University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

DEPARTMENT OF Microbiology and Molecular Genetics ~ 2013 Annual Report

Susan S. Wallace, Ph.D., Chair

The Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG) and its 16 faculty members play important roles in the research and educational missions of the College and the University. The Department has a vibrant graduate program with 24 doctoral students, teaches medical students in the Vermont Integrated Curriculum and offers two undergraduate degrees — one in Microbiology and the other in Molecular Genetics — with a total of 80 undergraduate majors.

The Department has three principal research foci: Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, where faculty interact with adjunct MMG faculty from Infectious Diseases and Animal Sciences and work together in the Immunology and Infectious Disease COBRE Program; Protein- Nucleic Acid Transactions, where faculty interact with adjunct MMG faculty from Biochemistry and are nucleated by a National Cancer Institute funded Program Project; and Bioinformatics, which has a growing group of faculty whose work underpins, interfaces with, and supports the research of the bench scientists in the Department and the College.

This year MMG faculty published over 60 papers in high profile journals including several in PLoS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Infection and Immunity, Human Genetics, Molecular Microbiology, and Structure, to cite a few. Faculty members gave 35 presentations at national and international meetings and at universities all over the world. For example, Markus Thali, Ph.D., was an invited speaker and Session Chair at the 5th European Tetraspanin Meeting in The Netherlands, Sylvie Doublié, Ph.D., was speaker and Session Chair at the FASEB Nucleic Acid Enzymes summer conference and Aimee Shen, Ph.D., was an invited speaker at the Gordon Conference on Proteolytic Enzymes and their Inhibitors in Il Ciocco, Italy. Dr. Shen was also an invited speaker and session chair at a meeting on Clostridium difficile infections held in Galveston, Texas. MMG faculty also serve as frequent ad hoc reviewers on National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation panels; Dr. Thali is a permanent member of the AIDS Molecular and Cellular Biology Study Section, while Dr. Doublié frequently serves on the Molecular Genetics A Study Section. Dr. Doublié was also honored by being chosen as an outstanding alumna of UNC Chapel Hill and spoke at their reunion. Gary Ward, Ph.D., is chair of the Board of Directors of the Public Library of Science in Washington. John Burke, Ph.D., was a guest on Vermont Edition on Vermont Public Radio in January, talking about science and race. Dr. Burke was also a co-presenter on the same topic at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington.

Last modified December 20 2013 11:47 AM