April 2016
Vol. 13 | No. 4

MIP Undergrad Takes Top Honors at the Murals Multicultural Undergraduate Research Art and Leadership Symposium

Jasmine Donkoh, a talented MIP undergrad in the laboratory of Brian Foy, was named the overall winner of the murals multicultural undergraduate research art and leadership symposium!   Her research work is on the Anopheles gambiae mosquito, a known vector of malaria.


MIP Undergraduates Give Impressive Showing at the Annual CSU Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium

25 MIP undergraduates, along with 5 other students who are not Micro majors and mentored by MIP faculty, presented their research at the annual CURC Symposium this month. Over 10% of the 233 abstracts presented at the symposium were from MIP students – which is pretty darn impressive considering the relatively small size of our major and serves as a clear indication of the great research opportunities available to Micro majors to enhance their educational experience.     
Check out the list of MIP winners:

Research: Highest Honors
Jasmine Donkoh
Mosquitocidal Properties of IgG Targeting the Voltage Gated Sodium Channel in Malaria Vector Anopheles gambiae
Advisor: Jacob Meyers / Brian Foy

Meagan Chriswell
Identification of Cryptosporidium species in Colorado animals
Advisor: Valeria Scorza / Mike Lappin / Lora Bellweber

Jackson Watkins
Development of a Reliable Alamar Blue Viability Test in Brucella Species
Advisor: Phillip Knabenbauer / Anne Simpson / Karen Dobos

Lara Perinet
Synaptotagmin’s Role in Asynchronous Neurotransmitter Release
Advisor: Noreen Reist / Mallory Shields

Madison Harman
Understanding the mechanism behind spontaneous disease in female gene targeted elk and deer PrP mice
Advisor: Glenn Telling / Jifeng Bian / Julie Moreno

Kathryn Cleary
The Role of Cytokinin in the Growth-Defense Tradeoff
Advisor: Cris Argueso

Research: High Honors
Madison Zenk
'Iron, Hepcidin, and Hepatocellular Carcinoma'
Advisor: Christine Olver

Wahida Khan
‘Identification of Poly-(C) Binding Protein Associated RNA Decay Factors’
Advisor:  Joseph Russo / Jeff Wilusz

Research: College Honors
Adriana Collings
Use of ddPCR to quantify virulence gene expression in Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Advisor: Nicole Kruh-Garcia

MIP Graduate Students Take Home Awards at the Spring Rocky Mountain ASM Branch Meeting

Stephanie Morphet (pictured above) won second place for her poster, “Assessing the species-specific phenolic glycolipid of Mycobacterium bovis as a biomarker of bovine tuberculosis”.  Her poster was co-authored with Kristopher Webb, Franklyn B. Garry and John T. Belisle. 

Emily Hill (pictured below) won third place, graduate student oral presentation, for her talk entitled “The predictive value of in vivo drug assays against Mycobacterium abscessus” 

CONGRATULATIONS Stephanie and Emily!!!

Adam Heck Receives Five Year NSF Predoctoral Fellowship

Congratulations are definitely in order for Adam Heck of the Wilusz labs who was recently awarded a five year predoctoral GRFP fellowship from the National Science Foundation!!!

MIP Residents Pass ACVP Phase I Board Exam

CONGRATULATIONS to Emily Rout, Laura Hoon-Hanks and Allison Vilander (pictured below) on passing the first phase of the AVCP board exam.



Esther Musselman was awarded the Technician of the Year Award at the recent Celebrate Colorado State Annual Awards Ceremony.  Esther received the award as the animal tech that ensured that research animals at CSU are provided the highest quality of husbandry and veterinary care.

Communicating Science to the Public (and from the photo possibly cows……)

Anna Farge was accepted for the ComSciCon annual workshop for graduate students that focuses on the communication of science to widespread audiences.  The workshop takes place in June at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center in Cambridge, MA and is associated with Harvard University.  Professional communicators from around the country coach attendees through a series of activities, including a poster session during which students share original outreach/capacity building projects, a K-12 education session, and the editing and revision process of an original piece that will ultimately result in publication. Anna hopes to bring what she learns back to CSU and help hold a science and engineering communication workshop on campus for undergraduate and graduate students.


Spot Awards

Congratulations to Vicki Cox Jones and Jason Cummings for earning CVMBS SPOT Awards this month.  Vicki received hers for training users on instrumentation and coordinating volunteers for MRL/TB events.  Jason was recognized for his tireless efforts in support of the Slayden lab.

