The 2020 VBS Sizzling Summer Science Spotlight (S4) seminar series has hosted an exciting line-up of VBS presenters talking informally about their research plans, pilot studies, and teaching innovations. Here is a recap of the July Presenters:
Dr. Kathleen Boris-Lawrie (7/16) presented, "3D to 2D, HIV to CoV2, stops on the twisted RNA road to discover novel antivirals." For more information about Dr. Boris-Lawrie's research, please visit the VBS website.
Dr. John Collister (7/23) presented, "Role of the brain-sympathetic gut microbiome axis in hypertension." Dr. Collister discussed using gastrointestinal content cross transplantation and forebrain lesions. The data presented demonstrates the role of the brain and gut microbiome in the development and maintenance of high blood pressure in a rat model of hypertension.
Dr. Jianming Wu (7/30) presented, "Functional genomics of IgG Fc receptors and human health." Dr. Wu discussed, IgG Fc receptors (FcγRs), which are essential for effective immune responses in vaccination and antibody therapy. Functional FcγR genetic variants are risk factors for autoimmune diseases. The research of functional genomics determines immune cell functions of common FcγR genetic variants that could serve as crucial biomarkers for vaccination efficacy and antibody therapy responses.
Dr. Zheng Xing (8/6) presented, "The Emerging Bunyavirus: From Epidemiology to Viral Pathogenesis." Bunyaviruses under the new Bunyavirales include the viruses infecting a variety of organisms including plants, insects, reptiles, birds, and even humans. Dr. Xing examines the emerging phlebovirus and the current understanding of its unique etiology, transmission mode and molecular pathogenesis in mammals.
Dr. Peter Larsen (8/13) presented, "Building an AGREETT Research Program." Dr. Larsen highlights the various AGREETT related research projects underway in his laboratory. Including miRNA biomarkers for metabolic disease in dairy cattle and amplification assays for the ultrasensitive detection of misfolded prion proteins.
Dr. Dawn Foster-Hartnett (8/20) presented, "A Tale of Two Classes: Learning Microbiology in a Hybrid of Fully-Online Format." Dr. Foster-Hartnett discusses how laboratory courses can be taught online. With the COVID-19 pandemic, educators have been forced to use creative techniques for learning. Foster-Hartnett shared her strategies to tackle this issue as well as how she and her team compared learning outcomes for students in all online and in-person microbiology labs.