Volume 8, Issue 9, September 2011
I am thrilled to join MIP as a new faculty member on October 1st. My name is Brad Borlee and my training is in the area of signaling and gene expression in bacteria. I did my graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where I worked on interfering with quorum-sensing regulation of bacterial virulence and identifying novel bacterial signaling molecules. My postdoctoral research was conducted at University of Washington where I worked on the regulation of biofilm formation and the secretion of an adhesin that stabilizes biofilm formation.
I am looking forward to living and working in Ft. Collins. I enjoy outdoor activities which include hiking with my dog, biking, and snowboarding. Additionally, I am honored to be working together with all the people that comprise the MIP department.
As I am a consultant to the Center for Infection and Immunity of the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, I was invited to attend the screening of “Contagion” on September 7. Ian Lipkin, M.D., was the Technical Advisor for the film and the person who was fortunate enough to have lured me into the consultantship (and a friend). I have a sister living in the New York City area (if you call that “living”), so I accepted the invitation, even though the Yankees were not in town at the time. It was quite an experience – seeing the film and allowing the glitterati to rub elbows with me.
As for the film, I enjoyed it. Other end-of-the-world nightmare scenarios I have seen, such as “Outbreak”, “28 Days Later”, “Rabid” and “The Night of the Lepus” (if you want a laugh), have been simply awful. No matter how good the acting, the technical details, the logic and the science itself usually are so stupid that I often, but unfortunately not always, pass on seeing such things. I am a “Frankenstein” and “Dracula” kind of guy, raised on films not to be taken seriously. When Ian told me he was serving as the Technical Advisor, I vowed to see it, if only to find all the technical errors he had not corrected. I did not find any.
Not only did Lipkin do a great job, but the story line was quite plausible, the acting excellent and the outcome realistic and, therefore, to me, believable. I will not spoil it for you by telling you the details but, in brief, a newly discovered paramyxovirus leaps from a zoonotic source and begins to spread world-wide. We already know about the spread of SARS and, to some degree, other diseases which have popped up and spread (Nipah encephalitis and, need I say, influenza among them), so this filmed contrivance is plausible. Eventually, of course, the disease is contained by the heroic work of the C.D.C. and the W.H.O. (simply to make the W.H.O. feel good about itself).
After the showing, I had the opportunity to have a drink or two and something to eat with long-time friends I had run into (including Connie Schmaljohn, formerly a grad student with Carol Blair but now a very Big Wheel at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases), as well as some of the actors in the film (Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law and Elliot Gould) and those who dropped by (Steven Spielberg, Michael Douglas and Annette Bening); an interesting evening. A couple of them introduced themselves and asked, "Are you the bat guy?". Seems Ian had given our paper (Calisher, C.H., Childs, J.E., Field, H.E., Holmes, K.V., Schountz, T. Bats: important reservoir hosts of emerging viruses. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 19:531-545, 2006) to a producer, who had read it and handed it out to others. Ian did a great job educating these people, his intent in the first place.
In sum, a good film, worth seeing, about a disease, or one similar, perhaps coming to your neighborhood sometime in the future. These days, however, with people not wanting to face facts, it is not likely that the public will accept this educational film as any more believable than global climate change, evolution or geometry.
Since 1993, the American Society for Microbiology has supported an undergraduate summer research fellowship to encourage students to pursue their interest in advanced degrees in the microbiological sciences. Over the last five years, the MIP department has actively encouraged micro majors to apply for funding through this program. Between 2006 and 2010, MIP had a whopping 12 undergraduates obtain fellowships through this program – the most from any university in the country! We wish to congratulate our students on their success as well as their faculty mentors for providing these training opportunities.
MIP Faculty who mentored Honors theses in Spring 2011:
Alan Schenkel - Sarah Dueber
MIP receives compensation for Mentoring from the Honors Program and the money is used to fund the Microbiology Undergraduate Scholars Awards, which are scholarships awarded to incoming freshmen microbiology majors based on their outstanding academic performance in high school and potential for success in our major. This year three entering freshmen received the award; Kaylee Brown, Andrew Corl, April Freeman.
