MIP Newsletter

Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2010


Anne Lenaerts

MIP's very own Dr. Anne Lenaerts is currently featured on the Stop TB Partnership website as part of the Global Plan to Stop TB. Anne is highlighted as one of the top woman innovators in the tuberculosis research field in an effort by this year's campaign to focus on individuals around the world who have found new ways to stop TB and can serve as an inspiration to others. The feature describes Dr. Lenaerts' tuberculosis research, her role in MIP's Mycobacteria Research Laboratory and recent progress with finding new drugs to treat TB. This is definitely an article you want to check out!

Outstanding Graduating Senior

Laurel Hascall-Dove Laurel Hascall-Dove was recognized as the Outstanding Graduating Senior at the December 2009 undergraduate commencement ceremony. This award is given to students who have a record of academic excellence and/or service to the department or the community. Laurel has certainly been a very good student. She graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.64, which she earned completing the rigorous requirements for a B.S. degree in microbiology with a minor in Biomedical Sciences. Laurel’s academic performance is all the more impressive given that in addition to carrying a full course load each semester, she was also worked part-time to help pay for her education. For the last year, Laurel has been a research assistant in the laboratory of Dr. Randy Basaraba.

Despite her busy class and work schedules, Laurel somehow also found the energy to devote her time and talents as a volunteer at Poudre Valley Hospital in a variety of positions, including running the flower desk, serving as a member of a play therapy study with autistic children and, most recently, working in the emergency room

Laurel aspires to become a physician, and based on her scholastic achievements, research and volunteer experience, and commitment to community service she will very likely achieve her goal.

Congratulations Laurel and good luck in your future endeavors!

Fall 2009 Dean's List

Zienab AlHashim
Diane Bergstedt
Erin Breland
Matthew Butters
Bianca Christensen
Rebecca Crew
Kyle Dascher
Genevieve Forster
Ryan Goffredi
Holly Hamilton
Dennis Hanson
Laurel Hascall-Dove
Jessica Haugen
Courtney Hillard
April Hohnbaum
Aslynn Jones
Shilpa Junna
Jason Kasvin-Felton
Anna Kellund
Lauren Kinner
Jacquelyn Kruger
Stephanie Lehman
Christopher Lehmann
Danielle Lyons
Justine Masselli
Ian Mcmillan
Katherine Mladinich
Jeremy Moll
Paul Moresco
Christina Needham
Christine O'Donnell
Linda Smith
Andrzej Stadnik
Rebecca Timmons
Karen Trott
Megan Vogt
Ian Wallace


Gopi Palanisamy presented his final seminar entitled, "Role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of experimental tuberculosis in guinea pigs " on Tuesday, January 19, and defended his PhD dissertation immediately following the seminar. His advisors are Dr. Randy Basaraba and Dr. Ian Orme.

pub highlight

IFNγ response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, risk of infection and disease in household contacts of tuberculosis patients in Colombia.

del Corral H, París SC, Marín ND, Marín DM, López L, Henao HM, Martínez T, Villa L, Barrera LF, Ortiz BL, Ramírez ME, Montes CJ, Oquendo MC, Arango LM, Riaño F, Aguirre C, Bustamante A, Belisle JT, Dobos K, Mejía GI, Giraldo MR, Brennan PJ, Robledo J, Arbeláez MP, Rojas CA, García LF.

PLoS One. ;4(12):e8257 (published Dec 14, 2009)

The World Health Organization has set a goal of eliminating tuberculosis by 2050. Unfortunately however, all current predictions indicate that we are not going to meet this goal. So do you think that TB researchers like Karen Dobos, John Belisle or Pat Brennan are just going to sit by idly and accept defeat? Heck no! Our Three Amigos© are working with a team from Columbia to develop new tools to prevent TB infections from spreading. This month's MIPublication of the Month® is a great example of some of their recent work to estimate the value of using interferon gamma responses in patients as a prognostic marker for developing TB.

While the Denver Broncos may have played the second half of the season this year liked they had TB, household contacts of TB patients are a much better cohort to focus on for studying disease outcome following exposure. The textbooks claim that 10-20% of folks who are exposed to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) will develop disease sometime in their lives. The problem with this claim, however, is that it's derived from data that are based on the tuberculin test - an assay that basically detects exposure to all mycobacterial species, not just those that cause TB. (In case your wondering, we are all surrounded by a ton of environmental mycobacteria - just for fun one day take a sample of what's growing on the inside of your showerhead and let the MRL analyze it for you...). Therefore in their study, Our Three Amigos© and their Colombian colleagues focused on a better antigen test - the use of a highly M. tb-selective CFP-10 antigen and its ability to induce IFNγ from blood cultures using a very sensitive 7 day assay. Over 2,000 household TB contacts from the Medellin, Columbia metro area (an area with a intermediate incidence of TB [27.7 cases per 100,000 people]) were enrolled in the study and assayed for TB exposure using classic tuberculin testing along with a set of new fangled IFNγ-inducing M.tb antigens, including CFP-10. Their results largely supported both the use of CFP-10 reaction as a biomarker for M. tb exposure as well as a hypothesis put forth by Andersen and colleagues in 2007 that infected individuals that produce a high level of IFNγ in response to M.tb are at a much greater risk of developing overt disease.

