Daniel Slade, along with PI Paul Carlier from the Department of Chemistry at Virginia Tech, and Belen Cassera at the University of Georgia were awarded the first R21 portion of an R21/R33 award to develop potent inhibitors and potential therapeutics against the essential enzyme IspD from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The Slade Lab will perform protein expression, purification, and crystallography studies to obtain high quality crystal structures of currently developed inhibitors and future inhibitors facilitated by this grant. We are excited to work with such a strong team, and you can learn more about the proposal here at The NIH RePORT page. Stay tuned for a news article by Virginia Tech in the very near future.
We would like to thank the VTCDD for funding our proposal that will look at small molecules to modulate host proteins that are critical for bacterial entry into human cells. This grant will allow us to kickstart a much larger effort to perform a tour de force analysis of host factors hijacked by multiple Gram-negative bacteria to begin their intracellular lifestyle.
It's always fun when our labs get together, but I had to go one step further and buy the lab the ugly turtlenecks that they didn't even know they needed. The spirits and laughs were flowing, and Blake even did his annual 'Elf on a Centrifuge' picture. Here's to a great 2017!
Ariana comes to The Slade Lab from Costa Rica, and we are very excited to have her energy and infectious enthusiasm. She will be working on a secret class of outer membrane and secreted proteins to characterize their role in host-pathogens and disease induced by intracellular bacteria. Welcome Ariana! Learn more about Ariana and all of the other members in the lab on our People page.
We are very excited to be a part of a great study by Coy Allen and colleagues on Enhanced Mucosal Defense and Reduced Tumor Burden in Mice with the Compromised Negative Regulator IRAK-M. Nice job to lead author Daniel Rothschild, and we look forward to many more great publications together!
The Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) has awarded PIs Daniel Slade (Biochemistry) and Scott Verbridge (Biomedical Engineering) a generous seed grant to support research at the interface of tissue engineering and microbiology to develop a program to potentially recruit top talent to perform research at Virginia Tech through an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program. We thank ICTAS and will make the most of this oppoortunity!
Matt comes to us on loan from Wofford College, where he is a triple science major with a career trajectory in academia. Thanks to very generous and philanthropic donors to Wofford, Matt will spend 12 weeks honing his wet lab skills, and will be on a project characterizing virulence factors outside of the autotransporter family. Welcome Matt! Learn more about Matt
The Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech interviewed Dan Slade to learn more about his lab in a 'Coffee Break with a Scientist' episode. Read the article HERE, or read the entire magazine digitally on Issuu.
Mike was invited to give a talk on his work identifying and characterizing novel autotransporters in F. nucleatum. Needless to say he gave an amazing talk and there were a plethora of positive comments on how groundbreaking his work is. Nice job Mike!
We wish Hans a big congratulations and know that he will have a great summer during his SURF fellowship at Scripps Florida where he will be working on the structure and function of the ribosome in cancer with Katrine Carbstein. We had a great time at his celebration and going away lunch, although Chris couldn't be there because he was on a sweet camping trip. Onwards and upwards, Hans!
Yueying (AKA, Qiao Qiao) is ready to jump in the lab to learn protein purification and kickstart her bioinformatics career. The youngest member of the group and a rising Sophomore, we know that her youth and energy will make her a vital assett. Welcome Qiao Qiao! Learn more about Qiao Qiao
Blake becomes the second graduate student in the lab, and he is excited to begin his journey working with uncharacterized autotransporters. We know that he will bring an unparalleled energy to the group, and he's already off to a fast start. Welcome Blake! Learn more about Blake
We are excited for Alaa to begin working on determining how Fusobacterium interact with neutrophils, and how well they avoid clearance. Welcome Alaa! Learn more about Alaa
What an incredible summer Pranay had, and was a fantastic personality to have in the lab. I can honestly say that we couldn't have performed much of the bioinformatics analysis that he kick started over the summer. Not bad for a 16 year old young man! If you missed it, see his profile under our Meet the Team page. Best wishes Pranay as you apply for college! We have no doubt you will do great things.
We had a great hike today as a lab! It was Pranay's last day, so we wanted to test his fitness level before sending him back to the DC area. A harder trail than most expected, with a couple of students feeling a bit winded. But no casualties, even through the stretch at the end that requires a good bit of climbing. We followed it up with some appetizers and drinks at our staple watering hole The Cellar in downtown blacksburg. See all of the photos here! page. Best wishes Pranay as you apply for college! We have no doubt you will do great things.
What a first four months it has been in the lab. I would first and foremost like to welcome Michael Casasanta, who I coaxed into being my first official PhD student. Mike has a strong biochemistry background and is already cranking out results as he works on the structure and function of uncharacterized autotransporters from Fusobacterium nucleatum. Welcome to the lab, Mike!
Cameron Varano has also started as a rotation student in the lab, and brings an energy to these halls like no other. We are currently giving her a crash course in molecular biology and molecular genetics, and she is chewing up what she is given and spitting out results. I can't tell you how nice it is to have a personality like Cameron's in the lab, as it reiterates why I want to be a professor. Welcome Cameron!
Rotations are now in full swing and we are generating results! Lots of progress in a very short amount of time, which makes the journey that much more exciting and important. Recruiting from the Microbiology, Biochemistry, and the Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health (TBMH) programs at Virginia Tech has been very exciting and the students are very impressive. Kudos to all of these future investigators that choose to 'Do Science and Be AWESOME! I had an amazing time during my first VT teaching assignment with the TBMH students at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute on antibiotic resistance and bacteria in cancer.
Larry J. DeLucas recently gave a great talk at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) on High-Throughput Self-Interaction Chromatography: Applications to Protein Solubility and Stability. Dr. DeLucas is a Professor in the Department of Optometry at the University of Alabama at Birgmingham, the Director of the Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering, and the Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center X-ray Core Facility. He was a NASA astronaut aboard the Atlantis and Endeavour Space Shuttle missions. I immediately accepted an invitation to attend dinner with Professor DeLucas and had a fantastic and inspiring evening hearing about the rigors it takes to become an astronaut, the incredible amount of funding he has been awarded to run his laboratory, and stories of a hallowed career. His advice was invaluable, his visions of the past and future of crystallography were visionary, and he was humble and down to earth. So thank you for a great night Professor DeLucas!
We're live! This is the first official day of The Slade Lab at Virginia Tech! I'm excited to get things started and to start recruiting great students and scientists to elucidate the role of bacteria in inflammation and cancer. Equipment is in the lab, primers have been ordered, let's commence science in the lab!