Center for Vaccines and Immunology - January 2019
Director’s Notebook
Happy New Year 2019! With the new year comes new anticipations and expectations. The Center for Vaccines and Immunology anticipates recruiting new faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students in 2019. 
The CVI will host a half-day retreat for the CVI Faculty, Affiliated Faculty, and Executive Board on February 19 th at the UGA State Botanical Gardens. The goals of the retreat are to review the Center progress and meeting milestones with the Faculty and Executive Board. Time will be set aside to discuss CVI strategies and goals, as well as time for scientific discussions. In addition, Dr. Michelle Booden, Director of Strategic Alliances and Business Development will give a keynote presentation on corporate sponsorship research in the biomedical sciences. Specific funding opportunities will be discussed for CVI Faculty and Affiliated Faculty for non-for-profit and for-profit funding and sponsorships.
If you are interested in learning more about corporate sponsorship for your biomedical research activities, please contact Dr. Booden and she would be eager to discuss your research ideas and targeted goals with you and the possible corporate and not-for-profit options for your research sponsorship. Please contact her at
CVI Affiliated Faculty
Dr. Fikri Avci – Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biol., Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
Dr. Justin Bahl – Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Institute of Bioinformatics
Dr. Melinda Brinley – Department of Population Health
Dr. José Cordero - Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Institute of Bioinformatics
Dr. Harry Dickerson – Department of Infectious Diseases
*Dr. Donald Harn –Department of Infectious Diseases
Dr. Kelsey Hart – Department of Large Animal Internal Medicine
Dr. Biao He – Department of Infectious Diseases
Dr. Jeff Hogan – Department of Veterinary Biosciences & Diagnostic
Dr. Mark Jackwood – Department of Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center
Dr. Kimberly Klonowski – Department of Cellular Biology
Dr. Constantinos Kyriakis – Department of Food Animal Diseases – Auburn University
Dr. Eric Lafontaine –Department of Infectious Diseases
*Dr. Nancy Manley – Department of Genetics
Dr. Coutrney Murdock - Department of Infectious Diseases
Dr. Daniel Perez – Department of Poultry Medicine
Dr. Balazs Rada – Department of Infectious Diseases
*Dr. Christine Szymanski – Department of Microbiology, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center
*Dr. Steve Stice – Dept. of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Director of the Regenerative Biosciences Center
Dr. Rick Tarleton – Department of Cellular Biology
*Dr. Stephen Trent – Department of Infectious Diseases
Dr. Ralph Tripp – Department of Infectious Diseases
Dr. Wendy Watford – Department of Infectious Diseases
*Executive Board Members

Center for Vaccines and Immunology
Welcomes Debbie Bratt,
Assistant Director of Research Operations.
Debbie Bratt is the Assistant Director of the NHP Core at the University of Georgia and a Full Member of the Center for Vaccines and Immunology. Debbie joins UGA from the University of Washington (UW). Where she obtained a pre-med education with a degree in Biological Anthropology with an emphasis in Primates. After realizing her passion was more research than medical school, Debbie chose to pursue a career in research at the molecular level.
Debbie spent 20 years researching away at UW, in various research labs ( i.e. human genome project, Group B Streptococcus, hearing loss, HIV, Influenza, Zika and Orthopaedics), in various capacities (Research Technician, Animal Technician, Lab Manager, Research Scientist, Program Manager, Flow-Core Manager, and Departmental Research Manager). Having the capacity to learn new techniques and technologies and different branches of science that allowed her to build quite a range of skills. Navigating a wide range of stakeholders, including faculty, staff, administration, students, residents, external organizations, research design, samples, and data; proved that Debbie was able to orchestrate the operations of many research programs, ultimately making their science a success.

Debbie can be reached at: Email:
Center for Vaccines and Immunology
Welcomes Megan M. Spivey, Administrative Specialist
Megan Spivey received her Bachelor of Science Interdisciplinary Studies: Business & Communications from Arizona State University. Megan made the cross-country move to Georgia and began her career with UGA in September of 2017. She joined the Center for Vaccines and Immunology in November, 2018. Megan performs outreach and seminars for the CVI. She enjoys spending time with her family, baking, traveling and taking care of her Corgi fur baby, Gary.
Megan can be reached at: Email:
Center for Vaccines and Immunology
2019 Spring Seminar and Work-in-Progress Series
Wednesdays, 11am-12noon
Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences, Room S175
The Center for Vaccines and Immunology will host a Seminar Series and Work-in-Progress Presentations during the Spring, 2019 Semester.
