Medical Microbiology and Immunology



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Health Science Campus
Health Education Building
Medical Microbiology and Immunology
Room 229, MS1021
Office: 419-383-4323
Fax: 419-383-3002



 2018 GRF
March 15-16,  2018

The University of Toledo Council of Biomedical Graduate Students sponsored the 2018 Graduate Research Forum and award competition for all graduate students in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Both the oral and poster sessions were judged for scientific excellence and presentation through two rounds of judging. Finalists and awardees for the oral and poster presentation included graduate students:


Poster Presentation:

Amanda Blaker             (First Prize, Yamamoto Lab)

Fatimah Khalaf             (Second Prize, Kennedy Lab)

Samkeliso Dlamini        (Third Prize, Tillekeratne Lab, College of Pharmacy)

Chrysan Mohammed    (Finalist, Kennedy Lab)

Claire Meikle                   (Finalist, Worth Lab)


Oral Presentation:

Iyad Manaserh             (First Prize, Hill Lab)

Saad Moledina             (Second Prize, Wooten Lab)

Kelsey Murphy              (Third Prize, Park Lab)


Congratulations Claire and Saad!

March 2018
Adam Blatt, MD/PhD (MMI Grad program) graduates this May.
Adam has matched with Duke for his pediatrics residency!!
Congratulations Adam!!!!

February 20 -23, 2018

Congratulations Dr. Jyl Matson! Dr. Matson has been invited to present at the Annual Joint Panel Conference on Cholera and Other Bacterial Enteric Infections. The US-Japan Annual Joint Panel Conference on Cholera and Other Bacterial Enteric Infections, now in its 53rd year, is an international forum for scientific exchange and collaboration. This meeting has been held almost every year since 1965, hosted alternatively by the Japanese and U.S. Panels. Many of the most significant advances in field have been presented first at US-Japan conferences.

February 2018
Congratulations Dr. Mark Wooten! Dr. Wooten served on two studies this month:
American Heart Association study section (National), Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, reviewer, February 2018
NIH/NIAID study section, Topics in Infectious Diseases (IDM-X), ad hoc reviewer, February 2018


PLOS Pathogens
accepted a manuscript entitled  "A new mechanism of interferon's antiviral action: induction of autophagy, essential for paramyxovirus replication, is inhibited by the interferon stimulated gene, TDRD7,"  Authors included Gayatri Subramanian (MMIM PhD student), Teodora Kuzmanovic, Ying Zhang, Cara Beate Peter (MMIM PhD Student), Manoj Veleeparambil, Ritu Chakravarti (Dept. of Surgery), Ganes C. Sen and Saurabh Chattopadhyay (Dept. of Medical Microbiology & Immunology). 

2018 ASM
Congratulations to Briana Zellner & Irum Syed!
Briana Zellner was one of 16 national and international students whose research was selected for an oral presentation at the 2018 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Biothreats Conference, to be held February 11-14, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland.  In addition to presenting her research in front of over 800 scientists, Briana also will receive a travel award to help defray travel costs.
Irum Syed was chosen to present her research poster titled, "The Identification of a Factor H-Binding Protein in Burkholderia", at the 2018 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Biothreats Conference.

Congratulations Dr. Huntley on your new grant with Ohio Sea Grant/Ohio Department of Higher Education!
Dr. Huntley will be to continuing his microcystin biofilter studies which addresses the algal bloom affecting water in our region.

January 21 -26, 2018
Congratulations to Saad Moledina! Saad will be awarded a travel grant to attend the 2018 Gordon Research Seminar in Ventura, CA. His abstract was selected for an oral presentation.


January 17, 2018
Briana Zellner congratulations on receiving a GSA Graduate Research Award for the 2017-2018 Academic Year.
The funds are for research titled, "Characterization of a Novel Francisella tularensis Virulence Factor: FTL1678".


January 2018
Congratulations Dr. Travis Taylor!
Dr. Taylor has been awarded $25,000 from Lyme Disease Association for "Restrictions of Tick-Borne Flavivirus Infection ion the Natural Host".


December 7, 2017
Congratulations to Claire Meikle on her article in The Blade, "Researchers study link between lung cancer, thrombosis".

