News around the Department

New Opportunities:

Dr. Martin Sapp has been named Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Dr. Seong K. Kim has been promoted to Associate Professor of Research. 


Congratulations to Dr.Brittany Woodby who has successfully defended her doctoral dissertation and is now the newest Ph.D. graduate of the department. Dr. Woodby is the 100th student to obtain a Ph.D. from our 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. Martin Sapp  was recently awarded an R01 grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the early events in human papillomavirus entry. 

Dr. Andrew Yurochko is Co-PI on a recently awarded Program Project Grant from the National Institutes of Health focusing on how HCMV affects signaling pathways in infected hematopoietic progenitor cells.  

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

Heather Fulkerson has been awarded a Malcom Feist Predoctoral Fellowship.  This brings to 10 the number of our students who are currently supported by fellowships: Brittany Woodby (Carroll Feist), Lucile Guion (Carroll Feist), Aimee Vozenilek (American Heart Association), Tod Guidry (Carroll Feist), Matthew Scott (Carroll Feist), Chris Nguyen (Malcom Feist), Patrick Gellings (Ike Muslow), Sadie Rice (Carroll Feist) and  Samantha Murphy (Ike Muslow)

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

Patrick Gellings was awarded the Charles S. McCleskey Award for an outstanding oral presentation at the ASM South Central Branch Meeting, Little Rock, AR Oct 19-21, 2017.

Meetings and Presentations:

Dr. Jeremy Kamil was selected to present the Jamie McNew Lecture at the University of Minnesota, March 7, 2018. This Lecture was created in honor of a child with congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) and has been a prestigeous forum for research on CMV for over a decade. 

Lucile Guion was selected as the best oral presentation by a graduate student at the DNA Tumor Virus Meeting in Madison, WI July 31-Aug 4, 2018. Matthew ScottTod Guidry, and Drs. Martin Sapp and Gaurav Gaikhy also gave oral presentations. 

Heather Fulkerson and Dr. Byeong-Jae Lee gave presentations at the International Herpesvirus Workshop in Vancouver, BC, Canada July 21-25, 2018

Samantha Murphy gave an oral presentation at the 37th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Virology held in College Park, MD, July 14-18, 2018. Dr. Michelle Arnold also chaired the Rotaviruses section of that meeting. 

Appointments and Service:

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

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.

Dr. Martin Sapp's laboratory has recently published papers in the Journal of Virology (spotlighted), PlOS Pathogens, and Cellular Microbiology.

Alumni News:

Dr. Tom Nugent (Ph.D.,1994), Director of R&D at Banyan Biomarkers, Inc., helped develop a bood test for concussion that was recently approved by the FDA. 

Dr. Bryan Bellaire (Ph.D., 2001), 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., 2006) is now an Assistant Professor at Department of Biology at Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, MO.

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

Dr. Gregory Robertson (Ph.D., 2000), an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University, has been awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health. He is also supported by the Gates Foundation and the Global Health Innovation Technology Fund in his work on tuberculosis.