March 2018
Vol. 15 | No. 2

Researcher Spotlight

Editor’s note:  We hope that you enjoy this new MIPnews feature spearheaded by MIPnews ‘correspondent’ (and hard-working student) Jackson Watkins. 

As researchers, we are dedicated to the work that we perform in the lab. But as humans, we are still dynamic in our interests. These short spotlights aim to highlight some of the cool things we do at work, and outside of it, in an attempt to better connect us to one another.

Our first researcher spotlight focuses on Carolina Mehaffy. She began her life in research in Bogotá, Colombia studying Rhodnius prolixus population genetics. Despite their adorable “kissing bug” moniker, R. prolixus are vectors for Chagas disease, which is generally transmitted when the bugs suck on your face (kissing... right?). At CSU, Carolina studies "Mucosal associated invariant T-cells," or “MAIT” cells, as a potential target for a Tuberculosis vaccine. MAIT cells appear to have potential as vaccine targets because of their abundance in the human lungs and mucosa, along with an innate ability to detect Mtb infected cells. Additionally, Carolina coordinates student activities for the Karen Dobos' laboratory, qualifies products for the lab’s BEI contract with CSU, and works with the PMF targeted proteomics program.   
In January, Carolina appeared on the HGTV program “House Perfect,” where her house was being renovated. Carolina noted how excited she was about the renovation, which looked great. I noticed that the host had a really nice beard, which rivaled the stoic majesty of the Mehaffy family’s new cedar entry door. Though the episode already aired, it can likely be found on the internet, if you are so inclined.

In addition to home renovations, Carolina spends her time backpacking, hiking, and with her family. Rumor has it that she is also a seriously good dancer.

2018 CMB/BMB/MCIN Poster Symposium Success

Tom Bickett was among the symposium award winners for his poster entitled ‘Innate Immunity Induced by BCG’.


See more symposium photos here.

The Vet Diagnostic Lab is proud to announce that it has passed another AAVLD accreditation with flying colors.  That means full accreditation for the next 5 years!  Congrats to all on this significant recognition.

Dynamic remodeling of lipids coincides with dengue virus replication in the midgut of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Nunya Chotiwan, Barbara Andre, Irma Sanchez-Vargas, M. Nurul Islam, Jeffrey Grabowski, Amber Hopf-Jannasch, Erik Gough, Ernesto Nakayasu, Carol Blair, John Belisle, Catherine Hill, Richard Kuhn, and Rushika Perera

PLoS Pathogens 14(2):   February 15, 2018

Flaviviruses, just like any couch potato you know (and perhaps love), enjoy fatty foods and let lipids play a major role in their lives.  Once they get inside of your cells, flaviviruses lounge around for hours upon hours on a comfy cushion of endoplasmic reticulum-like membranes, watching everything around them slowly deteriorate.  Thanks to the FDA, your typical human couch potato can read the Nutrition Facts Labels on their favorite junk food and figure out what fats they are using and consuming.  But there isn’t a federal agency-mandated label posted inside cells to tell that a flavivirus that is sprawled out and reclining in the cytoplasm what lipids it is using and how those fats might be affecting its biology.  That is until now…..

In a 35 page powerhouse of a publication, Rushika Perera and colleagues have painstakingly created that Nutrition Facts Label for lipid-loving Dengue viruses to read when they infect and lounge around in their mosquito vector Aedes aegypti.  The group used a stringent analysis of LC-MS metabolomics data to identify 936 molecular features that are significantly changed when DENV infects a skeeter’s midgut.  83% of these changes represented increases in these metabolites, suggesting that the virus is actively remodeling its environment to support its replication.  Although 61% of these changed metabolites remain to be identified, analysis of the identifiable portion revealed an array of lipids that provide interesting clues to the life and times of a virus infection from the metabolomics perspective.  87 different glycophospholipids – compounds that impact membrane shape and function - are altered in DENV infection.  Eight glycolipids – compounds involved in energy metabolism - are increased.  Numerous sphingolipids are altered - and there are clear indications that affecting the balance of specific types of sphingolipids can dramatically affect viral replication. Nine classes of fatty acids and 21 classes of sterol lipids are upregulated.  Finally, 26 acyl-carnitines are changed – suggesting that viral infection appears to cause alterations in β-oxidation associated with ATP production.   Collectively, these dynamic changes in the metabolic environment paint an in depth picture of what is happening to fundamental cellular processes during a viral infection.

