Author: Rosalie M Pion

Spotlight: August 2022


Gao, X., Swarge, B., Roseboom, W., Wang, Y., Dekker, H.L., Setlow, P., Brul, S. and Kramer, G. 2022. Changes in the spore proteome of Bacillus cereus in response to introduction of plasmids. Microorganisms.

Hereditary hemochromatosis variant associations with incident non-liver malignancies: 11-year follow-up in UK Biobank. Atkins JL, Pilling LC, Torti SV, Torti FM, Kuchel GA, Melzer D. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2022 Online ahead of print. PMID: 35709753

Lee R Wright, Dennis L Wright & Sandra K Weller. Viral Nucleases from Herpesviruses and Coronavirus in Recombination and Proofreading: Potential Targets for Antiviral Drug Discovery in Viruses 2022, 14(7), 1557;

Torgeson. K.R., Clarkson, M.W., Granata, D., Lindorff-Larsen, K., Page, R. & Peti, W. (2022) Conserved conformational dynamics determine enzyme activity, Science Advances, 8, eabo5546.


Dr. Michael Gryk presented a paper at the Balisage conference: ‘Human Readability of Data Files, Balisage, the Markup Conference, 2022.


Sandra Weller: Grant U19AI171421-01_AViDD U19 Submission-Project 6 “Development of outpatient antiviral cocktails against SARS-CoV-2 and other potential pandemic RNA viruses”

Spotlight: July 2022

On July 1, 2022, Dr. Steven Chou joined MBB as the newest tenure-track faculty member. Welcome Steve to MBB! His office is L3081, and his laboratory space is L3078. Stop by his office and get to know the new MBB space in the nicely renovated 3rd floor area. His laboratory is starting to look like a laboratory!

Big congratulations to Dr. Wendy Mok. Wendy received the 2022 Osborn Award. The Osborn Award is awarded to highlight Excellence in Graduate Teaching in Biomedical Science at UConn Health since 2005. This award is in honor of Dr. Mary Jane Osborn, who was the past Chair of the Department of Microbiology – which has become MBB. The award recognizes a UConn Health Graduate School faculty member for her commitment to providing the best education in the classroom and training in the laboratory. I am sure everybody in MBB agrees that Wendy is the perfect recipient – congratulations.

To spoil the Graduate Research Day party further for other departments – Ms. Margaret Vos (PI Dr. Page) received the 1st place Oral Presentation prize! Outstanding science and careful preparation of the presentation in the conference room next to my office with Rebecca and all members of the Page laboratory clearly help to achieve the success. Like cycling in the Tour de France –science is also quietly a team effort – and Margret was able to leverage it flawlessly – congratulations.


Ready for a big push in August!


D.M.D./Ph.D. student Patricia Hare (Mok Lab) was selected to give a talk on "Leveraging Probiotic Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 to Hinder Levofloxacin Persister Resuscitation" at the Gordon Research Seminar on Microbial Stress Response and presents her work at the GRC.

Probes of Labile Iron in the Mitochondrion and Relation to Ferroptosis.  R. Planalp, L. Povolotskiy, E. Andrews, S. Nguyen, L. Tesfay, A. Cowan, H. Vashisth and S.V. Torti. Gordon Research Conference, Metals in Medicine: Advancing the Use of Metal-Based Compounds and Nanotheranostics for Personalized Medicine.  Proctor Academy, Andover, New Hampshire, June 26 to July 1, 2022.


Sandra Weller: NIH U19 “Development of outpatient antiviral cocktails against SARS-CoV-2 and other potential pandemic RNA viruses”; the Weller lab is part of subproject 6 on the Stanford U19 grant. The grants goal is to develop strategies to antagonize the exoribonuclease.

Congratulations on All the Fantastic New Publications

Busy start to the summer.


Luxmi, R., Mains, R.E., Eipper, B.A., and King, S.M. (2022). Regulated processing and secretion of a peptide precursor in cilia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA in press.

Kristina N. Delgado, Jairo M. Montezuma-Rusca, Isabel C. Orbe, Melissa J. Caimano, Carson J. La Vake, Amit Luthra, Chris M. Hennelly, Fredrick N. Nindo, Jacob W. Meyer, Letitia D. Jones, Jonathan B. Parr, Juan C. Salazar, M. Anthony Moody, Justin D. Radolf, and Kelly L. Hawley, Extracellular loops of the Treponema pallidum FadL orthologs TP0856 and TP0858 elicit IgG antibodies and IgG+-specific B cells in the rabbit model of experimental syphilis, mBio (2022).


Trish Hare (Mok Lab) represented the UConn Dental School and participated in the Oral Health Sciences Graduate Programs in a Future and Diverse Workforce Symposium at the University of Michigan.

Wendy Mok gives a talk on bolstering the efficacy of topoisomerase inhibitors against antibiotic tolerant bacteria at the 50th Annual American Society for Chemistry Middle Atlantic Region Meeting (ACS-MARM) and at the Gordon Research Conference on Drug Resistance at Bryant College, RI.

Melissa Caimano, GRC Invited Speaker May 29, 2022. “Deciphering the RpoS Regulon and Regulatory Crosstalk in the Lyme Disease Spirochete throughout the Enzootic Cycle".

Peti, W. 6/9/2022; Yale University/Department of Pharmacology, Regulation of protein phosphatases (seminar presentation).

Other Activities

Melissa Caimano, elected Vice Chair for 2024 Gordon Research Conference on the Biology of Spirochetes.