May 2016
Vol. 13 | No. 5

Chauncy Hinshaw

Dr. Erica Suchman, standing on her tiptoes, peers over the podium to announce Chauncy’s award

Chauncy Hinshaw was named as outstanding graduating senior in the Microbiology BS Program for his seemingly endless and infectious enthusiasm for the subject of microbiology, outstanding attitude, and motiving other students and faculty to live up to his love of the subject matter. Chauncy was active in the Microbiology Student Association, student government, the ambassador program, and the CSU International Genetically Engineered Machine (IGEM) team.  He also performed research in Dr Christie Peebles’ lab in Biological and Chemical Engineering working optimizing degradation of sorghum for use as a biofuel. 
We wish to thank Chauncy for being a ‘face’ of our department around CSU and congratulate him on receiving this prestigious honor.


MIP Graduate Students who recieved their Degrees on May 13th...

Nathan Grubaugh-PhD
Robyn Raban-PhD
Kate Rhodes-PhD
Amber Rico- PhD
Amber Troy-MS
Kassandra Willingham-MS
Shanna Williams- PhD
Tifany Atkinson- MS
Marshall Henderson- MS
Mark Azeltine- MS
Harry Weisberg- MS
Rachel Delatorre- MS
Niccolette Schaefer- MS
Joylynn Gallegos- MS
Jessica Annis- MS
Aaron Ross- MS
Amanda Kashenberg- MS
Christy Martinez- MS
Ryan Roper- MS
Alexander Woomer- MS
Kara Maslyn- MS
Rosie Horst- MS
John Strom- MS
Meghin Kiernan- MS
Nicole Turner- MS
Jennifer Skinner- MS
Cassidy Danbury- MS
Isabella Mazariegos- MS
Sean Montgomery- MS
Hannah Clark- MS
Keifer Boguhn- MS
Amanda Hitpas- MS
Alexandra Bonney- MS
Dayton Pierce- MS
Lindsay Ellson- MS
Kara Kozak- MS
Steven Rickett- MS
Kristie Rice- MS
Amin Asgarifar- MS
Chani Roth- MS
Scott Taber- MS
Kayla Williams- MS

MIP Undergraduate Students who recieved their B.S. Degrees on May14th...

Seth Bauer-Martinez
Kimberly Bostwick
Paisley Byrnes
Donn Calkins
Calvin Cha
Kathryn Cleary
Adriana Collings
Madison Condon
Jasmine Donkoh
Erin Dowdy
Mahmoud Elkady
Macey Hall
Dakota Hawthorne
Rachel Herndon
Chauncy Hinshaw
George Holling
Nia Iberg
Conner Jackson
Michelle Kahle
John Kelley
Ashley LeSage
Solange Majewski
Ronald Mills
Sabrina Nesladek
Hannah Newman
Annalis Norman
Jennifer Olivier
Lara Perinet
Heidi Roche
Ricky Ross
Camille Simpson
Lauren Snodgrass
Jack Souders
Sarah Stonedahl
Zhihao Tang
Joanne Tennant
Paige Tenneson
Natalie Van Camp
Luke Vogt
Michael Young

Three MIP Faculty Earn Well-Deserved Promotions Effective July 1

Congratulations to the following faculty on their promotion and tenure!

Carol Wilusz: received tenure and promotion to full professor

John Spencer: promotion to associate professor

Brian Geiss
: promotion to associate professor

Comparative Medicine Award

Our very own Dr. Sue VandeWoude, left, CVMBS Associate Dean for Research and MIP Professor of Comparative Medicine, received the 2016 Comparative Medicine Scientist Award from the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine for substantial contributions to the field through publications, scientific reviews, lectures, and collaboration with investigators in biomedical research. She is pictured receiving the award from Dr. Claire Hankenson, Director of Lab Animal Resources at MSU and president of ACLAM.

