News Archives 2018

Celebrating Excellence in Research – 2018 Achievements and Awards

October 29, 2018

The CMB Program was well represented at this year's Celebrating Excellence in Research events through the Larner College of Medicine.

CMB students Alex Thompson and Alisa Cario were the winner and runner-up for the Junior Graduate Category and Christopher Dustin and Leslie Sepaniac were the winner and runner-up for the Senior Graduate Category in this year's Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Trainee Research Showcase!

In addition, CMB Faculty member, Christopher Huston, M.D., received the Senior Researcher of the Year award in the UVM Health Network Medical Group.

Read more>>

Victoria Lynn DeVault Successfully Defends Dissertation

October 16, 2018

Victoria Lynn DeVault, a CMB student in Dr. Jonathan Boyson's lab, successfully defended her dissertation, entitled “Regulation of Natural Killer T Cell Subset Development and Function by Slam Family Receptors”. She will be heading to Genocea Biosciences as a Scientist 1 at the end of next month! Congratulations, Vicki!

$12.3 Million NIH Grant Establishes Translational Global Infectious Disease Research Center at UVM

October 11, 2018

CMB Faculty members, Dr. Sean Diehl and Dr. Matthew Kinsey are among those supported by this grant. Dr. Christopher Huston is a co-principal investigator on the TGIR-COBRE.

Specifically, the TGIR-COBRE will incorporate existing research strengths in human Infectious Diseases including the research of Dr. Christopher Huston and the platforms of the UVM Vaccine Testing Center, which include human immunology laboratories, clinical trials capabilities, and collaborations with international investigators and field sites.

Read More>>

Michael Secinaro Successfully Defends Dissertation

October 9, 2018

Michael Anthony Secinaro, a CMB student in Dr. Ralph C. Budd's lab, successfully defended his dissertation, entitled “The contribution of metabolism to the regulation of caspase activity and cell death in T lymphocytes”. He will be starting a new job at the end of the month as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at AstraZeneca in Waltham, MA. Congratulations, Mike!

GRE Scores No Longer Required for CMB Applicants

September 24, 2018

Effective September 24, 2018, CMB has joined several other institutions in the decision to eliminate the GRE as an application/admission requirement for the program.

This decision comes from the CMB Steering Committee after much discussion and research on the effectiveness of this application component in predicting graduate student success. Some literature on the matter is below:

Predictors of Student Productivity in Biomedical Graduate School Applications (PDF)

White paper summary of GRE research from the University of Michigan (PDF)

Sharath Chandra Madasu Successfully Defends Dissertation

September 27, 2018

Sharath Chandra Madasu, a CMB student in Dr. Anthony Morielli's lab, successfully defended his dissertation, entitled “The metabotropic glutamate receptor mGluR1 regulates the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.2 through agonist-dependent and agonist-independent mechanisms in the rat cerebellum”. Congratulations, Sharath!

Hannah Naughton Successfully Defends Thesis

August 27, 2018

Hannah Naughton, CMB student in Dr. Alan Howe's lab, successfully defended her thesis, entitled “A Proximity-Dependent Biotin Labeling Based Screen for Protein Kinase A Anchoring Proteins within Focal Adhesion Complexes” on August 27, 2018. Congratulations, Hannah!

Graham G. Willsey Successfully Defends Dissertation

August 24, 2018

Graham G. Willsey, CMB student in Dr. Matthew J. Wargo's lab, successfully defended his dissertation, entitled “Detection of the lung environment by multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacterial pathogens” on August 24, 2018. He has accepted a postdoctoral position with Dr. Nick Mantis at the Wadsworth Center (NY State Dept of Health) in Albany. Congratulations, Graham!

Benjamin King, PhD Receives 2018 Norman R. Alpert Research Prize

August 22, 2018

CMB Director, Matthew Poynter, Ph.D., presented the Norman R. Alpert Research Prize to recent CMB alumnus, Benjamin King, PhD. This annual prize recognizes the best peer-reviewed research article by a graduate student in the CMB Program and is announced at our annual Retreat. Congratulations Ben!

Sepaniac and Kelm Receive 2018 CMB Director's Awards

August 22, 2018

Leslie Sepaniac and Dr. Robert Kelm received the CMB Director's Awards for a student and for a faculty respectfully at this year's CMB/NGP Retreat. Dr. Matt Poynter, presented these awards at the Grand Isle Lake House on Wednesday, August 22 to recognize their outstanding work with the program. Thank you Leslie and Bob for your dedication!

Devin Pierre Champagne Successfully Defends Dissertation

August 3, 2018

Devin Champagne in Dr. Mercedes Rincon's lab successfully defended his dissertation, entitled "METHYLATION CONTROLLED J PROTEIN IS A MASTER REGULATOR OF MITOCHONDRIAL METABOLISM" on August 3, 2018. Devin has accepted a position at UC Denver working with Dr. Angelo D'Alessandro. Congratulations, Devin!

Drew Barber Successfully Defends Dissertation

July 5, 2018

Drew Barber from Dr. Robert Hondal's lab successfully defended his dissertation entitled “Selenium in Thioredoxin Reductase: Resistance to oxidative inactivation, oxidation states, and reversibility of chemical reactions” on July 5, 2018. He will be moving on to do a Postdoc at SUNY Buffalo. Congratulations, Drew!

Rajiv Jumani Receives Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award

June 5, 2018

Rajiv Jumani, 2018 Graduate of CMB, has been awarded the 2017-18 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award through the UVM Graduate College!

Read More>>

Jessica Sheehe Successfully Defends Dissertation

May 23, 2018

Jessica Lynne Sheehe from Dr. Wolfgang Dostmann's lab successfully defended her dissertation entitled “The cGMP binding A-site controls both cGMP and oxidation-dependent activation of PKG Iα” on May 23, 2018. She will move forward to be a Postdoc at The University of Arizona. Congratulations, Jess!

Haein Kim Successfully Defends Dissertation

May 15, 2018

Haein Kim, CMB student in Dr. Jason Stumpff's lab, successfully defended her dissertation, entitled “TEMPORAL COORDINATION OF MITOTIC CHROMOSOME ALIGNMENT AND SEGREGATION: STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL STUDIES OF KIF18A” on May 15, 2018. Haein has accepted a position at the University of Washington. Congratulations, Haein!

CMB at AAI

May 7, 2018

CMB students, Abbas Raza, Princess Rodriguez, Phyu Thwe and Vicki DeVault recently attended the American Association of Immunologists conference in Austin, TX. Faculty member, Eyal Amiel, attended as a former public policy fellow for the 2017-2018 season.

Phyu Thwe Successfully Defends Dissertation

May 2, 2018

Phyu Thwe, CMB student in Dr. Eyal Amiel's lab, successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Characterizing the Role and Regulation of Glycogen Metabolism in Dendritic Cell Immune Responses” on May 2, 2018.  Phyu has accepted the Postdoctoral fellowship position for the Medical and Public Health Laboratory Microbiology Fellowship Program at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston. UTMB is one of the highly selective/competitive fellowship programs accredited by the American Society of Microbiology ASM.

Her training will be tailored towards learning about the role and responsibilities of a clinical microbiology laboratory director, including a rotation in the Texas Department of State Public Health Laboratories in Austin and Houston, rotations in infectious diseases and infection control, and participation in consultative and administrative activities in the microbiology diagnostic laboratory at UTMB.

Congratulations, Phyu!

Jamie Stern Awarded Academic Pathways Fellowship

April 19, 2018

Congratulations to Jamie Stern, recent CMB graduate, who has been awarded an Academic Pathways Fellowship for two years! The fellowship is supported by Vanderbilt and the NSF and is designed to prepare recently graduated doctoral students for competitive academic careers. Way to go Jamie!

Yvonne Janssen-Heininger named University Scholar

March 27, 2018

The 2018-2019 University Scholars have been announced and CMB faculty member, Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, has been named one of these three distinguished faculty members. They will be honored at the University Scholar Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, April 24 at 4:00 p.m. in Waterman Memorial Lounge.

Read more>>

Jamie Stern Successfully Defends Dissertation

March 21, 2018

Jamie Stern, CMB student in Dr. Chris Berger's lab, successfully defended her dissertation entitled "Single Molecule Imaging Reveals Tau Structure and Function on the Microtubule Surface" on March 21, 2018. Jamie will be starting her post-doc at Vanderbilt University in April. Congratulations, Jamie!

CMB Office has Moved

March 9, 2018

The CMB Office and Student Study Lounge has moved to the third floor of Given. You can now find our new space at Given Courtyard Level 3 South!

Rajiv Satish Jumani Successfully Defends Dissertation

February 27, 2018

Rajiv Satish Jumani, a CMB student in Dr. Christopher D. Huston's lab, successfully defended his dissertation entitled "Methods to Identify and Develop Drugs for Cryptosporidiosis" on February 27, 2018. Rajiv will be starting his job at Norvatis Institute Biomedical Research with an Investigator I position. Congratulations, Rajiv!

Filiz Korkmaz Successfully Defends Dissertation

January 9, 2018

Filiz Korkmaz, a CMB student in Dr. David Kerr's lab, successfully defended her thesis entitled "An Analysis of Between-Cow Variation in Innate Immunity in Relation to Mastitis Severity" on January 9, 2018. Congratulations, Filiz!

 

News Archives 2017

Students Win Awards at the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine's Annual Meeting

December 4, 2017

CMB students came back from Baltimore last weekend with awards from the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine's (SFRBM) Annual Meeting. Chris Dustin in the van der Vliet lab won a travel award, and Evan Elko in the Jannsen-Heininger lab earned a young investigator award! Their mentors were actively involved in the meeting as well, and are shown with their students in the photo. A congratulations is in order for all!

Wallace Named Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science

November 28, 2017

Susan Wallace, Ph.D., professor and chair of microbiology and molecular genetics at the Larner College of Medicine and CMB faculty member, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

Read More>>

Celebrating Excellence in Research – 2017 Achievements and Awards

November 12, 2017

The CMB Program was well represented at this year's Celebrating Excellence in Research events through the Larner College of Medicine.

CMB students Dominique Lessard, Devin Champagne, Leslie Sepaniac, and Alex Thompson all received awards and honorable mentions in this year's Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Trainee Research Showcase.

CMB Director, Matthew Poynter, Ph.D., presented the Norman R. Alpert Research Prize to graduate student Jamie Stern. This annual prize recognizes the best peer-reviewed research article by a graduate student in the CMB Program and is announced at our annual Retreat.

And finally, CMB Faculty members Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, Ph.D., Vikas Anathy, Ph.D., Christopher Huston, M.D., and Gary Stein, PhD all received faculty awards.
Read More>>

UVM Co-Rec Intramural Football Champs

October 22, 2017

The Graduate Student Team (Factor Deuce) played the First-Year Medical Student Team (First, Do No Harm) for the championship in co-rec flag football Sunday night, and won in a defensive battle by a score of 6-0.

Shown in the photo from left to right are:

Dillon Mccarthy (Chemistry), Karen Lounsbury (CMB faculty), Hannah Naughton (CMB), Gregory Johnson (Neuro), Kendal Castele (UVM undergrad), Andrew Lombardo (CMB), Maria Bravo (past CMB), Joshua Rose (CMB), JJ Bivona (CMB), Annalis Norman (CMB), Andrew Lounsbury (UVM undergrad), Noelle Gillis (CMB)

Not shown but also on the team are Rich Downing (UVM Software Engineer) and Anne Kelsen (MMG staff).

Way to go team!

Benjamin King Successfully Defends Dissertation

October 10, 2017

Benjamin King, a CMB student in Dr. Jason Botten's lab, successfully defended his dissertation, entitled "Arenavirus transcription, replication, and interaction with host-cellular components" on October 10, 2017. He has accepted a Post Doc position at NYU working with Dr. Timothée Lionnet. Congratulations, Ben!

Research Unlocks New Clue in the ‘Race Against Time’ Between Microbes and Immune Response

September 7, 2017

CMB Faculty member, Eyal Amiel, with graduate student, Phyu Thwe publish new findings in Cell Metabolism.

Read more>>

Claire Brooks Receives Student Poster Award

August 30, 2017

Claire Brooks in the Ruiz and Radermacher Labs received an award at the 2017 Microscopy and Microanalysis Meeting for her poster entitled: "3D Structural Analysis and Classification of EmaA, a Collagen Binding Adhesin".  Congrats Claire!

Peibin Wo Successfully Defends Thesis

August 10, 2017

Peibin Wo in Dr. Karen Lounsbury's lab successfully defended his thesis, entitled "ASSESSMENT OF A FUNCTION FOR THREONYL-tRNA SYNTHETASE IN ANGIOGENESIS IN A MOUSE OVARIAN CANCER MODEL" on August 10, 2018. Congratulations, Peibin!

Andrew C. Little Successfully Defends Dissertation

August 9, 2017

Andrew C. Little, CMB student in Dr. Albert van der Vliet's lab, successfully defended his dissertation, entitled "FUNCTIONAL AND MECHANISTIC CONSEQUENCES OF DUAL OXIDASE 1 SUPPRESSION IN LUNG CANCER" on August 9, 2017. Andrew has accepted a position at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Congratulations, Andrew!

Dr. Benedek Erdos Receives Inaugural Bloomfield Investiture

July 31, 2017

CMB faculty, Dr. Benedek Erdos, was invested in a formal ceremony as the inaugural Martin E. Bloomfield ’56 M.D.’60 and Judith S. Bloomfield ’59 Early Career Professor in Cardiovascular Research. It is the first time ever at the University of Vermont that an early-career professorship has been endowed.

