Research Highlights Archive
Dr. Birgit Pruess was recently awarded an Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC) grant to pilot the development of novel biofilm inhibiting materials for food processing. If you're a radio buff, then you may have heard her talk about the project with Terry Loomis of Ag News 890.
Dr. Sheela Ramamoorthy has been awarded an 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. Find out more about APUC programs here.
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.
Fisher research featured
The Fisher lab uses cockroaches to understand how pathogens like Stenotrophomonas maltophilia cause diseases like cystic fibrosis...and everyone seems to be interested in this model system these days. Their research was recently featured in the NDSU Spectrum .
Master's student, Meredith Irsfeld, recently received an Honorable Mention in the national NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Meredith works in Dr. Birgit Pruess's lab and studies chemicals that inhibit biofilm formation.
Bergholz research featured
The North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station recently released its 2013 Annual Highlights. Dr. Teresa Bergholz's research is featured on page 5 in an article called, "Researchers Work to Make Food Safer." The story centers on the work that Master's student, Deepti Tyagi, and research specialist, Julie Sherwood, are doing to understand how foodborne pathogens survive on lettuce after harvesting and packaging. Deepti's research is also featured here on the NDSU News Banner.
Dr. Teresa Bergholz will be awarded an Agricultural Products Utilization Commission grant to study the "Validation of Vacuum-Steam Pasteurization for Low-Moisture Foods." The APUC aims to advance the development and use of North Dakota agricultural products through basic and applied research, marketing and utilization, farm diversification, and ag prototype development.
Dr. McEvoy and PhD candidate, Brianna Stenger, have contributed a chapter to the new book, Cryptosporidium: parasite and disease, which is currently available from Springer eBooks. The book provides timely information on all aspects of the parasite and cryptosporidiosis (the disease it causes), including host-parasite interaction, diagnosis, treatment, epidemiology, and molecular biology. The chapter that McEvoy and Stenger wrote focuses on the evolution of crypto species that infect vertebrates other than humans and livestock.
Two VMS faculty were recently awarded State Board of Agricultural Research and Education (SBARE) grants. Dr. Gibbs will be studying the phenotypic and genotypic epidemiology of pink eye due to Moraxella bovis and M. bovoculi across North Dakota. And Dr. Ramamoorthy will be developing a diagnostic test for the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV).
Disinfecting electronic tablets
Dr. Khaitsa and Lee Kiedrowski, a former VMS graduate student, teamed up with Sanford Health doctor, Dubert M. Guerrero, to write a letter to the editor of the American Journal of Infection Control. The letter describes the team's research, which shows that iPads used for patient care were found to be contaminated with pathogens, including S. aureus. The scientists go on to recommend effective cleaning procedures for these types of devices. The letter can be found here.
The Pruess lab's research was recently featured in the Inforum and on Minnesota Public Radio. In both instances, Dr. Pruess describes the discovery that beta-phenylethylamine, a substance found in chocolate, can reduce biofilm formation by E. coli. You can listen to the MPR interview here.
Asthma model book chapter
Dr. Jane Schuh's lab uses an innovative inhalation model to study fungal allergic asthma. She describes the model in a chapter of the new book, Mouse Models of Allergic Disease: Methods and Protocols. Over the last 50 years, scientists have observed a dramatic increase in allergic disease across developed countries, and this collection of techniques was gathered in response to that. The book was published by Humana Press/Springer, and it is currently available in hardcover (e-version coming soon!).
Akshat Sharma's essay about the value of pursuing a Master's degree was published in the September issue of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's monthly magazine, ASBMB Today. Sharma is a former Master's student in Dr. Jane Schuh's lab and is currently working toward a Ph.D. in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You can read Akshat's essay here.
Nisin resistance paper
Dr. Teresa Bergholz's paper describing salt-induced nisin resistance in Listeria monocytogenes will appear in the Oct. issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The paper has been published online ahead of print. You can view it here.
A paper by Dr. John McEvoy, Brianna Stenger, and collaborators in the Czech Republic and New Zealand was recently published online in the International Journal for Parasitology. The paper, which can be viewed here, describes the coevolution of Cryptosporidium tyzzeri and the house mouse.
Sumit Ghosh, a former graduate student and current postdoc in Dr. Jane Schuh's lab, was recently awarded his first grant. He will use the funds to study fungal toxins in inhalation exposures when the host has underlying allergic disease. "This is a big deal," says Dr. Schuh. "He did it all on his own, and I'm ridiculously proud of him!"
A review article by Dr. Birgit Pruess and graduate students, Ty Lynnes and Priyankar Samanta, was published in the June issue of FEMS Microbiology Letters. The paper describes the control of E. coli
biofilms by modifying signal transduction pathways using metabolites.
Dr. Glenn Dorsam and Dr. Jane Schuh were each recently awarded an NIH grant to study allergic fungal asthma. The grants will fund an interdisciplinary training program for undergraduate and graduate students who will use a mouse model to understand: (1) how cell signaling influences recruitment of eosinophils to the lung (a hallmark of asthma) and (2) the whole-body changes that occur during the progression of asthma in mice. The awards will also support a seminar series with prominent speakers/scientists and student travel to regional and national meetings. Image: CDC
Dr. Peter Bergnolz’s January 2013 paper in Applied and Environmental Microbiology explores two things: (1) the prevalence, persistence, and diversity of food-borne pathogens in fresh produce fields in New York State and (2) the landscape and meteorological factors that predict the presence of these microbes. Image: CDC/Amanda Mills