2016 – 2017 Microbiology Scholarship and Award Recipients

Madison Nesiba: F. Bing Johnson, M.D. Scholarship in Microbiology 

Deja James: Beulah and Doyle Blair Memorial Scholarship         

Molly Price: Pamela Hill Griffith Memorial Scholarship               

Miranda Cochran: Microbiology Undergraduate Scholarship               

Joshua Daum: Microbiology Undergraduate Scholarship                

Luke Draper: Microbiology Undergraduate Scholarship              

Jackson Watkins: Sumner M. Morrison Memorial Scholarship            

Jacob Worth: Delano F. Scott Scholarship   

Kelsey Moore: Students First Scholarship  

Richard Ruder: Microbiology Scholars Award                                   
Jamie Pack: Microbiology Scholars Award                               

Savannah Rocha: Microbiology Scholars Award                                   

Samantha Tanner: Microbiology Scholars Award                                    
Kadi Horn: Microbiology Scholars Award



MIPers with service milestones captured by the ‘Traveling Photo Booth’ at a recent reception

SPOT Award

John Anderson of the Wilusz2 labs received a SPOT award for doing an awesome job with setting up the digital PCR facility.

Three MIP Grad Students Receive Fellowships

Congratulations to Reyes Murrieta on receiving a one year GAUSSI Fellowship to further his training in bioinformatics/computational biology. 

Congratulations are also in order for Vanessa Selwyn and Stephanie Morphet on receiving a Department of Education one year GAANN Fellowships from the CSU CMB Program.

Rushika Perera Named 2016 Boettcher Foundation WWBRA Early Career

Congratulations to Dr. Rushika Perera on receiving the 2016 Boettcher Foundation Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards Program (WWBRA) Early Career Investigator award.  Rushika received this honor for her project involving “Exploiting Vulnerabilities in Mosquito Metabolism for the Prevention of Human Arboviral Transmissions”. 

Meet Stephanie Mills – 2016 ASM Undergraduate Fellow

Stephanie Mills has been working in the Perera lab since her freshman year as a BMS major. Her research focuses on dengue virus (DENV)-host interactions, in particular how DENV utilizes lipids to alter intracellular membranes for its replication purposes. Stephanie wants to learn how enzymes that hydrolyze unsaturated fatty acids influence the outcome of virus infection.

Modification of a Commercial Thromboelastography Instrument to Measure Coagulation Dynamics with 3D Biomaterials

Morgan Hawker, Christine Olver and Ellen Fisher

doi: 10.1116/1.4948339  April 2016

I tried to think of something witty to put here to start an article about blood clotting, but alas it was all in vein…..

Sitting motionless on an airplane for several hours puts you at risk for developing blood clots in your legs, a condition called deep vein thrombosis.  There are several things that increase the risk for developing blood clots – including the introduction of biomaterials such as stents and artificial heart valves into the circulatory system.  Blood clotting is actually the number one cause for failure of these devices – and failure rates can run as high as 6%.  When blood contacts artificial surfaces, a variety of proteins often get adsorbed to the surface and clotting begins by the adhesion/aggregation of platelets.  There are basically two ways to try to control this – either treat patients who have these devices with anticoagulants to minimize blood clotting or simply build better biomaterial devices that don’t promote the problem in the first place.  While the latter solution seems obvious, the problem has been in designing a good way to test the propensity of biomaterial devices to promote clotting.  Here’s where the team of CSU chemists and our own Christine Olver stepped in.

One of the best ways to assess blood clotting is to use a thromboelastograph or TEG.  This contraption measures viscoelastic properties of blood which gives a good indication of things like the time it takes for to clotting to start and the rate of clot formation.  The problem is that the standard TEG machine can only do these measurements in a small cup that holds about a half a ml of blood.  What Morgan, Ellen and Christine did was figure out how to modify the cup holder of the machine to allow the introduction of 3D printed biomaterial scaffolds to be included with blood samples while TEG measurements are taken.  With this fancy cup holder, one should be able to assess the impact of aspects like the geometry, surface roughness, wettability and surface chemistry of the biomaterial on its propensity to promote blood clotting.  To provide the all-important proof of principle that their modified TEG cup holder works, the group tested the blood clotting impact of a polycaprolactone polymer scaffold that was used either unmodified or had its surface modified with octofluropropoane, allylamine or water vapor.  What they found was that the allylamine-modified polymers performed best at minimizing blood clotting.  In addition, their comparison of polymers with different surface modifications indicated that surface wettability – which was previously thought to play a major role in clot induction - did not appear to be highly significant in their TEG assays. 

