August 2016
Vol. 13 | No. 8

MIP Student Takes Home the Gold at International WDA Conference

Congratulations to Kristen Davenport, DVM/PhD Student and prion researcher extraordinaire for winning the Terry Amundsen Student Oral Presentation Award for her talk entitled ‘The Species Barriers and Public Health Threat of CWD and BSE Prions’ at the 65th Annual International Wildlife Disease Association International Conference in New York this summer.

EJ Ehrhart Moving On to a New Position

MIP Professor Dr. E.J. Ehrhart recently announced that he’ll be leaving his current faculty position for employment in private industry in the area. 
After obtaining his DVM from the University of Missouri, EJ came to CSU to do his residency in Anatomic Pathology and continued on to get his PhD in Radiation Biology.   He then took a faculty position at the University of Illinois before returning to CSU in 2002 as an Associate Professor in our Department.  EJ rose through the ranks and was promoted to Full Professor in 2014.  For the last several years he also served as Director of the MIP Residency Programs.

EJ is an ACVP Board Certified Pathologist who ran the Molecular Pathology Laboratory (MPL) at the CSU Flint Animal Cancer Center where he specialized at evaluating disease processes at the molecular level.  Under EJ’s expert direction, the MPL has consistently grown and expanded over the years.  EJ has published ~100 research articles and book chapters in his career to date.  He was also extremely active and influential in our MIP residency programs and in the education arena.  Nationally, EJ was also a force in his field, serving as a member of the American College of Veterinary Pathology Examination Board and Training Program Review Task Force. 

The good news is that EJ will remain formally associated with the MIP Department as a Special Appointment Faculty member to continue some research work here.  We wish EJ all the best on his new adventure!!

Dr. Kruh Garcia wins ‘gold medal’ in the 2016 Biognosys Research Challenge

Congratulations to Nicole Kruh-Garcia for being named one of four winners in the Biognosys Research Challenge. Nicole’s project was named one of two of the most innovative projects using blood/urine samples that benefit from Biognosys’ Hyper Reaction Monitoring proteomics technology.  For more information, check out the company’s press release here.

Randy Basaraba Adds ‘Wedding Officiant’ to His CV

Congratulations to Jessie Haugen and Daniel Frenkel on their wedding.  The brave couple were married on August 13th by MIP’s own Randy Basaraba who served as officiant after being recently ordained. 

Rumor has it that Dr. Basaraba is currently learning ‘laboratory exorcisms’ to focus his ministry on warding off evil spirits that cause wonky data points and unfundable grant scores.

2016 MIP Office Olympics

To rhythmic chants of ‘MIP – MIP –MIP’, Department staff became athletes for an afternoon and participated in the first ever MIP Office Olympic Games on August 11th. 

Check out the photos here.

Microbiology BS Program graduate Jasmine Donkoh was recently featured in a CSU Source article.

Check out the full article here

Check out the Headliners in our MIP Fall Seminar Series

Now that America’s Got Talent® is over, be sure to mark your calendars to check out some of the amazing acts that we have scheduled in our MIP Department Fall seminar series:

Drs. Emmy de Wit and Vincent Munster, NIH Laboratory of Virology, Disease Modeling and Transmission Section, Hamilton, Montana.  Friday, Aug 19, 12:00-1:30pm, Path 103, simulcast in RIC D100.

Wednesday, August 31, 12:00-1:30 pm, Path 103, Dr. Brian Foy, candidate for promotion to Full Professor and Dr. Mary Jackson, candidate for promotion to Full Professor.

Dr. Mark Zabel, Wednesday, September 7, 12:00-1:30 pm, Path 103, candidate for promotion for Full Professor and Dr. Christine Olver, candidate for promotion to Full Professor.

Dr. Sushan Han, Wednesday, September 14, 12:00-1:00 pm, Path 103, candidate for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.

Dr. Greg Ebel, Wednesday, September 21, 12:00-1:30 pm, Path 103, candidate for promotion to Full Professor and Amy MacNeill, candidate for tenure.

