Student Highlights

M&I Graduate Students Recognized at Research! Louisville 2022

Congratulations to the graduate students in our department who were selected for the second round of judging for Research! Louisville 2022: Katelyn Sheneman (Lawrenz lab), Cierra Isom (Sokoloski lab), Daniel Erickson (Collins lab), and Easton Ford (Smith lab). Daniel Erickson won third place for MS basic science graduate student award and Easton Ford won first place for doctoral basic science graduate student award. Images from left to right: M&I student participants, Easton Ford, Daniel Erickson 

     


M&I Graduate Student Publishes New Findings in Viruses

 Dr. Claire Westcott, a recent M&I graduate of the Sokoloski lab, recently published a paper in Viruses. Read more about the paper titled "Binding of hnRNP I–vRNA Regulates Sindbis Virus Structural Protein Expression to Promote Particle Infectivity" here.


M&I Graduate Student Publishes New Finding in G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics

 Cassie Woolley, M&I PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Tom Mitchell, recently published a paper in G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics. The paper, titled "Reference long-read isoform-aware transcriptomes of 4 human peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets" can be read here

 


M&I Recent Graduate Publishes New Findings in Frontiers

 M&I recent graduate, Dr. Rejeena Shrestha, recently published a paper in Frontiers. The paper, titled "Differential Functional Responses of Neutrophil Subsets in Severe COVID-19 Patients" can be read here. 


 

M&I Graduate Student Receives F31 Research Fellowship

 Kelley Cooper, an M&I PhD candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Juhi Bagaitkar, has been awarded a 2-year F31 Research Fellowship from the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research for her project entitled: "Mechanisms and immune consequences of atypical efferocytosis of neutrophils during Porphyromonas gingivalis infection."


M&I Graduate Students Publish New Findings in Nature Communications

M&I recent graduate, Dr. Anne Geller, and current students, Rejeena Shrestha and Matthew Woeste, of the Yan lab, recently published a paper in Nature Communications. Read more about the paper titled "The induction of peripheral trained immunity in the pancreas incites anti-tumor activity to control pancreatic cancer progression" here.  Images from left to right: Anne Geller, Rejeena Shrestha, Matthew Woeste 

Anne Geller


M&I Graduate Student Publishes New Findings in PNAS

Carlos Rodriguez Hernandez, an M&I PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Juhi Bagaitkar, recently published a paper in PNAS. Read more about the paper titled "Microbiome-mediated incapacitation of interferon lambda production in the oral mucosa" here. 


M&I Graduate Student Receives Commencement Honor 

Henry NabetaHenry Nabeta, a Microbiology and Immunology graduate student and a Fulbright fellowship recipient, was selected to bear the School of Medicine banner at the 2021 Fall commencement ceremony. Congratulations Henry! 


M&I Graduate Student Publishes New Findings in Frontiers 

Hazel OzunaHazel Ozuna, M&I PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Silvia Uriarte, was recently featured in the American Society for Microbiology's blog "Small Things Considered" for her paper titled "The Hunger Games: Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans Exploits Human Neutrophils As an Epinephrine Source for Survival." Read the blog here. Image: Hazel Ozuna


M&I Graduate Student Publishes New Findings in PNAS

Sarah Price Sarah Price, M&I PhD candidate in the Lawrenz Lab, recently published a paper in PNAS. Read more about the paper titled "Yersiniabactin contributes to overcoming zinc restriction during Yersinia pestis infection of mammalian and insect hosts" hereImage: Sarah Price 


M&I Graduate Students Recognized at Research! Louisville 2021

Congratulations to three students in our department who were selected for the second round of judging for Research! Louisville 2021. Amanda Brady ("yersinia pestis inhibits host synthesis of Leukotriene B4, a potent mediator of inflammation") and Sarah Price ("novel Tn-seq approach identifies the primary secretion system for yersiniabactin in yersinia pestis"), PhD candidates in the laboratory of Dr. Lawrenz, work on yersinia pestis. Erika Figgins, a MS student in Dr. Diamond's lab, works on herpes simplex virus. Erika won the second place for Research! Louisville in category MS of basic science for her work "Therapeutic effectiveness of antimicrobial peptoids against herpes simplex virus-1". Congrats to all! Images: From left to right: Amanda Brady, Sarah Price, Erika Figgins

