Congratulations to Kaitlyn Waters, a graduate student in Systems Biology Lab, who received the graduate fellowship from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) NBAF Scientist Training Program (NSTP).
This fellowship is highly competitive and the awardees are a distinguished group of highly qualified graduate fellows with the skillset and drive to meet the scientific goals and development needs of the APHIS Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, and subsequently, at the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF) National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF). The mission of this training program is paramount to the long-term success of FADDL, and of NBAF as a whole, as NSTP fellows will be the next generation of subject matter experts in emerging and foreign/transboundary animal diseases. The APHIS-FADDL mission directly supports activities to prevent, respond and control outbreaks of emerging and foreign animal diseases. FADDL scientists have dedicated their careers to enhancing USDA’s ability to protect America’s agriculture through implementation of the best diagnostic tools; surveillance of the national animal herd; education of federal, state, and military veterinarians; and personification of public service and stewards of our food supply. Plum Island is home to some of the most distinguished foreign animal disease experts in the world, and they are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge with you, the next generation of FADDL scientists.
On July 20th, 2018, Feng Wen, a graduate student in Systems Biology Lab, accomplished the defense on his dissertation titled “Characterization of mutations in the receptor binding site of influenza A viruses determining virus host, tissue, and cell tropisms using systems biology approaches”.
Feng Wen is the recipient of 2018 outstanding graduate student award at Mississippi State University.
Congratulations, Feng! Very proud!
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Sherry Blackmon, a DVM/PhD student in our lab, passed her North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE)!
Sherry Blackman, a DVM/PhD student in our lab, was selected to attend the AVMA Legislative fly-in to be held in DC on March 26 - 27th . Sherry is one of two students from each vet school selected by the veterinary student officers of Student American Veterinary Medical Association (SCAVMA).
FLU research team led by MSU's Dr. Henry Wan using "machine learning" and "big data" process to determine the best vaccines for combating new and existing strains.
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A recent collaboration between SystemsBio lab and multiple research institutes, titled "Pathogenicity and transmission of a swine influenza A(H6N6) virus" published in Emerging Microbes & Infections is featured in PIG PROGRESS news. Our findings suggest H6N6 swine IAV (SIV) currently poses a moderate risk to public health, but its evolution and spread should be closely monitored.
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Congratulations to Dr. Henry Wan on being honored the 2017 Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award at Mississippi State, is congratulated by Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw, left, and Vice President for the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine Greg Bohach, right.
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Congratulations to four outstanding students graduated this semester: Dr. Brigitte Martin, Lucas Ferguson, Bianca Quake, and Karen Nguyen (left to right). Good luck and best wishes to all of you!
Bianca Quade, a recently graduated undergraduate student in SystemsBio lab, has been accepted at the SUNY University, Buffalo, New York. She will be working towards her PhD degree in Biomedical Sciences starting from this Fall with a Presidential Fellowship award.
Lucas Ferguson, an undergraduate student in SystemsBio lab, receives a 2017 research award from College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.
A recent collaboration between SystemsBio lab and multiple research institutes, titled "Low-Pathogenic Influenza A Viruses in North American Diving Ducks Contribute to the Emergence of a Novel Highly Pathogenic Influenza A(H7N8) Virus" published in J. Viral. is featured in USGS (U. S. Geological Survey) news.
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Brigitte Martin, a veterinary medicine science doctoral student in SystemsBio lab, was among six graduate students who were recognized as MSU Graduate School Student Hall of Fame Scholars.
Original post: Mississippi State University Graduate School Student Hall of Fame Scholars were formally recognized during a Graduate Student Appreciation Week ceremony held recently on the Starkville campus.
Pictured are (left to right) Mohammad Mahtabi, Brigitte E. Martin, Alexander Tice, Mariela G. Gantchoff, Nathaniel L. Hammond and Kimberly Mason Peeples. Nominated by a department head and selected by the dean of their respective colleges, the scholars all have made significant contributions to the growth of MSU through their exemplary leadership abilities and research or teaching skills in their chosen fields of study.
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The Department of Basic Sciences hosted a party to celebrate Lucas' Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
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Congratulations to Lucas Ferguson, a undergradute in our lab, who received the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship. This is MSU's first recipient for this scholarship.
Lucas J. Ferguson of Batesville, a 2016 Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College Outstanding Research Award recipient, is among 36 selected to receive one of the most generous international scholarships awarded by the University of Cambridge. In addition to the full cost of studying at one of the world’s leading universities, the award provides additional discretionary funding.
