In Microbiological Sciences, our goals are to explore novel research in agriculture and health and to share with students our fascination and knowledge of microbiology. We work to achieve excellence by creating a student-centered environment that values diversity and encourages discovery, ingenuity, integrity, and collegiality

Department News

Dr. Sheela Ramamoorthy and Dr. Peter BergholzBig Wins for Micro at the NDSU Agriculture 2018 Faculty and Staff Awards

Congratulations to Drs. Sheela Ramamoorthy and Peter Bergholz, who were big winners at the annual NDSU Agriculture Faculty and Staff Awards.

Dr. Ramamoorthy won the Larson/Yaggie Excellence in Research Award. Her primary areas of research are virology and immunology, with a focus on vaccinology and diagnostic test development. Her research has improved understanding of the pathogenesis mechanisms and transmission of viral agents involved in porcine respiratory disease complex, particularly porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2). She has translated this basic research into several vaccines and diagnostic tests for veterinary infectious diseases. In her nomination, Dr. Ramamoorthy was recognized as "an original-thinking theoretician, critical experimentalist and tool builder – traits that are rarely, if ever, found in the same person."

Dr. Bergholz won the Earl and Dorothy Foster Excellence in Teaching Award. This award recognized his commitment to constructing student-centered learning environments in his courses. Rather than lecture at students, he uses lesson plans carefully designed around active learning activities to empower students to take responsibility for their learning. Support letters from students describe the supporting environment that allowed them to fail before eventually succeeding, and the pride of accomplishment when they achieved more than they thought was possible. One student stated, “... he is one of the most influential professors I've ever had. After his class I've felt confident in my skills as a microbiologist and have only demanded the best from myself. Without his class I don't think I would be nearly as educated in writing/ reading scientific literature, using microbiological techniques or critical thinking skills.”

Grant Success for Ph.D. candidate, Missy Berry

Missy Berry received research funding from the High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (HICAHS) and the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH). The grant from HICAHS ($25,000 for 9 months) is to study farmer’s lung disease in a murine model. The CS-CASH grant ($20,000 for 18 months) is to investigate the potential of snow molds to cause respiratory disease. Way to go, Missy!

Undergraduate Research Scholarships

Congratulations to our Microbiology BS students who have been selected to participate in the 2018-19 Russell and Anna Duncan Undergraduate Research Scholars Program.

  • Prajakta Warang, working in the lab of Dr. Teresa Bergholz
  • Cristian Hernandez, working in the lab of Dr. Glenn Dorsam
  • Ryan Skiba, working in the lab of Dr. Teresa Bergholz
  • Matthew Prince, working in the lab of Dr. Teresa Bergholz

Prizewinning Graduate Students

Congratulations to our graduate students who won prizes for their research presentations at the North Central Branch of the American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting in Mankato, MN.

  • Manoj Shah, Ph.D. candidate – 1st place oral presentation. Manoj presented on the use of heat treated poultry pellets in soil impacts survival of Salmonella Newport and subsequent transfer to spinach plants.
  • Madelyn Schwartz, Ph.D. candidate – 2nd place poster presentation. Madelyn presented on genome variants associated with low temperature growth phenotypes in E. coli isolates from soil.
  • Maria Cardenas-Alvarez, Ph.D. candidate – 3rd place oral presentation. Maria presented on Listeria monocytogenes variation in virulence assessed in the insect model Galleria mellonella.