News

AUGUST

John Connor featured in USA Today for research on virus detection

Dr. John Connor from Boston University School of Medicine and BU’s National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratories is researching ways to quickly detect diseases and viruses using portable devices and LED lights. They are currently awaiting federal approval to test this method on #Ebola: http://usat.ly/1t2VzBw USA TODAY

John Connor discusses research into Ebola treatments with WIRED

Read complete article at WIRED: http://wrd.cm/1slinMr #ebola

Tom Kepler was featured in Boston Magazine for research that has implications for an HIV vaccine

Findings from a new study led by Dr. Thomas Kepler and colleagues at Boston University School of Medicine, in collaboration with researchers at Duke University School of Medicine, has significant implications for an HIV vaccine: http://bit.ly/1oM5Pid

APRIL/MAY NEWS

2014 Raymond W. Sarber Award Graduate Laureate Fadie Coleman

Congratulations to Fadie Coleman who was honored with a 2014 Raymond W. Sarber Award. This award recognizes excellence in research and potential and was presented to Fadie at the ASM General Meeting Awards Banquet and Dinner on Sunday, May 18, 2014 here in Boston. We are all so proud of Fadie for this well-deserved award!

Paul Duprex participates in live TWiV podcast at 2014 ASM General Meeting in Boston

Paul Duprex (Associate Professor of Microbiology with co-hosts, Vincent Racaniello (http://www.microbiology.columbia.edu/faculty/racaniello.html) and Alan Dove (http://alandove.com/content/) discussed the impact of the recent Boston City Council vote not to ban BSL4 research in the City of Boston. In more detail, they discussed the type of research conducted in BSL4 laboratories, safety protocols, and benefits for infectious disease research.  Also participating in the podcast was Julie Pfeiffer (http://profiles.utsouthwestern.edu/profile/80210/julie-pfeiffer.html) who with Paul and the co-hosts discussed polio and measles virology, viral pathogenesis, and vaccinology.  The TWiV podcast ( TWiV 286) will be available on Sunday, May 25, 2014, from www.twiv.tv or iTunes.

TWiV photo

2014 Corwin Award Winners

Congratulations to Kristie Hilliard and Emily Nelson, who both are recipients of the 2014 Corwin Award. The Corwin Award recognizes students who exemplify the characteristics of an outstanding departmental “citizen.” Values of collegiality, scientific integrity, commitment to scientific endeavor, and active participation in departmental activites are all components taken into account when the selection of the Corwin Award recipient is made. These values best epitomize the contributions of Dr. Larry Corwin, a former member of the Microbiology Department for whom the award is named.

Emily Nelson Receives Office of Technology Development Award

Emily Nelson from Elke Muhlberger’s laboratory is the recipient of the Office of Technology Development Award for her poster presentation at Scholars Day. Great job, Emily!

2014 Microbiology Russek Award Winner

We are delighted to announce that Kristie Hilliard from the Quinton Lab is the Microbiology first prize winner of the Russek Student Achievement Award for 2014. Congratulations, Kristie!

Kate Sawatzki Receives Medical School Dean’s Award

Kaitlin Sawatzki from Thomas Kepler’s laboratory has been selected as the recipient of the Medical School Dean’s Award for her poster presentation at Scholars Day. Congratulations on a job well done, Kate!

Claire Marie Filone Receives ASM Career Development Grant for Postdoctoral Women

Claire Marie Filone, Ph.D., a Postdoctoral Trainee in the laboratory of John H. Connor, Ph.D., received an American Society for Microbiology Career Development Grant for Postdoctoral Women. This grant is awarded to  enhance the careers of postdoctoral women with outstanding scientific accomplishments and the potential for significant research in microbiology. Three postdoctoral women are awarded the grant annually and we congratulate Dr. Filone on being one of the three women to receive a grant in 2014.

FEBRUARY/MARCH NEWS

Munir Moseheb Receives FASEB MARC Program Poster/Oral Presentation Award

Munir Mosaheb from Lee Wetzler’s lab was selected to receive a FASEB MARC Program Poster/Oral Presentation Travel Award to attend and present at Immunology 2014, The American Association of Immunologiests annual meeting from May 2-6, 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA. Congratulations, Munir!

Chadene Tremaglio Successfully Defends her Disseration

Congratulations to Chadene Tremaglio in Rachel Fearns’ lab on the successful defense of her dissertation entitled, “Investigating Respiratory Syncytial Virus Transcription: Evidence for Alternative Initiation Events and Small RNA Synthesis” on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Great job, Chadene!

