Dec 2012
Vol. 9 | No. 9

Dr. Perera Signs

Dr. Rushika Perera, RNA Virologist, has accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor position with MIP and will join the faculty on May 15, 2013

Drs Vap and Frank receive well-deserved promotions

Congratulations to Dr Linda Vap and Dr Chad Frank for being promoted from Instructors to special appointment Assistant Professors effective December 1, 2012.

Laylaa Ramos

Each semester the MIP faculty recognize an outstanding graduating senior for academic excellence and/or service to the department or the community. Laylaa Ramos is the recipient of this award for the December 2012 graduating class.

Laylaa’s academic record is certainly superb, but that is not the only reason why she stands out in this field of truly outstanding individuals. In addition to being a full-time student, Laylaa has devoted a good deal of her time and talents to numerous service activities. She was an active member of the CVMBS College Council and a teaching assistant for the General Microbiology course. She also volunteered for Planned Parenthood and Camp Wapiyapi, a summer camp for children diagnosed with cancer. Laylaa was one of only a few undergraduate students chosen to participate in the Nicaragua Cook Stove Project, which is a study in which students help assess health risks associated with cooking indoors over open fires. Laylaa is also fluent in Spanish and has been using her bi-lingual skills to help translate the material from the Medical Virology lecture course for a graduate student from Mexico.

As if all this was not enough to keep Laylaa busy, she was also a research assistant for Dr. Glenn Telling in the Prion Research Center at CSU, and she obviously made quite an impression there! Dr. Telling wrote the following about Laylaa: "Laylaa is absolutely the best undergraduate student that I have ever had work in my group. She worked with us for a year on a complex research project that involved production and characterization of monoclonal antibodies against the prion protein. Laylaa is bright, self-motivated, responsible, enthusiastic, confident, punctual, hard-working and pleasant to be around. She also has excellent communication and technical skills." Laylaa presented her results of the study in a poster at the CSU Undergraduate Research Symposium and she is already a coauthor on an article published in the Journal of Biological Sciences, which is quite an accomplishment for an undergraduate researcher.

Laylaa intends to attend medical school and it is very likely that she will achieve that goal. Laylaa will be an outstanding physician – skilled, knowledgeable, and professional, but also warm, compassionate, and personable. And, of course, it is always beneficial for a physician to have a strong background in microbiology and infectious diseases!

Congratulations Laylaa and good luck in your future endeavors!

ACVP Young Investigator Award

Congratulations to Anatomic Pathology Resident, Dr Alana Pavuk, for receiving the First Place Young Investigator Award at the ACVP Annual Meeting held Dec 1-5 in Seattle. Alana received the award for her research poster on mast cell tumors in Sharpeis. Anne Avery is her advisor.

Paula Schaffer

Congratulations to Dr Paula Schaffer for receiving the CL Davis Student Scholarship Award this year for her accomplishments in superior scholarship, leadership, research ability and diagnostic skills. Paula received her award at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, December 1-5th in Seattle.

Jordan Steel

Congratulations to Jordan Steel, Graduate Student in Brian Geiss' Lab, for being accepted into ASM's first ever cohort of ASM-BWF Teaching Fellows. The ASM-BWF Science Teaching Fellows Program aims to help prepare doctoral-trained students for science teaching positions at a variety of non-doctoral institutions. Fellows in the program take part in a 10-month training experience that combines in-depth webinars, pre- and post-webinar assignments, structured mentoring, and a community of practice.

Congratulations Graduates

MIP Graduate Students who received their Degrees on December 14...

Amanda Calvert, PhD
Becky Rivoire, PhD
Carl Soffler, PhD
Heidi Pecoraro, PhD
Paulina Zurita, MS

MIP Undergraduate Students who received their B.S. Degrees on December 15...

Christine Brotherton
Kelsey Carleton
Jake Conant
Jericho Connell
Kelly Edgcomb
Darcy Fletcher
Emma Gardner
Tyler Harth
Nicholas Longo
Edward Lyon
Alyssa Malone
Sarah Mattingley
Laylaa Ramos
Faith Robison
Anna Uhles
Brenn Wheeler
Cassandra Zych

Fall 2012 Graduating Class

The Fall 2012 Microbiology Bachelor of Science Graduates
(click on photo to see larger image)

In the News...

Laylaa RamosMicrobiology undergraduate, Laylaa Ramos was highlighted in the Dec 10th edition of Today@Colorado State in the article, "Graduates overcome obstacles, prepare for real-world".


