VMS at NDSU
As a department, our main concerns are exploring novel research and sharing with students our fascination and knowledge of dynamic disciplines in microbiology, including: bacteriology, epidemiology, fungal biology, immunology, molecular biology, parasitology, and virology. We work to achieve excellence in these areas by creating a student-centered environment that values diversity and encourages discovery, ingenuity, integrity, and collegiality.
VMS Research Highlights
Dr. Sheela Ramamoorthy has been awarded an Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC) grant to develop a novel, first-generation vaccine against the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. The APUC grant program was established to develop new and expanded uses of ND agricultural products.
Dr. Peter Bergholz just learned that his project called "Dyamics of Listeria monocytogenes populations in environmental reservoirs in the preharvest environment of fresh fruits and vegetables" was awarded a nearly $148,000 grant from the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The project was 1 of 35 to be funded; the aim of this project is to ultimately help to develop on-farm practices that prevent contamination of fresh fruits and veggies.
COBRE grants...and more
Dr. Ramamoorthy and Dr. Teresa Bergholz have been awarded pilot project grants through COBRE (Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence). Dr. Ramamoorthy's research will build "Tools for Torque Teno Virus Research," while Dr. T. Bergholz will study the "Role of Cell Envelope Stress Responses in L. monocytogenes transmission." In separate news, Dr. Birgit Pruess and Dr. T. Bergholz have been awarded an NDSU Development Foundation grant, and Dr. Pruess has also been invited to review NIH grant proposals.
Micro in the News
Ebola outbreak update
According to the WHO’s most recent stats, over 1200 people in West Africa have died from Zaire ebolavirus, a strain of Ebola also known as EBOV, since the organization’s initial announcement of the outbreak at the end of March. Officials are calling this the “deadliest Ebola outbreak in history,” and the virus has now spread from Guinea to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. The New York Times has a series of recent articles related to the outbreak, while CNN has built a useful timeline of events. Image: CDC/Frederick Murphy
A study in this week’s Nature provides new and challenging evidence for the emergence of tuberculosis. The old TB story goes something like this: TB spread from cows to humans either 10,000 or 70,000 years ago. The new story for TB rose after a team of archaeologists and geneticists isolated bacterial DNA from Peruvian mummies. The plot twists are these: 1. TB is really young, only about 6,000 years old and 2. It probably originated in seals and spread to humans across maritime trade routes. For the details, check out Carl Zimmer’s article here. Image: CDC/Janice Carr