2016 News


Welcome to Incoming Microbiology Students

The department would like to welcome incoming graduate students Kimberly Barker (Mizgerd Lab), Jaileene Hernandez-Escalante (Dooms Lab), Sarah Nodder (Gummuluru Lab), Whitney Manhart (Mostoslavsky and Mühlberger Labs), and Rachel Yuen (Wetzler Lab).

Kate Sawatzki is the 2016 Corwin Award Winner

Congratulations to Kaitlin Sawatzki, the 2016 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 activities 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.

Congratulations to the 2016 Microbiology Graduates!

2016 graduates

A big congratulations to the 2016 Microbiology Graduates! Featured (from left to right) are Fadie Coleman, Suzanne Geer, Gregory Wasserman, Emily Nelson, and Kristie Hilliard. In addition to the students above, we would also like to congratulate Krishna Moody, who was unable to attend graduation, and Munir Mosaheb, who just defended and will receive his degree in September and be eligible to “walk” in the 2017 commencement.  Great job, everyone!  We are all so proud of you!

Munir Mosaheb Successfully Defends his Dissertation

Congratulations to Munir Mosaheb in the Wetzler Lab on the successful defense of his dissertation entitled, “Immunological Responses and Mechanisms of Action of the TLR2-ligand Neisserial PorB Vaccine Adjuvant.” Nice job, Munir!


Sila Ataca Receives Renewal of her Faculty for the Future Fellowship

Sila Ataca, in the Kepler Lab, has received a renewal of her Faculty for the Future Fellowship from the Schlumberger Foundation. Congratulations, Sila!

Stephanie D’Souza presents at NGS ’16

Stephanie D’Souza in the Kepler Lab gave a talk on her research entitled “A draft genome sequence for the Egyptian fruit bat, the reservoir host for Marburg virus” at the Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) ’16 Conference dedicated to Genome Annotation, April 4-6, 2016, in Barcelona, Spain.

2016 Russek Award Winners

We are delighted to announce the Microbiology Graduate Students who have won 2016 Russek Student Achievement Awards.  Congratulations to:

1st Prize   – Greg Wasserman (Jones Lab)
2nd Prize – Kate Sawatzki (Kepler Lab)

In addition to our two Microbiology graduate students, we would like to congratulate two “honorary” Microbiology graduate students who have also won Russek Student Achievement Awards:

1st Prize:  Caitlin Miller – Pathology graduate student in the Gummuluru Lab
1st Prize:  Akshaya Ramesh – Genetics and Genomics graduate student in the Kepler Lab

Please note that the 22nd Annual Henry I. Russek Student Achievement Day will be held on Friday, May 6, 2016.

Tom Kepler Named as Director of the Immunology Training Program

Tom Kepler has been selected to replace David Sherr as the Director of the Immunology Training Progam (ITP).

Kaitlin Sawatzki Receives AAI Trainee Abstract Award

Kaitlin Sawatzki, from the Kepler lab, recently received a 2016 AAI Trainee Abstract Award for the upcoming Immunology 2016 Meeting, May 13-17, 2016, in Seattle, WA. This award provides travel support to AAI Trainee members whose first-author abstracts submitted to the AAI annual meeting are selected for oral presentation in block symposia. Congratulations, Kate!

BUSM Inflammation Symposium, May 23, 2016

Barb Nikolajczyk and Lee Wetzler are hosting the Boston University School of Medicine Inflammation Symposium May 23, 2016 in Bakst Auditorium. All are welcome to join the cross-talk amongst inflammation researchers at BUSM and beyond.  Trainee talks will be selected from submitted abstracts. Please contact the organizers for more details.

Sila Ataca Receives GMSSO Community Service Award

Sila Ataca, a graduate student in the the Kepler lab, was awarded the Graduate Medical Sciences Student Organization Community Service Award for the spring 2016 semester. With these travel funds Sila will be able to attend the Rosetta Antibody Workshop and Vanderbilt University in April. Nice work, Sila!

Greg Wasserman Successfully Defends his Dissertation

Kudos to Greg Wasserman in the Jones Lab on the successful defense of his dissertation entitled, “A Discrete Population of Ciliated Cells Express the piRNA Binding Protein MIWI12 to Regulate Lung Inflammation.” Great job, Greg!

Emily Nelson Successfully Defends her Dissertation

Congratulations to Emily Nelson in Elke Mühlberger’s lab on the successful defense of her dissertation entitled, “Examination of the Cellular Stress Response and Post-transcriptional Regulation of RNA during Ebola Virus Infection.” Nice work, Emily!

Cressey Blog on Ebola Virus Minigenomes

Tessa Cressey, a graduate student in both the Fearns lab and Mühlberger lab, wrote a blog on Addgene about Ebola virus minigenomes. Following this link http://blog.addgene.org/minigenomes-a-safe-way-to-study-dangerous-viruses to read Tessa’s blog.

2016 Microbiology Trainee Travel Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Microbiology Trainee Travel Awards!

1st Place: Kate Sawatzki (Graduate Student, Kepler Lab), who will be attending  the Gordon Research Conference on Antibody Biology and Engineering, from March 20-25, 2016, in Galveston, TX.

2nd Place: Matt Gagne (Graduate Student, Henderson Lab) who will be attending the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Conference on Retroviruses in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, from May 23-28, 2016

3rd Place: Ludy Registre (Graduate Student, Sager Lab), who will be attending the Keystone Symposium on HIV Vaccines in Olympic Valley, CA, from March 20-24, 2016.


John Connor is showcased in Super Science Tuesday Video

John Connor is showcased in a video by The Science Coalition to promote the Super Science Tuesday Campaign. Additionally, clips from John’s video are also included in a compilation of Boston University Investigators as well as a compilation of National Investigators as part of the Super Tuesday Science Matters Campaign.

Krishna Moody successfully defends his dissertation

Congratulations to Krishna Moody in Ann Rothstein’s lab on the successful defense of his dissertation entitled, “Attenuation of BCR-TLR Responses by FcγRIIB.”