NEWS

2018

Kevin Zhu, a PhD candidate in the Matsunami Lab, has been awarded a NIDCD Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Fellowship. This award will support his research to develop and implement a novel method to map the receptor-specific target sites of olfactory neurons traveling from the nasal epithelium to the olfactory bulb.

__________

Brooke D’Arcy, who joined the Silver Lab in March 2018, has been selected to receive a 2018 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship. The selection was based on her demonstrated potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the U.S. science and engineering enterprise.

__________

Dr. Nick Heaton is the recipient of the the Hartwell Foundation‘s 2017 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award and designation as a Hartwell Investigator. In selecting awardees, the Foundation takes into account the compelling and transformative nature of the proposed innovation, the extent to which a strategic or translational approach might accelerate the clinical application of research results to benefit children of the United States, the extent of collaboration in the proposed research, the institutional commitment to provide encouragement and technical support to the investigator, and the extent to which funding the investigator will make a difference. See the complete list of recipients here.

_________

Dulcemaria Hernandez, a graduate student in the Coers Lab, received the NSF graduate research fellowship for 3 years.The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

__________

Drs. Vance Fowler and Sallie Permar, MGM secondary faculty members, are the recipients of the 2018 Research Mentoring Award for translational research.   The Research Mentoring Awards were created in 2009 to honor the outstanding research mentors in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing.  Winners of this award demonstrate excellence in numerous aspects of mentoring, including accomplishments of individual mentees, programs implemented by the mentor, or by exceptional creativity in mentoring. These awards will be presented by Dean Mary Klotman at the annual Spring Faculty Meeting, which will be held at the Doris Duke Center, Duke Gardens on Wednesday, May 9, 4:45pm. 

__________

Dr. Bill Steinbach, MGM secondary faculty member, is the recipient of the 2018 Ruth and A. Morris Williams Faculty Research Prizefor his outstanding contributions in clinical science research.  This award will be presented  by Dean Mary Klotman at the annual Spring Faculty Meeting, which will be held at the Doris Duke Center, Duke Gardens on Wednesday, May 9, 4:45pm.  

__________

The Division of Human Genetics Scientific Retreat was held on Friday, March 16 at the NC Biotechnology Center in the Research Triangle Park. The keynote speakers were Stacey Gabriel from the Broad Institute and John Greally from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. There were several short talks from trainees and faculty along with a Happy Hour poster session. View the gallery here.

__________

Every year, F1000Prime gives awards to faculty members who have worked especially hard writing F1000Prime article Recommendations that have proved popular with users in the previous year and also to those who have made an extraordinary contribution to F1000Prime’s service. Congratulations to Dr. Joe Heitman for receiving an ‘Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year’ award!

__________

Michael Hoy and Giuseppe Ianiri both have received the Young ISHAM grant for the ISHAM 2018conference. Michael has also been selected to give a short talk to students and postdocs at the event. Congratulations to Michael and Giuseppe!

__________

Dr. Micah A. Luftig has accepted the NIH’s invitation to serve as a member of the Virology-A Study Section, Center for Scientific Review. Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. Service on a study section also requires mature judgment and objectivity as well as the ability to work effectively in a group. His term will be from July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2022.

__________

Professor Josh Akey from Princeton University gave a talk entitled “Genomic Tales of Human History” for a packed house at the UPGG Seminar on February 27. In gratitude for early support of his career as a postdoc at University of Washington, his MGM faculty host, Dennis Ko, presented him with a fragment of a Neanderthal hand axe.  

__________

Dr. Shinohara, MGM secondary faculty member, has been selected to be a study section member of the Innate Immunity and Inflammation (III) Study Section at NIH. Study section members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors. Study sections review grant applications submitted to the NIH, make recommendations on these applications to the appropriate NIH national advisory council or board, and survey the status of research in their fields of science. These functions are of great value to medical and allied research in this country.

__________

The fungus that causes athlete’s foot and other skin and toenail infections may have lost its ability to sexually reproduce as it adapted to grow on its human hosts. The Heitman lab paper on toe fungus was recently published in Genetics and has been getting news coverage. Read more about the research at Duke Today.

__________

Joe Heitman: two interviews about his research

JCI Insight article  &Weill Cornell Medicine article
__________

Animal Study Shows How to Retrain the Immune System to Ease Food Allergies: Soman N. Abraham, Ph.D., professor in Duke’s Department of Pathology and a secondary faculty member in MGM, is senior author of a study published this month in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Read the article by Duke Health here.

__________

Our own Amy Hafez, graduate student in Micah Luftig’s lab, has been elected as one of the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) members of the Duke Board of Trustees. Amy will be defending her Ph.D. on March 8th and plans to pursue post-doctoral work in Science Policy. We will be excited to welcome her back during her three-year term on the BOT.

__________

Joe Heitman, is the recipient of the 2018 American Society for Clinical Investigation’s (ASCI) Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award for his key contributions to our understanding of how eukaryotic microbial pathogens evolve, cause disease, and develop drug resistance; and his discovery of TOR and FKBP12 as targets of the immunosuppressive chemotherapeutic drug rapamycin. He will deliver the ASCI/Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award Lecture on April 20 at the upcoming AAP/ASCI/APSA Joint Meeting. For more information, see the interview published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation here, the School of Medicine blog here and Dean Klotman’s tweet here. Congratulations, Joe! 

__________

Congratulations to MGM secondary faculty, Sallie Permar and Georgia Tomaras for being elected AAM fellows! They were among 96 new fellows elected to the American Academy of Microbiology, an honorific leadership group. 

__________

Allison Roder, a PhD candidate in the Horner lab, has just been awarded an NIAID Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award  Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31). This award will support her research on defining novel regulatory controls of hepatitis C virus envelopment. Congratulations Allison!

__________

Congratulations to our Chair, Joe Heitman, for being a 2018 recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring. The recipients of the Dean’s Awards in Mentoring are recognized for helping to create a vibrant culture at Duke that values exemplary mentoring. The Dean’s Awards Ceremony will be on March 28, 2018 at 4:30 PM in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.