Congratulations to our 2014 Microbiology Trainee Travel Award Winners

(please note we had a record number of applications this year and thank everyone who applied)

The 1st place winner receives an award of $750 and the 2nd place winners each receive an award of $500.

1st place – Anna Belkina, a postdoc in Barb Nikolajczyk’s  laboratory. Anna will be attending and presenting a poster (B Cells Support a Dominant Th17 Cytokine Signature in Type 2 Diabetes) at the Association of Immunologists (AAI) Meeting in Pittsburg, May 2-6, 2014.

2nd place – Munir Mosaheb, a graduate student in Lee Wetzler’s laboratory.  Munir will be attending and presenting an oral presentation (Examination of the Role of Dendritic Cells, Macrophages, and B Cells as a Function of Vaccine Adjuvants) in the Block Symposium entitled “Vaccines and Immunotherapy: Adjuvants and Immunotherapy at the American Association of Immunologists Meeting in Pittsburg, May 2-6, 2014.   In addition, Munir will be displaying two posters at the meeting (Examination of the Role of Dendritic Cells, Macrophages and B Cells in the Function of Vaccine Adjuvant, and Expression of Micro RNAs in Response to a TLR Dependent Adjuvant PorB from Neisseria meningitides).

2nd place – Greg Wasserman, a graduate student in Matt Jones’ laboratory.  Greg attended and presented a poster (The piRNA Binding Protein, MIWI@ is Induced during Infection to Enhance Cytokine Expression) at the Keystone Symposia on RNA Silencing in Seattle, WA, from Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 2014.  We will be scheduling Greg’s presentation about the meeting to the Department shortly.  Look for the announcement.

Anna and Munir will be scheduled for a presentation to the Department after the AAI meeting.

DECEMBER/JANUARY NEWS

Hunting for Viruses in the French Amazon

Nacho Caballero, a Bioinformatics graduate student, whose advisor is John Connor, has been working at the Pasteur Institute in French Guiana since October 2013 hunting for viruses in the French Amazon. Check out his travel blog at: http://www.bu.edu/bioinformatics/2013/11/26/hunting-for-viruses-in-the-french-amazon/

Filone paper chosen as Top 100 Discoveries of 2013 by Discover Magazine

Congratulations to Claire Marie Filone, a postdoctoral fellow in the Connor lab, whose Chemistry and Biology paper entitled “Identification of a Broad-spectrum Inhibitor of Viral RNA Synthesis: Validation of a Prototype Virus-based Approach” was chosen as one of the Top 100 Discoveries of 2013 by Discovery Magazine!

SEPTMEBER/OCTOBER NEWS

Daniele Cary Successfully Defends Dissertation

Congratulations to Daniele Cary in Andy Hendersons lab on the successful defense of her Dissertation on October 23, 2013. Good work, Daniele!

Fadie Coleman to Receive Raymond W. Sarber Award

Fadie Coleman was selected to receive a 2014 Raymond W. Sarber Award for research excellence and potential.  This award is sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). This award will be presented to Fadie at the ASM General Meeting Awards Banquet and Dinner on Sunday, May 18, 2014 here in Boston. The award also includes a feature article in the ASM magazine, Microbe.

Dr. Oberhaus Appointed CODA Review Committee Member

At the 2013 summer meeting the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), Dr. Stephanie Oberhaus was appointed to serve as a Review Committee Member for CODA.  Congratulations Stephanie!

MAY/JUNE NEWS

BU President’s Award Given to Fadie Coleman

Fadie Coleman was awarded the Boston University President’s Award for outstanding biomedical research.  She obtained this award when her project was chosen for a poster presentation at the Boston University Scholars Day Symposium where she was honored with the Office of Technology and Development Award for innovation.  As part of a two-part competition, the Office of Technology and Development award title qualified Fadie to compete for one of the two all-around Scholars Day awards (Provost and President’s award).  Awardees were selected based on an oral presentation given to an audience consisting of the University provost and esteemed faculty addressing the significance of their research projects to a general audience. Bravo, Fadie!

Fadie Coleman is the 2013 Corwin Award Winner

Congratulations to Fadie Coleman, the 2013 Corwin Award recipient. The Corwin Award recognizes a student who exemplifies the characteristics of an outstanding departmental “citizen.” Values of collegiality, scientific integrity, commitment to scientific endeavor, and active participation in departmental activites are all components taken into account when the selection of the Corwin Award recipient is made. These values best epitomize the contributions of Dr. Larry Corwin, a former member of the Microbiology Department for whom the award is named.

