Vol. 9 | No. 4
Congratulations to the following faculty on their upcoming promotion and/or tenure actions which become effective July:
Each semester the MIP faculty recognize an outstanding graduating senior for academic excellence and/or service to the department or community. Erin Breland was the recipient of this award for the May 2012 graduating class.
Erin is certainly an outstanding student! She graduated magna cum laude with a nearly perfect grade point average, which she earned completing not only the rigorous curriculum required for a degree in Microbiology, but also the requirements for a minor in Biomedical Sciences as well as the Honors Scholars Program.
Last year, Erin was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship. These are prestigious awards, presented to no more than 300 students in the United States who are studying mathematics or science and who “demonstrate the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to his or her field and who will pursue an advanced degree.” Erin certainly fits the bill! Not surprisingly, Erin was admitted to all four graduate schools to which she applied, and she will enter a PhD program at Vanderbilt University this fall.
Congratulations, Erin, and good luck in your future endeavors!
Anwar Al Haider
*cum laude candidate
Check out the Graduation Photo Gallery
Congratulations to Pete Justice for receiving a 2012 CVMBS Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award!
Congratulations to Kristy Pabilonia for receiving a third place Young Scientist Award for her presentation at the 8th International Avian Influenza Symposium held at the University of London, April 1-5. Kristy's presentation was entitled, "Avian Influenza Virus in Domestic Ducks in West Java, Indonesia"
Congratulations to Jessica Haugen for receiving a highly competitive 2012 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Jessica is a Microbiology major working in Dr. Randy Basaraba's Laboratory. Jessica will receive a $2500 stipend for her summer research work, and up to $1000 for travel to the 2013 ASM General Meeting in Denver, Colorado.
Kudos to Microbiology Major, Alex Emch of the Wilusz2 Lab for receiving recognition for having an "Outstanding Poster" at this year's Annual ASM Meeting.
Congratulations to the following MIP undergraduate students who ranked in the top tier of the over 243 student posters at CSU's 2012 Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Showcase.
Check out photos of the participants and their posters in the
Congratulations to Charles Halsey for receiving the Society of Toxicologic Pathology (STP) Student Travel Award for the 2012 Annual Symposium taking place June 24-28, 2012, in Boston, MA. The travel award will provide Charles with a complimentary meeting registration, $1,000 in travel/lodging stipend, and a complimentary student membership to the STP for the following year.
Congratulations to Donald Klein on 50 years of continuous membership to the American Society for Microbiology. ASM was founded to "promote the microbiological sciences and their applications for the common good".
Congratulations to the following Microbiology Majors on their 2012-2013 Scholarship Awards:
Congratulations to Madeline Breer, Bianca Christensen, and Jennifer Taylor for the selection of their article entitled, "Models in Movies: Teaching Abstract Concepts in Concrete Models" to be published in Volume 13, Issue 1, of the ASM Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE). Madeline and Bianca produced this manuscript as part of their honors project.
Retroviral Cyclin Enhances Cyclin-Dependent Kinase-8 Activity
Joel Rovnak, Connie Brewster and Sandy Quackenbush
J. Virol 86: 5742-5751, May 2012
‘Cancer Sucks’ according to the CSU Relay for Life signs posted around campus over the last month (as well as anyone who has had to deal with this sometimes devastating disease). Understanding fundamental mechanisms that underlie cancerous phenotypes can lead to solid leads for new drug strategies. Following this mantra, Joel, Connie and Q decided to go ‘fishing’ for new insights into fundamental cancer mechanisms by studying a protein (rv-cyclin) made by Walleye Dermal Sarcoma Virus (WDSV) that contains both a transcriptional activation domain and a cyclin-like fold.
Using the now classic technique of yeast two hybrid screening, Joel et al used the WDSV protein RV-cyclin as bait and reeled in a regulatory subunit of Protein Phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Curiously, PP2A is known to regulate the activity of CDK8 – a kinase that is a known oncogene in melanoma and colorectal cancer, and importantly for this study, a known substrate of the WDSV RV-cyclin protein itself. The CDK8 protein is highly conserved over evolution and functions both as part of the Mediator complex in transcriptional regulation as well as an independent kinase activity that may work outside of the mediator module. Notably, CDK8 is a highly attractive target for the development of new cancer drugs. The paper by Joel et al makes several important points regarding this RV-cyclin-CDK8-PP2A ‘trifecta’ of an interaction. First, they show using low concentrations of a phosphatase inhibitor and nuclear extracts that CDK8 kinase is naturally regulated by PP2A. Second, the mechanism of PP2A-mediated regulation of CDK8 is likely by causing a specific de-phosphorylation event prior to the enzyme autophosphorylating itself. Third, PP2A-based regulation of CDK8 helps to distinguish different activities of the enzyme – as histone H3 phosphorylation by CDK8 is not regulated by PP2A. Collectively, these observations allowed our favorite fish retrovirologists to put together a highly detailed molecular model for how RV-cyclin takes over for cyclin C as part of the CDK8 module of the mediator complex and alters its functions.
