May 2018
Vol. 15 | No. 4

Faculty Promotions

Zaid Abdo – Tenure

Brad Borlee – Associate Professor with tenure

Mercedes Gonzalez-Juarrero – Full Professor/non-tenure track

Angelo Izzo – Full Professor/non-tenure track

Candace Mathiason – Associate Professor

Jenny McLean- Associate Professor with tenure

Diane Ordway – Tenure

Linda Vap – Associate Professor/non-tenure track

Congratulations to All!

Jessica Gaevert

Each year the faculty of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology choose an outstanding graduating senior. The faculty who nominated Jessica Gaveart mentioned her enthusiasm for the subject of microbiology, outstanding attitude, and incredible work ethic. Jessica maintained a 3.93 GPA while serving as a leader and mentor in a variety of capacities and inspiring those around her to use science and microbiology as a platform to effect change locally and globally.

Jessica has served in many leadership roles on campus, but is most recognized as the President of the Microbiology Student Association, a student mentor, and ambassador for the MIP Department. She completed her honor’s thesis work on identifying synthetic antibody mimetics which discriminate between Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens in the lab of Dr. Karen Dobos.

Jessica is truly dedicated to making a positive impact on the world through science. After graduation, Jessica will pursue a PhD at St. Jude’s Research Hospital. 

Congratulations Jessica!


MIP Graduate Students who received their Degrees on May 11th...


Ashley Malmlov
Craig Miller
Chilinh Nguyen


Deandra Walker
Bernadette Maertens
Brian Studnicka
Christina Parise
Danielle Weaver
Erika Larson
Erin Faurote
Grace Rein
Hannah Morgan
Joseph Benes
Julia Shuff
Kelsey Lalonde
Lara Perinet
Liny Varghese
Morgan Marino
Nicole Thiry
Steve Le
Vigan Bajraktari
Alex Morrissette
McKenzie Osborn
Michelle Kahle 
Jennifer Olivier
Anthony Rafiti
Audrey Walker
Dawn Huggins
Dylan Merideth
Eric Palmer
Gladys Hill
Heather Luethe
Janna Smith
Kaitlyn Cook
Kendra David
Margaret Campbell
Sara Wist

MIP Undergraduate Students who received their B.S. Degrees on May 12th...

Accardi, Sarah
Atkinson, Samantha
Bailey, AnnaMarie
Berner, Morgan
Bishop, Katrina
Blackwood, Robin
Brown, George
Dilley, Shakota
Faulkner, Robin
Fulcer, McKenzie
Gaevert, Jessica
Gordon, Elizabeth
Heintzelman, Alexander
Herrera, Jessica
Higbee, Taylor
Hoffman, Siana
Horn, Kadi
Israel, Brett
Jorgensen, Taylor
Kendall, Edward
Keto, Jordan
Laschober, Tessa
Lunsford, Rosalina
MacNeill, Blaire
Mack, Laurie
Martin, Elizabeth
Mikula, Sierra
Miller, Alison
Read, Jenna
Read, Lindsay
Robb, Lucy
Rose-Williams, Jordan
Rymerson, Trevor
Scott, Dashick
Smith, McKenzie
Stevens, Alexander
Tanner, Samantha
Taylor, Jessica
Washam, Rachel


Bob Ellis Celebrates 40 Years at CSU

Shortly after midnight on January 1, 1978, a young man arrived in Fort Collins to start his career at CSU.  That young man, Bob Ellis, recently celebrated his 40 year milestone anniversary at CSU this Spring!  Bob says he has seen great advancements in our university, and especially in our department over the years.

Congratulations Bob!!!

Sue VandeWoude Nominated for a Graduate Student Council Advising Award

Congrats to Sue VandeWoude on her nomination for the 4th Annual Graduate Advising and Mentorship Award sponsored by the Graduate Student Council.

A Sneak Peek into Spring Graduation 2018

Identification of small molecule inhibitors of the Chikungunya virus nsP1 RNA capping enzyme

Kristen Feibelman, Benjamin Fuller, Linfeng Li, Daniel LaBarbera and Brian Geiss

Antiviral Research, April 20, 2018  doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2018.03.013

There’s a lot of talk these days about the high price of drugs – but did you ever think of the high price you may pay if you contract a disease for which there are no drugs available to alleviate symptoms?  Take for example contracting Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) from an all-too-friendly mosquito in your locale (that, oh I don’t know, perhaps doesn’t have a rationale mosquito abatement program in place).  You could very well end up with debilitating joint pain for months or even years.  Thus drug research and development are key investments towards our public health and well-being.