2013 Microbiology Graduates

Congratulations to our 2013 graduates: Guy Bushkin, Laura Dickey, Nathaniel Greegn, Tim Hanley, and Erin Hodges!

Laura Dickey Chosen to Give Commencement Speech

Kudos to Laura Dickey who was selected to present the GMS Commencement Speech at the 2013 graduation ceremony.

2013 Russek Award Winners

Congratulations to the following Microbiology graduate students who won Russek Student Achievement Awards:

1st Prize – Chadene Tremaglio (Fearns Laboratory)

2nd Prize – Daniele Cary  (Henderson Laboratory)

Honorable Mention – Andrew Platt (Wetzler Laboratory)

Fadie Coleman wins Award at BU’s Scholars Day

Congratulations to Fadie Coleman who was awarded the Office of Technology Development Award at BU’s Scholars Day.

Gummuluru Article Featured on PLoS Pathogen Website

The latest manuscript from the Gummuluru Lab has been highlighted as featured research on the PLoS Pathogen website.

MARCH/APRIL NEWS

Duprex Lab Figure on Cover of Journal of Virology

The cover of the May 2013 issue of the Journal of Virology shows a photograph from the Duprex Lab of immunocytochemical detection of measles virus-infected cells in the macaque trachea.

BUSM Researchers Identify Chemical Compounds that Halt Virus Replication

Claire Marie Filone, a postdoctoral researcher in the Connor Lab, led the research that identified a new chemical class of compounds that have the potential to block genetically diverse viruses from replicating. The findings, published in Chemistry & Biology, could allow for the development of broad-spectrum antiviral medications to treat a number of viruses, including the highly pathogenic Ebola and Marburg viruses. This story is highlighted in BUMC Research News.

Nikolajczyk Study Reveals B cells as Therapeutic Targets to Alter Obesity-Associated Inflammation and Type 2 Diabetes

Obesity and type 2 diabetes are two closely associated diseases that are increasing at epidemic rates worldwide. Inflammation, predominantly from cells of the immune systems, plays critical roles in pathogenesis of both diseases, and may be key to the development of type 2 diabetes in obese individuals. New work published by Barbara Nikolajczyk’s team indicates that B cells, an immune cell type that can be depleted by FDA-approved drugs, play critical roles in obesity- and type 2 diabetes-associated inflammation. These findings raise the clinically critical possibility that existing drugs may provide fundamentally new approaches for curbing onset and pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes.

Congratulations to Michael Wilson on AAN Fellowship

Michael Wilson, a neurologist and post-doctoral fellow in the Duprex lab, was one of eight young neurologists nationwide awarded a two year American Brain Foundation Fellowship from the American Academy of Neurology. The fellowship supports translational research into new therapies and delivery methods for encephalitis caused by Japanese encephalitis virus and Nipah virus.

Threading the NEIDL

Ron Corley, Paul Duprex, and Elke Muhlberger participated in “Threading the NEIDL,” a 1 hour documentary posted on This Week in Virology (TWIV), an American Society for Microbiology webcast, hosted by Vincent Racaniello and co-hosted by Alan Dove and Rich Condit.   This documentary provides viewers with a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the BLS4 facility at the NEIDL.  View the video and read the accompanying piece at:  http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/video-offers-glimpse-of-biosafety-level-4-lab/

JANUARY/FEBRUARY NEWS

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Microbiology Trainee Travel Awards 

1st Prize:  Claire Marie Filone, postdoctoral trainee, from John Connor’s lab, who will be attending the American Society for Virology Annual Meeting in State College, PA, from July 20-24.

2nd Prize:  Kristie Hilliard, predoctoral trainee, from Lee Quinton’s lab, who will be attending the American Thoracic Society Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, from May 17-22.

2nd Prize:  Andrew Platt, predoctoral trainee, from Lee Wetzler’s lab, who will be attending American Association of Immunologists Meeting in Honolulu, HI, from May 3-7.

The Department of Microbiology is delighted to be able to support the attendance of trainees at scientific meetings. We look forward to each awardee presenting a summary of the meeting they attended.

Kepler group holding summer school at Hariri Institute

The Kepler research group is hosting a Summer School on Quantitative Systems Immunology at the Hariri Institute, Boston University, from 10-14 June. The school is aimed at graduate students and postdocs in immunology and related disciplines who want to learn techniques from statistics and mathematical modeling for their own research. Instructors include Hamid Bolouri, Lindsay Cowell, Tom Kepler, Bette Korber, Doug Lauffenburger, Martin Meier-Schellesheim, and Barry Smith, among others. There is no fee to register, but space is limited.

