August 2012
Vol. 9 | No. 7

MIP Surpasses the 33M Mark

We are very pleased to announce that the in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012, the MIP Dept. once again had an outstanding year in terms of extramural grant funding. MIP researchers brought in a whopping $33,069,964 through 158 grant awards according to the CSU Sponsored Programs database. That’s $1.2 million more than last year – and currently MIP officially has 265 actively funded grant projects with a total value on the books of over $144 million. In case you need perspective on what 33 million looks like, that’s the same number of Americans that are predicted by AAA to hit the road this Labor Day weekend…….

NIH National Graduate Student Conference Britta Wood

Congratulations to Britta Wood for being accepted to the NIH Graduate Student Research Conference being held on October 9 & 10 on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. The conference will introduce 120 advanced graduate students to the ins and outs of the Intramural Research Program.

Carol Wilusz

Carol Wilusz was named to the Editorial Board of PLoS ONE. PLoS One is currently the largest scientific journal in the world, publishing over 1500 articles per month. Congratulations Carol!



Dr. Gerry Callahan has a new book coming out in Spring 2013 entitled, "Lousy Sex: A marriage of art and science". The title has to do with the bacterial infection that kills all male lice and results in female louse asexual reproduction.

The cover for his upcoming book will likely be modeled after this New Yorker cover...

New Yorker Cover Sept 2010
Micro B120 Face Lift

Microbiology Room B120 has been spruced-up with a fresh coat of paint, new carpet, and stackable chairs.

Microbe Magazine

Congratulations to Ian Orme and colleagues for having their recent paper on the virulence of the Beijing sublineage of M.tb appear in the ‘Journal Highlights’ section of the August edition of Microbe – the news magazine of the American Society for Microbiology. The full citation for the manuscript is:

Kato-Maeda M, Shanley CA, Ackart D, Jarlsberg LG, Shang S, Obregon-Henao A, Harton M, Basaraba RJ, Henao-Tamayo M, Barrozo JC, Rose J, Kawamura LM, Coscolla M, Fofanov VY, Koshinsky H, Gagneux S, Hopewell PC, Ordway DJ, Orme IM. Beijing Sublineages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Differ in Pathogenicity in the Guinea Pig. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2012 Aug;19(8):1227-37.

In the News...

Dr. Gerry Callahan was quoted in Outside online magazine August 17 article, Can Mud Runs Make Me Sick?.


Patti Kiser, MS, DVM/PhD Program, defended her thesis entitled, "CD4+ T-cell Derived IL-10 Mitigates Malarial Anemia" on August 10. Her advisor is Dr. Anne Avery.

Amanda Clavert, MS, PhD Program, defended her thesis entitled, "The Use of Human Monoclonal Antibodies to Study the Structure and Function of the West Nile Virus prM Protein" on August 8. Her advisors are Drs Carol Blair & Dr. John Roehrig (CDC).

pub highlight

Identification of a novel antiviral inhibitor of the flavivirus guanylyltransferase enzyme

Hilary Stahla-Beek, Daniel April, Bejan Saeedi, Amanda Hannah, Susan Keenan and Brian Geiss

Journal of Virology 86:  8730-8739 (August 2012)

While many folks today really like caps and are debating which looks cooler – flat billed or old-school curve-billed ones, the labs of Brian Geiss and Susan Keenan (UNC-Greeley) are avid cap haters.  They want to stop the manufacturer of such things because they feel that caps contribute significantly to the hooligan-esque behavior of lowly life forms.  But before you hide your baseball cap to avoid being labeled by Brian as such (if you haven’t already burned your baseball cap due to the recent poor play of our local team), please be advised that the caps Brian and Susan are focused on are a part of messenger RNAs made by a group of viruses that include problematic pathogens such as dengue and West Nile virus.  If you can keep the cap off of the 5’ end of the viral mRNAs, you should block the translation of viral proteins and destabilize viral mRNAs.  In effect, you’ll stop the virus right in its tracks before it can even get started.  Given the recent burst in West Nile virus around the country and the two billion people at risk for dengue virus infection, prospects for an effective antiviral against these agents will obviously be greeted with much interest.