Amanda Brady  Sarah Price  Erika Figgins


M&I Graduate Student Publishes New Findings in Microbiology Spectrum 

Henry NabetaHenry Nabeta, M&I PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Kenneth Palmer, recently published a paper in Microbiology Spectrum. His study has identified Q-GRFT, a broad-spectrum antiviral protein that harbors growth-inhibitory activity against several Candida strains, as a potential candidate for the prevention and treatment of fungal infections. The paper, titled "Novel Antifungal Activity of Q-Griffithsin, a Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Lectin" can be found hereImage: Henry Nabeta



M&I Graduate Student Publishes New Findings in Frontiers 

Hazel OzunaHazel Ozuna, M&I PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Silvia Uriarte, recently published a paper in Frontiers in Immunology showing that A. actinomycetemcomitans promotes azurophilic granule exocytosis by neutrophils as an epinephrine source to promote bacterial survival. The paper, titled "The Hunger Games: Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans Exploits Human Neutrophils As an Epinephrine Source for Survival" can be found here. Image: Hazel Ozuna


 

M&I Graduate Student Recognized at FASEB Conferences 

Sarah PriceSarah Price, M&I PhD candidate in the Lawrenz Lab, won a Top Poster Award at the FASEB Microbial Pathogenesis Conference: Mechanisms of Infectious Disease held July 13-15, 2021 on her work to define the secretion system for the metalophore yersiniabactin. Sarah was also chosen to give an oral presentation at the FASEB Nutrition, Immunity, and Inflammation Conference: From Model Systems to Human Trials to be held July 27-29. She will present her work defining an iron independent role for yersiniabactin in plague virulence. Image: Sarah Price 


M&I Graduate Student Publishes New Findings in mBio 

Hannah HanfordHannah Hanford, Microbiology and Immunology PhD Candidate in the lab of Dr. Yousef Abu Kwaik, recently published a paper in mBio. The paper, titled "Dot/Icm-Dependent Restriction of Legionella pneumophila within Neutrophilscan be found here.  Image: Hannah Hanford

 


M&I Graduate Student Receives 2021 School of Medicine Student Diversity Award 

Hazel OzunaMicrobiology and Immunology graduate student, Hazel Ozuna, was awarded the 2021 School of Medicine Student Diversity Award in May, a deserved recognition for her continuous effort and commitment for diversity and inclusion among the student's population and beyond. Image: Hazel Ozuna 

 


M&I Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellow Present at the American Association for Immunologists 2021 National Research Meeting 

The M&I Department was recognized at the American Association for Immunologists (AAI) national meeting held May 10-15, 2021. Jing Ma and James Harder, graduate students in the laboratory of Dr. Kosiewicz, gave one and two oral presentations, respectively, on their Dissertation projects. Dr. Sweta Ghosh, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Jala, gave an oral presentation on her project. Congratulations to all for receiving an AAI Trainee Abstract Award for their presentations! Images: From left to right: Jing Ma, James Harder, and Sweta Ghosh

Jing Ma James Harder Sweta Ghosh


M&I Students Publish New Findings in JCI Insight 

Dr. Anne Geller and Dr. Samantha Morrissey, Microbiology and Immunology PhD graduates formerly in the lab of Dr. Jun Yan, recently published a paper in JCI Insight. The paper, titled "A specific low-density neutrophil population correlates with hypercoagulation and disease severity in hospitalized COVID-19 patientscan be found here. Images: Anne Geller (left) and Samantha Morrissey (right) 

 Anne Geller   Morissey


M&I Student Wins the Richard and Mary Finkelstein Award from the American Society for Microbiology

Sarah PriceSarah Price was awarded the Richard and Mary Finkelstein Award for the upcoming 2021 World Microbe Forum. In addition to travel support for the meeting, the award also includes an invitation for Sarah to give an oral presentation on her research during this international meeting. Sarah’s virtual presentation will be on June 22, 2021.