Read more>>

Jason Botten's Team Recognized at Annual SPARK-VT Competition

July 6, 2017

A research team led by CMB faculty, Dr. Jason Botten, was recognized for its work to create the first therapeutic for preventing and treating a life-threatening disease caused by hantaviruses. They were one of two University of Vermont-affiliated research teams awarded with SPARK-VT grants this year.

Read more>>

Arvis Sulovari Successfully Defends Dissertation

June 14, 2017

Arvis Sulovari, a CMB student in Dr. Dawei Li's lab (MMG), successfully defended his thesis entitled "Integrating Human Population Genetics and Genomics to Elucidate the Etiology of Brain Disorders" on June 14, 2017. He is now working with Dr. Evan Eichler at the University of Washington as a postdoc. Congratulations, Arvis!

Students March for Science

April 22, 2017

On April 22nd, CMB students attended marches in Burlington, Albany, Boston and Washington D.C. Read the article written by the first year students here.

Abbas Raza to receive AAI Poster Award

April 12, 2017

Congratulations to Abbas Raza, PhD Candidate in Dr. Cory Teuscher's Lab, for being selected for the American Association of Immunologist's (AAI) poster award at the annual meeting, Immunology 2017 on May 12-16 in Washington, DC. This award provides travel support to AAI trainees whose first author abstracts submitted to the AAI annual meeting are found to be exceptional by the AAI Abstract Programming Chairs. Selection is based on the originality and significance of the research being presented. Well done, Abbas!

Christopher Ziegler Successfully Defends Dissertation

March 24, 2017

Christopher Ziegler, a CMB student in Dr. Jason Botten's lab, successfully defended his thesis, entitled "KEY VIRUS-HOST INTERACTIONS REQUIRED FOR ARENAVIRUS PARTICLE ASSEMBLY AND RELEASE" on March 24, 2017. Congratulations, Chris!

Miranda Redmond Successfully Defends Thesis

March 17, 2017

Miranda Redmond  in Dr. Chris Berger's lab successfully defended her thesis, entitled "The role of N-terminal acidic inserts on the dynamics of Tau protein" on March 17, 2017. Congratulations, Miranda!

 

News Archives 2016

Luther Woodrow Pollard Successfully Defends Dissertation

December 14, 2016

Luther Woodrow Pollard, a CMB student in Dr. Susan Lowey's lab, successfully defended his thesis, entitled "MYO2 MOTOR FUNCTION IN THE CONTRACTILE RING AND THE REGULATION OF FISSION YEAST CYTOKINESIS" on December 14, 2016. Luther will now be going to Dr. Bruce Goode's lab at Brandeis University. Congratulations, Luther!

Joyce Kathleen Thompson Successfully Defends Dissertation

December 13, 2016

Joyce Kathleen Thompson, a 5th year CMB student in Dr. Arti Shukla's lab, successfully defended her thesis, entitled "THE ROLE OF INFLAMMASOMES IN ASBESTOS-INDUCED MESOTHELIAL TO FIBROBLASTIC TRANSITION" on December 13, 2016. Joyce has accepted a position at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Congratulations, Joyce!

Blas Guigni Receives Student Poster Award

October 6, 2016

Blas Guigni, a 4th year CMB student in Toth lab, recently received a student poster award for his research at the international Cancer Cachexia meeting in Washington DC. The title of the poster was "Muscle atrophy in breast cancer patients: role of chemotherapy-induced mitotoxicity and effects of exercise".

The award is given to students for the quality and potential scientific impact of their research, as well as their ability to present the poster to judges during the poster session.

Congratulations Blas!

Stumpff Receives Susan G. Komen Award to Study Aggressive Breast Cancer

September 29, 2016

CMB Faculty, Dr. Jason Stumpff, has received nearly $500,000 Komen grant to advance research focused on developing a targeted intervention for triple negative breast cancer. Read the article on Dr. Stumpff's achievement here.

Nicholas Heintz Honored with President's Distinguished University Citizenship and Service Award

September 29, 2016

Former CMB Director, Nick Heintz was recently honored with the President's Distinguished University Citizenship and Service Award at UVM. This annual award honors members of the UVM faculty who have established a consistent and outstanding record of service to the university community and is designed to acknowledge exceptional service by an individual who is recognized as a true university citizen for contributions to institutional building at the university. Congratulations Dr. Heintz! Read the full news story here.

Vicki DeVault Wins Young Investigators Award

September 21, 2016

Congratulations to Vicki DeVault, a CMB student in Dr. Jon Boyson's lab, for being selected to present at the Upstate New York Immunology Conference (NYIC) this October! She will also receive an American Association of Immunology (AAI) Young Investigators Award as a result of being one of the top 10 selected. Well done!

Christopher Ziegler is awarded the Norman R. Alpert Research Prize

September 19, 2016

Christopher Ziegler is the recipient of the 2016 Norman R. Alpert Research Prize. This annual prize recognizes the best peer-reviewed research article by a graduate student in the CMB Program. Check out the full article here!

Rui Yang Successfully Defends Dissertation

August 12, 2016

Rui Yang, a CMB student in Dr. Mercedes Rincon's lab, successfully defended his thesis, entitled "ROLE OF INTERLEUKIN-6 IN CD4 AND CD8 CELL EFFECTOR FUNCTIONS" on August 12, 2016. Rui has accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Associate at Rockefeller University investigatg the genetic basis of human infectious diseases in the Casanova lab. Congratulations, Rui!

Vicki DeVault Wins 1st Place Poster Award

May 6, 2016

Congratulations to Vicki DeVault, a 4th year CMB student in Dr. Jon Boyson's lab. Her poster, titled "SLAMf6 acts as a negative regulator of NKT cell expansion in the presence of a strong agonist" won a 1st place prize at the Dartmouth Immunology Symposium held on May 6, 2016.

Jamie Stern Wins Departmental Award

December 9, 2015

A big congratulations to Jamie Stern, CMB student in Dr. Chris Berger's lab. She was the recipient of the 2015 Cathy Bulman Award for Best Scientific Oral Presentation at the annual Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Departmental Retreat in November. This achievement certainly comes as no surprise, give that Jamie was also awarded First Place in the Senior Level Platform Talks at College of Medicine Research Day 2015 back in October... she knows her stuff!


Menelaos Symeonides Successfully Defends Dissertation

December 2, 2015

Menelaos Symeonides, a CMB student in Dr. Markus Thali's lab, successfully defended his thesis, entitled "HIV-1-Induced Cell-Cell Fusion: Host Regulation And Consequences For Viral Spread" on December 2, 2015. Mel will continue to work in the Thali Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate. Congratulations, Mel!


Krithika Rao Successfully Defends Dissertation

December 1, 2015

Krithika S. Rao, a CMB student in Dr. Jeff Spees' lab, successfully defended her thesis, entitled "Cell Engraftment and Secreted Factors of the Epicardium for Repair After Myocardial Infarction" on November 17, 2015. Congratulations, Krithika!


Andrew Little Wins Young Investigator Award

November 22, 2015

Congratulations to Andrew Little, CMB student in Dr. Albert van der Vliet's lab, who recently won a Young Investigator Award from the Society for Redox Biology and Medicine! Andrew won the Larry Oberley YIA Award in Cancer, recognizing the highest scored abstract/presentation in the area of Cancer.


Alcoholism and Eye Color Study Gains National Attention

July 5, 2015

CMB Student, Arvis Sulovari, and his advisor, Dr. Dawei Li, have been gaining national attention for their recent publication, "Eye Color: A Potential Indicator of AlcoholDependence Risk in European Americans," in the American Journal of Medical Genetics. They've recently been interviewed by Huffington Post, Yahoo! News, and local media such as WCAX. Congratulations!

 

News Archives 2015

Krithika Rao Publishes in Cardiovascular Research

June 2, 2015

CMB PhD Candidate, Krithika Rao, of Dr. Jeff Spees'Lab, recently published Human epicardial cell-conditioned medium contains HGF/IgG complexes that phosphorylate RYK and protect against vascular injury in Cardiovascular Research!

CMB Faculty Featured in Burlington Free Press

June 1, 2015

CMB faculty, Dr. Mary Tierney of Plant Biology and Dr. Mary Dunlop of Engineering, were featured along with CALS Dean Tom Vogelmann in a Burlington Free Press article about researching GMOs. Check out the article here!

Alumni Publish in PLoS One

June 1, 2015

Alumni, Brian Cunniff ('14, Dr. Nicholas Heintz's Lab) and Kheng Newick ('13, Heintz Lab) published recently in PLoS One. See the abstract and link to the article here!

Jimmy Nolin Successfully Defends Dissertation!

May 26, 2015

James "Jimmy" Nolin, CMB PhD candidate in Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger's lab, successfully defended his dissertation, "Redox Control of Allergic Airway Disease: Impact of Glutaredoxin-1 on Epithelial Driven Inflammation and Allergen-Induced Airway Remodeling," on Friday, May 22. Congratulations, Jimmy!

Abbas Raza Presents at OSSD

May 19, 2015

Abbas Raza of the Teuscher Lab recently presented his work at the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD) poster session in April. Check out the website to see photos from the conference (including a shot of Abbas presenting)!

Congratulations 2014-2015 Graduates!

May 18, 2015

UVM's Graduate College Commencement took place on Saturday, May 16th to celebrate recent graduates of the college’s programs. The following students graduated from CMB and related departments. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

Biochemistry
Adam Christopher Mirando, B.S. (Universit of New Hampshire) 2009; Weare, NH
Dissertation:  Characterization of a Non-Canonical Function for Threonyl-tRNA Synthetase in Angiogenesis
Advisor:  Dr. Christopher Francklyn

Amy Rumora, B.A. (Mount Holyoke College) 2007; Kalamazoo, MI*
Dissertation: Molecular Characterization of Purβ: A Purine-Rich Single-Stranted DNA-Binding Repressor of Myofibroblast Differentiation
Advisor:  Dr. Robert J. Kelm

Cellular and Molecular Biology
Brian Cunniff, B.A. (Elms College) 2007; Pittsfield, MA*
Dissertation:  Mitochondrial Structure and Function as a Therapeutic Target in Malignant Mesothelioma
Advisor:  Dr. Nicholas Heintz

Christian Sánchez Jordan, B.S. (Johns Hopkins University) 2007; Mayagüez, PR*
Dissertation:  Helicase-SSB Interactions in Recombination-Dependent DNA Repair and Replication
Advisor:  Dr. Scott W. Morrical

Joseph Patrick Klaus, B.S. (University of Saint Mary) 2006; Wapakoneta, OH*
Dissertation:  Determining the Role of the Ergic-53 Cargo Receptor Complex in Arena Virus Propagation
Advisor:  Dr. Jason W. Botten

Jane Tully, B.S. (Colgate University) 2008; Westfield, MA*
Dissertation:  Classical and Alternative Nuclear Factor-Kappa B in Lung Epithelium:  Impacts in Allergic Airway Disease and Avenues for Redox Regulation
Advisor:  Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Jia Zhou, B.S. (Beijing Institute of Technology) 2008; Zhejinang Province, China
Dissertation:  DNA Glycosylases Remove Oxidized Base Damages From G-Quadruplex DNA Structures
Advisor:  Dr. Susan S. Wallace

Pharmacology
Andrew McKenzie, B.S. (Shorter College) 2009; Columbus, GA*
Dissertation:  Mechanoregulation of Leading Edge PKA Activity During Ovarian Cancer Cell Migration
Advisor:  Dr. Alan Howe

MASTER OF SCIENCE

Cellular and Molecular Biology
Chloe M. Adams, B.S. (University of New England) 2008; Danville, VT**
Thesis:  Towards A Structural Understanding of Spore Germination in Clostridium Difficile
Advisor:  Dr. Sylvie Doublié and Dr. Aimee Shen

Laura Taylor Director, B.S. (Bates College) 2008; Wilmington, DE*
Thesis:  A Novel Approach for the Identification of Cytoskeletal and Adhesion A-Kinase Anchoring Proteins
Advisor:  Dr. Alan K. Howe

Parna Ghosh, B.S. (University of Calcutta) 2006; M.S. (University of Calcutta) 2008; Kolkata, India*
Thesis: Role of Heme Oxygenase in Modulating Expression of ROS-Regulatory Enzymes in Medicago Truncatula
Advisor:  Dr. Jeanne M. Harris

Pathology
Ivette Ariela Nuñez, B.S. (California State University, Northridge) 2011; Palmdale, CA
Thesis:  Traumatic Brain Injury Causes Endothelial Dysfunction in Mesenteric Arteries 24 Hrs After Injury
Advisor: Dr. Kalev Freeman

Zhouwei Zhang, B.S. (Beijing University of Chemical Engineering) 2012; Chengdu, China*
Thesis:  Investigation of DNA and RNA Markers by Novel Technologies
Demonstrates DNA Content Intratumoral Heterogeneity and Long Non-Coding RNA Aberrations in Breast Tumors
Advisor:  Dr. Mark F. Evans

* October 2014 Graduate
**January 2015 Graduate

Rui Yang Publishes in eLife

May 18, 2015

Congratulations to CMB Student, Rui Yang, who along with CMB Faculty, Drs. Sean Diehl, Doug Taatjes, Cory Teuscher, and Mercedes Rincon, just published “Mitochondrial Ca2+ and membrane potential, an alternative pathway for Interleukin 6 to regulate CD4 cell effector function” in eLife!

Andrew Little Wins Poster Award

May 12, 2015 

CMB PhD Candidate, Andrew Little, was awarded a Graduate Student Poster Prize from the American Physiological Society for his presentation at the 2015 Experimental Biology Conference. Congratulations!

Rui Yang and Mercedes Rincon win AAI Fellowship

May 7, 2015 

CMB PhD candidate, Rui Yang, and his mentor, Dr. Mercedes Rincon, have won an American Association of Immunologists “Careers in Immunology Fellowship.” This provides a lab with a year of support for a trainee for the purpose of furthering their career. Congratulations to Rui and Dr. Rincon!
For more information about the fellowship, click here!