__________

On January 27, some MGM faculty and students attended the Black Tie Dinner for the Duke Bouchet Society. The purpose of this dinner is to showcase and celebrate successful minority scientists produced by Duke University. It is a night of inspiration and encouragement as we gather together, not only for fellowship, but to also hear the stories of Duke Alumni that have gone on to be successful in their respective fields.  Pictured is Emma Bonglack, Stacy Horner and Christine Vazquez.

__________

Ted Espenschied in the Rawls lab took second place in the Pratt School of Engineering photo contest with an image capturing a cross-section of the intestine of a transgenic zebrafish. To see Ted’s photo entitled, “The Inside Track”,  and the other winning photos, click here.

__________

John Lu, an MGM SURE alumnus, and undergraduate researcher in the Luftig Lab, was recently named a Marshall Scholar. This prestigious fellowship enables students to pursue post-graduate studies in the UK. In the Luftig Lab, John has worked on biochemical characterization of the interface between EBV and host proteins that regulate B-cell transformation. As a Marshall Scholar, he plans to study health policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine followed by a year of research toward a master’s in biochemistry at Cambridge. After this training in the UK, he intends to complete an M.D./Ph.D. and then embark on a career to develop vaccines that can eradicate neglected tropical diseases. A full press release on Duke Today can be found here.

__________

Division of Human Genetics Retreat –  This free event will be on March 16, 2018 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. The event is open to all Duke faculty, students, and staff interested in human genetics. Our two Keynote Speakers will be Stacey Gabriel of the Broad Institute and John Greally of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The program will also include short talks and posters by trainees and a social hour. Email kristin.thole@duke.edu to register.

__________

Lynne Zechiedrich, who was our invited guest speaker at the MGM retreat in 2016, was recently elected to the National Academy of Inventors. Lynne’s work on minicircles has been developing since the early 1990s. Twister Biotech, Inc. is a Baylor College of Medicine spin-out company from Lynne’s work. Read more about Twister Biotech here.

__________

2017

The ‘Innate Immunity, Inflammation, and Disease Symposium’ will be held May 23rd 2018, in the Great Hall of the Trent Semans Building. Registration will be required and is free. The event is open to all faculty, students, and staff. The program is being finalized and an update will follow soon.

__________

The North Carolina Microbiome Consortium is pleased to announce that it will hold its second inagural Microbiome Symposium on May 15th, 2018 at the NC Biotechnology Center in RTP. Please mark your calendars for a full day of industry and academic talks, networking and student poster sessions. Registration will open in the coming months.

__________

Duke researchers are 1% of the top 1% of most cited researchers. The Chronicle published an article with this information that includes two MGM faculty in the list. Bryan Cullen, PhD, and Georgia Tomaras, PhD, are in the top 34 researchers listed out of 3400 in their respective fields, according to a report released by Clarivate Analytics. We asked Dr. Cullen and Dr. Tomaras their thoughts on this list. Dr. Cullen said, “When you perform biomedical research, you of course want the resultant manuscripts to be widely read and to then influence the research performed by other groups. The fact that the research performed by my group has been cited in over 21,000 articles published by other scientists is very gratifying, as it shows that our research has indeed had a significant impact”. Dr. Tomaras added, “What stands out most to me are the technical staff, graduate students and postdocs who are the scientists in the lab every day making the experiments happen. Communication of scientific results through publication is a key part of scientific progress. One important driver of scientific progress is the strong day to day collaborations within and across the Departments in concert with the research institute model. In my case, this is with the Departments of Surgery, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Immunology, Medicine, and the Duke Human Vaccine Institute.” Congratulations on this recognition of your hard work!

__________

Claire De March’s book chapter is published. Claire De March‘s research, in Hiroaki Matsunami’s lab, focuses on understanding the complexity of olfaction at the molecular level. Using computer tools, cell biology, and sensory analysis, she hopes to help elucidate the strategy of our organism to perceive its volatile environment. She wants to establish the link between the chemical structure of an odor molecule, the biological processes involved, and the sensation it causes. Claire was honored in 2016 with “5 best Ph.D. thesis awards” from international foundations and the most impressive one is from the French newspaper, “Le Monde”. She wrote a book chapter with Cédric Villani, the Fields medal 2010 and member of the National Assembly of the French government. This book was published in November 2017.

__________

David Martinez, a PhD candidate in the Permar lab, has received two highly prestigious fellowships. He was awarded an NIAID Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Graduate Diversity Enrichment award. These awards will fund research projects involving factors that regulate the placental transfer of maternal IgG and mechanisms of HIV virus escape from maternal neutralizing antibodies. Congratulations David!

__________

The new Duke Microbiome Center (DMC) has officially launched. This Center will take the place of GeMS. The DMC was established to address the rapidly expanding interest among the public and scientific community in the pervasive roles of microbial communites in human health, the environment and biotechnology. The mission of the DMC is to cultivate and support microbiome science at Duke University.

__________

MGM Assistant Professor, Lawrence David, was selected for a Damon Runyon Innovation Award. The Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award is designed to provide support for the next generation of exceptionally creative thinkers with “high-risk/high-reward” ideas that have the potential to significantly impact our understanding of and/or approaches to the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of cancer.

__________

Former MGM faculty member, Hunt Willard, is named Director of the Geisinger National Precision Health Initiative: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/geisinger-launches-national-precision-health-initiative-300555595.html

__________

Katelyn Walzer, MGM Graduate Student wins ASTMH Young Investigator Award. The purpose of the ASTMH Young Investigator’s Award is to recognize the work of young investigators and to encourage developing scientists to pursue careers in various aspects of tropical disease research. Katelyn was one of 5 winners among over 80 applicants. She is pictured here with ASTMH President, Patricia Walker and other recipients of the 2017 award. See the complete list of past winners here. Congratulations, Katelyn!

