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School of Medicine Greenville

ASM South Carolina Branch


In the spring meetings, we invite prominent speakers from the ASM Branch Lectureship program and institutes in the state to make presentations on topics that are of interests to our members. Scientists, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to present their posters in preparation for their annual ASM General Meeting. In the fall meetings, we invite presentations from scientists in the state and showcase the works of our post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate student members via oral presentations.

Upcoming Meeting

The upcoming 2023 Spring  Meeting of SC ASM will take place at Columbia College. The date is TBD.


Previous Meetings

October 8, 2022



 9:00 - 10:00 AM

Meeting Check-in and On-site Registration

10:00 - 10:15 AM 

Welcome Remarks and Introdction

Dr. Steven Fiester, President SC-ASM, UofSC School of Medicine Greenville 
Dr. Kirt Moody, Chair of Biology, Columbia College

10:15 - 11:15 AM 

Keynote Presentation - Dr. Jenny Meredith

Director, Prisma Health Upstate Clinical Microbiology
Changing Paradigms in Diagnostic Microbiology: A Quiet Revolution

11:15 - 11:40 AM 

SARS-CoV-2 surveillance: integrating saliva antigen diagnostics, genome sequencing, and immunity assessment

Dr. Congyue Peng, Clemson University

11:40 AM - 12:00 PM 

Development of novel chemical inhibitors against the infection of Toxoplasma gondii, a human protozoan

Dr. Vikky FNU, Clemson University Post-Doctoral Researcher

12:00 - 1:00 PM 

Lunch Break 

Lunch is available for purchase for $10 at the Columbia College Dining Hall

1:00 - 2:45 PM 

Undergraduate Student Presentations

▪ Auxiliary Metabolic Genesin Estuarine Viruses

  • Kasey Kiser, Clemson University

▪ Characterization and Analysis of Mycobacteriophage Cain's Genes

  • Laela Walker and Jessica Morgan, Winthrop University

▪ Investigations of Nucleotide Modifications in Winthrop’s Bacteriophage Collection

  • Gabrielle Walker, Winthrop University

▪ Investigating protein interactions of Mycobacteriophage Caingenes 2, 9, and 55

  • Dallas Nivens and Laela Walker, Winthrop University 

Graduate Student Presentations

▪ Targeted Isolation of Clostridia from human feces

  • Christine Woelfel-Monsivais, Clemson University

▪ The effect of increased 2-AG signaling on inflammation and Escherichia coli growth in a genetic murine model of Crohn’s Disease

  • Mary Mitchell, University of South Carolina

▪ Overexpression of Canonical and Non-canonical IFNLR1 Isoforms Provides Novel Insight into Regulation of Interferon Lambda Signaling

  • Gray Evans, Medical University of South Carolina

Targeting HER2+ breast cancer cells using a suicide gene, mazF, delivered by a Listerial vector

  • Katelin Hanna, Clemson University

▪ Inactivation of the lipid transporter FadL in Escherichia colialters growth kinetics of E.coli within the murine gut

  • Tessa Cox, University of South Carolina

▪ Trastuzumab functionalized iron oxide nan particles (IONPs) activated by a magnetically mediated energy delivery (MagMED) system for treatment of HER2+ breast cancer

  • Erin Levon, Clemson University

2:45 - 3:00 PM 

Afternoon Break

3:00 - 3:30 PM 

Tapping into the Microbiology of Beer: A Course-Embedded Undergraduate Research Project

Dr. Melissa Hayes, Lander University

3:30 - 4:00 PM 

2022 Peggy Cotter Award Recipient - Dr. Emily Rosowski, Clemson University

Impact of host immunosuppression on growth of Aspergillus fumigatus in larval zebrafish

4:00 - 4:15 PM 

Awards and Concluding Remarks 

4:15 - 4:45 PM 

SC ASM Business meeting


April 22, 2022

University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville - Greenville, SC

A copy of the program can be downloaded from here.