Justin Lee, BS, PhD Program, defended his dissertation entitled, " The Ecology and Evolution of Puma Lentivirus in Bobcats and Mountain Lions in North America" on December 6. His advisor is Dr. Sue VandeWoude.

Andrés Obregón-Henao, MD, MSc, PhD Program, defended his dissertation entitled, "Novel Extracellular Products of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Composition, Synthesis, and Relevance to Disease" on December 6. His advisor is Dr. John Belisle.

pub highlight

Upregulation of the Phthiocerol Dimycocerosate Biosynthetic Pathway by Rifampin-Resistant, rpoB Mutant Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Greg Bisson, Carolina Mehaffy, Corey Broeckling, Jessica Prenni, Dalin Rifat, Desomnd Lun, Marcos Burgos, Drew Weissman, Petros Karakousis and Karen Dobos

J. Bacteriology 194: 6441-6452 (December 2012)

About 2 million people will die from tuberculosis (TB) this year. That’s about the same number of people who watched the Rockies play this year. Coincidence? Maybe not – after all both fields have someone named Belisle out there trying to keep things from getting out of hand. While figuring out how to make the Rockies successful is above our pay grade, one key reason that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) is such a problem is drug resistance. M. tb. becomes resistant to the drug rifampin, a first line antibiotic, by mutating a region around the channel used by nucleic acids in the bacterial RNA Polymerase B subunit. If you think about it though, how can bacteria mutate something as fundamental as an RNA polymerase - a protein that makes its mRNAs - without killing itself? The answer must lie in compensatory mechanisms and/or mutations. Deep sequencing studies performed by a group across the pond at the MRC demonstrated that some strains compensate by mutating other components of the RNA polymerase to allow the altered polymerase complex to adapt to drug-resistant mutations in the B subunit. End of story – right? If it was you’d be reading about a different piece of excellent MIP science published this month.

Wisely not being content to think that nucleic acid sequences tell the whole story, Carolina, Karen, Corey, Jessica and their team of collaborators from around the planet set out to globally assess changes in proteins and metabolites in normal and rifampin-resistant M. tb. From the ~3,000 proteins they were able to analyze, interestingly about 10 proteins from the PDIM biosynthesis region of the genome were upregulated in rifampin-resistant strains. From the ~ 100 dysregulated compounds they were able to identify by metabolomic analysis, they identified numerous PDIM precursor molecules as well as peptidoglycan precursors. Thus this mountain of data actually came together in a very nice model. A natural defense mechanism of M. tb to rifampin is to upregulate a specific set of biosynthetic genes that likely have physiological relevance to help support the mutant organism and allow it to grow effectively.

So why did we choose this study as our last coveted MIPublication of the Month® for 2012? Three simple reasons my faithful reader. First, since environmental mycobacteria and other organisms appear to also upregulate these biosynthetic genes in a similar fashion, this study may very well have identified an attractive broad-spectrum antibiotic approach to lessen the chances of bacteria developing resistance to rifampin. Given the toll bacteria like M. tb have on humankind, this could be huge. Second, the study demonstrates the enormous value of the cutting edge technologies that we have here in MIP and in our neighboring Proteomics and Metabolomics (PMF) facility run by Jessica Prenni. Finally, the paper offers a rather unique challenge: I dare you to try to read the fourth word of the title of this paper without then feeling the need to clean spittle off of your computer monitor.

Best wishes to all for a lucky ’13.

MIP Publications Late November thru December 2012

García-Rejón JE, López-Uribe MP, Loroño-Pino MA, Arana-Guardia R, Puc-Tinal M, López-Uribe GM, Coba-Tún C, Baak-Baak CM, Machain-Williams C, Reyes-Solis GC, Lozano-Fuentes S, Saavedra-Rodriguez K, Black WC 4th, Beaty BJ, Eisen L.  Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti and Aedes (Howardina) cozumelensis in Yucatán State, México, with a summary of published collection records for Ae. cozumelensis.  J Vector Ecol. 2012 Dec;37(2):365-72.

Larrouy-Maumus G, Skovierová H, Dhouib R, Angala SK, Zuberogoitia S, Pham H, Villela AD, Mikusová K, Noguera A, Gilleron M, Valentínová L, Korduláková J, Brennan PJ, Puzo G, Nigou J, Jackson M.  A Small Multidrug Resistance-like Transporter Involved in the Arabinosylation of Arabinogalactan and Lipoarabinomannan in Mycobacteria.  J Biol Chem. 2012 Nov 16;287(47):39933-41.