So why did we choose to highlight this study as our coveted MIPublication of the Month©?   First it represents a fundamental tour-de-force application of cutting-edge metabolomics to investigate an important but understudied aspect of virus–mosquito interactions.   There can be little doubt that understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie the changes in many of the 936 compounds that were uncovered in the study will lead to novel insights into dengue virus biology and/or diagnostic markers/therapeutic targets.  Second, the study once again shows the palpable synergy present among MIP faculty as bacteriologists (John) and virologists (Rushika and Carol) came together to effectively attack a challenging scientific question.  Finally, the paper is Rushika’s first as a US Citizen.  ‘Fat’ chance it’ll be her last……

MIP Publications May 2017

Stenkamp-Strahm C, McConnel C, Magzamen S, Abdo Z, Reynolds S.  Associations between Escherichia coli O157 shedding and the faecal microbiota of dairy cows.  J Appl Microbiol. 2018 Mar;124(3):881-898. doi: 10.1111/jam.13679.

Rout ED, Burnett RC, Labadie JD, Yoshimoto JA, Avery AC.  Preferential use of unmutated immunoglobulin heavy variable region genes in Boxer dogs with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.  PLoS One. 2018 Jan 31;13(1):e0191205. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191205.

Weishaar KM, Ehrhart EJ, Avery AC, Charles JB, Elmslie RE, Vail DM, London CA, Clifford CA, Eickhoff JC, Thamm DH.  c-Kit Mutation and Localization Status as Response Predictors in Mast Cell Tumors in Dogs Treated with Prednisone and Toceranib or Vinblastine.  J Vet Intern Med. 2018 Jan;32(1):394-405. doi: 10.1111/jvim.14889.

Hughes KL, Labadie JD, Yoshimoto JA, Dossey JJ, Burnett RC, Avery AC.  Increased frequency of CD45 negative T cells (T zone cells) in older Golden retriever dogs.  Vet Comp Oncol. 2018 Mar;16(1):E109-E116. doi: 10.1111/vco.12343. Epub 2017 Sep 14.

Evans SJM, Frank CB, Avery PR, Moore AR.  What is your diagnosis? Subcutaneous mass on a dog.  Vet Clin Pathol. 2018 Feb 14. doi: 10.1111/vcp.12551.

Shikani AH, Khoueir N, Jabra-Rizk MA, Shikani HJ, Basaraba RJ, Leid JG.  Topical therapy for refractory rhinosinusitis caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: First report in a prospective series.  Auris Nasus Larynx. 2018 Feb 6. pii: S0385-8146(17)30613-2.

Silva CAM, Belisle JT.  Host Lipid Mediators in Leprosy: The Hypothesized Contributions to Pathogenesis.  Front Immunol. 2018 Feb 2;9:134. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00134.

Chotiwan N, Andre BG, Sanchez-Vargas I, Islam MN, Grabowski JM, Hopf-Jannasch A, Gough E, Nakayasu E, Blair CD, Belisle JT, Hill CA, Kuhn RJ, Perera R.  Dynamic remodeling of lipids coincides with dengue virus replication in the midgut of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.  PLoS Pathog. 2018 Feb 15;14(2):e1006853. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006853.

Mattingly AE, Kamatkar N, Borlee BR, Shrout JD.  Multiple environmental factors influence the importance of the phosphodiesterase DipA upon Pseudomonas aeruginosa swarming.  Appl Environ Microbiol. 2018 Feb 2. pii: AEM.02847-17. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02847-17.