 9:00 - 9:10 AM

Welcome Remarks and Introdction

Dr. Steven Fiester, President SC-ASM, UofSC School of Medicine Greenville 

9:10 - 10:10 AM 

The Role of Molecular Diagnostics in Investigating Hospital-acquired Infections

Dr. Ester Babady, ASM Distinguished Lecturer, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

10:10 - 10:30 AM 

Morning Break

10:30 - 11:00 AM 

Discovered in a Phield of Phages: Three Sequential Course Research Experiences and their Impact at Winthrop University

Dr. Victoria Frost, Winthrop University

11:00 - 11:30 AM 

Anti-oxidants reverse DNA damage caused by fluconazole in the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans

Dr. Srikripa Chandrasekaran, Furman University 

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM 

Undergraduate Research Presentations  

Investigating the Antiviral and Antibacterial Response in CRISPR-CAS9 Mediated Knockdown of Interferon Induced Protein 35 (IFI35) in a Human Lung Epithelial Cell Line 

  • Misbaah Muqri, Furman University 

It's what's inside that counts: establishing a surface sterilization protocol for macroalgae 

  • Olivia Suarez, College of Charleston 

▪ Investigating the role of IFIT3 in apoptosis during the intracellular immune response to 
respiratory infection 

  • Haley Meltzer, University of South Carolina 

12:30 - 1:30 PM 

Lunch Break 

1:30 - 3:00 PM 

Graduate Research Presentations

▪ One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Macroalgal-Microbial Communities Vary Across Depth in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands 

  • Gabrielle Kuba, College of Charleston 

▪ Exploring the antiviral activities of Nigella sativa seed oil against coronaviruses 

  • Jinge Huang, Clemson University 

▪ Microbial survival and contamination on different types of banknotes 

  • Christian-Emilian Pop, University of Bucharest 

▪ Identifying bacterial relationships in the setting of Clostridioides difficile infection 

  • Taylor Ticer, Medical University of South Carolina 

▪ Acinetobacter calcoaceticus is well adapted to withstand intestinal stressors and modulate the gut epithelium 

  • Janiece Glover, Medical University of South Carolina 

▪ Roseobacter clade: Abundance and functional potentials from the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays 

  • Mir Alvee Almed, Clemson University 

3:00 - 3:15 PM 

Afternoon Break

3:15 - 3:45 PM 

E. coli lipid sensing and metabolism at the host-microbiome interface
Dr. Melissa Ellermann, University of South Carolina

3:45 - 4:15 PM 

Galectin-9 and Its Individual Domains Display Distinct Antimicrobial Properties 
Dr. Anna Blenda, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville 

4:15 - 4:25 PM 

Concluding Remarks 

4:25 - 5:00 PM 

SC ASM Business meeting


October 29, 2021

University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville - Greenville, SC

A copy of the program can be downloaded from here.



 9:00 - 9:05 AM

Welcome address 

Dr. Steven Fiester, President SC-ASM, UofSC School of Medicine Greenville 

Dr. Desmond Kelly, Associate Dean for Research, UofSCSOMG 

9:05 - 9:15 AM 


Dr. Ginny Webb, Vice-President SC-ASM, UofSC Upstate 

9:15 - 10:15 AM 

Understanding interactions in microbial populations 

Dr. Steve Diggle, ASM Distinguished Lecturer, Georgia Institute of Technology 

10:15 - 10:30 AM 


10:30 - 11:30 AM 

Expanding biological research at SRNL: new programs in biomanufacturing and biomaterials 

Dr. Vahid Majidi, Director Savannah River National Laboratory 

  • Introduced by Clemson University Microbiology Club 


11:30 AM - 12:30 PM 

Lunch Break 

12:30 - 2:15 PM 

Concurrent Sessions 

Session A: Undergraduate, Medical Student, and Postdoctoral Fellow Research Presentations 