Dr. Wooten's latest accomplishments in November and December
Served on two National Insitutes of Health Study sections:
NIH/NIAID study section, Parasite-Vectors and Fungi [ZRG1 IDM-M(02)], November 2017
NIH/NIAID study section, Topics in Mechanisms of Bacterial Virulence and Pathogenesis [ZRG1 IDM-V (02)M], November 2017

Served as Chairman of the Department of Defense study section:
Department of Defense study section, 2017 Tick-Borne Disease Research Program, Diagnosis and Pathogenesis, December 2017

Blatt Ferreira
December 2017
Congratulations to Dr. Ferreira and Adam Blatt (Alumnus) for their recent article, "Factor H C-Terminal Domains Are Critical for Regulation of Platelet/Granulocyte Aggregate Formation" in the Frontiers in Immunology for publication.

Congratulations to Dr. Chattopadhyay whose collaborated manuscript entitled, "Bioinformatic Analysis Reveals New Determinants of Antigenic 14-3-3 Proteinsand A Novel Antifungal Strategy" was accepted for publication in PLOS ONE!

Congratulations to Briana Zellner and Caroline Lambert for being 2 of 5 selected by the COMLS Graduate Program to attend the 2018 COBI Advance Leadership Academy Program!

October 11, 2017
Congratulations Dr. Matson on your new publication!

Dr. Matson's most recent publication “A putative Vibrio cholera two-component system controls a conserved periplasmic protein in response to the antimicrobial peptide polymyxin B” has been published in PLOS one. 
Check it out here:   



 Congratulations to Dr. Huntley!
Dr. Jason Huntley has been serving on the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Biothreats Conference Program Committee for the past two years. Dr. Huntley was recently selected as Track Leader for the High Consequence Pathogens Track of the ASM Biothreats Conference.
ASM Conference

Welcome to
Medical Microbiology and Immunology
Kayla Uveges!
Kayla Uveges
Lab Coat Ceremony
August 25, 2017



Congratulations to Dr. Worth on his award and new promotion!


Congratulations to Dr. Taylor and Briana Zellner selected to present at the 2017 Midwest Microbial Pathogenesis Conference at the University of Notre Dame s on August 25-27.

Congratulations to Dr. Viviana P. Ferreira!
Dr. Ferreira has been elected to serve on the American Association of Immunologists Program Committee. 

Program Committee

Six members of the Program Committee are elected by the membership of AAI, and six members are appointed by Council. Committee members serve a three-year terms. Members are to be chosen to represent different institutions and areas of the country. The Committee is charged with the responsibility for planning and implementing the scientific program presented at each annual meeting of the AAI, subject to approval by Council.

Congratulations Neeti  Galwankar!
Neeti is the recipient of the 2017 Student Scholarship in Cardiovascular Disease from The American Heart Association.
This scholarship supports students conducting research projects related to cardiovascular disease, stroke and basic sciences during pre-doctoral training.

Ada Award
Congratulations Adaeze Izuogu!
Adaeze ia a recipient of a 2017 travel award from the Lyme Disease Association, Inc.
The scholarship is to the LDN/Columbia University conference "Lyme & Other Tick-Borne Diseases: What Clinicians Need to Know about an Expanding Epidemic," Sept. 23 & 24 in Philadelphia, PA.

Lad Kennedy
August 6, 2017

Dr. Steven Haller, Dr. Jason Huntley, Dr. David Kennedy, and Apurva Lad, a Ph.D. candidate on your recent article with the Blade:
Toledo researchers look into impact of toxic algae


August 1, 2017

Dr. Mark Wooten speaks on Lyme Disease


New parking system launches for fall semester, registration begins Aug. 5
Parking Permit information for students, staff, and faculty
See link for further information:
To register for parking, log in to the myUT portal or visit beginning Aug. 5 and follow the prompts. If needed, step-by-step instructions also will be available on the web page.

July 28, 2017
Congratulations to Briana Zellner!
Briana is a recipient of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) travel Award!

June 13, 2017

Congratulations to Caitlin Baum of the Stepkowski Lab who successfully defended her dissertation titled, "The Role of Interleukin-21 in the Chronic Rejection of Transplant Allografts and the Development of Type 1 Diabetes".



