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2007 Meeting of the North Carolina Branch of the American Society for Microbiology

Sponsors & Vendors:

American Society for Microbiology
Nikon Instruments
(Larry Kordon)
Fisher Scientific
(Tim Stewart)


ISC BioExpress
(Rob Blackman)
Next Day Science
(David Sumner)
Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals
(Paul Davis)


Friday, October 12th, 2007. Registration at 8:00am, meeting 9:00am to 5:00pm

Frack Family Science CenterWhere:

Frank Family Science Center (FFSC), Guilford College, in Greensboro, NC. Visitor information includes the address and other useful information about Guilford College. Google Earth link to the Frank Family Science Center includes a map and the ability to get directions.

Parking is available in the CCE Northwest Communter parking lot, across from the entrance to the FFSC. Overflow parking is in the Hendricks Binford parking lot across from another entrance to the building. (The Google link above has this marked.) You will need a no-cost parking pass (download below or pick up at the registration desk).


The one-day meeting is located in the central part of the state so that most participants can travel to and from the meeting without need for overnight accommodations. However, for those who wish to travel to Greensboro the evening before the meeting (i.e. Thursday October 11th), there are a block of rooms set aside at the nearby Clarion Hotel (336/299-7650) at a rate of $69+tax.


Register for the meeting by filling out and submitting the online registration form before October 5th. Doing so will greatly speed your meeting check-in (we'll have everything ready and waiting for you) and allow us to finalize seating and food in advance, but you can also register at the door.

The $10 registration fee (plus $10 NC ASM membership for non-members) is payable at the door. Registrants will receive a program (including abstracts and attendee roster), a box lunch and morning and afternoon refreshments.


8:00 Registration
Poster and talk set-up
Coffee break
Award Committees meeting/organization
8:45 Melanie Lee-Brown Welcome and Introductory comments
Session 1 : Melanie Lee-Brown, Chair
9:00 Kristina L. Brzoza Differential Regulation of Dendritic Cell Maturation Responses Induced by Listeria monocytogenes
9:15 Curtis Henry Listeria-Induced Interleukin 12, not 23, Augments CD8+ T cell Primary and Secondary Responses
9:30 Carleitta Paige The Type III Pantothenate Kinase of Bacillus anthracis is a Likely Candidate for Therapeutic Intervention Against Anthrax Infection
9:45 Jessica R. McCann Beta-lactamase as a reporter for protein export in Mycobacterium tuberculosis
10:00 Nathan W. Rigel
Characterization of the SecA2 specialized secretion pathway of mycobacteria.
Melton Award Winner!
10:15 Poster session 1 (unattended)
Coffee break
Session 2 : Wrennie Edwards, Chair
10:45 Yadunanda Budigi Dynamic association with host actin and vimentin promotes integrity and stability of the Chlamydia trachomatis inclusion
11:00 Jordan L. Cocchiaro Translocation of cytoplasmic lipid droplets into the lumen of the Chlamydia inclusion
11:15 Jason Gee Examination of the contributions of Dps to the oxidative stress response and pathogenesis of the opportunistic pathogen, Bacteroides fragilis
11:30 Elizabeth A. Waligora Structure-function analyses reveal a role for AmrZ in P. aeruginosa gene expression and pathogenesis
Poston Award Winner!
11:45 Cynthia Ryder Regulation of polysaccharides involved in biofilm matrix formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
12:00 Lunch
12:45 Poster session 2 (Even numbered poster should be attended)
Session 3 : Jim Brown,Chair
1:30 Alan House Impacts of carbon dioxide on propane- and acetone-dependent growth of Mycobacterium austroafricanum JOB5
1:45 Kendra Hitz In Brucella abortus 2308, OxyR and RegX regulate expression of the ahpCD operon differently in response to hydrogen peroxide exposure
2:00 Cheraton F. Love The role of the Bps polysaccharide in Bordetella Virulence and biofilm formation in the Mouse Respiratory Tract
2:15 Beth Hiltbold
NC Invitational Talk
Listeria monocytogenes Infection: Pathogen-Specific Responses Shaped by Dendritic Cell Subsets
2:45 Break
Plenary session : Sherrice Allen, Chair
3:00 Joseph Heitman
ASM Branch Lecture
Sexual reproduction and geographic dispersal drive evolution of fungal virulence and pathogen emergence
4:00 Poster session 3 (Odd numbered poster should be attended)
4:45 Melanie Lee-Brown Concluding remarks
5:00 Jim Brown Business meeting
Officer election
5:30 Adjournment

Note : Prof. Tina Henkin extends her apologies that, for reasons beyond her control, she has had to cancel her plans to travel to Greensboro to give our Keynote address.