The Philosophy of the Mind meets Spontaneous Combustion.
Friday, August 19, Dr. Gerald Callahan spoke to about 300 people at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver in the Mixed Taste Summer Series which involves tag team lectures on unrelated subjects. Gerry spoke about spontaneous human combustion (especially the part involving mitochondria). Dr. Callahan is pictured above with Chad Kautzer, an assistant professor of philosophy at CU who spoke about the works and influences of philosopher Georg Hegel.
Leah Colton, BS, presented her PhD defense entitled, "Laboratory mouse models for Bartonella bacterial infections: bacteremia, host specificity and pathology", on Monday, August 22nd. Her adivsors are Drs. Brian Foy and Michael Losoy.
Serum Metabolomics Reveals Higher Levels of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Lepromatous Leprosy: Potential Markers for Susceptibility and Pathogenesis
Reem Al-Mubarak, Jason Vander Heiden, Corey Broeckling, Marivic Balagon, Pat Brennan and Vara Vissa
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases Sept 2011 Vol. 5, Issue 9, e1303
Undoubtedly motivated by Charlie Sheen’s infamous comment that “I got tiger blood, man”, Vara, Pat and the lab have been curious about what might be unique about other folk’s blood. We all know that running is in Pat’s blood, but could there also be something special about the blood of leprosy patients – particularly those who have either a mild (tuberculoid) form of the disease versus those that have the more severe (lepromatous) form? If there was a detectable difference in blood components between these two types of patients, perhaps one could use it to predict/monitor infection and disease progression. This could be a big boon to leprosy disease management, particularly because subclinical infections with Mycobacterium leprae could be related to why leprosy incidence is not declining despite intensive efforts to treat diseased patients in endemic areas.
So how do you approach comparing and contrasting patient blood samples? Reem et al decided to enter the wild and wacky world of a global scientific approach to catalog small molecules called ‘metabolomics’. Using their Waters ACQUITY ultrahigh pressure liquid chromatography system coupled with a Q-TOF mass spectrometer they systematically injected serum samples from 23 patients (10 with tuberculoid leprosy and 13 with the bad lepromatous form) and attacked the mountain of data on small molecules generated using a variety of informatic approaches. The key was to identify small molecules that were differentially present in either the tuberculoid or lepromatous patients. The bottom line was that they reproducibly identified high levels of three unsaturated fatty acids (the type with > 1 double bond in their backbones) that correlated with patients with the bad form of leprosy. The fatty acids were arachidonic acid (an N-6 fatty acid) and two N-3 fatty acids – EPA and DHA (which are sometimes called the fish oil polyunsaturated fatty acids). Interestingly, all three of these fatty acids are associated with inflammatory responses in patients. In addition, modulation of arachidonic acid metabolism has been shown to affect the progression of cancer in previous studies. Thus in addition to the cataloging of differential serum components, a variety of interesting (and testable) hypotheses can be derived from this work in terms of underlying mechanisms for the accumulation of these metabolites as well as possible avenues for leprosy treatment.
So why did we choose this study for our coveted MIPublication of the Month® for September? First, this work, along with a nice Journal of Proteome Research paper this month coauthored by the Chatterjee, Crick, Izzo and Basaraba labs, shows the impressive inroads MIPers have made into the realm of metabolomics research and the clear potential of the data to lead to some game changing insights. Second, the good old MIP/MRL/PMF synergy could not be more evident than in this ongoing metabolomics work. Finally, how could we not highlight a research project that was successfully performed under ‘ultrahigh’ pressure???
MIP Publications Late August 2011 - Early September 2011
Renna M, Schaffner C, Brown K, Shang S, Tamayo MH, Hegyi K, Grimsey NJ, Cusens D, Coulter S, Cooper J, Bowden AR, Newton SM, Kampmann B, Helm J, Jones A, Haworth CS, Basaraba RJ, Degroote MA, Ordway DJ, Rubinsztein DC, Floto RA. Azithromycin blocks autophagy and may predispose cystic fibrosis patients to mycobacterial infection. J Clin Invest. 2011 Sep 1;121(9):3554-63.