 

 


M&I Graduate Students Present at American Society for Microbiology Spring 2021 Research Meeting

The M&I Department was well represented at the KY/TN Branch of the American Society for Microbiology Spring 2021 Research Meeting on April 17. Kelley Cooper (Bagaitkar Lab), Trey Landers (Sokoloski Lab), Autumn LaPointe (Sokoloski Lab), Sarah Price (Lawrenz Lab), Carlos Rodriguez (Bagaitkar Lab), and Claire Westcott (Sokoloski Lab) were among 21 participants invited to give oral presentations on their research projects. Congratulations to Sarah, Autumn, and Carlos for receiving “Top Presentation Awards” at the meeting!

(From left to right: Kelley Cooper, Trey Landers, Autumn LaPointe, Sarah Price, Carlos Rodriguez, Claire Westcott)


M&I Student Publishes New Findings in mBio

 Bethany Vaughn, Microbiology and Immunology PhD Candidate in the lab of Dr. Yousef Abu Kwaik, recently published a paper in mBio. The paper, titled "An Indispensable Role for the MavE Effector of Legionella pneumophila in Lysosomal Evasion" can be found here.  Image: Bethany Vaughn 



 


M&I Student Publishes New Findings in Viruses

Trey LandersM&I Ph.D. Candidate, V “Trey” Landers (in the Sokoloski Lab) has recently published a paper regarding his dissertation research in the journal Viruses. The paper, titled “The Alphaviral Capsid Protein Inhibits IRAK1-Dependent TLR Signaling” reports the identification of a novel host / pathogen interaction, and can be found hereImage: Trey Landers 

 

 

 


M&I Students Publish New Findings in PLOS Pathogens 

Hannah Hanford

Current M&I Ph.D. student, Hannah Hanford (AbuKwaik lab) and M&I graduate Dr. Juanita von Dwingelo (AbuKwaik lab) have jointly published a paper in PLOS Pathogens. The paper, titled "Bacterial nucleomodulins: A coevolutionary adaptation to the eukaryotic command center" can be found here.   Image: Hannah Hanford

 

 

  


M&I Graduate Students Present at American Society for Microbiology Fall 2020 Research Meeting

The M&I Department was well represented at the KY/TN Branch of the American Society for Microbiology Fall 2020 Research Meeting on December 5th. Trey Landers (Sokoloski Lab), Autumn LaPointe (Sokoloski Lab), Sarah Price (Lawrenz Lab), Drew Skidmore (Chung Lab), and Claire Westcott (Sokoloski Lab) were invited to give oral presentations on their thesis projects. Congratulations to Sarah and Trey for receiving the top awards at the meeting for their presentations!

 Trey Landers Autumn LaPointe Sarah Price Drew Skidmore Claire Westcott Jones

(From left to right: Trey Landers, Autumn LaPointe, Sarah Price, Drew Skidmore, Claire Westcott) 




M&I Graduate students win University doctoral awards

Dylan Johnson and Irina Miralda received University’s Guy Stevenson Award and the John Richard Binford Memorial Award, respectively.

Please click here to view Dylan Johnson's virtual Graduate School Graduation speech.

The Guy Stevenson Award recognizes an outstanding doctoral degree recipient who has demonstrated excellence in both scholarship and leadership within the discipline, and has made significant contributions to teaching and service. This award is the highest award given by the Graduate School and the winner carries the graduate school banner at both the Doctoral Hooding and Commencement Ceremonies, and provides remarks during the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.  The Binford Award is presented to a doctoral degree recipient who excels in scholarship, and has contributed to other areas within the discipline such as leadership, teaching, or service.  The winner receives special recognition at the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation ceremony.  Congratulations Dylan and Irina!




Autumn LaPointe wins presentation award at Viruses 2020 conference in Barcelona

Autumn LaPointe, PhD candidate, received the best oral presentation award, elected by the scientific committee and sponsored by the journal Microorganisms, for her talk entitled “Noncapped genomic RNA are critical for Alphaviral infection and pathogenicity”. LaPointe is a PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. KevinSokoloski. Read more at https://blog.mdpi.com/2020/02/13/viruses-2020-novel-concepts-in-virology-another-success/

 

 

 






M&I students receive 1st and 2nd place for doctoral dissertation at Research! Louisville