The 2013 Summer School on Quantitative Systems Immunology is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN272201000053C to Duke University.

Paul Duprex Editor of Journal of General Virology

Congratulations to Paul Duprex who was named an editor of the Journal of General Virology.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER NEWS

Daniele Cary’s poster wins 1st place at Evans Day

Congratulations to Daniele Cary for receiving 1st place in the Basic Research Poster Presentations for the Department of Medicine’s Evans Day, October 5, 2012.

Caroline Genco is Recipient of Department of Medicine Award

Congratulations to Caroline Genco, who was awarded the “Life Time Achievement Award for Research and Science” from the Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine at the Department of Medicine Centennial Celebration on October 6, 2012.

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER NEWS

Fearns Article Chosen as Featured Research in PLoS Pathogens

Congratulations to Rachel Fearns, whose paper entitled “The Respiratory Syncytial Virus Polymerase has Multiple RNA Synthesis Activities at the Promoter” was chosen as a Featured Research article by PLoS Pathogens.

Robin Ingalls Awarded an R01 from NIH

Congratulations to Robin Ingalls who was awarded an R01 from the NIAID, NIH for her work on the “Role of Chlamydia Species in Preterm Birth and Placental Dysfunction.” The funding period is 07/01/2012-06/30/2017.

 2012 Microbiology Retreat Pictures

Everyone had a great time at this year’s Microbiology retreat “Making Novel Links” at Thompson Island! Click Micro Retreat 2012 Pictures to view the pictures.

Paul, Elke and Ron Participated in TWiV 200

Paul, Elke and Ron participated in This Week in Virology (TWiV 200), talking about the NEIDL and BSL-4 research.

link: http://www.twiv.tv/2012/09/23/twiv-200-threading-the-neidl/

Barb Nikolajczyk Awarded R56 From NIH

Congratulations to Barbara Nikolajczyk, who was awarded an R56 award from the NIDDK, NIH for work on “The Role of Lymphocytes in Diet-Induced Metabolic Disease.” Funding period is 9/1/12-8/31/13. 

Dr. Nikolajczyk Presented at the Obesity Society’s 30th Annual Scientific Meeting

Dr. Barbara Nikolajczyk presented a talk entitled, “B Lymphocytes are Master Regulators of a Pro-Inflammatory T Cell Balance in Obesity and Glucose Intolerance” a the Obesity Society’s 30th Annual Scientific Meeting, in San Antonio, Texas

Sept. 17 Micro-ID Seminar: Structure and Assembly of the Poxvirus Virion

Richard C. Condit, Ph.D. from the University of Florida  is presenting a seminar entitled, “Structure and Assembly of the Poxvirus Virion” on Monday, September 17, at 12:00 noon in L504 as part of the Microbiology-Infectious Diseases Seminar Series.

This Week in Virology (TWiV#200)

TWiV is a podcast – or netcast, as some prefer to call them, since you don’t need an iPod to listen – about viruses.  It was begun in September 2008 by Vincent Racaniello and Dick Despommier, two science Professors at Columbia University Medical Center.  Their goal was to have an informal yet informative conversation about viruses which would be accessible to everyone, no matter what their science background.  Alan Dove, a science writer, Rich Condit, a poxvirologist and Kathy Spindler, an adenovirologist, joined the team and are regular contributors.

The 200th edition of TWiV will be filmed in  NEIDL and will be available for download from www.twiv.tv Sunday 23rd Septemember 2012.

If you have any questions for the panel you can send them to Vincent Racaniello at twiv@twiv.tv.

We see this as a great opportunity to showcase the benefits NEIDL brings to BU, Boston and the wider scientific community nationally and encourage you to view the netcast and contribute to the discussion. 

JULY/AUGUST NEWS

Subunit Vaccine for Nipah and Hendra Viruses Shows Protection

Nipah and Hendra viruses are newly recognized zoonotic paramixoviruses that have resulted in numerous outbreaks in Australia and Southeast Asia, and are highly lethal in humans. In a recent study published in Science Translational Medicine, Katharine Bossart and colleagues report that a vaccine using a soluble viral G glycoprotein afforded complete protection again Nipah virus challenge in a nonhuman primate model, bolstering support for human clinical trials. See commentary in Science.

Kepler Participation in 2012 International Workship on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

Dr. Thomas Kepler has been invited to participate in the 2012 International Workshop on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology which will be held at Boston University’s Life Science and Engineering Building on July 22-26.

