November 2009 - Medical Microbiology _ Immunology

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November 2009 - Medical Microbiology _ Immunology Powered By Docstoc
					 November 30, 2009
 Volume 1, Issue 1
                          Medical Microbiology & Immunology
Department Faculty:         University of Wisconsin-Madison
                            Room 1334 Microbial Sciences Building
David Andes, MD
                            1550 Linden Drive
James Bangs, PhD            Madison WI 53706

Curtis Brandt, PhD          Phone: 608-262-3351
Joseph Dillard, PhD         Website:
Jenny Gumperz, PhD
Christina Hull, PhD
Anna Huttenlocher, MD
Nancy Keller, PhD           Welcome from the Department of
                            Medical Microbiology & Immunology,
Bruce Klein, MD             University of Wisconsin School of
Laura Knoll, PhD            Medicine and Public Health!         On
                            behalf of our current faculty,
Miroslav Malkovsky, MD,
                            postdocs, staff and students, let me
                            say hello. Personally, I’d like to say
John Mansfield, PhD         how much we miss you. For most of
Margaret McFall-Ngai,       us, this department is a second            with, to reach our teaching and
PhD                         home; reconnecting with you via this       research goals. Since this is our first
                            newsletter is our attempt at a family      newsletter in some time, we also
Donna Paulnock, PhD         reunion.       You’ve received this        include updates from a sampling of
Edward Ruby, PhD            newsletter because you are formerly        our labs and courses.
                            associated with our department (a
Ronald Schell, PhD
                            past student or postdoc, a retired         We’d love to hear from you. Please
Robert Striker, MD, PhD     faculty or staff member, a friend, etc).   write or email, letting us know where
William Weidanz, PhD                                                   you are and what you’re up to…
                            Our plan is to devote a substantial        we’ll include your “hello” in our next
Rodney Welch, PhD,          portion of each newsletter to a            newsletter. See page 7 for more
Dept. Chair                 specific topic. This issue is largely      information on alums and how to
Jon Woods, MD, PhD          devoted to the ‘partners’ we work          reach us.
Dept Administrator:
Tracy Wiklund               Upcoming Events
Newsletter Editors:
Alicia Cramer               The year 2010 marks the 75th               Additionally, in early spring 2010
Tracy Wiklund               "Birthday" of the Department of            Medical Microbiology & Immunology
                            Medical Microbiology & Immunology.         will host the first annual Perlman
                            To celebrate, the Department plans         Symposium        on      Antibacterial
                            to hold a birthday bash in late spring     Discovery and Development. The
                            or early summer (we're leaning             symposium will include a morning
                            towards the first week of June 2010        session of local speakers and an
                            at the moment). Part of the program        early afternoon poster session.
                            will   be     devoted    to    alumni       Again, more information will be
                            updates/talks. Stay tuned for more         made available after the holidays.
Medical Microbiology & Immunology                                                            Page 2 of 8

