2013 News Articles

Salmonella Jams Signals From Bacteria-Fighting Mast Cells
A protein in Salmonella inactivates mast cells — critical players in the body’s fight against bacteria and other pathogens — rendering them unable to protect against bacterial spread in the body, according to researchers at Duke Medicine and Duke-National University of Singapore (Duke-NUS).
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Triangle Scientist Honored by White House
President Barack Obama on Monday named Sallie Permar, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Assistant Professor of Immunology, and Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, of the Duke University School of Medicine as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in recognition of innovative research.
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A New Diet Quickly Alters Gut Bacteria
The types of bacteria in your gut today may be different tomorrow, depending on what kinds of food you eat, a new study suggests. In the study, participants who switched from their normal diet to eating only animal products, including meat, cheese and eggs, saw their gut bacteria change rapidly—within one day.
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No Two People Smell the Same
A difference at the smallest level of DNA–one amino acid on one gene–can determine whether you find a given smell pleasant. A different amino acid on the same gene in your friend’s body could mean he finds the same odor offensive, according to researchers at Duke University.
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Sloan Receives NIH Underrepresented Individuals in Science Supplement
Roketa Sloan, a graduate student in the Duke University Program in Genetics and Genomics (UPGG) and the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center, has received an NIH Underrepresented Individuals in Science Supplement.
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Aballay, Goldstein and McCusker Named AAAS Fellows
Alejandro Aballay, PHD, associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, David Goldstein, PhD, professor of molecular genetics and microbiology and medicine and director of the Center for Human Genome Variation, and John McCusker, PhD, associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology are among 13 scientists at Duke University who were named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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Microbes R Us–Duke Faculty Explore the Microbiome and its Role in Health and Disease
Though worlds apart, four unrelated families have been united in a medical mystery over the source of a rare inherited disorder that results in their children being born with abnormal brain growth and severe functional impairments.
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Rare Gene Mutation Sheds Light on Protein’s Role in Brain Development
Though worlds apart, four unrelated families have been united in a medical mystery over the source of a rare inherited disorder that results in their children being born with abnormal brain growth and severe functional impairments.
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Price Receives F31 NRSA Fellowship from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Alex Price, an MGM graduate student in the Luftig lab in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, recently received an F31 NRSA fellowship from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) entitled “Temporal regulation of the essential Epstein-Barr virus oncoprotein LMP1”.
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Fungal Sex Can Generate NEW Drug Resistant, Virulent Strains
Though some might disagree, most biologists think the purpose of sex is to create diversity among offspring. Such diversity underpins evolution, enabling organisms to acquire new combinations of traits to adapt to their environment. However, scientists have been perplexed to find that many fungi and microorganisms procreate with exact replicas of themselves, where the expected outcome would simply be more of the same.
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Phillips Receives Top Score on NIH F32 Application
Stacia Phillips, PhD, a post-doctoral associate in the Garcia-Blanco lab in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology recently received a 10, the highest possible score, on her National Institutes of Health (NIH) F32 application entitled, “The role of host RNA-binding proteins in regulating dengue virus replication.”
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Dissecting Molecular Interactions Between the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) RNA Genome and the MicroRNA, miR-122
In a study published online in RNA on June 21, 2013, Shelton Bradrick, PhD, an assistant research professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, in collaboration with two undergraduate researchers, Hilary Novatt and Simardeep Nagyal, analyzed molecular interactions between the hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA genome and a liver-specific microRNA known as miR-122.
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Tobin Receives 2013 Vallee Foundation Young Investigator Award
The Bert L. and N. Kuggie Vallee Foundation recently announced the first recipients of its Young Investigator Award. The 2013 winners included Dr. David Tobin, Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC) whose research centers on the direct observation of the response of immune cells to pathogens in zebra fish.
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Sullivan Receives 2013 March of Dimes Research Grant
Beth Sullivan, PhD, Associate Professor in the Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Co-Director of the University Program in Genetics and Genomics, has received a competitive 2013 March of Dimes (MOD) Research Grant. The award will support reagent, supplies, and staff costs for the next three years.
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Nielsen and Lin Receive Tenure and Promotion
Congratulations to Kirsten Nielsen, PhD, who was promoted to Associate Professor and awarded tenure by the University of Minnesota and to Xiaorong Lin, PhD, for receiving conferral of tenure and the rank of Associate Professor of Biology by the Texas A & M University.
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Mao Receives American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship
Helen Mao, a graduate student in the Duke University Program in Genetics and Genomics at Duke University Medical Center, has received an American Heart Association (AHA) Predoctoral Fellowship.
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Genetic Mutation During Development Causes Port-Wine Stains and Sturge-Weber Syndrome – A non-inherited genetic mutation that arises during fetal development has been shown to be the cause of port-wine stains, one of the most common birth defects, as well as a related, but rare disorder called Sturge-Weber Syndrome (SWS).
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Duke Honors Distinguished Professor, John R. Perfect
Three members of the Duke School of Medicine faculty, including John R. Perfect, MD, were named to endowed professorships by Duke University on May 2, 2013.
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Willard Elected to National Academy of Sciences – Hunt Willard, PhD, Nanaline H. Duke Professsor and founding director of the Duke IGSP, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
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Mast Cells Give Clues in Diagnosis, Treatment of Dengue – A protein produced by mast cells may predict who will develop life-threatening complications with dengue virus.
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Joklik Receives Anlyan Lifetime Achievement Award -The Duke Medical Alumni Association has chosen Wolfgang K. Joklik to receive the William G. Anlyan Lifetime Achievement Award
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Six Graduate Students Receive Prestigious Awards
Five graduate students in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology have received National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowships and one has received a Broad Biomedical Research Foundation award.
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Cullen Receives 2013 Research Mentoring Award
Bryan R. Cullen, PhD, James B. Duke Professor and Director of the Center for Virology in the Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, has received the 2013 Research Mentoring Award for Basic Science Research.
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Schaeffer Receives Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA)
Daneen Schaeffer, PhD, a third year postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke University Medical Center, was awarded a National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Cancer Institute. This competitive fellowship will provide stipend support for her third year of postdoctoral research.
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Insights and Solutions for Emerging Infectious Diseases Symposium
The Duke Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Department of Immunology and Global Health Institute and the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singaporewill convene the Insights and Solutions for Emerging Infectious Diseases symposium in the Jones Research Building April 22 and 23.
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Garcia-Blanco Elected 2013 Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM)
Mariano Garcia-Blanco, PhD, Charles D. Watts Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Professor of Medicine, Director of the Center for RNA Biology, and Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, has been selected as a 2013 Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM).
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Marchuk Receives Mitchell Asbury Memorial Award
Douglas Marchuk, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Director of the University Program in Genetics and Genomics, has received the $25,000 Mitchell Asbury Memorial Award.
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Ko Receives Prestigious Whitehead Scholarship
Dennis Ko, MD, 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.
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