Student Research

The Infectious Disease Research & Response Network has annual funds to support student research.

Infectious Disease Research and Response Training Program (IDRRTP)

A NIH Ruth Kirschstein Instiutional National Research Service Award Training Grant (T-32 NRSA), the IDRRTP supports predoctoral students engaged in research to address the prevention of infectious disease emergence and ongoing pandemics that threaten human health globally.

Trainees benefit from the vast expertise of experienced mentors within the IDRRN, state-of-the-art facilities, and substantial institutional programmatic resources and extra-mural funding.

Unique experiential opportunities and activities to encourage synergism in training, will provide diverse cohorts of predoctoral trainees with the necessary skills to confront infectious disease threats to human health as they embark upon academic or non-academic research careers.

2022

Laura Bashor, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Sue VandeWoude.
Elan Lian, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Mary Jackson.
Greg Pugh, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Brian Foy.
Nicholas Whittel, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Ric Slayden.
Natalie Wickenkamp, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Rebekah Kading.

2021 – Trainee Progress Report

Sarah Cooper, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Brendan Podell.
Emily Fitzmeyer, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Greg Ebel.
Darby Gilfillan, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Zaid Abdo and Gregg Dean.
Katherine Kokkinias, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Kelly Wrighton.
James Terry, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Brian Geiss.
Annika Weber, Food Science & Human Nutrition Ph.D. student, mentored by Elizabeth Ryan.

Summer Student Fellowship

2022

Noelia Altina
Cell & Molecular Biology Ph.D. Candidate
Mentors: Jeffrey Wilusz, Brian Geiss

My interdisciplinary project combines the fields of RNA biology, virology, and cell biology to understand aspects of the molecular pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 at the cellular level. Our focus this summer is understanding the biological effects of dysregulation of cellular splicing caused by viral infection. Overall, the project represents an excellent interdisciplinary training vehicle to help launch my career.

 

Sera Choi
Journalism & Media Communication Ph.D. Student
Mentors: Ashley Anderson, Nicole Kelp

With the growing popularity of social media, there are numerous sources of misinformation circulating on the internet about pandemic diseases. In order to reach affected individuals, authentic information must come from a diverse spectrum of trusted voices, including research scientists. Using survey data collected in Spring 2022, this study will identify the primary mechanisms for scientists’ engagement in addressing misinformation, including scientists’ perceptions of misinformation (e.g., their attitudes toward misinformation, attributes of misinformation, prevalence of misinformation, source of misinformation, efficacy, etc.).

Kaleb Davis
Senior Microbiology B.S. Student
Mentors: Rebekah Kading, Christopher Snow

This summer I will be working with Drs. Rebekah Kading and Christopher Snow on a project using a novel method to track mosquito dispersal and movement patterns in the field. We will deploy protein crystals, containing information dense DNA barcodes, into the field for uptake by larval mosquitoes and then recover the marked adult mosquitoes using a trap network in the Fort Collins area. in the future we hope to integrate this new marking method into arbovirus surveillance networks to better target and suppress disease carrying mosquito populations.

Sasipha Hokeness
Senior Neuroscience B.S. Student
Mentors: Marcela Henao-Tamayo, John Walrond, Katie Brown

Kv1.3 is an outward rectifier found in the plasma membrane and in the inner mitochondrial membrane and is overexpressed on the plasma membrane of microglia in neuroinflammatory diseases. Because differential expression of Kv1.3 post-bacterial infection has not been evaluated at both the plasma membrane and the inner membrane of the mitochondria, the purpose of this project is to compare Kv1.3 expression at both cellular locations and the implication on cell permissiveness to bacterial infection.

2021
Elena Lian, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Mary Jackson.
Beth Lunsford, Environmental Health Ph.D. student, mentored by Sheryl Magzamen.
Nicholas Whittle, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Ric Slayden.

2020
Noelia Altina, Cell & Molecular Biology Ph.D. student, mentored by Glenn Telling.
Jade Frank, D.V.M. student, mentored by Julie Moreno.

2019
Alexandra Moskaluk, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Sue VandeWoude.
Allison Vilander, Pathology Ph.D. student, mentored by Gregg Dean.

Internship/Externship Scholarship

2020
Steve Lakin, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Zaid Abdo.
Fabiola Silva Angulo, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Angelo Izzo.
Bridget Eklund, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Gregg Dean and Zaid Abdo.

2019
Kaitlyn Wagner, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Mark Zabel.
Addie Williams, Microbiology Ph.D. student, mentored by Ken Olson.

Research Teams

Funding was provided to facilitate research and mentoring skills. Each research team is composed of an IDRRN faculty principal investigator, their postdoctoral fellows or graduate students acting as research mentors, and students seeking research experience as research trainees.

From 2018 to 2020, the program supported:
23 undergraduate students
4 Microbiology-Immunology masters students
11 PhD students
6 postdoctoral fellows