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2009 Meeting of the North Carolina Branch of the American Society for Microbiology

Meeting material :

Sponsors & Vendors :


The American Society
for Microbiology


North Carolina
Central University


Association of
Southeastern Biologists
(Tim Atkinson)



Nikon Instruments
(Kurt Neumann)


Fisher Scientific
(Russell Salisbury)


ISC Bioexpress
(Rob Blackman)


(Erica Vo)

When :

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009. Registration at 8:00am, meeting 8:45am to 5:00pm

Where :

Mary Townes Science Building, Room 1111
1800 Concord Street, Durham, NC 27707
NC Central University

The Mary Townes Science Building is one block west of Fayetteville street on E. Lawson St. or Concord St.

From I-40 or I-85, connect to the Durham freeway (highway 147), then exit at Fayetteville street. Turn south toward NCCU, then turn right (west) at E. Lawson St. After one block, the Mary Townes building will be on the left.

Park in either of the lots behind the building.

Pre-registration :

The deadline for advance registration has passed. However, you will be able to register at the door.

The deadlne for abstract submission has passed.

Payment :

The meeting registration fee is $10. If you joined or renewed your NC branch membership when you renewed your ASM membership this year, then this $10 is the only cost for the meeting. Registrants will receive a program (including abstracts and attendee roster), a box lunch and morning and afternoon refreshments.

If you are not an NC ASM member for 2009, there is an additional $10 branch membership fee (this is the same fee the ASM charges), for a total of $20.

The deadlne for pre-payment has passed. The registration and/or membership fee is payable at the door.

Schedule :

The day-long event will be a mix of about a dozen short talks, the plenary and NC invited speakers, and about two dozen poster presentations.

Tentative schedule
8:00 Registration
Poster and talk set-up
Coffee break
Award Committees meeting/organization
8:45 Daniel Williams

Welcome & Introductory comments

Hazell Reed (Vice Chancellor of Research and Graduate Education)
Saundra F Delauder (Associate Dean of the College of Science and Technology)

Session 1 : Daniel Williams, Chair


Kristin E.D. Weimer Coinfection with Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae alters pneumococcal disease progression by promoting stable biofilm formation
9:15 Matthew S. Byrd Genetic and biochemical analyses of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Psl exopolysaccharide reveal overlapping roles for polysaccharide synthesis enzymes in Psl and LPS production
9:30 Benjamin Mudrak Comparison of mutations affecting secretion of heat-labile enterotoxin and cholera toxin.
9:45 Ann G. Matthysse Interaction of E. coli O157 with cut lettuce leaves
10:00 Poster session 1 (unattended)
Coffee break
Session 2 : Kathy Zarilla, Chair
10:45 Ine Jorgensen The Chlamydial Protease CPAF Targets a Subset of Early Effector Proteins
Poston Award winner!
11:00 Hector A. Saka The Fat and the Ugly: A Proteomics Approach to Dissect Lipid Droplet-Chlamydia Interactions
11:15 Eric Anderson The B. abortus Irr in required for iron-responsive regulation of the gene encoding the heme transporter BhuA
11:30 Jennifer M. Gaines The twisted knot of Hfq-dependent regulation of sodC in Brucella abortus 2308
11:45 Clayton C. Caswell Role of the RNA chaperone Hfq in expression of the genes encoding the type IV secretion machinery of Brucella abortus 2308
12:00 Lunch
12:45 Poster session 2 (Even numbered poster should be attended)
Session 3 : Marty Roop, Chair
1:30 Erin McElvania TeKippe The inflammasome adaptor ASC is important for granuloma formation and host defense in chronic Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection
Melton Award winner!
1:45 Hsun-Cheng Su Genes that modulate the rapid rise of Ciprofloxacin resistance in P. aeruginosa
2:00 James R. Fuller Regulation of the Staphylococcus aureus NO·-Stress Response
2:15 Frank Scholle
NC Invitational Talk
Flavivirus-Toll-like receptor Interactions
2:50 Intermission
Plenary session : Daniel Williams, Chair
3:00 Mark Goulian
ASM Branch Lecture
Perturbing, Imaging, Modeling, and Evolving Two-Component Signaling Systems in E. coli
4:00 Poster session 3 (Odd numbered poster should be attended)
Coffee break
4:45 Daniel Williams Concluding remarks
5:00 Jim Brown Business meeting
Officer election
5:30 Adjournment


ASM Branch Lecturer

Prof. Mark Goulian, University of Pennsylvania

Perturbing, Imaging, Modeling, and Evolving Regulatory Circuits in E. coli 

My lab has to focused on two-component signaling in E. coli.  There are roughly thirty distinct systems in this bacterium, which are presumably involved in detecting distinct environmental signals.  This has proven to be a fertile area for comparing and contrasting different regulatory circuits, with an eye towards understanding the underlying design principles of these systems.