So why did we select this paper as the first coveted MIPublication of the Month® for the new decade? There were two main reasons. First, the study represents basically the first powerful, population-based tuberculosis analysis using the new IFNγ-based M. tb exposure assays and thus gives confidence for their use as a tool for the diagnosis and prognosis of the disease. Second and most importantly, prior to this study, the policy of the Colombian National Tuberculosis Control Program was to only provide isoniazid therapy to prevent the development of tuberculosis to kids <5yrs old if they had a tuberculin test >10mm and no BCG vaccine. This paper clearly showed that in their cohort of household contacts, 22% of the tuberculosis cases were in kids 4 yrs old or less - an astounding incidence ratio when one considers that the TB rate in the general Medellin child population is ~3%. The group brought this information to the Public Health Director of the Columbian Ministry of Social Protection and got their message heard loud and clear. Columbian health officials have now changed their official policy and will offer isoniazid preventive therapy to all child household contacts regardless of age and vaccine status. The bottom line: THIS STUDY HAS ALREADY DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTED TO SAVING LIVES FROM TUBERCULOSIS. If that doesn't qualify a paper as worthy of MIPublication of the month, well by golly nothing does.

MIP Publications Late December 2009 - Early January 2010


Jon Carlson Retirement Party
Microbiology elevator down stairwell

Originally due back in operation on January 6th, the elevator in the Micro Bldg has now officially taken an extended Sabbatical and is due to be back in service on January 27th (that’s 2010, we think...). Pictured above are four Micro inhabitants who are very glad they didn’t need to invest big bucks in a Stairmaster to keep their New Year’s resolutions.

Farewell Debra

Farewell Debra!

MIP is sad to announce that Dr. Debra Kamstock will be leaving the department. The good news is that she will still be at CSU as she has accepted a position within the Animal Cancer Center where she can pursue her interests in cancer research.

We wish her all the best in her research, and look forward to continued opportunites to work with her

CMB Annual Symposium

Friday, Feb 26, 2-5pm
Abstracts Deadline: Feb 2

The annual CMB/MCIN/BMB/MIP Poster Symposium and pop quiz to see if you can identify all of the acronyms in its title will be held on Feb. 26th in the Lory Student Center. This is an excellent opportunity for MIP to showcase the research ongoing in our department to those students participating in our recruitment. Therefore all MIP graduate students should consider submitting an abstract. ‘Lucrative’ awards for the best posters, including a separate award for best MIP poster will be given.
See the Symposium Flyer for more information.

ASM Fellowships

The ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) is aimed at highly competitive students who wish to pursue graduate careers (Ph.D. or MD/Ph.D) in microbiology. Students will have the opportunity to conduct full time research at their home institutions with an ASM member and present research results at the ASM General Meeting the following year.

Application Deadline is February 1, 2010
See the ASM Research Fellowship Webpage for more information

The ASM Undergraduate Teaching Fellowship (UTF) is aimed at highly motivated and competitive students who are interested in a career as an elementary or secondary school science teacher. Students will have the opportunity to develop a project to provide instruction in a scientific discipline in a local school or community setting in partnership with a mentor at their home institution and a teacher or site coordinator from the host site.

Application Deadline is April 1, 2010
See the ASM Website for more information

CRC Call for Proposals

The College Research Council (CRC) 2010 Call for Proposals information is now available on the web at the College Faculty Resources Webpage. The deadline for proposal submission is 5:00pm on Monday, March 22nd.

Celebrate Undergraduate Reseach and Creativity

Deadline for Abstract Submission is March 29 .

Setup posters: Mon, April 19, 5-10pm
Judging: Tues, April 20, 10am-2pm
Awards Ceremony: Thurs, April 22, TBD

For more information, see the CURC Webpage

Baby Congrats

Congratulations to Dawn and Cody Petersen on the birth of their second baby girl, born on her due date, January 12, 2010 at 11:45 pm, 8lbs 9oz, 20.5 inches long. They have not decided on a name yet.

As you may already be aware, Kathy Alvarez, is filling in while Dawn is on Maternity leave. Be sure to stop by the Micro Office and welcome Kathy to the office!

Congratulations Nikki Nikki and Stu
MIP Bits

Quote of the Month

“Anybody who has been seriously engaged is scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: ‘Ye must have faith.’ ”

 ~ Max Planck

Jenny Harding

MIP’s Jenny Harding attempts to answer the age old question of how many shoes can a woman buy at one time?

Alternative Captions:

  1. Jenny has no trouble finding a ‘sole mate’
  2. You know the old saying –"if the shoe fits, buy it!"
  3. Jenny simply can’t decide which pair is Randy’s in the annual ‘Match the shoe to the MRL Investigator’ Contest
  4. The MIPnews editorial staff is taking bets on which pair of shoes they’ll get kicked with first when Jenny sees this photo
  5. Submit your own

50th MIPuzzle
Questions for MIPuzzle #50
MIPuzzle #50 Answers
MIPuzzle 50

NIH Happenings
  • Good luck with the new 12 page R01 format and all of the other associated new grant forms!

New Grant Awards

grantRamesh Akkina, "Efficacy Testing of Anti-Dengue Viral Compounds in Humanized Mice", Roche.

grantEdward Hoover , "ARRA: Vaccination against Chronic Wasting Disease in Cervids", NYU

grantEdward Hoover, "PMCA Detection of CWD Infection in Cervid and Non-Cervid Species", NIH-Neurological Disorders & Stroke

grantMark Zabel, "Evaluation of Biological and Environmental Materials for Chronic Wasting Disease Prions using Protein Misfolding...", USDA-APHIS.

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri

Univ Offices Closed
4 5 6 7 8
11 12 13 14 15

Univ Offices Closed
Classes Begin
20 21 22
Faculty Seminar
Faculty Mtg 4pm
Graduate Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
28 29


Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
1 2
groundhog day
Graduate Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
4 5
Faculty Seminar
8 9
Graduate Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
11 12
15 16
Graduate Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
18 19
22 23
Graduate Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
25 26

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

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

MIP Newsletter Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2010