The Keynote address will be given by Prof. Joseph Heitman from Duke University. Joseph Heitman was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, and an MD-PhD student at Cornell and Rockefeller Universities. He then moved to the Biocenter in Basel Switzerland where, in studies with Mike Hall, he initiated the use of yeast as a model for studies of immunosuppressive drug action. Dr. Heitman moved to Duke in 1992. Dr. Heitman and colleagues focus on the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Cryptococcus neoformans, and their studies have revealed general principles of signal transduction that control cell development. Their efforts are now increasingly devoted to Cryptococcus neoformans as a model pathogen, and focus on the calcineurin, cAMP-protein kinase A, and MAP kinase cascades that control mating and virulence, the structure and function of the mating type locus, and the role of sexual recombination in the evolution of virulence.

Beth Hiltbolt
The NC Invitational talk will be given by Dr. Beth Hiltbold from the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Dr. Hiltbolt is interested in how adaptive immune responses to intracellular bacterial pathogens are initiated and regulated, and in particular the molecular mechanisms that differentiate the activating signals triggered by wild type Listeria from the non-activating signals transduced by APC infected with non-hemolytic Listeria. By addressing the structure of the immunological synapse formed between T cells and APCs infected with live bacteria or heat killed Listeria she hopes to determine which molecular events in this antigen presentation event lead to the development of protective CTL responses.

Poster presentations:

Presentor Title
Brittany Baffer & Amanda Tarnowicz Isolation of Gene(s) Responsible for Binding of Agrobacterium tumefaciens to Plant Host Cells
Phibbs Award Winner!
Jim Brown The RNA alignment ontology
Jane Caldwell Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA) of microbial diversity in Corbicula fluminea from several freshwater habitats
Drew Devine Utilizing TRFLP Analysis for the Determination of the Microbial Community Found in Hog Waste Lagoon Systems
Jason Gee Role of ecf-type sigma factors during oxidative stress of the anaerobic bacterium Bacteroides fragilis
Graham Hickey &
Savannah Irving
Relationship between Pseudomonads and Azotobacteria: Kissin' cousins?
Michael LaGier Identification of novel genes in the oral pathogen Campylobacter rectus by suppressive subtractive hybridization
Alice Lee Recombinant Expression of Superoxide Reductase from Pyrococcus furiosus in Arabidopsis thaliana Enhances Heat and Drought Tolerance
Best Poster Award Winner!
Achut Malur Cloning and expression of human parainfluenza virus type 3 P-D protein
Marcus McGinnis Determining the function of the PotD proteins in Vibrio cholerae
Latoya Mitchell The Effects of Listeria monocytogenes Infection on Dendritic Cell Subsets
Jenifer Ojeda The role of the Brucella abortus heme uptake systen in heme metabolism and virulence
Tiffany Prest The FimX Recombinase Regulates Heterogeneous Pilus Formation in Uropathogenic Escherichia coli
Guan Qiang Recombinant Adenoviruses Expressing Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 3 Core Protein Recapitulates Lipid Accumulation
Amity Roberts The Group A Streptococcal Transcriptional Regulator Srv is Required for Biofilm Formation In Vitro
Emily Roberts The role of an alpha-L arabinofuranosidase--arfA--in cellulose production by Agrobacterium tumefaciens
Tricia Schwartz Static Chamber Testing of Materials
Mona Shaban Examining Swimming Force Generation as Chlamydomonas reindhardtii Flagella Regenerate
Tony Szempruch 16S Sequence Analysis of Cellulose Degrader Isolates from an Invasive Mussel Species
Casey Theriot Expression and Biochemical Characterization of P. horikoshii prolidase homolog 1 and 2 and P. furiosus prolidase homolog 2 and their Potential for the Detoxification of Organophosphorous Nerve Agents
Oscar Tirado–Acevedo Conversion of Synthesis Gas to Biofuels Using Microbial Catalysts
Josiah Zayner The Regulation of Vibrio cholerae biofilm by NspS and MbaA
Eric S. Anderson The Bacterial NRAMP-1 homolog, MntH functions as the primary transporter of manganese in Brucella abortus and is essential for virulence in the murine model of chronic infection.