Brooks KM, George JM, Pau AK, Rupert A, Mehaffy C, De P, Dobos KM, Kellogg A, McLaughlin M, McManus M, Alfaro RM, Hadigan C, Kovacs JA, Kumar P.  Cytokine-Mediated Systemic Adverse Drug Reactions in a Drug-Drug Interaction Study of Dolutegravir with Once-Weekly Isoniazid and Rifapentine.  Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Feb 3. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciy082.

Iodence AE, Olsen AM, McGilvray KC, Duncan CG, Duerr FM.  Use of pressure mapping for quantitative analysis of pressure points induced by external coaptation of the distal portion of the pelvic limb of dogs.  Am J Vet Res. 2018 Mar;79(3):317-323.

Rückert C, Ebel GD.  How Do Virus-Mosquito Interactions Lead to Viral Emergence?  Trends Parasitol. 2018 Jan 2. pii: S1471-4922(17)30306-9. doi: 10.1016/

Srisa-Art M, Boehle KE, Geiss BJ, Henry CS.  Highly Sensitive Detection of Salmonella typhimurium Using a Colorimetric Paper-Based Analytical Device Coupled with Immunomagnetic Separation.  Anal Chem. 2018 Jan 2;90(1):1035-1043.

Haley NJ, Richt JA, Davenport KA, Henderson DM, Hoover EA, Manca M, Caughey B, Marthaler D, Bartz J, Gilch S.  Design, implementation, and interpretation of amplification studies for prion detection.  Prion. 2018 Feb 22:1-25. doi: 10.1080/19336896.2018.1443000.

Haley NJ, Henderson DM, Wycoff S, Tennant J, Hoover EA, Love D, Kline E, Lehmkuhl A, Thomsen B.  Chronic wasting disease management in ranched elk using rectal biopsy testing.  Prion. 2018 Feb 22:1-16. doi: 10.1080/19336896.2018.1436925.

Rampacci E, Bottinelli M, Stefanetti V, Hyatt DR, Sgariglia E, Coletti M, Passamonti F.  Antimicrobial susceptibility survey on bacterial agents of canine and feline Urinary Tract Infections: weight of the empirical treatment.  J Glob Antimicrob Resist. 2018 Feb 3. pii: S2213-7165(18)30013-4.

Madacki J, Laval F, Grzegorzewicz A, Lemassu A, Záhorszká M, Arand M, McNeil M, Daffé M, Jackson M, Lanéelle MA, Korduláková J.  Impact of the epoxide hydrolase EphD on the metabolism of mycolic acids in mycobacteria.  J Biol Chem. 2018 Feb 22. pii: jbc.RA117.000246. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA117.000246

Angala SK, Palčeková Z, Belardinelli JM, Jackson M.  Covalent modifications of polysaccharides in mycobacteria.  Nat Chem Biol. 2018 Feb 14;14(3):193-198.

Mutebi JP, Crabtree MB, Kading RC, Powers AM, Ledermann JP, Mossel EC, Zeidner N, Lutwama JJ, Miller BR.  Mosquitoes of Northwestern Uganda.  J Med Entomol. 2018 Feb 12. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjx220.

Verin R, Cian F, Stewart J, Binanti D, MacNeill AL, Piviani M, Monti P, Baroni G, Le Calvez S, Scase TJ, Finotello R.  Canine Clitoral Carcinoma: A Clinical, Cytologic, Histopathologic, Immunohistochemical, and Ultrastructural Study.  Vet Pathol. 2018 Jan 1:300985818759772. doi: 10.1177/0300985818759772.

Banerjee A, Misra V, Schountz T, Baker ML.  Tools to study pathogen-host interactions in bats.  Virus Res. 2018 Feb 15;248:5-12. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2018.02.013.

Salgado CG, Barreto JG, da Silva MB, Goulart IMB, Barreto JA, de Medeiros Junior NF, Nery JA, Frade MAC, Spencer JS.  Are leprosy case numbers reliable?  Lancet Infect Dis. 2018 Feb 18(2):135-137.