So why did we choose this study as our coveted MIPublication of the Month© for the merry month of May?  First, the potential for this modified TEG assay to identify improvements in biomaterials used for stents and heart valves is enormous.  The TEG assay essentially measures all of the key aspects of the blood clotting cascade – and adapting the instrument to promote improvements in the materials used device manufacture is frankly clever.   Second, the study is a great example of an interdisciplinary collaboration between chemical engineers and a clinical pathologist, highlighting the power of stepping outside of our scientific comfort zones.  Heck – if they can build a better cup holder for a TEG machine, maybe they can design one for my truck so that the coffee mug doesn’t go flying out of the center console when I turn into the parking deck every morning.  Finally, the journal Biointerphases is sponsored by the American Vacuum Society (AVS) – and we thought it was very, very important to clearly document that not everything sponsored by the AVS sucks…….

MIP Publications May 2016

Hoon-Hanks LL, Rout ED, Vap LM, Aboellail TA, Hassel DM, Nout-Lomas YS.  Reactive mesothelial hyperplasia associated with chronic peritonitis in a 20-year-old Quarter horse.
Can Vet J. 2016 May;57(5):492-6.

Dickson LB, Sharakhova MV, Timoshevskiy VA, Fleming KL, Caspary A, Sylla M, Black WC 4th.  Reproductive Incompatibility Involving Senegalese Aedes aegypti (L) Is Associated with Chromosome Rearrangements.  PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Apr 22;10(4):e0004626. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004626.

Datta G, Nieto LM, Davidson RM, Mehaffy C, Pederson C, Dobos KM, Strong M.  Longitudinal whole genome analysis of pre and post drug treatment Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates reveals progressive steps to drug resistance.  Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2016 May;98:50-5. doi: 10.1016/

Nieto R LM, Mehaffy C, Dobos KM.  Comparing isogenic strains of Beijing genotype Mycobacterium tuberculosis after acquisition of Isoniazid resistance: A proteomics approach.  Proteomics. 2016 May;16(9):1376-80. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201500403.

Man DK, Chow MY, Casettari L, Gonzalez-Juarrero M, Lam JK.  Potential and development of inhaled RNAi therapeutics for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.  Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2016 Apr 22. pii: S0169-409X(16)30122-3. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2016.04.013.

Hoover CE, Davenport KA, Henderson DM, Pulscher LA, Mathiason CK, Zabel MD, Hoover EA.  Detection and Quantification of CWD Prions in Fixed Paraffin Embedded Tissues by Real-Time Quaking-Induced Conversion.  Sci Rep. 2016 May 9;6:25098. doi: 10.1038/srep25098.

Grover A, McLean JL, Troudt JM, Foster C, Izzo L, Creissen E, MacDonald E, Troy A, Izzo AA.  Heat killed Saccharomyces cerevisiae as an adjuvant for the induction of vaccine-mediated immunity against infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.   Vaccine. 2016 Apr 28. pii: S0264-410X(16)30206-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.04.052.

Sukocheva OA, Manavis J, Kok TW, Turra M, Izzo A, Blumbergs P, Marmion BP.  Coxiella burnetii dormancy in a fatal ten-year multisystem dysfunctional illness: case report.  BMC Infect Dis. 2016 Apr 18;16(1):165. doi: 10.1186/s12879-016-1497-z

Koohestani F, Qiang W, MacNeill AL, Druschitz SA, Serna VA, Adur M, Kurita T, Nowak RA.  Halofuginone suppresses growth of human uterine leiomyoma cells in a mouse xenograft model.  Hum Reprod. 2016 Apr 29. pii: dew094.

Lippolis KD, Ahola JK, Mayo CE, Fischer MC, Callan RJ.  Effects of two-stage weaning with nose flap devices applied to calves on cow body condition, calf performance, and calf humoral immune response.  J Anim Sci. 2016 Feb;94(2):816-23. doi: 10.2527/jas.2015-9624.

