MIP Newsletter

Volume 8, Issue 12, December 2011

Greg Ebel Signs

Richard Bessen Signs on the Bottom Line....

We are extremely happy to announce that Prion Biologist Dr. Richard Bessen will be joining the MIP Department Faculty on April 1st! His lab will be located on the 3rd floor of the Pathology Building.

Congratulations Graduates

MIP Undergraduate Students who will receive their B.S. Degrees on December 17...

Jason Christianson
Eric Collins
Lauren Cope
Gwendolyn Elder
Geoffrey Garbold
Laura Kazee
Marcus Novey
Katriana Popichak (honors program)
Justin Rinehart
Yasmine Salas
Rachel Schauer
*Megan Vogt (honors program)

* = Candidate for Graduation with Distinction

Goldwater Scholarship

Micro Undergraduates Nominated as Colorado State Goldwater Finalists

Congratulations to micro majors Becca Timmons and Steven Bruckbauer on being named two of the four finalists that Colorado State can put forward as nominees for the national Goldwater Scholarship Program! The underlying purpose of this award is to increase the scientific capability of our country through training of future scientists.

Good Luck Becca and Steven in the finals!

Alumni Corner

On November 15, Claire Y.H. Huang, Microbiology Alumni, was presented with the "High Impact Research Award in Public Health" by Govener Hickenlooper for ‘developing safe and effective vaccines to combat dengue’. Huang and her team at the CDC Division of Vector-borne Diseases in Fort Collins developed a vaccine candidate that is effective against all four types of the mosquito-borne dengue virus. Read the Coloradoan's November 30th article, "Local entities create solutions for world crisis"

ACVP Annual Meeting Highlights

MIP Pathologists recently headed to Nashville, Tennessee to attend the Annual ACVP Meeting held December 3-7.

Congratulations to Angela Gwynn, PVM Student and President of CSU Pathologics Club, for winning the ACVP William Inskeep II Scholarship Award!

Residents, Matt Feirer presented his poster entitled, "Hematologic and serum cytokine values in two strains of laboratory mice shipped to high altitude", and Mauren Emanuelli presented her posted entitled, "Alkaline phosphatase in the diagnosis of primary lung carcinomas in dogs and cats".

It has been reported that several distinguished MIP Pathologists were seen headed to a Nashville Honkey Tonk the night of December 6. MIPnews field reporters are looking for pictures from the event...

pub highlight

Comparative Evaluation of Systemic Drugs for their Effects against Anopheles gambiae

Matt Butters, Kevin Kobylinski, Kelsey Deus, Ines Marques da Silva, Meg Gray, Massamba Sylla and Brian Foy

Acta Tropica 121: 34-43 (January 2012)

Mosquito brain on drugs

While your Comcast/DirectTV, and Dish subscriptions allow you access to hundreds of programming options, you won't find the Glutamate-gated chloride, GABA-regulated chloride or Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor channels on any of them. However if you have an intimate look at that insect that's been buzzing around your office annoying you while you are trying to read this, you will find all three of these channels and learn that they play a major role in neuron and muscle function. Interestingly, we already have in hand several drugs that target these channels in insects and parasites. These compounds have the potential to stop these annoying (and sometimes very dangerous) pests in their tracts. Some of these (e.g. Ivermectin) are already approved for specific human and veterinary uses.

The Foy lab's idea is to use these drugs, perhaps in combination, as a means to knockdown mosquito vectors to reduce the transmission rates of some major human diseases, including malaria. In fact, the lab's recent data from field studies in Senegal that indicated the drug invermectin could reduce the levels of Plasmodium falciparum (the agent that causes a major form of malaria) in mosquito populations created quite a stir (e.g. discussed in a Science news alert, etc) this past summer. In this current paper, Brian and the gang continue their work in this area by evaluating seven different drugs that affect these channels to determine which ones may work best on Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes – a major malarial vector.

Based on LC50 experiments (in other words, measuring the concentration of the drug that kills 50% of the test population), ivermectin and the related glutamate-gated chloride channel agonist epinomectin worked 10-100X better than the other five drugs tested. Ivermectin and epinomectin also worked best in assays where sub-lethal concentrations were applied and the skeeters were rated on their lethargic behavior and uncoordinated movements (similar I imagine to what one might observe in Old Town at 2AM on a Friday night). Interestingly, epinomectin actually invoked this lethargic behavior in the insect extremely rapidly (within an hour) post feeding on drug-laced blood. Finally, when how fast the insects recovered from their drug-induced hangovers is measured, epinomectin was again was the most effective compound as its effects on the bugs lasted the longest. Collectively, these data strongly suggest that the related ivermectin and epinomectin compounds may make for a very effective concoction for mass drug administration in the field to reduce the incidence of malaria transmission in endemic areas. The idea is to give the drugs prophylatically to high risk populations in mosquito-infested areas where malaria is present. When a skeeter takes a blood meal from a treated person, the critter gets a dose of one or both of these drugs, becomes lethargic and thus is very unlikely to effectively transmit the parasite to other people.