Grzegorzewicz AE, Korduláková J, Jones V, Born SE, Belardinelli JM, Vaquié A, Gundi VA, Madacki J, Slama N, Laval F, Vaubourgeix J, Crew RM, Gicquel B, Daffé M, Morbidoni HR, Brennan PJ, Quémard A, McNeil MR, Jackson M.  A Common Mechanism of Inhibition of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Mycolic Acid Biosynthetic Pathway by Isoxyl and Thiacetazone.  J Biol Chem. 2012 Nov 9;287(46):38434-41.

Castillo EF, Dekonenko A, Arko-Mensah J, Mandell MA, Dupont N, Jiang S, Delgado-Vargas M, Timmins GS, Bhattacharya D, Yang H, Hutt J, Lyons CR, Dobos KM, Deretic V.  Autophagy protects against active tuberculosis by suppressing bacterial burden and inflammation.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Nov 13;109(46):E3168-76.

Bisson GP, Mehaffy C, Broeckling C, Prenni J, Rifat D, Lun DS, Burgos M, Weissman D, Karakousis PC, Dobos K.  Upregulation of the Phthiocerol Dimycocerosate Biosynthetic Pathway by Rifampin-Resistant, rpoB Mutant Mycobacterium tuberculosis.  J Bacteriol. 2012 Dec;194(23):6441-52.

Taylor JL, Wieczorek A, Keyser AR, Grover A, Flinkstrom R, Karls RK, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Dobos KM, Izzo AA.  HspX-mediated protection against tuberculosis depends on its chaperoning of a mycobacterial molecule.  Immunol Cell Biol. 2012 Nov;90(10):945-54.

Yang H, Kruh-Garcia NA, Dobos KM.  Purified protein derivatives of tuberculin - past, present, and future.  FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2012 Dec;66(3):273-80.

Lozano-Fuentes S, Hayden MH, Welsh-Rodriguez C, Ochoa-Martinez C, Tapia-Santos B, Kobylinski KC, Uejio CK, Zielinski-Gutierrez E, Monache LD, Monaghan AJ, Steinhoff DF, Eisen L.  The Dengue Virus Mosquito Vector Aedes aegypti at High Elevation in Mexico.  Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2012 Nov;87(5):902-909.

Venable RO, Worley DR, Gustafson DL, Hansen RJ, Ehrhart EJ 3rd, Cai S, Cohen MS, Forrest ML.  Effects of intratumoral administration of a hyaluronan-cisplatin nanoconjugate to five dogs with soft tissue sarcomas.  Am J Vet Res. 2012 Dec;73(12):1969-76.

Kobylinski KC, Foy BD, Richardson JH.  Ivermectin inhibits the sporogony of Plasmodium falciparum in Anopheles gambiae.  Malar J. 2012 Nov 21;11(1):381.

Ruiz-Moreno D, Vargas IS, Olson KE, Harrington LC.  Modeling dynamic introduction of chikungunya virus in the United States.  PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012 Nov;6(11):e1918.

Bonizzoni M, Dunn WA, Campbell CL, Olson KE, Marinotti O, James AA.  Complex Modulation of the Aedes aegypti Transcriptome in Response to Dengue Virus Infection.  PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50512.

Lipsitz R, Garges S, Aurigemma R, Baccam P, Blaney DD, Cheng AC, Currie BJ, Dance D, Gee JE, Larsen J, Limmathurotsakul D, Morrow MG, Norton R, O'Mara E, Peacock SJ, Pesik N, Rogers LP, Schweizer HP, Steinmetz I, Tan G, Tan P, Wiersinga WJ, Wuthiekanun V, Smith TL.  Workshop on Treatment of and Postexposure Prophylaxis for Burkholderia pseudomallei and B. mallei Infection, 2010.  Emerg Infect Dis. 2012 Dec;18(12):e2.

Rozovics JM, Chase AJ, Cathcart AL, Chou W, Gershon PD, Palusa S, Wilusz J, Semler BL.  Picornavirus modification of a host mRNA decay protein.  MBio. 2012 Nov 6;3(6). doi:pii: e00431-12.


