MIP Newsletter

Volume 7, Issue 8, August 2010

Dr. Han signs the bottom line

It’s our pleasure to announce that Dr. Sushan Han DVM PhD has accepted the Anatomic Pathology tenure track Assistant Professor position and will be joining MIP on January 1st. Sushan received her BS in Wildlife Management and Veterinary Sciences from the University of Idaho and her DVM (cum laude) from Washington State. After a short stint in private practice, she completed a residency in anatomic pathology at Washington State and received a PhD in infectious disease/immunology in 2009. Her dissertation involved the analysis of helper T cell responses in cattle to infections by Anaplasma marginales, a very common tick-borne rickettsial parasite of ruminants. She is currently completing postdoctoral studies in the area of immunity and persistent infections in bovine model systems. As an instructor, Sushan has mentored students in necropsy and pathology rotations and ran a gross anatomy laboratory for sophomore vet students for which she was awarded a teaching excellence award. In her spare time she enjoys family, cycling, hiking, horseback riding, gardening and snowboarding – so the Northern Colorado lifestyle should be right up her alley. Welcome Sushan!

New Faculty Appointments

Alexander Franz

Effective July 1, MIP has another faculty member whose last name ends in ‘Z’ with the appointment of Dr. Alexander Franz as an Assistant Professor (Special Appointment). Alexander received his BS, MS and PhD degrees from the University of Kiel in Germany in the area of agricultural sciences/plant pathology. In 2001 he joined our AIDL group and began his studies on mechanisms of RNA interference in the mosquito Aedes aegypti and its role in modulating vector competence. In his new faculty role, he will continue this line of research on the foothills campus and is currently the PI on an R01 award. He has also lectured in MIP graduate courses on plant virology and transgenic insect technology. Welcome aboard Alexander!

Brian Geiss

Effective July 1, Dr. Brian Geiss was appointed as an Assistant Professor (Special Appointment) in MIP. Highlights in the ‘Life of Brian’ include his Jayhawk past (graduating from the University of Kansas with a BS in Biology), a PhD from St. Louis University studying Herpes Simplex virus tegument proteins, and a postdoc on antivirals with Michael Diamond at Washington University. He came to CSU and the AIDL in 2005 and has been studying alphavirus biotechnology applications as well as the development of novel antivirals. His research is funded by a grant from the RM-RCE (on which he serves as PI) along with a role as Co-PI on several other projects. Notably, Brian has been very active in promoting undergraduate research since he arrived at CSU, serving as research advisor for 8 undergrads to date. He has also presented a variety of lectures in graduate virology courses. His lab is on the 4th floor of the Microbiology Bldg in the space that used to be occupied by Dr. Carlson (don’t worry – Brian’s office is MUCH neater!). Congratulations Brian!

Matt Rosenbaum

Congratulations to Matthew Rosenbaum, CSU's first Comparative Medicine Resident to sit for the lab animal boards---and he passed on his first attempt! This means he’s officially a diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.

Lisa McCann

We are pleased to report that Lisa McCann has assumed the role of Academic Programs Coordinator for MIP. In this position Lisa will be responsible for the administrative coordination of undergraduate and graduate education programs.

Heidi Runge

Heidi Runge, has been enlisted to help Lisa with administering the programs.

Please join us in welcoming Lisa and Heidi to their new roles!

MIP Research Funding:

Strength in Numbers

MIP had another strong year in terms of extramural funding for its research efforts. According to the VP for Research’s Data Center, the MIP Dept. generated 111 extramural grants that brought in $24,383,977 for FY2010 (which ran from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010). To put that in perspective, its enough money to pay for Yankee pitcher C.C. Sabathia’s salary (the #2 highest salary in baseball for 2010), but we still need to raise another $9 million to pay for A-Rod. Overall, there are over 300 (301 to be exact) active MIP ‘53 projects’ on the CSU books that involve $181,851,040.66. Congratulations to all – your hard work, creativity and stick-to-it-ness in these challenging, single digit percentile grant funding times continues to pay off.

In the News...

Dr. Sue Vandewoude was highlighted in the July 21 Boulder Daily Camera article entitled, "CSU researchers will study felines in Boulder's back yard".


Jacqueline Scapa defended her thesis entitled, "Disruption of Blood Vasculature in the Pathogenesis of Tuberculosis Lesion Necrosis" on August 23rd. Her advisor is Dr. Randall Basaraba.