UVM Health Education Ranked in Top Ten

March 26, 2015 

USA Today ranked UVM as 7th in the listing of the best colleges to study health professions in the US. See the article here!

Publication Highlights- 3/9/15

March 9, 2015

  1. The Histochemistry and Cell Biology pandect: the year 2014 in review.
    Taatjes DJ, Roth J.
    Histochem Cell Biol. 2015 Mar 6. [Epub ahead of print]
    PMID: 25744491 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
  2. American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 and Risk of Venous Thromboembolism: The Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study.
    Olson NC, Cushman M, Judd SE, McClure LA, Lakoski SG, Folsom AR, Safford MM, Zakai NA.
    J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Feb 27;4(3). pii: e001494.
    PMID: 25725088 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
  3. Myosin motor isoforms direct specification of actomyosin function by tropomyosins.
    Clayton JE, Pollard LW, Murray GG, Lord M.
    Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2015 Feb 25. doi: 10.1002/cm.21213. [Epub ahead of print]
    PMID: 25712463 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
  4. Identification of genetic determinants of the sexual dimorphism in CNS autoimmunity.
    Bearoff F, Case LK, Krementsov DN, Wall EH, Saligrama N, Blankenhorn EP, Teuscher C.
    PLoS One. 2015 Feb 11;10(2):e0117993. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117993. eCollection 2015.
    PMID: 25671658 [PubMed – in process] Free Article

Author Information

  • Taatjes DJ- Dr. Doug Taatjes is a Professor in the Pathology department and a faculty member of CMB.
  • Olson NC- Dr. Nels Olson is a Postdoc in the Pathology department and an alumnus of CMB.
  • Clayton JE- Joseph Clayton is a PhD Candidate in the CMB program in Dr. Matt Lord’s lab.
  • Pollard LW-  Luther Pollard is a PhD Candidate in the CMB program in Dr. Matt Lord’s lab.
  • Lord M- Dr. Matt Lord is an Associate Professor in the Molecular Physiology & Biophysics department and a faculty member of CMB.
  • Krementsov DN- Dr. Dimitry Krementsov is a Research Associate in the Medicine department and an alumnus of CMB.
  • Saligrama N- Dr. Naresha Saligrama is a Postdoc at Stanford University and an alumnus of CMB.
  • Teuscher C- Dr. Cory Teuscher is a Professor in the Medicine department and a faculty member of CMB.

CMB Alumnus, Michael Previs, PhD, Publishes in Science Advances

February 23, 2015 

Dr. Michael Previs, CMB Alumnus of Dr. Dwight Matthews Lab (’09), and Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at UVM, recently published an article entitled “Myosin-binding protein C corrects an intrinsic inhomogeneity in cardiac excitation-contraction coupling” in Science Advances.
Published along with Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Chair, Dr. David Warshaw and their colleagues, the publication talks about their discovery of how “a tiny piece of the engine known as myosin-binding protein C (cMyBP-C) is key to maintaining [the heart’s] highly precise tuning.” 1
To read more about their article, see Carolyn Shapiro’s piece in theCollege of Medicine’s recent news.
1. Shapiro, Carolyn. “Previs & Warshaw’s Study Shows Heart’s Contractions Rely on Critical Protein for Efficient Function.” University of Vermont College of Medicine. College of Medicine, 20 Feb. 2015. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.

Publication Highlights- 2/12/15

February 12, 2015 

  1. Mechanisms of Airway Hyperresponsiveness in Asthma: The Past, Present and Yet to Come. Chapman DG, Irvin CG. Clin Exp Allergy. 2015 Feb 4. doi: 10.1111/cea.12506. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25651937 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
  2. Diverse mechanisms regulate sporulation sigma factor activity in the Firmicutes. Fimlaid KA, Shen A. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2015 Jan 31;24C:88-95. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2015.01.006. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PMID: 25646759 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
  3. DNA-Pairing and Annealing Processes in Homologous Recombination and Homology-Directed Repair. Morrical SW. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2015 Feb 2;7(2). pii: a016444. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a016444. Review. PMID: 25646379 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
  4. Inflammasome Activity in Non-Microbial Lung Inflammation. Ather JL, Martin RA, Ckless K, Poynter ME. J Environ Immunol Toxicol. 2014 Sep 20;1(3):108-117. PMID: 25642415 [PubMed] Free PMC Article

Author Information:

  • Irvin, CG- Dr. Charlie Irvin is a Professor in Pulmonary Medicine and a faculty member in CMB.
  • Fimlaid, KA- Kelly Fimlaid is a PhD candidate of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in Dr. Aimee Shen’s lab.
  • Shen, A- Dr. Aimee Shen is an Assistant Professor in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and a faculty member in CMB.
  • Morrical, SW- Dr. Scott Morrical is a Professor in Biochemistry and a faculty member in CMB.
  • Martin, RA- Dr. Rebecca Martin is a PhD Alumna of CMB from Dr. Matt Poynter’s lab.
  • Poynter, ME- Dr. Matt Poynter is an Associate Professor of Pulmonary Medicine and a faculty member in CMB.

Dr. Dan Weiss featured

February 2, 2015 

CMB Faculty Member, Dr. Daniel Weiss, was featured in an article about lung stem cell therapy. Read the article here!

Publication Highlights- 1/26/15

January 27, 2015 

  1. Cow-to-cow variation in fibroblast response to a toll-like receptor 2/6 agonist and its relation to mastitis caused by intramammary challenge with Staphylococcus aureus.
    Benjamin AL, Green BB, Hayden LR, Barlow JW, Kerr DE.
    J Dairy Sci. 2015 Jan 15. pii: S0022-0302(15)00029-6. doi: 10.3168/jds.2014-9075. [Epub ahead of print]
    PMID: 25597966 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
  2. Identification of T. gondii myosin light chain-1 as a direct target of TachypleginA-2, a small-molecule inhibitor of parasite motility and invasion.
    Leung JM, Tran F, Pathak RB, Poupart S, Heaslip AT, Ballif BA, Westwood NJ, Ward GE.
    PLoS One. 2014 Jun 3;9(6):e98056. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098056. eCollection 2014.
    PMID: 24892871 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article
  3. Identification of TgCBAP, a novel cytoskeletal protein that localizes to three distinct subcompartments of the Toxoplasma gondii pellicle.
    Tilley LD, Krishnamurthy S, Westwood NJ, Ward GE.
    PLoS One. 2014 Jun 2;9(6):e98492. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098492. eCollection 2014.
    PMID: 24887026 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article
  4. Ezrin is a component of the HIV-1 virological presynapse and contributes to the inhibition of cell-cell fusion.
    Roy NH, Lambelé M, Chan J, Symeonides M, Thali M.
    J Virol. 2014 Jul;88(13):7645-58. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00550-14. Epub 2014 Apr 23.
    PMID: 24760896 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article

Author Information:

  • Benjamin, AL– Aimee Benjamin is a PhD candidate in Animal Science, Dr. David Kerr’s Lab.
  • Green, BB– Dr. Benjamin Green is a PhD alumni of Animal Science from Dr. David Kerr’s Lab.
  • Barlow, JW– Dr. John Barlow is an Assistant Professor in Animal Science and a faculty member in CMB.
  • Kerr, DE– Dr. David Kerr is an Associate Professor in Animal Science and a faculty member in CMB.
  • Leung, JM– Dr. Jacqueline Leung is a PhD alumni of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics from Dr. Gary Ward’s Lab.
  • Heaslip, AT– Dr. Aoife Heaslip is a PhD alumni of CMB from Dr. Gary Ward’s lab and is an Assistant Professor in Molecular Physiology & Biophysics.
  • Ballif, BA– Dr. Bryan Ballif is an Associate Professor in Biology and a faculty member in CMB.
  • Ward, GE– Dr. Gary Ward is a Professor in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics and a faculty member in CMB.
  • Tilley, LD– Dr. Lucas Tilley is a PhD Alumni of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Dr. Gary Ward’s lab.
  • Krishnamurthy, S– Shruthi Krishnamurthy is a PhD candidate in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics in Dr. Gary Ward’s Lab.
  • Roy, NH– Dr. Nathan Roy is a PhD Alumni of CMB from Dr. Markus Thali’s Lab.
  • Symeonides, M– Mel Symeonides is a PhD candidate in CMB, Dr. Markus Thali’s Lab.
  • Thali, M– Dr. Markus Thali is a Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics and a faculty member of CMB

 

News Archives- 2013-2014

First Years conduct a Poster Session
December 23, 2014 
Recently, as part of Data Analysis and Presentation, our first year students presented posters about their first rotations. Students and faculty were invited to attend and evaluate the first years on their presentation skills and posters. Congratulations to our first year students on a job well done!

Lab Spotlight: Boyson Lab
November 24, 2014 
Faculty Investigator: Jonathan Boyson, PhD
Dr. Boyson received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying the molecular genetics and evolution of major histocompatibility genes under the mentorship of Dr. David Watkins. He conducted his postdoctoral research at Harvard University in the in the laboratory of Dr. Jack L. Strominger studying the function of non-classical MHC class I proteins and the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Dr. Boyson joined the CMB program in 2003.
Members:
-Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher: Oliver Dienz, PhD
-Graduate Student: Victoria DeVault (CMB)
-Undergraduate Research: Patrick Bonson (Biochemistry), Murisa Malagic (Biology)
Accepting Rotation Students: Yes (third rotation)
Major Research Projects:
The major interest of our laboratory is to investigate the genetic and molecular determinants of innate-like T cell function and to determine how genetic regulation of these cells affects host susceptibility to disease.
Innate-like T cells (e.g., NKT cells, γδ T cells) are unusual, evolutionarily conserved T cells that are found primarily in the lungs, liver, and gut – tissues that have a high level of exposure to viruses, microorganisms, and microbial byproducts. They are thought to serve as part of the host’s “first line of defense,” through their ability to regulate the function of other leukocytes by rapidly producing a wide variety of cytokines and chemokines.
We have identified a genetic locus that regulates both innate-like T cell function and susceptibility to certain virus infections. Within this locus is located a family of polymorphic genes, called Slam genes, some of which are known to be critical for the development of several innate-like T cell subsets. The specific function(s) of the Slam receptors remain unclear. Below are some questions that we are either currently addressing or would like to address in the near future:

  • Which immune mechanisms regulated by this locus contribute to host pathogenesis and mortality after viral infection?
  • Which gene(s) in the locus is responsible for regulating susceptibility to virus infection?
  • What is the functional role of Slamf6 on NKT cells and γδ T cells?
  • What is the functional significance of the Slamf6polymorphisms that give rise to differentially expressed alternative splice isoforms expressed in NKT cells?
  • Does this locus regulate the host susceptibility to other pathogens, e.g., bacteria or fungi?

Exciting News in the Boyson Lab:

  • Welcome to Oliver Dienz who joined the lab this past summer!
  • Congratulations to Vicki DeVault for being selected for a spot on a NIH T32 training grant!
  • Welcome to Murisa Malagic who just joined the lab in Fall of 2014!

Haein Kim Publishes in Molecular Biology of the Cell
November 10, 2014 
Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences PhD Candidate, Haein Kim, recently had a paper accepted into Molecular Biology of the Cell. Ms. Kim is a third year student in Dr. Jason Stumpff‘s lab, who is also one of the paper’s authors.
“During normal cell division,” Haein said, “replicated genetic material is distributed equally to each daughter cell. The fidelity of this process requires the assembly of a cellular machine known as the mitotic spindle. Aberrant spindle function/assembly can result in cells with abnormal number of chromosomes, which is a telltale sign of trisomy syndromes and certain cancers. Our recent publication provides a molecular understanding of how an important class of mitotic spindle regulators, called kinesins, are specifically tuned for their function in spindle assembly.”
Read the abstract here and the full article is located here.

UVM receives HEED Award
October 31, 2014 
The university received the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award. Learn more about this award here!

Graduate Research Day 2014
October 10, 2014 
The Annual Graduate Student Research Day took place on October 2, 2014. As part of the day, there were graduate student research talks, a poster session, and Dr. Peter Paradiso, Distinguished Alumni 2014, as keynote speaker.
Dr. Chris Berger presented awards to the following students for their work:
2014 Alpert Award recognizing the best publication in the academic year 2013-2014:
Dr. Jacqueline Leung, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics PhD graduate (defended October 15, 2013) in Dr. Gary Ward’s lab, now doing her postdoc at the University of Indiana- Bloomington.
Poster session:
1st Place: Benjamin King, CMB PhD Candidate in Dr. Jason Botten’s Lab (Medicine)
2nd Place: Haein Kim, CMB PhD Candidate in Dr. Jason Stumpff’s Lab (Molecular Physiology & Biophysics)
3rd Place: Rajiv Jumani, CMB PhD Candidate in Dr. Chris Huston’s Lab (Medicine)
Research talks:
1st Place: Jamie Stern, CMB PhD Candidate in Dr. Chris Berger’s Lab (Molecular Physiology & Biophysics)
2nd Place (tie): Joyce Thompson, CMB PhD Candidate in Dr. Arti Shukla’s Lab (Pathology), and Greg Hoeprich, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics PhD Candidate in Dr. Chris Berger’s Lab

Stumpff Lab Featured On ASCB Twitter
October 9, 2014 
The Stumpff Lab was featured on the American Society for Cell Biology’s Twitter for the 2014 We are Research Campaign.
This campaign, which is aimed at Congress to encourage more funding for biomedical sciences, is putting a face to the labs that work hard every day to push forward the biomedical field.

