Dr. van Hoek gives a TEDxGeorgeMasonU talk on April 6, 2013.
Dr. Kehn-Hall and Dr. Carpenter have received a contract from Unither Virology entitled “Animal Modeling Development and Therapeutic Testing”. This contract will focus on the development of an aerosol exposure mouse model of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus.
Dr. Kehn-Hall has received a subcontract from Ceres Nanosciences to facilitate work on a DARPA project entitled “Universal Nanotrap-enabled Biofluid Sample Preparation and Storage Toolset”. This is a two year grant that is focused on testing whole virus capture and preservation with NanoTrap particles both in liquid and on filter paper for RVFV, Influenza, and HIV.
Dr. Kehn-Hall and Dr. Narayanan (Co-PI, GMU) have received a three year NIH R15 grant entitled “Induction of DNA Damage Signaling Cascade upon RVFV Infection”. This grant is aimed at determining the mechanism by which RVFV NSs induces DNA damage signaling and how this signaling aids in viral replication in vitro and in vivo.
Drs. Kehn-Hall and Narayanan (Co-PI, GMU) have received a five year grant from DTRA entitled “Molecular Pathogenesis of Select Agent Viruses and their Attenuated Vaccine Derivatives”. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Connie Schmaljohn’s laboratory at USAMRIID. The objectives of this grant are (1) to identify significant differences at the host response level to Select Agent viruses versus attenuated vaccine counterparts through comparative analyses of host transcriptome and proteome changes, (2) to produce bioinformatic models of host-pathogen relationships and (3) to validate these models using reverse genetic systems and siRNA approaches.
Dr. Kylene Kehn-Hall and Dr. Jonathan Jacobs (Co-PI, MRIGlobal) have received a three year grant from DTRA entitled “Interactions of Alphaviruses with the Host MicroRNA Processing Machinery”. This project also involves a collaboration with Dr. Jonathan Dinman’s laboratory at University of Maryland. The objective of this grant is to determine the importance and mechanism of specific miRNAs in alphavirus replication, thereby understanding their potential as a host based therapeutic target.
The popular spice turmeric packs more than just flavor — it shows promise in fighting devastating viruses, Mason researchers recently discovered.
Curcumin, found in turmeric, stopped the potentially deadly Rift Valley Fever virus from multiplying in infected cells, says Aarthi Narayanan, lead investigator on a new study and a research assistant professor in Mason’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases.
Mosquito-borne Rift Valley Fever virus (RVF) is an acute, fever-causing virus that affects domestic animals such as cattle, sheep and goats, as well as humans. Results of the study were publishedthis month in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Awarding Authority: George Mason University College of Science
The Teaching Award recognizes COS faculty members at George Mason University who are outstanding teachers or mentors or who have made major contributions to COS educational activities during the 2010–2011 academic year.
The George Mason University Biomedical Research Laboratory received the Certificate of Registration from the Centers for Disease Control prevention on February 27, 2012. This certification approves the Biomedical Research Laboratory to work with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) select agents.
DTRA Funded Effort Studies Anti-infective Properties of Reptile Serum
Seven months ago, DTRA initiated a research effort to take advantage of the anti-infective properties of reptile serum. The concept is to identify and use constitutive parts of serum that enables animals to fight infection, notably cationic antimicrobial peptides. These peptides will be isolated using a novel, nanoparticle-based approach.
The foundation for this DTRA-funded work is research performed at George Mason University (GMU) in the laboratories of Dr. Monique van Hoek (National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases) and Dr. Barney Bishop (Department of Chemistry) that demonstrated anti-microbial and anti-biofilm properties of these CAMPs. Recently, their published work has been recognized by the respective journals as being among the highest viewed articles. For example, their paper in Frontiers in Microbiology has received 1391 views . The companion paper in BMC Microbiology was “Highly Accessed” with 5647 views so far , and a second companion paper in BBRC received a favorable score in a Faculty of 1000 review [3,4]. All of the researchers and students involved are very excited to be working on this project. The principal investigator on the project HDTRA1-12-C-0039 “Translational Peptides for Personal Protection” is Dr. Joel Schnur. (POC Al Graziano, 767-3360)
1. Dean, S. N., Bishop, B. M., & Van Hoek, M. L. (2011). Susceptibility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm to alpha-helical peptides: D-enantiomer of LL-37. Frontiers in Microbiology, 2.
2. Dean, S. N., Bishop, B. M., & van Hoek, M. L. (2011). Natural and synthetic cathelicidin peptides with anti-microbial and anti-biofilm activity against Staphylococcus aureus. BMC Microbiology, 11(1), 114.
3. Amer, L. S., Bishop, B. M., & van Hoek, M. L. (2010). Antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity of cathelicidins and short, synthetic peptides against Francisella. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 396(2), 246-251.