Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology

Volume 6, Issue 4
April 2009

Congrats Graduates

MIP Graduate Students that will participate in the May 15th Ph.D. Graduation Ceremony...

Scott Bernhardt
Nicole Garneau
Jesse Thompson

MIP Graduate Students that will participate in the May 15th M.S. Graduation Ceremony...

Amy Miller
Katrina Quinn
Matt Rosenbaum
Kali Shaw
Airn Tolnay

MIP Undergraduates that will participate in the May 15th B.S. Graduation Ceremony...

Alicia Alberico
Aaron Barczewski
Justin Bohn
Jacquelyn Brown
Daniel Brown
Misty Carman
Tanja Cowan
Kelly Dalgetty
Brittany Davis
Amy Eash
Whitney Edinger
Jamie Everman
Emily Farnsworth
Ashley Friedrich
Peter Garza
Petra Gest
John Gilchrist
Shirstine Gorton
Tirrel Grovenstein
Katrina Hernandez
Brandon Horst
John Hoxmeier
Zach Jayson
Omar Jimenez
Theodore Johnson
Kelly Keil
Natalie Kirk
Phillip Knabenbauer
Amy Leach
Hallie Lee
Angela Lufkin
Lauren Marchand
Rachel Mazza
Gwynnevere Milner
Laura Nelson
Monica Nelson
Joseph Nicholl
Lacey Nickell
Brent Nolan
Sarah O'Neil
Melissa Po
Natalia Reim
Ryan Ross
Shawn Sandvig
Karen Satchwell
Sydney Schaeffer
Franciszka Schneider
Kristin Spencer
Stephanie Sunshine
Kelsey Thornburg
Tiffany Tweedy
Therese Weiderspon
Joseph Westrich
Gregory Zimpfer

  • Kali Shaw presented her final seminar on March 31, entitled, "O'nyong-nyong Virus: Molecular Determinants of Unique Vector Specificity" preceding her MS defense. Her advisors are Dr. Ann Powers (of the CDC) and Drs. Jeff and Carol Wilusz.
  • Nicole Garneau presented her final seminar and PhD defense on April 3, entitled, "The Contribution of Cellular RNA Decay to Sindbis Virus Growth and Stability". Her advisors are Dr. Jeff Wilusz and Dr. Carol Wilusz
  • Eric Lee presented his Masters defense on April 3 entitled, "The Effects of Mannose Capped Lipoarabinomannan on Dendritic Cell Function". His advisor is Dr. Mercedes Gonzalez-Juarerro
  • Katrina Quinn presented her Masters/Plan B defense on April 6 entitled, "A Review of the Changes in Bluetongue Epidemiology Resulting From Global Climate Change and the Factors Involved". Her advisor is Ms. Susan Deines
  • Amy Miller, DVM, presented her final seminar on April 7 entitled, "Detection of Antiphospholipid Antibodies in Dogs with Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia and Spontaneous Thrombosis" preceding her MS defense. Her advisor is Dr. Christine Olver.

Faculty Council News

Robert JonesCongratulations to Robert Jones on his election to Faculty Council as the MIP Department Representative for a three year term starting July 1.

Mark ZabelCongratulations to Mark Zabel on his appointment as a CVMBS Representative on the Faculty Council Standing Committee on Scholarship, Research And Graduate Education for a three year term starting July 1.

As always, a big thanks to all of these MIPers who make valuable contributions to the shared governance of our institution.

pub highlight

Detection of CWD Prions in Urine and Saliva of Deer by Transgenic Mouse Bioassay

Nicholas Haley, Davis Seelig, Mark Zabel, Glenn Telling and Ed Hoover
PLoS ONE Volume 4 e4848, March 2009

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a neurological disease caused by infectious proteins called prions, is very prevalent in Colorado cervids. That means that up to 30% of deer and elk can be affected by the disease in our neck of the woods (and that Walden CO might also be called the CWD-affected moose viewing capital). The high incidence of the disease implies that it is readily transmitted between animals - but precisely how this transmission occurs is unclear. In a high profile Science paper in 2006, the Hoover lab and collaborators showed by oral inoculation in deer that saliva and blood of affected animals contained infectious CWD prions. To date, however, there has been no evidence for CWD prions in the major animal byproducts, namely urine or feces. That's where this study comes in.

Nick, Davis, Mark and Ed dove head first into this excrement (figuratively speaking of course) to search for evidence for CWD prions. Instead of the more cumbersome oral inoculation in deer assay that was used in the 2006 study, they used direct intracerebral inoculations into transgenic mice that were specifically engineered to contain the cervid precursor protein (called PrP) so that they would be susceptible to the disease. The idea was that this assay may very well be faster and more sensitive. Concentrated urine and saliva samples were inoculated and one year (yes a full 13 full moons) later, the animals were checked for disease. Not surprisingly based on previous results, none of the control came down with disease and 8/9 saliva-inoculated animals showed clear evidence of CWD. What makes this study very significant is that when the urine samples were tested, ~ one third of the animals were positive for CWD - the first evidence ever reported for CWD prions in the urine of white tailed deer.

So why did we choose this manuscript to highlight this month. First and foremost, it obviously adds a very important clue to unraveling the puzzle of CWD transmissibility by finding evidence for prions in deer urine. Second, the study establishes the value of the mouse bioassay as well as a test tube-based amplification technique for detecting what are likely low concentrations of CWD prions in biological samples. This increase in assay speed and sensitivity should prove very useful in future studies. Finally, the article uses one of our favorite words, 'portend', in the abstract - which is clearly a harbinger of more good things to come..