Genetic Drift during Systemic Arbovirus Infection of Mosquito Vectors Leads to Decreased Relative Fitness during Host Switching

Nathan Grubaugh, James Weger-Lucarelli, Reyes Murrieta, Joseph Fauver, Selene Garcia-Luna, Abhishek Prasad, Bill Black and Greg Ebel

Cell Host and Microbe 19:  481-492  (April 2016)

When it comes to working on viruses, forget about reaching for a Phillips head screwdriver or an Allen wrench.  The only tool you need to consider is Muller’s ratchet.  What in the name of Home Depot is that you ask?  Well you’ll have to either continue reading or stop by the AIDL and chat with Nathan and the gang to answer that question.

Viruses like West Nile virus have a very error-prone polymerase that they use to produce an enormous number of copies of their RNA genomes.  Mistakes in the sequence of a virus genome can be very debilitating and reduce the overall ‘fitness’ of the virus population.  Surprisingly, even though viral polymerases make more errors than the Headsquashers softball team, the generation of mutant genomes can actually be good for the virus in that it allows rapid evolution and adaptation to changing hosts and cellular environments.  Therefore understanding how viruses manage the generation of all this sequence variation in their progeny genomes is vital in order for us to appreciate its contribution to viral emergence and associated disease outbreaks.  The daily news articles about Zika virus serve as a reminder just how important understanding the emergence of mosquito-borne viruses is to public health.

To gain insight into the dynamics of viral mutations and population biology during mosquito infection, the team led by Greg Ebel and Bid Bad Bill set up a very straightforward and highly informative experimental design.  They infected four different types of mosquitoes that West Nile virus likes to hang out in – three Culex species and the bridge vector Aedes aegypti.  They then dissected the infected mosquitoes and focused on four bits – the midgut, hemolymph (‘blood’), salivary glands and saliva (yes that’s right folks - skeeter spit).  They then isolated RNA and visited the trusty Illumina HiSeq machine to do deep sequencing on all of the samples.  The results that they obtained after sorting through this Long’s Peak of sequence information were very interesting.  West Nile virus grown in Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes had an amazing three-fold more mutations in its RNA than when the virus was grown in the other three mosquitoes.  This indicates that viruses evolve differently in different mosquito types.  Next, analysis of viral populations in the four different tissues they analyzed indicated that viruses are under significantly different selective pressures depending on the compartment of the mosquito that they are trying to grow in.  These pressures or ‘bottlenecks’ help shape the overall diversity of the viral genomes that are generated.  Finally, the data demonstrated that all of this sequence divergence in the virus population does lead to deleterious mutations and fitness costs to the virus that is expectorated in the saliva.  A strong ‘purifying’ selection of optimal virus genomes must then re-occur when the virus infects animals or humans.

So why did we pick this paper as our coveted MIPublication of the Month© for April?  First the work used cutting edge sequencing technology and informatics analysis to obtain clear insight into viral population dynamics during mosquito infections.  The results have significant implications into understanding how viruses adapt to and evolve in mosquito hosts – not to mention what we might get exposed to as those wonderful little creatures alight and bite on our unsuspecting arms and legs this summer.  Next, there was this ratchet thingamabob we mentioned in the first paragraph.  Muller’s ratchet is a hypothesis from the ‘60s that suggests the fitness of a population of organisms undergoing asexual reproduction will decrease dramatically over time.  Nathan and the gang’s observations with West Nile virus in mosquitoes are likely to be the first time that this prediction has been demonstrated for viruses in vivo.   Finally, we figured that if ‘trivial’ journals like Nature highlight the article, we felt pretty confident that the paper must be saying something important………

Best wishes to all for a great end of semester/finals week.

AIDL Group’s Recent Paper Makes Journal Cover AND Gets Highlighted in Nature

The paper by Grubaugh et al that we highlighted as this month’s MIPublication of the Month also:

  • Made the Cover Picture of Cell Host and Microbe (see picture above)
  • Was written up as a highlight in Nature this month. Click here to see the feature.

Click here to check out the full paper.

MIP Publications April 2016


Grubaugh ND, Weger-Lucarelli J, Murrieta RA, Fauver JR, Garcia-Luna SM, Prasad AN, Black WC 4th, Ebel GD.  Genetic Drift during Systemic Arbovirus Infection of Mosquito Vectors Leads to Decreased Relative Fitness during Host Switching.  Cell Host Microbe. 2016 Apr 13;19(4):481-92. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2016.03.002.

Hoffman AM, Dow SW.  Concise review: Stem cell trials using companion animal disease models.  Stem Cells. 2016 Apr 12. doi: 10.1002/stem.2377. [Epub ahead of print]

McNulty E, Selariu AI, Anderson K, Hayes-Klug J, Nalls AV, Powers JG, Hoover EA, Mathiason CK.  Aspects of the husbandry and management of captive cervids.  Lab Anim (NY). 2016 Mar 22;45(4):140-2. doi: 10.1038/laban.972.

