January 2016
Vol. 13 | No. 1

At the end of each semester the MIP faculty choose an outstanding graduating senior - the student that the faculty feel has left the greatest mark on the department through service, participation, academics or encouraging comradery. This is always a difficult decision, and Fall 2015 was no exception.  This year’s outstanding graduating senior is Nick Little.  Nick possesses a seemingly endless enthusiasm for the subject of microbiology.   In addition, his outstanding attitude and enthusiasm are infectious - motiving other students and faculty to live up to his love of the subject matter. He is the kind of student who studies subject matter NOT assigned by the instructor, just because he really finds it interesting.  During his time at CSU, Nick worked in the laboratory of Dr. John Belisle researching tuberculosis. He is a 12 year Army veteran who served his country in Afghanistan and Iraq as a medic, and continues to serve in the Army reserves.   Impressively, he maintained an excellent GPA while going to school full time, working a part time job in security, serving as a reserve, and raising 3 children. Nick has an intense interest in infectious disease, particularly vector borne parasitology, and hopes to work with the CDC. Please join us in congratulating this outstanding graduate.

Congrats Nick!!!

Dr. Rebekah Kading has now officially joined our team as an Assistant Professor with an emphasis on medical entomology.  She resides at the Foothills in IDA 101.  For more info on Rebekah, check out the bio from our October newsletter.

Dr. Rebekah Kading Bio

MIP Scientists Help NPR Explain CRISPr/cas9 Gene Editing to Radio Listeners

Carol Wilusz, Ramesh Akkina and Joe Russo were featured in a recent NPR radio spot on an exciting new breakthrough in gene editing.  Check it out here

Burnett, Megan E.
Daum, Joshua I.
Dean, Juliette R.
Early, Kala A.
Ehrhart, Tess L.
Gaevert, Jessica A.
Hagan, Cassidy E.
Hawthorne, Dakota K.
Hayes, Madeline M.
Hill, Gladys B.
Hinshaw, Chauncy R.
Kaplan, Joshua P.
Kirschling-Powell, Cori A.
Nason, Madison L.
Philbrick, Alesa H.
Powers, Jordan A.
Reed, Mitchell
Ruder, Richard E.
Smith, McKenzie L.
Sniff, Kira N.
Stonedahl, Sarah F.
Vacca, Arianna S.
Vaishampayan, Zachary S.
Walsh, Rachel M.
Young, Michael C.

Congrats to all!

Welcome New Post-Docs

Dr. Christine Fennessey

Christine graduated from Georgia Tech with her PhD in Microbiology in 2010.   Her dissertation described how bacteria may be utilized to remediate environmental radioactive waste. Since then, she shifted gears and has held positions at Vanderbilt University and the NIH working on the molecular biology of HIV. She started in the Akkina lab on August 31st. Her hobbies include hiking and rock climbing. She's excited to take advantage of all the nature Colorado has to offer.

Dr. Dipu Mohan Kumar

Dipu joined Dr. Akkina’s laboratory as a post-doctoral researcher last April. After finishing vet school, obtaining a Masters in Diagnostic Microbiology and working briefly for a pet insurance company, he packed his bags to come to the US. His work with Avian Influenza virus at the University of Connecticut helped validate a robust primer design tool for viral subtype identification. His doctoral dissertation at the Ohio State University was on the tick-borne obligatory intracellular zoonotic rickettsial pathogen Ehrlichia chaffeensis. His PhD work helped answer numerous questions regarding how Ehrlichia enters a cell, including identifying the ligand used by this bacterium, its monocyte receptor, the host cell proteins involved in signal transduction following Ehrlichial binding, and the actin cytoskeletal mobilization pathway involved in host cell entry. The study improved our understanding about the pathogenesis of human monocytic ehrlichosis and has translational potential for developing a vaccine based on intercepting the ligand-receptor interaction. He moved to Fort Collins after accepting a residency position in Veterinary Microbiology at the CSU Vet Diagnostic Lab prior to joining Dr. Akkina’s lab as a post-doc. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring Fort Collins, the mountains, nearby coffee shops, yoga, cooking and spending time with friends.