Dr. Bruno Sobral, Director of One Health, will provide an update on the One Health Initiative Wednesday,October 19, 11:00 am, Path 103.

Andrew West, September 22, October 6 and November 2, Path 103, all from 12-1. Lunch will be provided, please RSVP when announced.

BCL2 and MYC are expressed at high levels in canine diffuse large B-cell lymphoma but are not predictive for outcome in dogs treated with CHOP chemotherapy

K. M. Curran, P. A. Schaffer, C. B. Frank,
S. E. Lana, L. E. Hamil, J. H. Burton, J. Labadie,
E. J. Ehrhart and P. R. Avery

Veterinary and Comparative Oncology
DOI: 10.1111/vco.12263

All of our friends are not created equal.  Some, for example, extend a paw instead of a hand when greeting you.  When a friend gets a cancer diagnosis, a key question that’s always on everyone’s mind is what are the chances of beating this challenge?  If the cancer is a diffuse B cell lymphoma, the most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the chances are in fact not bad.   It’s potentially curable with chemotherapy (10 year survival rate = 59%).   Two factors that help determine whether you’re likely to be on the good side of this statistical survival rate are (1) where the B cells came from (either immature cells from the germinal center of the lymph node or activated B cells from elsewhere) as well as (2) the gene expression profile of the tumor itself.  Recent data from human cancers suggested an intriguing association between the expression of two proteins, MYC and BCL2, and overall prognosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Could the expression of these two proteins also help veterinarians evaluate the clinical outcome of B cell lymphoma treatments in our furry friends?

Well Kaitlin and colleagues asked precisely that question - whether BCL2 and/or MYC levels had any prognostic value in the outcome of canine diffuse large B-cell lymphomas. They analyzed samples from 43 dogs who had undergone CHOP therapy at the Animal Cancer Center over a 7 year period.  While only 30-40% of B cell lymphomas in humans overexpress these two proteins, essentially all of the canine samples were double positive.  Not surprisingly then, the two markers had little value in predicting the outcome of canine B cell lymphoma.  What the MYC/BCL2 expression data did indicate, therefore, was that B cell lymphomas are likely much more homogeneous tumors in dogs than they are in humans. 

So why did we pick this paper for our first MIPublication of the Month © of the Fall semester?  First, it starts with a very reasonable hypothesis for assessing an important issue in veterinary cancer.  While the data refuted the hypothesis, the experimental design allowed for a very definitive decision to be made. There’s nothing worse in the world of research than spinning one’s wheels and not be able to decide whether or not your hypothesis is correct.  This study had a powerful design and adequate sample availability to allow the research group to make a clear call.  Thus it’s a very valuable contribution to the field.  Second, the study has four different MIP faculty on the author line, a possible record for 2016.  Thus it illustrates the great synergy that we love to tout within the MIP Department.  Finally, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the terrific research that EJ Ehrhart has contributed to while being on the MIP faculty and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.

MIP Publications August 2016

Curran KM, Schaffer PA, Frank CB, Lana SE, Hamil LE, Burton JH, Labadie J, Ehrhart EJ, Avery PR.  BCL2 and MYC are expressed at high levels in canine diffuse large B-cell lymphoma but are not predictive for outcome in dogs treated with CHOP chemotherapy.  Vet Comp Oncol. 2016 Aug 11. doi: 10.1111/vco.12263.

Calisher CH, Woodall JP.  Yellow Fever-More a Policy and Planning Problem than a Biological One.  Emerg Infect Dis. 2016 Oct 15;22(10). doi: 10.3201/eid2210.160875.