There are 300-500 million reasons why we selected this paper for our coveted last MIPublication of the Month® for 2011.  That’s the number of estimated cases of malaria worldwide each year and a million people die from it.  If the compounds in this study help to reduce this incidence even a little, the impact of this paper is huge.  Another reason is that the paper has perhaps the shortest written results section (~500 words) of any full paper published this year.   Clearly Brian et al let their data do the talking.  Finally, we never miss the opportunity for a bad pun and figured that tis’ the season to give a little shout out of ‘Foy to the World’.  Happy Holidays to all of our readers.

MIP Publications Late November 2011 - Early December 2011

Zhou J, Neff CP, Liu X, Zhang J, Li H, Smith DD, Swiderski P, Aboellail T, Huang Y, Du Q, Liang Z, Peng L, Akkina R, Rossi JJ.  Systemic Administration of Combinatorial dsiRNAs via Nanoparticles Efficiently Suppresses HIV-1 Infection in Humanized Mice.  Mol Ther. 2011 Dec;19(12):2228-38.

Seelig DM, Perry JA, Zaks K, Avery AC, Avery PR.  Monoclonal immunoglobulin protein production in two dogs with secretory B-cell lymphoma with Mott cell differentiation.  J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2011 Dec 1;239(11):1477-82.

Hueffer K, Holcomb D, Ballweber LR, Gende SM, Blundell G, O'Hara TM.  Serologic Surveillance of Pathogens in a Declining Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) Population in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, USA and a Reference Site.  J Wildl Dis. 2011 Oct;47(4):984-8.

Miller AG, Halsey CH, Miller MD, Bohn AA.  What is your diagnosis? Intracranial mass in a dog. Vet Clin Pathol. 2011 Dec;40(4):563-4.

Deardorff ER, Fitzpatrick KA, Jerzak GV, Shi PY, Kramer LD, Ebel GD.  West Nile Virus Experimental Evolution in vivo and the Trade-off Hypothesis.  PLoS Pathog. 2011 Nov;7(11):e1002335.

Butters MP, Kobylinski KC, Deus KM, da Silva IM, Gray M, Sylla M, Foy BD. Comparative evaluation of systemic drugs for their effects against Anopheles gambiae. Acta Trop. 2012 Jan;121(1):34-43.

Franz AW, Jasinskiene N, Sanchez-Vargas I, Isaacs AT, Smith MR, Khoo CC, Heersink MS, James AA, Olson KE.  Comparison of transgene expression in Aedes aegypti generated by mariner Mos1 transposition and ΦC31 site-directed recombination.  Insect Mol Biol. 2011 Oct;20(5):587-98.

Mathew B, Srivastava S, Ross LJ, Suling WJ, White EL, Woolhiser LK, Lenaerts AJ, Reynolds RC. Novel pyridopyrazine and pyrimidothiazine derivatives as FtsZ inhibitors. Bioorg Med Chem. 2011 Dec 1;19(23):7120-8.


FAS Deadline is Coming

Ralph Smith Photography

Sunrise at Pawnee Grasslands

Dr. Ralph Smith is keeping himself busy in retirement hoping that mama don't take his kodachrome away.

Faculty Travels Ian Orme

Ian Orme stopped in England on his way back from the Gates TB Vaccine meeting in Copenhagen to visit his mother. She gave him up for adoption 59 years ago, and he only found out her identity in March...

Gerald CallahanGerry Callahan has been invited to give the keynote address at the 43rd Midwest Student Biomedical Research Forum (MSBRF) to be held on Saturday, February 18, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. The title is "Late Night Infectious Thoughts on Listening to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (with posthumous apologies to Lewis Thomas) or how I Learned to Stop Worrying and Learned to Love Bacteria (with equally posthumous apologies to Stanley Kubrick).

MIP Icon Contest

MIP Icon Contest

The MIP Advisory Committee is seeking submissions of artwork and concepts to create a new MIP Department Icon. The icon's purpose will be to serve as an artistic visual identifier of the MIP Department on research posters, recruitment materials, alumni communications and for other development purposes.