So why did we choose this paper as our coveted MIPublication® of the Month for May? First and foremost, these data provide detailed insight into a major player in oncogenesis by helping to dissect the regulation of the CDK8 kinase. Given the huge effect that CDK8 has on cancer cell proliferation and the high frequency of CDK8 gain of function mutations in major human cancers, this work could help refine searches for small molecule CDK8 inhibitors that have been challenging to date due to specificity concerns. Second, the study serves as a reminder of the important work that the MIP Dept does in the cancer arena – something that might sometimes be overshadowed by our emphasis on infectious diseases. Finally, with the weather warming up outside, we, like most of our readers, start to turn our attention to walleyes and ‘cyclin’. Best wishes for a great summer break.
MIP Publications Late April / early May 2012
Palanisamy GS, Kirk NM, Ackart DF, Obregón-Henao A, Shanley CA, Orme IM, Basaraba RJ. Uptake and Accumulation of Oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein during Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection in Guinea Pigs. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e34148.
Thibodeaux BA, Garbino NC, Liss NM, Piper J, Blair CD, Roehrig JT. A small animal peripheral challenge model of yellow fever using interferon-receptor deficient mice and the 17D-204 vaccine strain. Vaccine. 2012 May 2;30(21):3180-7.
Martins MV, Guimarães MM, Spencer JS, Hacker MA, Costa LS, Carvalho FM, Geluk A, van der Ploeg-van Schip JJ, Pontes MA, Gonçalves HS, de Morais JP, Bandeira TJ, Pessolani MC, Brennan PJ, Pereira GM. Pathogen-Specific Epitopes as Epidemiological Tools for Defining the Magnitude of Mycobacterium leprae Transmission in Areas Endemic for Leprosy. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012 Apr;6(4):e1616.
Brennan PJ. A new TB vaccine blueprint. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2012 Mar;92 Suppl 1:S1.
Lozano-Fuentes S, Saavedra-Rodriguez K, Black WC 4th, Eisen L. QCal: a software application for the calculation of dose-response curves in insecticide resistance bioassays. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2012 Mar;28(1):59-61.
Deus KM, Saavedra-Rodriguez K, Butters MP, Black WC 4th, Foy BD. The effect of ivermectin in seven strains of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) including a genetically diverse laboratory strain and three permethrin resistant strains. J Med Entomol. 2012 Mar;49(2):356-63.
Cho YS, Dobos KM, Prenni J, Yang H, Hess A, Rosenkrands I, Andersen P, Ryoo SW, Bai GH, Brennan MJ, Izzo A, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Belisle JT. Deciphering the proteome of the in vivo diagnostic reagent "purified protein derivative" from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Proteomics. 2012 Apr;12(7):979-91. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201100544.
Calisher CH, Ellison JA. The other rabies viruses: The emergence and importance of lyssaviruses from bats and other vertebrates. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2012 Mar;10(2):69-79.
Cogswell-Hawkinson A, Bowen R, James S, Gardiner D, Calisher CH, Adams R, Schountz T. Tacaribe virus causes fatal infection of an ostensible reservoir host, the jamaican fruit bat. J Virol. 2012 May;86(10):5791-9.
Chavadi SS, Onwueme KC, Edupuganti UR, Jerome J, Chatterjee D, Soll CE, Quadri LE. The mycobacterial acyltransferase PapA5 is required for biosynthesis of cell wall-associated phenolic glycolipids. Microbiology. 2012 May;158(Pt 5):1379-87
Henao-Tamayo M, Obregón-Henao A, Ordway DJ, Shang S, Duncan CG, Orme IM. A mouse model of tuberculosis reinfection. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2012 May;92(3):211-7.
Macalalad AR, Zody MC, Charlebois P, Lennon NJ, Newman RM, Malboeuf CM, Ryan EM, Boutwell CL, Power KA, Brackney DE, Pesko KN, Levin JZ, Ebel GD, Allen TM, Birren BW, Henn MR. Highly sensitive and specific detection of rare variants in mixed viral populations from massively parallel sequence data. PLoS Comput Biol. 2012 Mar;8(3):e1002417
Shrestha B, Austin SK, Dowd KA, Prasad AN, Youn S, Pierson TC, Fremont DH, Ebel GD, Diamond MS. Complex phenotypes in mosquitoes and mice associated with neutralization escape of a Dengue virus type 1 monoclonal antibody. Virology. 2012 Jun 5;427(2):127-34.
