News around the Department

New Opportunities

Dr. Matthew Woolard has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. 

Dr. Martin Sapp has been appointed Mingyu Ding Memorial Professor of Microbiology. The professorship honors a senior doctoral student in Microbiology and Immunology who was working for his PhD in tumor virology, when he died in a tragic automobile accident.

Dr. Andrew Yurochko has been named to the Carroll Feist Endowed Chair of Viral Oncology.


Congratulations to Dr. William Songock who has successfully defended his doctoral dissertation and is now the newest Ph.D. graduate of the department.

Grants and Awards:

A 5-year Phase III NIH COBRE Center grant of more than $4.82 million was awarded to Dr. Dennis J. O’Callaghan, Boyd Professor and Head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology to support the Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology. This Phase III award brings the total NIH support for the Center to more than $22.9 million since 2003.  During the Phase III period, this grant will help support the operation of four CMTV Research Cores as well as establish a Pilot Project Grants Program

Dr. David McGee has been awarded a LaSPACE Research Enhancement Award to study the effects of microgravity on Helicobacter pylori

Dr. Martin Sapp was awarded a 5 year grant from the National Cancer Institute to study early events in the human papillomavirus life cycle. 

Dr. Matthew Woolard was awarded a four-year R01 grant from the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute to study the role of macrophage lipid metabolism in cardiovascular disease. 

Dr. Martin Muggeridge was awarded an R03 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to investigate the function of EBV glycoproteins. 

Dr. Jeremy KamilRona Scott, and Jason Bodily were awarded NIH R01 research grants on HCMV tropism, EBV epigenetics, and HPV regulation of transcription, respectively.

Dr. Andrew Yurochko's NIH R01 grant on HCMV pathogenesis was renewed.

Dr. Michelle Arnold was awarded a grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents.

Dr. Jeremy Kamil was awarded a two year Research Grant from the American Heart Association.

Dr. Matthew Woolard has been awarded a Pilot Project Grant from the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center.

Dr. John Vanchiere, a member of the Department of Pediatrics and Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology, has been awarded an NIH R24 grant to develop an non-human primate model of polyomavirus disease.

Dr. Jung Heon Kim has been awarded a Malcolm Feist Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Dr. Stephen DiGiuseppe has been awarded the Dean's Award for outstanding research by a graduating student.

Aimee Vozenilek has been awarded an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship.

Chris Nguyen and Patrick Gellings have been awarded predoctoral fellowships. This brings to 8 the number of our students who are currently supported by fellowships:  Brittany Woodby (Carroll Feist Award), Lucile Guion (Carroll Feist Award), Aimee Vozenilek (American Heart Association), Stephen Cieply (Malcolm Feist Award), Tod Guidry (Carroll Feist Award) and Matthew Scott (Carroll Feist Award).

Aimee Vozenilek recognized for an outstanding presentation during Graduate Research Day on May 7, 2017.

Meetings and Presentations:

Dr. Jason Bodily, Brittany Woodby, and Lucile Guion have been chosen to give oral presentations at the DNA Tumor Virus Conference in Birmingham, UK, July 17-22, 2017.

Christopher Nguyen will speak at the 2017 International Herpesvirus Workshop in Ghent, Belgium July 20 - August 2, 2017.

Appointments and Service:

Dr. Matthew Woolard was  chosen as a co-chair for American Heart Association BSc1 Committee

Dr. Lindsey Hutt-Fletcher was elected Chairperson of DNA Virus section of the American Society for Microbiology.

Dr. Lindsey Hutt-Fletcher was made an Associate Editor of PLoS Pathogens.

Dr. Andrew Yurochko was selected to serve on the American Heart Association Steering Committee.


Dr.Seong Kim's laboratory recently published papers in Journal of Virology and Virus Research.

Dr. Andrew Yurochko's laboratory recently published Journal of Virology (spotlighted), PNAS, and Annual Reviews of Virology.

Alumni News:

Dr. Bryan Bellaire, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, is now a Registrant of the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM).

Dr. Michael L. Grantham, Ph.D., is now an Assistant Professor at Department of Biology at Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, MO.

Dr. Bart Tarbet (MS, 1995) is now a Research Associate Professor at the Utah State University School of Veterinary Medicine.