News from EPIC

EPIC Faculty Member Recognized for Undergraduate Research Mentoring

Congratulations to Dr. Jim Morris - he was recently recognized by the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) in the Biology Division with an Honorable Mention (one of two nationally) for his work with undergraduates in his research laboratory! Nice work Dr. Morris!  You can read more about it here.

 

Congratulations to Brenda Welter on Completion of the Staff Development Program!

BW with PresidentBrenda Welter (shown here receiving her certificate from  President Clements) was accepted into the competitive Clemson University’s Staff Development Program and recently completed it by performing 150 hours of professional development, personal development, and service. Brenda completed courses in Cell Biology (Biosc 4610), Digital Photography, and Adobe ® Photoshop which will be used to enhance her research activities in EPIC. The service component of her project consisted of developing promotional materials for Habitat for Humanity, publicizing the activities of Habitat in various venues including during Clemson’s Homecoming events, and working at the Pickens County Habitat Restore. Great work Brenda!

 

New Publication Focuses on Acylation in Trypanosomatids

Congratulations to Dr. Kim Paul (and former Temesvari student, Dr. Amanda Goldston) on their recent publication in Trends in Parasitology - great work!  You can read more about their efforts here.

 

EPIC Student Publishes First Characterization of a Potential Drug target from Cryptococcus neoformans

katie glenn pictureKatie Glenn, a Ph.D. student from the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, in collaboration with her Ph.D. advisor, Dr. Kerry Smith along with help from Dr. Cheryl Ingram-Smith, has recently published work on an a key enzyme involved in acetate metabolism in the journal Eukaryotic Cell.  The work, "Biochemical and Kinetic Characterization of Xylulose 5-phosphate/Fructose 6-phosphate Phosphoketolase 2 (Xfp2) from Cryptococcus neoformans", provides insight into enzyme interaction with substrates and potential mechanims of regulation, areas that are important for ultimately developing therapies that interfere with the enzyme's activity.

 

Second Annual Cell Biology of Eukaryotic Pathogens Symposium 

flyerThe 2nd Annual Cell Biology of Eukaryotic Pathogens Symposium, a joint meeting sponsored by reserachers from the Clemson University Eukaryotic Pathogen Innovation Center (EPIC) and University of Georgia’s Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases (CTEGD), will be held on Friday, October 17, 2014 at Clemson University.  This meeting will showcase the cutting edge research of students, post-doctoral fellows, and primary investigators that focus on important emerging pathogens that impact the world. (For Registration Link, click here.)

EPIC Undergraduate Recognized with a Goldwater Scholarship! 
Congratulations to Brittany Avin on being recognized as a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship winner!  Brittany, a Genetics and Biochemistry double major and a Clemson University National Scholar, has been awarded a prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year. The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established in 1986 “to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics”.  Her EPIC reserach mentors include Drs. Smith and Ingram-Smith.  For more information click here.  Great work Brittany!

Graduate Student accpeted to prestigious summer course!

Congratulations to EPIC Scholar Tonya Taylor on her recent acceptance into the special topics course, "Molecular Mycology: Current Approaches to Fungal Pathogenesis" at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole MA. GREAT JOB!

ASCB Award secured to fund Second Annual Cell Biology of Eukaryotic Pathogens Symposium 

flyerFunding for the Second Annual  Cell Biology of Eukaryotic Pathogens Symposium, a joint meeting hosted by members of CU EPIC and the University of Georgia’s Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases (CTEGD), has been awarded from American Society of Cell Biology!  This meeting will showcase the cutting edge research of students, post-doctoral fellows, and primary investigators that focus on important emerging pathogens that impact the world.   Save the date - Friday, October 17, 2014, for this exciting meeting, to be held in Clemson.  (For more info, click here.)

EPIC Scholar Recognized with NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention!

Congratulations to graduate student Sarah Bauer on her Honorable Mention by the National Science Foundation Graduate Reserach Fellowship Program - great job!



EPIC Scholars Invited Speaker Seminar Announced

EPICscholarsseminarMark your Calendars!   
The EPIC Scholars have invited Dr. Vasant Muralidharan to join us from the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases at UGA to present a seminar entitled, "Extreme Home Makeover:  How the malaria parasite remodels its host"

April 23, 2014 at 2PM in the LSB conference room (142 LSF)



2014 EPIC Tee Shirts Available NOW!

EPIC tGet your EPIC tee now (click on image to see larger version).  These shirts are $15, but you have to act quickly (by Thursday April 3).  Please click HERE to order your very own!  For additional information, you can contact Sarah (epicscholars@gmail.com).