__________

People with malaria give off a distinctive “breath-print”. Prof Audrey Odom John, PhD, the first Duke Undergraduate Student to work in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Heitman, James B. Duke Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology has researched and developed a prototype breath test to detect malaria. Read more about Dr. Odom’s prototype here.

__________

MGM’s newest faculty member is Craig Lowe, PhD. We are looking forward to Craig’s arrival to MGM in the Spring of 2018 from Stanford University. Read more about Craig here.

__________

Tobin receives 2017-2018 Thomas Langford Lectureship Award – David Tobin, PhD, Associate Professor of MGM presented a lecture about his research at the annual Langford Lectureship series on October 23, 2017. This luncheon series was designed to provide Duke’s faculty with an opportunity to hear about ongoing scholarly activities of recently promoted or hired colleagues. Congratulations, David! See pictures here.

__________

Congratulations to Dr. Emily Derbyshire for receiving the New Innovator Award. The NIH Director’s New Innovator award supports exceptionally creative early career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects. The Derbyshire lab has utilized novel strategies to identify host liver factors that are involved in Plasmodium infection. Through these studies, they found that the parasite’s liver stages have vulnerabilities that are distinct from their blood-infective forms. To better understand liver stage vulnerabilities, they propose to dissect the underlying mechanisms of host factor involvement in parasitic survival using an integrative multidisciplinary approach. Their work will advance the current understanding of host-parasite interactions during malaria’s elusive liver stage and will provide starting points for host-based antimalarial therapies to surmount the challenge of parasite drug resistance.

__________

Congratulations to Dr. Bill Steinbach who received the 2017 ID Oswald Avery Award. The Oswald Avery Award recognizes outstanding achievement in infectious diseases by a member or fellow of IDSA who is 45 or younger. See the full article here.

__________

In a study published September 26 in eLife, Duke researchers from the Heitman Lab show that lineages of the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus deuterogattii house a specific mutation in their DNA that increases their mutation rate. These ‘hypermutators,’ as they are called, rapidly develop resistance to the antifungal drugs FK506 and rapamycin. See the full article here.

__________

Michael N. Hall was awarded the 2017 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for discoveries in relation to Nutrient-activated TOR proteins that regulate cell growth.
Michael N. Hall of the Biocenter at the University of Basel discovered the nutrient-activated TOR proteins and their central role in the metabolic control of cell growth.  By showing that the TOR system adjusts cell size in response to the availability of raw materials, Michael N. Hall revealed an unanticipated linchpin of normal cell physiology. More…

__________

Non-coding alpha satellite RNAs are essential for human centromere assembly and cell cycle progression. New research from Shannon McNulty, a Duke MGM graduate student in Beth Sullivan’s lab, is featured in the August 7 issue of Developmental Cell. The study reports the crucial role of chromosome-specific non-coding RNAs produced from highly repetitive alpha satellite DNA at human centromeres and their interaction with key centromere and kinetochore proteins. The work is highlighted by a Preview published in the same issue of Developmental Cell.The primary research article can be accessed here.

__________

Al Harding (Heaton Lab) – A feature on Al’s work was just published on DukeTODAY! It describes how our technology can be used to produce improved influenza virus vaccines. https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-07/du-nvp072417.php

_________

Ristaino receives a Fullbright Award.  Jean Ristaino, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology received a Fullbright U.S. Research Scholar Award. Jean conducted sabbatical studies in the Heitman lab and us continuing to collaborate with Francis Fang in the Heitman lab on oomycete pathogens of plants. Read more here.

_________

Rawls and Davison feature in Duke today. John Rawls, PhD, Associate Professor and James Davison, Graduate Student in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology recent publication, “Microbiota regulate intestinal epithelial gene expression by suppressing the transcription factor Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha” was featured in Duke today. Read more about the research here.

__________

Tobin receives 2017-2018 Thomas Langford Lectureship Award – David Tobin, PhD, Associate Professor of MGM will present a lecture about his research at the annual Langford Lectureship series. This luncheon series was designed to provide Duke’s faculty with an opportunity to hear about ongoing scholarly activities of recently promoted or hired colleagues. Congratulations, David!

___________

Horner receives ASV award. Stacy Horner, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology received the Ann Palmenberg Junior Investigator Award from the American Society for Virology at the 2017 annual meeting in Madison, and presented a talk in conjunction with receiving the award.  This award recognizes junior investigators who have made significant contributions to the field of virology and who display exceptional promise. The award is named in honor of former ASV president Dr. Ann Palmenberg, University of Wisconsin-Madison, for her tireless efforts over several decades in supporting and continually improving our society’s annual meeting.  Stacy and her lab members have launched an exciting research program on mechanisms of innate immunity that defend against viral infection, and in parallel launched a highly successful pioneering program studying the impact of the modification of the N6 position of adenine by methylation on both viral and host RNA, studies that have resulted in a landmark publication in Cell Host and Microbe and featured on the cover (Gokhale et al CHM 2016) and a recent PLOS Pearls on this topic (Gokhale and Horner, PLOS Pathogens 2017).  These later studies contribute to the rapidly growing, emerging field of epitranscriptomics.  Congratulations, Stacy!

_________

Aballay receives an NIH R37 Merit Award. Alejandro Aballay, PhD, Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Director of the Center for Host Microbial Interactions at Duke University, will be receiving an NIH MERIT Award from NIGMS for his research project on the role of the nervous system in controlling immunity in the model host C. elegans. More…

__________

Horner named a Burroughs Wellcome Investigator.  Stacy Horner, PhD was awarded the Burroughs Wellcome 2017 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases award. The Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease program provides opportunities for assistant professors to bring multidisciplinary approaches to the study of human infectious diseases. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for accomplished investigators still early in their careers to study what happens at the points where the systems of humans and potentially infectious agents connect.  Read more about this prestigious award on the Burroughs Wellcome website.  Congratulations, Stacy!