Salazar FV, Achee NL, Grieco JP, Prabaripai A, Eisen L, Shah P, Chareonviriyaphap T. Evaluation of a peridomestic mosquito trap for integration into an Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) push-pull control strategy. J Vector Ecol. 2012 Jun;37(1):8-19. doi: 10.1111/j.1948-7134.2012.00195.x.
Bolling BG, Olea-Popelka FJ, Eisen L, Moore CG, Blair CD. Transmission dynamics of an insect-specific flavivirus in a naturally infected Culex pipiens laboratory colony and effects of co-infection on vector competence for West Nile virus. Virology. 2012 Jun 5;427(2):90-7.
Haley NJ, Mathiason CK, Carver S, Telling GC, Zabel MD, Hoover EA. Sensitivity of protein misfolding cyclic amplification versus immunohistochemistry in ante-mortem detection of chronic wasting disease. J Gen Virol. 2012 May;93(Pt 5):1141-50.
Brennan MJ, Clagett B, Fitzgerald H, Chen V, Williams A, Izzo AA, Barker LF. Preclinical evidence for implementing a prime-boost vaccine strategy for tuberculosis. Vaccine. 2012 Apr 16;30(18):2811-23.
Kvitko BH, Bruckbauer S, Prucha J, McMillan I, Breland EJ, Lehman S, Mladinich K, Choi KH, Karkhoff-Schweizer R, Schweizer HP. A simple method for construction of pir+ Enterobacterial hosts for maintenance of R6K replicon plasmids. BMC Res Notes. 2012 Mar 20;5:157.
Miller AG, Dow S, Long L, Olver CS. Antiphospholipid antibodies in dogs with immune mediated hemolytic anemia, spontaneous thrombosis, and hyperadrenocorticism. J Vet Intern Med. 2012 May;26(3):614-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2012.00922.x.
McShane H, Jacobs WR, Fine PE, Reed SG, McMurray DN, Behr M, Williams A, Orme IM. BCG: Myths, realities, and the need for alternative vaccine strategies. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2012 May;92(3):283-8.
Rovnak J, Brewster CD, Quackenbush SL. Retroviral cyclin enhances cyclin-dependent kinase-8 activity. J Virol. 2012 May;86(10):5742-51.
Pulford B, Spraker TR, Wyckoff AC, Meyerett C, Bender H, Ferguson A, Wyatt B, Lockwood K, Powers J, Telling GC, Wild MA, Zabel MD. DETECTION OF PrPCWD IN FECES FROM NATURALLY EXPOSED ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK (CERVUS ELAPHUS NELSONI) USING PROTEIN MISFOLDING CYCLIC AMPLIFICATION. J Wildl Dis. 2012 Apr;48(2):425-34.
Lee JS, Ruell EW, Boydston EE, Lyren LM, Alonso RS, Troyer JL, Crooks KR, Vandewoude S. Gene flow and pathogen transmission among bobcats (Lynx rufus) in a fragmented urban landscape. Mol Ecol. 2012 Apr;21(7):1617-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05493.xPalusa S, Ndaluka C, Bowen RA, Wilusz CJ, Wilusz J. The 3' untranslated region of the rabies virus glycoprotein mRNA specifically interacts with cellular PCBP2 protein and promotes transcript stability. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33561.
The Annual MIP Spring Picnic was held on a beautiful Friday afternoon, May 4th. MIP Students, Faculty and Staff gathered on the grassy knoll between Micro and Path for good food and great company. Barbeque was served by the Associate Department Heads and beer was poured by Gregg Dean. A good time was had by all.
Special thanks go to Ida Tieman, Corrine Lindstadt, and the students of the MSA and MIP-GSO for all your help in making sure the picnic was a success!
Check out the Amazing Picnic Photo Gallery
Congratulations to the following MIP'ers who received awards at this year's Spring Meeting
Graduate Oral Presentation Awards:
Poster Presentation Awards (A CSU sweep in the grad student category!):
Check out the RMASM Spring Mtg Photo Gallery
On May 2nd, Dr. Mike McNeil presented a talk highlighting his research and future plans after retirement on June 30. (Mike will be returning to MIP on August 1 to work 40% time as a special faculty appt.)