To inhibit flaviviral mRNA capping, Brian/Susan et al took a fairly straightforward approach.  They prepared recombinant dengue virus capping enzyme and screened over 235,000 compounds at a Harvard Medical School facility to find small molecules that would displace GTP (the donor moiety of the mRNA cap) from the active site of the enzyme.  They found 222 compounds that may indeed do this in their high throughput screening assay and decided to follow up one class of compounds in depth.   These 2-thioxothiazolidine-4-one based compounds inhibited the dengue virus capping enzyme at micro molar concentrations and showed activity at similar concentrations against dengue virus, West Nile virus, and yellow fever virus in tissue culture cells.  They selected a favorite chemical moiety from the structure-activity relationship analyses they have performed to date and are currently putting this through a battery of tests/development efforts to optimize the compound and perhaps down the road identify a new, broad-spectrum anti-flavivirus drug.

So why did we pick this study as our coveted MIPub of the Month® for August over some pretty tough competition (e.g.  a study by Neff et al in Genome Research that reveals a bunch of cool things about induced pluripotent stem cells, work by Kato-Maeda et al on M. tb sublineage-specific pathogenicity that was highlighted in Microbe)?  Why there were three reasons (of course!).  First, in an era where we appreciate that monotherapy against most if not all viruses is ultimately useless for drugs that target pathogen-specific factors,  increasing the number of drug candidates in the pipeline is vital.  Second, the study highlights a successful collaboration with our university neighbor to the southeast combining informatics with biochemistry/virology.  Third – the headlines this month regarding the current outbreak of West Nile virus are alarming to say the least.  Let’s hope the project spews out a ‘Geiss-er’ of drug candidates against this emerging scourge.

MIP Publications Late July & August 2012

Veselinovic M, Preston Neff C, Mulder LR, Akkina R.  Topical gel formulation of broadly neutralizing anti-HIV-1 monoclonal antibody VRC01 confers protection against HIV-1 vaginal challenge in a humanized mouse model.  Virology. 2012 Oct 25;432(2):505-10.

Ibarra-Juarez L, Eisen L, Bolling BG, Beaty BJ, Blitvich BJ, Sanchez-Casas RM, Ayala-Sulca YO, Fernandez-Salas I.  Detection of West Nile virus-specific antibodies and nucleic acid in horses and mosquitoes, respectively, in Nuevo Leon State, northern Mexico, 2006-2007.  Med Vet Entomol. 2012 Sep;26(3):351-4.

Kato-Maeda M, Shanley CA, Ackart D, Jarlsberg LG, Shang S, Obregon-Henao A, Harton M, Basaraba RJ, Henao-Tamayo M, Barrozo JC, Rose J, Kawamura LM, Coscolla M, Fofanov VY, Koshinsky H, Gagneux S, Hopewell PC, Ordway DJ, Orme IM.  Beijing Sublineages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Differ in Pathogenicity in the Guinea Pig.  Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2012 Aug;19(8):1227-37.

Lamont EA, O'Grady SM, Davis WC, Eckstein T, Sreevatsan S.  Infection with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis Results in Rapid Interleukin-1β Release and Macrophage Transepithelial Migration.  Infect Immun. 2012 Sep;80(9):3225-35.

Stahla-Beek HJ, April DG, Saeedi BJ, Hannah AM, Keenan SM, Geiss BJ.  Identification of a novel antiviral inhibitor of the flavivirus guanylyltransferase enzyme.  J Virol. 2012 Aug;86(16):8730-9.

Smith EI, Reif JS, Hill AE, Slota KE, Miller RS, Bjork KE, Pabilonia KL.  Epidemiologic characterization of Colorado backyard bird flocks.  Avian Dis. 2012 Jun;56(2):263-71.

Chuanchuen R, Schweizer HP.  Global transcriptional responses to triclosan exposure in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2012 Aug;40(2):114-22.

Somprasong N, Jittawuttipoka T, Duang-Nkern J, Romsang A, Chaiyen P, Schweizer HP, Vattanaviboon P, Mongkolsuk S.  Pseudomonas aeruginosa Thiol Peroxidase Protects against Hydrogen Peroxide Toxicity and Displays Atypical Patterns of Gene Regulation.  J Bacteriol. 2012 Aug;194(15):3904-12.

Kim C, Haldiman T, Surewicz K, Cohen Y, Chen W, Blevins J, Sy MS, Cohen M, Kong Q, Telling GC, Surewicz WK, Safar JG.  Small Protease Sensitive Oligomers of PrP(Sc) in Distinct Human Prions Determine Conversion Rate of PrP(C).  PLoS Pathog. 2012 Aug;8(8):e1002835.