Kuzmina TA, Tkach VV, Spraker TR, Lyons ET, Kudlai O.  Digeneans of northern fur seals Callorhinus ursinus (Pinnipedia: Otariidae) from five subpopulations on St. Paul Island, Alaska.  Parasitol Res. 2018 Feb 12. doi: 10.1007/s00436-018-5784-z

Yuan Q, Telling G, Bartelt-Hunt SL, Bartz JC.  Dehydration of prions on environmentally relevant surfaces protects them from inactivation by freezing and thawing.  J Virol. 2018 Jan 31. pii: JVI.02191-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02191-17.

Hyndman TH, Shilton CM, Stenglein MD, Wellehan JFX Jr..  Divergent bornaviruses from Australian carpet pythons with neurological disease date the origin of extant Bornaviridae prior to the end-Cretaceous extinction.  PLoS Pathog. 2018 Feb 20;14(2):e1006881. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006881.

Fraser D, Mouton A, Serieys LEK, Cole S, Carver S, Vandewoude S, Lappin M, Riley SPD, Wayne R.  Genome-wide expression reveals multiple systemic effects associated with detection of anticoagulant poisons in bobcats (Lynx rufus).  Mol Ecol. 2018 Feb 9. doi: 10.1111/mec.14531.

Nabity MB, Harr KE, Camus MS, Flatland B, Vap LM.  ASVCP guidelines: Allowable total error hematology.  Vet Clin Pathol. 2018 Feb 11. doi: 10.1111/vcp.12583.

Claudio Guedes Salgado, John Stewart Spencer,  Angélica Rita Gobbo, Ana Caroline Cunha Messias, atiana Vinasco Sandoval, André Mauricio Ribeiro dos Santos, Fabiano Cordeiro Moreira, Amanda Ferreira Vidal, Luiz Ricardo Goulart, Josafá Gonçalves Barreto, Moisés Batista da Silva, Marco Andrey Cipriani Frade, Sidney Santos, Ândrea Ribeiro-dos-Santos:miRNome Expression Analysis Reveals New Players on Leprosy Immune Physiopathology. Frontiers in Immunology. 2018 March 9. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00463.


It is with very heavy hearts that we share the news that Sheridan Potter, a graduate of our Micro undergraduate program in 2004 and a former PhD candidate (2010-2015), passed away recently. Sheridan was a double major in Microbiology and Animal Sciences, with a minor in Anthropology. She frequently presented posters at the Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium in both Microbiology and Anthropology and in many years won awards for both presentations. She was an engaged and wonderful student that will be greatly missed.

In honor of Sheridan, $2500 will be given annually every Fall to an undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology pursing research in MIP.   To donate, checks can be made out to “CSU Foundation.” Please write “Sheridan Potter Scholarship” in the memo section.

Infectious Disease PRSE Scientific Symposium Coming in June

The Infectious Disease PRSE and Colorado State University is hosting a scientific symposium entitled “Metabolism of Infectious Diseases” on June 12th - 15th, 2018. The symposium will bring together scientists representing a breadth of infectious diseases and immunology research, with a collective interest in studying the metabolism of pathogens and their hosts.  We invite you to participate in this symposium and interact with scientists that share an interest in this area of research. 

See more on the symposium here.

Chotiwan Dissects Her Way to Fame on Instagram

Chotiwan made it on CSU’s Instagram for her facebooklive tour on how she dissects mosquitoes. See her tour here.

Path Lab Olympics

Residents of 2nd floor of the Pathology Bldg recently participated in a floor wide Lab Olympics. The ‘Nations’ of  Mathiason/Hoover, Avery, SVRG (Sue VandeWoude Research Group) and Santangelo competed in grueling events of skill including a pipette refill relay race, pipette tip shooting and a lab luge. The Gold Medal winner was the Mathiason /Hoover lab. 