▪ See page 2 of document for presenter information 

Session B: Graduate Student Research Presentations 

▪ See page 2 of document presenter information 




2:15 - 2:30 PM 


2:30 - 3:00 PM 

Stressing about stress granules: How SARS coronavirus interferes with cellular responses to viral infection 

Dr. Anita Nag, USC Upstate 

  • Introduced by Upstate SC Chapter of ASM 



3:00 - 3:30 PM 

Microbiome changes within the context of relapsing malaria infection in a longitudinal study of rhesus macaques 

Dr. Regina Joyce Cordy, Wake Forest University 

▪ Introduced by UofSCSOMG Student Chapter of ASM 




3:30 - 3:45 PM 


3:45 - 4:15 PM 

Concurrent Sessions 

Session C: Microbiology Careers Panel – Moderated by Susan Morrison, Ph.D. 

▪ Dr. Regina Joyce Cordy 

▪ Dr. Steve Diggle 

▪ Dr. Vahid Majidi 

▪ Dr. Anita Nag 


Session D: SC ASM Business meeting 

4:15 - 4:20 PM 

Concluding Remarks 

4:20 - 4:45 PM 

Executive Committee Meeting (Branch Officers Only)

October 16, 2020

Virtual Meeting

University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville - Greenville, SC

A copy of the program can be downloaded from here.



 12:00 - 12:05 PM 

Welcome address 

Dr. Marjorie Jenkins, Dean, U of SC School of Medicine Greenville 

12:05 - 12:10 PM 


Dr. Caroline Westwater, President SC-ASM, Medical University of South Carolina 

12:10 - 12:30 PM 

Critical considerations in SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Development and Distribution 

Dr. Jennifer Grier, U of SC School of Medicine Greenville 

12:30 - 12:50 PM 

Sewage Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 

Dr. Sean Norman, U of SC Arnold School of Public Health 

12:50 - 1:10 PM 

Prolonged shedding of SARS-CoV-2 RNA: Implications for Public Health 

Dr. Scott Curry, Medical University of South Carolina 

1:10 - 1:20 PM 


1:20 - 2:00 PM 

Undergraduate Research presentations 

Preliminary study on suppressiveness of decomposing Brassica oleracea leaves on Rhizoctonia solani Jonathan Batchelder, Bob Jones University 


Exploration of the Host-Pathogen Interactions of Acinetobacter baumannii and Human Lung Epithelial Cells with Novel Dual RNA-Sequencing Technology Elizabeth Hogue, Furman University 


Applications of R and Shiny for interactive visualizations of host-pathogen interactions in dual RNA-seq data Jared Kohrt, Furman University 


Impact of Nuisance Flooding on Charleston Coastal Waterways and streets: are Unwanted Bacteria more Prevalent in our Backyards? Bailey E. Richardson, The Citadel 



2:00 - 2:05 PM 


2:05 - 3:15 PM 

Graduate/Post-doctoral Research presentations 

The effect of Staphylococcus aureus exposure on white-tailed deer trabecular bone stiffness and yield Emily Long. Winthrop University 


Characterization of a eukaryotic initiation factor-2 alpha kinase in the reptilian protozoan parasite, Entamoeba invadens Heather A. Walters, Clemson University 


▪ Fatal granulomatous amebic encephalitis in Upstate South Carolina ▪ Daniel Carter Lee, UofSC School of Medicine Greenville 


Generation and analysis of a fluorescent reporter system for virus gene family expression in lepidopteran host insects Daniel Howard, Clemson University 


N- and C-terminal domains of human galectin-9 have distinct antimicrobial properties William Abel, UofSC School of Medicine Greenville 


Role of anillin in adaptation of Cryptococcus neoformans to human host temperature 

