Dr. Alex Byas featured on KUNC

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Dr. Alex Byas’ work on Colorado tick fever and Powassan virus was featured on KUNC as part of a story by the Mountain West News Bureau (MWNB). Learn more about Colorado virus surveillance efforts and Byas’ “tick smithereens” by tuning into KUNC or visiting their website.

With thanks to MWNB reporter Rae Ellen Bichell.


Pictured: Dr. Alex Byas holding a tube of homogenized ticks. Photo by Rae Ellen Bichell.

Lexi Robison honored at 2018 CURC showcase

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Undergraduate research assistant Lexi Robison was honored for her work at the CSU CURC (Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity) research day. Her poster, ‘Chikungunya virus replication and transmission by Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes decreases over time,” was awarded College Honors.

Lexi has been with the Ebel lab since January 2016, where she has worked under the mentorship of Dr. Claudia Rückert. Lexi has been involved with several projects examining CHIKV replication and transmission dynamics. She maintains the Ebel lab’s Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. pipiens colonies and has also worked on generating CRISPR/Cas9 constructs to knock out specific genes in mosquitoes.

Lexi is currently a junior in CSU’s Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology (MIP) program. She is majoring in microbiology.

Pictured: Dr. Claudia Rückert (left) and Lexi Robison. 


Pictured: Lexi Robison at CURC 2018. 

Xenosurveillance paper in ASTMH

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Dr. Joseph Fauver’s paper on xenosurveillance, a new method of disease surveillance that uses mosquitoes as sampling devices, has been published in ASTMH.

The Ebel lab and its collaborators have previously demonstrated that xenosurveillance can detect viral RNA in both laboratory and field settings; this new paper builds upon existing research and shows that xenosurveillance can 1) detect Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus and Zika virus, and 2) may be used as a tool to expand surveillance for parasitic and bacterial pathogens as well.


WNV evolution paper in Cell Reports

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Dr. Nathan Grubaugh’s paper, detailing how mosquitoes transmit unique West Nile virus populations during each feeding episode, has been published in Cell Reports. Highlights from the paper include the following findings:

• Distinct virus populations are largely shaped by genetic drift
• West Nile virus evolution is characterized by cycles of diversification and selection
• Individual mosquitoes can transmit distinct virus populations during each bloodmeal
• Strong selection in birds purges most nonsynonymous mutations


AIDL Winners at CSU’s 2017 Research Day

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Two researchers from the Arthropod-borne and Infectious Disease Laboratory (AIDL) were honored at CSU’s 2017 Research Day.

Nunya Chotiwan, a PhD candidate in Dr. Rushika Perera’s laboratory, won third place for her oral presentation, “Rapid and specific detection of Asian-lineage Zika virus,” while Dr. Claudia Rückert won second place for her oral presentation, “Aedes aegypti may simultaneously transmit chikungunya, dengue, and Zika viruses.” Dr. Rückert works in the Ebel Laboratory. A total of 128 undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows presented their research findings to an audience of hundreds at CSU’s Lory Student Center.