The students of the Microbiology and Immunology Program have had a remarkably successful year, receiving a variety of awards and recognition. Mike Molloy from the Usherwood lab won a Copenhaver Fellowship, which recognizes outstanding senior graduate students, and Yolanda Nesbeth was a Kauffman Fellow Finalist. These fellowships are for individuals interested in pursuing a career in venture capital and entrepreneurship. As only approximately 30 such fellows are chosen globally each year, being named a finalist is a huge honor.
Representing the Hogan lab, Diana Morales won a Best Poster Award at the Microbial Stress Response Gordon Conference, Amy Piispanen received an ASM Conference Travel Award, and Angelyca Jacksonwas appointed to the Epithelial Cell Training Grant, as was Alicia Ballok in the O’Toole lab. Chelsea Boyd of the O’Toole lab won the best poster at this year’s Graduate Student Poster Session, and Crissy Megli of the Taylor lab won the John Collier award for one of the top student posters at the Microbial Toxins and Pathogenicity Gordon Research Conference. From the Berwin lab, Rustin Lovewell was an invited speaker at the New York Immunology Conference, and Kevin Hart won ‘Best Poster’ at the Vermont Cancer Center Clinical and Translational Research Symposium. The success of our students on a local and national level speaks volumes, and we extend our congratulations and thank them for their hard work. On a more light-hearted note, Jay Baird of the Fiering lab won the First Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest that was organized by the Lieb lab.
We had several students graduate this year: Carla Cugini (Deborah Hogan’s lab); Victor De Vries (Randy Noelle); Raquel Martinez (Taylor lab); Daniel Mielcarz (Lloyd Kasper’s group); and Yolanda Nesbeth (Jose Conejo-Garcia). Yolanda Nesbeth was also named the Class Day graduate student speaker.
In other news, there were several faculty promotions. Drs. Deb Hogan and Brent Berwin were promoted to Associate Professor, and Dr. George O’Toole was promoted to Full Professor. Drs. David Leib and Bruce Stanton also joined the Microbiology and Immunology Department. Both are senior faculty with a wealth of research experience. Dr. Ron Taylor is the director of a recently awarded INBRE grant from the NIH, whose central goal is to develop interactions among the various colleges in NH and to provide students at those colleges research experience. Several members of the Microbiology and Immunology Department are also participating in a nanotechnology grant award aimed at cancer therapeutics, and which represents a collaborative effort between Dartmouth Medical School, the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and the Thayer School of Engineering.
by George O’Toole
photo (left to right) Alicia Ballok and Chelsea Boyd
photos by Erin O’Flaherty