EPIC Reserach Lands NIH Grant to Study Stress Response in Entamoeba

Temesvari headshotLesly Temesvari, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and researcher in EPIC, was recently awarded a 2-year, $100,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to further her work on the stress response in a human pathogen, Entamoeba histolytica.  Prevalent in developing nations with sub-standard sanitation, this infectious amoeba causes dysentery in as many as 50,000,000 people annually.  During infection in the human host, the parasite likely confronts stress brought on by the host environment and immune response.  To survive and cause infection, the parasite must circumvent these external pressures.  Thus, it may be useful to interrupt the pathogen’s stress response for therapy.  Temesvari's research will use state-of-the-art molecular and cellular biology approaches to characterize the stress response in the parasite, which may reveal new targets for drug design.  Temesvari’s research also furthers the primary mission of EPIC to conduct research leading to cures for some of the world’s most devastating and intractable infectious diseases including malaria, dysentery, sleeping sickness, and fungal meningitis.  For Clemson University coverage, click here.  To read about this work in The Greenville News, click here. To read about it in The Tiger News, click here.

New Videos Highlight EPIC Effort

The Clemson University Reserach Minute Video Series has posted two new videos that feature EPIC members.  In the first, our Director, Dr. Kerry Smith, gives a brief overview of our reserach interests.  The second details the efforts of Graduate Student Grace Kisirkoi and her work on fungal meningitis.  Givem them a look!

 

Happy Birthday to EPIC

cakeJoin us as we celebrate our first year!  Being one means some small growing pains, but many developments too.  You can read about them here at the Clemson News Room.  For those of you who missed the party, pictures can be found here.

 


New Publication Recognized as an "Article of Significant Interest" by Editor, Sheds Light on Parasite Cell Signaling

Amrita Koushik, a newly minted Ph.D. from the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, in collaboration with her Ph.D. advisor, Dr. Lesly Temesvari, has recently published a portion of her thesis work on a critical parasite signaling pathway in the journal Eukaryotic Cell.  The work, "A Genome-wide Over-Expression Screen Identifies Genes Involved in the Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase Pathway in the Human Protozoan Parasite, Entamoeba histolytica", describes the development and use of the first forward genetics screening approach in the parastie to identify genes in signaling pathways in these important pathogen.

 

EPIC Researchers Land NIH Grant to Study Subcellular Compartment Conditions in Parasites

glowingtrypTwo EPIC PIs, Drs. Meredith Morris and James Morris along with Drs. Ken Christensen and Christine Ackroyd (Department of Chemistry, Clemson University), were recently awarded an NIH Grant to measure the dynamic environmental conditions in an essential cellular structure in the African trypanosome, Trypanosoma brucei. Sugar metabolism, which is the sole source of nutrition for the infectious lifecycle stage of the African trypanosome, occurs exclusively in a part of the parasite called the glycosome.  The proposed research would use both protein-based probes and small molecule sensors to measure intraglycosomal pH and glucose levels in live parasites, as a means to probe the mechanism of energy currency production and reveal regulatory mechanisms suitable for therapeutic targeting of glucose metabolism. For more information, go here.

 

Congratulations to the Newest EPIC Member on his Publication in mBio 

Dr. Lukasz KLK photoozubowski, a new Assistant Professor in EPIC and member of the Department of Genetics and Biochemstry, is lead author on an mBio paper, "Ordered Kinetochore Assembly in the Human-Pathogenic Basidiomycetous Yeast Cryptococcus neoformans", which explores the kinetchore dynamics in the pathogenic fungi C. neoformans.  In this work, Dr. Kozubowski reports that surprisingly, kinetochore behavior in the fungi is more similar to that found in metazoans and less like that found in yeasts, which has implications in the evolution of mitosis.  The pathogen that is the focus of the Kozubowski group, C. neoformans, is responsible for a potentially fatal fungal disease acquired by inhalation of infectious material from the environment. 

 

First Joint Symposium held at EPIC

image of KWM and RDThe first ever Cell Biology of Eukaryotic Pathogens Symposium, sponsored by the American Society of Cell Biology, the Eukaryotic Pathogens Innovation Center (EPIC), the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases (CTEGD), the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, and the College of Agriculture, Foresetry, and Life Sciences, was held at Clemson University on October 25, 2013.  Approximately 80 students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty from five colleges and universities from South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina were in attendance.  Science related to pathogenic eukaryotes was presented in a series of short talks and through poster presentations, followed by a key note seminar by Dr. John Perfect, Duke University Medical School. (For more information, click here.)  For more photos, click here.

ASCB Award given to fund Symposium bring reserarchers from Clemson University and the University of Georgia planned

meeting flyerThe Cell Biology of Eukaryotic Pathogens Symposium, a joint meeting sponsored by reserachers from the Clemson University Eukaryotic Pathogen Innovation Center (EPIC) and University of Georgia’s Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases (CTEGD), will showcase the cutting edge research of students, post-doctoral fellows, and primary investigators that focus on important emerging pathogens that impact the world. (For more info, click here.)