 to the following
                        Our Partners in Teaching and Research
 MMI faculty for
                        Teaching and research are activities     postdocs and students to accomplish
   their recent
   promotions!          common to nearly all departments at      our teaching and research goals.
                        UW-Madison      and    are   critical    We also established the Wisconsin
                        components of the Wisconsin Idea*.       Center     for   Infectious Disease
                        However, many “hands” help us            (WisCID) with funding provided by
                        accomplish    our   teaching    and      the conversion of Blue Cross & Blue
                        research goals.                          Shield United of Wisconsin to a for-
                                                                 profit corporation.
                        Over time, funding available to the
                        Department for its teaching and          In the last few years, we’ve received
                        research missions has grown and          gifts and donations from alumni and
                        changed.       Ten years ago, our        community members for activities not
    Dr. Jenny
                        department was funded largely by         traditionally funded from other
  Gumperz, PhD
Will be promoted to     federal grants from NIH (National        sources. For example, a gift from the
Associate Professor     Institutes of Health) and the State of   Paul F. Clark family allows us to
with tenure effective   Wisconsin      (our    University   of   bring        nationally       renowned
 July 1, 2010. Her      Wisconsin budget). Today, as you         immunologists to campus, sharing
    dossier was
                        see in the chart, a number of other      knowledge         through       research
   reviewed and         entities assist the State of Wisconsin   seminars. We plan to use funds from
approved by the UW      and NIH in providing support for our     a gift from the Bonnie Anne DeMaio
Biological Sciences     work.                                    estate to create/mail this newsletter
  Division Tenure
                                                                 and provide food at our annual
    committee in
   October 2008.                                                 department research retreat. We are
                                                                 organizing a Spring 2010 “Perlman
                                                                 Symposium on Antibiotic Discovery
                                                                 and      Development”      with     funds
                                                                 generously      provided     by      Kato
                                                                 Perlman in honor of her husband,
                                                                 Dave Perlman. With future gifts, we
                                                                 hope       to      establish      funding
                                                                 mechanisms for: MMI graduate and
                                                                 postdoctoral student travel awards,
    Dr. Robert                                                   awards to MMI faculty and/or staff for
 Striker, MD, PhD                                                creation of new, novel means of
  Was promoted to                                                transmitting     knowledge       (Twitter,
 Associate Professor                                             anyone?), establishment of an
  with tenure July 1,   In terms of federal funding, NIH is no   undergraduate        MMI      laboratory
 2009. Dr. Striker’s
 tenure home is the     longer the only “game in town”. We       course on probiotics or vaccines, and
    Department of       now have awards from NSF                 the creation of staffed, shared
 Medicine, Infectious   (National Science Foundation), DOD       research facilities (such as mass
  Diseases Section;     (Department of Defense) and USDA         spectrometry) within our Microbial
   he holds a joint                                              Sciences building for scientists and
   appointment in
                        (United     States   Department     of
        Medical         Agriculture). Similarly, non-federal     students across campus.
   Microbiology &       groups     like    American    Cancer
     Immunology.        Society, American Heart Association,          * for more information on the
                        Howard Hughes Institute, Hartwell                  Wisconsin Idea, see
                        Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts
                        and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund
                        are now partnering with MMI faculty,
  Medical Microbiology & Immunology                                                             Page 3 of 8

Notes from the Weidanz Lab                                                                   Promotions
During this past year, we have been           Also, in collaboration with Dr. William
working on several projects.          Our     Burlingham, UW Dept. of Surgery, we
interest in the role of !" T cells in         are studying malaria in immunodeficient
malaria continues. These cells, which         mice engrafted with human fetal liver,
collaborate with CD4+ T cells, are            liver stem cells and embryonic thymic
responsible for cell-mediated immunity        tissue. The resulting “humanized mice”
against     experimental     blood-stage      have varying numbers of human immune
malaria induced with Plasmodium               cells including B cells and T cells. As
chabaudi. Merle Elloso (Ph.D., 1995)          might be expected, these mice are very
                                                                                           Dr. Laura Knoll,
and Henri van der Heyde (Ph.D., 1993)         fragile, often dying of infection or graft
had observed that human !" T cells            versus host disease. When infected with       Was promoted to
inhibited the growth of P. falciparum in      P. chabaudi, which we use as a               Associate Professor
vitro, a finding confirmed by Swedish         surrogate for P. falciparum, humanized        with tenure July 1,
                                              mice produce human cytokines and                     2008.
colleagues. Now 15 years later, we can
report that the depletion of !" T cells       make human antibodies reactive with P.
from B cell deficient mice chronically        chabaudi antigens.       However, these
infected with P. chabaudi causes the          immune responses fail to protect the
immediate exacerbation of parasitemia         mice from lethal disease. I sometimes
to high levels. These findings indicate       feel it may be easier to teach them to
!" T cells are capable of killing malaria     talk rather than protect them against
parasites in vivo as well as in vitro,        malaria.
suggesting an important role for !" in the
immune response to malaria.                          ~ Bill Weidanz
                                                                                            Dr. Jon Woods,
Understanding Vaccines                                                                          MD, PhD
                                                                                           Was promoted to full
                                                                                           Professor effective
In Spring 2009, MMI offered a new             and pathogenesis components of our              July 1, 2008.
course entitled, “Vaccines: Practical         curriculum by providing students with
Issues for a Global Society.” The             new information and views not presented
goal of this 600-level course is to           in other courses. By presenting topics
introduce the student to vaccinology.         which are relevant, contemporary and of
Course topics include: immunology of          public health importance, we believe
vaccination, vaccine development and          students and others will gain an
licensing, vaccine safety, the application    understanding of the many issues
of    new     technologies,     role     of   related to vaccinology, enabling them to
immunization in public health programs        participate in finding solutions to the
for infectious disease prevention,            problems related to the development and
economics, political, legal and ethical       use of vaccines.                                 Dr. Anna
issues relating to human immunization,                                                     Huttenlocher, MD
and the impact of immunization in             The course, for advanced undergraduate       Was promoted to full
                                              and graduate students, was developed         Professor on July 1,
animal populations.                                                                               2008.
                                              and taught by Drs. Stacey Schultz-            Dr. Huttenlocher
Vaccines represent the most cost-             Cherry, Peter Shult, and William                  holds joint
effective medical intervention known to       Weidanz. Funding for the course was          appointments in the
prevent death and disease. The public         provided by a grant from the Robert            Departments of
                                                                                             Pediatrics and
is exposed to “vaccine” issues almost         Wood Johnson Foundation Health &
daily, ranging from availability and cost     Society Scholars Program and the               Microbiology &
of vaccines to vaccine safety and the         University of Wisconsin School of               Immunology.
ethics of vaccination. Accordingly, this      Medicine and Public Health.
new course strengthens the immunology                ~ William Weidanz
Medical Microbiology & Immunology                                                     Page 4 of 8