MIP Publications Late March - Early April 2009


Service Milestones

The following MIP employees are being recognized for their dedicated service to CSU as follows:

40 Years of Service
Rose Lopez

35 Years of Service
Deryl Keney

25 Years of Service
Gerald Callahan
M. Glade Weiser

20 Years of Service
Brian Cranmer
Collin Ruiz

15 Years Of Service
Charles Calisher
Jenny Harding
Jolynn Troudt

10 Years Of Service
Mercedes Gonzalez-Juarrero
Hee Jin Kim
Megan Lucas
Wendy Sprague
Jennifer Taylor


Graduation Ceremony Information

Friday, May 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center

Friday, May 15 at 3:00pm in Moby Arena

Friday, May 15 at 8:00am in Moby Arena

Fall Semester MIP Topics (MIP700)

Title: Biological Alchemy: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Instructor: Jeff Wilusz

The Fall 2009 iteration of our MIP700 Topics course will be at the cutting-edge of cell biology (and [given the interests of the instructor] surprisingly will have nothing to do with RNA biology!). Using a very simple cocktail of four transcription factors, dramatic advances have recently been made in cellular reprogramming. In this form of cell biology ‘alchemy’, fully differentiated mature cells can be de-differentiated back into stem cells – which can then (in theory anyway) be differentiated into any cell type you desire. This groundbreaking technology (Science magazine named it as the ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ for 2008) has the potential to develop new tools to study disease, create designer cell lines to treat/cure diseases using a patient’s own cells, provide dramatic new insights into the processes underlying cellular development and fate determination, etc., etc. etc.

Pathology Dinner

In February, Pathology Veterinary Residents had dinner with Veterinary Students of the Pathology Club. The students were able to discuss their interests, how to get into a residency program and what it was like being a resident at CSU. It was well attended by both the residents and the vet student club members and a lot of valuable information was shared.

See the Photo Gallery from the dinner.

MIP Roadtrip

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.

MIP Bits

Quote of the Month

“Comedy is like a frog – you can dissect it, you learn how it works, but it will die in the process.”

 ~E.B. White

Gary Mason
Dr. Gary Mason helps to put some of the finishing touches on the new Diagnostic Medical Center Building
    Alternative Captions:
  1. To avoid laughing, fellow construction workers deftly avoid eye contact with the guy wearing the pink hard hat.
  2. Unlike Pink Floyd, Pink Gary doesn’t believe that we don’t need no education.
  3. Win Valuable Prizes - Guess what other article of Dr. Mason’s clothing matches his hat.
  4. Gary begins his own personal crusade to make every month, not just October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
  5. Submit you own


Click Here for the questions to MIPuzzle #41
Click Here or the answers to MIPuzzle #41
MIPuzzle 41

Rockies Pitcher Belisle

Monfort Professor, RCE Director, and Rockies Relief Pitcher?

Who will serve as a role model for our profession’s youth?

Where have all the heroes gone?

Look no further

We proudly present to you Episode 4 of "Captain Justice."

Captain Justice Cartoon
NIH Happenings
  • RMRCE American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Request for Proposals

    The Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense is looking for exceptionally innovative proposals to fund through the Recovery Act Funding Package. Applications are due May 14th. For more information, check out the RMRCE Request for Proposals (pdf)

  • NIAID resets its 2009 Paylines (again):

    New and Early Stage Investigators: 25th percentile! (Hallelujah!) RO1s for "regular investigators" will be funded to 12th percentile (but grants that ranked from the 12-25th percentile may qualify for ~ two years of funding via NIAID’s share of the ARRA Funds

  • Proposed changes to NIH’s Recombinant DNA Guidelines

    NIH is requesting comments on proposed actions to amend its Guidelines on research involving recombinant DNA molecules. In a nutshell, the proposed changes would do three main things: (1) broaden the scope of the guidelines to include synthetic nucleic acids, (2) change oversight policies regarding rDNA experiments involving drug resistant traits and (3) change the level of review for recombinant or synthetic experiments involving more than half but less than two thirds of the genome of certain viruses in tissue culture. The deadline for submission of comments is May 4th. For detailed information, please see the March 4th Federal Reigster Notice (pdf).

New Grant Awards Awards

grantMary Jackson, "PimA Assay Development and Preparation of Biological Reagents", European Union

grantRic Slayden, "FtsZ Inhibitors for Anti-TB Chemotherapy Novel Antimicrobials Targeting Cell Division", State Univer. of New York at Stonybrook

APRIL 2009
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri

Microscopy Seminar - 8am - 103 Path
2 3
6 7
Graduate Seminar - 12pm - 103 Path
Microscopy Seminar - 8am - 103 Path
9 10
13 14
Graduate Seminar - 12pm - 103 Path
Microscopy Seminar - 8am - 103 Path
16 17
Faculty Seminar - 9am - Path 103
20 21
Graduate Seminar - 12pm - 103 Path
CURC 10am-2pm LSC
Microscopy Seminar - 8am - 103 Path
23 24
27 28
Faculty Mtg - 4pm - Path 103
Graduate Seminar - 12pm - 103 Path
Microscopy Seminar - 8am - 103 Path

MAY 2009
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri

4 5
Graduate Seminar - 12pm - 103 Path
Microscopy Seminar - 8am - 103 Path
7 8
Faculty Seminar - 9am - Path 103
11 12
14 15
18 19
21 22
25 26
Faculty Mtg - 4pm - Path 103
28 29

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