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2010 Meeting of the North Carolina Branch of the American Society for Microbiology

Meeting material :

Sponsors & Vendors :


East Carolina University
Brody School of Medicine

The American Society
for Microbiology

Association of Southereastern Biologists
(Tim Atkinson)

Nikon Instruments
(Kurt Neumann)


Fisher Scientific
(Lisa Sooy)

Greiner Bio-One
(Liza Shoemaker)

VWR International
(Bevin Mercer)

(Darren Hoover)


Cardinal Health
(Courtney Smith)

NC Academy of Science
(Mickael Cariveau)

Whatman/GE Healthcare Bio-Sciences
(Matthew Groff)


When :

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010.

Where :

The East Carolina Heart Institute
115 Heart Drive
Brody School of Medicine
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27834


The Heart Institute is at the corner of Heart Drive and Service Drive in Greenville.

From US 264E coming into Greenville, continue straight (rather than taking the exit to take the 264 bypass) on John East Memorial Hwy for 1/2 mile. Then continue straight for another 1.2 miles on Stantonburg Road. Turn left at Service Drive, and after 0.3 miles cross Heart Drive. Take the first left into the parking lot for the Heart Institute.

Acommodations :

For those of you who will be traveling the day before the meeting, or staying the night afterwards, the following hotels are convenient and inexpensive:

Registration and abstract submission :

Register for the meeting and submit your abstract for a poster or short talk by filling out and submitting the online registration/abstract form. Doing so will speed your meeting check-in (we'll have everything ready and waiting for you). The deadlne for abstract submission was September 24th - abstracts can no longer be accepted. The deadline for advance registration was September 26th - preregistrations can no longer be accepted. You can also register at the door, but pre-registration is important so that we can make sure we have food for everyone.

  • Online registration/abstract form (link no longer active)

Please verify your registration info - email Jim Brown with any corrections or other problems.

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 Registration and/or membership fee is payable at the door, or you can pay right now with PayPal or credit card (using PayPal):

Meeting registration only
(NC ASM members) - $10

Meeting registration and
NC ASM membership - $20

Vendor registration and
display table fee - $200

PayPal links removed - prepayment is no longer possible - Pay at the door

Please note that you can fill out the online registration form even if you intend to pay at the door so that we have your information in advance and you won't need to fill this out at the meeting.

Information for presentors :

Information about timing will be posted here as soon as the schedule is worked out.

Short talks

We are scheduling 15 minutes for each talk. This includes Q&A and switching time, so plan on about 12 minutes for your talk, a couple of minutes for Q&A, leaving us 1 minute for switching to the next speaker.

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

The computer we'll be using will most likely be a PC with Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader. 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.

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


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.

Schedule :

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

8:00 Registration
Poster and talk set-up
Coffee reception
Award Committees meeting/organization
9:00 Marty Roop Welcome & Introductory comments
Session 1 : Marty Roop, Chair
9:15 Amy Schmidt Two transcription factors are necessary for iron homeostasis in a salt-dwelling archaeon.
9:30 Clayton Caswell Role of the RNA chaperone Hfq in expression of the genes encoding the type IV secretion machinery of Brucella abortus 2308
9:45 Joshua Stokel A metagenomic approach to measure change in the microbial community in the lungs of a Cystic Fibrosis patient in response to antibiotics.
10:00 Caitlin Briggs
Melton Award Winner
Stimulation of primary human macrophages with Gram positive bacteria enhances susceptibility to Paramyxovirus infection

Poster session 1 (Even numbered posters should be attended)
Coffee break

Session 2 : Kathy Zarilla, Chair
11:15 Gökhan Tolun
Poston Award Winner
More than the sum of its parts: Physical and mechanistic coupling in the viral two-component recombinases
11:30 John Johnson Interactions of Nipah Virus Glycoproteins with Human Complement System
11:45 Lauren Singletary Equus caballus MHC class I is an entry receptor for equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1)
12:00 Lunch
12:45 Poster session 2 (Odd numbered posters should be attended)
Session 3 : Daniel Williams, Chair
1:45 Amy Wethington Interplay between hosts genetic diversity and disease transmission in a host-parasite association
2:00 Amy Grunden
NC Invitational Talk
Biotechnological applications of  extremophile enzymes
2:35 Intermission
Coffee break
Award comittees meeting
Plenary session : Marty Roop, Chair
3:15 Marvin Whiteley
ASM Branch Lecture
Probing prokaryotic social behaviors with bacterial lobster traps
4:15 Marty Roop Concluding remarks
4:30 Jim Brown Business meeting
Officer election
5:00 Adjournment

ASM Branch Lecture

Marvin Whiteley
The University of Texas at Austin

Probing prokaryotic social behaviors with bacterial lobster traps

Associate Professor in the Section of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Texas at Austin. Marvin received a B.S. from the University of Texas at Austin (1995), an M.S. from Texas State University (1997), and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa (2001) where he trained with Pete Greenberg. He did postdoctoral work with Sharon Long at Stanford University before accepting a faculty position at the University of Oklahoma (2003). In 2006, he moved back to his alma mater UT-Austin and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009.

Bacteria exhibit many social activities and represent a model for dissecting social behavior at the genetic level. Quorum sensing is one example of social behavior in bacteria and involves the use of small molecules to communicate, a process that allows bacteria to amass a coordinated response to accomplish tasks which would be difficult for individuals to achieve. My laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanism of bacterial signal trafficking and developing new technologies for examining bacterial social behaviors in numerically small populations.

NC Invited Lecture

Amy Grunden
NC State University

Biotechnological applications of  extremophile enzymes

Amy Grunden in an Associate Professor of Microbiology. After graduating with her B.S. in Microbiology and Cell Sciences at the University of Florida in 1993, she continued her former undergraduate research project which focused on the regulation of the uptake and metabolism of molybdenum in Escherichia coli and earned her Ph.D. in 1996. Amy then served as a post-doctoral research associate with Professor Michael Adams in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia where she investigated the physiology of hyperthermophilic archaea. In July, 2000, Amy joined the faculty in the Department of Microbiology at North Carolina State University.

Physiology and Biotechnological Applications of Extremophiles
Amy's laboratory is studying microorganisms called extremophiles, which are capable of thriving in diverse extreme environmental conditions such as high or low temperatures, high salinity, acidic or alkaline environments.  The goals of the extremophile research conducted in the Grunden laboratory are first to understand the adaptive mechanisms extremophiles use to survive in harsh environmental conditions and second to exploit these adaptations for biotechnological applications.  Research projects currently underway involve using selected extremophile enzymes to (1) decontaminate toxic organophosphorus-based nerve agents found in some pesticides and chemical warfare agents, (2) generate transgenic plants with increased tolerance to harsh environmental conditions for the purpose of developing plants that can survive in marginal environments, and (3) use extremophile genes to optimize fatty acid production in microalgae for biofuel production.  Research in the Grunden laboratory in has been funded by DOD, NASA, NCBC, NSF, and the USDA.

Even-numbered posters attended in poster session 1, odd-numberred posters attended in poster session 2
1 Yuehui Mao Transcriptional dynamics in response to environmental changee
2 Floyd Inman Symbiotic Properties of the Entomopathogenic Bacterium, Photorhabdus luminescens, and its Nematode Partner, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora
3 Huiying J. Lu Developing Effective Treatments for a 5-log Reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Refrigerated Cucumber Products
4 Syed Sultan Development and use of a novel gene inactivation system reveals an altered periplasmic flagellar orientation in Borrelia burgdorferi fliL
5 Stephanie Lambeth
Phibbs Award Winner
Polysaccharide Degrading Enzymes in Agrobacterium tumefaciens
6 Christine White Conserved Genes in Campylobacter rectus and Campylobacter showae
7 Michael Betteken Investigation of an Orphan and Hybrid Two Component Regulatory System and their effect on the Oxidative Stress Response in Bacteroides fragilis
8 Ivan C. Ndamukong The role of a bacteroides extracytoplasmic function sigma factor in oxidative stress response
9 Achut Malur Mutations within the human parainfluenza virus type 3 C protein exhibit differential effects on viral replication and host interferon signaling in vivo
10 Diana Wright HTLV-1 Viral Protein HBZ Inhibits the Histone Acetyltransferase Activity of the Cellular Coactivators p300/CBP
11 Michael J. Courchesne Exploration of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) as an oncolytic agent for human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)
12 Andrew Freistaedter Improved Vaccinia Virus MVA as an anti-Cancer Vaccine
13 Anahita Mostafavi Probing the Cellular Determinants of Hepatitis C virus Vertical Transmission
14 Bridget Y. Nelson The ant, Aphaenogaster rudis, is associated with higher fungal diversity in Southern Appalachian soils.
15 Rushyannah Killens Cloning and expression of Chromohalobacter salexigens subunits of acetyl-CoA carboxylase for use in an algal-based biofuel production system
16 David A. Martinson The Brucella abortus 2308 RNA Chaperone Hfq Regulates the Gene Encoding the Outer Membrane Heme Transporter BhuA
17 Matthew L. Ellison The transcriptional regulator np20 is the zinc uptake regulator in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
18 Jenifer F. Ojeda Identification of an inner membrane heme transporter in Brucella abortus.
19 Lauren P. Polli Microbial Analysis of Populations from Ultrabasic Springs of the Tablelands Serpentinite, Newfoundland, Canada.
20 Kerri Augustino The Use of Microbiologic and Molecular Methods to Investigate Possible Environmental Sources of Healthcare Associated Infections due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa
21 Wendy Fraco Characterization of Fermented Cucumber Spoilage and Identification of the Causative Agents
22 Eric S. Anderson
Best Poster Award Winner
Identification of the tpd-ftr1 locus, encoding a putative high affinity ferrous iron (Fe++) transport system necessary for virulence in Brucella abortus 2308.
23 Evan A. Menscher The Mur protein regulates the manganese transport gene, mntH, in Brucella abortus 2308 in a manganese-dependent manner
24 Sangmi Lee Two Novel Restriction-Modification Systems in Listeria monocytogenes
25 Danielle Fortune IMPACT Cloning and Expression of Mycobacteium tuberculosis genes
26 Jonathan D. Lenz Characterization of the Yersinia pestis autotransporter proteins (Yaps) and their role in mammalian infection

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 Marty Roop, ECU):
    • Sean O'Connell, WCU - Elected unanymously

  • Secretary (Currently Jim Brown, NCSU):
    • Jim has agreed to continue as Secretary

  • Treasurer (Currently Gerry Luginbuhl, NCSU; Gerry would like to retire):
    • Gerry has agreed to continue for one more year

  • Councilor (currently Sherrice Allen, FSU; Sherrice would like to retire):
    • Ece Karatan, App State - Elected unanymously

  • Alternate Councilor (currently Wrennie Edwards, USFCC; Wrennie is not able to routinely go to ASM meetings)
    • Ed Swords, WFU - Elected unanymously

  • Historian (Currently Joe Wolf, Peace College)
    • Joe has volunteered to continue as Historian

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 :

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

Contact :

Marty Roop
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Brody School of Medicine
East Carolina University
600 Moye Boulevard
Greenville, NC 2783
Phone: (252) 744-1357


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