__________

Reese named a Harvard Junior Fellow.  Aspen Reese, an UPE graduate student in Lawrence David’s lab, will be a Harvard Junior Fellow 2017-2020. Founded in 1933 by former Harvard President A. Lawrence Lowell, Class of 1877, the society has offered junior fellows academic freedom and the opportunity to take intellectual risks ever since. Lawrence David was also a Harvard Junior fellow. More information about this society can be found here. Additional articles: The Crimson – Party of Eight and The Crimson-High Society.

__________

Silver and Tobin promoted to Associate Professor. Debra Silver, PhD and David Tobin, PhD were both promoted to Associate Professors effective July 1, 2017. Congratulations to both of them!

__________

The Ruth and A. Morris Williams, Jr. Faculty Research Prize was given to David M. Tobin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Presented by Nancy C. Andrews, MD, PhD, Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Ruth and A. Morris Williams, Jr. Faculty Research Prize was established in May 2001 by Duke University Trustee Emeritus, A. Morris Williams, Jr., T’62, MA’63, and his wife Ruth Whitmore Williams, WC’63. It is presented annually to a faculty member at the Duke University School of Medicine who demonstrates the intellectual vigor, dedication, and scientific ingenuity needed to make a critical impact on the future of medical research.

__________

Gokhale receives the AHA Predoctoral Fellowship. Nandan Gokhale, an MGM graduate student in Stacy Horner’s lab, received the American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship. The objective of this fellowship is to empower postdoctoral trainees who are not yet independent with individualized, mentored assistance and training to initiate careers in cardiovascular and stroke research.

__________

Mitchell-Dick awarded and F31Aaron Mitchell-Dick, a Cell Biology graduate student in Debra Silver’s lab, received an F31 from NINDS.

__________

Petes Fest: Celebrating Dr. Tom Petes’s 70th Birthday.  Petes Fest: April 29, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn, RTP.  A celebration of Tom’s 70th birthday and his illustrious career. (Petes-fest schedule)

__________

Aballay and Valdivia promoted to Full Professor. Alejandro Aballay, PhD and Raphael Valdivia, PhD were both promoted to Full professor this past year.  Alejandro is the Director or the Center for Host Microbial Interactions and a member of the Faculty Honors Committee.  Raphael is Vice Dean of Basic Science and formerly the Director of Graduate Student Studies for the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.  Alejandro’s promotion was effective as of June 1, 2016.  Raphael’s promotion was effective March 1, 2017.  Congratulations to both of them!

__________

Aballay and Valdivia elected fellows of American Academy of Microbiology.  Professors of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Alejandro Aballay, PhD and Raphael Valdivia, PhD, were recently elected as fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology, an honorific leadership group within American Society of Microbiology.  More…

__________

Cullen and Su receive the Duke/UNC CTSA collaborative Pilot Award.   Bryan Cullen, PhD (Duke) and Lishan Su, PhD (UNC) receive the NIH Clinical and Transnational Science Awards (CTSA) for research on chronic hepatitis and anit-viral treatements.  More…

__________

2016

Martinez awarded ASM Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship.  The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has selected David Martinez, a graduate student in Dr. Sallie Permar’s laboratory, as a 2016-2019 award recipient of the ASM Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship.  More…

__________

Neural stem cells serve as RNA highways too.  Debra Silver, Ph.D., and assistant professor of molecular genetics and microbiology recently published a paper in Current Biology.  The research was featured in Duke Today and on the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.  To read the published manuscript, “Dynamic mRNA Transport and Local Translation in Radial Glial Progenitors of the Developing Brain,” Louis-Jan Pilaz, Ashley L. Lennox, Jeremy P. Rouanet, Debra L. Silver. Current Biology, December 19, 2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.10.040, click here.

__________

Rawls named AAAS Fellow.  John F. Rawls, Ph.D., an associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology in the Medical School is being recognized in the AAAS section on Biological Sciences for his “distinguished contributions to the field of symbiosis, particularly using zebrafish as a gnotobiotic host model to identify mechanisms underlying host-microbiota interactions in the intestine.” His research is focused on host-microbe interactions in the gut that regulate immunity, digestion and energy balance.  AAAS Anouncement. Duke Chronicle Article.

__________

Breast Cancer Cells Starve for Cystine. Ashley Chi, MD, PhD  recently published a paper reporting that cells from a vicious and treatment-resistant form of breast cancer, called triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), die off rapidly when deprived of a key nutrient called cystine.  Breast cancer is a collection of different types of cancer subtypes. Among different breast cancer subtypes, we don’t have effective treatment for triple negative breast cancer that lack any of the targets we use to target cancer cells. In this study, we have found that the triple negative breast cancer cannot live without the import of the cysteine, an non-essential amino acids. Therefore, the removal or blockage of cysteine import into cancer cells may help patients with triple negative breast cancer.The research was featured in Duke Today.  Read the full article here.  The research was featured in Duke Today.  Read the full article here.

__________

The Minute Marvels, Computing the Structure of Smell.  Claire de March, PhD was featured a 60 second video on the Duke Research Computing website.  Claire studies how we detect smells and the molecular structures that accomplish the work of disclosing odors to our consciousness.  Watch the video here.

__________

Odom received the Emerging Leader Award.  Audrey Odom John, MD, PhD, was awarded the emerging Leader Award from the Duke Medical Alumni Association at the Medical Alumni Reunion in November.  Audrey also presented a seminar talk with the MGM Thursday Seminar Series on November 10, 2016.  Watch Audrey’s video here.

__________

Hu selected for a Graduate Fellowship in Neurosceinces sponsored by the Trice family. Xiaoyang Serene Hu is a graduate student in the department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology. Her dissertation research focuses on receptor-ligand interactions underlying olfactory-mediated innate fear. Anxiety disorders affect nearly 18% of adults in the United States and a significant portion of them experience uncontrollable states of chronic fear-related anxiety. The etiology of the disorder is considered to be influenced by both innate and learned mechanisms of fear. The identification of receptors responsible for innate-fear behavior could be applied to future studies to examine how instinctive emotions are organized and regulated in the mammalian brain and help formulate modern emotion theories.