Peters BJ, Groninger AS, Fontes FL, Crick DC, Crans DC.  Differences in Interactions of Benzoic Acid and Benzoate with Interfaces.  Langmuir. 2016 Aug 2. [Epub ahead of print]

Palencia A, Li X, Bu W, Choi W, Ding CZ, Easom EE, Feng L, Hernandez V, Houston P, Liu L, Meewan M, Mohan M, Rock FL, Sexton H, Zhang S, Zhou Y, Wan B, Wang Y, Franzblau SG, Woolhiser L, Gruppo V, Lenaerts AJ, O'Malley T, Parish T, Cooper CB, Waters MG, Ma Z, Ioerger TR, Sacchettini JC, Rullas J, Angulo-Barturen I, Pérez-Herrán E, Mendoza A, Barros D, Cusack S, Plattner JJ, Alley MR.  Discovery of novel oral protein synthesis inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that target leucyl-tRNA synthetase.  Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016 Aug 8. pii: AAC.01339-16. [Epub ahead of print]

Schaffer PA, Barnes S.  Pathology in Practice.  J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2016 Jul 15;249(2):157-60. doi: 10.2460/javma.249.2.157

Bender HR, Kane S, Zabel MD.  Delivery of Therapeutic siRNA to the CNS Using Cationic and Anionic Liposomes.  J Vis Exp. 2016 Jul 23;(113). doi: 10.3791/54106.


GsO Rockies!

   Thanks to the MIP Graduate Student Organization for hosting a trip to Coors Field to see the Rockies take on the Nationals earlier this month.  Attendees got to enjoy a Rockies victory (along with a 2+ hour rain delay).

VDL Picnic Goes to the Dogs
(and cats)

The Veterinary Diagnostic Lab held their annual staff appreciation picnic on August 11.   Thanks to Michelle Miller for putting together this collage of the pets of VDL staff/resident/faculty pets.

Click here to view a larger version

Welcome MS-B Class of 2017!

The MIP Department extends a hearty welcome to the 40 brave souls who make up the 4th edition of our intensive Microbiology Masters Program.

Click here for the larger image.

Forrest Ackart hails from Averill Park, NY.  He attended CSU as an undergraduate is interested in tuberculosis research while pursuing his MS degree. In his free time he likes to ski, play soccer, and spend time with his children.

Megan Miller attended New Mexico State University as an undergraduate and is interested in pursuing a PhD in virology.  In her free time she enjoys rock climbing and is learning how to play softball to one day become a contributing member of the Headsquashers.

Shaun Cross attended Brigham Young University as an undergraduate and planning on doing virology research for his PhD.  In his free time he enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, fishing, playing volleyball, boating and skiing.

Daniel Hartman attended the University of Missouri- St. Louis and is interested in researching virology for his PhD.  In his free time he enjoys reading, hiking, and motorcycle mechanics.

Bridget Eklund attended North Dakota State University and is interested in studying prokaryotic biology for her PhD.  In her free time she enjoys running, hiking, camping, painting and riding her small motorcycle around town.

Molly Butler attended the University of Northern Colorado and is interested in researching virology for her PhD.  In her free time she enjoys hiking, baking, reading and playing with her beagle Jackson.

Kristy Burkhalter attended CSU as an undergraduate student and liked it so much she stayed here for her PhD studies.  She is interested in researching arboviruses and vector biology/ecology.  In her free time she enjoys reading, hiking, biking, cooking, playing softball and spending time with her family.

AIDL Headsquashers win ‘silver medal’ in City Summer Softball League

The Headsquashers softball team ended the summer season in second place in their league.   Come out to Lee Mosquito Park on Tuesday nights starting Aug. 23rd to cheer them on in the Fall season.

Zabel Team Training for Future World Record in Scientific Relay

Check out the excellent form illustrated above as the baton is passed from one researcher to another in the Zabel lab.

Get Ready to Saddle Up for the Annual Colorado Veterinary Medical Association Meeting

The annual CVMA meeting will be held September 22-25 in nearby Loveland, CO. Get more info here

Eeeek!!  The Registration Deadline for the 16th Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Virology Club Registration is Near

Registration is closing soon for the annual Rocky Mountain Virology Club Meeting (September 23-25th at Pingree Park).  Information on the meeting can be found here.

