Download a copy of the Fall 2021 Symposium Proceedings

 

The Theobald Smith Society Fall 2021 Symposium was held 8 December 2021 and attended virtually by 99 faculty, post-docs, graduate and undergraduate students, professionals from industry and government as well as retirees from the following institutions and companies: Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo, Ndufu, Nigeria, Ambix Labs, Totowa, NJ, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ, Cepheid, Sunnyvale, CA, Cooper Medical School, Camden, NJ, CVS, Woonsocket, RI, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ, Mercer County Community College, West Windsor Township, NJ, Middlesex County College, Edison, NJ, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Professional Disposables International, Inc., Woodcliff Lake, NJ, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, Safe At Home Environmental, Albuquerque, NM, Sussex County Community College, Newton, NJ, T2 Biosystems, Lexington, MA, The Warhol Institute, Leonardo, NJ, Union County College, Cranford, NJ, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, Weill Cornell of Medicine, NY, NY, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ

4:55 pm

Opening remarks by Valerie Carabetta, President, Theobald Smith Society

 

Keynote Speakers

 

5:00 pm

“Systems biology insights into antimicrobial resistance physiology”, Jason H. Yang, Assistant Professor and Chancellor Scholar Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Center for Emerging and Re-Emerging Pathogens, Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

 

5:30 pm

“Virulence through metabolism in Staphylococcus aureus”, Dane Parker, Center for Immunity and Inflammation, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

 

Invited Speakers

 

6:00 pm

“Microbes in the Movies, The Early Years (It All Started in New Jersey!)”, John G Warhol, The Warhol Institute, Leonardo, New Jersey

 

6:10 pm

“RNA structure-dependent activation of the innate immune response by influenza virus mini-viral RNAs”, Emmanuelle Pitré, University of Cambridge, Department of Pathology, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom and Lewis Thomas Laboratory, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, NJ

 

6:20 pm

“Copper inhibits pentose phosphate pathway function in Staphylococcus aureus”, Javiera Norambuena, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ

 

6:30 PM

“DNA uptake in the deep-sea Epsilonproteobacterium, Caminibacter mediatlanticus”, Avanthika Bharath, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

 

6:40 pm

“Development of an in vivo site-specific photo-cross-linking and mass spectrometry-based approach to identify the small protein interactome”, Kyle S. Skalenko, Department of Genetics and Waksman Institute, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

 

6:50 pm

“Reconstitution of the Nem1-Spo7 protein phosphatase complex into unilamellar phospholipid vesicles reveals its dependence on phosphatidic acid for the dephosphorylation of Pah1”, Joanna M. Kwiatek, Rutgers Center for Lipid Research, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

 

Poster Presentations        7:00-8:30 pm

 

Microbiome associations with vitamin B12 status in adults.

Marijke Rittmann 1, Guojun Wu 2,3, Dian Sulistyoningrum 4, Tim Green 4, Emily Hanselman 1, Liping Zhao 2,3, Joshua W. Miller 1,2*, Yan Y. Lam 2,5*

1. Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

2. Center for Nutrition, Microbiome, and Health, Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

3. Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

4. Women and Kids Theme, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, SA, Australia

5. Centre for Chinese Herbal Medicine Drug Development, School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China

*Co-corresponding authors

 

The influence of respiration on dispersal of fermentative Staphylococcus aureus biofilms.

Franklin Román-Rodríguez, Jeffrey M. Boyd

Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

 

Reconstitution of the Nem1-Spo7 protein phosphatase complex into unilamellar phospholipid vesicles reveals its dependence on phosphatidic acid for the dephosphorylation of Pah1.

Joanna M. Kwiatek, Gil-Soo Han, George M. Carman

Rutgers Center for Lipid Research, Rutgers University, 61 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ

 

Optimization of waste-produced polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) bioplastic production from wastewater activated sludge.

Bo Deng, Lucia Rodríguez-Freire

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ

 

Sphingolipid metabolism in gram-negative bacteria.

Lauren A. Hinkel 1, Eric Klein 1, and Matthew J. Wargo 2

1. Department of Biology, Rutgers University-Camden, Camden, NJ

2. Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, The University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, Burlington, VT

 

PFAS distribution in contaminated soils and impact on rhizosphere and plant microbiota.

Boran Wang 1, James F. White 2, Lucia Rodriguez-Freire 1

1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ

2. Department of Plant Biology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

 

Interaction sites of the Nem1-Spo7/Pah1 phosphatase cascade in yeast lipid synthesis.