__________

Zika and the mystery of microcephaly. Debby Silver, PhD and Stacy Horner, PhD were featured in a radio interview on 88.5 WFDD. Listen to the interview here.

___________

Genetic causes of small head size share common mechanism. Debby Silver, PhD was recently featured in Duke Today about a recent study of genetic microcephaly in mice that may reveal insights into Zika-based microcephaly. To read the full article on Duke Today click here. To read the published paper in PLOS Genetics, click here.

__________

Can Scientists Really Harness the Poliovirus to Kill Cancer?  Dr. Matthias Gromeier, MD was recently featured in DukeForward.  Dr. Gromeier created a modified poliovirus that was awarded “breakthrough therapy” status from the Food and Drug Administration.  The modified virus has shown dramatic success in a small number of adults with aggressive brain cancer. Dr. Gromeier was also featured on 60  minutes on CBS on March 29th, 2015.  You may read the article here. Please visit CBSNews to watch the 60 minute video.

__________

Horner featured in Duke Today.  Chemical tags affect ability of RNA viruses to infect cells.  Dr. Stacy Horner, PhD recently published a paper in Cell Host Microbe entitled, “N6-methyladenosine in Flaviviridae viral RNA genomes regulates infection”and was featured in an article published in Duke today.  Read the full article here.   Read the published paper here.  This story was also featured on the cover of Cell Host & Microbe.  On the cover: The RNA modification N6-methyladenosine (m6A) post-transcriptionally regulates RNA function and structure. In this issue, Gokhale et al. (pp. 654–665) and Lichinchi et al. (pp. 666–673) demonstrate that flavivirus infection results in m6A alterations in both viral and host mRNAs that regulate virus production. Mapping of the hepatitis C virus and Zika virus genomes reveals specific regions modified by m6A. Additionally, dampening the expression of m6A methyltransferases or m6A demethylases, respectively, increases or decreases HCV and Zika virus particle production, highlighting the importance of this pathway in controlling flaviviruses. The cover illustration is an artistic rendition of RNA modifications such as m6A leading to divergent viral RNA functions and fates. Image credit: Falguni Gokhale.

__________

Mouse Study Shows How “Hair-of-the-Dog” Approach Works to Treat Allergies. Rush desensitization is a clinical procedure employed on allergic subjects to increase their tolerance to life threatening allergens. The procedure involves administering increasing doses of specific allergens to the patient over a short period of time. This procedure is often applied on patients who react adversely to essential antibiotics and chemotherapeutic drugs. Although this procedure has been utilized for over a century, its underlying mechanism has largely remained elusive. Soman Abraham and colleagues now report that the cellular target of rush desensitization is the mast cell and reveal the underlying events leading to its inactivation.  More…

__________

Lawrence David, PhD, Named one of Science News Ten Scientists to Watch. Lawrence David, PhD,  Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology was named one of Science News “10 Scientists to Watch” because of his extensive research of the microbiome. His lab works to to understand, predict, and manipulate how human microbiota behave over time.  More…

__________

Villa awarded a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Fellowship.  Max Villa was one of 15 postdoctoral scholars selected to receive the 2016 Postdoctoral Enrichment Program Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.  The fellowship grants a total of $60,000 over three years to support the career development of underrepresented minorities conducting postdoctoral research in the US and Canada. Read more in Duke Today.

__________

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.

___________

Pilaz 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]

___________

Billmyre, 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.

__________

Aballay 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.

__________

Yibin 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…

__________

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.

__________

Johnathan 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.

__________

Abraham 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…

__________

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.

__________

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.

__________

Horner awarded the 2016 ICAAC 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 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…

__________

Gartin, awarded the 2016 Edward C. Horn Memorial Prize for Excellence in Biology.  Ashley Gartin, undergraduate research in Dr. David Pickup’s lab received the 2016 Edward C. Horn Memorial Prize for Excellence in Biology on Sunday, May 15, 2016.  This award is given each year to a graduating biology major who has shown the highest level of academic achievement and promise. This prize is in memory of Edward C. Horn.

__________

Steinbach award the top award from the American Federation of Medical Research (AFMR). William Steinbach, MD, professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases) and professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, will receive the American Federation for Medical Research’s (AFMR) highest honor for medical research, the Outstanding Investigator Award.  More…  

__________

Fungal Pathogen sheds gene silencing machinery to become more dangerous Blake Billmyre, a UPGG Graduate Student in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Heitman, was recently featured in PHYS.ORG, Genomeweb, and Duke Today for his recently published article, “Gene network polymorphism illuminates loss and retention of novel RNAi silencing components in the Cryptococcus pathogenic species complex” in PLOS Genetics.

__________

Heitman awarded the F1000 Faculty Member of the Year Award 2015  Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD, James. B Duke Professor and Chair of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, has received the 2015 F1000 Faculty Member of the Year Award for the Microbiology Faculty. This is the 4th time he was awarded this honor.  He also received the award in 2011, 2013, and 2014. More…

__________

Tomaras selected for 2016 Ruth and A. Morris Williams Faculty Research Prize Georgia Tomaras, PhD Professor in Surgery, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, has been selected to receive the 2016 Ruth and A. Morris Williams Faculty Research Prize.  Tomaras is being honored for her outstanding contributions in clinical science research.  More…

__________

Alspaugh selected for 2016 Gordon G. Hammes Faculty Teaching Award Andrew Alspaugh, MD, Professor of Infectious Diseases and Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, has been selected to receive the 2016 Gordon G. Hammes Faculty Teaching Award.  Alspaugh is being honored for his continuing excellence in teaching and mentoring and for his exemplary commitment to the education of graduate students. More…

__________

Steinbach, Alspaugh, and Wormley elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) William J. Steinbach, MD, professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases) and professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Andrew Alspaugh, MD, professor of Infectious Diseases and professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and, Floyd Wormley, PhD, alumni of John Perfect’s lab and CHoMI were elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. The Academy recognizes excellence, originality, and leadership in the microbiological sciences. More…