Carver S, Scorza AV, Bevins SN, Riley SP, Crooks KR, Vandewoude S, Lappin MR.  Zoonotic Parasites of Bobcats around Human Landscapes.  J Clin Microbiol. 2012 Sep;50(9):3080-3.

Miller DS, Weiser GC, Ward AC, Drew ML, Chapman PL.  Pasteurellaceae isolated from bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) from Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming.  Am J Vet Res. 2012 Jul;73(7):1024-8.

Moon SL, Barnhart MD, Wilusz J.  Inhibition and avoidance of mRNA degradation by RNA viruses. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2012 Aug;15(4):500-5.

Neff AT, Lee JY, Wilusz J, Tian B, Wilusz CJ.  Global analysis reveals multiple pathways for unique regulation of mRNA decay in induced pluripotent stem cells. Genome Res. 2012 Aug;22(8):1457-67.


Fall 2012 Seminar Series

The Fall 2012 Department Seminars began on August 14th with Dr. Randy Basaraba's seminar entitled, "The Toxic Truth about Sugar in the Pathogenesis of TB/Diabetes Comorbidity". Be sure to check out the Seminar Schedule so you do not to miss any exciting presentations!

Welcome CVMBS Freshman Class of 2012

CVMBS 2012 Freshman Class
(Micro Majors are on the left)
Click the photo to see a larger image.

Welcome New Graduate Students
Danielle Adney

Danielle Adney
Danielle received her BS in Biology from Hanover College in Indiana, but is originally from Golden, Colorado. She is interested in a variety of research areas and is looking forward to learning more. In her free time she can be found rock climbing and enjoying bluegrass

Heather Bender

Heather Bender
Originally from Fort Lupton, Colorado, Heather received her BS in Biology and Microbiology from CSU. She is interested in prion biology and virology. Hiking and photography are activites Heather enjoys when not at school.

Emily Blizzard

Emily Blizzard
Emily is from Vidalia, Georgia and received her BS in Wildlife Management and MS in Wildlife Disease Ecology & Management from Georgia Southern University. Her research interests include virology and vector-borne diseases. Emily enjoys fly-fishing, hiking, white-water rafting, and spending time with her weimaraner/catahoula puppy in her free time.

Erin Borland

Erin Borland
Although Erin grew up in Vermont she has been living in Fort Collins since 2005. She received her BS in Spanish/Pre-Vet from Northeastern University and is interested in studying alphaviruses and flaviviruses. Erin enjoys volunteering at the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program where she has donated her time since 2005.

Vienna Brown

Vienna Brown
Originally from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Vienna received her BS in Animal Sciences from CSU and her Master's in Public Health from CU at Denver. She is interested in studying infectious disease, specifically francisella tularensis. Vienna spends her free time running, biking, traveling and enjoying good sushi.

Phillida Charley

Phillida Charley
Phillida is from Shiprock, New Mexico and received her AAS in Biology from San Juan College and her BS in Cellular & Molecular Biology from Fort Lewis College. She is still deciding which research area to pursue. Phillida enjoys spending her free time with her son.

Kristen Davenport

Kristen Davenport
Originally from Ancramdale, New York (upstate NY), Kristen received her BS in Biochemistry from Tufts University. She is currently enrolled in the DVM/PhD program with research interests in zoonoses, especially cattle zoonoses. When not studying, she enjoys rockclimbing and skiing. Kristen grew up on a dairy farm and loves dairy products and goats are her favorite animal.

Alan Elder

Alan Elder
Alan is from Basalt, Colorado and received his BS in Microbiology from CSU. He is interested in studying prions and retroviruses. In his free time Alan enjoys running, snowboarding, playing guitar, puzzles and hiking.

Fabio Fontes

Fabio Fontes
Fabio is from Portugal and graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Algarve, Portugal. He is a PhD student working in Dean Crick's Laboratory with research interests related to membranes, with special interest in membrane components interactions with drugs and membrane transport. In his free time, Fabio enjoys reading, watching and playing soccer and go to the cinema with friends.

Selene Garcia Luna

Selene Marysol Garcia Luna
Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, Selene received her BS in Chemistry, Bacteriology, and Parasitology, and her MS in Molecular Biology & Genetic Engineering from Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon. She is interested in studying vector biology. Selene enjoys spending her free time cooking, gardening, and being with her family.