The scholarship is provided by the Gates Cambridge Trust, which is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council in England via the University of Cambridge. For more information about the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, please visit www.gatescambridge.org.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum called Ferguson’s selection “another resounding endorsement of the fact that Mississippi State empowers our students to compete on an international scale.”
“Lucas Ferguson is the latest MSU student to make his mark by claiming one of the world’s leading higher education opportunities based on his intellect, hard work, and the educational foundation he earned at our university,” said Keenum. “Whether the scholarship is Gates, Rhodes, Truman, Goldwater, or a host of other top drawer opportunities, MSU students are competing and winning.”
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On December 9th, 2016, Yifei Xu, a graduate student in Systems Biology Lab, received his PhD degree.
He will be joining Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Brigitte Martin, a graduate in our lab, who received a Couvillion Award from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University. Brigitte will use this award for travel expenses to attend a scientific meeting to present the results of her research.
Background for Couvillion Award: In January of 2007, Linda Couvillion McGrath and Family established the C. EDWARD COUVILLION, DVM, PHD, ENDOWED GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP at Mississippi State University. The scholarship was established because of the impact that Dr. Couvillion had on the lives of everyone he came in contact with and because of his dedication to teaching, service, and research. This endowed graduate scholarship is the first endowment in the MSU-CVM Office for Research and Graduate Studies. The awardee must be actively involved in research and whose career goal will lead to further research, and studies in parasitology and/or wildlife diseases will be favored.
Bianca Quade, an undergraduate in our lab, has received a Summer internship sponsored by the DAAD RISE program . RISE Germany offers undergraduate students from North American and British universities the opportunity to complete a summer research internship at top German universities and research institutions. Bianca will be working with Dr. Markus Kretz at University of Regensberg for a project to explore the effects of an EDClnc1 knockout on epidermal homeostasis
Way to go, Bianca!
Congratulations to Lucas Ferguson, an undergraduate in our lab, who has received a Summer Fellowship Award of $1,000 from Shackouls Honors College, Mississippi State University. Lucas will be visiting China this Summer for one month to explore the polymorphisms of Mx1 genes in domestic poultry and their roles in resistance against influenza virus infection.
Sixty Mississippi State students, faculty and staff are 2016 selections for exceptional research and leadership honors. MSU President Mark E. Keenum welcomed honorees, their guests and senior administrators to a campus awards luncheon Thursday [April 28] in the Hunter Henry Center’s Hal and Linda Parker Ballroom. Keenum praised the researchers and scientists for their work and contributions to the university.
Yifei Xu, a PhD student, and Lucas Ferguson, an undergraduate student, both from our lab, were honored with this great recognition. Congratulations, Yifei and Lucas! Read more
During the university’s recent Graduate Student Research Symposium, 23 men and women working on master’s and doctoral degrees received top awards for their work during the fall 2015 and spring 2016 semesters.
Brigitte E. Martin from our lab presented her research in the panel of LIFE AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES and won the 3rd place. Congrats, Brigitte! Read more
A Batesville honors student at Mississippi State is the lead author on a research study being published in the December edition of an international medical journal.
The report in Virology by university junior Lucas J. Ferguson is titled “Influenza D virus infection in Mississippi beef cattle.” A new influenza virus and its impacts on bovine production systems is the article’s focus.
Ferguson, a double-major in microbiology and biochemistry, is a graduate of the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus. A first-place winner earlier this year in MSU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium competition, he is a President’s List Scholar and Shackouls Honors College member. Read more
On August 13th MSU-CVM held its annual research day symposium. Our lab members have participated in several categories. Yifei Xu, a PhD student, has participated in graduate student oral presentation about H7 Avian Influenza virus. Sherry Blackmon, a DVM-PhD student, and Kaitlyn Waters, a PhD student, have participated and won 2nd and 3rd places in graduate student poster presentation. Dr. Yang, a postdoctoral associate, Minghui Guan, a master student, and Lucas Ferguson, an undergraduate student, have also participated in poster presentation. Congratulations to all our lab members!
Lucas Ferguson, an undergraduate student working in Dr. Wan’s lab, presented his poster "Influenza D Virus Infection in Mississippi Beef Cattle" at the American Society of Virology 34th Annual Meeting, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. He received $750 travel award from the University Honors Office for this travel.
