Kilmer, zinc, honey bees, and Brazil!

Check out Kilmer’s new preprint on how zinc exposure affects honey bee survivorship and gut microbiota. Unexpected result: Laboratory emerge day had a large impact on bee microbiota.
Bonus: Visiting Kilmer in Brazil to meet his Brazilian bees in person!

Tessa Cannon wins Presidential Fellowship!

Congrats Tessa for winning the Presidential Fellowship, which is the most prestigious award given by the Graduate School!
Tessa’s Project: Examining the Role of Microbial Communities in AIDS-Resistant Sooty Mangabeys (Cercocebus atys)
This project’s central research question is: What factors shape SIV viral load in free-ranging sooty mangabeys and mangabeys under human care? Fecal and saliva samples will be collected from wild sooty mangabeys living in the Tai Forest, Ivory Coast, and captive sooty mangabeys housed at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, to identify shared and variable microbial taxa. Observational data will also be collected on variables such as diet, habitat disturbance or enclosure substrate, and frequency of social interaction. SIV viral load will be quantified for all fecal and saliva samples, as well as blood samples obtained from captive mangabeys. Finally, blood samples from captive sooty mangabeys will be subjected to flow cytometry to examine CD4+ T-cell counts, as well as CCR5+ receptor expression, as a measure of immune system modulation. Collectively, covariation in these variables will be analyzed to discern the possible emergent properties helping to maintain gut barrier integrity and mitigate immune activation in non-progressive SIV infection. This project has the potential to identify a mechanism of AIDS resistance, a finding which could have enormous consequences for human public health and the development of new microbial therapeutics.

Hale lab ESCAPES!

The Hale lab (+ Jeremy Hale!) managed to escape the Wild Wild West with a giant bag of gold! Now we never have to write another grant! 😉 Great team work by all.

Probiome Trial – Funded!

Vanessa Hale and a  team of clinicians at Ohio State University – Dr. Brian Husbands (Oncology), Dr. Adam Rudinsky (Internal Medicine), Dr. Sheryl Justice; the University of Missouri – Dr. Lindsey Donnelly (Oncology), Dr. Laura Nafe  (Internal Medicine); and North Carolina State University – Dr. Michael Mastromauro (Oncology), Dr. Allison Kendall (Internal Medicine) received funding to launch a muti-center, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial that tests the addition of Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 (EcN), a well-established probiotic, to a standard-of-care chemotherapy for the treatment of muscle invasive bladder cancer in dogs. The gut microbiota impacts response to cancer therapy and studies in humans demonstrate that manipulating the microbiota through probiotic use can improve cancer outcomes. Our goal is to test this using EcN in canine bladder cancer.

Congratulations to the whole team!

For more information, click here.


Welcome Zach Lewis!

Welcome to our newest grad student, Zach Lewis, graduate of Carlton College with a major in biology and a minor in biochemistry. We’re so excited to have you with us! Here’s to great things as you begin exploring the world of tiny microbes that impact so much of life and health!