Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Microbiology and Immunology

College of Veterinary Medicine
Cornell University
C5 181 VMC
Ithaca, NY 14853-6401

phone: 607-253-3400
fax: 607-253-3384

Email: M & I

News and Events





The Teratology Society has awarded Dr. Rodney Dietert the James G. Wilson Publication Award for the paper: "The Microbiome in Early Life: Self-Completion and Microbiota Protection as Health Priorities. More can be found here.

The Cornell Chronicle's article on Dr. Avery August receiving the E. E. Just Lecture Award can be found here.

Nancy Redd interviewed Dr. Cynthia Leifer about the recent outbreak of measles at Disneyland and the reasons for immunizing people on the Huff Post Live website found here. (Jan. 2015)

Dr. Cynthia Leifer’s article points out how important it is for everyone that can be vaccinated should be. More on this topic can be found here. (Jan. 2015)

More information on the award for the film MicroBirth featuring Dr. Rodney Dietert and brief appearances by several others in the Dept. can be found here. (Oct. 2014)

Just-published,  open access, peer-reviewed paper on Dr. Rodney Dietert's new teaching initiatives.  It highlights the utility of a variety of contemplative practices for creative problem solving within biomedical education and Cornell at the leading edge in health education initiatives. (here) (July 2014)

Cornell researchers have identified a type of immune system cell that prevents a patient’s body from attacking donor cells after a bone marrow transplant, a condition called graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Read more on the research of Dr. Avery August in the Cornell Chronicle (here). (June 2014)

Dr. Rodney Dietert was recently featured in the College News for a article he did in Eureka called Zen-ing Your Research: Or how to add some introspection to the scientific research model. (read more) (June 2014)

Dr. Brian Rudd was recently featured in the College News  and Futurity because of his research on infant immunity. "Forgetful immune systems leave infants particularly prone to infections. Upending the common theory that weak immune cells are to blame, a Cornell study has found that infants’ immune systems actually respond to infection with more speed and strength than adults, but the immunities they create fail to last." (read more) (May 2014)

Dr. Rodney Dietert was recently mentioned in the College News because of an invited article on early immune education which is published on Eureka, a Charles River science blog. (read more) (Apr. 2014)

Dr. Dwight Bowman and his lab were recently mentioned in the College News because of their findings in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery,where they identified a mystery worm never before seen in cats. (read more) (Feb. 2014)

Dr. Rodney Dietert is a featured author on the World Scientific web site.  His new book "Science Sifting:  Tools for Innovation for Science and Technology" is based on his own experiences of moving shamelessly between science, history, and the arts. (read more) (Aug. 2013)

Dr. Brian Rudd is examining a new angle immunizations could take in protecting infants and children from a slew of infectious diseases, with an approach that will upturn prevailing perceptions about newborns’ susceptibility to infection.  ..... His lab is adjusting the expression of different proteins in different-aged T cells to determine how developmental variation in these factors influence memory cell behavior and fate. They are also performing genome-wide analyses of different-aged T cells to find the genes that code these differences.(read more). (Aug. 2013)

Dr. Gary Whittaker's lab uncovered what makes feline enteric coronavirus (FECV), a common benign intestinal virus, mutate into the malignant feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV), using novel biochemical analysis and traditional comparative genomic analysis. The findings are to be published in Emerging Infectious Disease in July 2013.  (read more in the Cornell Chronicle) (June 2013)

Dr. Judith Appleton and Dr. Dwight Bowman were awarded Academic Venture Fund awards by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future .  The annual AVF seed awards emphasize research with potential to grow by engaging external partners, including industry, government, foundations, and NGOs, and create viable solutions to our world’s most pressing problems.  Dr. Appleton, with Dr. Frank Schroeder of the Boyce Thompson Institute, works on the project "Small Molecules to Vanquish Parasitic Worms" that applies cutting-edge chemical technology to discover novel small molecules, called ascarosides, in Trichuris worms. An ascaroside-based vaccine to protect children and livestock from worm infections is the ultimate goal.  Dr Bowman works with several other Cornell faculty on the project "A Toilet with Biological Pathogen Control"; the group has invented a simple toilet that uses a solar-heated fermentation bag to produce butyric acid—an integrated bioreactor that kills E. coli, parasitic worm eggs, and other pathogens.  They will survey three Ethiopian communities to establish that the design is culturally acceptable and construction and operating costs sustainable. (May 2013)

Dr. David Russell's paper "Infection of macrophages with Mycobacterium tuberculosis induces global modifications to phagosomal function" in Cellular Microbiology is the Editor's Choice for June. His postdoctoral associate Dr. Maria Podinovskaia is the first author.  (Read more on the Cellular Microbiology web site) (May 2013)

Grad student in the department, Mr. Chavez Carter, winner of the Yale Diversity Conference for best oral presentation in a natural or physical science, was inducted into the Cornell chapter of the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. (read more on the Chronicle) (May 2013)

Dr. Avery August's new findings were published in the Cutting Edge section of the Journal of Immunology in March, and featured in the Cornell Chronicle. His lab has found that small populations of pre-programmed immune cells can fight specific pathogens they have not yet encountered. .....(read more on the Chronicle).  (April 2013)

Dr. Emily Cornwell in the Bowser Lab won the Best Overall presentation at the College’s first annual DVM Research Poster Symposium.  Dr. Cornwell was a DVM-PhD dual degree program student, and was awarded a Ph.D. degree in August 2012.  She is currently pursuing her DVM degree and conducts research s as a post-doc in the Boswer Lab.  (read the article on the Best Presentation Award)  (April 2013).

Dr. Rodney Dietert's lecture at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture on June 25, 2012 about science and creativity can now be accessed on their web site, at:
He will also offer a new course on this topic (ANSC/BIOMS 4400 Tools for a Lifelong Career in Research) this fall. (June 2012)

Our Graduate Student Ms. Deeqa Mahamed has been awarded an NRSA pre-doctoral fellowship by the National Institution of Health for her research on the role of CD73 in toxoplasma gondii pathogenesis.  Deeqa is a 5th year student in Dr. Bynoe's lab. (June 2012)

Dr. Margaret Bynoe's recent discovery was reported on the Cornell Chronicle Online.  Her lab recently found that A2A adenosine receptor's control of the movement of immune cells across central nervous system barriers (including the blood-brain barrier) may hold the key to treating multiple sclerosis (MS), a neuroinflammatory disease of the central nervous system. ... (to read the full story, click here) (June 2012)

Ms. Nebiat Gebreselassie, graduate student in the Appleton Lab, won the AAI Young Investigator best oral presentation award.  Her presentation at the recent 16th Annual Woods Hole Immunoparasitology Meeting  was chosen as the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Young Investigator best oral presentation.  Nebi’s talk, entitled “Eosinophils and STAT6 Signaling Regulate Trichinella spiralis Muscle Infection by Controlling Parasite Growth” dealt with her recent paradoxical findings that eosinophils are required for efficient growth of Trichinella, which is contrary to current dogma on the role of these cells in parasitic infections.  Nebi works with Prof. Judy Appleton in the Baker Institute for Animal Health, who is also a member of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. (Apr. 2012)

Dr. Rod Dietert's recent webinar lecture for the Partnerships in Environmental Public Health and the 2010 general-audience book are discussed in the The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences newsletter.  For more details, visit the web newsletter