Apr 01, 2021
Origins of an outbreak
It was late January 2020 when Maciej Boni realized that the COVID-19 pandemic was about to take over his life. Boni, associate professor of biology, is an epidemiologist with extensive expertise in viral evolution, including a recent focus on human and avian flu. When COVID-19 hit, he tapped into a network of colleagues around the world, quickly joining an international team intent on tracking the outbreak to its origins.
Mar 30, 2021
Exploring variations in herpes virus symptoms
Why do some people with cold sores around their lips experience painful lesions, while others have no symptoms at all, yet still spread the virus? A new study conducted at Penn State finds that these differences could be due to variations in the way certain strains of herpes simplex (HSV-1) — the virus that causes cold sores, as well as genital herpes — activate gene expression in neurons.
Mar 30, 2021
Penn State virologist Szpara to co-host COVID-19 vaccine education town halls
Moriah Szpara, associate professor of biology and of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State, will co-host two COVID-19 vaccine education town halls at 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 31, and Wednesday, April 7, with Benhur Lee of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Mar 18, 2021
Ottar Bjørnstad elected to Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters
Ottar N. Bjørnstad, distinguished professor of entomology and biology and J. Lloyd & Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair of Epidemiology at Penn State, has been elected to the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters. Bjørnstad was recommended as a result of his significant contributions to the fields of population ecology and quantitative epidemiology.
Mar 30, 2021
Tool can provide swine producers with early diagnosis of often-fatal 'Strep zoo'
A team led by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has developed a diagnostic test that can identify virulent forms of the swine bacterial pathogen Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus — often referred to as "Strep zoo" — which can cause severe illness and death in pigs, other animals and rarely people.
Mar 17, 2021
Matt Ferrari named director of Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics
Matt Ferrari, who was closely involved with multiple aspects of University and community efforts to address COVID-19, has been tapped as the new head of CIDD.
Mar 15, 2021
Lab Bench to Commercialization grant recipients announced
Two faculty members have been selected to receive Lab Bench to Commercialization (LB2C) grants from the Eberly College of Science in 2021. The competitive program provides funding for researchers in the college, enabling them to enhance the commercial potential of ongoing research and prepare them to translate their intellectual property to the marketplace.
Mar 10, 2021
Another common cold virus?
If it becomes endemic — circulating in the general population — and most people are exposed in childhood, SARS-CoV-2 may join the ranks of mild cold-causing coronaviruses that currently circulate in humans.
Mar 03, 2021
Wolf social group dynamics matter for infectious disease spread, models suggest
By modeling wolves in Yellowstone National Park, researchers have discovered that how a population is organized into social groups affects the spread of infectious diseases within the population. The findings may be applicable to any social species and could be useful in the protection of endangered species that suffer from disease outbreaks.
Feb 26, 2021
Elizabeth McGraw named head of Department of Biology
Elizabeth McGraw, professor and Huck Scholar in Entomology and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD) at Penn State, has been named the new head of the Department of Biology.