Lorene Martinez

Lorene Martinez, a graduate student who works with Bob Jones in the MRL, has been accepted to attend the UCSF AGEP POSTDOC BOOTCAMP on September 13-14. This event is sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) in collaboration with the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). The purpose of this two-day interactive workshop is targeted to students from historical underrepresented populations and is designed to provide comprehensive information and practical strategies so that students can obtain the best possible Postdoc position.

pub highlight

Sindbis virus usurps the cellular HuR protein to stabilize its transcripts and promote productive infections in mammalian and mosquito cells

Kevin Sokoloski, Alexa Dickson, Emily Chaskey, Nicole Garneau, Carol Wilusz and Jeff Wilusz

Cell Host and Microbe 19:196-207 (August 2010)

Cell’s contain a powerful RNA decay machinery that plays a major role in regulating gene expression. Believe it or not, ~50% of the changes in gene expression you observed last week in your microarray or deep sequencing experiment are likely due to altered RNA stability rather than transcription. The decay machinery also does an impressive job in policing gene expression, rapidly degrading incorrect or misfolded RNAs to maintain quality control of transcripts inside the cells. We like to think of the decay machinery as the cell’s ‘Fritzler’ (aka building proctor). When a viral RNA enters the cell, surely it must be recognized as ‘unwanted’. Therefore why don’t viral RNAs simply get rapidly degraded by the cellular RNA decay machinery along with other unwanted transcripts? In our Pub of the month for August, Kevin, Alexa, Emily, Nicole et al provide a compelling mechanistic answer to this question for the alphaviruses (which include viruses of biodefense importance like Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus).

This paper makes essentially three major points. First, alphaviruses bind to the cellular HuR protein during infections of either human or mosquito cells through a fairly well conserved U-rich region in the 3’ untranslated region of their RNAs. Second, viral infection induces the normally nuclear HuR to move into the cytoplasm, increasing the amount of the protein in the cytoplasm for viral transcripts to steal. Finally if you reduce the availability of the HuR protein to the virus (for example by knocking down levels of the protein using RNA interference), you significantly reduce both the relative stability of viral RNAs during infection as well as the yield of new viral progeny that are made as the result of an infection.

There are three reasons why we chose this paper as our coveted MIPublication of the Month® for August. First, in elucidating a novel interaction between viral RNAs and a cellular protein that regulates mRNA stability, the article demonstrates a generally conserved and significantly overlooked feature of an alphavirus infection. Other viruses face the same conundrum in how to deal with the RNA decay machinery during infection – and it will be interesting to see the myriad of ways that have evolved for viruses to maintain the stability of there RNAs. Second, if the lab can figure out how to keep alphaviral RNAs from binding the cellular HuR protein, they might be able to use this as a broad spectrum antiviral strategy. Finally, the work nicely demonstrates the synergy in the department when a team of RNA molecular jockeys can successfully use the strength and resources of the AIDL group to learn/re-learn virology and put out a paper in a high-impact journal in the field. Of course one cannot rule out a fourth reason that the paper was highlighted: the MIPnews editor in charge of picking these papers may simply be a self-serving, egotistical maniac who would never pass up an opportunity to toot his own horn…..

MIP Publications Late July 2010 - Early Aug 2010

Sharpe SA, McShane H, Dennis MJ, Basaraba RJ, Gleeson F, Hall G, McIntyre A, Gooch K, Clark S, Beveridge NE, Nuth E, White A, Marriott A, Dowall S, Hill AV, Williams A, Marsh PD.  Establishment of an aerosol challenge model of tuberculosis in rhesus macaques and an evaluation of endpoints for vaccine testing.  Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Aug;17(8):1170-82.

Hunt AR, Frederickson S, Maruyama T, Roehrig JT, Blair CD.  The first human epitope map of the alphaviral E1 and E2 proteins reveals a new E2 epitope with significant virus neutralizing activity. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2010 Jul 13;4(7):e739.

McFarland CT, Ly L, Jeevan A, Yamamoto T, Weeks B, Izzo A, McMurray D.  BCG vaccination in the cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus) infected by the pulmonary route with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis.  Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2010 Jul;90(4):262-7.

Logue CH, Phillips AT, Mossel EC, Ledermann JP, Welte T, Dow SW, Olson KE, Powers AM.  Treatment with cationic liposome-DNA complexes (CLDCs) protects mice from lethal Western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV) challenge.  Antiviral Res. 2010 Aug;87(2):195-203.