Frank Scolle    

NC Invitational Speaker

Dr. Frank Scholle, NC State University : Viral pathogenesis

The innate immune system is the first line of defense against invading pathogens and includes the recognition of a pathogen, the stimulation of proinflammatory and antiviral cytokine production and ultimately influences the type of adaptive immune response mounted against the infection. West Nile virus (WNV) interferes with several aspects of this response. Our work focuses on the ability of WNV to block toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling. TLRs recognize pathogen-specific molecular patterns and their engagement leads to the production of type I interferon and/or proinflammatory cytokines. We are currently determining the mechanisms and consequences of WNV interference with this aspect of the innate immune response for WNV biology and its pathogenesis.

Poster presentations
1 Eanas Aboobakar The phospholipid-binding protein Cts1 may function downstream of calcineurin during high temperature stress response in Cryptococcus neoformans
2 Jamila Broadway Contact-regulated gene A (crgA) Modulates Virulence Determinants in Neisseria gonorrhoeae
3 Denene Blackwood Rapid Quantitative PCR for Measuring Recreational Water Quality
4 Mary Carmichael Peptide-based probe capture of Mn oxides and associated bacteria in various environments including deep-sea samples near Loihi Seamount, Hawaii, and Carter Salt Peter Cave, Tennessee
5 Rebecca Cooper Role of potABC genes on polyamine transport and biofilm formation in Vibrio cholerae
6 Carter Dillow Detection of ammonia oxidizing archaea from the roots of Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) from Great Smoky Mountains National Park
7 Floyd Inman, III The Creation of a Plasmid Vector for the Genomic Integration of the Gene for Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) into Salmonella enteritidis.
8 Ben Jeuck Identifying bacteria producing antibacterial agents from soil samples of Albright Grove, an old growth forest in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Phibbs Award winner!
9 Adam Kulp Outer membrane vesicles relieve stress of misfolded proteins
11 Hatajai Lassiter Lytic Transglycosylases Affect Carbohydrate and Pyrimidine Metabolism in Neisseria gonorrhoeae
12 Charles Li Investigation of the sex locus and construction of a mutant library of Mucor circinelloides, a human pathogenic zygomycete
Best Poster Award winner!
13 Johnathan Locklear Research on the use of bioluminescent organisms Pyrocystis fusiformis and transformed E. coli MM294Lux+ as tools to study the effects of shear during hypergravity and microgravity experiments.
14 David Martinson Exploring a Link Between Hfq and bhuA Expression in B. abortus
15 Evan Menscher Metal responsive regulation of the manganese transport gene mntH in Brucella abortus 2308
16 MD MOTALEB Role of cyclic-di-GMP in Borrelia burgdorferi motility and virulence
17 Bidong Nguyen Genetic Analysis of Chlamydia trachomatis
18 Shakir Ratani Identification of a Copper Resistance Determinant in Listeria monocytogenes Using a mariner-Based Transposition System
19 Sadondria Richardson The Effect of Gravitational Change on Growth Rate of Non-typeable Haemophilus influenza 86-028 NP
20 Camile Semighini Apoptotic-like cell death in the human pathogen Cryptocococcus neoformans
21 Stephanie Skipper Lytic Transglycosylases Affect Cell Wall and Pilus Biosynthesis Gene Expression in Neisseria gonorrhoeae
22 Jeffrey Spontak Arginine Catabolic Mobile Element (ACME) and Polyamine Resistance in USA-300 Staphylococcus aureus
23 Antonia Tetteh A global analysis of transcriptional profiling of E. coli under toxic and beneficial conditions of selenium
24 Oscar Tirado-Acevedo Biological Catalysts for Conversion of Gas to Ethanol and Methane
25 Ruchi Yadav Exploring selenium toxicity to inhibit genetically modified PC3 cancer cells with over-expression of bacterial or human selenocysteine synthase gene
26 Shuqing Zhao Genetics of chromosomally mediated intermediate resistance to expanded-spectrum cephalosporins in Neisseria gonorrhoeae
27 Sobhan Nandi Identification of novel mtrR and penB mutations in N. gonorrhoeae isolates from New Caledonia with increased resistance to penicillin.