Hawker MJ, Olver CS, Fisher ER.  Modification of a commercial thromboelastography instrument to measure coagulation dynamics with three-dimensional biomaterials.  Biointerphases. 2016 Jun 28;11(2):029602. doi: 10.1116/1.4948339.

Drolet BS, Reister-Hendricks LM, Podell BK, Breitenbach JE, McVey DS, Rijn PA, Bowen RA.  European Bluetongue Serotype 8: Disease Threat Assessment for US Sheep.  Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2016 Apr 25.

McLean J, Suchman E. Using magnets and classroom flipping to promote student engagement and learning about protein translation in a large microbiology class. J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. 2016 May;17(2):288-89. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i2.1048.


MIP Foster Parents Honored

Kristy Pabilonia and Brendan Podell were one of five sets of foster parents recently honored at the Governor’s mansion by the Colorado Dept of Human Services as part of National Foster Care Month. Kristy and Brendon became foster parents over 5 years ago and have cared for 8 children to date.  Congratulations on this wonderful recognition and for your service to Colorado kids.

Check out the full press release here.

John Spencer named Avon Old Farms School Distinguished Alumnus

John Spencer was one of three former alumni who received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his old boarding school, Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Connecticut.  Only 15 people in the history of the school have been recognized to date with this award.  John was nominated for his extensive leprosy work in Brazil as well as his recent Fulbright Scholar Award.  It was also his 45th high school reunion (Oh, my!), so he also got to see a bunch of (very) old friends.  His former Chemistry teacher, Bill Kron, introduced him at the ceremony and the Headmaster, Ken LaRocque, presented John with the framed plaque after the ceremony. 

Congratulations Spence!!!!

Micro MS-B Program Graduates its 100th Student

‘Hats Off’ to the third graduating class of the MS-B Program.

Lenaerts Lab Shows Middle School Kids What Science is All About

Ellie Brooks, Mike Scherman and the crew from Anne’s lab recently had a group of middle schoolers from Cortez Colorado visit their lab for a brief (but REALLY fun!) exposure to science.  The event included rather creative uses of 96 well plates as pictured below.  A big thank you to Mike for initiating the event.   

See the rest of the pictures here.

MIP Spring Picnic 2016

There may now be 20 breweries in Fort Collins, but here’s the only true ‘Micro’ one….

Check out all the photos here.

MIPhoto of the Month:  Mike Scherman Wonders if there is Life Outside of the MIP Universe

Mike Scherman is an astrophotography buff (e.g. he has 9 telescopes and several cameras, much to the chagrin of his wife….).  Here are some shots of Jupiter, Saturn and other celestial objects he shot using his Celestron C9.25 scope. 

See all the pictures here.

Ralph ‘Ansel’ Smith Photo Makes Cover of Crested Butte Summer Visitor Guide

A photo by MIP Prof Emeritus Ralph Smith was chosen for the cover of the Crested Butte Visitors Guide.  Will the next stop for a Smith photograph be the cover of Time®????

Congratulations Ralph!

Wilusz – all lab coat, no data

Dayton Pierce of the MS-B Class of 2016 presents Jeff with a personalized lab coat signed by the graduating MS-B students.

Something Fishy Going On At Prion 2016

Members of the Prion Research Center dined on authentic tempura while attending the Prion 2016 meeting in Tokyo, Japan
Pictured above: Julie Moreno (postdoc in the Telling lab), Savannah Rocha (undergraduate researcher in Zabel Lab) Jifeng Bian (research scientist with Glenn Telling), Mark Zabel, Raymon Taka (host in Tokyo), Glenn Telling, Sarah Kane (Zabel graduate student) and Nate Denkers (research scientist with Ed Hoover).

The results from the 2016 Departmental Committee elections are in!

Congratulations to the following faculty and thank you to everyone who participated in the process.