Sulovari and Li publish in BMC Genomics
September 19, 2014 
Arvis Sulovari1 and Dr. Dawei Li 2 recently published an article entitled “GACT: a Genome build and Allele definition Conversion Tool for SNP imputation and meta-analysis in genetic association studies” in BMC Genomics.
Abstract:
The rapid evolution of DNA sequencing technologies during the past few years has accelerated findings in genetic studies of human diseases. The transition from genotyping microarray technologies to deep sequencing has created a challenge for investigators who want to combine genetic studies done with different technologies. Our recently published tool, GACT (Genome build and Allele definition Conversion Tool) solves this challenge very efficiently. A typical analysis takes mere seconds to minutes. GACT ensures that the genomic variation of interest follows the desired definition across genetic studies. In our paper we also analyzed the effects of the incompatibility between DNA variation definitions when merging data from two different studies and found that the effects could be detrimental to downstream analyses, such as imputation and genetic association tests. GACT has been accessed from users in 50 cities across 17 countries in the past month. GACT is available in its full user-friendly format here.
1Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences PhD Candidate in Dr. Dawei Li’s Lab.
2Assistant Professor, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics/Computer Science; CMB Faculty Member

CMB Retreat 2014
August 25, 2014 
Last week on Thursday, August 21, the annual CMB Retreat was held at the Grand Isle Lake House in Grand Isle, VT. The day started off with a panel discussion about Individual Development Plans for graduate students, followed by the Keynote Speaker, Dr. David Schatz of Yale University, who spoke about his lab’s work on VDJ recombination. After an enjoyable lunch, a few students gave poster “teasers,” or mini, clever commercials to entice people to come visit their posters at the poster session. After panel discussions on changes to the graduate college and off-campus opportunities, the poster session was in full swing. The day wrapped up with an awards ceremony, of which the following people took home prizes:
-Jamie Stern, Trivia Winner
-Adam Mirando, Poster Teaser Winner
-Deli Hong, 3rd Place Poster Winner
-Joyce Thompson, 2nd Place Poster Winner
-Jenna Foderaro, 1st Place Poster Winner

Lab Spotlight: Hondal Lab
August 13, 2014 
From redox biology to chemistry and back.
Faculty Investigator: Robert Hondal, PhD
Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry
Dr. Hondal received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh (1991). His graduate work was in mechanisitic enzymology in the Department of Chemistry at The Ohio State University (Ph.D. chemistry, 1997). While he was a graduate student he became interested in both protein engineering and the 21st amino acid in the genetic code, selenocysteine. He did one year of post-doctoral studies at Vanderbilty University, where he studied a selenium transport protein. Following his stint at Vanderbilt, Dr. Hondal moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he combined his love of protein engineering and selenocysteine and developed a method to make selenium-containing proteins by semisynthesis. He applied this technique to thioredoxin reductase, a key enzyme in mediating redox homeostasis in the cell. Since then, the Hondal lab has been studying the mechanism of this enzyme as well as their key question: Why did Nature choose selenium?
Members:
~Drew Barber – 3rd year graduate student (Ph.D. candidate)
~Christopher Dustin – laboratory technician (and incoming CMB student)
~John O’Keefe – senior biochemistry major (thesis)
~Zachary Ehret – senior biochemistry major
~Connor Payne – sophomore chemistry major (thesis)
~Erik Ruggles – Ph.D. Research Associate
Accepting rotation students: Yes
Major Research Projects: Major projects in the Hondal lab include: (i) Which chemical property of selenium is needed to make thioredoxin reductase and other selenoenzymes work? (mechanistic enzymology), (ii) The synthesis of a new selenocysteine analog that we hope to use as a drug to treat COPD and other diseases involving redox imbalance, (iii) Which chemical property of selenium explains its use in biology? Their hypothesis is that it imbues enzymes with the ability to resist irreversible inactivation by oxidation. They are currently exploring one-electron redox reactions as a special property that selenium confers to an enzyme.
Exciting News in the Hondal Lab:
Two papers were recently spotlighted by different journals:

Lab Spotlight: Wargo Lab
July 22, 2014 
The Wargo Lab strives to discover functions of novel bacterial genes in a fun and intellectually rigorous environment.
Faculty Investigator: Dr. Matt Wargo, Assistant Professor in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
Dr. Wargo received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Susquehanna University where his undergraduate research focused on the ecology of freshwater diatoms. He then received an M.S. in Botany from Texas A&M University studying dinoflagellate nuclear proteins. Dr. Wargo received his Ph.D. from Dartmouth College, where he studied the regulation of eukaryotic flagellar motility with Dr. Elizabeth F. Smith. For postdoctoral research, he studied microbial pathogenesis with Dr. Deborah Hogan at Dartmouth Medical School and mammalian lung biology with Dr. Laurie Whittaker (Leclair) in the Pulmonary Division of the Department of Medicine at UVM, before joining the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 2009.
Members:
-Grad Students: Jamie Meadows (MMG), Adam Nock (MMG), Graham Willsey (CMB)
-Undergrad Research: Yuzo Kevorkian (MMG), Dong Yi Chen (NSF REU)
Accepting rotation students: Yes
Major Research Projects: We are interested in Gram negative opportunistic pathogens and the environmental and host-derived cues that they use to transition from their environmental niche to the site of infection. We use forward and reverse genetics coupled with basic microbiology and biochemistry to discover and characterize bacterial detection systems used to sense their environment. For the organism that is the focus of our laboratory, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, these detection systems are often coupled with metabolic pathways to utilize the host-derived signal. Therefore, we also study the links between host detection and metabolism of host-derived compounds and the impact of these processes on infection.
We are interested in this topic for two primary reasons:

  1. To establish and propagate an infection, bacteria must properly respond to the environment of the infection site. Because many bacterial signaling systems and transcriptional regulators have no homologs in humans, these systems could be effective therapeutic targets.
  2. More than 60% of genes from well-studied bacteria have no known function. By using a genetic approach, we have been the first to ascribe function to nearly 20 genes in P. aeruginosa. This satisfies a basic sense of curiosity driven discovery, but is also a key contribution to the study of bacteria, because without established functions –omics technology can get you only so far.

Specifically, the three Wargo Lab graduate students are working on the following projects:
Jamie Meadows – The detection and metabolism of the host-derived molecule carnitine in P. aeruginosa.
Adam Nock – Regulation of choline detection and catabolism in Burkholderia thailandensis and the bioinformatic analysis of GATase-1 family transcriptional regulators.
Graham Willsey – Detection of host-derived sarcosine by P. aeruginosa and genetic analysis of ligand binding by GATase-1 transcriptional regulators.
Exciting News in the Wargo Lab:
Winter 2014 – Graduate the lab’s first PhD student, Annette LaBauve (MMG), who is now a postdoctoral researcher in the Branda Lab at Sandia National Labs
Spring 2014 – One of our recently graduated Undergrad researchers, Kenny John (MMG), successfully defended his Honors College Thesis and received a Distinguished Undergraduate Research Award.

Dr. Charles Irvin Featured on MedPage Today
July 11, 2014 
Dr. Charles Irvin, CMB Faculty and Director of the Vermont Lung Center at UVM, was featured on MedPage Today‘s website in an update about clinical developments in Asthma.
Watch Dr. Irvin and his colleague Dr. Michael Wechsler HERE!

Lab Spotlight: Glass Lab
July 9, 2014 
Faculty Investigator: Karen Glass, Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Science, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences/ Adjunct Assistant Professor, Biochemistry, UVM
Dr. Glass obtained her B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA in 1999. She then gained her Ph.D. in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics from UVM in 2005 before becoming a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA with Dr. Harry Noller (2005-2006). After her California postdoc, she worked as a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Colorado, Denver, CO with Dr. Tatiana Kutateladze (2006-2010) before coming to the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences as an Assistant Professor in Pharmaceutical Science in 2010. In 2011, she became an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Biochemistry at UVM and recently joined the CMB program faculty.
Members:
~Samuel Carlson – Technician, Lab Manager
~Mulu Lubula – Graduate Student (ACPHS MSPS Program)
~Sophia Kim – PharmD Candidate, class of 2015
~Chiara Evans – Undergraduate Student
~Shivram Singh – Pre-pharmacy Student
Accepting rotation students: Yes
Major Research Projects:
The human genome is compacted into chromatin, allowing nearly three meters of DNA to fit into the small volume of the nucleus. Chromatin is composed of DNA and histone proteins, and this DNA-protein complex is the template for a number of essential cellular processes. For example, DNA transcription, replication and repair are regulated by the spatial organization of chromatin throughout the cell cycle, which can be manipulated by chromatin remodelers that alter specific chemical modifications on the histones and DNA. Understanding the role of chromatin remodeling proteins in transcriptional control is important as deregulation of gene expression (due to mutation or overexpression) can contribute to disease progression.
The Glass laboratory investigates how epigenetic mechanisms regulate diverse cellular activities. High field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, and biochemical and molecular biology approaches are utilized determine the three-dimensional structures and functions of chromatin binding proteins implicated in human diseases such as leukemia, heart disease and cancer. Ultimately, these studies will lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets, more specific treatment strategies, and better overall outcomes for patients.
The current focus of the lab is to:

  1. Determine the role of the BRPF1 bromodomain in regulating the MOZ histone acetyltransferase in leukemogenesis.
  2. Characterize how MOZ interacts with RUNX1 in live cells to carry out its function, and identify genes it controls in normal blood cell development versus in the diseased state.
  3. Establish how ING PHD finger domains interact specifically with the unmodified and modified histone H3 tail, and understand how mutations in these tumor suppressor proteins are linked to cancer.

Exciting News in the Glass Lab:
In August 2014, Mulu Lubula will defend his MS thesis on the molecular basis of histone acetyllysine recognition by the BRPF1 bromodomain. Mulu had his abstract selected for an oral presentation at the 2013 VCC Symposium on Epigenetics and Cancer, and in February 2014 he gave a poster presentation at the Keystone Symposia on Cancer Epigenetics in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In April 2014, Amanda Poplawski (PharmD, class of 2013) had a paper published in the Journal of Molecular Biology.
Miranda Wells, Sophia Kim and Mulu Lubula traveled to Boston, MA in April of 2014 for the 13th Annual New England Science Symposium to present posters on their research.
In 2013, Dr. Glass was awarded a NIH R15 grant to study a unique double PHD finger and bromodomain in epigenetic signaling.

Lab Spotlight: Amiel Lab
June 23, 2014
Faculty Investigator: Eyal Amiel, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medical Laboratory and Radiation Science
Dr. Eyal Amiel received his BA in Biology from Amherst College (2002), and received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College (2009). He performed his postdoctoral training at the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake, NY prior to joining the faculty of UVM in 2013.
Members:
~Phyu Thwe (CMB graduate student)
~Daniel Fritz (Laboratory Research Technician)
~Nick Galasso (Undergraduate Student)
~Alexandra Ojemann (Undergraduate Student)
~Ben Adamik (Undergraduate Student)
Accepting rotation students: No
Major Research Projects:
The primary focus of our laboratory research is to identify novel mechanisms of molecular control of cellular metabolism in dendritic cells and monocytes of the immune system, and to determine how these influence the activation and immune-generating potential of these cells. Our studies, which include analyses of both mouse and primary human immune cells, are focused on the following areas of investigation:

  1. What are the nutrient requirements that support dendritic cell and monocyte activation and immune function at the cellular level?
  2.  How do changes in cellular metabolism in response to inflammatory signals govern immune activation and cell survival in these cells?
  3.  How can cellular metabolism be manipulated to influence the outcome of immune cell activation (i.e. can metabolic manipulation be used to enhance or dampen immune responses to affect specific target outcomes)?

Exciting News in the Amiel Lab:

CMB Student Publishes in Particle and Fibre Toxicology
June 4, 2014 
Congratulations to Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences PhD Candidate, Joyce Thompson, who recently published in Particle and Fibre Toxicology! See more about her publication, “Asbestos modulates thioredoxin-thioredoxin interacting protein interaction to regulate inflammasome activation,” here!

Lab Spotlight: Li Lab
June 3, 2014 
“The Li lab is the most intellectually stimulating and professionally rewarding environment that will consistently nurture your passion for inter-disciplinary research.”
~Lab Member, Li Lab
Faculty Investigator: Dawei Li, PhD, Assistant Professor in the department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics. Dr. Li graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China), and obtained training at Rockefeller University and Yale University.
Members:
~Arvis Sulovari, CMB PhD Candidate
~Braeden Hughes, summer student from Macalester College
Accepting rotation students: Yes
Major Research Projects:
Genomics: to identify genes that predispose an individual to human genetic diseases such as mental illness.
Epigenomics: to study how environment exposures (such as trauma, parental maltreatment, etc) alter DNA methylation in children with behavior problems.
Omics: to study the complexity of mental illness through combined genomics, epigenomics, EEG and brain MRI imaging approach.
Exciting News in the Li Lab:
As a second year CMB student, Arvis has been honored with two highly-competitive national training awards in genetics at the University of Washington and Rockefeller University, respectively.

CMB Students Attend Holi Festival
May 27, 2014
First and second year Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences students attended a Holi Festival celebration this past weekend. Holi, also called the festival of colours, is one of the major holidays in India, which celebrates spring. As one of the parts of the celebration, people throw coloured powder on each other and spray each other with water.

Congratulations, 2014 Graduates!!!
May 19, 2014 
The 213th Graduate College Commencement ceremonies took place this past weekend on Saturday, May 17th. Doctorate and Master’s graduates obtained their degrees and received their academic hoods during the ceremony.
The Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences graduate program would like to congratulate all graduates on this wonderful accomplishment. We would like to give a special congratulations to our CMB graduates and the graduates of our associated departmental and sister programs! We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!


