The Slade Lab


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Investigating how bacteria influence the tumor microenvironment.


News from the lab and also that covered by the press.


July 2020 - Dr. Slade featured in the news by WDBJ7 for our study on the role of Fusobacterium nucleatum in the metastasis of colorectal cancer. LINK

July 2020 - The Slade Lab paper on the role of bacteria in metastasis was released in Science Signaling as the cover article and has been covered by multiple media outlets. A big thanks to all of our collaborators, especially Dr. Scott Verbridge and his student Barath Udayasuryan. It takes a village to publish and change the world.

June 2020 -Ariana has accepted a position for the end of 2020 to start a postdoc at the NIH with Dr. Daphne Bell where she will study risk factors in endometrial cancer. Way to go Ariana!

June 2020 - We had to let Dr. Blake Sanders fly from our group so that he could start his postdoc with Dr. Matthew Meyerson where he will continue his work on the role of F. nucleatum in colorectal cancer. We are very proud of you but will also miss you dearly, Blake!

March 2020 - Chris Yoo finished his masters and began working at LifeMine Therapeutics in Cambridge MA. Best of luck Chris, and we know you'll be their top scientist!


January 2019 - Our new paper Reevaluating the Fusobacterium Virulence Factor Landscape. is now up on bioRxiv!! Nice work to all involved, including our collaborators in the Verbridge Lab at Virginia Tech!

January 2019 - Our new genome paper: "Complete genome sequence of Fusobacterium necrophorum subsp. necrophorum ATCC 25286" has been accepted in Microbiology Resource Announcements! All data can be found at NCBI or on FusoPortal. Nice job to all involved including our collaborators in the Lemkul Lab at Virginia Tech!

January 2019 - We welcome Bryce Wozniak to the group! Bryce is a freshman Biochemistry major at Virginia Tech that will be working on Fusobacterium genomics and bioinformatics. Welcome to the team 👍 !!

January 2019 - We welcome visiting postdoc Caitlin Brennan from Wendy Garrett's Lab at Harvard Medical School! We wish that Caitlin could have stayed forever...☹ Come back Caitlin!


December 2018 - Dan made ANOTHER trip to the UK to work on a collaborative grant with Dr. Paul Hoskisson (@PaulHoskisson) and Dr. Rob Fagan (@RobFagan) to write a collaborative grant that will tackle the problem of genetic recalcitrance in bacteria.

April 2018 - Dan made a 'European Science Tour' and gave talks at the University of Strathclyde, University of Birmingham, and the University of Oslo. He also attended the Microbiology Society conference in Birmingham UK.

April 2018 - We are moving to a new space! The same building in Engel Hall, but we will be able to expand with our much appreciated new lab.

April 2018 - Our paper in collaboration with Paul Carlier (VT) and Belen Cassera (UGA) on anti-malarial compounds is now officially published in ACS Infectious Diseases. Nice job, Mike!

February 2018 - Qiao Qiao is awarded a SURF position for the summer at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. Nice job Qiao Qiao!

February 2018 - Jess Rooke joins the lab for a month from Ian Henderson's lab at the University of Birmingham, UK. Welcome Jess!

January 2018 - Dan gives an invited talk in the Department of Microbiology at the University of British Columbia.


January 2017 - Daniel Slade and Paul Carlier highlighted in VT News for their NIH grant and collaborative work on inhibitors of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Official article by Virginia Tech (PDF).
Link to the article on the Virginia Tech website.

January 2017 - Our work on inflammation and disease with Coy Allen has been highlighted in VT News and several other news outlets! The paper from this work can be found in the journal EBioMedicine. The Virginia tech articles can be found on our website (official article by Virginia Tech (PDF)) or on the Virginia Tech website.


December 2016 - The Slade lab receives an NIH R21/R33 grant with The Carlier lab at Virginia Tech! 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.

December 2016 - The Slade lab receives a grant from the Virginia Tech Center for Drug Discovery (VTCDD). 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.

December 2016 - The Slade and Sobrado Labs holiday party was a smashing success!
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!

December 2016 - Ariana Umana joins the lab!
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.

December 2016 - The Slade Lab is on it's first paper from The Allen Lab of Virginia Tech on the role of IRAK-M in mucosal defense! 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!

November 2016 - The Slade and Verbridge Labs receive a grant to support an REU on 3D tissue modeling of host-pathogen interactions. 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!

May 2016 - Matt joins the lab for the summer! 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

May 2016 - Daniel Slade is featured in the Fralin Explorer. 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.

April 2016 - Mike gives an amazing talk at the 7th Annual Southeast Enzymes Conference.
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!

March 2016 - Hans is awarded a SURF Fellowship at Scripps Florida! 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!

March 2016 - Qiao Qiao joins the lab! 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


December 2015 - Blake joins the lab! 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

November 2015 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

August 2015 Pranay, we had a good run, but you have to go back to high school..
What an incredible summer we had with Pranay, and what 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.

August 2015 Lab hike up Dragon's tooth was awesome!
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. Best wishes Pranay as you apply for college! We have no doubt you will do great things.


December 2014 So where are we after 1/3 of a year?
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!

October 2014 Dinner with an astronaut? I've had worse nights.
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!

August 2014 We're live!!
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!

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