Dr. Owen Richmond

Owen received his PhD in May 2015 from the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology at Virginia Tech with a focus on viral immunology. He chose to join the Akkina lab for his first post-doctoral experience. He's an avid golfer and also enjoys skiing, hunting and fishing.

In Vitro Efficacy of Non-Antibiotic Treatments on Biofilm Disruption of Gram-Negative Pathogens and an In Vivo Model of Infectious Endometritis Utilizing Isolates from the Equine Uterus

Ryan Ferris, Patrick McCue, Grace Borlee, Kristen Loncar, Margo Hennet, and Brad Borlee

Journal of Clinical Microbiology

With the impressive box office success of the latest Star Wars flick, the opening of the Cinemark Bistro in town, and the Oscars right around the corner, ‘films’ are a hot topic of discussion around MIP these days.  The Borlee lab is grinning ear to ear because it doesn’t have to leave their lab bench to watch their favorite films (and no, this isn’t an ad for some the latest on-line streaming service).  While their technical work on their favorite films may not win any Oscars in late February, we nevertheless feel that it could lead to a blockbuster of sorts down the road.

While bacteria don’t produce movies, many do make ‘biofilms’.  These sticky gels of bacteria contain a thick layer of exopolysaccharide that keeps antibodies, immune cells and many antibiotics from gaining access to their bacterial targets.  Biofilms are a big (we’re talking over a billion $) problem in human disease.  Not surprisingly, they are also an important issue in veterinary medicine.  For example, around half of the mares that have trouble getting pregnant have endometrial infections – usually by a Gram negative bacteria like E. coli, Klebsiella or Pseudomonas.  Based largely on studies using lab strains of bacteria, there are three current clinical treatments for biofilm-based infections in horses – NAC, hydrogen peroxide, or EDTA.  Unfortunately however, just how efficacious these treatments are in disrupting biofilms made by clinically-relevant bacterial strains is not clear.  Thus in galaxies not too far, far away (the Foothills and VTH campuses) a collaboration was born between the Ferris and Borlee groups to address the question of how to effectively disrupt clinically important biofilms made by Gram negative bacteria.

To ensure that their study was biologically relevant, the group set off to identify a bacterial biofilm on an equine endometrium (since they have been inferred to occur but surprisingly one has never been formally observed). Brad and Ryan’s team cleverly infected a mare with P. aeruginosa isolates engineered to express a luminescent lux protein and closely analyzed the horse’s uterus.  The glow in the dark bacteria were indeed present on the endometrium - and remained tightly associated despite rigorous washing.  This was strongly suggestive of biofilm formation.  Curiously, the biofilms of bacteria were predominately deep in the endometrial folds – regions of the organ that are difficult to biopsy.  Thus the Ferris/Borlee team generated the first direct evidence for an equine endometrial biofilm and demonstrated why it’s difficult to diagnosis biofilms associated with endometrial disease.  Next, each of the three compounds (NAC, H2O2 and EDTA) normally used to treat biofilms in equine medicine were tested in a 6hr treatment against biofilms generated by ten independent clinical isolates each of E.coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  Interestingly, the team found that sensitivity to biofilm disruption and reduction of live clinical strains of bacteria to the three compounds varied widely – and no single compound worked effectively against all 30 bacterial isolates.  This highlights the need for detailed characterization of clinically isolated bacteria from infected mares prior to treatment as well as a need for improved drugs to combat biofilms in equine veterinary practice.

So why did we choose this paper to kick off our coveted MIPublication of the Month© series for 2016?  First, this study uses both in vivo and in vitro assays to rather conclusively demonstrate the importance of bacterial biofilms in equine reproductive medicine.  Second, the study represents the results of a very productive collaboration between basic and clinical science CVMBS faculty.  Moving science from the bench to the bedside/barnside definitely needs more interactions like this one.  Finally, we’re always glad to see evidence that veterinary medicine has come a long way since the classic Far Side comic by Gary Larson in which Doreen, like most veterinary students, breezes through the equine medicine chapter of the textbook……

MIP Publications January 2016

Veselinovic M, Charlins P, Akkina R.  Modeling HIV-1 Mucosal Transmission and Prevention in Humanized Mice.  Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1354:203-20.