Ordway DJ, Shang S, Henao-Tamayo M, Obregon-Henao A, Nold L, Caraway M, Shanley CA, Basaraba RJ, Duncan CG, Orme IM. Mycobacterium bovis BCG-Mediated Protection against W-Beijing Strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Is Diminished Concomitant with the Emergence of Regulatory T Cells. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2011 Sep;18(9):1527-35.
Shang S, Harton M, Tamayo MH, Shanley C, Palanisamy GS, Caraway M, Chan ED, Basaraba RJ, Orme IM, Ordway DJ. Increased Foxp3 expression in guinea pigs infected with W-Beijing strains of M. tuberculosis. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2011 Sep;91(5):378-85.
Somashekar BS, Amin AG, Rithner CD, Troudt J, Basaraba R, Izzo A, Crick DC, Chatterjee D. Metabolic Profiling of Lung Granuloma in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infected Guinea Pigs: Ex vivo (1)H Magic Angle Spinning NMR Studies. J Proteome Res. 2011 Sep 2;10(9):4186-95.
Al-Mubarak R, Vander Heiden J, Broeckling CD, Balagon M, Brennan PJ, Vissa VD. Serum metabolomics reveals higher levels of polyunsaturated Fatty acids in lepromatous leprosy: potential markers for susceptibility and pathogenesis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 Sep;5(9):e1303.
Zhang J, Angala SK, Pramanik PK, Li K, Crick DC, Liav A, Jozwiak A, Swiezewska E, Jackson M, Chatterjee D. Reconstitution of Functional Mycobacterial Arabinosyltransferase AftC Proteoliposome and Assessment of Decaprenylphosphorylarabinose Analogues as Arabinofuranosyl Donors. ACS Chem Biol. 2011 Aug 19;6(8):819-28.
Geiss BJ, Stahla-Beek HJ, Hannah AM, Gari HH, Henderson BR, Saeedi BJ, Keenan SM. A High-Throughput Screening Assay for the Identification of Flavivirus NS5 Capping Enzyme GTP-Binding Inhibitors: Implications for Antiviral Drug Development. J Biomol Screen. 2011 Sep;16(8):852-61.
Seelig DM, Mason GL, Telling GC, Hoover EA. Chronic Wasting Disease Prion Trafficking via the Autonomic Nervous System. Am J Pathol. 2011 Sep;179(3):1319-28.
Gingrich EN, Kurt T, Hyatt DR, Lappin MR, Ruch-Gallie R. Prevalence of methicillin-resistant staphylococci in northern Colorado shelter animals. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2011 Sep;23(5):947-50.
Brown JR, North EJ, Hurdle JG, Morisseau C, Scarborough JS, Sun D, Korduláková J, Scherman MS, Jones V, Grzegorzewicz A, Crew RM, Jackson M, McNeil MR, Lee RE. The structure-activity relationship of urea derivatives as anti-tuberculosis agents. Bioorg Med Chem. 2011 Sep 15;19(18):5585-95.
FIV associated neoplasms-A mini-review. Magden E, Quackenbush SL, Vandewoude S. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2011 Oct 15;143(3-4):227-34.
Massey S, Johnston K, Mott TM, Judy BM, Kvitko BH, Schweizer HP, Estes DM, Torres AG. In vivo Bioluminescence Imaging of Burkholderia mallei Respiratory Infection and Treatment in the Mouse Model. Front Microbiol. 2011;2:174.
Telling GC. Transgenic mouse models and prion strains. Top Curr Chem. 2011;305:79-99.
Thompson J, Macmillan M, Boegler K, Wood C, Elder JH, Vandewoude S. Pathogenicity and rapid growth kinetics of feline immunodeficiency virus are linked to 3' elements. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e24020.
Bucy DS, Brown MS, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Thompson J, Bachand AM, Morges M, Elder JH, Vandewoude S, Kraft SL. Early detection of neuropathophysiology using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in asymptomatic cats with feline immunodeficiency viral infection. J Neurovirol. 2011 Aug;17(4):341-52.
