The Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry is the newest basic science
department at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. The department was
established in 2000 by combining the existing Department of Biochemistry and the Department
of Microbiology and Immunology. This fusion has resulted in a new dynamic and complementary
blending of faculty talents in a way that encourages interdisciplinary activities
both within the department and among our faculty and faculty from other departments
Dr. David Nelson Co-Authors Paper on Unique Lifestyle and Survival of Asian Longhorned
Dr. Nelson has co-authored a paper that provides insight into the lifestyle and unique survival of the Asian longhorned beetle, a tree eating insect. It belongs to a large group (greater than 35,000 species)
of longhorned beetles that feed on wood. This is the first member of that group to
have its genome sequenced. The findings were published in the latest edition of open
access journal Genome Biology.
Finding the Keys to Stop Zika Virus
Dr. Husni Elbahesh was interviewed in Science Sound Bites to discuss viruses.
Dr. Michael Whitt interviewed on TV: Are we prepared for a major virus outbreak?
Dr. Whitt was interviewed on WREG-TV Channel 3 Live@9 . He said a major virus outbreak
like we saw last year with Ebola could easily happen again. He also talked about the
recent outbreak of MERS.
Dr. Michael Whitt Co-authors New Book about Ebola and Other Deadly Viruses, Advises
Vigilance and Rapid Action to Prevent Future Outbreaks like the 2014 Ebola Epidemic
in West Africa
Dr. Whitt, professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Biochemistry
in the College of Medicine at UTHSC, and Asit K. Pattnaik, PhD, professor in the School
of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, are co-authors
of the book titled, “Biology and Pathogenesis of Rhabdo- and Filoviruses,” published
by World Scientific. The book reviews the most recent findings on the replication
of this group of human pathogens, including the biology of the rabies virus, as well
as Marburg and Ebola viruses, and the response of host cells to infection (full story).
Paper from Dr. Terrance Cooper's Lab Featured in Saccharomyces Genome Database Blog
A recently published paper from Dr. Terrance Cooper’s lab was highlighted by the News and Noteworthy blog at the Saccharomyces Genome Database Blog site.
These images depict two yeast strains: Images I-L are of a mutant containing an alteration
of the rare glutamine tRNACAG. Images M-P are of a double mutant, the tRNA mutation
described above along with a deletion of the Ure2 negative regulator of the Gln3 transcription
activator. The left four images are in the absence of the drug rapamycin, whereas
the right four images are of cultures containing the drug. The Gln3 transcription
factor tagged with Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) accounts for the green color.
Dr. David Nelson named among the world's most influential scientists by Thomson Reuters
The Thomson Reuters report distinguishes scientists and researchers who have written the greatest number of
articles ranking among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication.
Dr. Maria Gomes-Solecki on the cover of MBQ: Inside Memphis Business as a 2014 Innovation
Dr. Maria Gomes-Solecki was recognized for researching and developing a unique way
to prevent the spread of Lyme disease - an oral vaccine for mice, the prime carriers
of the bacteria that cause the disease.
Dr. Michael Whitt Interviewed on Fox 13
In light of reports of two cases of tuberculosis in Shelby County Schools, Michael
Whitt, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and
Biochemistry, was interviewed on Fox 13 about the disease and what parents need to know.
Dr. Marko Radic gave a plenary session talk at the International Congress on Autoimmunity
On March 28, 2014, Marko Radic, faculty in MIB, gave a plenary session talk about
the research performed in his laboratory on the "Citrullination of Autoantigens" at
the 9th International Congress on Autoimmunity in Nice, France.
Stuart M. Levitz, M.D. named as 23rd Annual Edwin H. Beachey Distinguished Visiting
Dr. Levitz gave two talks on May 7:
- Medical Grand Rounds: "The Fungus Among Our Patients"; 8:00 AM, Coleman North Auditorium
- Research Seminar: "Understanding and Exploiting Host Responses to Fungi"; 1:30 PM,
Freeman Auditorium, Hamilton Eye Institute
Dr. Husni Elbahesh's visit to MIB
Dr. Husni Elbahesh, Ph.D. explains the fascinating roles of "Virus Host Interactions"
at lunch and during a special seminar presentation Monday April 21, 2014 MSB.
Dr. Michael Whitt Named as Department Chair
On November 8, 2013, the department got together in the MIB Bistro to celebrate Dr.
Michael Whitt being named chair of our department.