New 2020/21 CGSA officers elected

We’re excited to announce the new 2020/21 CIDD Grad Student Association officers. Congratulations to the incoming board, and a warm thank you to past officers. As always, if Faculty, Students and Post-docs would like to pass along useful information, organize a student focus group to tackle a CIDD issue or co-ordinate professional and technical workshops in the future, please reach out to the relevant officers below or to Dr. Ottar Bjornstad, the Faculty- Student liaison.

CGSA 2020/21 officers:
President: Alexandre Blake (Bharti lab) and Emily Howerton (Shea lab).
Vice President: Allyson Ray (Grozinger/ Rasgon labs)
Secretary: Ellie Mainou (Conway lab)
Synopsis co-ordinator: Hannah Greenberg Tiffin (Machtinger lab)
Treasurer: Damie Pak (Bjornstad lab)
Webmaster: Fhallon Ware- Gilmore (McGraw lab)
Social chair: Zeinab Elmasri (Jose lab)

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Grad Students present research at Feb 20th CIDD seminar

Three graduate students presented their research at the CIDD Thursday seminar on Feb 20th. Presentations can be of an ongoing project or of a research proposal related to infectious disease. These talks are well attended by a (friendly) mix of CIDD students, post-docs and faculty audience, and are great for public speaking practice and feedback. Molly Rathbun from the Szpara Lab discussed the direct sequencing of HSV-1 reveals a role for within-host genetic diversity in transmission. Dominika Dec Peevey of the Bjornstad and Ferrari Labs presented on West Nile Virus in Pennsylvania game lands: woodland pool risk assessment for Culex restuans breeding. Finally, Antal Martinecz from the Zur Wiesch Lab talked about the high peak rifampicin plasma concentrations accelerate the slow phase of bacterial elimination in tuberculosis patients. Thank you to Alexandre Blake, Landon vom Stieg and Leah Sigle for helping to plan this event.

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Student wins Daniel M. Jobbins scholarship

CGSA President Karen Kemirembe

Congratulations to our current CGSA president, Karen Kemirembe for winning the New Jersey Mosquito Control Association Daniel M. Jobbins Scholarship for her work on Sex Specific responses of the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae to a mosquito borne Alphavirus infection. 

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Uncovering how parasites and hosts respond to multi-species infections and external perturbations

Two Graphidium strigosum mating

A new research synopsis entitled “Uncovering how parasites and hosts respond to multi-species infections and external perturbations” by Ellen Brandel has been published on CIDDTV. The synopsis covers main findings from a rabbit-helminth study by Dr. Isabella Cattadori, Dr. Matthew Ferrari of Penn State, and Dr. Ashutosh Pathak of University of Georgia on how external disturbances such as coinfection and treatment affect the parasite dynamics as well as the host’s immune responses.

Link to the synopsis: http://epidemics.psu.edu/articles/view/10.1016/j.epidem.2019.100370

Past synopses can be found at http://epidemics.psu.edu/

If you would like your research featured on CIDDTV, please send an email to Ellen Brandell, our Research Synopsis Coordinator.

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Combating livestock infections: when to act and how?

A new research synopsis entitled “Combating livestock infections: when to act and how?” has been published on CIDDTV by Alexis Delabouglise.

CIDD researchers Alexis Delabouglise and Maciej Boni computationally modeled livestock disease management and transmission between small-scale poultry farms in low- and middle-income countries.

Link to the synopsis:  http://epidemics.psu.edu/articles/view/10.1016/j.epidem.2019.100370

Past synopses can be found at http://epidemics.psu.edu/

If you would like your research featured on CIDDTV, please send an email to Ellen Brandell, our Research Synopsis Coordinator.

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CIDD Best student paper 2019 awardees announced

Congratulations to Catherine Herzog (Bjornstad lab- 2nd place) and Sreenidhi Srinivasan (Kapur lab- 1st place) for being awarded the Inaugural Peter J. Hudson CIDD best student prizes. Catherine’s paper was on peste des petits ruminants virus in northern Tanzania, and Sree’s paper was on an improved skin test to distinguish between vaccine-related and infected bovine TB. There were plenty of deserving entries, so thanks to everyone that participated.

