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 Forbes.com

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 Forbes.com.

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!


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, have significant implications for an HIV vaccine: http://bit.ly/1oM5Pid


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.


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.