                    Our New Home: The Microbial Sciences Building
                    Since 2007, the Department of            Medical Microbiology & Immunology,
                    Medical      Microbiology         and    the Food Research Institute, the
                    Immunology has had a new home            Great Lakes Bioenergy Research
                    within the beautiful, state-of-the-art   Center, and the Wisconsin Center for
                    Microbial Sciences Building (1550        Infectious Disease.
                    Linden Drive on the UW-Madison
                    campus).                                 “We!ve already found some new
                                                             synergies,”   says    Rod      Welch,
                    The 330,000-square-foot facility – the   professor    and    chair    of    the
                    campus! largest academic building –      Department of Medical Microbiology
                    combines facilities for innovative       and Immunology.        “Rather than
                    instruction, “neighborhoods” of world-   segregate the two departments on
                    class research laboratories to           separate floors, we!ve mixed people
                    stimulate        collaboration,   and    up and broken down artificial barriers
                    architectural features that recognize    between us.”
                    the lifestyles and shared needs of
                    researchers.        Scientists in the    In addition to research laboratory
                    building study infectious diseases,      space, the building features state-of-
                    emerging pathogens, food-borne           the-art classrooms for undergraduate
                    diseases, food toxicants, parasites,     and graduate instruction, a 6th floor
                    fungal and viral pathogens, and bio-     meeting room with an outstanding
                    defense       strategies.        Other   view of Lake Mendota and the Allen
                    researchers study the amazing            Centennial Gardens, as well as the
                    abilities of microbes to produce         sophisticated     450-seat     Ebling
                    alternative energy sources and           Symposium Center, which has
                    microbial fuel cells, mitigate global    already hosted many national and
                    climate change, improve water            international    conferences      and
                    quality, clean up environmental          workshops.
                    pollutants and serve as biological
                    control agents in agriculture. Still     Department staff members have
                    others study genetic systems,            given numerous tours of the building
                    metabolic pathways, communication        to    diverse  groups,    and    the
                    networks, relationships with microbial   overwhelming response is one of
                    communities and between microbes         amazement at the great space.
                    and other organisms, regulatory          Friends and alumni are urged to visit
                    mechanisms, molecular structure          the Microbial Sciences Building and
                    and function, and systems biology.       behold the opportunities that lie
                    “The environment created by this
                    building encourages the cross-           For more information about the building
                    disciplinary work and discussion that     (including events that occur within the
                    can help solve problems and                            space), see:
                    advance research,” says Glenn  
                    Chambliss, professor emeritus and
                    former chair of the Department of
                    Bacteriology, which occupies the
                    building with the Department of
Medical Microbiology & Immunology                                                        Page 5 of 8