Yu G, Wu X, Dietrich MA, Polk P, Scott LK, Ptitsyn AA, Gimble JM.  Yield and characterization of subcutaneous human adipose-derived stem cells by flow cytometric and adipogenic mRNA analyses.  Cytotherapy. 2010 Jul;12(4):538-46.

Kumar A, Dalton C, Cortez-Cordova J, Schweizer HP.  Mini-Tn7 vectors as genetic tools for single copy gene cloning in Acinetobacter baumannii.  J Microbiol Methods. 2010 Sep;82(3):296-300.

Mima T, Schweizer HP.  The BpeAB-OprB efflux pump of Burkholderia pseudomallei 1026b does not play a role in quorum sensing, virulence factor production, or extrusion of aminoglycosides but is a broad-spectrum drug efflux system. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 Aug;54(8):3113-20

O'Toole D, Van Campen H.  Abortifacient vaccines and bovine herpesvirus-1. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2010 Aug 1;237(3):259-60.

Sokoloski KJ, Dickson AM, Chaskey EL, Garneau NL, Wilusz CJ, Wilusz J.  Sindbis Virus Usurps the Cellular HuR Protein to Stabilize Its Transcripts and Promote Productive Infections in Mammalian and Mosquito Cells.  Cell Host Microbe. 2010 Aug 19;8(2):196-207.


Welcome New Grad Students
Rebecca Crew

Rebecca Crew
Originally from Longmont, CO Rebecca is interested in studying mycobacteria and genetics. She comes to CSU with a Biology Degree, Minor in Chemisty, from Fort Lewis College in Durango. When not studying, Rebecca enjoys playing video games and spending time with her family and friends.

Katherine Hartmann

Katherine Hartmann
Originally from Chicago, IL Katherine earned her undergraduate degree in Zoology with a minor in Philosophy from CSU. She is interested in studying immunology, but enjoys spending her free time with horses and participating in fiber crafts.

Theresa Kurisu

Theresa Kurisu
Originally from Honolulu, HI Theresa earned her BS and MS in Microbiology from the University of Hawaii. She is interested in studying HIV lentiviral gene therapy. When not studying, Theresa enjoys hiking, exploring, reading, wildlife and travel.

Jonathan LeCureux

Jonathan LeCureux
Originally from Saginaw, MI Jonathan is interested in learning about HIV and retroviruses. He earned his BS in Biology with a minor in Biochemistry from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. When he's not studying, Jonathan enjoys spending time with his wife (just married on August 6th!) and playing the guitar and piano.

Luis Morua

Luis Morua
Originally from Moreno Valley, CA Luis comes to CSU with a BS in Biochemistry from the University of California at Riverside. He also studied Pre-Health post-baccalaureate at California State University of Los Angeles. He is interested in studying microbial pathogenesis. When not studying, he enjoys playing soccer, tennis and guitar.

Kara Mosovsky

Kara Mosovsky
Originally from Allentown, PA, Kara earned her BS in Animal Bioscience from Penn State University's Schreyer Honors College and an MS in Immunology and Infectious Disease. She is interested in furthering her education in Immunology. Kara enjoys hiking, cooking, camping, and playing ultimate frisbee during her free time.

Noelle Noyes

Noelle Noyes
Originally from Oneida, NY, Noelle received her undergraduate degree in European Studies from Amherst College, and her MA in European Studies from Osnabrück University in Germany. She is interested in earning her DVM/PhD with the research area to be determined. Noelle's personal interests include running, languages, ethnology, women in business and musical performance.

Kate Rhodes

Kate Rhodes
Originally from Springfield, MO, Kate earned her BS in Biology from Missouri State University. She is interested in studying virology and pathogenesis. When not in school Kate enjoys watching old movies and going hiking and camping.

Sarah Sheldon

Sarah Sheldon
Originally from Lakewood, CO, Sarah earned her BS in Biology with a minor in Microbiology and minor in English from CSU. She is interested in studying mycobacteria. In her free time Sarah enjoys skiing, hiking, reading and painting.

Medalyn Supnet

Medalyn Supnet
Originally from Whittier, CA, Medalyn earned her BS in Neuroscience and Physiological Science from UCLA and then earned her MPH in Molecular Epidemiology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is interested in studying Host (mosquito) - pathogen interactions. In her free time she enjoys dancing (salsa), running and knitting.

