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Goodbye Mary Ellen Jones

July 11, 2014

  In early April, the Department of Microbiology & Immunology began the final phase of moving out of its 36-year home in the Mary Ellen Jones Building. The migration began last year with departmental labs moving to the 9th floor of the completely renovated Burnett Womack Building. The rest of the Department’s space will be … Read more

It takes a network: Stephani Page #BLACKandSTEM

July 10, 2014

Graduate student Stephani Page (Bob Bourret’s lab) has rocketed into the upper Twittersphere by building a community of like-minded colleagues based on a new hashtag. It’s all explained in David Zax’s article at the link below. Also see previous discussions about Stephani’s blogs for Nature #BLACKandSTEM: The Hashtag As Community

Ting lab: Intersecting pathways of innate immune regulation

July 10, 2014

A new study from Jenny Ting’s lab, now available online at the Immunity journal website, demonstrates how interactions between an NLR protein (NLRC3) and an intracellular DNA sensor (STING) modulate innate immune activation in response to DNA viruses. M&I LinkedIn Group member Lu Zhang is the lead author of the study, and co-authors include members … Read more

Faculty profile: Myron Cohen

July 10, 2014

The latest issue of Blue & White, a student-run monthly magazine, has a nice biographical feature on M&I Professor Mike Cohen. See the story by UNC senior Abigail Brewer at the link below.

Graduate student profile: Kizzmekia Corbett

July 10, 2014

A new UNC Newsroom article on Kizzy Corbett (Aravinda de Silva’s lab) discusses her background, her research on dengue virus, and the fellowship that will take her to Sri Lanka Corbett continues quest for dengue fever vaccine

Serody lab: Dynamic imaging of immune cells in graft-versus-host disease

July 10, 2014

A new Blood First Edition paper from Jon Serody’s lab uses multiphoton laser-scanning microscopy to study the interactions between donor T cells, dendritic cells, and regulatory T cells in lymph nodes after transplantation. See the article at the link below, and don’t miss the cool movies in the Supplemental Materials!

Garcia lab: Immunotherapy augments antiretroviral therapy to target persistent HIV

July 9, 2014

Victor Garcia’s lab addresses the longstanding problem of HIV persistence in a new PLOS Pathogens paper that takes advantage of their bone marrow/liver/thymus (BLT) humanized mouse system. They combine antiretroviral therapy with an immunotoxin designed to target the conserved CD4 binding site of HIV-1 gp120, and they show a dramatic reduction in persistent virus throughout … Read more

Dangl and Grant labs: Comparative transcriptomics to understand the evolution of Pseudomonas syringae virulence

July 9, 2014

RNAseq analysis is combined with phylogenetics in this new PLOS Pathogens paper from the labs of Jeff Dangl and Sarah Grant. By characterizing the HrpL regulon across six diverse strains of P. syringae, they identify novel putative virulence factors and two novel type III effector families. See the article at the link below.;jsessionid=36F2FDBCC0829F3F478B5F12B4C77DCE

de Silva and Baric labs: Molecular determinants of immunity to dengue

July 9, 2014

The current online Early Edition of PNAS features a collaboration between the labs of Aravinda de Silva and Ralph Baric that has broad implications for designing and improving vaccines for viral infections. They demonstrate that a specific region on the viral surface (the envelope domain I/II hinge) is the primary target for serotype-specific neutralizing antibodies … Read more

Merry Christmas: M&I gets a boost in the rankings

July 8, 2014

It’s Christmas morning and I’m happy to relay a nice surprise that brings 2013 to a satisfying close, thanks to newly released data on NIH awards. Based on current NIH funding levels, our Department now ranks 8th among all microbiology/immunology departments at medical schools. And in comparison with these departments at our peer institutions (public … Read more