Notes from the Gumperz Lab
The immune system protects the host       understanding of how NKT cells
against pathogens and also manages        function has been learning the
beneficial microbial colonies.     This   molecular identities of compounds that
involves making complex decisions         activate them. The Gumperz lab has
about whether to tolerate or fight        recently shown that human NKT cells
particular microbes, and about the        recognize a molecule generated by the
kind of defensive responses to mount.     body during inflammation, suggesting
The Gumperz lab studies a subset of       they recognize internal stress or
T lymphocytes, called Natural Killer T    disease signals.       Other lines of
cells (“NKT cells”), which can            research involve determining how NKT
contribute to a wide variety of immune    cells generate qualitatively distinct
responses and are thought to play an      responses in different situations, how
important role in immunological           they interact with other cells to
“decision-making.”                        influence     subsequent        immune         Drs. Jayati
NKT cells are “innate” lymphocytes,       responses, and how they contribute to     Mookerjee Basu and
which means they are present in the       Epstein-Barr virus infection control.     Subramanya Hegde
body from birth and they recognize        These     studies     are    providing      leukocytes from
evolutionarily conserved molecules.       fundamental information on the biology     samples of human
(In contrast, most T cells are            of innate T cells that can be used to        blood to use in
“adaptive” lymphoctyes, generated in      develop new strategies to promote          analses of Natural
                                                                                    Killer T cell function
response to infections we encounter.)     human health.
A central problem hindering our                  ~ Jenny Gumperz

Update from MMI 301 Course Director
With the retirement of Dr. Harry Hinze    review bacterial cell structure, cell
in 1995, Dr. Gerry Byrne and I took       physiology, and immunology and then
over      MMI’s     301     undergrad     cover identification, epidemiology and
“Pathogenic Microbiology” course,         pathogenic mechanisms of important        Rod Welch with PhD
                                          human bacterial pathogens.                students, Gary Baisa
taught by Dr. Hinze for years. Dr.                                                  and Erica Raterman
Hinze had historically presented          Course enrollment has increased
material on both bacteria and viruses.    nearly 40% in the past 2 years, with 74
With the recruitment of Dr. Stacey        students currently in the class. Our
Schultz-Cherry, who started a new         MMI undergrad majors, along with
undergrad course on pathogenic            students in other biology programs,
virology, Gerry and I evolved 301 into    take the course. The majority of my
a course dedicated to pathogenic          students go on to graduate programs
bacteriology.                             or medical school.
In 2002, when Dr. Byrne retired, I        Teaching undergraduates is very
became the course director. I give 23-    rewarding.    I look forward to each
25 lectures each year and a second-       lecture and over the years have filled
year doctoral student serves as the       out the material with anecdotes about
course’s graduate assistant.      The     famous      microbiologists,  disease
student helps write and grade exams,      outbreaks and my own run-ins with         Fluorescently-tagged
and gives 2 lectures. This year Eric      pathogens. I would enjoy hearing from     uropathogenic E. coli
Battaglioli, a Colgate University         my former students.                       constructed in Welch
graduate, is the MMI 301 assistant. In            ~ Rod Welch                                lab
terms of material taught, I briefly
Medical Microbiology & Immunology                                                           Page 6 of 8