Julio Valdiviezo

Julio Valdiviezo
Originally from Guatemala, Julio earned his BS in Microbiology from the University of Arizona. He is interested in studying mycbacterium tuberculosis.

Paulina Zurita

Paulina Zurita
Originally from Santiago, Chile, Paulina earned her DVM from the University of Chile. She is interested in studying tuberculosis and animal diseases. When not studying, Paulina enjoys hiking and yoga.

Fall 2010 Seminars

After 4 years, Carol Wilusz is stepping down as the Faculty Seminar Coordinator. A big thanks goes to Carol for all her work over the years bringing in quality speakers!

Alan Schenkel has volunteered to be the new Coordinator and with his new leadership comes a new date and time for seminars. Faculty Seminars will now be held on Wednesdays at 4:00pm in Pathology Room 103

Check out the Fall 2010 Faculty Seminar Schedule online.

New Fall Courses

Advanced Veterinary Bacteriology

The target student population for enrollment in MIP681A Advanced Veterinary Bacteriology includes residents in microbiology, pathology and clinical sciences, graduate students in MIP and other departments, and DVM-PhD and PVM students who have acquired general knowledge of veterinary bacteria and their diseases. The course will focus on providing new and advanced information on factors such as mechanisms of pathogenesis at the molecular and cellular levels; epidemiology and clinical presentation of disease; laboratory diagnostic techniques; and methods of control and prevention for veterinary bacterial pathogens.

MIP700 - Topics Course
Cellular Factors that Restrict Viral Replication
Fall 2010

Recent studies of viral pathogenesis and host:virus adaptation have determined that a number of intracellular gene products play important roles in limiting pathogen infection via unique innate mechanisms, including (1) enzymatic modification of viral nucleic acids (APOBECs); (2)  inhibition of viral capsid uncoating (TRIM5, cyclophilin); (3)  prevention of viral particle release from the cell surface (Tetherin); and (4)  endogenous viral element interference with exogenous viral replication.  This topics course will provide overviews of this emergent arm of innate immunity and includes lectures from several guest lecturers with seminal findings in this area. 

MIP700 - Topics Course
Current Issues in Autoimmune Disease
Spring 2011
A. Avery

This class will examine the mechanisms and pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. The first 2 – 3 weeks of the semester will be devoted to understanding the mechanisms protecting us from autoimmune disease, including central and peripheral T and B cell tolerance, and regulatory T cell biology. For the remainder of the semester we will examine individual autoimmune diseases with an emphasis on how they develop despite tolerance mechanisms, and how autoimmune results in clinical disease.

New Student Rep

The Graduate Education Committee has a new student representative! Katie Propst has been elected to serve on the committee as the MS/PhD Student Representative.

Welcome New Employes
Ida Tieman

Hi, I am Ida Tieman, the new Administrative Assistant in MIP, and will be at home in the Pathology Building. I graduated from CSU way back when, and am glad to be back and in Fort Collins once again. I am most recently from Green River, WY, where I served as a Deputy Clerk of District Court. My husband, Bob, works for the USPS at the Old Town Station. Our daughter, Jessica, is a music teacher in Tacoma, WA, where she lives with husband and baby girl (the most amazing granddaughter ever!). I enjoy being walked by our black lab, quilting, RVing and reading.

Yes folks, that's right - we have Ida working in Path. MIPnews needs to double check its sources, but rumor has it we are currently looking into hiring Michael Rowe to work at Ida and Pat Holloway to work in Micro.

CVMA Convention 2010

The Colorado Veterinary Medical Association 2010 Convention will be held:

September 23-26
Embassy Suites in Loveland

See the CVMA website for more details and to register.

Rocky Mtn Virology Club

Rocky Mtn Virology Club
Sept 24-26
Pingree Park, CO

The featured speaker will be Dr. Bennie Osburn, DVM, Ph.D.

Register online at www.RockyMountainVirologyClub.org

Rocky Mtn ASM

Oct 22-23
University of Wyoming, Laramie

Alzheimer's Memory Walk

Teresa Krueger will be participating in this year's Alzheimer's Memory Walk with her husband, Michael, and son James. The walk will take place in Fort Collins on September 12th. If you are interested in supporting Teresa's efforts please go to her donation page to participate.

MIP Experience

Are you doing something interesting that you would like to share with others?

Do you want to share your ‘MIP Experience’ with others?

