Akshaya Ramesh receives Duke CHAVI-ID Award

Akshaya Ramesh in Thomas Kepler’s lab, won an award at the Duke CHAVI-ID annual conference held September 23-26, 2015 for her poster entitled “Immunogenomics of the Rhesus macaque, an animal model for HIV vaccine development.” Congratulations, Akshaya.

Fadie Coleman successfully defends her dissertation!

Congratulations to Fadie Coleman in Jay Mizgerd’s Lab on the successful defense of her dissertation entitled, “Influence of Macrophage NF-kB Activation on Pneumococcal Pneumonia” on September 29, 2015. Great job, Fadie!

Luis Agosto Receives Mathilde Krim Fellowship from amFAR

Luis Agosto, a postdoctoral fellow in the Henderson Lab, was awarded a Mathilde Krim Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Research from the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). This career development award is to facilitate the transition from postdoctoral fellow to an independent career in HIV/AIDS research. Congratulations, Luis!

BUMC Provost Workshop Symposium co-organized by Barb Nikolajczyk

Barb Nikolajczyk organized the Sept 22 BUMC Provost Workshop “Inflammation Symposium: Bipartisan Support by DAMPs and PAMPs” (co-organizer, Dan Remick). This is the first of a planned series of discussions on inflammation held in collaboration with the Inflammation Training Program, which aim to develop and support scientific teams to tackle the pathogenic aspects of uncontrolled inflammation.

14th Annual Sue Kim Hanson Lecture

This Friday, September 25, 2015, Friday, the 14th Annual Sue Kim Hanson Lecture in Immunology will take place.  This year’s speaker is Jean-Laurent Casanova, M.D., Ph.D. Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Professor, St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, The Rockefeller University.  The title of his seminar is:  “Toward a Genetic Theory of Childhood Infectious Diseases.”  The seminar will take place at 12:00 Noon  in Kiefer Auditorium, Evans 1.


Microbiology Department Welcomes Incoming Students

The Department would like to welcome incoming PhD students R Baer (Galagan Lab), Alexander Barron (Browning Lab) , Molly Braun (Fearns Lab), Tessa Didonato (Fearns & Muhlberger Labs), and Kyle Pedro (Henderson Lab).

Welcome back Emily Nelson

Welcome back to Emily Nelson, a Graduate Student in the Mühlberger Lab who recently returned from Sierra Leone where she was part of the Ebola diagnostics team of Erasmus University/Partners in Health. Welcome home, Emily!

Lee Wetzler Helps Organize NIH Workshop

Lee Wetzler helped organize a NIAID workshop entitled “Gonorrhea Vaccines: The Way Forward” which was held June 29-30.

Suzanne Kijewski Successfully Defends her Dissertation

Congratulations to Suzanne Kijewski in Rahm Gummuluru’s lab on the successful defense of her dissertation entitled, “Mechanistic Differences in Interactions of HIV-1 and HIV-2 with Dendritic Cells” on July 16, 2015. Well done, Suzanne!

Emily Nelson in Sierra Leone

Emily Nelson, a graduate student in the Mühlberger Lab has joined the Ebola diagnostic team of Erasmus University/Partners in Health in Sierra Leone. Stay safe Emily!

Andrew Henderson Named Chair of NIH Study Section

Congratulations to Andy Henderson who has been named Chairperson for the AIDS Molecular and Cellular Biology NIH Study Section.

David Seldin

The Department of Microbiology mourns the loss of David Seldin, who was a member of the Microbiology Faculty since 1996.  He was a revered researcher, teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend.  For more on Dave’s life and accomplishments, please see the article in BU Today


Ronald Corley Elected AAAS Fellow

Congratulations to Ron Corley who was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his contributions to the field of immunology, particularly in elucidating innate functions of antibodies and B cells and their roles in accelerating adaptive immunity.

Welcome back Adam Hume

Welcome back to Adam Hume, a Research Scientist in the Mühlberger Lab who recently returned from Sierra Leone where he was part of the Ebola diagnostics team of Erasmus University/Partners in Health. Glad you are back home, Adam!

Jake Awtry in John Connor’s Lab is Awarded the Mark W. Riemen Summer Research Prize

We are pleased to announce that Jake Awtry, a BU undergrad working in John Connor’s lab has been awarded the Mark W. Riemen Summer Research Prize and the accompanying FROG Award for supplies. There was a high number of applications for this award, and it was felt that Jake’s application was among the best.  Congratulations to Jake on his award.

Kristie Hilliard Successfully Defends her Dissertation

Congratulations to Kristie Hilliard in Lee Quinton’s Lab on the successful defense of her dissertation entitled, “The Functional Significance of the Lung-Liver Axis During Pneumonia” on May 13, 2015. Great job, Kristie!


Jake Awtry, Connor Lab, is Awarded UROP Funding

Jake Awtry, a BU undergrad working in John Connor’s lab, has been awarded UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) funding to conduct research in John’s lab over the summer of 2015. Jake’s project is “probing vaccinia virus factory formation using a novel poxvirus inhibitor.” UROP helps undergraduates connect with faculty for mentored research experiences and also provides financial support. This is Jake’s second UROP award with John.  He received UROP funding for the fall of 2014 as well. If you would like to know more about UROP, please visit:

Gregory Wasserman is the 2015 Corwin Award Winner

Congratulations to Greg Wasserman, the 2015 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.