                              On the Death of Professor Emeritus Duard Lee Walker, MD
    “Duard was a highly
  collaborative scientist.    Duard Lee Walker, MD, Professor          member and a chairman on a
Being collaborative was a
    natural extension of      Emeritus of Medical Microbiology &       number of committees for the
Duard’s personality – he      Immunology died Monday, Sept. 14,        medical school. In addition, he
was a warm, interactive,      2009. During his distinguished 36-       advised       and     mentored    many
     calming, friendly,       year career at the University of         graduate students and fellows, both
    outgoing, energetic
                              Wisconsin, his contributions as          in his own laboratory and within the
  individual. Duard was
always a gentleman, and       professor and department chair in the    department of Medical Microbiology.
   to this day I consider     research, teaching and service           He was a member of numerous
myself very lucky to have     missions of his department, the          editorial     boards     and     medical
 had him as my mentor.”       Medical School and the University of     societies. Dr. Walker will be best
   ~ Dr. Richard Frisque
                              Wisconsin were highly meritorious        remembered for his work in virology.
                              and greatly enhanced the institution's   He was initially interested in viral
                              reputation as a place of higher          interactions with host cells that
                              learning.                                allowed the establishment of latency
                                                                       of the viral pathogen in the host cells.
                              Professor Walker was born on June        In 1971, in collaboration with Billie
                              2, 1921, in Bishop, California. He       Padgett, his lab accomplished the
                              received a bachelor's degree (Phi        first isolation of the JC virus. This
                              Beta Kappa) from the University of       virus has been demonstrated to be
                              California   (Berkeley) in    1943,      the causal agent for progressive
                              graduated from the University of         multifocal         leukoencephalopathy
                              California Medical School, San           (PML), a devastating neurological
                              Francisco, in 1945, and received a       disease         that      occurs      in
                              master's degree in 1947, also from       immunocompromised patients. Dr.
                              the University of California at          Walker's group in collaboration with
                              Berkeley. He married Dorothea V.         other investigators characterized the
                              McHenry on Aug. 11, 1945.                JC virus and its natural history. In
                                                                       collaboration with the group headed
                              In 1952 the family moved to Madison      by Gabriele ZuRhein, the oncogenic
 “Duard was a scholar of      when he took a position as an            potential      of    the   virus    was
  the highest order. His      associated      professor    at   the    demonstrated and characterized in
      outwardly stern         University of Wisconsin. He was          hamsters. Dr Walker retired from the
   demeanor overlay a
caring individual who did
                              appointed professor of medical           University of Wisconsin in 1988; for
   much to facilitate the     microbiology in 1959. He became          his body of work, Dr. Walker was
training of students in the   chairman of the department of            elected to the National Academy of
   Medical Microbiology       Medical Microbiology first from 1970     Sciences in 1990.
                              to 1976 and again later from 1981 to
 ~ Dr. Chuck Czuprynski
                              1988. He was appointed the Paul F.       Duard is survived by his wife,
                              Clark      professor    of    medical    Dorothea; his children, Douglas,
      “Duard was an           microbiology in 1988. During his         Donna Fisher (Bruce), David (Tracy)
outstanding mentor, who       years at the University, Dr. Walker      and Diane Craig (Alan); and three
  made it his mission to
help develop the careers
                              was an active teacher of students.       grandchildren, Kate Fisher, Lesley
of women in science. He       He was first an instructor and then a    Fisher and Lorelle Craig. He was
was ahead of his time in      director of the medical school course    preceded in death by his parents and
       this regard.”          on infectious disease. He served as a    brother.
    ~ Dr. June Osborn
Medical Microbiology & Immunology                                                       Page 7 of 8