Bleiholder A, Mühle M, Hechler T, Bevins S, Vandewoude S, Denner J, Löchelt M. Pattern of seroreactivity against feline foamy virus proteins in domestic cats from Germany. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2011 Oct 15;143(3-4):292-300.
Miller C, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Macmillan M, Huitron-Resendiz S, Henriksen S, Elder J, Vandewoude S. Strain-specific viral distribution and neuropathology of feline immunodeficiency virus. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2011 Oct 15;143(3-4):282-91.
Miller DS, Weiser GC, Ward AC, Drew ML, Chapman PL. Domestic sheep (Ovis aries) Pasteurellaceae isolates from diagnostic submissions to the Caine Veterinary Teaching Center (1990-2004). Vet Microbiol. 2011 Jun 2;150(3-4):284-8.
Saijo E, Scheff SW, Telling GC. Unaltered prion protein expression in Alzheimer disease patients. Prion. 2011 Apr-Jun;5(2):109-16.
Gregg Dean: My interests are science, exercise and adventure. Life is best when I can combine all three. To that end, I am always looking for running/biking/swimming/lifting/skiing partners with whom I can also discuss science and life (not as easily done while swimming). We have an open, collaborative lab. We are happy to share ideas, equipment, reagents, and tales of experimental sorrow.
Alroa Lavoy: I am fortunate to have lived in some great places - grew up in Napa, CA, went to UC Davis, then moved to Raleigh NC, and now here! I am happy to have relocated to Fort Collins and CSU. The humid NC summers have given me a great appreciation for the dry Colorado air! I'm enjoying exploring the area, as well as birdwatching, baking, and flamenco dancing.
Lin Zhang: My name is Lin Zhang. I come from Shanghai, China and I graduated from Virginia Tech. I am excited to work at the foothill campus and enjoyed the various mountain view under different weather conditions. Everything I need is so close by--grocery stores, libraries, parks and people are also very nice. It's great to be here and be a member of CSU.
The MRL held their annual picnic on Wednesday September the 7th at 4:00 pm at Drs. Brennan and Blair's house. Despite the cool, wet weather, the picnic had a great turnout. Check out the Photo Gallery from the event.
The Microbiology Student Association held a lab coat tie-dyeing and decorating party on August 30th. Pictured to the left is Becca Timmons modeling the "I’m a Hazard in Itself" Lab Coat. Check out the rest of the Lab Coat Tie Dying Photos.
The club also met on September 1st for a "Microbiology Movie Night" during which they viewed the film "Twelve Monkeys", complete with popcorn.
MSA Meeting Dates for Fall 2011
Sept 27: Meet the Professors Night! - This is a great way to visit with several professors and learn about their research and/or upper-division microbiology courses that they teach.
Oct 11: Med Tech Treck - Presentation by Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science. Come learn about the medical technologist/clinical lab scientist program.
Oct 25: Midterms aren't the only scary thing around here - Join us for a Halloween Party complete with a costume contest. Bonus points for those who come dressed as your favorite Micro faculty member...
Nov 8: "Who Dunnit?" - Dr. Van Campen will present another case history in her very popular series.
Nov 29: Small Things Considered - Review and study session for finals
The New 2011 MSA T-Shirts are now on Sale!
Show your enthusiasm for microbiology by wearing one of these bright-red, short sleeved tees with the MSA insignia on the front and iconic microbe shapes on the back. Available in S, M, and L. $13.00 each for MSA members and $15.00 each for non-members. The shirts can be purchased at any MSA meeting or by contacting Erin Breland (email@example.com).
Path 101 Remodel - see the before and after pics
The Annual American College of Veterinary Pathologist (ACVP) Board Exam will be held September 20-22 on the campus of Iowa State University in scenic Ames, IA. Best of luck to Mona Bera, Laura Brandt, Deanna Dailey, Chuck Halsey, Brendan Podell, Gopi Palanisamy, and Davis Seelig.