Rebecca A. Martin

PHD

Cell and Molecular Biology

Leah J. Novinger

PHD

Cell and Molecular Biology

Nathan H. Roy

PhD

Cell and Molecular Biology

Naresha Saligrama

PHD

Cell and Molecular Biology

Adam Sateriale

PHD

Cell and Molecular Biology

Kovi Bessoff

PHD

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Todd James Cramer

MS

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Annette Estelle LaBauve

PHD

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Jacqueline Man Yin Leung

PHD

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Anahi Veronica Odell

PHD

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Vivekanand Sharma

PHD

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Qing Tang

PHD

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Lucas D. Tilley

PHD

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Nathan Jebbett

PHD

Neuroscience

Gregory Lieberman

PHD

Neuroscience

Liana Elizabeth Merrill

PHD

Neuroscience

Simone Otto

PHD

Neuroscience

Nick Ortiz

MS

Neuroscience

Geoffrey John Schaubhut

MS

Neuroscience

Sonali Anupama Chathumal Herath

MS

Pathology

Catherine Marie Westbom

MS

Pathology

Jeffrey H. Shortway

MS

Pharmacology

Ting Yi

PHD

Physiology and Biophysics

Lab Spotlight: Stumpff Lab
May 19, 2014 
The Stumpff Lab uses advanced microscopy to investigate fundamental questions about the cell division process in a collegial, team-oriented environment.
Faculty Investigator: Jason Stumpff, PhD, Assistant Professor. Dr. Stumpff received his BS in Biology from Eckerd College. He then received his PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology before doing his postdoctoral training at the University of Washington with their Physiology and Biophysics department. He joined UVM’s faculty in 2011.
Members:
~Haein Kim (CMB Grad Student)
~Cindy Fonseca (Research Technician)
~Samantha Bissonette (Undergraduate Honors Thesis Student)
~Julia Torvi (Summer Undergraduate Research Student)
~Dana Messinger (Undergraduate Research Student)
~Cooper Pearson (Undergraduate Research Student)
~Sean Lenahan (Undergraduate Work Study Student)
Accepting rotation students: Yes
Major Research Projects: Our lab uses a combination of quantitative cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics to investigate the mechanisms that control the dynamics and function of the mitotic spindle during cell division. We are also exploring how spindle dysfunction contributes to human health disorders, such as trisomy syndromes and cancer. The main questions currently being investigated in the lab are:

  1. How do molecular motor proteins control the lengths of different subpopulations of mitotic spindle microtubules?
  2. What mechanisms mechanically regulate attachments between chromosomes and spindle microtubules?
  3. How does the spatial control of mitotic chromosome movements contribute to the accurate segregation of the genome and its 3D organization during interphase?
  4. How do the mitotic functions of the Shwachman Bodian Diamond syndrome protein impact bone marrow failure and leukemia predisposition in SDS patients?

Exciting News in the Stumpff Lab:
In August 2013, Haein Kim’s abstract on the role of Kif18A in primordial germ cell development was selected for a poster presentation at the Motile and Contractile systems Gordon Conference.
In the Spring of 2014, Sam Bissonette successfully defended her Honors Thesis on the mechanical control of chromosome biorientation during mitosis and had a paper accepted at the Journal of Cellular Physiology.
In May 2014, Cindy Fonseca won an award for the best poster presentation at the Boston Area Mitosis and Meiosis meeting, which was held at the Whitehead Institute.
In summer 2014, Julia Torvi was awarded a Robert and Marilyn Woodworth Prize to fund her research on kinetochore force dynamics.
Also in summer 2014, Haein Kim was accepted into a summer course through the Center for Physics in Living Cells at the University of Illinois.
In 2014, Jason was recognized with a Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Award from the March of Dimes to investigate the mechanical control of mitotic chromosome biorientation.

CMB Student receives Chateaubriand Fellowship
May 15, 2014 
The Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program is pleased to announce that Benjamin King, CMB PhD Candidate in Dr. Jason Botten‘s lab, has been awarded the prestigious Chateaubriand Fellowship from the French Embassy. Mr. King will go abroad to France for 7 months to study virus migration in cells at the Institut Pasteur, as well as help to create an international collaboration between the Botten lab and the Institut.
The CMB program and its students, staff, and faculty would like to extend a warm congratulations to Mr. King and wish him the best of success during his fellowship!

Lab Spotlight: Francklyn Lab
May 14, 2014 
Faculty Investigator: Christopher Francklyn, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry and Adjunct Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, gained his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1979. He then received his M.A. in 1983 and Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 1988, also from UC- Santa Barbara. He was then an NIH postdoctoral fellow at MIT from 1988-1991 with Paul Schimmel before coming to UVM.
Members:
~Susan Robey-Bond, Research Associate
~Adam Mirando, Graduate Student
~Jamie Abbott, Graduate Student
~Prairie Lefebvre, Undergraduate
~Shannon Lozito, Undergraduate
~Sean Bullis, UVM Medical Student
Accepting rotation students: Yes
Major Research Projects: The Francklyn Lab’s research group has been investigating the biology of tRNA and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) for over two decades. They have made many discoveries in this area in terms of the fundamentals of protein synthesis. Their work has gradually moved into the area of human disease. In collaboration with investigators from Franklin and Marshall College, they are characterizing a mutant version of human histidyl-tRNA synthetase that is genetically linked to type IIIb Usher Syndrome.
Secondly, in a collaborative project with Karen Lounsbury (Department of Pharmacology), they discovered a new function for threonyl-tRNA synthetase in angiogenesis and tumor metastasis. In additional to Dr. Lounsbury, they have recruited a broad team of researchers to investigate this problem, including experts in immunobiology (Matt Poynter, Department of Medicine), zebrafish (Alicia Ebert, Department of Biology), and microRNAs (Jane Lian). Through these efforts, they will establish the role of TARS in tumor growth and metastasis, and explore its potential as a molecular biomarker for prostate cancer diagnosis. As part of the Threonyl-tRNA synthetase project, they are collaborating with surgeons in the FAHC Urology clinic (Drs. Plante and Perrapato) to examine the expression of their enzyme in prostate cancer patients.
Exciting News in the Francklyn Lab: They have had a great experience developing new collaborations, and are excited to learn that they can study ARS related diseases in zebrafish. In collaboration with Dr. Alicia Ebert of Biology, they are developing an exciting new model.

Dr. Sylvie Doublié named a University Scholar
May 2, 2014 
CMB faculty member and Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Dr. Sylvie Doublié, was inducted into the University Scholars in a ceremony Thursday, May 1, 2014.
University Scholars recognizes UVM faculty, nominated by their peers, who have excelled in research and scholarly activities with the university throughout their career. Over the course of the next academic year, each faculty inducted this year will give a lecture in their field.
The CMB Program would like to congratulate Dr. Sylvie Doublié on being named a 2014-15 University Scholar!

Dr. Mary Tierney featured on VPR!
April 23, 2014 
CMB Faculty and Associate Professor of Plant Biology, Dr. Mary Tierney, was part of a segment on Vermont Public Radio about GMOs. Read the article and listen to the segment here!

Bioengineering Director, Jason Bates, named Deputy Editor
April 17, 2014 
Jason Bates, PhD, DSc, Director of CMB’s sibling interdisciplinary program Bioengineering, was named Deputy Editor of the Journal of Applied Physiology. Dr. Bates is a UVM Professor of Medicine and Molecular Physiology & Biophysics and the Interim Director of the School of Engineering, as well as an investigator at the Cardiovascular Research Institute at Fletcher Allen and UVM.
“This is a well-deserved distinction and very great honor for Jason,” said Dr. Charlie Irvin, CMB faculty member and director of the Vermont Lung Center.
Congratulations to Dr. Bates from the staff, faculty, and students of the CMB program!

Lab Spotlight: Tierney Lab
April 17, 2014 
Faculty Investigator:
Dr. Mary Tierney, Associate Professor of Plant Biology. A former director of the CMB program, Dr. Tierney is a graduate of Marywood College (undergrad) and Michigan State University (Ph.D). She did her postdoctoral training at Washington University.
Members:
~ Suryatapa Jha (Plant Biology PhD Candidate)
~ Natalie Wilson (Lab Technician)
~ Payton Hyde (Summer High School Intern, 2014)
Accepting rotation students: Yes
Major Research Projects:
The dynamic character of the plant cell wall provides a mechanism(s) through which plants selectively modify their extracellular matrix/cell wall as a consequence of growth and differentiation. We use Arabidopsis as a model system and have identified a suite of genes involved in vesicle trafficking, transcriptional regulation, and genome organization whose expression is linked to ECM organization and whose function is required for polarized growth. Many of theses genes have orthologs in yeast and animal systems. We are using multiple approaches to identify the function of these proteins and the mechanisms through which they maintain ECM structure and growth in plants.
Exciting News in the Tierney Lab:
Emily Larson, PhD, a recent CMB graduate, had a paper accepted to Annals of Botany (doi:10.1093/aob/mcu041, available online atwww.aob.oxfordjournals.org) describing the role of VTI13 in cell wall organization during polarized growth in root hairs.
Suryatapa Jha has been invited to give an oral presentation at the Secretory Biology Minisymposium during the American Society of Plant Biology meeting this summer.
Suryatapa will chair the Plant Cell Wall Gordon Research Seminar July 11-12, 2015.
Dr. Tierney will chair the 2015 Plant Cell Wall Gordon Research Conference July 12-17, 2015.

CMB Faculty John Barlow, PhD, Featured in UVM Communications
April 10, 2014
CMB Faculty John Barlow, PhD, was featured in UVM Communications on his Staphylococcus research: Read the Article Here!

Alumnus, Current Students, and Faculty Collaborate to Publish
April 9, 2014
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics alumnus, Kovi Bessoff, PhD, collaborated with current students, Rajiv Jumani and Jenna Foderaro, and CMB faculty Gary Ward, PhD, and Chris Huston, MD, to publish in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. The publication, entitled Identification of Cryptosporidium parvum active chemical series by repurposing the Open Access Malaria Box was published online ahead of print on February 24, 2014.
-Kovi Bessoff, PhD, defended on September 13, 2013, and is currently working towards his MD in the College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. His advisor was Chris Huston, MD.
-Rajiv Jumani is a current PhD Candidate in the Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences graduate program. His advisor is Chris Huston, MD.
-Jenna Foderaro is a current PhD Candidate in the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics department. Her advisor is Gary Ward, PhD.

CMB Alumni, Dr. Nathan Roy, Featured in COM News
April 2, 2014 
Cell and Molecular Biology alumnus, Nathan Roy, PhD, was featured in an article on the College of Medicine website about the STORM (Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy). Read the full article here!
Nathan Roy, PhD, graduated from the CMB program in November, 2013. He is currently a postdoc in Dr. Markus Thali’s lab, and will be starting a position at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia soon.

Dr. Eyal Amiel featured in UVM Today
March 20, 2014 
CMB Assistant Professor, Dr. Eyal Amiel was featured in UVM Today about his work in Immunology and his recent publication in Nature Immunology.
Read the UVM Today article here!

Drs. Weiss and Wagner Featured in UVM Today
March 14, 2014 
CMB Professor, Dr. Daniel Weiss, and postdoc, Dr. Darcy Wagner were featured in UVM Today, the university’s newsletter on their work in lung regeneration. You can read the article here!

CMB student, Menelaos Symeonides, publishes in Viruses
March 7, 2014
Cell and Molecular PhD candidate, Menelaos “Mel” Symeonides, published in Viruses, an open access virology journal today, March 7, 2014.
His paper, entitled Evidence Showing that Tetraspanins Inhibit HIV-1-Induced Cell-Cell Fusion at a Post-Hemifusion Stage, was published along with postdoctoral fellow Dr. Marie Lambele, recent CMB graduate Dr. Nathan Roy, and Mr. Symeonides’ PI, Dr. Markus Thali.

Dr. Amiel co-authors in Nature Immunology
February 27, 2014 
Dr. Eyal Amiel, Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences faculty member and assistant professor in Medical Laboratory Sciences, co-authored a paper in Nature Immunology. For more information, please see the article featured in University Communications.

Lab Spotlight: Huston Lab
February 18, 2014 
Faculty Investigator:
Dr. Huston, Associate Professor of Medicine – Division of Infectious Diseases, earned his bachelors and MD at Cornell University. He continued his training at the University of Virginia.
Members:
~ Adam Sateriale (CMB graduate student)
~ Rajiv Jumani (CMB graduate student)
~ Alan Chu (UVM undergraduate)
~ Peter Miller (technician)
Accepting rotation students: Yes
About the lab: The lab has two projects:
Project 1:  Entamoeba histolytica host-pathogen focused on understanding amebic adherence, phagocytosis, and motility. 
Project 2:  Cryptosporidium drug discovery and chemical genetics.
Exciting news for the laboratory: Kovi Bessoff, MD/PhD student, successfully defended his PhD in September, and has returned to medical school to complete his clinical rotations.  The lab also received new funding from the Welcome Trust for their work on Cryptosporidium drug development.

Article Highlights CMB and Interdiscplinary programs at UVM
January 16, 2014
A recent article by the College of Medicine highlights interdisciplinary science programs and researchers at UVM, including CMB’s PhD candidate, Krithika Rao, as well as Drs. Jeff Spees, Mary Tierney, Chris Berger, and Nicholas Heintz.
Read the article here!

Graduate Student Collaboration Published
January 3, 2014 
On December 31st, a paper by Adam Sateriale*, Nathan Roy**, and Chris Huston, MD was published in PLoS One entitled SNAP-Tag Technology Optimized for Use in Entamoeba histolytica.
The paper was a collaboration between Adam and Nathan using the STORM super-resolution microscope, a piece of equipment that the University is privileged to have.
*Adam Sateriale is a Cell and Molecular Sciences PhD Candidate in Dr. Huston’s Lab.
**Nathan Roy recently successfully defended his dissertation under the guidance of Dr. Markus Thali in the Cell and Molecular Sciences Graduate Program.