Advisory Committee
Amy MacNeill, 3 year term to begin 8/15/2016

Graduate Education Committee
Zaid Abdo, 3 year term to begin 8/15/2016

PTR Committee
Ken Olson, 3 year term to begin 12/15/2016
Dean Crick, 3 year term to begin 12/15/2016
Tawfik Aboellail, 3 year term to begin 12/15/2016

Undergraduate Education Committee
RoxAnn Karkhoff-Schweizer, 3 year term to begin 8/15/2016

Reminder of Payroll Change in June

The June monthly payroll is July 1st for salaried employees. Hourly employees will see no change of pay date.

MSA Welcomes New Officers

President:  Jessica Gaevert    
Vice President: Stephanie Mills  
Treasurer:  Betty Silverman  
Secretary:  Molly Price    

Proof that Randy Basaraba Might Have Royal Blood and is Descended from Dracula

Think that the Targaryens, Lannisters and the Starks are cool – well my friend you, like Jon Snow, know nothing.  Check out this Plos One article regarding the ‘Basarab’ Kings of Wallachia. 

See article here

What the Perera Ten Do When Let Out of the Lab…..

The Perera lab brings their version of the Newton ‘If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants’ sculpture to the Foothills Campus.

When your PI says jump, students jump…..

When in Fargo…..

Hana Van Campen and Brett Wood visited Fargo North Dakota and inspected the famous wood "chipa" of movie fame.  No MIP alumni body parts were lost during filming…..

Canada Goose Out For a Stroll On the Roof Of the Microbiology Building









MIP Bits

"Democracy is like a tambourine; not everyone can be trusted with it."

-John Oliver

Micro Bldg Power Outage

At ~2PM on May 18th the entire Micro Bldg lost power for around 15 mintues

Top five theories on what caused the Micro power outage:

1. Dean Crick turned on his hair dryer.

2.Heidi Runge clicked yes on the ‘Do you want to turn the power off in your academic facility?' question in AriesWeb.

3. The on-campus stadium (since its being blamed for every other problem around campus…)

4. The LAR hamsters got tired.

5. Someone wanted to see whether blackouts really do cause an increase in births nine months later.

Firemen Really Do Rescue Cats...

Kerri Wright's cat Lincoln is a little dare devil and had to be rescued from the roof of her 3rd story apartment building roof by the Loveland Fire Dept.   Lincoln was adopted from our very own Dr. Susan VandeWoude's feline research study. Kerri (and of course Lincoln) are very grateful to the firemen who brought him down safely.

Changes to Cover Letter Requirements for NIH Applications

Beginning with applications due May 25, 2016, you have the option of completing the new PHS Assignment Request Form to specifically: (1) Identify any NIH institutes or centers as an awarding component; (2) Make study section or special emphasis panel requests; (3) List potential reviewers in conflict; and (4) List scientific expertise needed to review your application.  For more info, Read Part 5. Assignment and Review of the Strategy for NIH Funding for our full advice on how to approach your assignment request.  For more info on what you still need to use a conventional cover letter for, check out Cover Letter Attachment.

The journal eLife provides travel grants to early-career researchers who publish with them

Check out:

New Grant Awards

Brendan Podell, "Mechanisms of Diabetic Susceptibility to Tuberculosis", HHS-NIH-National Institutes of Health.

Candace Mathiason, "Detection and Characterization of Blood-borne Prions", HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy & Infect Diseases.

EJ Ehrhart, "PI Support of MAF Anatomical Pathology Training Program," Morris Animal Foundation. "Pathology Residency Training Program to support the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study", Morris Animal Foundation.

Gregory Ebel, "Testing of Mosquito Pools for West Nile Virus, City of Fort Collins, 2016", City of Fort Collins.

John Belisle, "Metabolic Biomarkers and Biosignatures for Improved Diagnosis of Lyme Disease", HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy & Infect Diseases. "BMAC CSU Core Facility Mass Spectrometry Services", HHS-CDC-Centers for Disease Control.

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

Randy Basaraba, "Disrupting Biofilm Formation to Improve TB Drug Treatment", HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy & Infect Diseases.

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MIP Newsletter Volume 13, Issue 5, May 2016

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