MSU-CVM veterinary students are provided with multiple sources of fundings to travel abroad to expand their veterinary experience, enhance their leadership skills, and teach others - all while helping people and animals in need.
Fundings includes: the Pegasus Partners Fund (established in 2013), the Paul Farmer Memorial and Nutramax Laboratories Student Travel Fund, and the Paul Eggert International Education Travel Fund.
Sherry Blackmon, our lab member and DVM-PhD student, is among those recipients. She traveled to Uganda studying transboundary diseases. The funding programs and Sherry's travel are published in MSU-CVM Pegasus Press, Summer 2015 edition
Influenza remains among the deadliest diseases known to living organisms on Earth.
Every year, the flu kills thousands of people. But in recent years, the type that scares the public the most has been avian flu strains, such as the H5N1 threat that spread from Asia to Europe and Africa in the early 2000s and has affected 650 humans in 15 countries since 2003.
Now, a new strain of avian flu, H5N2, is moving through poultry farms across the upper plains and Midwest regions of the U.S. and Canada.
Dr. Henry Wan, a systems biology professor at Mississippi State University, is among the world's preeminent authorities on avian flu. He said it is important we not overreact with fear.
Wan was the first researcher to recognize and document the avian flu. He was a 23-year-old master's student in his native China when he identified influenza in geese in 1996. It was the original discovery of the H5N1 virus. Read more
Lucas Ferguson, an undergraduate student, microbiology and biochemistry/bioinformatics double-major, has participated in the MSU 2014-2015 Undergraduate Research Symposium, and has won a tied first place in the category of Biological Sciences and Engineering. Congratulations, Lucas! Read more
While scientists and physicians continue to discuss how this year’s influenza vaccine has proven to be relatively ineffective, a Mississippi professor has already begun working on next year’s vaccine.
Dr. Henry Wan, an associate professor at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, recently won a $1.8 million grant to help research flu strains and develop an effective vaccine for next year’s flu season. Read more
In the midst of one of the worst overall influenza seasons, a Mississippi State researcher is part of an international effort to develop next season's vaccines.
Dr. Henry Wan, an associate professor at the university's College of Veterinary Medicine, has been awarded a National Institutes of Health RO1 grant to develop better ways of determining new flu vaccines. He is a 2002 doctor of philosophy graduate of the college.
Dr. Kent Hoblet, veterinary college dean, said R01 "is the original and historically oldest" NIH grant mechanism. In addition to being highly sought, the awards typically have a funding rate of less than 10 percent of the total submitted proposals, he noted.
To determine funding, Hoblet said the federal agency scores applications and "Dr. Wan achieved a perfect score, a very rare and difficult feat." Read more
Dr. Xiu-Feng (Henry) Wan could be on the faculty of many other major research institutions. He remains at Mississippi State University, however, because of the freedom the institution gives him to research in a manner he finds both personally satisfying and beneficial to animals and humans.
Wan is a leading influenza viral scientist and chooses the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine as his professional base. He is an associate professor in systems biology in the Department of Basic Sciences, a role he has held well over a decade.
A goal for Wan is to take MSU to the pinnacle of research by one day developing a universal vaccine for influenza viruses in humans and animals that is both efficient and economical. Wan became the first scientist to isolate the highly pathogenic H5NI avian influenza virus while doing graduate work in China, and today he continues his life’s research on that particular virus and other viruses. Read more
Research Day and Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Symposium was held on August 14-15. Our lab members participated and won prizes. Brigitte Martin, PhD student, won 2nd place in Graduate Student Oral Presentation category; and Elizabeth Bailey won 2nd place in Graduate Student Poster category. Congratulations, Brigitte and Elizabeth!
While many students took a break this summer from the rigors of college life, one Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine student spent her time researching amoeba-related diseases.
Janet Gomez, a fourth year doctor of veterinary medicine student, spent nine weeks in the Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program. She was part of a group of 10 students selected out of 263 applicants. The program gave her experience in epidemiology, the branch of medicine related to the causes and possible control of diseases.Read full story
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 30 university students to attend USDA's 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum, titled "The Changing Face of Agriculture," to be held Feb. 20- 21, 2014, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. Twenty university juniors and seniors were chosen on the basis of their essays on "Agriculture as a Career," and 10 graduate students were selected for their response to "The Greatest Challenge Facing Agriculture over the Next Five Years."
Sherry Blackmon, a DVM-PhD student from our lab, has been awarded among 10 graduate student winners. Congratulations, Sherry! Read more
Lucas Ferguson is a little different from most other Mississippi State University freshmen.