Fadie Coleman is Awarded NRSA Fellowship

Congratulations to Fadie Coleman who was awarded a National Research Service Award Predoctoral Fellowship from NHLBI for her work on the Influence of Macrophage NF-kB Activation on the Outcome of Pneumococcal Pneumonia.

Dr. Thomas Kepler is Computational Biology SRSC Leader for CHAVI-ID Program

Dr. Thomas Kepler is directing the Computational Biology Scientific Research Support Component for the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology-Immunogen Design (CHAVI-ID) program, which was just awarded this week by the NIH to Bart Haynes at Duke.

Krishna Moody is Awarded NRSA Fellowship

Congratulations to Krishna Moody who was awarded a National Research Service Award Predoctoral Fellowship from NIAMS for his work on the Modulation of Autoantigen Trafficking and TLR Engagement by FcgRIIB and AP3BI.

Dr. Kepler Lecture at 2012 Summer School on Computational Immunology at University of Rochester Symposium

Dr. Thomas Kepler lectured at the 2012 Summer School on Computational Immunology at the University of Rochester on “Agent-based Models Applied to Affinity Maturation and the Germinal Center Reaction.” This lecture can be viewed here: : http://imcportal.org/education/video/thomas-kepler-agent-based-models-applied-to-affinity-maturation-and-the-germinal-center-reaction.

Dr. Kepler Presentation at University of Rochester Symposium

Dr. Thomas Kepler presented a talk on “Affinity Maturation via Computational Biology” at the Symposium on Modeling Immune Response from Complex Data, at the University of Rochester. His presentation can be viewed here: http://imcportal.org/education/video/thomas-kepler-affinity-maturation-via-computational-biology.

APRIL-JUNE NEWS

Chadene Tremaglio is the 2012 Corwin Award Winner

Congratulations to Chadene Zack Tremaglio, the 2012 Corwin Award recipient.  The Corwin Award recognizes a student who exemplifies the characteristics of an outstanding departmental “citizen.” Values of collegiality, scientific integrity, commitment to scientific endeavor, and active participation in departmental activites are all components taken into account when the selection of the Corwin Award recipient is made. These values best epitomize the contributions of Dr. Larry Corwin, a former member of the Microbiology Department for whom the award is named.

Dr. Oberhaus wins Teaching Award from the Dental School

Congratulations to Dr. Stephanie Oberhaus who is the recipient of a Spencer N. Frankl Award for Excellence in Teaching at Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. This is the highest honor awarded by Dental Medicine and we are all extremely proud of Stephanie’s accomplishments!

Martin Ludlow to attend Herrenhausen Symposium on Viral Pathogenesis

Dr. Martin Ludlow, postdoctoral fellow in the Duprex Lab, is one of only 10-15 people who were selected to attend the Herrenhausen Symposium on Viral Pathogenesis on June 4-7, 2012, in Kloster Seeon, Seeon, Germany.  It is quite an honor to be selected to attend this meeting, and the invited speakers at this symposium are all world renoun experts in the viral pathogenesis world.  Congratulations, Martin!

2012 Russek Award Winners

Congratulations to the following Microbiology graduate students who won Russek Student Achievement Awards:

1st Prize – Laura Dickey (Fearns Laboratory)

2nd Prize – Erin Hodges (Connor Laboratory)

Honorable Mention – Chadene Zack Tremaglio (Fearns Laboratory)

Mechanism of HIV Spread has Potential for Future Drug Therapy

A new understanding of the initial interactions of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and dendritic cells is described in research led by Dr. Wendy Puryear, a postdoctoral fellow in the Gummuluru lab.  This recent study is featured in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Too Dangerous to Publish? Apr 26 Viglianti Live Chat on Science Live

Dr. Gregory Viglianti was asked to participate in “Science Live: A Weekly Chat on the Hottest Topics in Science” on April 26.  The discussion topic was “Too Dangerous to Publish?”

Krishna Moody accepted to attend Gordon Research Conference

Congratulations to Krishna Moody who was accepted to attend the Gordon Research Conference on Lysosomes and Endocytosis.  Krishna was also awarded the Carl Storm Fellowship to attend.

Micro Art Chosen for Medical Campus Science as Art

We are please to share that several photographs in the Medical Campus Science Art Galary came from members of the Microbiology Department.

Paul Duprex, Jay Mizgerd, and Dan Rozelle all contributed images that were chosen for the galary that is being displayed on the flat screen panels in the medical school lobby as well as on the Boston University School of Medicine Facebook page.

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