Biology senior honors thesis student Sarah Nessen '18 and BCBP senior honors thesis student Itai Muzhingi '18, both working in the lab, traveled to Chicago, IL for Vibrio2017: The Biology of Vibrios, an international conference organized by the American Society for Microbiology. The conference included researchers from around the world who study the ecology, evolution, pathogenesis, genomics, and symbiotic mechanisms of this important bacterial group.
At the conference, Sarah presented an invited talk entitled, “Regulatory mechanisms affecting consumption of a short chain fatty acid that mediates symbiosis in Vibrio fischeri” on the lab’s new collaboration with Mark Mandel of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to understand molecular mechanisms affecting symbiosis with the Hawaiian bobtail squid. Sarah also received a travel award from the American Society for Microbiology to present her work! Others who contributed to the talk included Stephany Flores-Ramos ’17, Kyra Raines ’20, Abigail Mesfin ’20, and Sarah Wishloff ’19.
A couple of images of Sarah giving her talk to a fairly large crowd. She was the only undergraduate to speak at the conference!
Itai presented a poster entitled “Regulatory domains in the hybrid sensor kinase CrbS modulate direct activation of acetyl-CoA synthase transcription in the pathogen Vibrio cholerae.” At the end of the conference, he won an award – for graduate students! He received the “Outstanding Student Poster Presentation Award in –Omics and Regulation”! This was just one of five poster awards presented at the conference! Others contributing work presented in the poster include Cecilia Prado, Duy Nguyen, and Franny Diehl. (Unfortunately Itai wasn't there to receive the certificate, so here he is in our hallway in our hallway in Amherst!
Lastly, Alix Purdy presented work by a number of previous students in the lab, entitled “Protein acetylation alters metabolite-dependent virulence of Vibrio cholerae in a Drosophila model of infection” with co-authors Kalle Liimatta ’16, Emily Flaherty ’19, Gabby Ro ’19, and Cecilia Prado.
Congrats everyone on a great conference!
A small contingent from the lab trekked to Harvard University to attend the Boston Bacterial Meeting on June15 & 16, 2017! Cecilia gave a great poster, and the Pioneer Valley was well represented with labs from Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges, as well as UMass-Amherst in attendance as well!
Our NSF grant in collaboration with Josh Sharp at Northern Michigan University has been funded! This will bring more opportunities for students to join the lab, a number of new and challenging projects with support from Kevin Griffith at UMass-Amherst and Mark Mandel at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the development of a course-based undergraduate research experience for Biol-271 Microbiology featuring the universally beloved Vibrio fischeri-Euprymna squid symbiosis! It will also support outreach efforts in our communities of the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, as well as the Amherst Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Peer Mentoring Program! An exciting few years for the lab ahead!
Our paper on the CrbS/R system in non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae, as well as P. entomophila and P. aeruginosa is out in PLOS ONE here! Congrats to Anna Rasmussen '13, Paul Tyler '14, Mariah Servos '14, and Mariame Sylla '15, all of whom contributed data and V. cholerae strains to this manuscript!
Duy, Stephany, Jenny, Cecilia, Angelika and SabriAnan and I head over to UMass for the second annual Pioneer Valley Microbiology Symposium, held January 14, 2017. With three posters and a talk, the Purdy Lab was well represented!
And the Purdy Lab take a Selfie -- great pic everyone!!
The Purdy Lab gets out of the lab and heads to Oriental Flavors for a holiday lunch! A nice break over reading period...
Great poster by Cecilia and streaking for single colonies.... with icing! Thanks Cecilia for hosting!
The first paper from our lab, describing V. cholerae colonization of Musca domestica (house flies) in collaboration with John Stoffolano at UMass-Amherst and Ghada El-Bassiony at Cairo University, with contributions from Duy Nguyen '17 and Victoria Luizzi '17, is out in Medical and Veterinary Entomology! This was hard-fought, and we persevered through thick and thin to get this paper out the door! Good job everyone!