The artist whose work and/or idea is chosen as "Best Icon" will be awarded a $25 Amazon Gift Card! In addition, the winner and all finalists will be highlighted in the MIP Newsletter!

Send your icon artwork and/or your creative ideas to Erin Napier by December 20th!

ASM Undergraduate Fellowships

Application Deadline is

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.

See the ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship Website for more information

American Heart Association Medical Research Program

Application Deadline is
January 26!

The student research program encourages promising students, including women and members of minority groups underrepresented in the sciences, from all disciplines to consider research careers while supporting the highest quality scientific investigation broadly related to cardiovascular disease and stroke. The research opportunity will allow students to work for 8, 10 or 12 weeks with a faculty/staff member on any project broadly related to cardiovascular disease/function or stroke. The goal is to encourage students to consider a future academic career in this area.

See the AHA Undergraduate Student Research Program Website for more information.

CVMBS Research Day 2012


The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will be hosting the 13th Annual Research Day on Saturday, January 28, 2012, at the Hilton Hotel.

The symposium will commence at 12:00PM, with a keynote address by Dr. Shane Hentges, the winner of the Pfizer Research Award. Poster and oral presentations in basic and clinical sciences by graduate students, veterinary students, veterinary residents, postdoctoral fellows and interns will follow. There will be an awards ceremony at 5:30PM.

For more information go to the Research Day Website.


What's been happening at the Diagnostic Lab? To find out, checkout the Fall/Winter Edition of Lab Lines.

The Wilusz Family

The Wilusz Family participated in this year's Fort Collins Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

Mary Jackson's Birthday

On December 6th a bunch of MRL denizens gathered to celebrate the birthday of Mary Jackson. The birthday cake is described as a "dirt" cake (as in "older than dirt"). Mary received a number of special presents commemorating her special day, including bottles of aspirin, a baggy of prunes, beads (not to be confused with those found on Bourbon Street, New Orleans), a large font calculator for calculating NIH budget spread sheets, magnifying reading glasses, and a cane that broadcasts a warning sound when she approaches the lab to alert her employees to look busy. Click here to see a picture entitled "Mary Jackson in 2050" in which she appears to be a bit disappointed that she is STILL looking for the M. tb gene target for the drug isoxyl.

MIP Bits

Quote of the Month

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
~ Mark Twain

Gary Mason Necropsy Ranger

Check out this cool photo and more in the 2012 VET TEXT calendar

Alternative Captions:

  1. The Good, the Bad, and the Mason
  2. Wow, he looks pretty intimidating, that is if you ignore the slight resemblance to Ned Flanders
  3. Never a slow day in the necropsy suite with this gunslinger in town
  4. Submit your own

Calendars are $15 each and can be purchased at the VetText store (open this week from M-F from 12-3 and Dec 19th-Jan 13th M-F from 3-6). They accept cash, check and credit and all sales benefit the PVM 2012/2013 endowment fund.

Christmas-time in Pathology

On December 8th, Dr. Colleen Duncan presented her "Christmas Balls" lecture to the Veterinary Students in the Biology of Diseases course. In the lecture, Dr. Duncan discusses the various testicular diseases known to affect livestock and other animals. To test the student’s knowledge, the lecture is followed by a cookie distribution where the students try to diagnose their ball (aka testicle)-shaped cookie's disease. With two days left in the semester, the light-hearted humor and ‘teaching with food’ method of instruction was very well-received by the students.