Newly Elected 2012-13 Officers of the Microbiology Student Association:
Ryan Knodle: President
Thanks to everyone in MIP who volunteered their time to help judge the Colorado Science and Engineering Fair on April 5th:
The MIP Graduate Student Organization organized a recreational volleyball team this Spring. Their team name was the ‘Streakers’ and above is a photo of their team shirts.
MIP ROADTRIP to see the Rockies
LAST CALL!!- email Jeff Wilusz ASAP if you'd like to get one of the few remaining tickets to this 'can't-be-missed' Departmental outing.
MIP Goat Herders
The Eckstein Laboratory recently acquired several goats as part of a study to the determine the time when a diagnostic test for Johne's disease will actually work before clinical signs start to appear. Now his laboratory staff have assumed the role of "goat herders", caring for the goats three times a day.
The goat herders include; Megan Vogt, Darcy Fletcher, Jessica Loring, Megan Baumgartner, Alyssa Malon, Madeline Hayes, Allison Genis, Angela Niebergall, Hannah Pirner, and Andrew Yourick.
MIP 400G/MIP300 Honors Students hosted high school student visits at CSU, and visited students at local schools, contacting over 1000 students total this semester… and there are only 10 Honors Students! Following are photos taken when Rocky High students visited CSU in April to learn about gram staining. The all-day visit of 80 students was entirely coordinated by the Microbiology Honors Students.
MIP443 students were offered an opportunity to earn credit by researching a topic and then presenting it during the last week of class. The presentations were made using many different media, including YouTube, Wikipedia, FaceBook, Prezi, Jeopardy Game, etc. The presentations turned out great!
Matt Imlay wrote and produced a song entitled "The Lonely Lipid Raft" for his presentation. Listen to the song by clicking on the "PLAY" button, and follow along with the lyrics written below:
"The Lonely Lipid Raft"
When I first formed I knew,
Three MIP Running Teams have been formed to participate in the upcoming Front Range Relay Race on June 10. The race is a 50-mile sprint relay from Fort Collins to Boulder. The team names and participates are as follows;
Team Gross Lesions
Team #2 (Great name, eh?)
Payroll Shenanigans for Hourly Employees
The bi-weekly payday that would regularly occur on Friday, June 29 will be delayed until Monday, July 2, a one business day delay. If you are paid once a month, your payday for work in June will be on Monday, July 2 – a one business day delay. Please plan accordingly.
Fortunately, due to recent governmental legislation, this will be the last year this will occur for bi-weekly employees. Starting in 2013, only monthly employees will be affected by the delayed payment.
Congratulations to Corrine Lindstadt on her recent appointment as a State Classified employee. Corrine has been the ‘Go To’ Front Desk person in Pathology for the past 3 years as a student employee. We are very happy Corrine can now earn the benefits she deserves for all her dedication and hard work.
Look who's come out of retirement to play for the Patriots at Coors' Field
An MIP'er recently attended semi-pro baseball game, Commanders vs. Patriots, and noticed a familiar name in the Patriots line-up...could Number 18 be our very own?
Hair on fire in Amsterdam
There have been unconfirmed reports of a certain notable microbiologist (Herbert Schweizer) with his hair on fire while cruising the canals in Amsterdam. Could this perhaps have had something to do with sampling the local brews for new strains of Burkholderia?
This is a potential win-win opportunity that may allow you to add funds to your grant to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities, promote scientific diversity and help folks re-enter the biomedical work force. For more info, check out the NIH Research Supplements webpage.
New Grant Awards
Anne Avery, "Reduction of Murine Malaria in Whole Blood Using the Mirasol PRT Process in an In Vivo Mouse Model", CaridianBCT Biotechnologies, LLC
Dean Crick, "HTS Assays for the Methylerythritol-4-Phosphate Pathway", NIAID
Delphi Chatterjee, "Modified DNA Aptamers and DNAzymes for Diagnosing TB in Resource-Poor Settings", University of Colorado
Greg Ebel, "Genomics-Enabled Sensor Platform for Rapid Detection of Viruses Related to Disease Outbreak", DOE-NNSA-Sandia National Laboratories
Greg Ebel, "Comparative Genomics of West Nile Virus: Genome Population Structure, Molecular Epidemiology, and Viral/Host Factor...", The Broad Institute
Sebabrata Mahapatra, "Metabolomic Profiling of Serum and Urine ", Farmak
All purchased items must be received and invoiced by June 30, 2012. To meet this requirement, the department has set the following deadlines for year end purchases:
PCard Purchases - June 20
Purchases <$10,000 - May 18
Purchaess >$10,000 - April 18
Please contact your accounting technician if you have any questions
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