Brian Cunniff Featured in IMPACT
December 19, 2013 
Brian Cunniff, Cell and Molecular PhD Candidate in Dr. Nicholas Heintz‘s lab, was recently featured in UVM’s IMPACT: Graduate Education and Research News (December Issue). Read the full interview here.

2013 Durwood J. Smith Award Winners
November 14, 2013 
The annual Pharmacology Retreat was held on November 7th and 8th at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT. Their guest speakers were Dr. Luis Fernando Santana, Professor of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Washington and Dr. Kurt Beam, Professor of Physiology & Biophysics from the University of Colorado.
This year’s Durwood J. Smith Awards went to:

  • Yao Li – Best Graduate Presentation – “Contributions of Protein Kinase C and Rho Kinase to TRPM4-Mediated Myogenic Tone in Parenchymal Arterioles”
  • Eugene Cilento – Best Graduate Poster – “Trim32 as a Regulator of Potassium Channels in the Brain”
  • Laura Director – Best Graduate Section Chair
  • Thomas Longden, PhD, and Nuria Villalba-Isabel, PhD- Best Postdoc Presentations
  • Thomas Dalsgaard, PhD- Best Postdoc Poster

Congratulations to the 2013 Durwood J. Smith winners!

Dr. Landry’s University Scholar Seminar
October 29, 2013
Dr. Chris Landry, Professor of Chemistry and CMB faculty member, recently gave a University Scholar Seminar titled “Life’s a Beach: From Sand Castles to Chemotherapy” on September 25, 2013.

Luther Pollard Presents at National Meetings
October 28, 2013 
Luther Pollard recently attended the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2013 Annual Meeting and the American Society for Cell Biology 2012 Meeting.
At the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2013 Annual Meeting, Mr. Pollard gave a talk and won a Student Paper travel award for a paper titled “Tracking the Importance of Tropomyosin in Myosin-II- and Myosin-V-Dependent Processes in Fission Yeast.”
Mr. Pollard also presented a poster at the ASCB 2012 on “Fission yeast tropomyosin promotes directed transport in cells by converting myosin-V into a processive motor,” a paper by Joe Clayton, Luther Pollard, C. Bookwalter, A. Hodges, Dr. Kathy Trybus, and Dr. Matthew Lord. The abstract for this publication is as follows:
“Most class-V myosins studied to date are dimeric motors that walk along actin filaments as single molecules. This processivity relies on a high-duty ratio in which motors spend the majority of their ATPase cycle time in the strong actin-bound ADP state. However, recent studies have shown that a sub-population of myosin-Vs are low duty ratio, nonprocessive motors. Here we employed a low duty ratio fission yeast myosin-V (Myo52p) to investigate the role of tropomyosin on motor function and transport. Decoration of actin filaments with fission yeast tropomyosin (Cdc8p) converts Myo52p into a processive motor. Similarly, Cdc8p-decoration activated the movement of beads coated with small numbers of Myo52p molecules (that mimic in vivo distributions). This regulation was not unique to Cdc8p because budding yeast tropomyosins and two out of three mammalian tropomyosins tested also activated Myo52p processivity. Our findings reveal a novel mechanism of regulation that facilitates sorting of myosin transport to specific actin tracks within the cell.”
Congratulations on your recent endeavors, Luther!
Mr. Pollard is a Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Science PhD candidate in Dr. Matthew Lord’s Lab (Molecular Physiology & Biophysics)

Dr. Dawei Li and Arvis Sulovari Publish in Neuropsychopharmacology
October 22, 2013 
Dr. Dawei Li, CMB faculty member in Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, and Arvis Sulovari, second-year CMB graduate student in Dr. Li’s Lab, have published inNeurophsychopharmacology (NPP), a nature publishing group journal.
Dr. Li and Arvis said the following about their publication:
“Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) receptors are involved in various complex psychiatric disorders including substance dependence. In the past few years, many genetic association studies have focused on the GABA receptor genes to identify common variants that are associated with these disorders but they have not been able to agree on any particular variants. In our most recent paper “Association of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid A Receptor α 2 Gene (GABRA2) with Alcohol Use Disorder” we attempt to reconcile these disagreements by showing that a meta-analysis of previous studies in combination with our own data can identify variants in the GABA receptor genes that are associated with substance dependence across studies. Our meta-analysis involved over 13,000 substance dependence case and control samples from various studies combined with another 3,000 case and control samples from our own data. Our study comprises the first or largest meta-analysis ever conducted between multiple GABA receptor genes and substance dependence. Finally, we placed our findings in two important contexts:
the current biological mechanisms behind substance dependence as well as specific gene-drug interactions.”
Their article, titled “Association of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid A Receptor α 2 Gene (GABRA2) with Alcohol Use Disorder” has been accepted, and the abstract can be read here.
Together with this paper, the Li Lab has recently published association findings of several other genes with substance dependence. The three other articles are published in NPPAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, and Human Genetics (in press).
Congratulations, Dr. Li and Arvis!

Recent Annual Biomedical Graduate Student Research Day update!
October 17, 2013 
The Annual Biomedical Graduate Student Research Day was held on October 10, 2013 in association with the College of Medicine, the Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences Student-Invited Speaker Committee, and the Medical Alumni Association.
The day opened with graduate student research talks, followed by the CMB Student-Invited Speaker for 2013, Dr. Larry Goldstein of UC San Diego, and rounded off by a graduate student poster session and reception. Awards were presented to first, second, and third place for both the talks and poster sessions as follows:
Research Talk Awards:

  • 1st Place: Krithika Rao, CMB PhD Student in Dr. Jeff Spees‘ Lab
  • 2nd Place: Gregory Hoeprich, MPBP PhD Student in Dr. Chris Berger‘s Lab
  • 3rd Place: Andrew McKenzie, Pharmacology PhD Student in Dr. Alan Howe‘s Lab AND Ahmed Abdeen Hamed, Computer Science Graduate Student of Dr. Xindong Wu and Dr. Ben Littenberg

Poster Session Awards

  • 1st Place: Thomas Sladewski, MPBP PhD Student in Dr. Kathleen Trybus‘ Lab
  • 2nd Place: Benjamin King, CMB PhD Student in Dr. Jason Botten‘s Lab
  • 3rd Place: Laura Director, CMB PhD Candidate in Dr. Alan Howe‘s Lab AND Deli Hong, Visiting Biochemistry PhD Candidate in Dr. Gary Stein‘s Lab

 Congratulations to all the award winners!
Thank you to all the graduate students who participated, as well as Dr. Larry Goldstein for being a fantastic Keynote Speaker! Also, thank you to Nathan Roy for coordinating Dr. Goldstein’s visit, and to our faculty judges, Drs. Cindy Forehand, Alicia Ebert, Tom Jetton, Chris Berger, Rob Hondal, and Joe Brayden.

Dr. Emily Larson starts Postdoc
October 11, 2013
It is with great pleasure that we announce that our recent graduate, Emily Larson, PhD has made it to Scotland to work with Dr. Michael Blatt at the University of Glasgow.
After some minor visa issues, Dr. Larson has begun her post-doctoral position continuing in the department of plant physiology and biophysics. Dr. Larson is a graduate ofthe Cell and Molecular Biology graduate program this past May 2013 from Dr. Mary Tierney‘s lab.
Best of luck to you in the next phase of your scientific career, Emily!

Greg Hoeprich wins Outstanding Questions Award
October 8, 2013 
Gregory Hoeprich, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics PhD Candidate in Dr. Chris Berger’s Lab, attended the 2013 Motile & Contractile Systems Gordon Research Conference from July 28-August 2. At the beginning of the conference, Greg said, Dr. Erika Holzbaur, Chair, challenged the postdocs and PhD students in attendance to ask the first three questions after each presentation. Dr. Holzbaur and Dr. Fred Chang, Vice Chair, felt his questions were the most insightful, so they recognized his efforts with an award for Outstanding Questions.
The Gordon Research Conferences are smaller conferences that are more focused on specific topics. Specialists, faculty, postdocs, and students from the field gather and enjoy seminars from PIs and faculty, a poster session, and a casual interactive environment. Greg applied to the conference and was invited to attend and present a poster. He said he enjoyed the chance to interact with people in his field on a more intimate level than larger conferences allow.
Congratulations Greg!

Career Decisions from Dr. Wong of ActoKine
September 9, 2013 
On August 23, Dr. Grace Wong, CEO of ActoKine Therapeutics, visited UVM to speak to biomedical graduate students about working in industry. Her talk, entitled “Career Decisions: Academia vs. Industry & Get a Foot in the Door – Yin & Yang Lessons Learned from Working in Biotech/Pharma” received positive feedback from the graduate students who attended her lecture.

Recent Article Highlights New CMB Director
August 26, 2013
Dr. Nicholas Heintz, the new Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Science Program director, was recently highlighted in an article on the College of Medicine website. Read the article here!

Dr. Shen named Pew Biomedical Researcher of the Month!
August 14, 2013
Dr. Aimee Shen, Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences faculty member and University of Vermont microbiology and molecular geneticist, was named Pew Biomedical Researcher of the Month by the Pew Charitable Trust. To see the article and video about her and her research, click here!
Congratulations, Dr. Shen!

Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Science Students win Scholarship to Short Course
July 19, 2013
Vicki DeVault and Joyce Thompson, second year Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Science students in Dr. Jon Boyson‘s and Dr. Arti Shukla‘s labs, have been awarded full scholarships to attend the 54th Annual Short Course on Medical and Experimental Mammalian Genetics at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, ME.
The scholarships, funded by the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, will allow Vicki and Joyce to attend the two-week course, which starts next week, as well as require the students to present posters in the poster session.
“We are looking forward to learning genetics from a human disease viewpoint,” they said, “and how we can apply both the basic science and disease perspective to our own research going forward.”
Vicki and Joyce would like to thank the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation for providing the scholarship to attend the course, and their PIs, Drs. Boyson and Shukla, for encouraging them to apply to go to this course.

Lab Spotlight: Shen Lab
June 12, 2013 
PI: Dr. Aimee Shen
Dr. Shen is a graduate of University of Alberta (undergrad) and Harvard (PhD under Dr. Darren Higgins). She did her post-doc with Dr. Matthew Bogyo (CMB’s 2013 Retreat Keynote Speaker) at Stanford and joined UVM in April of 2011.
Members:
~Kelly Fimlaid, PhD Candidate in MMG
~Chloe Adams, PhD Candidate in CMB
~Keyan Pishadian, Lab Tech
~Kristin Schutz, Lab Tech
~Owen Jensen, Undergrad in MMG
Accepting rotation students: Yes
About the lab:The Shen Lab studies Clostridium difficile sporulation and spore germination. C. difficile infections are often caught in hospitals because the bacterium is naturally antibiotic resistant. The organism can cause a dangerous diarrhea that can be fatal. It is difficult to treat and eliminate because of the organism’s ability to form hardy, resistant spores. Spores are the infectious particle of C. difficile, so the Shen Lab is working on understanding the basic biology of how C. difficile spores form and how they transform into a vegetative cell during infection. The spore form is thought to be a major target for future therapeutics.
Exciting news in the Shen Lab:
~Kelly Fimlaid had a paper recently accepted to PLoS Genetics describing her work studying the regulation of C. difficile sporulation. Look out for an update on our blog when the paper is published.
~Kelly will also be going to Australia with Dr. Shen to attend the ClostPath conference in the Great Barrier Reef area. Dr. Shen will be speaking about the lab’s work at this conference.
~Emily Putnam, a Middlebury graduate (undergrad) and, until recently, a tech in Dr. Shen’s lab, has been accepted to the Microbiology PhD program at Yale this fall.
~Chloe Adams recently had a paper published in PLoS Pathogens describing the first crystal structure of protease required for spore germination.

Arvis Sulovari to Attend SISG
May 30, 2013
Arvis Sulovari, a Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences second year student, was awarded one of the scholarships from the Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics (SISG) at University of Washington. This summer, UW will hold the 18th SISG session where instructors from all over the country will be teaching several 3-day courses. These courses are designed to introduce geneticists to modern methods of statistical analyses and to introduce statisticians to the statistical challenges posed by modern genetic data. The courses Mr. Sulovari will be taking during his 10 day stay will combine topics in modern analysis of high-dimensional genetic data, quantitative human complex traits and analyses of large gene and protein regulatory networks.
“I am very excited for the opportunity and thankful to my P.I, Dr. Dawei Li, for helping me prepare the scholarship application.” Said Mr. Sulovari, “I am already looking forward to coming back to UVM and applying all the new knowledge I would have learned at University of Washington to my current projects in the Li lab!”
(Article written by Dr. Dawei Li and Arvis Sulovari; edited by Kirstin van Luling; 2013)

Kovi Bessoff’s Publication Highlighted in Nature: Chemical Biology
May 21, 2013
Kovi Bessoff, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics PhD Graduate student in Dr. Chris Huston’s lab, recently had a review written about his publication in Nature Chemical Biology.
The review discusses his work improving treatments for Cryptosporidium parvum, a gastrointestinal parasite, to potentially help locate a drug that might help with this often deadly infection.