___________

The McGinnis Lecture Committee is very excited to announce that Dr. Bonnie Bassler will be giving the 38th annual Jim McGinnis Memorial Lecture on Thursday 3/17/16 at 4:00pm in 103 Bryan Research. More…

____________

Keisha Findley, PhD, MGM graduate student alumnus visited Duke on Saturday, February 13th as an invited guest speaker at the 3rd  Annual Ida Stephens Owens Black Tie dinner presented by Duke University’s Bouchet Society. The Duke University Bouchet Society primarily supports underrepresented minority graduate students in the pursuit of scholarly excellence in the natural sciences, technology, engineering and math.  More…

___________

The Duke Medical Alumni Association awarded Audrey Odom, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, an alumnus from Dr. Joseph Heitman’s lab and graduate of the Duke MSTP program, the 2016 Emerging Leader Award. A special awards dinner will be held during the Medical Alumni Weekend festivities. Audrey was recently asked to give a Ted Talk on Fighting drug resistant infections with your breath, which can be viewed here.

___________

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently awarded Sarah Jaslow a Fellowship Award (F31) for her project, “Characterization of a novel Salmonella regulator of IL-10 production and it’s role in pathogenesis.” Sarah is an MGM Graduate Student in Dennis Ko’s lab where she focuses her research on Host-Pathogen interactions, genetics, and translational medicine.

___________

Nutrient Deprivation kills kidney cancer. Jen-Tsan Ashley Chi’s research was recently featured in a Duke Today article.  The Chi lab discovered a promising target for renal cell carcinomas. To read more about the article in Duke Today, click here.

___________

Drug shows promise for controlling Epstein-Barr Virus. Drug shows promise for controlling Epstein-Barr Virus. Micah Luftig’s laboratory recently published a paper in PNAS finding that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) uses autophagy as a means to compensate for metabolic stress to transform primary human B cells. The paper was featured in Duke Today. Click here to read the published article.

___________

Slow Stem Cell Division May Cause Small Brains.  Published online on January 6 in the journal Neuron, Debby Silver and team figured out how microcephaly produces a much small brain than normal.  The article is featured in several sources including Medical Express and Duke Today.  Click here to read the published article.

___________

The Calcineurin Symposium is scheduled for January 20, 2016 sponsored by the Tri-Institutional Molecular Mycology and Pathogenesis Training Program and the Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. The talks will be held in 143 Jones Building and lunch will be held in MSRB001.  More…

__________

2015

Beth Sullivan named AAAS Fellow.  The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) named seven Duke Faculty as fellows in recognition of their contributions to innovation, education, and scientific leadership..  The story was featured on the GSA website, AAAS website, Duke School of Medicine website, and on Duke Today.

__________

Hal Bogerd was awarded the Research Staff Appreciation Award in Basic Science by the School of Medicine.  Hal has been a key part of the foundation of MGM, and his partnerships with Bryan extremely successful.  Congratulations on winning such a prestigious award. More…

__________

Alejandro Aballay was featured in a Duke Today news article on infertility worms resisting infection-induced neurodegeneration.  To read the full article, click here.

__________

Rawls and David among the first to receive MEDx funding.  John Rawls, PhD and Lawrence David, PhD along with Claudia Gunsch, PhD received funding from MEDx their upcoming colloquia, “Microbiome Synthesis”.  More…

__________

Heaton receives prestigious Whitehead Scholarship.  Nicholas Heaton, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, has received a three-year Whitehead Scholarship from the Duke School of Medicine. This highly prestigious award will provide stipend support for Heaton while working on his current research. More…

__________

One step closer to a vaccine for cytomegalovirus: Monkeys transmit CMV the same way as humans.  Researchers, Sallie Permar, MD, PhD and Amitinder Kaur, MD now have a powerful new model for working on a vaccine for cytomegalovirus, or CMV, which is the leading infectious cause of birth defects worldwide.  More…

__________

Joseph Heitman has received a Visiting International Professor grant from the University of Ruhr in Bochum Germany.  Dr. Heitman will spend several weeks over the next several years on working visits to collaborate, present research, and participate in graduate education.  His professorship nomination was sponsored by Ulrich Kück.  Visiting International Professor Grants are awarded only to researchers with outstanding scientific record and high international visibility to enable excellent international scientists to establish a sustainable research cooperation with Ruhr University Bochum while at the same time contributing to doctoral supervision and graduate education.

__________

Molecular ‘Kiss Of Death’ flags pathogens for destruction.   Jörn Coers, senior author of a recent study discovering that our bodies mark pathogen-containing vacuoles for destruction by using a molecule called ubiquitin, commonly known as the “kiss of death”, was featured in a Duke Today article and on Science360 News.  More…

__________

NSF awards $15 million to crack the olfactory code.  Hiroaki Matsunami was recently awarded an NSF grant to study the sense of smell.  Hiro is the Principle Investigator of the project titled: “Analysis of the mammalian olfactory code.” This project will investigate the process of odor recognition, focusing on how basic features of odor perception–odor identity and valence, which is the behavioral significance attached to an odor–are encoded in the brain. More…

___________

Specific Fatty Acids May Worsen Crohn’s Disease.  Some research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids, abundant in fish oils, can relieve inflammation in Crohn’s disease.  But a new study using software developed by Duke scientists hints that we should be paying closer attention to what the other omegas — namely, omega-6 and omega-7 — are doing to improve or worsen the disease.  More…

__________

Duke researchers at the forefront of the field of immunotherapy are working toward applying a modified poliovirus to treat prostate and eventually breast cancer.  Dr. Matthias Gromeier, associate professor of neurosurgery at Duke, was the first to propose using poliovirus to destroy malignant tumors.  More…

__________

The Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Honor Society announced the 2015 new members, among them is Dr. William Steinbach, Professor of Pediatrics, Co-Director, Tri-Institutional Molecular Mycology and Pathogenesis Training Program.  Membership in AOA is a distinction that accompanies a physician throughout his or her career.  More…

__________

Nicholas Heaton, PhD, joined the Duke University School of Medicine, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology as an assistant professor in August 2015.  Nick’s current research is focused on Genetic engineering of influenza viruses to study viral pathogenesis.  More…

__________

Lawrence David, PhD, Assistant Professor, has received a Beckman Young Investigator award from the The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.  The Beckman Young Investigator Program provides research support to “the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of academic careers in the chemical and life sciences,” according to the program guidelines. In particular, the award funds invention of “methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.” Lawrence will receive a grant of $750,000 to support his research, “Using natural bacterial interactions to control microbial communities.”  To view a list of the 8 awardees, please click here.