2015 Russek Award Winners

We are delighted to announce the Microbiology Graduate Students who have won the 2015 Russek Student Achievement Awards.  Congratulations to all three prize winners:

  • 1st Prize – Fadie Coleman (Mizgerd Laboratory)
  • 2nd Prize – Greg Wasserman (Jones Laboratory)
  • Honorable Mention: Suzanne Kijewski (Gummuluru Laboratory)

Rachel Fearns Receives Hartwell Foundation Award

Rachel Fearns was awarded an Individual Biomedical Research Award from the The Hartwell Foundation for her research proposal entitled “Treating Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection by Targeting the Viral Polymerase.”  This competitive award is to fund early-stage, innovative, and cutting-edge biomedical research to benefit children. Bravo, Rachel.

Gregory Wasserman is Awarded NRSA Fellowship

Gregory Wasserman, a graduate student in the Jones Lab who was awarded a National Research Service Award Predoctoral Fellowship for his work on elucidating novel mechanisms of epithelial cytokine regulation during bacterial pneumonia. Kudos, Greg!

Sila Ataca Receives Faculty for Future Fellowship Award

Congratulations to Sila Ataca, a graduate student in the Kepler Lab, who was awarded a Faculty for Future Fellowship Award from the Schlumberger Foundation for her work using experimental and computational tools for  characterizing antibodies during affinity maturation in the human response to anthrax vaccine with the aim of developing enhanced vaccines.

2015 Microbiology Trainee Travel Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Microbiology Trainee Travel Awards!

1stPlace:     Munir Mosaheb (graduate student, Wetzler Lab) who will attend the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Fundamental Immunology and Its Therapeutic Potential, in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, from April 14-18, 2015.

2ndPlace:    Michelle Fleury (graduate student, Dooms Lab) who will attend the Federation of Clinical Immunological Societies Meeting, in San Diego, CA, from June 24-27, 2015.

2ndPlace:   Suzanne Geer Kijewski (graduate student, Gummuluru lab) who attended the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, in Seattle, WA, from February 23-26, 2015.

2014 NEWS


Akshaya Ramesh Featured in Video on Unboggling Big Data

Akshaya Ramesh from the Kepler Lab was featured in a video on “Unboggling Big Data” that was published in the Boston University 2014 Annual Report.  A star is born!

Anderson Lab Research Featured in Newsweek

The Anderson Lab’s research on “Plantibodies” as a vehicle for treatment was featured in Newsweek.

Connor Lab featured in Live Science for research on early detection of Lassa and Marburg viruses

The Connor Lab, was featured in Live Science for studies published in BMC Genomics that may lead to detection of Lassa and Marburg viruses during the early stages of disease.


Thomas Kepler was Named 2014 Norman Letvin Scholars of the Duke CHAVI-ID

Congratulations to Thomas Kepler who was named one of the 2014 Norman Letvin Scholars of the Duke CHAVI-ID.

Dr. Elke Mühlberger interviewed on “How People Catch Ebola, and How they Don’t”

Dr. Elke Mühlberger, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Director of the Biomolecule Production Core at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories, was interviewed about Ebola transmission on WBUR’s CommonHealth on October 22, 2014.

Read this article.

Understanding Respiratory Syncytial Virus Genome Synthesis

Congratulations to Sarah Noton and Rachel Fearns, whose Virology paper entitled “Factors Affecting de novo RNA Synthesis and Back-priming by the Respiratory Syncytial Virus Polymerase” was featured in Virology Highlights!

Akshaya Ramesh Receives the CHAVI-ID Pre-Doctoral Student Award

Akshaya Ramesh, a Genetics and Genomics student in the Kepler Lab, received the Duke CHAVI-ID Pre-Doctoral Student Award 2014 for contributions in research with Duke Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology and Immunogen Discovery.  Akshaya also received a prize for her poster entitled “Macaque Immunogentics via ten Multi-resolution de-novo Genome Assemblies.” Congratulations, Shay!

Transmission of Ebola: Two Microbiologists Weigh In – Elke Mühlberger and John Connor Op-Ed letter in the New York Times

Drs. Elke Mühlberger and John Connor submitted a rebuttal letter to the New York Times entitled “Transmission of Ebola: Two Microbiologists Weigh In” in response to an Op-Ed piece published on September 12, 2014.

Read this article.

Connor paper referenced in

A BUSM/NEIDL study in ACS Nano published by Dr. John Connor and collaborators has been referenced in an article entitled “The Dire Need for a Rapid Diagnostic Ebola Test in West Africa” on

Barbara Nikolajczyk is the recipient of the 2014 Evans Center Research Collaborator Award

Dr. Barbara Nikolajczyk has been selected to receive the 2014 Evans Center Research Collaborator Award. The award will be presented during the Evans Day Gala Dinner, October 2014. Congratulations, Barb!

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