Home | Annual Meetings | Awards | Membership | History | By-laws | Officers & Contact info | National ASM

2011 Meeting of the North Carolina Branch of the American Society for Microbiology

Meeting Program and Abstract book (6.89Mbyte PDF)

Sponsors & Vendors :




The American Society
for Microbiology



University of North Carolina
at Asheville



Western Carolina University


NC Academy of Science
(Melanie Lee-Brown)



Nikon Instruments
(Larry Kordon)



North Carolina Biotechnology Center
(Jon Lawrie)


Association of Southeastern Biologists
(Tim Atkinson & Marilyn Pendley)


Life Technologies
(Charles Cochran)


Martin Microscopes
(Terry Knorr)


When :

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

Where :

Humanities Lecture Hall & Carmichael Hall
Asheville, NC 28804

The Humanities Lecture Hall (Building 7) will house the talks for the meeting and the adjacent Carmichael Hall (Building 3) will be used for the poster session and as a gathering place for refreshments and lunch.

UNC-Asheville will be on Fall Break, so there should be plenty of parking around campus.


Accommodations :

October is a busy tourist season in the Asheville and mountain areas of North Carolina. We were unable to block out rooms at local hotels. However, many hotels and motels have open rooms. We encourage attendees to make reservations as soon as possible. Below are some recommended lodging establishments.

Rooms in nearby towns such as Weaverville and Candler are within a 10-15 minute drive of UNC-Asheville.
UNC-Asheville is just a few minutes from downtown Asheville.

Plan to bring friends and family! Asheville is a lively town with all sorts of fine food, music, and cultural interests. For the third year in a row, it has also been named "Beer City USA" due to its numerous breweries. What more could a microbiologist ask for? Check out Explore Asheville for more details on accommodations and sights and activities in Asheville.

Registration and abstract submission :

The deadlne for abstract submission and advance registration has passed. You can still register at the opening of the meeting.

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 2011, there is an additional $10 branch membership fee (this is the same fee the ASM charges), for a total of $20.

Aren't sure if you're already an NC ASM member? You may have joined when you paid your 2011 ASM annual membership. Check the bottom of the Registration list page.

The Registration and/or membership fee is payable at the door - the advance payment deadline has passed.

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 AM Registration
Poster and talk set-up
Coffee reception
Awards committee meeting/organization
9:00 Séan O'Connell Welcome & Introductory comments
Session I : Séan O'Connell, Chair
9:15 Pauline Chugh Profiling of host microRNAs following West Nile Virus infection
9:30 Allie Amick "A Change Is Gonna Come" – HEGs and the dynamic genome of F1 mycobacteriophages
9:45 Indi Bose An RNA interference screen for virulence factors in Cryptococcus neoformans
10:00 Marty Roop Identification and characterization of two small regulatory RNAs linked to virulence in Brucella abortus 2308
10:15 Poster session I (Even numbered posters should be attended
Coffee break
Vendors & Exhibitors
Session 2 : Betty Wilson, Chair
11:15 David Martinson Iron-dependent degradation controls the activity of the transcriptional regulator Irr in Brucella abortus
11:30 Neetu Kumra Taneja Dra, a Bordetella locus homologus to the dlt loci of Gram-positive bacteria promotes incorporation of D-alanine, resistance to anti-microbial peptides and adherence to respiratory cell lines.
11:45 Joshua Sailsbery Fundamental characteristics and discerning sites of the eukaryotic bHLH domain
12:00 noon Lunch
1:00 PM Poster session 2 (Odd numbered posters should be attended)
Vendors & Exhibitors
Session 3 : Ece Karatan, Chair
2:00 Matt Schrenk
NC Invitational Talk
What is the Serpentinite Microbiome?: Recent studies of the genomics, physiology, and ecology of microbial biofilms from deep within the Earth
2:30 Coffee break
Vendors & Exhibitors
Awards committee meetings
Plenary session : Seán O'Connell, Chair
3:15 Jade Wang
ASM Branch Lecture
Prevention of Conflict between Replication and Transcription
4:15 Marty Roop Concluding remarks
4:30 Jim Brown Business meeting
Officer election
5:00 Adjournment

Jade Wang

ASM Branch Lecture

Jue D. (Jade) Wang
Baylor College of Medicine

Prevention of Conflict between Replication and Transcription

Dr. Jue ("Jade") Wang is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Molecular and Human Genetics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, and a Co-Director of the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology. She graduated with a B.Sc degree in physics from McGill University in Canada. Her Ph.D. in biochemistry, which focused on the mechanisms of action of molecular chaperones, was in Jonathan Weissman's laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in collaboration with Carol Gross. She became a microbiologist and genomicist during her postdoc with Alan Grossman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Wang's lab currently focuses on control of bacterial DNA replication by nutritional availability, the conflicts between replication and transcription and the mechanism by which they are resolved, and genome organization and replication stress in B. subtilis and E. coli. She is a recipient of an NIH Director's New Innovator Award (2008-2013) and a winner of the 2010 Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award by the Genetics Society of America and the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation.