Ashlynne Goodloe

Ashlynne Goodloe
Ashlynne is from Huntsville, Alabama and received her BS in Microbiology from Auburn University. She is interested in studying bacteriology. When not studying, Ashlynne enjoys running and dancing.

Nathan Grubaugh

Nathan Grubaugh
Although Nathan is originally from Michigan, he has lived the past 4 years in Maryland. He received his BS in Biological Medical Sciences from Western Michigan University and his MS in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. Nathan is interested in studying arboviruses & international public health. In his free time he enjoys traveling, international field work (he's been to Thailand and Liberia), hockey, hiking, running and watching college football.

Shuang Hu

Shuang Hu
Originally from China, Shuang received his BS in Pharmaceutical Science from Tianjin University and MS in Biochemistry from CSU. Right now he is a PhD student in Dr. Ramesh Akkina's lab working on HIV therapy, which is his research interest. During free time, Shuang likes playing basketball, hiking and watching movies.

Aimee Jalkanen

Aimee Jalkanen
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Aimee completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Toledo, Ohio with a BS in Biology and minor in Chemistry. She received her DVM degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Columbus, OH. Now a PhD student working in Carol Wilusz' Laboratory, she is interested in cancer research, especially from a genetics standpoint. Personal interests include hiking, biking, cooking, and gardening.

Julia Labadie

Julia Labadie
Julia is originally from Newcastle, California, and receveid her BS in Biological Sciences from UC Davis and her Master's of Public Health in Epidemiology from Emory University. She is interested in studying cancer epidemiology. Julia enjoys horseback riding, running and hiking in her free time.

Aimee Ortega

Aimee Ortega
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Aimee received her BS in Medical Technology from Purdue University. She is interested in studying microbiology. When she has free time she enjoys reading, crafting, interior design, snowboarding and hiking.

Kassandra Willingham

Kassandra Willingham
Kassandra is from Rock Springs, Wyoming and received her BS in Microbiology from the University of Wyoming. She is interested in immunology and bacterial or viral pathogenesis. When not studying she enjoys photography, reading, comedy and traveling.

Graduate Student Updates

Clinton Dawson will be working in the Slayden Lab

Bryna Fitzgerald will be working in the Belisle Lab

Ben Krajacich will be working in the Foy Lab

Linnell Randall joined the Schweizer Lab in January

Amber Rico will be working in the Olson Lab

Summer Adventures

"Where's Don Klein?" - The answer: off and away for the rest of the year, trying to finish a ten-year (so far) project by completing his microbial ecology book, plus working in the the lab of Ginny Edgcomb at WHOI (studying protozoa that thrive in hypoxic environments at the bottom of the Mediterrean). In his spare time, still writing letters concerning word usage in microbial ecology, chasing clams and watching the sun go down over Buzzards Bay.

Don Klein

Don Klein pictured with his book, 24 chapters, all spread out.

MIP'ers of the Zabel Lab reached new heights this summer when they summitted Grays and Torreys Peaks...

Grays Peak Torreys Peak

From L to R: Christy Wyckoff, Mark Zabel, Bruce Pulford (with dog Jackson) and Dana Hill

Brian Foy, Massamba Sylla, Ben Krajacich, and Doug Brackney have been hanging out in Senegal this summer doing fieldwork. The gang is working on two projects:  an NIH-funded study concerning the effectiveness of ivermectin for malaria control and a CSU- IDSC pilot project involving some cutting-edge  metagenomic hunting for arboviruses and other pathogens in human blood via capturing human-blood feeding mosquitoes. Massamba has of course been an excellent host while Ben, Doug and Brian have all finally made it through their bouts of 'Tourista', and are currently reeling in the data.

Brian Foy Ben, Doug and Massamba at dinner Foy Lab in Senegal Foy Lab hiking in Senegal Foy Lab in Senegal Village

Maddie Breer, Hannah Laurence, and Margaret Escobar went to Quito, Ecuador with Experiential Learning International (ELI). Maddie and Margaret brought The Little Shop of Physics and spent their time teaching physics and english to orphans. It was an incredible experience! Hannah spent her time at the University assisting the veterinary students with surgeries and other procedures. All three stayed with host families and had the opportunity to travel throughout Ecuador. They visited the Amazon to go white water rafting and got to see the giant tortoises in the Galapagos! It was definitely a summer well spent!


Looking for a way to destress at the end of a long day? Join us for yoga!