Miss watching the winter Olympics? Check out these photos and reminisce.

All the hard work paid off! Rushika recently became a U.S. citizen.


An Experiment Gone Bubbles

MIP Professor emeritus Ralph Smith snapped this mesmerizing photo of a frozen bubble while braving the cold to conduct an experiment on his back deck.

Get Your CURC On

Registration for Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity (CURC), CSU’s annual undergraduate research showcase, is now open and we invite faculty and staff to sign-up to help judge this event at CURC will take place on Monday, April 16, 2018 from 10:30AM to 1:30PM in the LSC Grand Ballrooms, and a complimentary lunch will be served during this time.

Questions can be directed to  Melissa Edwards (, Associate Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry (OURA).  We look forward to seeing you there!

See details here.


Important:  To better protect faculty, staff and student identities, CSU will begin implementing two-factor authentication.
Beginning Wednesday, April 25th, anyone using the web portal, the Pulse Secure desktop, or a mobile client to connect to CSU will be required to use Duo Two-factor authentication to complete their login.

To register your second device go to: www.authenticate.colostate. Registration begins March 19th. For additional information on Duo visit:





MIP Bits

"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month."

-Theodore Roosevelt

Choose your Caption

The Associate Department Head for Research shows that he hasn’t lost his touch for labwork

Alternate Captions:

1. Dr. Belisle getting ‘in the weigh’ of research

2. Dr. Belisle continues to wear his lucky blue lab coat that he was given in 5th grade.

3. Be honest now- how many of you grad students and postdocs would you be willing to use a solution made by your PI?

5.Submit your own.

NIAID announces a new program to promote research in TB-associated immunology

Check it out here.

Confused about what NIH-sponsored training programs might be the best fit for you:

Check out this overview of what’s available here.

Need to obtain or replace some major equipment?  The S10 grant application deadline is May 31st

   For more information, read this.  

Tired of what you are studying and want to start doing some really interesting research?

We are pleased to report that it might be time to jump on the RNA bandwagon as NIAID has chosen ‘Elucidating the Functional Roles of Non-Coding RNAs in Viral Infectious Diseases’ as one of its major concept initiatives for FY2019.

New Grant Awards

Zaid Abdo: "Specific Coop Agreement with APHIS Scientists also cost share for internal funded 16 account," USDA-APHIS-Animal Plant Health Insp Srvc.

John Belisle: "Biology and Biosignatures of Anti-Tuberculosis Treatment Response," HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy and Infect Diseases.

Black IV,William (Primary PI) Olson,Kenneth E (Co-PI), Borlee,Bradley Robert (Co-PI), Foy,Brian D (Co-PI) Kading,Rebekah (Co-PI), Brennan,Carol D : "Isolation, characterization and transformation of natural endosymbiotic bacteria from Aedes aegypti for paratransgenesis to establish refractoriness to infection and transmission of Zika," Pebble Labs.

Dean Crick: "Menaquinone Biosynthesis: A Drug Target in Gram-Positive Bacteria," HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy and Infect Diseases.

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

Brian Geiss(Primary PI), Jeff Wilusz: "Mechanism of Flavivirus RNA Capping,"HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy and Infect Diseases.

MacNeill,Amy Leone (Primary PI); Weishaar,Kristen Marie; Seguin,Bernard: "Combination use of a Janus kinase inhibitor and a recombinant myxoma virus to treat sarcomas," Elsa U. Pardee Foundation.

Greg Robertson: "In vivo validation of TenNor dual-acting antibiotics," TenNor Therapeutics, Ltd..

Rick Slayden: "Efficacy study for POP Test Oncology LLC." Palisades Therapeutics.

Sue VandeWoude: "Genomics of Wildlife Disease Workshop," NSF-National Science Foundation.

Jeff Wilusz: "Post-Transcriptional RNA Regulons in Stem Cells," HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy and Infect Diseases.

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MIP Newsletter Volume 15, Issue 2, March 2018

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