Akkina RK, Allam A, Balazs AB, Blankson J, Burnett JC, Casares S, Garcia JV, Hasenkrug K, Kashanchi F, Kitchen S, Klein F, Kumar P, Luster AD, Poluektova LY, Rao M, Sanders BE, Shultz LD, Zack JA.  Improvements and Limitations of Humanized Mouse Models for HIV Research: NIH/NIAID "Meet the Experts" 2015 Workshop Summary.  AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2015 Dec 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Hu S, Mohan Kumar D, Sax C, Schuler C, Akkina R. Pseudotyping of lentiviral vector with novel vesiculovirus envelope glycoproteins derived from Chandipura and Piry viruses.  Virology. 2015 Nov 30;488:162-168

Bromberek JL, Rout ED, Agnew MR, Yoshimoto J, Morley PS, Avery AC.  Breed Distribution and Clinical Characteristics of B Cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in Dogs.  J Vet Intern Med. 2016 Jan 6. doi: 10.1111/jvim.13814.

Ferris RA, McCue PM, Borlee GI, Loncar KD, Hennet ML, Borlee BR.  In Vitro Efficacy of Non-Antibiotic Treatments on Biofilm Disruption of Gram-Negative Pathogens and an In Vivo Model of Infectious Endometritis Utilizing Isolates from the Equine Uterus.  J Clin Microbiol. 2015 Dec 30. pii: JCM.02861-15. [Epub ahead of print]

Feng X, Zhu W, Schurig-Briccio LA, Lindert S, Shoen C, Hitchings R, Li J, Wang Y, Baig N, Zhou T, Kim BK, Crick DC, Cynamon M, McCammon JA, Gennis RB, Oldfield E.  Antiinfectives targeting enzymes and the proton motive force.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Dec 22;112(51):E7073-82. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1521988112.

Randall LB, Dobos K, Papp-Wallace KM, Bonomo RA, Schweizer HP.  Membrane Bound PenA β-lactamase of Burkholderia pseudomallei.  Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 Dec 28. pii: AAC.02444-15. [Epub ahead of print]

Grubaugh ND, Massey A, Shives KD, Stenglein MD, Ebel GD, Beckham JD.  West Nile Virus Population Structure, Injury, and Interferon-Stimulated Gene Expression in the Brain From a Fatal Case of Encephalitis.  Open Forum Infect Dis. 2015 Nov 20;3(1):ofv182. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofv182

Fauver JR, Pecher L, Schurich JA, Bolling BG, Calhoon M, Grubaugh ND, Burkhalter KL, Eisen L, Andre BG, Nasci RS, LeBailly A, Ebel GD, Moore CG.  Temporal and Spatial Variability of Entomological Risk Indices for West Nile Virus Infection in Northern Colorado: 2006-2013.  J Med Entomol. 2015 Dec 30. pii: tjv234. [Epub ahead of print]

Moore AR, Libby AL, Khanal S, Ehrhart EJ 3rd, Avery P.  Is this cell hollow?  Vet Clin Pathol. 2015 Dec 30. doi: 10.1111/vcp.12313.

Iwamaru Y, Kitani H, Okada H, Takenouchi T, Shimizu Y, Imamura M, Miyazawa K, Murayama Y, Hoover EA, Yokoyama T.  Proximity of SCG10 and prion protein in membrane rafts.  Neurochem. 2015 Dec 10. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13488.
Sullivan LA, Wakayama J, Boscan PL, Hyatt DR, Twedt DC, Lappin MR, Dargatz DA.  The effects of omeprazole therapy on bacterial colonization of the pharynx in healthy dogs.  J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2015 Dec 8. doi: 10.1111/vec.12432.