What: Free yoga!
When: Thursdays, 5-6 p.m., beginning Aug. 23
Where: Pathology Building, Room 103
Who: This class is open to all CVMBS faculty and staff

The class will be taught by Carol Borchert, a certified yoga instructor with 10 years of experience. She’ll be teaching a variety of styles, from flow yoga to restorative. This class is open to everyone – whether you have never done yoga before or are an experienced practitioner. Please bring a yoga mat and wear comfortable workout clothing. Sponsored by the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology.


RMV Club

The annual Rocky Mountain Virology Club Meeting is scheduled for September 28-30 at Pingree Park Campus. The Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Luis Rodriguez, Research Leader, Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit, Plum Island Animal Disease Center. More information may be found at the Rocky Mountain Virology Club website

RMASM Annual Meeting

The Fall meeting of the Rocky Mtn Branch of the American Society for Microbiology has been slated for October 19-20th at UNC-Greeley. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information on this great regional opportunity to present your research and network with colleagues.


Best Wishes Kim!

Best Wishes to Kim Mashek on her new position in CSU's College of Business. He last day with MIP was August 8th. We will miss her friendly face and helpful attitude.

Baby Congrats

Congratulations to Greg Ebel and his wife Jen on the birth of their son, Ansel, born August 15th at 7 pounds 14 ozs. Both Mom and baby are doing great, Ansel is getting used to having three sisters.

MIP Bits

Quote of the Month

"I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it"
~ Thomas Jefferson


Ian Orme in Teacup Ride

University Distinguished Professor, Ian Orme, traveled to Disneyland to conquer all the rides that someone 60 years young could enjoy...

Alternative Captions

  1. Remember to wash out your tea/coffee cups daily – or you’ll never know what you might find in them
  2. From the look on Ian’s face, I’m not sure that was tea on the floor of the cup when he got off that wild and crazy ride.
  3. Looks like Mrs. Orme may have really put her foot down hard this time…
  4. Submit your own

Questions for MIPuzzle #79
MIPuzzle #79 Answers
MIPuzzle 79

Spencer Bike Safety
NIH Happenings
  • NIAID’s FY 2013 paylines are TBA

    With the government’s fiscal year drawing to a close, we are waiting to see what the interim paylines will be for next fiscal year (which starts Oct 1.  Hopefully ‘TBA’ means ‘To Be Announced’ and not ‘To (be) Blunt:  Awful’

  • Got some interests in characterizing novel genes in pathogens?

    Check out the new RFA for a U19 cooperative agreement to do just that.  Letters of Intent are due October 12 and applications are due Nov. 13th.

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Deadline Approaching

    NSF’s graduate student fellowship applications in the life sciences are due Nov. 19th. These awards provide three years of support and come with a projected $32K stipend and $12K cost of education allowance. Students are generally eligible to apply for these fellowships until the end of the Fall semester their 2nd year of graduate school.

Q Fever Scores Novel Grant for Dr. Duncan

A baby seal walks into Mulligan’s Bar and gets asked ‘what’ll it be’? The seal sighs deeply and says, ‘anything but Canadian Club on the Rocks’

While it may be over a 1,000 miles to reach the Pacific ocean from Fort Collins, trivial things like that did not stop an enterprising Canadian named Colleen Duncan from scoring a $100,000 grant from NOAA to study both the prevalence and the optimization of diagnostic strategies for Coxiella burnetii in Pacific marine mammals.  C. burnetii causes ‘Q’ (no relationship to Quackenbush) Fever, a debilitating disease with potential biodefense implications that historically has not been looked for in marine mammals.  So if you come across a sick seal while paddling across Horsetooth this weekend (or know any other bad seal jokes), give Colleen a call.

New Grant Awards

Ramesh Akkina, "Efficacy testing of HIV-specific microbicides in humanized mice", NIH-NIAID.

Ramesh Akkina, "Beyond HAART: Innovative Therapies to Control HIV-1", NIH-NIAID.

Bradley Borlee, "Role of c-di-GMP Signaling in B. Pseudomallei Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance", HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy & Infect Diseases.

Karen Dobos, "Mycobacterium spp. Research Reagent Replenishment", ATCC-American Type Culture Collection.

Anne Lenaerts, "Inhibitors of Latent M. tuberculosis", St. Jude Medical, Inc.

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Dept Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
Dept Seminar

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MIP Newsletter Volume 9, Issue 7, August 2012

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