McConnel CS, Stenkamp-Strahm CM, Rao S, Linke LM, Magnuson RJ, Hyatt DR.  Antimicrobial Resistance Profiles in Escherichia coli O157 Isolates from Northern Colorado Dairies.  J Food Prot. 2016 Mar;79(3):484-7. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-15-321.

Angala SK, McNeil MR, Zou L, Liav A, Zhang J, Lowary TL, Jackson M.  Identification of a Novel Mycobacterial Arabinosyltransferase Activity Which Adds an Arabinosyl Residue to α-d-Mannosyl Residues.  ACS Chem Biol. 2016 Apr 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Fox KA, Wootton S, Marolf A, Rouse N, LeVan I, Spraker T, Miller M, Quackenbush S.  Experimental Transmission of Bighorn Sheep Sinus Tumors to Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis canadensis) and Domestic Sheep.  Vet Pathol. 2016 Mar 28. pii: 0300985816634810. [Epub ahead of print]

Kaye S, Wang W, Miller C, McLuckie A, Beatty JA, Grant CK, VandeWoude S, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H.  Role of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus in Lymphomagenesis-Going Alone or Colluding?  ILAR J. 2016 Mar 31;57(1):24-33. doi: 10.1093/ilar/ilv047.


Ralph Smith MIPhoto of the Month©

Ralph Smith took this breathtaking shot on a spot on Molas Pass near Silverton. It's a one-hour exposure with the wide-angle lens pointed toward the north star.

In memory of Dr. Charles “Chuck” P. Hibler

Dr. Chuck Hibler, a highly accomplished wildlife parasitologist and spouse of Dlab Director Dr. Barb Powers, passed away on April 14th. The entire MIP community sends its condolences and hopes that Barb and the family are comforted by the outpouring of love surrounding you. A scholarship has also been created in Dr. Hibler's name for those wishing to contribute:


Remembering Dr. Klein

A celebration of the life of Dr. Don Klein was held on Friday April 22nd in the Lory Student Center.  Words/phrases like remarkable, passionate, jovial, long discussions and a tremendous scholar filled the air. Thanks Don. We’ll miss you.


A big thank you for all the judges at the Colorado Science and Engineering Fair that took place on April 7th.

Amanda McGuire
Heather Bender
Stephanie Morphet
Anita Amin
Corey Rosenberg
Elijah Edmondson
Joylnn Gallegos
Veronica Kinn
Rebecca Teves
Emily Hill
Nia Ilberg
Mark Azeltine
Caitlin Daimon
Brian Geiss
Elizabeth Brooks
Anna Fagre
Jessica Haugen
Erica Suchman
Jessie Filer
Nicholas Little
Sebarata Mahapatra
Candace Mathiason
Vanessa Selwyn
Carlos De Matos e Silva
Deandra Walker

Introduction to Research Undergraduate Poster Presentation

Please join the MIP150 undergraduate students as they display and explain their research and give their poster presentations. The undergraduate students have worked diligently to isolate bacteria from the soil that produce antibiotics and discover phages that lyse these bacteria.  This is a great opportunity to meet some of the undergraduates that you might want to hire in your lab in the future!  Please join us in: 

A201 Microbiology Building
11:15 AM
Wednesday, May 4th

The students need to practice their presentation skills, so any feedback is appreacited.

Does Alan Look ‘Board’ These Days?

Alan Schenkel was recently reappointed as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Immunology.

Congrats Alan!

MIP’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program highlighted in the Source

Explore Joseph Gallegos and Cassidy Hagan undergraduate research experiences and more in this Colorado State University’s SOURCE article

Colorado State University’s SOURCE article

The Cell and Molecular Biology Student Association (CMBSA) is putting on a raffle to raise money for the association. The CMBSA is a student led organization with the purpose to encourage and unite students academically, socially, and in the area of community service by enriching scientific interactions through the promotion of interdisciplinary collaborations, working closely with the recruitment of new graduate students, and building a sense of unity.The raffle is open to everyone.There are several prizes to Chocolate Café, Black Bottle and Chipper’s Lanes. Tickets are priced at $3 for 1 or $5 for 2. The winners should be be announed on Thursday, May 9th.

contact lramos@colostate.edu for tickets

Books Available in MIP Office

Check out the list below of Dr. Klein’s and Dr. McNeil’s books that are still available in the office. People can stop by the Micro Front Office during business hours to select the books they’re interested in.

See list here.

Pathology Team is Pretty Darn Fast (and Furry)

The PsychoPath runners (pictured above) took 3rd place in the team competition at the Annual Fast and Furriest 5k run earlier this month. 