Northern Colorado is a hub for infectious disease research related to human, domestic animal, and wildlife health. Come hear local and national disease experts share their knowledge and discuss cutting-edge research as part of the Foothills Infectious Disease Seminar Series.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
This year's keynote speaker is our incoming Dept Head Dr. Gregg Dean. Gregg will be speaking about his research on lentiviruses (HIV and FIV), innate immunity, and the generation of effective mucosal and systemic immune responses through oral immunization. This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet our new colleague in the relaxed environs of the Pingree campus. This year's meeting also coincides with peak aspen viewing and will feature the Saturday evening barbecue and, of course, a generous contribution from the New Belgium Brewery. So save up your best data and plan on breaking in those new hiking boots this September!
Mark your calendars
The Fall meeting of the Rocky Mtn Branch of the ASM will take place October 7-8 at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.
For more information check out the RMASM Newsletter and Registration Form
Do you know your Reps?
Following is a list of the College Committees and the MIP Faculty Representatives that are serving on them:
Biomedical Curriculum Committee
Jenny Taylor - 2013
Paul Avery - 2011
Scholarship and Award Committee
Susan Deines - 2011
Scholastic Standards Committee
Christine Olver - 2011
Special Faculty Advisory Committee
Angelo Izzo - 2011
Veterinary Admissions Committee
Paul Avery - 2012
Veterinary Curriculum Committee
Pat Cole - 2013
Conflict of Commitment/Conflict of Interest Review Committee
Jeff Wilusz - 2013
Foothills Research Advisory Committee
A funny thing (besides the earthquake and Hurricane Irene) happened at the Cold Spring Harbor RNA Processing Meeting this August.....
The MIP News wishes Charlie Calisher Happy Birthday
The VandeWoude Lab enjoyed a ‘My Handle Bar’ ride through old town Fort Collins in August. Pictured left-to-right: Craig Miller, Martha MacMillan, Alex Griffith, Britta Wood, Ryan Troyer, Wendy Sprague, Sue VandeWoude, Scott Carver and Mauren Emanuelli
Many MIP'ers participated in the Annual New Belgium Tour de Fat on September 3rd
Did you know that 2011 marks the 250th anniversary of the veterinary education?
The world’s first veterinary school was founded in Lyon, France in 1761 through the efforts of French veterinarian Claude Bourgelat. This means that 2011 marks the 250th world anniversary of veterinary education as well as the formal veterinary profession itself.
Congratulations to Laura Nold, Orme Lab Research Associate, on her marriage to Tom Davies, a newly appointed wildlife warden, on September 3. Laura and Tom will be Honeymooning in Africa this December.
Jerome Lee, PhD (postdoc in the C. Wilusz lab) and Victoria Wallen tied the knot on August 27th in picturesque Cable, Wisconsin.
On September 1st, the Allstate Insurance Company released its seventh annual "Allstate America's Best Drivers Report™." The report ranks America's 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers, according to Allstate claim data.
This year's top honor of "America's Safest Driving City" is Fort Collins, Colo. for the second year in the row. According to the report, the average driver in Fort Collins will experience an auto collision every 14 years, which is 28.6 percent less likely than the national average of 10 years.
While FoCo may have the safest drivers, do we really have the best 'drivers'? Watch Joel Rovnak illustrate his driving proficiency...
Attention all MIP Restaurantophiles:
Does anyone know which local restaurant is the best place to enjoy a glass of fine ‘Sotch’ after your meal?
Meet Bog Spavin (and we’re not talking about the swelling of the tibiotarsal joint of the horse’s hock….)
Bog Spavin founder and lead singer Craig Miller, DVM (thumbs up dude with the stars on his head) is a trainee in the MIP pathology residency/PhD program. His mentor, PhD advisor, and road band manager is Dr. Sue VandeWoude
New Grant Awards
Brian Foy, "Novel Trap for Vector Surveillance-Phase II ", Infoscitex Corporation
Mary Jackson, "Studies on Aldahol", Dow Chemical Company
Ric Slayden, "Identification if Potentiating Agents that Enhance Treatments Caused by Pseudomona ", CSURF-CSU Research Foundation
Bill Black, "Training in Dengue Prevention and Control", HHS-DRR-Fogarty International Center
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 8, Issue 9, September 2011|
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