See the Cookie's and Test your Testicular Disease Knowledge

Questions for MIPuzzle #72
MIPuzzle #72 Answers
MIPuzzle 72

Year in Review
  1. If the old adage 'publish or perish' holds any truth, MIP researchers need not fear the reaper any time soon. We published ~159 papers this calendar year, several of which received major press coverage (e.g. Science's highlight of Brian Foy's work, the Wheat/Brennan/Spencer ASM paper highlight, and of course the Akkina lab's two MIPublications of the month).
  2. Despite single or near-single digit percentiles for research grant success rates from most funding agencies, the MIP research community brought in an amazing $31,854,414 during FY '11. To give that number some perspective, that's about $75,000 in research dollars per individual MIP employee. 'Nuff said.
  3. Administratively speaking, the biggest story of the year was the arrival of our new Department head Dr. Gregg Dean who took the reins from Ed Hoover on August 1st. Our own Sue VandeWoude was also named CVMBS Associate Dean for Research on July 1st, taking over the position from Terry Nett. The MIP administrative staff welcomed Kim Mashek, Chris Bartholomew, Audrey Oberlin and Edit Szalai. Allstate is clearly not the only group that you're in good hands with.
  4. Changes in the ranks of MIP faculty kept the folks who make the office signs/print the business cards very busy this year. Despite challenging economic times, MIP welcomed 7 new tenured/tenure-track faculty, including Glenn Telling, Sushan Han, Greg Ebel, Brad Borlee, Mary Jackson, Chad Frank and Richard Bessen (who signed on this year and will be arriving (no joke) April 1st). In our annual promotion commotion, we saw Drs. Eisen, Jackson and Zabel get promoted to associate professor, Dr. Zabel awarded tenure and Dr. Van Campen receive a well-deserved promotion to full professor.
  5. MIP bid farewell to several long time and cherished employees in 2011. Dr. Richard Titus and Dr. John Andrews (Western Slope Dlab) retired, Dr. Michio Kurosu left us for a faculty position in Tennessee, and MIP staffers Dawn Petersen, Katie Hechevarria and Jeanette Fritzler moved on to other opportunities. Sadly, we also lost Ines Da Silva to a truly devastating automobile accident.
  6. MIP students from all walks of academic rank strutted their stuff in 2011. Undergraduate notables included Erin Breland being named a Goldwater Scholar, Alex Emch and Colleen Lanza receiving national ASM summer fellowships, and Katriana Popichak, Kapila Pothu, Lauren Kinner and Ryan Knodle receiving awards at the annual CSU CURC symposium. MIP graduate students took home an impressive 17 presentation awards at local and regional meetings. MIP postdoctoral fellows and residents also reeled in seven awards.
  7. Several MIP faculty members also walked the red carpet to receive several nice recognitions this year. Jenny Taylor received CSU's N. Preston David Award as well as an award from the CVMBS for instructional innovation. Barb Powers received the E.P. Pope Award from the AAVLD, Sandy Quackenbush was named distinguished alumnus of SUNY-Delhi and good olde Charlie Calisher received emeritus status.
  8. In the MIP 'Believe It or Not' category, 2011 featured the advent of our new voice mail system (whose voice to text feature can be quite amusing), a 'worst to first' performance by the 'RNaces' in the CSU bowling league, Colleen Duncan's use of costumed 'themed' lectures to reinforce clinical principles, and the advent of videos in the MIPnews.
  9. On the MIP social scene, memorable events from 2011 included the Dept Spring Picnic (complete with 'Drew's Brew – a New Belgium creation made by an MIP alumnus), the zaniest Halloween luncheon in recent memory in the Micro facility, our annual Thanksgiving Potluck and a surprise birthday party for John Belisle.
  10. Our MIP 'Person of the Year' for 2011 is Dr. Ken Olson. Aside from his outstanding research and leadership in the AIDL, Ken also demonstrated his determination and persistence in surviving and successfully re-habbing from a horrendous automobile accident outside Walden this Spring. Thanks for the inspiration.

Best Wishes for a Fantastic '12. It's not going to be the end of the world, only the beginning of more MIP successes!

CVMBS Hockey

Pictured above is the defeated, but not destroyed, faculty team from the CVMBS Faculty Student Hockey Game held on Dec 3rd. The students won "Stanley's Cup" (a 20+ year old cup and jock-strap tied between two small hockey sticks) after a 5-3 victory. MIP players for the faculty included Charles Halsey and Dr. Seung Yoo. A rematch is scheduled for the Spring!

NIH Happenings
  • PhD graduates: Wanna skip your postdoc and go straight to PI status?

    If you are truly exceptional, within a year of your terminal degree/clinical residency and ready to go straight to a faculty position, the NIH now has a Director's Early Independence Award Program that might be of interest to you. Letters of intent are due at the end of the month and the full application is due January 30th.

  • Check out the middle column of this newsletter for two undergraduate summer funding opportunities from the ASM and the AHA
  • Anybody interested in figuring out what really causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

    NIH has RFAs out to solicit applications on CFS for R21 awards and R01 awards.

New Grant Awards

Ramesh Akkina, "Combinatorial Use of Anti-HIV RNA-based Therapeutics", City of Hope National Medical Center

Jeffrey Wilusz, "Identification of Nucleophosmin in Canine Cutaneous Mast Cell Tumors and Clinical Correlations", Ohio Animal Health Foundation

Glenn Telling, "Transgenetic Studies of Prion Disease in Cervids", NIH-Neurological Disorders & Stroke

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
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Microscopy Seminar 8am DMC101
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Dept Seminar 9am Path 103
Grad School 3PM Moby

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Yikes! FAS entries due tomorrow!


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

MIP Newsletter Volume 8, Issue 12, December 2011

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