Martin awarded MSU Graduate School Student Hall of Fame Scholar

Posted on 04/13/2017 Archive: MSU

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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Lucas Ferguson won first place in 2014-15 Undergraduate Research Symposium

Posted on 04/24/2015 Archive: MSU

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

MSU Newsroom: MSU researcher, alum among those working on new flu vaccine

Posted on 02/05/2015 Archive: MSU

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

Associate professor impacts worldwide health through discovery

Posted on 12/01/2014 Archive: MSU

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

MSU Newsroom: MSU researcher aims to improve flu vaccine development

Posted on 07/08/2013 Archive: MSU

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

MSU Newsroom: New study offers insight on pandemic flu

Posted on 04/23/2013 Archive: MSU

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

MSU researcher finds link to H5N1 bird flu

Posted on 02/02/2012 Archive: MSU

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

MSU researcher combines computers, biology to track flu

Posted on 02/25/2010 Archive: MSU

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