__________

Duke Medicine researchers have found that bladder cells have a highly effective way to combat E. coli bacteria that cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) [Miao et al., 2015].  In a study published online May 28, 2015, in the journal Cell, Duke researchers and their colleagues describe how bladder cells can physically eject the UTI-causing bacteria that manage to invade the host cell. More…

___________

Debby Silver was recently featured in Science for her collaboration with Gregory Wray using mouse models to demonstrate brain development and evolution.  Please click here to view a PDF of the recently published article.

__________

The selection committee has announced the 2015 MGM SURE awardees.  Congratulations to the following undergraduates:  Mawuli Attipoe, Horner Lab; Kimberline Chew, Sullivan Lab; Nick Donadio, Cardenas/Heitman Lab; Vinay Giri, Perfect Lab; Luke Glover, Ko Lab; Quang Nguyen, Permar Lab.  More…

__________

The awards committee of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology announces the selection of Dr. John Perfect as recipient of The 2015 Lucille K. Georg ISHAM Medal in recognition of his outstanding scientific achievement in the field of medical mycology and infections diseases. Dr. Perfect received the award at the 19th Congress of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology meeting in Melbourne, Australia, May 4th – 8th, 2015.  More…

__________

The Searle Scholars Program announced the 2015 awardees.  Fifteen young scientists in the chemical and biological sciences have been named 2015 Searle Scholars.  Lawrence David, PhD will be awarded $300,000 in flexible funding to support his work during the next three years. More…

___________

The Hartwell Foundation today officially announced the winners of 2014 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Awards, which will provide support for three years at $100,000 direct cost per year.  Lawrence David, PhD and MGM Postdoctoral alumni Christina Hull, PhD received 2014 Hartwell Awards. More…

__________

New Gene Influences Apple or Pear Shape, Risk of Future Disease
Scientists have known for some time that people who carry a lot of weight around their bellies are more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease than those who have bigger hips and thighs. But what hasn’t been clear is why fat accumulates in different places to produce these classic “apple” and “pear” shapes. More…

__________

Gromeier, Abbruzzee Receive $300,000 Grant for Translational Pancreatic Cancer Research Matthias Gromeier, MD, and  James Abbruzzese, MD, have just received the 2015 Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Translational Research Grant, a two-year, $300,000 grant that supports translational research toward pancreatic cancer assessment, prevention, or treatment. More…

__________

SEMMA THERAPEUTICS announces $44 Million funding led by MPG Capital to develop Cell Therapy for treating type 1 Diabetes; signs agreement with Global Pharmaceutical company. Semma Therapuetics was co-founded by former Research Assistant Felecia Pagliuca who is now the Director of Technology and Corporate Development.  More…

__________

Searle Scholars Program announced the 2015 awardees.  Fifteen young scientists in the chemical and biological sciences have been named 2015 Searle Scholars. Lawrence David, PhD will be awarded $300,000 in flexible funding to support his or her work during the next three years.
More…

__________

DUKE-UNC collaboration creating “gut-on-a-chip” – Read a featured article about a Duke-UNC collaboration to build a “gut-on-a-chip” to study the microbiome of the human intestines. More…

__________

Evolving a Bigger Brain with Human DNA
Duke scientists have discovered that a crucial DNA difference between humans and chimps boosts brain size in mice.  More …

__________

Chromosome Biology: You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby – Read a featured post from Beth Sullivan, PLOS Genetics Associate Editor, on the last ten years of chromosome biology. More…

__________

MGM Summer Undergraduate Research Engagement (MGM SURE)
The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology is pleased to announce a 10-week summer fellowship program for Duke undergraduates. The program runs from June 1, 2015 – August 7, 2015.
More …

__________

Cell’s Recycling Team Helps Sound Alarm on Pathogens
Just as households have recycling bins for getting rid of waste, the cell has its own system for cleaning up defunct components.  More …

__________

2014

UPGG Graduate student, Blake Billmyre is awarded a 2015 DeLill Nasser Travel Award
The Genetics Society of America awarded Robert Blake Billmyre a DeLill Nasser Travel Award for Professional Development in Genetics for 2015.  This is one of the most important awards bestowed by GSA because it helps promote the future of their discipline by supporting early career scientists in their own professional development.  More…

Antifungal Drug Development Summit
Please join us for a summit at Duke University January 29-30, 2015 focusing on multi-disciplinary and complementary approaches to anti-fungal therapy development spanning academia and pharma.
More …

__________

Willard Named President and Director of Marine Biological Laboratory
Huntington Willard, an innovative leader in the fields of genetics and genome biology who has built comprehensive research centers at leading institutions, has been appointed the next President and Director of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  More …

__________

Drugs to Block Angiogenesis Could Provide New Treatment for TB
Duke researchers’ findings suggest a new therapeutic approach that might target the body’s response to tuberculosis (TB).  More …

__________

Microbiome Researchers Find Common Ground
More than 200 scientists, clinicians, engineers and students gathered at Duke University Medical Center to learn about cutting-edge microbiome research in an interdisciplinary symposium.  More …

__________

Post-Doctoral Fellowships Available
The Center for Host-Microbial Interactions in the Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology has current openings in the Tri-Institutional Molecular Mycology Pathogenesis Training Program (MMPTP).  More …

