Cornell scientist tapped to preserve elm trees on the National Mall

Yoshiki Harada/CALS Nina Bassuk uses a penetrometer to measure soil compaction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The elm trees that ring the National Mall in Washington, D.C., have stood witness to presidential inaugurations, given shaded respite to marchers and protestors, and provided millions of tourists with fresh air…

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A new kind of influenza vaccine: One shot might do the trick

Tom Fleischman/Cornell Chronicle Researchers Matt DeLisa, left, Gary Whittaker and David Putnam are pictured in DeLisa’s Olin Hall lab. A seasonal flu shot is a bit like a local weather forecast: Based on the conditions elsewhere and the direction of the prevailing wind, a meteorologist can give the public a pretty…

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Lyme Disease: an avoidable or unstoppable epidemic?

As winter recedes and people and their pets start to take advantage of spring weather, a certain pest often comes front and center in the news of the North Eastern United States: the blacklegged tick, carrier of Lyme Disease. Lyme borreliosis is the most common and widely known tick-borne disease,…

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Rabies: Zoonotic Diseases and Public Health

A trending Huffington Post article earlier this month discussed the enormous global impact of rabies in terms of human and animal health. The article estimated that approximately 189 people die from rabies per day, primarily in developing countries. However, although rabies is an invariably fatal disease once symptoms manifest, there…

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New host-microbe institute connects campus researchers

New host-microbe institute connects campus researchers

Esther Angert/Cornell Microbiology, CALS
Epulopiscium sp., the large cigar-shaped cells seen here, are giant bacterial symbionts of the tropical marine surgeonfish Naso tonganus.

The university has launched the Cornell Institute of Host-Microbe Interactions and Disease(CIHMID), an umbrella organization that brings together the wide-ranging community of Cornell researchers studying host-microbe biology and disease.

“The scope of the institute is host-microbe interactions ranging from beneficial to pathogenic in plant and animal hosts,” said Brian Lazzaro, the institute’s director and professor of entomology and of ecology and evolutionary biology.

The institute will provide a hub for researchers distributed across campus, and will initially include faculty from the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), Arts and Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Engineering and Human Ecology. It will likely expand to Weill Cornell Medicine in New York in the future.

Research areas cover beneficial and pathogenic interactions between hosts (plants and animals) and microbes (bacteria, viruses and fungi), including veterinary immunology, clinical research, agriculture, natural systems and basic research.

“We have a lot of people doing this kind of work at Cornell,” Lazzaro said. “By nature of the distribution [of researchers across campus] it means we can have more people working in these different areas without overloading a particular unit. But it also means people can be dispersed, and that’s not always optimal for interdisciplinary collaboration and communication.”

To start, the institute will offer:

  • a postdoctoral fellows program with two-year appointments, where postdoc researchers will be encouraged to bridge disciplines and groups;
  • a seminar series that will fund and invite high-profile speakers to campus;
  • undergraduate research internships;
  • facilitation and support for applying for large center grants, training grants and multiple-principal investigator grants among CIHMID faculty;
  • an annual research symposium; and

The institute will take advantage of existing graduate curricula, and will be affiliated with the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Master of Public Health program and the new Cornell-led Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases in the Department of Entomology.

The CIHMID is funded by CALS, the Office of the Provost, and the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.

This article is written by Krishna Ramanujan and was published in the Cornell Chronicle on January 19, 2017.

Save the Date: May 4, 2017 Antimicrobial Resistance Symposium

Current projects and discoveries from Cornell Ithaca, Weill Cornell Medicine and colleagues Thursday May 4th 2017, 10:30AM – 5:30PM Nevin Welcome Center, Cornell Botanic Gardens, Ithaca, NY Keynote Address: Arjun Srinivasan, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (bio) Confirmed Speakers Include: Ilana Brito, Biomedical Engineering David Calfee, Infectious Disease, Weill Cornell…

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Milestones made toward developing malaria vaccine

A new malaria vaccine that is currently under development has recently passed major clinical trial milestones.  Malaria is a serious and potentially fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes primarily in subtropical and tropical regions.  According to the CDC, in 2015 approximately 214 million cases of malaria occurred around the world and…

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Diagnosing, treating ‘superbugs’ is goal of NYC-Ithaca team

Dr. Michael Satlin’s patients aren’t just battling cancer. Many are also fighting drug-resistant bacteria – “superbugs” that threaten their fragile immune systems, and their lives. “They can die within hours or days of infection if they’re not properly treated, because they have no immune system,” said Satlin, assistant professor of…

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$10M CDC grant funds center to fight vector borne diseases

Managing mosquito-borne viruses, such as West Nile, Dengue, Zika and tick-borne Lyme disease have been a challenge due to lack of resources, knowledge and trained expertise. To better understand, prevent and treat diseases passed from insects to people, the Cornell-led Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases will launch later…

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