Congratulations Graduates!
May 17, 2013
This Saturday, May 18, is the graduation ceremony for those who have obtained their graduate degrees in the Spring semester.
The CMB program would like to extend a warm congratulations to the following students:
-Jaime Jiménez-Diaz (Engineering MS, incoming CMB student, Dr. Jane Hill’s lab)
-Emily Larson (CMB PhD, Dr. Tierney’s lab)
-Kheng Newick (CMB PhD, Dr. Nicholas Heintz’s lab)
-Anahi Odell (MMG PhD, Dr. Gary Ward’s lab)
-Naresha Saligrama (CMB PhD, Dr. Cory Teuscher’s lab)
-Qing Tang (MMG PhD, Dr. Gary Ward’s lab)
-Phan Thai Saligrama (CMB PhD, Dr. Ralph Budd’s lab)
-Karl Zahn (CMB PhD, Dr. Sylvie Doublié’s lab)

CMB Program to Welcome Seven First Years in Fall!
May 2, 2013
Given Building on UVM Campus, location of the CMB office and graduate student study room (C141C)
The CMB Program is pleased to announce we will be welcoming seven students for Fall 2013! They will join us in August for our annual orientation week and CMB Retreat, which will be held on August 21st this year.
We want to extend a warm welcome to our incoming class and we look forward to them joining us soon!

Kheng Newick Successfully Defends and Upcoming Defenses
March 21, 2013
Kheng Newick, CMB PhD Candidate in Dr. Nick Heintz‘s lab, successfully defended her dissertation, “COMBINATORIAL APPROACHES IN TARGETING MITOCHONDRIAL REDOX SIGNALING AND FOXM1 EXPRESSION IN MALIGNANT MESOTHELIOMA” on Monday, March 18, 2013.
Originally from Malasia, Ms. Newick received her BS and MS in Microbiology from the University of Arizona before attending UVM for her PhD in 2009. She hopes “to be able to discover novel therapy targets for the treatment of [mesothelioma].”
Congratulations to Ms. Newick on a successful defense!

Upcoming Defenses
March 21, 2013
GRADUATE COLLEGE DEFENSE NOTICE: Emily R Larson
Doctor of Philosophy, Cellular and Molecular Biology Program, Advisor: Mary L Tierney, PhD
“New insights for the role of cell wall structure in regulating root hair cell shape and growth”
Friday, March 22, 2013, 11:00am, Jeffords Hall 326
GRADUATE COLLEGE DEFENSE NOTICE: Karl E. Zahn
Doctor of Philosophy, Cell and Molecular Biology, Advisor: Sylvie Doublié, PhD
Structural Studies of DNA Polymerases
9:30am, March 28, 2013, Stafford 410

First Year Poster Session a Success
March 12, 2013
Dr. Stephen Everse’s Data Analysis & Presentation II class held a CMB first year rotations poster session on Wednesday, March 6 and Friday, March 8.
The twenty first year CMB graduate students presented the work being done in one of the labs they have rotated in to faculty, students, and staff of the newly integrated CMB program.
“At first I didn’t know what to expect,” said first year CMB student and poster participant, Jamie Stern, “but I enjoyed the poster session and I think it went really well. It was good to experience presenting my science to other scientists. I think it was a great idea to do something like this, especially for students who’ve never made or presented a poster before.”

Kovi Bessoff publishes in “Antimicrobial Agents in Chemotherapy”
February 26, 2013
Kovi Bessoff, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics PhD Graduate student in Dr. Chris Huston’s lab, has published “Drug Repurposing Screen Reveals FDA-Approved Inhibitors of
Human HMG-CoA Reductase and Isoprenoid Synthesis that BlockCryptosporidium parvum Growth”
 in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
“Cryptosporidiosis is a diarrheal disease with serious consequences in young children including chronic stunting, as well as in immunocompromised adults (especially people with AIDS),” said Mr. Bessoff, “Most human cases of cryptosporidiosis are caused by the parasites Cryptosporidium hominis or Cryptosporidium parvum, which are usually spread via contaminated water, making the disease a particularly severe problem in the developing world. Nitazoxanide, the current standard of care for the treatment of cryptosporidiosis is not effective in treating chronic infection in children or severe infection in AIDS patients. Unfortunately, technical difficulties associated with working with Cryptosporidium parasites in the laboratory, as well as the lack of financial incentives to discover new drugs against this mainly developing world problem have drastically hindered efforts to bring new anti-cryptosporidial drugs to the market. In an effort to circumvent these obstacles, we developed a system to screen candidate compounds for activity against Cryptosporidium parvum. We then utilized this system to screen a collection of 727 compounds that are either FDA approved or have a history of use in human clinic trials, meaning that they have demonstrated favorable safety profiles. Our recent publication outlines the development, optimization, and validation of the screening pipeline, and describes some of the drugs that we identified as repurposing candidates for the treatment of cryptosporidiosis, including itavastatin, which is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor that is traditionally used as a medicine to treat high cholesterol. Finally, through a combination of bioinformatic analysis and additional experiments, we were able to develop a model of how itavastatin might be working to inhibit the parasite.”
Congratulations on your publication, Kovi!

Chloe Adams publishes in PLoS Pathogens
February 13, 2013
CMB graduate student, Chloe Adams, along with Dr. Brian Eckenroth, Emily Putnam, Dr. Sylvie Doublié, and Dr. Aimee Shen, has published her article entitled “Structural and functional analysis of the CspB protease required for Clostridium spore germination,” published in PLoS Pathogens.
“We solved the 1.6 Å structure of CspB, a protease from Clostridium perfringens, a food-poisoning pathogen closely related to Clostridium difficile,” said Ms. Adams, regarding her article, “CspB is necessary for activation of SleC, a peptidoglycan hydrolase required for germination from spores. When the structure revealed three distinct domains, we explored the role of each. We determined that the prodomain is required for proper folding (as shown by others in related enzymes) but remains associated with the enzyme, which is highly unusual, and is blocking the active site. There is a 130 amino acid insertion that forms a jelly roll beta barrel domain which confers stability and rigidity to the enzyme. The central subtilase domain looks similar to many other subtilisins, especially in the region around the active site, with around .1 Ångstrom difference in positions of the catalytic residues. Our study provides the first molecular insight into CspB activity and function.”
Congratulations, Chloe!

Christian Jordan receives Keystone Symposia Scholarship
January 3, 2013
CMB MD/PhD student, Christian Jordan, was awarded a Keystone Symposia Underrepresented Minority Scholarship to attend the 2013 DNA Replication and Recombination Meeting on March 3-8, 2013 in Banff, Alberta, Canada. This award is made possible through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Ancillary Training Program.
The meeting takes place at the Fairmont Banff Springs and keynote speakers include Frederick W. Alt, PhD, of Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Kenneth K. Marians, PhD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Congratulations, Christian, and enjoy the conference!

 

News Archives- 2011-2012

Adam Sateriale Publishes in Infection and Immunity
November 30, 2012
Adam Sateriale, CMB graduate student in Dr. Chris Huston‘s lab, published his paper, “Feed-Forward Regulation of Phagocytosis byEntamoeba histolytica” in Infection and Immunity. The publication is part of their December 2012 issue.
Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan parasite that causes amebic dysentery, yet only 10% of cases result in invasive infections. Using microarray analysis we have identified a pattern of gene regulation that leads to increased Entamoeba histolytica phagocytosis which is strongly correlated with virulence in humans.” Mr. Sateriale said about his research.
Congratulations on your publication!

Graduate Students win D.J. Smith Awards at the 2012 Pharmacology Retreat
November 26, 2012
2012 Best Presentation by a Graduate Student winner, Arsalan Syed, describing his research.
Arsalan Syed, Jeff Shortway, and Yao Li recently won Durwood J. Smith Awards for excellence in Pharmacology at the annual Pharmacology Retreat in November 2012.
Mr. Syed won Best Presentation by a Graduate Student for his talk entitled “Mechanism of PACAP induced dilation of middle meningeal artery: Involvement of KATP channels.”
Mr. Shortway won the award for Best Poster with his poster“The Effects of Alpha-Subunit Ratio on Kv1.2/Kv1.5 Potassium Channel Modulation by RHOA.”
Ms. Li won Best Section Chair. Congratulations to all!
The Annual Pharmacology Retreat was held on November 8th and 9th at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT. Guest speakers included Dr. Constantino Iadecola of the Weill Cornell Medical College and Dr. Edith Hamel of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University.

MMG Graduate Student, Kovi Bessoff, wins Young Investigator Award
November 16, 2012
Kovi Bessoff, MMG graduate student in Dr. Chris Huston’s lab, recently was presented with the Young Investigator Award at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene meeting in Atlanta, GA.
Mr. Bessoff presented his research entitled “Improving herapeutics for the Treatment of Cryptosporidiosis using High Throughput Methods.”
Regarding his work, Mr. Bessoff said, “We study a parasite called Cryptosporirium parvum which, along with another closely related parasite, causes a diarrheal disease known as cryptosporidiosis. The disease is a leading cause of diarrhea in the developing world, and is particularly devastating to AIDS patients and little children. Currently there are no vaccines or effective treatments available, and the high cost of drug development as well as technical challenges associated with studying the parasite make the discovery of new drugs very difficult. We developed a system to test existing drugs for activity against the parasite with the hopes of identifying existing medications that could also be used to treat cryptosporidiosis. We discovered that the cholesterol lowering drug itavastatin has good activity against the parasite, and we believe that it inhibits C. parvum growth by the same mechanism that it employs to reduce cholesterol levels. We think this is sufficient evidence to conduct human clinical trials of itavastatin for the treatment of cryptosporidiosis.”
Congratulations on getting your important research recognized!

CMB Faculty Member, Aimee Shen, to run OAT Seminar
October 9, 2012
Aimee Shen and the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Department will be holding an Off the Academic Track (OAT) Career Panel about Jobs in the Industry on Friday, October 26, 2012 from 12:00-1:30pm in HSRF 300, followed later by a Mixer from 4:00-5:00pm in Stafford 201, where students can socialize informally with the speakers.
Speakers will include Michael Wichroski, PhD, Senior Research Investigator II at Briston-Myers Squibb, and graduate from Dr. Gary Ward’s lab, Matthew Stokes, PhD, Scientist III at Cell Signaling, and Hubert Lam, PhD, Manager of Bacteriology at Sanofi Pasteur Biologics.
“This career panel is part “Off-the-academic-track” seminar series that aims to address the need to better educate students about careers outside of academia,” says Dr. Shen, “[Students can] come learn about careers available in industry, specifically at the bench.”

CMB’s Kheng Newick Attends iMIG meeting
September 24, 2012
Kheng Newick recently received a travel award to attend the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMIG) meeting, which took place September 11-14, 2012 in Boston, MA.
Ms. Newick presented a poster titled “COMBINATORIAL APPROACHES FOR TARGETING MITOCHONDRIAL REDOX SIGNALING AND FOXM1 EXPRESSION IN MALIGNANT MESOTHELIOMA,” describing the work that she did with Brian Cunniff, Balaraman Kalyanaraman, Paul Held, Jack Arbiser, Harvey Pass, Brooke T. Mossman, Arti Shukla, and Nicholas Heintz. You can see her research description in the iMIG Abstract Handbook (see pages 148-149).
She previously won a travel fellowship from the Society for Free Radical Biology in 2009 and recently had her first paper published in PLoS ONE: Peroxiredoxin 3 Is a Redox-Dependent Target of Thiostrepton in Malignant Mesothelioma Cells. She is working on her dissertation in the CMB program under the mentoring of Nicholas Heintz, PhD.

Brian Cunniff Wins Young Investigator Award
September 17, 2012
Brian Cunniff, a CMB graduate student currently studying in Cambridge, England for his dissertation, was recently awarded a Young Investigator Award for his platform presentation titled “Mitochondrial Architecture, Oxidant Production and Redox Signaling in Malignant Mesothelioma Cells” at the Society for Free Radical Research International meeting at Imperial College, London.
Mr. Cunniff is currently pursuing his thesis studies on a SFRBM Mini-Fellowship and a College of Medicine Scholarship with Dr. Michael Murphy in his laboratory at the Mitochondrial Biology Unit of the MRC. This is one of the most prominent mitochondrial physiology labs in the world. Brian will be in Cambridge until mid-December, when he will return to continue his studies at UVM.
Congratulations, Brian, and the CMB program looks forward to hearing about your time in the UK when you return!

CMB Alumnus, Dr. Michael Previs, and CMB Faculty, Dr. David Warshaw Publish in Science Magazine
August 31, 2012
On August 23, 2012, Science Magazine published a paper by CMB Program Alumnus, Michael Previs, Ph.D., S. Beck Previs, J. Gulick, J. Robbins, and CMB Faculty Member, David Warshaw, Ph.D. titled “Molecular Mechanics of Cardiac Myosin-Binding Protein C in Native Thick Filaments.”
In this paper, they delve into the mystery of how mutations in the gene for cardiac myosin-binding protein C (cMyBP-C) may alter the function of the heart and can cause sudden death, as often observed in young athletes.
Read their article in Science Magazine to find out more about their studies and results in researching cMyBP-C using single molecule microscopy, mass spectrometry, and transgenic mouse models of human heart disease.

Ben Stark Successfully Defends Dissertation
August 31, 2012
Ben Stark successfully defended his dissertation, REGULATION OF SCHIZOSACCHAROMYCES POMBE MYO2P VIA THE
ACTIN TRACK AND MOTOR STABILITY, on Wednesday, August 29.
Dr. Stark will be doing his postdoc at Washington University in St. Louis with Dr. John Cooper.
Congratulations, Ben, and good luck in your postdoc position!

Nobel Laureate Mario Capecchi, Ph.D. to Speak to UVM
August 29, 2012
The Vermont Lung Center for Immunology & Infections Diseases and the Vermont Lung Center welcome Nobel Laureate Mario Capecchi, Ph.D. to UVM to speak on Tuesday September 4 at 12:30pm in Carpenter Auditorium (Given Building).
Dr. Capecchi is a Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics & Biology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, as well as a 2007 Nobel Laureate for Physiology & Medicine.
He will be giving a talk entitled “Gene Targeting for the 21st Century: Mouse Models of Human Disease from Cancer to Neuropsychiatric Disorders”
For more information on Dr. Capecchi, see his biography.