Muhammed Saad Moledina on your recent article in the Blade:
"UT Researchers Aim to Outsmart Lyme Disease"
June 5, 2017

Wooten 2017

May 30, 2017
Check out our very own Dr. Wooten featured on WTOL

VIDEO - Dr. Wooten on the prevalence of ticks in 2017

Graduation 2017

College of Medicine and Life Sciences Graduation 2017 Video

The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences held its annual commencement ceremony at the Stranahan Theater on Friday, May 26, 2017

Congratulations 2017 graduates:

Xiaojun "Wilma" Wu
Neeti  Galwankar
Adaeze  Izuogu
Afnan  Malebari
Jennifer Ohtola
Jennifer Ohtola




May 17, 2017

Congratulations Adaeze Izuogu!
Adaeze of the Taylor Lab who successfully defended her dissertation, "Restriction of Tick-Borne Flaviviruses in the White-Footed Mouse".




 Congratulations  to Brian Youseff awarded this year's Freimer M.D./Ph.D. award. The award is an endowed fund that helps support M.D./Ph.D. students carrying out their research in the Medical Microbiology and Immunology Track.




60th Annual International Association of Great Lakes Research
 Alison Brandel will present a talk titled “Isolation and Characterization of Lake Erie Bacteria That Degrade the Microcystin Toxin MC-LR” Friday, May 19, at 10:40 a.m. during the session titled “Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiatives: Field to Faucet and Beyond.”
View complete IAGLR Abstracts 2017 





Congratulations to Dr. Viviana Ferreira, Dr. Mark, Wooten, Dr. Jason Huntley, and Dr. Randall Worth for being awarded the President's Award for Excellence in Grantsmanship.  The awards were given at a small reception at President Gaber's house. The criteria for receiving the award having grant funding totaling over 1 million dollars within the past three years (i.e. 2014-present).



Congratulations, Brian! 


Brian Youseff has earned the 2017 Robert R. Buell Memorial Achievement Award.  Presented to a graduate student in any college who best exemplifies scholarly excellence in the physical and biological sciences, has maintained a genuine interest in the social sciences and the humanities, and plans a career in education.


2017 Twine Line Winter/Spring Edition

(See pg. 15)

Check out Dr. Jason Huntley's feature - "Using Lake Erie Bacteria to Remove Microcystin from Drinking Water".


2017 Graduate Research Forum
March 22 - 24, 2017


Congratulations to our GRF 2017 winners Cara DeAngelis (Matson Lab), Claire Meikle (Worth Lab), Saad Moledina (Wooten Lab), and Briana Zellner (Huntley Lab) !!!!

Oral presentations:

1st Place : Claire Meikle
2nd Place : Briana Zellner
3rd Place : Cara DeAngelis

Poster presentation:
1st Place : Saad Moledina



March 17, 2017

Congratulations Dr. Jennifer Ohtola!
Dr. Ohtola was recently matched to her first choice Cleveland Clinic.


March 15, 2017


AAI Annual Meeting – IMMUNOLOGY 2017TM – held May 12-16, in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Saurabh Chattopadhyay
is a recipient of a 2017 AAI Early Career Faculty Travel Grant!



2017 Health Science Campus Artist Showcase at Mulford Library
Caroline Lambert's piece, "Fat Cockerel" on oil canvas is on display until April 7th. 

Cara DeAngelis on your recent article in the Blade:
UT researchers take new approach in cholera prevention

Caroline Lambert on her 4th place finish at the MAC Championships!
(Caroline Lambert (far right) on the 3000m podium)

New Publication
February 1, 2017
NAR Cover
Congratulations Dr. Blumenthal on your recent cover article, Methyl-dependent and spatial-specific DNA recognition by the orthologous transcription factors human AP-1 and Epstein-Barr virus Zta
Authors: Samuel Hong, Dongxue Wang, John R. Horton, Xing Zhang, Samuel H. Speck, Robert M. Blumenthal, Xiaodong Cheng.

January 9, 2017
Congratulations Dulat Bekbolsynov on your article in the Blade!
Better matches of kidney donors, recipients studied

November 28, 2016
New publication:
Congratulations to Ramadan A. Ali, Leah Wuescher & Randall G.Worth!
Title: Platelets Mediate Host Defense against Staphylococcus aureus through Direct Bactericidal Activity and by Enhancing Macrophage Activities
Authors: Ramadan A. Ali, Leah M. Wuescher, Keith R. Dona, and Randall G. Worth



November 20, 2016
New publication:
Congratulations to Gayatri Subramanian, Ritu ChakravartiSaurabh Chattopadhyay !
Title: Biochemical Analysis of Caspase -8-dependent Proteolysis ofIRF3 in Virus-infected Cells
Authors: Gayatri Subramanian, Karen Pan, Ritu Chakravarti and Saurabh Chattopadhyay.
Journal: Bio-Protocol



November 7, 2016
Congratulations Jessica Saul-McBeth on your article in the Blade!

