Recent News


MGM News_Beth Sullivan (Feb 2015)Sullivan and team featured in Duke Today Variation in the coding region of the human genome is linked to changes in gene expression and disease and is an area of intense investigation. Conversely, few studies have focused on non-coding, repetitive DNA, sometimes called “junk” DNA because it was originally thought to have little impact on genome function. Beth Sullivan, PhD and her lab now report in Genome Research  that genomic variation in highly repetitive alpha satellite DNA influences the physical location of centromere assembly and has a direct impact on chromosome stability. Read more about this study in Duke Today.

Louis-Jan Pilaz_Silver Lab_DFTA 2013Pilaz appointed a Duke Regeneration Next Fellow.  Louis-Jan Pilaz, PhD (Silver Lab) was appointed a Duke Regeneration Next Fellow, one of 4 postdoctoral associates part of the inaugural cohort. This group of scholars will help shape and grow the regeneration science community at Duke.  The fellowship with partially support his salary for the next two years.  Regeneration Next was launched in 2016 by the School of Medicine to bring faculty, trainees, and staff together to advance discovery research and education.  Directed by Ken Poss, PhD, Regeneration Next supports eight research programs, each dedicated to a specialty within the field of stem cell and regenerative medicine, and a graduate program focused on developmental and stem cell biology.  [Announcement]

Blake Billmyre_Other Grad ProgramsShannon-Esher_MGM-GRAD-2012-150x150Kelliher_photoBillmyre, Esher, and Kelliher awarded an Interdisciplinary Colloquia initiative. Blake Billmyre (Heitman Lab), Shannon Esher (Alspaugh Lab), and Tina Kelliher (Haase Lab) received an Interdisciplinary Colloquia initiative for the Eukaryotic Pathogenesis Investigator Club (EPIC). EPIC was established in 2015 with the goal of fostering interactions among scientists studying eukaryotic pathogens at Duke and in the Triangle area. Despite the wide variety of laboratories studying mycology and parasitology at Duke, EPIC is the only seminar series focused broadly on eukaryotic pathogenesis. EPIC meets once monthly and consists of two research talks from faculty and trainees in the group, including members of the Tri-Institutional Molecular Mycology and Pathogenesis Training Program (Tri-I MMPTP). After a successful first year in which over 15 research groups at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill Universities participated, EPIC applied for and was awarded $5000 from the School of Medicine to sustain and expand the series to include two invited outside speakers.

 Alejandro AballayAballay featured in Duke Today.  Alejandro Aballay, PhD and his members of his laboratory have shown that manipulating dopamine signaling in the nervous system in C. elegans has a direct impact on inflammation in the gut.  Read more in the newly released publication in Current Biology [Science Direct].  Access the Duke Today article here.

kang-photo-bioYibin Kang, MGM Graduate Student alum, Cullen Lab, inducted into the Inaugural Class of Few-Glasson Society.  
Yibin Kang, PhD, Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University is among three distinguished alumni  inducted into the Inaugural Class of the Duke Graduate School Few-Glasson Alumni Society.  Yibin is a former graduate student of Bryan Cullen’s laboratory and is currently a professor at Princeton University.  More…

MGM News_John Rawls (Jan 2015)Rawls awarded an interdisciplinary Colloquia initiative. John Rawls received an Interdisciplinary Colloquia Initiative for the upcoming Duke Zebrafish Research Symposia. The Duke Zebrafish Research Symposia bring together basic science, transnational and clinical scientists from across the Duke campus utilizing the zebrafish to model diverse aspects of human health and disease. Supported programs include weekly research-in-progress meetings, an annual research symposium, and an annual principal investigator summit.  Dr. Rawls was awarded $5000 for a one year period to fund the symposia.

2015_16 Jonathan Bethke awarded an appointment in IBIEM program.  Johnathan Bethke was awarded an appointment in the Integrative Bioinformatics for Investigating and Engineering Microbiomes (IBIEM) program led by Claudia Gunsch.  IBIEM is an interdisciplinary graduate training program between Duke University and North Carolina A&T State University which brings together scientists from various fields with an interest in microbiome research.

Soman Abraham_Secondary FacultyAbraham and colleagues featured in Duke Medicine news.  Over the past decade, Abraham and colleagues have led many studies analyzing the immune responses to urinary tract infections (UTIs). One area of interest was investigating how bladder epithelial cells combat urothopathogenic E.coli after these cells have been invaded by the pathogen. Their research revealed that bladder epithelial cells actively expelled most of the infecting bacteria without any cell lysis. Recently, they elucidated the underlying mechanism of bacterial export and showed that it involved the transport machinery normally utilized by cells to secrete hormones. This work was published in the journal Immunity.  More…

David Martinez_Permar Lab Martinez awarded 2016 ASM Robert D. Watkins Gradudate Research Fellowship. David Martinez, a graduate student in the Permar lab, has received a prestigious 2016 ASM Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research fellowship. This award given by the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) recognizes the “best and brightest rising scientists” based on the research proposals they submit and on their research excellence. David will investigate the determinants of maternal IgG transplacental transfer to HIV-exposed uninfected infants. The fellowship stipend is $21,000 per year accompanied by a travel award to ASM Microbe, grant writing workshops, and is awarded for up to three years.

MGM News_John Rawls (Jan 2015)A Little Dirt Won’t Hurt:  Lawrence David, John Rawls, Pat Seed, and other Duke microbiome researchers are featured in a Duke Magazine article. Read the article here.


Stacy Horner Assistant ProfessorHorner awarded the 2016 Young Investigator Award.  Stacy Horner, PhD, was awarded the 2016 Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Microbiology.  this award is given to recognize and reward early career scientist for research excellence and potential in microbiology and infectious disease. Stacy was one of four awarded this prestigious award.

Coers, Jorn Coers named a 2016 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease. Dr. Jörn Coers is one of ten recipients of the 2016 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease award sharing the ranks with Audrey Odom, MD, PhD, Duke MSTP alum and Nels Edle, PhD, the 2015 invited MGM Retreat Lecturer.  More…


(Click here for more news articles)