The meeting will be concluded by a brief business meeting, including the election of new officers. The nominees to date are:

  • President-elect (currently Melanie Lee-Brown) :
    Kathy Zarilla (Durham Tech)
    Daniel Williams (NC Central) has been nominated for 2008

    Nomination Statement: Kathy Zarilla
    I have been involved with the NC-ASM since I was a graduate student at NCSU (in those days the meetings were hosted by Burroughs Wellcome and would be set up like mini-ASM’s with 10 minute oral presentations by students!). I am a currently a faculty member at Durham Technical Community College and in that role I deal with numerous students in the biological sciences. I also serve as the State Coordinator for the North Carolina Transfer Assistance in the Biomedical Sciences (NC-TABS). This program involves 8 community colleges and 25 students who are mentored to do undergraduate research, to transfer to a baccalaureate institution, and to eventually pursue graduate degrees in areas related to biomedical sciences. I would like to serve as the NC Branch ASM President in order to continue to expand the Branch’s role in serving as a venue for sharing information related to microbiology in North Carolina and to begin new initiatives, specifically to increase the number of undergraduates who are exposed to the field of Microbiology and the world of research. Since the NC-TABS program requires that students attend scientific conferences, and with a new emphasis by the UNC System to encourage more interaction with community colleges, these would be great opportunities for the Branch ASM to reach out and engage possible undergraduate transfers and graduate students. The community college system spans the state and the possibility of attracting some of these students and their Microbiology instructors to our meetings can provide the networking opportunities for summer research projects. I would also like to explore the possibility of developing awards or stipends for these students to travel to local meetings or engage in research opportunities during their undergraduate experience.

  • Secretary (currently Jim Brown, NC State) :
    Jim has volunteered to continue, no other nominees

  • Treasurer (currently Gerry Luginbuhl, NC State) :
    Gerry has volunteered to continue, no other nominees

  • Councilor (currently Paul Phibbs, ECU) :
    Sherrice Allen (FSU) has voluntered for this post, no other nominees.

  • Alternate Councilor (currently Wrennie Edwards, NC State) :
    Wrennie has volunteered to continue, no other nominees

If you would like to nominate someone or volunteer to run for office, please contact Jim Brown by email.

Abstract Submission:

The deadline for abstract submisssion has passed.


Talk presentors should plan on 10-12 minute presentations, followed by 2-3 minutes Q&A. You should bring your presentation on a USB memory card in Microsoft PowerPoint format. Be sure to test your presentation on a machine different than the one you prepare it on, to ensure that all of the needed external fonts, images, animations, &c are also on the memory card. Also check the presentation on an screen display at 800x600 resolution, to ensure that you'll get no surprizes on meeting day!

Poster presentors should plan on a maximum size of 36" x 48", either landscape or portrait. These will be clamped onto hardboard sheets - we will have clamps on hand. Set-up time will be during registration between 8:00am and 8:45am, and take-down time will be at the end of the meeting. There will be both "attended" (when you're expected to be at your poster) and "unattended" (when you're not) poster session times, based on your poster number.

Presentation Awards

Vendors & Recruiters

New this year we will be inviting a select group of publishers, vendors, and graduate recruiters! Contact Sherrice Allen or Melanie Lee-Brown for information.

Printed material:

Organizing Committee:

Sherrice Allen (President)
Melanie Lee-Brown (President-elect)
James W. Brown (Secretary)
Geraldine Luginbuhl (Treasurer)


Melanie Lee-Brown
Department of Biology
Guilford College
5800 West Friendly Avenue
Greensboro, NC 27410
phone: (336) 316-2421

Last updated by James W. Brown | Department of Biological Sciences | College of Sciences | NC State University