News around the Department

The fight against COVID-19:

Members of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology have been instrumental in establishing and operating the new Emerging Viral Threats Laboratory to serve the State of Louisiana by providing tests for SARS-CoV2. 

New Opportunities:

Dr. Martin Sapp has been named Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Dr. Andrew Yurochko has been appointed Vice-Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Dr. Seong K. Kim has been promoted to Associate Professor of Research. 


Congratulations to Dr. Sadie Rice who has successfully defended her doctoral dissertation and is now the newest Ph.D. graduate of the department. 

Grants and Awards:

Dr. Andrew Yurochko is Co-PI on a recently awarded Program Project Grant from the National Institutes of Health focusing on how HCMV affects signaling pathways in infected hematopoietic progenitor cells.  

Dr. Martin Sapp was recently awarded a one-year R56 grant. 

Temitayo Bamgbose won the People's Choice Award for microbiology and immunology in the Biorender graphical abstract contest. 

Heather Fulkerson was awarded the Charles S. McCleskey Award for outstanding oral presentation at the ASM South Central Branch Meeting, Oxford, MS, Nov 1-2, 2019.

Heather Fulkerson has been awarded a Malcom Feist Predoctoral Fellowship.  This brings to 3 the number of our students who are currently supported by fellowships: Sadie Rice (Carroll Feist) and Samantha Murphy (Ike Muslow). 

Recent graduate Tod Guidry has been awarded a Science Policy Fellowship by the American Association of Cancer Research. This is the first time that the AACR has awarded such a fellowship. 

Meetings and Presentations:

Heather Fulkerson was chosen to present her work at the 7th International Congenital CMV Conference & 17th International CMV Workshop in Birmingham, AL,  April 7-11, 2019.  Dr. Andrew Yurochko was chosen as Keynote Speaker and will also give a talk at a breakout session at the same meeting. 

Sadie Rice was selected to give an oral presentation at the DNA Tumor Virus Meeting held in Trieste, Italy  July 9-12, 2019. Dr. Jason Bodily and Dr. Katarzyna Zwolinska also gave oral presentations. 

Samantha Murphy and Kellie Brown gave oral presentations at the 38th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Virology held in Minneapolis, MN July 20-24, 2019. 

Appointments and Service:

Dr. Matthew Woolard was  chosen as a co-chair for American Heart Association BSc1 Committee

Dr. Andrew Yurochko was selected to serve on the American Heart Association Steering Committee.

Dr. Martin Sapp has been appointed as a standing member of the VIRA study section at the NIH.


Dr. Seong Kim's laboratory recently published papers in Journal of Virology and Antiviral Research.

Dr. Andrew Yurochko's laboratory recently published Journal of Virology (spotlighted), PNAS, and Annual Reviews of Virology.

Dr. Martin Sapp's laboratory has recently published papers in the Journal of Virology (spotlighted), PLOS Pathogens, and Cellular Microbiology.

Alumni News:

Dr. Ed Harris (Ph.D., 2001) is now Professor of Biochemistry at University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Dr. Tom Nugent (Ph.D.,1994), Director of R&D at Banyan Biomarkers, Inc., helped develop a blood test for concussion that was recently approved by the FDA. 

Dr. Bryan Bellaire (Ph.D., 2001), Associate Professor at Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, is now a Registrant of the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM).

Dr. Michael L. Grantham (Ph.D., 2006) is now an Assistant Professor at Department of Biology at Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, MO.

Dr. Carrie Coleman (Ph.D. 2011) is now Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

News & Recognitions

Microbiology and Immunology