__________

Cullen Presents 2014 Raymond Schinazi Distinguished Lectureship
Bryan R. Cullen, PhD, James B. Duke Professor and Director of the Center for Virology in the Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, gave the Raymond Schinazi Distinguished Lectureship at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia on October 15.  More …

__________

Scientists Identify Gene Required for Recovery From Bacterial Infection
Duke researchers have uncovered the genes that are normally activated during recovery from bacterial infection in the C. elegans worm. The finding could be key to new antibiotics and countering auto-immune disorders.  More …

__________

Stem-Cell Breakthrough in Treatment of Diabetes
Heitman lab alumnus, Felicia W. Pagliuca, PhD, has helped develop a procedure for making hundreds of millions of pancreatic beta cells in vitro.  More …

__________

Prospecting for Malaria Drugs
Assistant Professor, Emily Derbyshire, PhD, works at the intersection of chemistry and biology to address malaria and other global health problems.  More …

__________

Molecular Players in Brain Development, Aging
Assistant Professor, Dong Yan, PhD, is studying molecular pathways critical in development and aging.
More …

__________

Goldstein to Head Institute for Genomic Medicine at Columbia University
David Goldstein, PhD, will be joining Columbia as Director of the University’s Institute for Genomic Medicine and Professor of Genetics and Development in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, effective January 1, 2015.  More …

__________

Payne Receives ASM/CDC Resident Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Tamika Payne, a graduate student in the Duke University Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, has received the ASM/CDC Resident Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  More …

__________

Ko Receives 2014 ICAAC Young Investigator Award
Dennis Ko, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, has received a 2014 ICAAC Young Investigator Award for his innovative and multidisciplinary research on the genetic basis for pathogen susceptibility in humans.  More …

__________

AOA Medical Honor Society Members Named
Twice a year the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society elects a small number of new members. Membership in AOA is a distinction that accompanies a physician throughout his or her career.  More …

__________

Fungus Deadly to AIDS Patients Found to Grow on Trees
Researchers have pinpointed the environmental source of fungal infections that have been sickening HIV/AIDS patients in Southern California for decades. It literally grows on trees.  More …

__________

Garcia-Blanco Appointed Chair of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Dr.  Mariano A. Garcia-Blanco has agreed to join UTMB as Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. As Chair of BMB, Dr. Garcia-Blanco will lead efforts to further excellence in research, education, mentoring and scholarship that have broad fundamental, translational and clinical impact.  More …

__________

Editing HPV’s Genes to Kill Cervical Cancer Cells
Researchers have hijacked a defense system normally used by bacteria to fend off viral infections and redirected it against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical, head and neck, and other cancers.  More …

__________

Gut Microbes Browse Along a Gene Buffet
In the moist, dark microbial rainforest of the intestine, hundreds of species of microorganisms interact with each other and with the cells of the host animal to get the resources they need to survive and thrive.  More …

__________

Scientists Discover New Mechanism of Drug Resistance
Microorganisms like bacteria and fungi can evade treatment by acquiring mutations in the genes targeted by antibiotics or antifungal drugs.  More …

___________

Macias Receives Dual Awards
Everardo Macias, PhD, was recently awarded a Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award and an NIH Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.  More …

___________

Recalled Yogurt Contained Highly Pathogenic Mold
Samples isolated from recalled Chobani yogurt have been found to contain the most virulent form of a fungus called Mucor circinelloides.  More …

__________

David Selected for Prestigious Sloan Research Award
Lawrence David, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, has received a 2014 Sloan Research Fellowship, recognizing his work in computational and evolutionary molecular biology and identifying him as among the next generation of scientific leaders.  More …

__________

Marchuk Awarded Distinguished Professorship
One Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology faculty member was awarded a distinguished professorship and recognized at a May 1 dinner at the Washington Duke Inn.  More …

__________

Twelve MGM Trainees Receive Prestigious Fellowships/Honorable Mentions
Twelve MGM trainees have recently received prestigious fellowships/honorable mentions to support their research.  More …

__________

Where DNA’s Copy Machine Pauses, Cancer Could Be Next
Each time a human cell divides, it must first make a copy of its 46 chromosomes to serve as an instruction manual for the new cell. Normally, this process goes off without a hitch. But from time to time, the information isn’t copied and collated properly, leaving gaps or breaks that the cell has to carefully combine back together.  More …

__________

Deadly Human Pathogen Cryptococccus neoformans Fully Sequenced
Duke researchers have sequenced the entire genome and all the RNA products of the most important pathogenic lineage of Cryptococcus neoformans, a strain called H99.  More …

__________

Modified Poliovirus Used as Therapy for Glioblastoma
Matthias Gromeier, MD, an associate professor of neurosurgery and molecular genetics and microbiology, has discovered that that the poliovirus could kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.  More …

__________

Heitman Receives F1000Prime Faculty Member of the Year Award
Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD, James B. Duke Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University, has received a 2013 F1000Prime Faculty Member of the Year Award.  More …

__________

Valdivia Appointed Vice Dean of Basic Research
Raphael H. Valdivia, PhD, has been appointed the new vice dean for basic science for the Duke University School of Medicine, beginning July 1, 2014.  More …

__________

MGM Summer Undergraduate Research Engagement (MGM SURE)
The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology is pleased to announce a new 10-week summer fellowship program for Duke undergraduates. The program runs from June 2, 2014 – August 8, 2014.  More …

__________

Four MGM Trainees Receive Prestigious Fellowships
Four MGM trainees, including Laura Simone Bisgono, Anthony Moore, Emily Snavely, and Barbara Sixt, have all recently received prestigious research support.  More …

__________

Chi Receives Chancellor’s Discovery Award
Jen-Tsan Ashley Chi, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy at Duke University Medical Center, has received a Chancellor’s Discovery Award for his proposal entitled, “Dissect sexual differentiation in P. falciparum via single parasite analysis.”  More …

__________

Permar Receives Young Investigator Award
Sallie R. Permar, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Assistant Professor in Immunology, and Assistant Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center, has received the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR).  More …

{Archives}