Do you want to add ‘Blog Contributor’ to your resume?

If you answered "YES" to any of the above questions, then you should consider being an MIP Blogger! It's EASY, It's FUN, and It's a great way to share your MIP Experience with the world! Any MIP'er can contribute, Research Associate, Postdoc, Student, Faculty or Staff. Everyone has a unique MIP Experience that people want to read about.

Contact Erin Napier if you are interested, or if you know someone who you think would be a good candidate.

A big "THANK YOU" to Erin Breland, Alex Griffith, and Becca Timmons for being MIP's inaugural bloggers! They did an excellent job!

Baby Congrats

Congratulations to John and Mary Poor on the birth of their first child!

Poor Family
MIP Bits

Quote of the Month

"Lisa, if you don't like your job you don't strike. You just go in every day, and do it really half-assed. That's the American way."

~Homer Simpson


Pathology Chairs

Pathology office staff work from a classroom while the main office is repainted and recarpeted

    Alternative Captions
  • The Dept Chair search is over - Jeanette found them all!
  • Regardless of how popular the class is, looks like all MIP courses will be ‘standing room only’ this year.
  • If 712 lions attack the main campus, don't fret - MIP will tame ‘em.
  • On second thought, Jeanette wishes she never came up with the eco-friendly idea of creating a compost pile of office furnishings
  • MIP uses its offices to illustrate the ‘PhD principle’ - Piled Higher and Deeper.
  • Submit your own

Questions for MIPuzzle #57
MIPuzzle #57 Answers MIPuzzle 57

Staff Retreat

The Department Administrative Staff will be participating in a retreat on Friday, Sept 17 from 11:30am to 5:00pm. Lorie Smith, the Director of Training & Organizational Development will be the keynote speaker.

The department offices will remain open during this time being staffed by our fantastic student hourly employees.

New Grant Awards

Anne Lenaerts, "Polymeric Nano-Drug Delivery System for Tuberculosis (TB) Drugs", Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

Barry Beaty, "Sustainable Control of Ae Aegypti and Epidemic Dengue", NIH-Allergy & Infectious Diseases

Lon Kendall, "Immunotolerance and Immune Regulation by Mouse Parvovirus", ACLAM Foundation

NIH Happenings
  • NIGMS and NIAID announce Program Project Grant Opportunity

    NIGMS and NIAID have put out an announcement for Program Project Grant applications to encourage scientists working on different aspects of a similar problem to collaborate. Over a 5-year period, program projects may receive total direct costs of up to $6.5 million If you request more than $500,000 in direct costs in any year, you must receive approval from NIGMS/NIAID staff before submitting your proposal. You are strongly encouraged to speak to a relevant program staff member before submitting a P01 application. For more information, see the NIGMS Program Project Funding Policies Web site.

  • IMPORTANT: Elimination of ‘Correction Window’ for NIH applications in January 2011

    The 2-day "error correction window" to fix NIH system-identified errors or warnings after the submission deadline is being eliminated on January 25, 2011. You will still have up to 2 business days to view the application image and submit a corrected/changed application, as long as you do so before the deadline. In light of this change it will be really important to make sure that you submit an application early (before the submission deadline) so that you and your signing official have an opportunity to address any errors or warnings.

  • NIAID Interim payline for FY2011: 8th percentile

    (odds of finding a four-leafed clover on the first try: 10,000 to 1)

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
2 3 4 5  6
9 10 11 12  13
16 17
MIP Grad Student Orientation 9am Micro C116
18 19
Grad School Orientation 9am LSC Theatre
Classes Begin!
Faculty Seminar
12-noon 103 Path
25 26 27
30 31      


Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
Faculty Seminar
4pm 103 Path
Microscopy Seminar
8am 101 DMC
2  3
Univ Office Closed
7 8
Faculty Seminar
4pm 103 Path
Microscopy Seminar
8am 101 DMC
9  10
13 14  15
Faculty Seminar
4pm 103 Path
Microscopy Seminar
8am 101 DMC
16  17
20 21 22
Faculty Seminar
4pm 103 Path
Microscopy Seminar
8am 101 DMC
23 24
Rocky Mtn Virology Mtg begins
RM-RCE mtg in Estes Park
RM-RCE mtg in Estes Park
Faculty Seminar
4pm 103 Path
Microscopy Seminar
8am 101 DMC

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 8, August 2010

Email the MIP News