UT students set their sights on cholera prevention



November 7, 2016
2016 Great Lakes Water Conference - WTOL
Congratulations Dr. Jason Huntley! He was featuring on this!


October 31, 2016
New publication:

Congratulations on your new publication with Infection and Immunity Dr. Wooten!
Borrelia burgdorferi CheY2 is dispensable for chemotaxis or motility but crucial for the infectious life cycle of the spirochete.


 September 27, 2016
New publication:
Congratulations Dr. Saurabh Chattopadhyay!
Title: RIG-I-like receptor-induced IRF3 mediated pathway of apoptosis (RIPA): a new antiviral pathway
Authors: Chattopadhyay S, Sen GC



August 11, 2016
Recent Graduate Dr. Xiaojun "Wilma" Wu of Dr. Jason Huntley Lab has her manuscript “FmvB: A Francisella tularensis Magnesium-Responsive Outer Membrane Protein that Plays a Role in Virulence” published in PLOS One

UT News
July 25, 2016
UT Researcher receives nearly $2 million grant for Lyme disease study
Wooten 2016


UT News
June 27, 2016

Congratulations to Amanda Kitson the 2016 Earl H. Freimer, M.D., Award for Excellence in Microbiology & Immunology

June 6, 2016
Congratulations Adam on your successful defense!
For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences/ Medical Microbiology and Immunology track
CANDIDATE:  Adam Blatt
TITLE: Role of complement regulatory proteins propendin and Factor H in platelet/granulocyte aggregate formation
MAJOR ADVISOR: Viviana Ferreira, DVM, PhD








April 22,2016
Congratulations to Xiaojun "Wilma" Wu on her successful defense!

For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Medical Microbiology and Immunology track
CANDIDATE: Xiaojun (Wilma) Wu
TITLE:  Two Francisella tularensis outer membrane proteins involved in metal acquisition and virulence
MAJOR ADVISOR: Jason Huntley, PhD

Ebola, Zika

April 19, 2016
UT scientists hosted a public discussion on Zika, Ebola
co-hosted by our very own Dr. Travis Taylor

April 12, 2016
Congratulations Yvette on your successful thesis defense!

For the Degree of Master of Science in Biomedical Science in Bioinformatics Proteomics & Genomics
CANDIDATE: Yvette Unoarumhi
TITLE: Evolution of a Bacteria Global Regulator Lrp


MMI newest faculty member
Saurabh Chattopadhyay, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor in Virology
Dr. Chattopadhyay's "Ubiquitination of the Transcription Factor IRF-3 Activates RIPA, the Apoptotic Pathway that Protects Mice from Viral Pathogenesis" article has recently been accepted for publication.
Welcome and Congratulations!

Congratulations to our 2016 UT - COM & LS Graduate Student Award Winner:
Yvette Awards

Yvette Unoarumhi
Award for
Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Basic Science Tracks Outstanding Student
Recently published work: Evolution of a global regulator: Lrp in four orders of γ-Proteobacteria

March 17-18, 2016
Congratulations 2016 CBGS Graduate Research Forum winners!
Top Poster Presentations
1st Place - Brian Youseff
2nd Place - Jessica Saul-McBeth
3rd Place - Cara DeAngelis

Brian Y
Published: Monday, 2/1/2016
Brian Youseff, of the Medical Microbiology and Immunology Track, is the latest student to have his research published in the Blade.  We encourage you all to take a moment to enjoy it and congratulate Brian on his fine work. 

Dr J Huntley

Protect Public Health

Jason Huntley, Ph.D.
, Assistant Professor in MMI, received his second consecutive award from the Ohio Sea Grant and Department of Higher Education (ODHE) to research water quality and algal bloom toxicity in Lake Erie.  Specifically, he is testing conditions that promote microcystin-degrading bacteria to form biofilms on filters currently used in municipal water treatment facilities.  Congratulations, Jason!!

 M Wooten

January 1, 2016
Dr. R. Mark Wooten has been promoted to Professor in the Medical Microbiology & Immunology department.
Congratulations Mark!

Huntley 2016 Award

Congratulations to Dr. Jason Huntley that was presented
the Dean's Award for Outstanding Research in the New Investigator

January 2016



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Last Updated: 3/27/18