Rakesh, Bruhn DF, Scherman MS, Singh AP, Yang L, Liu J, Lenaerts AJ, Lee RE.  Synthesis and evaluation of pretomanid (PA-824) oxazolidinone hybrids.  Synthesis and evaluation of pretomanid (PA-824) oxazolidinone hybrids.  Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2015 Dec 7. pii: S0960-894X(15)30315-2. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2015.12.002.

Mathiason CK.  Silent Prions and Covert Prion Transmission.  PLoS Pathog. 2015 Dec 10;11(12):e1005249. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005249.

Baldwin SL, Reese VA, Huang PD, Beebe EA, Podell BK, Reed SG, Coler RN.  Protection and long-lived immunity induced by the ID93/GLA-SE vaccine candidate against a clinical Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolate.  Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2015 Dec 9. pii: CVI.00458-15. [Epub ahead of print]

Hemphill DD, McIlwraith CW, Slayden RA, Samulski RJ, Goodrich LR.  Adeno-associated virus gene therapy vector scAAVIGF-I for transduction of equine articular chondrocytes and RNA-seq analysis.  Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2015 Dec 17. pii: S1063-4584(15)01423-5. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2015.12.001.

Calhoun DM, Schaffer PA, Gregory JR, Hardy KM, Johnson PT.  Experimental Infections of Bluegill with the Trematode Ribeiroia ondatrae (Digenea: Cathaemasiidae): Histopathology and Hematological Response.  J Aquat Anim Health. 2015 Dec;27(4):185-91

Carver S, Beatty JA, Troyer RM, Harris RL, Stutzman-Rodriguez K, Barrs VR, Chan CC, Tasker S, Lappin MR, VandeWoude S.  Closing the gap on causal processes of infection risk from cross-sectional data: structural equation models to understand infection and co-infection.  Parasit Vectors. 2015 Dec 23;8(1):658.


Vet Diagnostic Lab Annual Committee Meeting

The VDlab advisory committee meeting took place on January 8th.  Above is a photo of the hard working group.  Click here for a higher resolution version.

The Salvation Army sent a thank you note to our department for all the donations we made to the Adopt a Family Program during the holidays. Check it out here:

Thank you from The Salvation Army

CMB/MCIN/BMB Spring Poster Symposium

It is time again for food, fun, drink and a little competition! Please consider presenting a poster for the Annual Cell & Molecular Biology/Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Neurosciences/Biochemistry Poster Symposium.

See the abstract submission flyer for more information. Submission Deadline is February 12th by 5PM!

2016 Colorado Mycobacteria Conference

The 2016 ‘CO-Myco-Co’ (as we call it here at the MIPnews desk…) will take place June 7-10th at the University Center for the Arts.

See more information here:


Rocky Mountain Virology Club - 16th Annual Meeting

The 16th Annual Rocky Mountain Virology Meeting will take place on September 23-25 at the CSU Mountain Campus in Pingree Park.

For more information, visit the Club’s website here


The Department Seminar Series will is in full swing. The first seminar was January 13th with Jeff Kieft, The next seminar will be on February 19th with Andrea Marzi. There is no remaining budget for visiting speakers so we would like to encourage local speakers!

The weekly Graduate Student Seminar has also started and the next presenter is Phillip Knabenbauer on January 19th.

Graduate Student Seminar Schedule

CRC Call for Proposals

Deadline: March 21st at 5PM

Review the FY16 CRC Call for Proposals and find more information on the CVMBS Employee Resource webpage.

Living Our Values

Nominate a colleague for Living Our Values

This spring, a CVMBS faculty or staff member will be honored for upholding each of our shared college values during the course of daily work. The values are: Transparency, Accountability, Collaboration and Team. A fifth honoree will receive an Overall Award, for regularly modeling all of the values.

The Living Our Values Awards presentation will occur during the 2016 Spring Forum, beginning 4 p.m. April 14 in the Lory Student Center Ballroom.

17th Annual CVMBS Research Day is Coming!

The 17th Annual CVMBS Research Day will be held on January 30th at the Hilton (425 W. Prospect Road). Dr. Sheryl Magzamen, the 2016 Zoetis Veterinary Research Excellence Awardee, will kick things off with the keynote speech at high noon. In addition to showcasing our College’s cutting-edge research, the event is also an excellent opportunity for local researchers and scientists to connect. All members of the MIP community are encouraged to participate in this free event!