Brian Geiss, who one might call an MIP Drug Lord based (I hope…..) on his antiviral therapeutic patent history), set out with his team to screen over 3000 compounds to find a small molecule drug to block a key step in the CHIKV life cycle – the capping of its mRNA.  Without a cap, the RNAs are subject to getting sunburned – ooops I mean getting degraded by cellular enzymes – and thus the infection goes caput.  Kristen et al found 35 strong hits and focused on 4 of them based on two things – the time honored Lipinski’s Rules for identifying drug-like compounds and what we’ll call ‘Geiss’ Rule’:  the compound must be commercially available and can’t be too expensive. They assessed inhibitory constants (Ki), selectivity for the CHIKV capping enzyme, (in other words, delete “focused on 4 small molecules and ability to block alphavirus infections.  The most promising compound they found was lobaric acid, a phenolic compound from lichens that could block enzymatic activity in the low uM range as well as greatly reduce CHIKV replication.  Previous work has also demonstrated that lobaric acid may be able to do a lot of additional things in cells – for example block the activity of some transcription factors (CBP/p300), inhibit enzymes in the arachidonic acid pathway, and has anti-cancer properties.  The Geiss Lab’s work adds antiviral activity to this list of activities for this promising natural product.

So why did we choose this paper on a phenolic small molecule from that hardy fungal/algal composite we call lichens as our coveted MIPublication of the Month© for May?  First and foremost, we badly need drugs to combat pathogens like CHIKV, and it was great to see the Geiss Gang put their fluorescence polarization assays for capping inhibitors to good use.  Second, lichens are simply among the coolest biota on the planet – so what’s not to like about lichens?  Finally, go to figure 2 of the paper and play ‘Connect-the-Dots’.  Whoever comes up with the most creative image will get a free one year’s subscription to the MIPnews ….

MIP Publications May 2018

Miller C, Abdo Z, Ericsson A, Elder J, VandeWoude S.  Applications of the FIV Model to Study HIV Pathogenesis.  Viruses. 2018 Apr 20;10(4). pii: E206. doi: 10.3390/v10040206.

Campbell CL, Phillips AT, Rico A, McGuire A, Aboellail TA, Quackenbush S, Olson KE, Schountz T.  Involvement of Pro-Inflammatory Macrophages in Liver Pathology of Pirital Virus-Infected Syrian Hamsters.  Viruses. 2018 May 2;10(5). pii: E232. doi: 10.3390/v10050232.

McAloney CA, Sharkey LC, Feeney DA, Seelig DM, Avery AC, Jessen CR.  Evaluation of the diagnostic utility of cytologic examination of renal fine-needle aspirates from dogs and the use of ultrasonographic features to inform cytologic diagnosis.  J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2018 May 15;252(10):1247-1256.

Martin SE, Nguyen CM, Basaraba RJ, Melander C.  Analogue synthesis reveals decoupling of antibiofilm and β-lactam potentiation activities of a lead 2-aminoimidazole adjuvant against Mycobacterium smegmatis.  Chem Biol Drug Des. 2018 Apr 16. doi: 10.1111/cbdd.13208.

Saavedra-Rodriguez K, Maloof FV, Campbell CL, Garcia-Rejon J, Lenhart A, Penilla P, Rodriguez A, Sandoval AA, Flores AE, Ponce G, Lozano S, Black WC 4th.  Parallel evolution of vgsc mutations at domains IS6, IIS6 and IIIS6 in pyrethroid resistant Aedes aegypti from Mexico.  Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 30;8(1):6747. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-25222-0.

Blitvich BJ, Beaty BJ, Blair CD, Brault AC, Dobler G, Drebot MA, Haddow AD, Kramer LD, LaBeaud AD, Monath TP, Mossel EC, Plante K, Powers AM, Tesh RB, Turell MJ, Vasilakis N, Weaver SC.  Bunyavirus Taxonomy: Limitations and Misconceptions Associated with the Current ICTV Criteria Used for Species Demarcation.  Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2018 Apr 23. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.18-0038.

Maes P, ….. Calisher CH, ….. Stenglein MD, …….et al. Taxonomy of the family Arenaviridae and the order Bunyavirales: update 2018.  Arch Virol. 2018 Apr 21. doi: 10.1007/s00705-018-3843-5

De P, McNeil M, Xia M, Boot CM, Hesser DC, Denef K, Rithner C, Sours T, Dobos KM, Hoft D, Chatterjee D.  Structural determinants in a glucose-containing lipopolysaccharide from <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i> critical for inducing a subset of protective T cells.  J Biol Chem. 2018 May 1. pii: jbc.RA118.002582. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.002582.

Bumgardner SA, Zhang L, LaVoy AS, Andre B, Frank CB, Kajikawa A, Klaenhammer TR, Dean GA.  Nod2 is required for antigen-specific humoral responses against antigens orally delivered using a recombinant Lactobacillus vaccine platform.  PLoS One. 2018 May 7;13(5):e0196950. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196950.

