first two years of their postdoctoral position. It will be held July 18-22, 2009 at the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. Visit ASM GAP Website for more information and application details.
Short Course in Preclinical Aspects of Product Translation
This interactive course will provide attendees an overall understanding of the preclinical trial process. Anyone interested in early stage product translation, preclinical trial design, project management, and broadening their knowledge base should attend.
The course will be held March 25th from 5-9pm at the Hilton. For cost and registration information check the BioMARC website.
“If only I’d listened to CNBC, I’d have 1 million dollars today – provided I had started with $100 million”
~John Stewart, Daily Show
The silhouette in the photo above is our own Dean Crick as he appeared in the February 10, 2008 edition of the Coloradoan. Now it appears the comic strip, Heart of the City, has perhaps been inspired by the photo and based a few of their comic strips on Dean's character......
The MIP Department recently submitted an extensive 6-year Review / Self Study of its Programs
NIH Stimulus Package Funding Opportunities
Details are out regarding grant opportunities for the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA). To view all of the funding opportunities now available through the recovery act see the NIH & ARRA website and the NIH website. There is also a link at the first website for you to sign up and receive email updates from NIH regarding the recovery act.
NIAID sets its FY2009 paylines
International Collaborations in Infectious Disease Research (ICIDR) (U01)
No More Automatic Reminders for Progress Reports
Grants.gov server congestion possible near deadlines
New Grant Awards Awards
Brian Foy, "Testing of Spatial Repellent Appliques", IST-Infoscitex Corporation
Delphi Chatterjee, "Lipoarabinomannan Analysis of Urine", FIND-Foundation for Innovative New Design
Mary Jackson, "Mode of action of IPK2835 and IPK2791 in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis", Institut Pasteur Korea
Do you have NEWS or PICTURES you would like to share?
Send In your ideas or newsworthy items. Contributions make the Newsletter better!
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