Information for presentors :

Short talks

We would like to set up for as many of the talks as possible during registration, from 8:00am until 8:45am. In the past, registration has been pretty hectic as 8:45 approached, so my advice is to come as close to 8:00am as you can, get registered, then go to the auditorium to load your presentation onto the computer. At very least, we need to have your presentation loaded in the break before the session of your talk.

Plan on bringing your presentation on a USB memory stick. If this isn't possible, let me know ASAP so I can arrange some other method to transfer your presentation.

The computer we'll be using is a PC with Microsoft Powerpoint. This computer MAY NOT HAVE THE VERY LATEST VERSION OF POWERPOINT! In order to ensure you can run your presentation hassle-free, be sure to save it in "compatibility mode" - in other words, in PPT format rather than PPTX format. We'll be able to translate your files if need be, but there is some danger to translational issues if we have to do this.

If you create your presentation on a Mac, you should be OK, but please test it out on a PC in advance. Some graphics types aren't always handled well on PCs; Postscript, PDF and TIFF.

As you can see from the schedule, each of you is allotted 15 minutes. You should plan on 10-12 minutes for presentation, 2-3 minutes for questions and answers, and a short while for the switch to the next speaker. If you go over time, the question and answer time will have to be reduced or perhaps even eliminated. I know it is difficult to distill your work into such a short time frame, but going over your allotted time is distracting for the audience and does not make a good impression.

Awards will be announced in the closing remarks from 4:45-5:00.

If you have any questions or concerns about your presentation, please feel free to contact me at


This year we had more requests for short talks that we are able to accommodate, and so a few presenters who requested short talks could not be accommodated. If you requested a short talk, the officers of the NC ASM thank you for your understanding, and hope you will be able to present your work in poster format.

Poster set-up will be during Registration, from 8:00am until 8:45am. In the past, registration has been pretty hectic as 8:45 approached, so my advice is to come as close to 8:00am as you can, get registered, then set up your poster.

Posters will be mounted using small paper clamps onto 36" x 48" hardboard sheets, which can be placed onto the easels either horizontally (landscape) or vertically (portrait). We will provide clamps, boards, and easels; all you need to bring is your poster. If your poster is in panels or pieces, you should let me ( know RIGHT AWAY so I can get styrofoam backing sheets so that you can pin your poster panels into place.

The first poster session is 10:00-10:45am. This will be an unattended session, i.e. you are not expected to be available to discuss your poster during this session. Of course you can do so if you wish.

The second poster session is after lunch, from 12:45-1:30. Posters on even-numbered boards (see above) are expected to be attended during this time.

The third poster session is after the plenary talk, from 4:00-4:45. Posters on odd-numbered boards (see above) are expected to be attended during this time.

Awards will be announced in the closing remarks from 4:45-5:00.

Poster take-down will be during the Business meeting, from 5:00-5:30.

Elections :

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

  • President-elect (currently Daniel Williams, NC Central):
    • Marty Roop, Eastern Carolina University

  • Secretary (currently Jim Brown, NC State) :
    • Jim has agreed to continue as Secretary unless someone else would like to take over

  • Treasurer (currently Gerry Luginbuhl, NC State) :
    • Gerry has agreed to continue as Treasurer unless someone else would like to take over

  • Councilor (Sherrice Allen, Fayetteville State) :
    • Sherrice Allen has agreed to continue as Councilor unless someone else would like to take over

  • Alternate Councilor (currently Wrennie Edwards, now at the USFCC) :
    • Wrennie has agreed to continue as Alternate Councilor unless someone else would like to take over

  • Historian (currently Joe Wolf, Peace College) :
    • Joe has agreed to continue as Historian unless someone else would like to take over

If you would like to nominate someone or volunteer to run for office, please feel free to do so by email to Jim Brown.

Presentation Awards :

Web Links :

Printed material :

Organizing Committee :

Daniel Williams (President-elect)
Kathy Zarilla (President)
Melanie Lee-Brown (Past-President)
James W. Brown (Secretary)
Geraldine Luginbuhl (Treasurer)
Sherrice Allen (Councilor)
Wrennie Edwards (Alternate Councilor)


Daniel Williams
Department of Biology
North Carolina Central University
1801 Fayetteville Street
Durham, NC 27707
Phone: 919/530-6541

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