Mark your Calendars!  The Fall meeting of the Rocky Mountain Branch of the American Society for Microbiology will take place on November 5th at Regis University in Denver.  Stay tuned to next month’s MIPnews for more info.

An Idea for Honoring Dr. Klein

Alan Schenkel has an idea for a Dept t-shirt honoring Don Klein and the intellectual challenge that he posed to researchers who equate DNA with life:

The shirt would contain this figure from Don’s last published paper which summarizes his views on microbial ecology.  Life requires a defined set of factors within a given range – as is depicted in the figure for temperature and pH.   Outside of a defined range, there is no life – but importantly even within that range you might still detect non-living organic fragments or dormant organisms.  Thus concluding that there are living organisms in a specific environment solely based on detection of DNA (like M. avium inside a shower faucet) could be false.
Don was extremely proud and passionate of this idea and actively pursued this intellectual challenge to the folks who think detecting DNA = life.  
Alan Schenkel is currently assessing the degree of interest in this t shirt.  Please email him at if interested.

Brad Borlee and his wife Grace recently welcomed their son Jack Austin Borlee to this planet.

Usain looks a bit nervous seeing that there’s a Borlee growing up to challenge him in the future…..

MIP Bits

Happiness is a warm puppy.

Charles M. Schulz

Choose your Caption

A Meowth Pokemon tries to avoid getting caught by standing on Kristen’s head during the GSO trip to the Rockies game

Alternative Captions:

1. You know its time to wash your hair when……

2. “Hey – DOWN IN FRONT!  I can’t see the game….”

3. It’s just a matter of time before they add proper use of Potions, Hyper Potions and Revive to the CSU Vet Curriculum

4. The cat thinks its auditioning for the Headsquashers….

5.Submit your own.

Ever Wonder What a Pathologist Does In Between Necropsies?

Chef Gary Mason cooks ‘em up to order at the August VDL employee appreciation luncheon.

New NIAID website to launch in early September. A new tablet/mobile friendlier NIAID website is scheduled to launch soon to keep you up to date on policy as well as research and career opportunities.

CVMBS Fall Grant Writing Workshop
Jeff Wilusz will be running a four session hands-on grant-writing workshop over four weeks in September.  While this Fall workshop quickly reached its capacity limit and is closed to additional enrollment at the moment, you may want to look for/take advantage of similar college offerings in the near future to improve the competitiveness of your applications.

New Grant Awards

Carol Wilusz, "Novel Method for Enriching M.abscessus mRNAs from Infected Human Sputum", University of Colorado Denver.

Colleen Duncan, "Integration of Northern Fur Seal (Callorhinus ursinus) Health Metrics into Ongoing Vital Rates Monitoring", DOC-NOAA-Natl Oceanic & Atmospheric Admn.

Dean Crick, "Discovery of New Tuberculosis Drug Leads Targeting Cell Wall Biosynthesis", University of Sydney.

Hannah Romo, "Molecular Analysis of the Genetic Determinants that Contribute to Virulence in West Nile Virus", HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy & Infect Diseases.

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

Karen Dobos, "Mycobacterium spp. Research Reagent Replenishment", American Type Culture Collection.

Mark Zabel, "Molecular Mechanisms of Peripheral Prion Pathogenesis", HHS-NIH-Neurological Disorders & Stroke.

Ramesh Akkina, "Modeling the Molecular Evolution of SIV to HIV using Humanized Mice", HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy & Infect Diseases.

Tony Schountz, "Factors Governing Immunopathology, Persistence or Clearance of New World Hantaviruses", HHS-NIH-NIAID-Allergy & Infect Diseases.

Dan Regan, "Elucidating the Role and Regulation of Periostin in Therapy Induced Chemoresistance in Metastatic Breast Cancer", HHS-NIH-NCI-National Cancer Institute.

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MIP Newsletter Volume 13, Issue 8, August 2016

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