Nathan Grubaugh, Ph.D., M.S.
Associate Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases)
Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health
Yale School of Public Health

“Genomic Epidemiology and Ecology of Mosquito- and Tick-borne Viruses”

The Grubaugh Lab uses genomics and phylogenetics to uncover the epidemiological, ecological, and evolutionary determinants of virus outbreaks. They primarily focus on mosquito- and tick-borne viruses, like dengue, West Nile, and Powassan, that are increasingly spreading into new areas and have high outbreak potential. The Grubaugh Lab is diverse and multidisciplinary, including expertise in molecular biology, phylogenetics, statistics, and mathematical modeling. His lab was critical during the COVID-19 response, from designing and evaluating diagnostics (such as SalivaDirect) to establishing the Yale SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Surveillance Initiative to track emerging variants. Expanding on this work, the lab is an academic partner for the Pathogen Genomics Centers of Excellence to foster and improve innovation and technical capacity in pathogen genomics, molecular epidemiology, and bioinformatics to better prevent, control, and respond to microbial threats of public health importance. Read more about their team and work at grubaughlab.com.

Reception: 5 – 6pm, Atrium
Lecture: 6 – 7pm, C120 Conference Room

Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building
Drexel University Campus in University City
3245 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia 19104

Parking: Drexel University Parking Garage, 34th Street between Market and Chestnut. Parking will be validated at a cost of $5.00 if using this garage.

The Education Committee of the Eastern PA Branch ASM will host a career panel for our Student Chapter members and other interested students. The panel is geared toward graduate students, although some junior or senior undergraduate students may be interested in attending as well.

Panel members represent industry, clinical settings, consulting, government, education and other areas. The following presenters will be participating in the panel discussion:

Dr. James Brown
Dr. Pina Fratamico
Dr Brian M. Forster
Dr. Stacey Lettini
Ms. Joanne Lilliendahl
Mr. Daniel McArdle
Dr. Shelly Rankin
Dr. John Renye

Date: Thursday, September 21, 2023
Time: Reception 5pm, Panel Discussion 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Location: Drexel University College of Medicine
New College Building, 245 N. 15th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102. (parking nearby, see attached map)

Pre-Registration is advised. Contact:
Bobi McHale (mchaleb@comcast.net) or Brian Forster (bforster@sju.edu)

Donald C. Hall, Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Drexel University College of Medicine
(Early Career Symposium sponsored by ASM Young Ambassadors Program)

“Outsmarting Pathogens: Navigating the Frontier of Drug Discovery with Stringent Response Inhibitors”

The bacterial stringent response, a highly conserved mechanism for bacterial resistance, is controlled by the secondary metabolite (p)ppGpp, known as the magic spot alarmone. This alters cells through transcriptional processes involving RpoS, nucleotide pools, PolyP levels, and direct interaction with RNA Polymerase. Housekeeping of the magic spot alarmones is managed by enzymes RelA and SpoT, falling under the RSH superfamily. RelA and SpoT respond to stresses, influencing (p)ppGpp levels. The stringent response is important as a drug target due to its effects on bacterial quiescence, making bacteria metabolically resistant to antibiotics, and on virulence and toxin production. Disrupting the response reduces resistance and virulence. Our approach involves in silico screening of 5 million compounds, followed by in vitro and in vivo assays to identify effective “hit compounds.” Stage 2 involves a Structure Activity Relationship study, using empirical data to design new compounds. Our team has developed a RelA inhibitor effective against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, targeting the stringent response.

Text gif. Neon letters spell out "Thank You" against a black background while neon rainbow trails of light rash behind it mimicking warp speed in space.

Congratulations to James Nowoslawski, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, Courtney Comar, PhD, CPEP Clinical Microbiology Fellow at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania/Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Nicole Loeven, PhD, CPEP Clinical Microbiology Fellow at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania/Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, recipients of this years Peggy Cotter ASM Travel Award to attend ASM Microbe 2023 in Houston.