January 30:
February 6:
February 13:
March 6:
March 13:
March 20:
March 27:
April 10:
April 17:
April 24:
May 1:
May 8:
Brian Baker
Andreas Handel
Catherine Blish
Kristy Ainslie
Dawn Haas/Emily Rayens
Anne Bebin-Blackwell
Deborah Fuller
Eva Strauch
Victor Nizet
Ivelin Georgiev
Martin D'Souza
Luis Martinez-Sobrido
University of Notre Dame
UGA - Biostatistics/Epidemiology
Stanford University
University of North Carolina
Center for Vaccines and Immunology
Center for Vaccines and Immunology
University of Washington
UGA - Biochemistry
University of California at San Diego
Vanderbilt University
Mercer University
University of Rochester
  The International Society for Vaccines
The International Society for Vaccines Annual Congress was held in Atlanta on October 28-30 th . The Center for Vaccines and Immunology, as well as the entire University of Georgia, was well represented. CVI Members that received awards included, Emily Beaver, Sydney Ronzulli, Jasmina Luczo from Dr. Mark Tompkins Lab, Whitney Rabacal from Dr. Karen Norris Lab, and Amanda Sparlupka and Dawn Taylor-Mulniex from Dr. Ted Ross Lab
Dr. Whitney Rabacal ,
Post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of
Dr. Karen Norris in the CVI receives her award from Dr. David Weiner, President of the Society for the Best Poster Presentation - 2018 ISV Congress
To See More Pictures and to Find out more about the ISV Annual Congress at:
The Gala Dinner was held at the
Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta.
Dining under the Dinosaurs!
The International Society for Vaccines deeply appreciates the support of all its sponsors, but a special acknowledgement goes out to the Georgia Research Alliance. The GRA was one of the initial supporters for bringing the Annual Congress to Atlanta. The leadership of the GRA went well above board to communicate to local organizations about the Congress and provide both financial and moral support to ISV. The GRA held a dinner on Saturday evening before the start of the Congress for the ISV Executive Board, Invited Speakers, Special Guests, and GRA Eminent Scholars at the Commerce Club. It was a special evening and both co-chairs, Denise Doolan and Ted Ross, are highly appreciative of the warm welcome and hospitality provided by the GRA. The GRA is a special organization!
Congratulations to Emily Beaver
Emily is a 2 nd year graduate student
in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Tompkins.
She was recently accepted into the UGA VMSTP Program. The Veterinary Medical Scientist Training Program couples nine semesters of study in a DVM program with 3-6 years of research. This highly competitive program opens doors in areas of translational research in multiple settings, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the World Health Organization.
Congratulations to Ian Padykula
Ian is a 2 nd year graduate student
in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Tompkins.
He has been elected the Vice President of the Infectious Diseases Graduate Student Association. Ian will continue on to serve as President in 2020. He hopes to increase involvement of the Center for Vaccines and Immunology in recruitment and graduate student events, especially during the upcoming ILS recruitment events in January and February of 2019. Feel free to reach out with any ideas of how we can improve our graduate program!
The Center for Vaccines and Immunology has focused on student education in the translational biomedical sciences for both graduate and undergraduate learning. As part of its mission, the CVI participates in the Vertically Integrated Projects Program to help educate and train undergraduate students at the University of Georgia. Students participate in developing critical thinking, hands-on practical training in cutting-edge techniques in biomedical immunology and translation vaccinology, and learn to work as team to achieve common goals. Students are provided the opportunity to teach and train the next generation of undergraduates each semester to hone the Scientific Leadership Skill necessary to participate in the Biomedical Academic, Governmental, or Industrial Community.
The CVI started its program in 2016 and has directed training for 35 students in the past 18 months. In 2019, we are expanding the program to include additional students to intern or earn class credit. Activities include a variety of biochemical, immunological, cellular biology, and vaccine studies.  
If you are interested, contact the Director at Email:   c  
Contact the CVI for Flow Core and Sorting Services
In the News
Universal Flu Vaccine – University of Georgia
By  Jon Cohen Science Magazine
The ever-changing surface proteins, hemagglutinin (orange) and neuraminidase (green), on influenza virus have vexed attempts to make a vaccine that works against all strains. KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE SOURCE 
Universal flu vaccine remains ‘an alchemist’s dream’
Game-changing flu vaccine could require only 1 shot every 5-10 years
The Center for Vaccines and Immunology
held its annual Holiday Reception
at the Hotel Indigo on December 12 th
Everyone had Food, Drink, and Fun Times. 
Fabulous Gifts Won!
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and an Exciting 2019!