MIP Angels

Holiday Giving Tree The MIP Family once again showed it's generosity this holiday season by participating in The Salvation Army's Adopt-A-Family program. Giving Tree's decorated with the needs and wants of three local families were located in the Microbiology, Pathology and IDA Administrative Offices. The 'decorations' from each tree were completely gone by end-of-day December 6th, and the hearts of children in three local households will now be filled with the joy and magic of Christmas. THANK YOU to everyone that participated, especially Carol Wilusz, Karen Hofmaier, Cathy Griffin, and Tach Costello for their efforts in coordinating the donations.


The Annual MIP Thanksgiving Potluck was held on Friday, November 16. As is tradition, attendees enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.

For a small 'taste' of the event, be sure to checkout the Thanksgiving Photo Gallery

Seminar Spring 2013

The MIP Department Seminar Series will begin on Thursday, January 10th with a guest speaker hosted by Randy Basaraba. On February 18th Dr. Greg Brennan (hosted by Sue VandeWoude) will be presenting.

Check for updates on the MIP Department Seminar Schedule in January.

The Foothills Infectious Disease Seminar Series will kick-off the semester on January 17th with Dr. Barry Beaty presenting, "Dengue, Metabolites, Mosquitoes, and Nanoparticles: Compelling Reasons for Flunking Retirement".

Foothills Infecious Disease Seminar Schedule

FAS is Coming


CVMBS Research Day

The 14th Annual CVMBS Research Day will be held on January 26, 2013 at the Hilton, Fort Collins.

For more information see the CVMBS Research Day webpage or contact Dawn Duval at

ASM Research Fellowships

The American Society for Microbiology is currently accepting applications for their ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship

The deadline is February 1st!

American Heart Association Research Awards

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association undergraduate student research program is designed to inspire promising students from all disciplines, including women and members of minority groups underrepresented in the sciences, to consider research careers while supporting the highest quality scientific investigation broadly related to cardiovascular disease and stroke. The research opportunity will allow studentst to work for 10 weeks with a faculty/staff member on any project broadly related to cardiovascular function and diseases, stroke, or to associated basic science, clinical, bioengineering/biotechnology and public health problems.

To Apply Go To!

Look for Healthcare/Research Tab, Click on Research, then on Funding Opportunities.

The deadline is February 7th!

Welcome New Employees

Julie IvenHello. I’m Julie Iven, the new accounting tech for MIP, and I’ll be dividing my time between the Foothills Campus and the Microbiology Office. Before arriving here, I worked with student accounts at Front Range Community College (and still have ties back there as a part time accounting instructor), and also spent many years installing computer systems for banks in the UK. I’m the proud mother of two college students, one a senior at CSU. In my free time I’m remodeling my house, so if any of you have any great tips about plumbing, let me know. I’m looking forward to being part of the MIP team.

Colorado Combined CampaignThe Colorado Combined Campaign is one opportunity for CSU faculty and staff to support their favorite community charities via payroll deduction. If you are interested in participating you will need to do so by December 31. You can either donate online or with the paper pledge form you should have received in the mail. For more information, visit the Colorado Combined Campaign website.



MIP Bits

Quote of the Month

"It's the end of the world as we know it
and I feel fine"
~ R.E.M.

Year in Review 2012

Somehow between the ‘highs’ (e.g. Ammendment 64) and lows (e.g. High Park Fire, senseless theater shootings), MIP kept its focus and had another strong and interesting year. Here are the Top Ten Highlights as seen through the eyes of the MIPnews:

  1. Just like some guy who wears #18 for the Broncos, a great gauge of MIP’s success in 2012 can be garnered from its statistics (not on Peyton’s playing field of course, but rather on our own field in the game of publish or perish). MIP researchers kept pace with last year’s team and penned an impressive 163 publications in its ‘playbook’ for 2012. Synergistically speaking, MIP researchers called plenty of audibles as 60 (or 36.8%) of these publications had more than one MIP faculty member as author.
  2. While Governor Romney’s staff brought him whole binders full of women in 2012, MIPnews amassed whole binders full of 2012 citation data. Impressively, MIP faculty broke the 10,000 barrier, attaining 10,234 citations (which we believe is more citations that the number handed out by the CSU parking police…). Five MIP faculty had over 400 citations in 2012, with Pat Brennan and Ian Orme leading the pack with over 700 each. Is it any coincidence that you can’t spell IMPact without MIP?
  3. While the Rockies welcomed in another new manager this year, MIP welcomed several new faculty (Candace Mathiason & Richard Bessen) and had two other strategic virology hires (Rushika Perera and Tony Schountz) sign on the bottom line for arrival in 2013. A new hiring initiative also appears to be rolling out in 2013, which should keep things hopping around here on the faculty HR front.
  4. Assuming that the Mayan end of the world prediction will be wrong and any of this really matters, congratulations to eight MIP faculty members who were promoted and or tenured this year. We have two new professors (Drs. Ballweber and Hyatt), two new associate professors with tenure (Drs. Lenaerts and Bohn), Dr. Crick was granted tenure, Drs. Frank and Vap had their appointments upgraded to assistant professor (special appt) and Kristy Pabilonia had her appointment moved to the tenure-track.
  5. While there was definitely a drought affecting our Front Range reservoirs, there was no shortage of news on the MIP Office front this year. The hiring of our new Business Officer – Becky Trentlage brought a new era of leadership in this key departmental position. We said goodbye to key employees such as Janet Bebell, Christine Bartholomew, Kim Mashek and Shannon Pfhol, while welcoming talented individuals such as Corrine Lindstadt, Pam Eppler and Julie Iven. Lest we forget, Micro B120 also received a badly needed facelift.
  6. While ‘The Artist’ garnered several key Oscars in 2012, the MIP student body also put on a stirring performance in 2012. MIP graduate students and residents brought home a whopping 27 local, regional and national awards for their research. Not to be overshadowed, an impressive number of undergraduates (5) also received research awards and 37 Micro Majors were named to the Dean’s list in May. The future looks very bright indeed.
  7. All work and no play would make MIP a dull place however. To remedy this, MIP among other things hosted its annual Spring Picnic, Thanksgiving Potluck Luncheon, Rockies Baseball Outing, initiated a weekly Yoga session and held Halloween parties this year. If it wasn’t for the High Park Fire, we also would have had three teams participate in a 50 mile relay race. We also once again helped in our community through efforts such as the Angels Among Us Program at the Holidays, the 21 MIPers who volunteered to judge the CO State Science Fair, etc. Not too shabby for a bunch of folks society stereotypes as nerds being chained to a lab bench.
  8. While there were no ‘gold medals’, MIP faculty received numerous awards in 2012. Led by Ed Hoover’s ASM Fellow and AAVMC Merial Excellence in Research awards, seven other faculty from A to Z (Aboellail to Zabel) received notable professional recognition this year. While by the look on her face Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney might not have been very impressed, we sure were!
  9. While the newly discovered Higgs Boson has a mean lifetime of 1.56 x 10-22 seconds, one number – 33,069,964 – says it all when it comes to MIP research. That’s the amount of extramural grant dollars we amassed this fiscal year despite historically pathetic federal funding rates of success. Congratulations to all your efforts in maintaining (and actually expanding) our roughly $144 million research grant portfolio despite challenging fiscal times.
  10. In order to increase Department communications, the weekly Department news email ‘Head Lines’ was established. In addition to dancing and gesturing to the hot summer tune ‘Call Me Maybe’, we also all received new VoIP telephones if anyone wants to actually talk to someone rather than texting or emailing. The VoIP gadgets are not quite the iPhone 5, but definitely an improvement on our old technology

As we close the book on 2012, we are all looking forward to opening Gerry Callahan’s new book in the Spring. Best wishes to all of the MIP family for a great holiday season and a very Lucky ’13.

Questions for MIPuzzle #81
MIPuzzle #81 Answers
MIPuzzle 81

NIH Happenings
  • Those PMCID numbers become vital to noncompeting renewals this Spring

    Under its public access policy, PIs for NIH grants MUST include the PubMed Central Identification Number (PMCID) when citing publications in their progress reports. Don’t be among the first in MIP to receive a notice of noncompliance, as it will only delay processing of your application.

New Grant Awards

Karen Dobos, "Rif/INH Peptide Conjugation and Antibody Production", CDC Foundation.

leftKaren Dobos, "A Novel Proteomic Approach to TB Biomarker Discovery using Human Exosomes", Univeristy of California, San Francisco

leftSebabrata Mahapatra, "Metabolomic Profiling of Serum and Urine ", Farmak

Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
3 4
Graduate Seminar
Microscopy Seminar
6 7
Grad School Commencement 3pm Moby
17 18
20 21
Univ Offices Closed
Univ Offices Closed
27 28


Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
Univ Offices Closed
2 3 4
7 8 9 10
Dept Seminar
14 15 16 17 18
Univ Offices Closed
Classes Begin
23 24 25
28 29 30 31  

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MIP Newsletter Volume 9, Issue 9, December 2012

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