CMB Welcomes 20 New Students
August 24, 2012
The new Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences program welcomed in 20 new students from various scientific backgrounds on August 13th. The students finished a two week orientation on August 24th that included the annual CMB Retreat, faculty presentations, and refresher courses on statistics and lab safety (just to name a few).
The faculty, staff and current students of the CMB program would like to welcome them to the new CMB program with UVM! We all look forward to hearing about your studies and getting to know each one of you! Congratulations on becoming a CMB Graduate Student!

Sarah Abdalla Successfully Defends Her Thesis
August 24, 2012
Sarah Abdalla successfully defended her thesis, “Identification of the Regions in Factor V Mediating its Endocytosis by Megakaryocytes to Form the Unique Platelet-derived Cofactor Molecule,” on Tuesday, August 21, 2012.
Ms. Abdalla was working towards a Master of Science in Biochemistry under the advisement of Beth Bouchard, Ph.D.
Congratulations and good luck in your future endeavors!

Andrew Menke to Defend his Thesis
August 24, 2012
Andrew Menke will be defending his thesis, A FUNCTIONAL ANALYSIS OF THE SWITCH HELIX INTERCHAIN COMMUNICATION DOMAIN OF THE CYCLIC GMP DEPENDENT PROTEIN KINASE, on Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 2:00pm in the Davis Auditorium.
Mr. Menke is pursuing a Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology under the advisement of Wolfgang Dostmann, Ph.D.
This thesis presentation is open to all those in the University Community.

Defense Notice: Benjamin Stark
August 7, 2012
Benjamin Stark will be defending his dissertation, REGULATION OF SCHIZOSACCHAROMYCES POMBE MYO2P VIA THE
ACTIN TRACK AND MOTOR STABILITY, on Wednesday, August 29 at 1:00pm in Stafford 101.
Mr. Stark is pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Cellular and Molecular Biology under the advisement of Matthew Lord, PhD.
This defense presentation is open to all those in the University Community.

Nicolas Villanueva to Defend His Dissertation
July 10, 2012
Nicolas Villanueva will defend his dissertaion, “Crystallagraphic Studies of Ligan Binding and Intermolecular Interactions,” on Monday, July 30, 2012 at 10:30am in the Davis Auditorium at Fletcher Allen.
Mr. Villanueva is going for a Doctorate of Philosophy in Cell and Molecular Biology under the mentoring of Mark Rould, Ph.D.
This dissertation presentation is open to all those in the University community.

EPSCoR to Host a Grant Writing Workshop
July 6, 2012
The Vermont Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is hosting a grant writing workshop on August 17th. This event is free and can be attended by graduate students as long as the student has registered for the event.
EPSCoR Grant Writing Workshop
When: Thursday, August 17th, 2012
Where: Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center in Burlington, VT
What: NIH R15, NSF RUI grants and Funding Resources Information
This Event is FREE and registration is required by 4:00pm on Monday, August 13.
More information about both events will be posted as they are listed on the EPSCoR website.

Paper by CMB Student, Alumnus, Post-Doc, and Faculty Accepted into Cellular Immunology
July 2, 2012
On Friday, June 29, 2012, Cellular Immunology accepted a paper by Naresha Saligrama, MVSc; Rajkumar Noubade, Ph.D.; Laure K Case, Ph.D.; Matthew E Poynter, Ph.D.; and Cory Teuscher, Ph.D., titled “H1R EXPRESSION BY CD11B+ CELLS IS NOT REQUIRED FOR SUSCEPTIBILITY TO EXPERIMENTAL ALLERGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS.”
Naresha Saligrama, speaking of their paper:
“Previously, we identified the histamine H1 receptor (Hrh1/H1R) as an autoimmune disease gene in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), the principal autoimmune model of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Using classical genetic approach, we explored the cell specific effects of H1R in EAE susceptibility by re-expressing H1R in H1RKO T cells and endothelial cells. In the present paper, we demonstrate that transgenic re-expression of H1R in H1RKO-CD11b+ cells neither complements EAE susceptibility nor T cell cytokine responses. Results of the present study highlight the cell specific effects of H1R in EAE or MS pathogenesis.”
Mr. Saligrama is a current graduate student in the CMB program under the mentorship of Dr. Cory Teuscher and Dr. Noubade is a 2007 CMB graduate of Dr. Teuscher’s lab. Dr. Case is a 2008 graduate of the University of Chicago, currently a Post-Doc Associate in the Med-Immunobiolgy department, and Dr. Poynter and Dr. Teuscher are CMB faculty members in Medicine.
Congratulations to all on their recent paper’s acceptance!

Derrick McVicker Successfully Defends Dissertation
July 2, 2012
Congratulations to Derrick McVicker, who successfully defended his dissertation, “The Dynamic Behavior of Tau on the Microtubule Surface: Implications of the Regulation of Axonal Transport,” on June 29th, 2012.

Maria Cristina Bravo Successfully Defends Her Dissertation
June 26, 2012
Congratulations to Maria Cristina Bravo for successfully defending her dissertation, “Understanding the Complexity of the Protein C Pathway,” on June 19, 2012.

Sherrill Macura Successfully Defends Her Dissertation
June 26, 2012
Congratulations to Sherrill Macura, who successfully defended her dissertation, “Characterization of the Biodistribution and Therapeutic Efficacy of Acid Prepared Mesoporous Spheres for Treatment of Malignant Mesothelioma,” on June 18, 2012.

William Diaz Successfully Defends His Thesis
June 26, 2012
Congratulations to William Diaz, who successfully defended his thesis, “Early parasympathectomy in Zucker rats: Effects on β-cell mass and function,” on Friday, June 22, 2012.

Jason Stumpff, Ph.D., Publishes in Developmental Cell
June 25, 2012
Jason Stumpff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, published an article in the May 15, 2012 issue of Developmental Cell with Michael Wagenbach, Andrew Franck, Charles L. Asbury, and Linda Wordeman of the University of Washington, Seattle, titled Kif18A and Chromokinesins Confine Centromere Movements via Microtubule Growth Suppression and Spatial Control of Kinetochore Tension.
“Our study combined quantitative cell biology and in vitro reconstitution of dynamic microtubules to elucidate two mechanisms that spatially control mitotic chromosome movements.” said Dr. Stumpff about his research.
One of their images was featured on the cover and they were also asked to make a video about their research, which you can view in their article.
Congratulations to Dr. Stumpff and his associates on this recent publication!

Brian Cunniff Awarded a Mini-Fellowship
June 22, 2012
Brian Cunniff, a current student in the CMB Program under the mentoring of Nicholas Heintz, Ph.D., was recently awarded a four month Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine Research mini-fellowship, starting in September 2012. Mr. Cunniff will be going to Cambridge, UK to work on a project titled “Combinatorial Approaches for Targeting Mitochondrial Redox Signalling and FOXM1 Expression in Malignant Mesothelioma” with Dr. Michael Murphy of the Medical Research Council: Mitochondrial Biology Unit.
Congratulations Brian, and good luck with your upcoming research!

Aimee Shen, Ph.D, named a Pew Scholar
June 19, 2012
Aimee Shen, Ph.D, assistant professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, was recently named a Pew Scholar for 2012. This is a prestigious award that invests in young scientists in order to help them continue important research to advance biomedical science.
The Pew Scholars for 2012 will be researching human health issues. Dr. Shen will be focusing her research on investigating a hospital-acquired, anti-biotic-resistant gastrointestinal bacteria, called Clostridium difficile or C. difficile. She will be researching why this bacteria can go dormant and then regain activity and what enzymes may cause these changes.
For more information on her recent success, please see her biography on the Pew Scholar website and the recent article put out by the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine.
Congratulations Dr. Shen!

Graduate College Defense Notice- Derrick P. McVicker
June 12, 2012
Derrick P. McVicker will be defending his dissertation, “The Dynamic Behavior of Tau on the Microtubule Surface: Implications of the Regulation of Axonal Transport,” on June 29th, 2012 at 1:00pm in the Davis Auditorium at Fletcher Allen. Mr. McVicker is pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy from the Cell and Molecular Biology program under the advisement of Christopher L. Berger, Ph.D.
This dissertation presentation is open to all those in the University community.

Graduate College Defense Notice- William Diaz
June 12, 2012
William Diaz will be defending his thesis, “Early parasympathectomy in Zucker rats: Effects on β-cell mass and function,” on June 22, 2012 at 2:00pm in the Colchester Research Facility- Room 202. Mr. Diaz is pursuing a Master of Science in the Cell and Molecular Biology program under the advisement of Tom Jetton, Ph.D.
This thesis presentation is open to all those in the University community.

Graduate College Defense Notice- Sherrill L. Macura
June 12, 2012
Sherrill L. Macura will be defending her dissertation, “Characterization of the Biodistribution and Therapeutic Efficacy of Acid Prepared Mesoporous Spheres for Treatment of Malignant Mesothelioma,” on June 18, 2012 from 10:00am-11:30am in the Davis Auditorium at Fletcher Allen. Mrs. Macura is pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy from the Cell and Molecular Biology Program under the advisement of Brooke T. Mossman, Ph.D.
This dissertation presentation is open to all those in the University community.

Jimmy Nolin is invited to University of Giessen annual retreat
June 12, 2012
At the ATS meeting in May, Jimmy Nolin presented his poster to Dr. Rory Morty, Director of the International Graduate Programme at the University of Giessen. Each year, several international students are asked to attend the annual retreat at the University of Giessen. This year Jimmy, a third year CMB student working with Dr. Yvonne Janssen-Heininger, was invited to attend. Congratulations on being offered this opportunity.

Board of Trustees Approves Name Change
May 22, 2012
In 1971, University faculty joined together to create an advanced degree in Cell Biology. For over twenty years, students earned masters and doctoral degrees in Cell and Molecular Biology. At last week’s Board of Trustees’ meeting, it was approved to change the name to broaden the ever changing landscape of research. The new name of CMB is, Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences.

First Year Student to attend European Histamine Research Society (EHRS)
April 25, 2012
Jason Pizzollo is a first year student in the CMB Program who has chosen to work with Dr. Cory Teuscher. Jason will join Dr. Teuscher and Naresha Saligrama in Belfast in May.

Naresha Saligrama earns funds to attend EHRS meeting in Belfast
April 25, 2012
Congratulations to Naresha Saligrama who earned a mini-grant from the University of Vermont Graduate Student Senate to attend the EHRS meeting in Belfast in May. He is also a finalist for the Young Investigator award from EHRS. News will be announced at the EHRS meeting in Belfast on May 6, 2012. Good luck.

Andrew Dunn Successfully Defense His Dissertation
April 11, 2012
Congratulations to Andrew Dunn who successfully defended his dissertation on March 29. Dr. Dunn will be a May graduate.

Naresha Saligrama to present his research at the European Histamine Research Society (EHRS) meeting
April 1, 2012
Naresha Saligrama is a fifth year student working in Dr. Cory Teuscher’s laboratory who will give two oral presentations and one poster presentation at the EHRS. The titles of his talks are, “Evidence Supporting The Existence Of A Novel Histaminargic Pathway In The Regulation Of Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis  Susceptibility,” and “Combinatorial Roles For Histamine H1-H2 And H3-H4 Receptors In Autoimmune Inflammatory Disease Of The Central Nervous System.” His poster presentation will be, “H1r Signaling In Antigen Presenting Cells Is Dispensable For Eliciting Pathogenic T Cells In Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis.” The meeting is May 2-6 in Belfast, Ireland.  Congratulations on this great opportunity.

Novinger receives Krulewitz Women’s Health Fellowship Award
March 13, 2012
Congratulations to MD/PhD candidate, Leah Novinger of Dr. David Krag’s laboratory, for receiving the Krulewitz Women’s Health Fellowship Award. This one time award is given to medical/graduate students who are researching topics related to women’s health.

Luther Pollard attends ASCB meeting in Denver
March 13, 2012
Second year student, Luther Pollard attended the ASCB meeting in Denver. He was selected to present a poster entitled “A transglutaminase-like protein participates in cytokinesis and cell morphogenesis in fission yeast”

Derrick McVicker publishes in JBC
December 15, 2011
Senior student, Derrick McVicker, of Dr. Christopher Berger’s laboratory, has published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. You can view the article here. Congratulations Derrick on this accomplishment and thank you for sharing.

Three CMB students earn awards at COM Graduate Research Day
November 3, 2011
On October 26, 2011, the College of Medicine hosted it’s second annual Graduate Research Day. Many students participated in the all day event showcasing current research. Graduate students were invited to a private luncheon with invited alumni, Carolyn Ellenberger, Mark Allegretta, Nicole Diehl, Marilyn Cipolla and Gerry Herrara. Congratulations to the award winners: Sarah Gillett (NGP), Joe Klaus (CMB), Ben Stark (CMB), Derrick McVicker (CMB), Andrew McKenzie (Pharm), Michelle McNamara (NGP) and Jeff Shortway (Pharm).

Bill Damsky successfully defends dissertation
September 23, 2011
Congratulations to Bill Damsky of Dr. Marcus Bosenberg’s laboratory (currently at Yale University), for successfully defending his dissertation on September 13, 2011. Best of luck to you Bill as you assimilate back to your MD training.

Archana Vaithilingam successfully defends her dissertation
July 27, 2011
Congratulations to Archana of Dr. Chris Huston’s laboratory, for successfully defending her dissertation on July 26. Best of luck to you in Boston!

Larson image chosen for Science feature aritcle
June 24, 2011
"P4Hs tip the scale for root hair growth" featured in Science 17 June 2011 Vol. 332 no. 6036 pp. 1393-1394 Emily Larson, CMB graduate student working with Mary L. Tierney, PhD, recently had her image chosen by Science for a feature article. View the article at Science.