Great grant news! Two EPIC Reserachers, Dr. Lukasz Kozubowski and Dr. Lesly Temesvari, land grants!
Clemson University was awarded a 3-year, $300,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Lukasz Kozubowski, Ph.D., has authored this grant proposal and will serve as a Principal Investigator. Similar to other projects developed within EPIC, this study addresses an issue that is a significant concern in public health. Proposed work will tackle the problem of drug resistance during infection of cryptococcal meningitis caused by Cryptococcus neoformans, which is the most common cause of fungal central nervous system infection in the world. C. neoformans becomes drug-resistant by changing gene copy number through unknown mechanisms. The main goal of this proposal is to uncover these mechanisms. Kozubowski’s research will engage undergraduate and graduate students and introduce them to state-of-the-art methodologies to help stop drug resistance in cryptococcosis and improve treatments of this devastating disease.
Lesly Temesvari, Ph.D., was recently awarded a 2-year, $290,400 grant from the NIH. She will collaborate with Dr. William J. Sullivan, Ph.D., of the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, IN, to further her work on the 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 the amoeba transforms itself into an environmentally-stable cyst stage, which is responsible for human-to-human spread. The cues that trigger the transformation from amoeba to cyst are unknown. Temesvari's research will use state-of-the-art molecular and cellular biology approaches in an attempt to discover what prompts conversion from the amoeba to the cyst stage. This 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, toxoplasmosis, and fungal meningitis.
An Interview with Dr. Lukasz Kozubowski
Dr. Kozubowski was interviewed by Singer Instruments, answering questions about his lab, his interests, and EPIC. To read the interview (and get a look at the Kozubowski lab!), click here.
EPIC Graduate Student Wins ASCB Award
EPIC student Grace Kisirkoi from the K Smith Lab was recently awarded the third prize winner for the American Society for Cell Biology 2014 Share Your Science Video Contest. Great job Grace! For more information, click here.
Graduate Student Receives Fellowship for Postdoctoral Work
EPIC graduate student Katie Glenn received a postdoctoral fellowship award from the National Research Council Research Associateship Program that includes stipend, funds for research supplies, and a travel allowance to attend meetings. She will be conducting research in the area of Chemical and Biological Defense under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Harvey at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.
Dr. Kimberly Paul Delivers Seminar at Ole Miss
EPIC faculty member, Dr. Kimberly Paul, gave a seminar to the Department of Biology at Ole Miss on October 10th. The title of her seminar was, "Trypanosoma brucei Immune Evasion: Is the Myristate Monopoly an Achilles Heal?"
Dr. Jim Morris, along with colleagues from The Ohio State University, University of Virginia, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, have recently been awarded an NIH grant to identify inhibitors of a critical malaria parasite enzyme. The goal is to interrupt the metabolism of the parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, in order to eliminate the infection. For more information, click here. Good work all.
EPIC Fellow leads Clemson University Post-Doctoral Association
Dr. Steven Sykes, a post-doctoral fellow in EPIC (Temesvari Lab) was recently elected to be the Vice President of the new Clemson University Post-Doc Association. He will serve as President in next year, so expect great things from the Association! Great Job Steve!
Second Annual Cell Biology of Eukaryotic Pathogens Symposium REGISTRATION IS OPEN!
Register now for the 2nd Annual Cell Biology of Eukaryotic Pathogens Symposium, a joint meeting sponsored by researchers from the Clemson University Eukaryotic Pathogen Innovation Center (EPIC) and University of Georgia’s Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases (CTEGD). The meeting will be held on Friday, October 17, 2014 at Clemson University.Registration will close September 30 and all abstracts are due on that date. You may include an abstract within the registration form, or you may email it separately to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also make changes/updates/corrections to your abstract at any point before September 30 via email. Symposium t-shirts (designed by our own Dr. Kim Paul) are available for pre-order when you register. Payment will be due by October 15th! You can pay cash or check to Sarah Bauer or Cheryl Jones OR you may pay via PayPal to email@example.com. (For Registration Link, click here.)
EPIC Graduate Student Awarded TWO(!) Fellowships
Cheryl Jones, a graduate student in Dr. Ingram-Smith's group, was awarded two fellowships. She earned the James P. And Lydia Anderson Fellowship and Wade Stackhouse Fellowship from Clemson CAFLS for 2014-15. Great job, Cheryl!
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!
Brenda 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, 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
The 2nd Annual Cell Biology of Eukaryotic Pathogens Symposium, a joint meeting sponsored by researchers 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 research mentors include Drs. Smith and Ingram-Smith. For more information click here. Great work Brittany!
Graduate Student accepted 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
Funding 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 Research Fellowship Program - great job!
EPIC Scholars Invited Speaker Seminar Announced
Mark 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!
Get 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lesly 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.
New Videos Highlight EPIC Effort
The Clemson University Research 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 research 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
Join 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 parasite to identify genes in signaling pathways in these important pathogen.
Two 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 Kozubowski, a new Assistant Professor in EPIC and member of the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry, 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.
The 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 researchers from Clemson University and the University of Georgia planned
The Cell Biology of Eukaryotic Pathogens Symposium, a joint meeting sponsored by researchers 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.)