Diaz G, Bridges C, Lucas M, Cheng Y, Schorey JS, Dobos KM, Kruh-Garcia NA.  Protein Digestion, Ultrafiltration, and Size Exclusion Chromatography to Optimize the Isolation of Exosomes from Human Blood Plasma and Serum.  J Vis Exp. 2018 Apr 13;(134). doi: 10.3791/57467.

Gorman MJ, Caine EA, Zaitsev K, Begley MC, Weger-Lucarelli J, Uccellini MB, Tripathi S, Morrison J, Yount BL, Dinnon KH 3rd, Rückert C, Young MC, Zhu Z, Robertson SJ, McNally KL, Ye J, Cao B, Mysorekar IU, Ebel GD, Baric RS, Best SM, Artyomov MN, Garcia-Sastre A, Diamond MS.  An Immunocompetent Mouse Model of Zika Virus Infection.  Cell Host Microbe. 2018 May 9;23(5):672-685.

Feibelman KM, Fuller BP, Li L, LaBarbera DV, Geiss BJ.  Identification of small molecule inhibitors of the Chikungunya virus nsP1 RNA capping enzyme.  Antiviral Res. 2018 Apr 20;154:124-131.

Davidson RB, Hendrix J, Geiss BJ, McCullagh M.  Allostery in the dengue virus NS3 helicase: Insights into the NTPase cycle from molecular simulations.  PLoS Comput Biol. 2018 Apr 16;14(4):e1006103. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006103.

Madacki J, Laval F, Grzegorzewicz A, Lemassu A, Záhorszká M, Arand M, McNeil M, Daffé M, Jackson M, Lanéelle MA, KordKorduláková J.  Impact of the epoxide hydrolase EphD on the metabolism of mycolic acids in mycobacteria.  J Biol Chem. 2018 Apr 6;293(14):5172-5184.

Blanc L, Lenaerts A, Dartois V, Prideaux B.  Visualization of Mycobacterial Biomarkers and Tuberculosis Drugs in Infected Tissue by MALDI-MS Imaging.  Anal Chem. 2018 Apr 26. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.8b00985.

Lyons MA.  Modeling and Simulation of Pretomanid Pharmacokinetics in Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients.  Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2018 Apr 16. pii: AAC.02359-17. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02359-17.

Miller C, Emanuelli M, Fink E, Musselman E, Mackie R, Troyer R, Elder J, VandeWoude S.  FIV vaccine with receptor epitopes results in neutralizing antibodies but does not confer resistance to challenge.  NPJ Vaccines. 2018 Apr 30;3:16. doi: 10.1038/s41541-018-0051-y.

Sprague WS, Troyer RM, Zheng X, Wood BA, Macmillian M, Carver S, VandeWoude S.  Prior Puma Lentivirus Infection Modifies Early Immune Responses and Attenuates Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in Cats.  Viruses. 2018 Apr 20;10(4). pii: E210. doi: 10.3390/v10040210.


World TB Day

Another successful World TB Day is in the books!

Check out the photos here.

Thank You for Making CURC a Success!

We would like to thank the faculty who mentored MIP students to participate in the CURC- celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creativity symposium in April. Here is the list of the 10 MIP students who received awards. Please join us in congratulating the following students and their mentors:

Student Major Mentors Award
Maxwell Drummond

Gregg Dean, Allison Vilander

Highest Honors
Denis Iavornic

Randy Basaraba, Forsset Ackart

Highest Honors
Rachel Washam

Carolin Mehaffy, Karen Dobos, Nicole Kruh-Garcia

Highest Honors
Taylor Clarkson

Brian Foy, Terza Magalhaes

High Honors
Sarah Cooper

Ed Hoover, Clare Hoover

High Honors
Ciara Suggs

Ashhey McGrew, Molly Carpenter

High Honors
Garin Wilson

Amy Macneill

High Honors
Jesscia Gaevert

Karen Dobos

College Honors
Joseph Gallegos

Jifeng bian, Julie Moreno, Glenn Telling

College Honors
Alexis Robison

Claudia Ruekert

College Honors
See the pictures here.

Spring is in the Air

MIP held its annual Spring picnic this month. See some more photos here.

The Results from the Departmental Committee Elections are in!

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

Advisory Committee
Bill Black, 3 year term to begin 8/15/18
Christine Olver, 3 year term to begin 8/15/18

Graduate Education Committee
Brad Borlee, 3 year term to begin 8/15/18

PTR Committee
Jeff Wilusz, 3 year term to begin 12/15/18
Doreene Hyatt, 3 year term to begin 12/15/18

Undergraduate Education Committee
Alan Schenkel, 3 year term to begin 8/15/18
Marcela Henao-Tamayo, 2 year term to begin 8/15/18

Microbiology Student Association Gets Crafty

Microbiology students held a ‘Craft Night’ this Spring and channeled their inner bioengineering child through playing giant Jenga.