The award, named after CIDD’s former Director, Dr. Pete Hudson was created to recognize student excellence. The criteria for the award were as follows: The paper must be 1) student led 2) have been announced previously in ‘CIDD Good News’ during the year. 3) address a novel or creative question, report a significant advancement for the field, demonstrate significant translational impact or be an example of highly effective interdisciplinary research. Next year’s applications will be due on Dec 1st, 2020, so stay tuned!

 

 

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Risky trade-offs alter ant movement

A new research synopsis entitled “Risky trade-offs alter ant movement” has been published on CIDDTV. The synopsis covers results from a study from CIDD researchers Natalie ImirzianChristoph KurzeRaquel Loreto, and David Hughes with collaborators at the University of Notre Dame.

The researchers investigated forager ant behavior the rainforests of Southeastern Brazil, as these forager ants are exposed to predators and pathogens as they leave the nest. The group used cameras to capture ant behavior on the main foraging trails and developed a deep learning model that tracks ants frame-by-frame in the videos to generate a detailed dataset of ant movement in a natural setting. What they observed is that there is a trade off in the ants’ behaviors for avoiding disease vs. food acquisition.

Link to the synopsis: http://epidemics.psu.edu/articles/view/risky-trade-offs-alter-ant-movement

Past synopses can be found at http://epidemics.psu.edu/

If you would like your research featured on CIDDTV, please send an email to Ellen Brandell, our Research Synopsis Coordinator.

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Graduate Students Share Their Research at CIDD Seminar

At this weeks CIDD Seminar, Penn State graduate students Hannah Greenberg (Machtinger Lab), Justin Munro (Llinás Lab), and Sahar Zarmehri (Hanks Lab) discussed their research progress with the CIDD community.

Hannah presented her work on Ongoing Research into the Effects of Sarcoptic Mange on Health and Movement of Pennsylvania’s Black Bear Population.

Justin presented his work on Using Metabolomics to Understand the Role of Acetyl-CoA during Growth of Asexual Plasmodium falciparum parasites.

And Sahar presented her work on Combining Animal Movement and Seroprevalence Data for Prediction of Wildlife Disease Spread.

We are so proud of our graduate students!

CIDD Seminars are held Thursdays at 11:00 am in W-203 Millennium Science Complex.

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Livestock management systems impact disease risk


Photo Credit: pxhere

A new research synopsis entitled “Livestock management systems impact disease risk” by Catherine Herzog has been published on CIDDTV. The synopsis covers results from a study led by CIDD graduate student Catherine Herzog in the lab of Ottar Bjørnstad. Other CIDD researchers involved in this effort include Isabella Cattadori, Vivek Kapur, and Peter Hudson, as well as collaborators Will de Glanville, Brian Willett and Sarah Cleaveland from the University of Glasgow, and T.J. Kibona and Joram Buza at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Tanzania.

The researchers investigated the seroprevalence of Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) in sheep, goat, and cattle in villages in the Arusha, Kilimanjaro, and Manyara regions of northern Tanzania during 2016 to determine the distribution of the virus. The results of this work provide insights into this multi-host livestock disease system that may be used to develop improved disease control practices.

Link to the synopsis: http://epidemics.psu.edu/articles/view/livestock-management-systems-impact-disease-risk

Past synopses can be found at http://epidemics.psu.edu/

If you would like your research featured on CIDDTV, please send an email to Ellen Brandell, our Research Synopsis Coordinator.

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CIDD party, September 2019

CIDD party Sep 2019

A special thank to Dr. Elizabeth McGraw for hosting a welcome-back party with delicious homemade dishes for all CIDD members on 08 September 2019. There were activities, lawn games, and particular the use of “drink tickets” to help mixing and facilitate conversations between faculties and students.

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