TB Meeting Adventures Across the Pond

Marcela Henao-Tamayo, Crystal Shanley, and Diane Ordway recently attended a workshop on TB Animal Models at the Public Health Facility in Porton Down, UK. While there they tried their hand at the traditional English sports of ‘sheep scaring’ and ‘ale quaffing’.

Rebekah Kading’s Ugandan Adventures

Rebekah Kading recently visited Uganda to kick off the research on her new DTRA grant designed to build up the research capacity and knowledge of bats in Uganda, as well as the ability of local partners to respond to an outbreak of a zoonotic pathogen.   This trip focused on biosurveillance training with the Uganda Virus Research Institute, including the development of a bat acoustic call library which will also be used in future biodiversity surveys.  If that wasn’t enough, they also initiated an ecology study on the numerous species of cave bats found in a spot near Sipi Falls in eastern Uganda.  This will be the thesis project of a graduate student at Makerere University in Kampala.

Check out the photos here.

The Foothills have also Gone Batty!!!

Ashley Malmlov of the Schountz Lab holds a male Jamaican fruit bat (Artibeus jamaicensis).

Save the date for the Fall 2016 Graduate Student Showcase. This second annual gathering of CSU graduate researchers will take place on November 15th.

For more information, click here.

WHOOOOOOO took this Cool Picture?

Ashley and Aaron McGrew welcomed Charlotte McGrew, born April 25th, 6 lbs 1 oz., 19 inches. Baby and mom are both doing well!



MIP Bits

"Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere."

-Erma Bombeck

Mark Zabel recently took this selfie while getting some dental work.

Alternative Captions:

  1. Funny,  I thought that the rumor was that his parents felt that the light shone out of the other end.
  2. File this photo under ‘Jaw Dropping’
  3. Duunnn dunnn... duuuunnnn duun... duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn dunnnn
  4. Look for Dr. Zabel in the upcoming X-men: Apocalypse flick coming to theaters next month
  5. Submit your own

Seal Necropsy Cake!

Colleen Duncan recently did a stint up at the Sitka Sound Science Center and as a going away present they made her the most amazing cake ever… a seal necropsy cake!

Is there life for an application that misses an NIH payline?  OnPAR – a possible second chance at getting your scored NIH grant application funded

NIH has partnered with private foundations in their Online Partnership to Accelerate Research (OnPAR) Program.  For this pilot, OnPAR has started with seven funding organizations - but apparently over a hundred additional foundations along with 6 pharma companies are interested in participating.  To have your application considered, you must (1) score within the top 30th percentile; (2) have your summary statement from NIH; and provide application info on the OnPAR site.  For more info on this innovative ‘second chance’ funding opportunity, check out http://onpar.leidosweb.com/onpar/apply.php


High Priority Immunology Grant FOA is still active

Are you part of the I of MIP?  If so, please note that NIAID set aside $15 million for FY 2017 to fund 30 to 35 awards in a variety of immunology areas including innate/adaptive immune responses.  Check out the FOA at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAS-15-055.html

April 29th- Requisitions for goods or services requiring competition to Procurement expending FY 16 funds.

May 9th- Requisitions for Open Purchase Orders & Service Purchase Orders next fiscal year (FY 17).

May 27th- Requisitions for goods and services not requiring competition to Procurement expending FY 16 funds.

New Grant Awards

Carol Blair, "Novel Approaches for Development of Monoclonal Antibodies Against Encephalitic Alphaviruses with Enhanced Therapeu... ", DOD-DTRA-Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Delphi Chatterjee, "Role of Gamma/Delta T Cells in Vaccine Induced Immunity ", Saint Louis University.

Partick Brennan, "Characterization of LAM the Basis of Otsuka POC Test ", Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Co.

Ramesh Akkina, "Multi-Species Mechanisms of Drug Bio-Distribution in HIV Tissue Reservoirs ", UNC-University of North Carolina at Chap.

Randall Basaraba, "Project 1: Metabolic Factors that Control the Spectrum of Human Tuberculosis", "Project 2: Metabolic Factors that Control the Spectrum of Human Tuberculosis", "Project 3: Metabolic Factors that Control the Spectrum of Human Tuberculosis ", Brigham and Womens Hospital.

Randall Basaraba, "Core D: Metabolic Factors that Control the Spectrum of Human Tuberculosis", Brigham and Womens Hospital.

Richard Bessen, "Fyn Activation in Prion Disease", HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy & Infect Diseases.

May 2016
Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri


Graduate Seminar

















Spring Grades Due @ 2PM.

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MIP Newsletter Volume 13, Issue 4, April 2016

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