MSA Welcomes New Members

Welcome new, incoming MSA board members!

Julian Mylius – Outreach/Volunteer Coordinator

Ayla Avalos-Morales– Publicity Coordinator

Danielle Schulist – Events Coordinator/Director of Fun

In the News...

Alex Byas:  Official Tick Grinder and Virus Extractor


Pat Cole was recently given a certificate for “Excellence in Latin” for her outstanding involvement in the Latin program. Contact her to find out what the headline means…….


Orme Arrives at 'Camp'

Ian Orme recently arrived at his summer cabin in upstate New York and wasn’t disappointed by the night views.  We’re not sure, but we think that the green haze on the horizon is New Jersey…….

MIPers attend the Class of 1988 CSU DVM Reunion

Where did those 30 years go???

Tanzania Travelers

Dan Hartman and Dr. Anna Fagre from the Kading lab traveled to Tanzania to work with collaborators at the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI).  As part of a new collaboration with UC Davis and the IHI, they participated in a DTRA-sponsored study focused on the interepidemic transmission of Rift Valley fever virus.  Dan and Anna identified the vertebrate source of blood meals in engorged, field-collected mosquitoes, and tested out several trap types to gather pilot data in preparation for future field studies

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.

Mark your Calendar! Rocky Mountain Virology Club- 18th Annual Meeting

The annual Rocky Mountain Virology Club Meeting is scheduled for September 28-30th at Pingree Park. There is a lineup of prestigious speakers invited for another exciting meeting.

See more info here.

As if Hanging out with Grad Students Wasn't Enough of an Adrenaline Rush...

Collette Hageman: Part-time Academic Coordinator, Part-Time Adrenaline Junkie.


MIP Bits

Infectious Disease is one of the few genuine adventures left in the world

-Hans Zinsser

Choose your Caption

Good times were had by all at the Micro-MSB Program pre-graduation party

Alternate Captions:

1. They say that truly effective leaders never rest, don't they?

2. Stop the presses! Jeff doesn't have a beverage in his hand...

3. Relaxing after a long semester, Dr. Wilusz is blissfully unaware that two dozen students have snuck up on him from behind to argue about final grades...

4. Submit your own.

Dr. Wilusz Makes the Front Page of the Denver Post

Where's Waldo, I mean Wilusz?

New Investigators – NIAID recommendation regarding effort on grants
NIAID recently came out with the following advice regarding the amount of effort new investigators should put on their grants:  “As a rule of thumb, put in at least 25 percent effort on each application you submit.  Reviewers may accept lower levels of effort from well-established, high-performing PIs who have demonstrated stellar research performance over an extended period of time. Since you don't yet have a comparable track record, they'll likely raise concerns over a low level of effort.”

TB Portals – a unique resource on patient data and analytics for TB researchers
TB Portals is a web-based, open-access platform that contains de-identified data from TB patients (in particular those with MDR/XDR TB) in high-burden countries, especially those with MDR/XDR-TB.  Mtb strain info, along with socio-behavioral, clinical, and imaging data on over 1,250 cases can be accessed through the site’s central Data Portal.
Read more about it at

New Grant Awards

Ramesh Akkina, "Multi-Species Mechanisms of Drug Bio-Distribution in HIV Tissue Reservoirs," HHS-NIH-National Institutes of Health.

Randy Basaraba, "Project 3: Metabolic Factors that Control the Spectrum of Human Tuberculosis," "Core D: Metabolic Factors that Control the Spectrum of Human Tuberculosis," "Project 1: Metabolic Factors that Control the Spectrum of Human Tuberculosis," "Project 2: Metabolic Factors that Control the Spectrum of Human Tuberculosis," "Supplement: Impact of Vitamin A Deficiency on TB Progression and Immunity," HHS-NIH-National Institutes of Health.

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

Greg Ebel, "Testing of Mosquito Pools for West Nile Virus, Town of Berthoud, 2018," Town of Berthoud.

Ed Hoover,"PMCA Detection of CWD Infection in Cervid and Non-Cervid Species," HHS-NIH-Neurological Disorders and Stroke. "

Ken Olson, "Engineering resistance to Zika virus in Aedes aegypti for Cas9 driven population modification," HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy and Infect Diseases.

Kelly Santangelo, "Iron Accumulation as a Driver of Osteoarthritis During Aging," HHS-NIH-Arthritis, Musculoskel, and Skin.

Ric Slayden, "Service Study for Leidos," Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc..

Sue VandeWoude, "Relationship of feline endogenous retroviral expression to individual genotype and impacts on FeLV susceptibility," Winn Feline Foundation.

June 2018
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Summer Census

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July 2018
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Univ Holiday

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Summer Repeat/Delete deadline




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MIP Newsletter Volume 15, Issue 4, May 2018

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