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20162015201420112010 Archive

Kris Lambert Emo Reaches 15 Years of Service at the University of Rochester

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

We would like to honor Kris Lambert Emo, a Technical Associate in the Topham Lab, for reaching 15 years of service at the University of Rochester.

"Kris Lambert has been one of the most effective members of the Topham lab's team of scientists. She has consistently set high standards for integrity, loyalty, and commitment to the success of the lab and all its members. During her time in the lab, she successfully developed technically challenging, novel, and innovative experimental approaches to live imaging, that ultimately resulted in a new funding. Perhaps most importantly, she is looked up to by the people in the lab, as well as by those outside the lab, and is constantly sought out for guidance and advice. This is a testimony to the high regard she has earned." ~ David Topham

Congratulations again to Kris and thank you for your continued service.

Illuminating the flu: A new technology could make it easier for researchers to fight a host of diseases

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Photo of AIR platform device

A prototype of the AIR platform, which monitors
strains of the flu virus in order to develop effective
vaccines. [Permission granted by Benjamin Miller]

To stop a flu epidemic before it starts, you’ve got to know your enemy. But for epidemiologists and vaccine developers involved in the annual fight against the flu, it’s not enough to identify the mere presence of a flu virus. You’ve got to know exactly which virus you’re dealing with and how widely it has spread.

Figuring that out can be costly and difficult for scientists racing to contain a highly contagious disease, but an innovative, newly-patented test that needs only a drop of blood and a silicon chip offers hope for speeding up the process. And its inventor thinks his device, which may be on the market as early as next year, could be useful for detecting other diseases, too.

“What really excites me is having this tool that people come up to me with exciting applications that I haven’t thought of — that really is neat to me,” says Benjamin Miller, a dermatologist at the University of Rochester in New York.

Read More: Illuminating the flu: A new technology could make it easier for researchers to fight a host of diseases

URMC Researchers Discover Rare Flu-Thwarting Mutation

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A rare and improbable mutation in a protein encoded by an influenza virus renders the virus defenseless against the body’s immune system. This University of Rochester Medical Center discovery could provide a new strategy for live influenza vaccines in the future.

A new approach to the live flu vaccine would be particularly advantageous right now after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stopped recommending use of the live attenuate flu vaccine, FluMist® earlier this year. Several studies found that the pain-free nasal spray, which was used in about one-third of young children in the U.S., offered no protection to that especially vulnerable population. The flu shot, on the other hand, performed well and the CDC recommends using this vaccine in place of FluMist®.

“There is a need to understand what's happening with the existing live vaccine and potentially a need to develop a new one,” said David Topham, Ph.D., Marie Curran Wilson and Joseph Chamberlain Wilson Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at URMC and author of the study. “We proposed that the mutation we found could be used to create a live vaccine.”

Read More: URMC Researchers Discover Rare Flu-Thwarting Mutation