Congratulations to Autumn LaPointe on receiving 1st place and Samantha Morrissey on receiving 2nd place for the 2019 Research!Louisville Doctoral Basic Science award. Autumn is a doctoral candidate in the lab of Dr. Kevin Sokoloski and Samantha is a doctoral candidate in the lab of Dr. Jun Yan. Read more at: https://louisville.edu/researchlouisville/r-l-2019-award-winners-and-photos/r-l-2019-award-winners/view

 


 

2019 T32 Awardees announced

The Inflammation and Pathogenesis T32 Training Grant is excited to announce its newest PhD graduate student fellows: Drew Skidmore, laboratory of Dr. Donghoon Chung, Trey Landers, laboratory of Dr. Kevin Sokoloski, and Sarah Price laboratory of Dr. Matthew Lawrenz. These students will join 2018 fellow Autumn LaPointe, laboratory of Dr. Kevin Sokolowski, in the program. 

 This year M&I’s summer high school program MISTRE merged with Louisville Science Pathways, which is the Science Policy and Outreach Group’s University-wide internship program. This merger expanded the opportunities to include weekly career seminars, and how to apply to two- and four-year colleges, with emphasis on careers in the biomedical field. Altogether, seventeen 10th and 11th graders experienced hands on research projects.  M&I provided stipends to two of the seventeen participants, Awa Koita from Central High, and Osazuwa Omoruyi from St. Francis; who were hosted in the labs of Drs. Venkatakrishna Jala and Sylvia Uriarte, respectively. During their internship, the students participated in mentored biomedical research, focused on the roles of microbial communities inhuman disease.

MISTRE is coordinated by Claire Jones, and Louisville Science Pathways is coordinated by Dylan Johnson and Sarah Price. Claire, Dylan and Sarah are all PhD candidates in the Department.

The Microbiology and2018 SLB Group Immunology Department was well represented by its graduate students at the 2018 Joint Meeting of the Society for Leukocyte Biology and International Endotoxin and Innate Immunity Society in October. Amanda Pulsifer (laboratory of Matthew Lawrenz) was one of three finalists for the SLB Presidential Award, which included the opportunity to present her research at a plenary session during the first day of the meeting. Katlin Stivers’ research (laboratory of Jay Hoying) was also highlighted and she was chosen to give a “Poster Flash Talk”. Irina Miralda (laboratory of Silvia Uriarte) won a SLB travel Award for her poster presentation. Finally, Hazel Ozuna (laboratory of Don Demuth) was selected to present her research at the Late Breaking Research Poster Session. Congratulations to all of the students!

Tiva Vancleave, a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Lawrenz, has been awarded the 2018 University of Louisville School of Medicine Student Diversity Award.  This award acknowledged Tiva’s commitment to the educational and societal needs of underrepresented minorities through mentorship and service during her PhD career. Tiva was recognized for this award during the 2018 PhD Commencement Ceremony, where she also received a Dean’s Citation for her PhD research on the YapE protein of Yersinia pestis.

 

Hazel Ozuna


Hazel Ozuna, a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Donald Demuth, has been awarded a five year F31 Research Fellowship from the National Institiute of Dental & Craniofacial Research for her project entitled: "Exploitation of the host response by Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans mediated by QseBC".

  

  

Katlin Stivers, a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. James Hoying, has been awarded a predoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association for her project entitled "Regulation of Adipose Tissue Inflammation by Resident Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells". The two year award will fully support her research investigating the role of tissue resident, immunosuppressive myeloid cells in promoting immune homeostasis in healthy, lean adipose tissue and preventing the chronic inflammation that can lead to the development of obesity.

Earlier this year, Katlin also received a travel award to give an oral presentation on her current work "Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Adipose Tissue Homeostasis" as  part of the Kaley Lecture featured topic session, "The Complications of Diabetes and the Role of Inflammation: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities" at the Experimental Biology 2017 Conference, April 22-26, Chicago, IL.

Amanda Pulsifer was awarded a “Best Poster Presentation” prize at The Yin and Yang of Phagocytes: Regulators of Human Health and Disease Gordon Research Conference, June 11-16, Waterville Valley, NH for her work entitled “Exploitation of Host Rab GTPases by Yersinia pestis Facilitates Intracellular Survival”. Amanda is a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Lawrenz.