Ruta Jog, Mona Mirheydari, Gil-Soo Han, and George M. Carman

Rutgers Center for Lipid Research; New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health, New Brunswick, NJ

 

Microbes in the Movies, The Early Years (It All Started in New Jersey!).

John G Warhol

The Warhol Institute, Leonardo, New Jersey

 

Copper inhibits pentose phosphate pathway function in Staphylococcus aureus.

Javiera Norambuena 1, Hassan Al-Tameemi 1, William Beavers 2, Dane Parker 3, Eric Skaar 2 and Jeffrey M. Boyd 1

1. Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ

2. Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

3. Department of Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

 

Post-doc Poster Presentation Award:

Triclosan activation of SaeRS-dependent virulence factor expression in Staphylococcus aureus.

Erin E. Price and Jeffrey M. Boyd

Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

 

Antimicrobial and Antibiofilm Potential of a Medicinal Plant Root Extract.

Nuha Sbateen, Muizzat Alli, Malika Abakkass, and Meriem Bendaoud

Biology Department, The New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ

 

The antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity of N-acetyl-L-cysteine and L-histidine on different strains of pathogenic bacteria and fungi.

Muizzat Alli, Nuha Sbateen, Malika Abakass , and Meriem Bendaoud

Biology Department, The New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ

 

Antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity of natural compounds produced by unknown marine bacteria or the human body.

Malika Abakkass, Muizzat Alli, Nuha Sbateen, and Meriem Bendaoud

Biology Department, The New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ

 

Graduate Student Poster Presentation Award:

Extracellular, intracellular and total antibiotic resistance genes: abundance in river water, biofilm, and sediment and diversity and host assignment in bed sediments.

Deshpande AS 1, Fahrenfeld NL 2

1. Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

2. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

 

Synergistic effect of the combination of diverse dietary fibers on modulating human gut microbiota.

Yongjia Gong, Guojin Wu, Cuiping Zhao, Yan Y. Lam, Liping Zhao

Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

 

Lipid flippase subunit Cdc50 mediates drug resistance and fungal virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans.

Wei Huang, Yina Wang, Guojian Liao, Gregory Baker, Padmaja Paderu, David Perlin, Chaoyang Xue

The Public Health Research institute, Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Genetics, Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

 

Development of an in vivo site-specific photo-cross-linking and mass spectrometry-based approach to identify the small protein interactome.

Kyle S. Skalenko, McKenzie Burge, Samhita Yadavalli

Department of Genetics and Waksman Institute, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

 

Using the minion to rapidly profile the oyster microbiome.

Heidi D. Yeh, Lee J. Kerkhof, and David Bushek

Department of Marine & Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

 

Detection of sepsis-causing pathogens using an innovative and rapid molecular diagnostic test.

Sana Vaiyani, Aparna Ahuja.

T2 Biosystems, Lexington, MA

 

Microplastics as hubs enriching antibiotic-resistant bacteria and pathogens in municipal activated sludge.

Dung Ngoc Pham, Lerone Clark, and Mengyan Li

Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ

 

RNA structure-dependent activation of the innate immune response by influenza virus mini-viral RNAs.

Hollie French 1*, Emmanuelle Pitré 1,2*, Aartjan J.W. te Velthuis 1,2

1. University of Cambridge, Department of Pathology, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, United Kingdom

2. Lewis Thomas Laboratory, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, NJ

*Contributed equally

 

Graduate Student Poster Presentation Award:

Dual functions of a biosynthetic enzyme (QueE) in bacterial stress response and translation

Samuel A Adeleye and Srujana S Yadavalli

Department of Genetics and Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

 

Undergraduate Student Poster Presentation Award:

IGP synthase in Mycobacterium tuberculosis mutant E57Q

Natalie Jefferson, Sarah Cho, Maryum Bhatti, David Konas, Nina Goodey

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ

 

DNA uptake in the deep-sea Epsilonproteobacterium, Caminibacter mediatlanticus

Avanthika Bharath, Costantino Vetriani

Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

 

Malonate utilization regulates quorum sensing and virulence factors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Moamen M. Elmassry 1,2, Karishma Bisht 1, Jane A. Colmer-Hamood 3,4, Catherine A. Wakeman 1, Michael J. San Francisco 1,5, Abdul N. Hamood 3,6

1. Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

2. Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

3. Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX

4. Department of Medical Education, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX

5. Honors College, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

6. Department of Surgery, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX