JSU Hosts Microbiologists for First Time
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Dr. Anne E. Tebo stands in front of her poster presentation to
answer visitors questions. (JSU Photo: Alex Stillwagon)
By Sherry Kughn
JSU News Bureau
2004 — Dr.
Anne E. Tebo stood in the hallway of McGee Hall explaining her work in
the field of immunology to passersby. The passersby were probably other
microbiologists and students of microbiology who were at Jacksonville State University
for the 2004 meeting
of the Southeastern Branch American Society For Microbiology (SEM). About
110 visitors were expected during the two-day meeting.
Dr. Tebo, who is originally from Cameroon, has worked for almost two
years studying how mice respond to the secondary infections of a particular
strain of a viral meningitis. She is on a fellowship from the University of Alabama
will try to explain this to you in simple terms,” she said. Her effort
was appreciated. She began telling, with animated hand and facial expressions,
how the mice in her study had different physical reactions to the initial
infection and to the secondary infection. Her conclusions, which were
shown graphically on a giant poster, might help eventually help drug companies
design the most effective vaccine possible against meningitis.
While browsing the hallways looking at the two dozen or so posters manned
by other microbiologists, it is easy to see how the field of study affects
the average person’s life from the way waste products are treated to the
ways foods are protected to the ways medicinal studies are handled.
JSU is hosting the meeting for the first time. Dr. Benjamin Blair is president
this year of the SEM. The Ohatchee native has taught in the biology department
at JSU for the past six years. He is excited about what the meeting represents
for students and for professionals. Collaboration is a word that he and
Dr. Tebo use often.
“This is where students learn to collaborate with others in the field,”
said. Dr. Blair. “I can’t describe how valuable that is.”
Dr. Tebo knows the value of professionals helping one another. Her work
is only a tiny aspect of other studies by other microbiologists. The information
she learned as she worked on her project, which required a few 20-hour
days, can be used to help others. She said her name was listed on other
nearby posters as contributing to their studies.
Dr. Blair said microbiologists’ scientific work is often done in stages.
“You meet people with similar interests. Perhaps they take a different
approach. You do one part of a study and others do one part. Together
they can publish more papers that way,” he said.
Dr. Blair said the meeting went extremely well. He was especially happy
to have three speakers of such high caliber. Speaking on Thursday and
Friday were Dr. Randall K. Buddington, professor of biology at Mississippi State
University; Dr. Ron Luftig, chair
of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology at Louisiana
State University School of Medicine at New
Orleans; and Dr. Vickie Baselski from the Department
of Pathology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
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