What are our MMI grads doing these days?
Our department’s undergraduate            pathogens from clinical samples.
degree program has about 125              She also teaches microbiology to
students at any given point in time.      pathology      residents,    medical
After graduation, where do our            students, and clinical laboratory
students go and what do they do?          sciences students. Colleen finds the
We asked a few:                           hospital    to    be    a    dynamic
                                          environment, interacting daily with
Jason Paltzer (’99 MMI graduate)          colleagues, physicians, and other
went on to earn a Master’s in Public      medical staff to provide high quality
Health degree from University of          patient care and to educate future         Jason Paltzer
Minnesota. From 2003-2009, he             health professionals.         Colleen
worked as a program director for a        recently completed a MS degree in
health & development program in           Bacteriology (UW-Madison) and is
Zambia (central Africa). Currently,       now applying to doctoral programs.
he’s working on a PhD degree in the       She hopes to eventually work in
University of Wisconsin-Madison           public health at the Federal or State
Population Health Sciences and            level.
Development      Studies    program.
While in Zambia, Jason found he           Robert (Bob) Zemple (’06 MMI
really enjoyed the community-based        graduate) is currently working on his
                                                                                       Jeniel Nett
approach to health and intervention,      MD degree at the University of
and looks forward to connecting his       Wisconsin School of Medicine and
field experience with academic            Public Health (started in 2008). After
research after his PhD studies.           getting his BS in MMI, Bob earned a
                                          MA in Medical Sciences at Loyola
Jeniel Nett (’99 MMI graduate) went       University (Chicago), taught for
on to earn an MD from University of       Kaplan in 2007-08, and became an
Wisconsin School of Medicine and          EMT in the Waunakee, Wisconsin
Public Health. She completed her          area. In his free time as a medical
residency      training   in   Internal   student, Bob also works at MEDiC
Medicine at the University of             (free healthcare clinics for Madison’s
Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.           underserved      population),    helps
Currently, she is working as a            conduct medical student admission         Colleen Zaccard
research assistant in Dr. David           interviews, is doing research in the
Andes laboratory and will receive a       Cardiothoracic Surgery department,
PhD in Cellular and Molecular             and serves as the Class of 2012 co-
Biology (December 2009). She plans        president and president of the
to continue studying Candida biofilms     student body. [Bob is also known for
and to pursue subspecialty training       playing the role of “Santa” at a past
as a fellow in Infectious Diseases.       annual MMI holiday party.]

Colleen Zaccard (’01 MMI graduate)        If you are a past undergrad and
works as a Medical Technologist in        would like to be featured in this
                                                                                   Bob Zemple and his
the microbiology laboratory at UW         section, please drop us an email!           fiancé, Sarah
Hospitals and Clinics. At the bench,
she applies routine and advanced
laboratory techniques to identify
                             Keller Lab Statement
                             My research focus lies in uncovering      A particular joy in my work is
                             the traits required for fungi,            mentoring       of     undergraduate,
                             particularly Aspergillus species, to be   graduate and post-doctoral students.
                             potent human, animal and plant            As the Aspergillus diseases (e.g.
                             pathogens. A specific interest is the     aspergillosis, aflatoxicosis) occur
                             role that fungal toxins play in the       worldwide – coupled with my own
                             disease process. My interest in this      international experiences - I strive to
                             topic stems back to a seminal             bring diverse backgrounds into my
                             graduate school presentation by the       lab for the benefit of all of my lab
                             late Dr. Paul Nelson on what was          personnel.     Over the years I have
                             then a newly described mycotoxin,         been lucky enough to have students
                             fumonisin, implicated as causing          not only from the USA but other
                             esophageal cancer in the South            countries including South Korea,
                             African population. I had recently        Republic of South Africa, Nigeria,
                             completed a stint as a Peace Corps        Egypt, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sri
                             volunteer in Lesotho, a South African     Lanka, Lesotho, Australia, India,
 Subset of Keller Lab        country, and had direct experiences       Sweden, United Kingdom, Spain,
   From left to right:       with molded food supplies, hence this     Puerto Rico, Belgium, Greece,
Dr. JinWoo Bok, Carrie       seminar hit home at both a personal       China, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Lauer, Dr. Nancy Keller,
                             and intellectual level.                   Poland, Japan and Germany. It is
  Ali Soukup, Alex La
  Reau, Saori Amaike
                                                                       very exciting to watch how my former
                                                                       students develop their careers in
                                                                       venues all over the world.

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Description: Microbiology is the branch of biology. It is to study the various types of micro-organisms (bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, viruses, rickettsia, mycoplasma, chlamydia, spirochetes, and single-cell algae, protozoa) and morphology, physiology, biochemistry, classification and ecology Science.