 Read more about 2016's Annual Research Day Symposium.

MIPump You Up!

RoxAnn was spotted in a recent Coloradoan article

RoxAnn (aka Rocky?) Karkhoff-Schweizer was recently featured in a Coloradoan article.  Check out the article here.

You can take the guy out of Jersey, but you can't the the Joisey out of him...

Jeff Wilusz kept up an annual holiday ritual and ate a whole extra large pizza to earn a t-shirt at a Jersey Shore restaurant

SOMA Lab* Holiday Extravaganza

(* Santangelo-Olver-MacNeill-Avery)

A group photo from the annual SOMA lab undergrad research presentation and Holiday Party Favor team-building event.

Annual Pathology Ornament Contest Ends the Year in Style

The ornament contest winners: Nikki Buhrdorf, Deandra Walker and Erin McNulty.

EACR System

Bet you can’t guess what EACR stands for…….

Effective January 4th, the CSU Property Management Department (a separate entity from Surplus Property) has launched an online EACR system (eacr.colostate.edu).  Within this new online system, campus users and approvers will be able to enter, route, and track their surplus pickup requests electronically - hopefully resulting in a more efficient experience for all.   From now until 6/30/2016, both paper and electronic formats will be accepted. Starting 7/1/2016, all EACR forms will be submitted through the online EACR system.

EACR, btw, stands for (drum roll please……)   Equipment Accountability Change Request.

Medora Huseby and her husband Mark Stenglein welcomed thier daughter Pearl Ann Stenglein, on Jan 11th, 2016.  She was 7lbs 9oz. Mom and baby are healthy and happy!















MIP Bits

Help stamp out, eliminate and abolish redundancy!

                                Source:  unknown

You never know what animals you will find at CVMBS

Alternative Captions

  1.  “I asked for a pack of camels and you bring me these beasts?”
  2. CSU tries out a new drought-proof way to get to main campus from the new off-site parking lots.
  3. Gregg! Gregg!  Gregg!  Guess what day it is?  Guess what daaaaayyyy it is!
  4. Submit your own

Pinstripe Bowl Instagram

Gwen, Evan and Becky Wilusz made the Instagram highlight page for the Duke Football victory over Indiana in the Pinstripe Bowl

New US-China Program for Biomedical Collaborative Research

This FOA issued in late December will support collaborative basic, translational, and clinical research between U.S. and Chinese researchers.  Applications are due March 17th.  For more details, check out the RFA at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AI-16-006.html

NIH Salary Cap Increased for FY 2016.

Time to ask the boss for that big raise:  The maximum direct salary that someone may receive under an NIH grant or contract is now $185,100.

NIAID new fiscal year paylines

R01 (non-new PIs): 13 percentile
R01 (new PIs): 17 percentile

New Grant Awards

Anne Lenaerts (Primary PI), Dianne Ordway (Co-PI),"TO A-81 Task E Anti-Mycobacterial Evaluation of Chemical Entities in Mouse Models", HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy & Infect Diseases.

Delphi Chatterjee, "Sample Preparation and LFA Development for TB LAM", Global Good Intellectual Ventures Lab.

Emily Delvin Rout, "Clinician Scientist Fellowship Program", AKC Canine Health Foundation, Inc.

John Belisle, "BMAC CSU Core Facility Mass Spectrometry Services", HHS-CDC-Centers for Disease Control.

Karen Dobos, "Targeting MAIT Cells for TB Vaccines", Oregon Health Sciences University.

Mercedes Gonzalez-Juarrero, "Treatment of TB with Inhaled Delivery of Clofazimine", Aerophase, Inc.

John Spencer, “Brazilian Amazon Leprosy Consortium”, Heiser Grant Fund/The New York Community Trust.

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Do you have NEWS or PICTURES you would like to share?

Send In your ideas or newsworthy items. Contributions make the Newsletter better!










MIP Newsletter Volume 13, Issue 1, January 2016

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