Ferguson, a Batesville native, got a head start on his goal to become a medical researcher last year while still a senior at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus. Ferguson began learning basic biosafety and maintenance procedures by assisting Dr. Henry Wan’s graduate, Ph.D. and post-doctoral students with their research in the virology laboratory.Read more
Mississippi State University has been awarded a $10 million grant for five years of support from the National Institutes of Health to further research focusing on diseases that affect animal and human health.
NIH's Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence, or COBRE, provides competitive grants in support of multidisciplinary centers that strengthen institutional biomedical research capacity.
MSU researchers started the planning process for competing for the grant in 2010.
The research will be conducted among three core centers at MSU: the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Institute of Genomics, Biocomputing and Biotechnology, and the Institute for Imaging and Analytical Technologies. The MSU-CVM will administer the grant and research activities. Read more
Seasonal flu causes approximately 24,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations in the United States each year, and a researcher at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine is aiming to improve the system for developing life-saving flu vaccines.
Flu viruses change from season to season, and mutations in flu viruses' proteins cause the viruses to change and go through a process called antigenic drift. Once the viruses' hosts (animals and humans) develop immunities to certain strains of a flu virus, the virus changes. Because of this constant fluctuation in viruses, scientists constantly monitor the movement and mutations in viruses to best develop vaccines. This is an expensive and time-consuming process.
Henry Wan, associate professor at MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, and his colleagues recently published a study in mBio, an American Society of Microbiology publication, that outlines a possibly more efficient and cost-effective way to develop flu vaccines. Read more
Pandemic flu continues to threaten public health, especially in the wake of the recent emergence of an H7N9 low pathogenic avian influenza strain in humans. A recent study published in PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, provides new information for public health officials on mitigating the spread of infection from emerging flu viruses. Dr. Henry Wan, associate professor at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine led a study with researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology, Marshall University, and Universidad Miguel Hernández in Spain called "A perspective on multiple waves of influenza pandemics" that brings new insight into the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, and may help officials prepare for future pandemics. Read more
Pandemic flu continues to threaten public health, especially in the wake of the recent emergence of an H7N9 low pathogenic avian influenza strain in humans.
A recent study published in PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, provides new information for public health officials on mitigating the spread of infection from emerging flu viruses. Dr. Henry Wan, associate professor at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine led a study with researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology, Marshall University, and Universidad Miguel HernÃ¡ndez in Spain called "A perspective on multiple waves of influenza pandemics" that brings new insight into the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, and may help officials prepare for future pandemics. Read more
n associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Henry Wan blends biology with computer science for a better understanding and tracking of influenza viruses.
Wan and his graduate students work on a number of different projects, including genomic dynamics, evolution and ecology of influenza A viruses, influenza-host interaction, new pathogen discovery using meta-genomics, and dynamics of microbial community in hosts and its association with disease burden.
The work Wan has accomplished in these areas while a student and now as a professor shows it takes an understanding of more than just biological sciences to conduct research these days. Students studying with the professor learn the importance of approaching a given project from a variety of angles. Read more
A Mississippi State University researcher has uncovered the first molecular evidence linking live poultry markets in China to human H5N1 avian influenza.
Henry Wan, an assistant professor in systems biology at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, collaborated with scientists in the World Health Organization Collaborative Centers for Influenza in China and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to investigate the connection.
“Although conceptually we knew live bird markets posed a risk for human H5N1 infection, there had previously not been any direct evidence, especially molecular evidence, supporting this hypothesis,” Wan said. Read more
A Mississippi State University researcher has found that biology and computer science make the perfect combination for tracking animal flu viruses.
Henry Wan is an assistant professor in systems biology at MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and has years of experience studying flu viruses. While doing graduate work in China, Wan became the first scientist to isolate the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus. Soon after this discovery, highly pathogenic H5N1 outbreaks occurred in poultry in Asia, Europe and Africa. More than 440 confirmed human cases across 15 countries were also caused by this virus. About 60 percent of them were fatal.
“I became very interested in influenza viruses during my education,” Wan said. “My research centers around influenza A viruses -- where they come from, why they change and how they spread.”
Wan developed computer programs that provide information on each one of the more than 20,000 viruses’ gene segments. The program displays each gene segment and provides a map showing the distances between the segments. The information is used to determine how the segments relate to each other and group together to form different influenza viruses. Read more