Matt Schrenk

NC Invited Lecture

Matt Schrenk
East Carolina University

What is the Serpentinite Microbiome?: Recent studies of the genomics, physiology, and ecology of microbial biofilms from deep within the Earth

Matt Schrenk is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at East Carolina University and an adjunct in the Department of Geology. He earned his B.Sc. in Geology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and M.Sc. and Ph.D in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington. Matt completed a post-doc at Carnegie Institution of Washington in the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism and Geophysical Laboratory. His work is broadly defined as ecological and he brings a unique perspective to environmental microbiology. His research takes him to exotic and extreme ecosystems across the globe and he is keenly interested in questions related to life elsewhere in the universe. He studies the feedbacks between microorganisms and their environments using molecular, microscopic, and chemical analyses. In particularly, he is interested in microbial growth on and within rocks in polymer-encased structures known as biofilms. His work is focused upon biofilms in a number of extreme habitats such as highly acidic environments associated with acid mine drainage, high pH environments associated with old oceanic crust, and high temperature, high pressure environments associated with deep-sea hydrothermal vents.


1 Cameron B. Adams Scanning electron microscopy of the entomopathogenic bacterium, Photorhabdus luminescens and it symbiotic nematode partner, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora
2 John E. Baumgartner Characterization of the organic hydroperoxide resistance system of Brucella abortus 2308  
3 Michael Betteken Oxygen induced resistance to tert-butyl hydroperoxide is mediated by DPS in Bacteroides fragilis
4 Sarah Chowdhury Interesting enrichment cultures from sub-surface serpentinite ecosystems.     
5 Bridget E. Conley Generation of a murine polyclonal antibody specific for the Campylobacter jejuni protein Cj0371
6 Michael J. Courchesne Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) mediated oncolysis of human glioblastoma multiforme cells
7 Shurrita S. Davis Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolates from fresh produce
8 Kristen N. Delaney Campylobacter jejuni gene Cj0372 is temperature regulated and serves as a functional glutathionylspermidine synthetase
9 Amy A. Devlin Type I IFN-stimulatory ligands present within Borrelia burgdorferi culture supernatants and sonicate are proteins, but are not lipoproteins
10 Ahmed E. Elhassanny Characterization of a putative high affinity Fe2+ transporter in Brucella abortus 2308 that is required for virulence in the mouse model
11 Kendall L. Fuller Comparison of bacterial communities in the rhizosphere of living and dead Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)        
12 John B. Goforth Effects of spermidine on Vibrio cholerae virulence properties    
13 Morgan J Gregg Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Prevalence in Pregnant women and transmission risk to newborns
14 Ashley N. Hawkins Methanogenesis in bogs and fens of the Southern Appalachian region of North Carolina and characterization of the associated microbial community
15 Floyd L. Inman, III Microbial growth kinetics of Photorhabdus luminescens in glucose batch culture
16 Sarah N. Justice Ten years of microbe hunting in Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Where is Pseudomonas aeruginosa?      
17 Rachel Krasich Determining the fate of transcription at DNA-protein crosslinks
18 Yajuan Lin Estimating the growth rate and biomass production of genetically diverse Prochlorococcus using rRNA/rDNA ratios
19 Tanner Love, Savannah Morgan, and Daniel Morrow Reducing surface bacteria using UV-C radiation
20 Jenifer Ojeda The bhuTUV and bhuO gene products play vital roles in the ability of Brucella abortus to use heme as an iron source
21 Michael A. Reott Investigations into the regulation and activity of B. fragilis thioredoxins during oxidative stress
22 Alex Rutkovsky Characterization of the PotD1 protein in Vibrio cholerae
23 Martin C. Wilson Isolation and identification of antimicrobial-producing microbes from soil associated with an Eastern Hemlock in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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 Sean O'Connell, WCU):

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

  • Treasurer (Currently Gerry Luginbuhl, NCSU; Gerry would like to retire):
    • Wrennie Edwards (Novartis)

  • Councilor (currently Ece Karatan, App State):
    • Ece has agreed to continue as Councilor

  • Alternate Councilor (currently Ed Swords, WFU)
    • Ed has agreed to continue as Alternate Councilor

  • Historian (Currently Joe Wolf, Peace College; Joe cannot 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 :

Seán O'Connell (President-elect)
Marty Roop (President)
Melanie Lee-Brown (Past–President)
James W. Brown (Secretary)
Geraldine Luginbuhl (Treasurer)

Contact :

Seán O'Connell
Department of Biology
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723

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