Dr. Congyue Annie Peng, Clemson University 


3:15 - 3:25 PM 


3:25 - 3:30 PM 

Introduction of Keynote Speaker: Dr. Edward Dudley 

3:30 - 4:20 PM 

Virulence Depends on the Company You Keep 

Dr. Edward Dudley, ASM Distinguished Lecturer, Penn State University 

4:20 - 4:30 PM 

Closing remarks and awards 

4:30 - 5:00 PM 

Business meeting 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Hargray Building

University of South Carolina - Beaufort, Bluffton, SC



08:00 - 09:00

Registration and Continental Breakfast

09:00 - 09:15

Welcome and Opening
Dr. Caroline Westerwater, ASM SC Branch President-Elect, MUSC

09:15 - 10:15

Plenary Session I. Introduction: Dr. Caroline Westwater
Keynote Speaker - Dr. Joel Kostka
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
The Sphagnum Phytobiome: A Tem of Ecosystem Engineers in Resource Limited Peatlands

10:30 - 10:45

Coffee Break

10:45 - 12:30

Student Poster Presentations

12:30 - 01:30


01:45 - 02:45

Plenary Session II





Dr. Heather Fullerton
College of Charleston, Charleston, SC

Dr. Anna Seekatz
Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Host-microbiota Interactions in Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Treatment of Clostridium difficile Infection

02:45 - 03:00

Coffee Break

03:00 - 03:15

Awards Ceremony


Closing Remarks, Dr. Caroline Westwater, President-Elect

03:15 - 03:45

Business Meeting

Saturday, April 14

Dalton Hall

Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC



08:00 - 09:00 AM

Registration and Continental Breakfast

09:00 - 09:15 AM

Welcome and Opening
Dr. Harry Kurtz, ASM SC Branch President

09:15 - 10:15 AM

Plenary Session I. Introduction: Dr. Harry Kurtz
Keynote Speaker - Dr. Jay Grimes, The University of Southern Mississippi, Ocean Springs, MS
“Vibrio Ecology and Disease Etiology”

10:30 - 10:45 AM

Coffee Break

10:45 - 12:30 PM

Student Poster Presentation

12:30 - 01:45 PM


01:45 - 03:15 PM

Plenary Session II

01:45 - 02:15 PM

Dr. Carsten Kreig, The Medical University of South Carolina
Post-genomic era: how the single cell proteome changes our view on the (immune)world

02:15 - 02:45 PM

Dr. Kristi Whitehead, Clemson University
Small Molecule Manipulation of the Bacteroides Starch Utilization System

02:45 - 03:15 PM

Dr. Charles Turick, Savanna River National Laboratory
Challenges and Applications of Electromicrobiology

03:15 - 03:30 PM

Coffee Break

03:30 - 04:00 PM

Award Ceremony

04:30 PM

Closing Remarks, Dr. Harry Kurtz, President

4:30 - 05:00 PM

Business Meeting

Saturday, Oct. 29

Schedule of Events



08:30 - 09:20 AM

Registration and Continental Breakfast

09:20 - 09:30 AM

Welcome and Opening
Dr. Claudia Rocha, ASM SC Branch President

09:30 - 10:00 AM

Dr. Francis Chapelle, U.S. Geological Survey
"Activity of Dehalococcoides under low pH conditions: Discrepancies between laboratory and field studies and their implications for natural and engineered bioremediation"

10:00 - 10:30 AM

Dr. Zhicheng Dou, Clemson University
“Understanding the roles fo Chloroquine resistance transporter homologues (TgCRT) in the pathogenesis of toxoplasmosis”

10:30 - 10:45 AM

Coffee Break

10:45 - Noon

Student Presentations

Lunch: Noon - 01:00 PM

01:00 - 02:00 PM

Student Presentations

02:00 - 02:15 PM

Coffee Break

02:15 - 02:45 PM

Dr. Christophe Darnault, Clemson University
“Drinking water and human health exposure to microbial pathogens: Cryptosporidium parvum occurrence, detection and behavior in the environment”

02:45 - 03:15 PM


03:15 - 03:35 PM

Awards Ceremony
- Best Undergraduate student presentations
- Best Graduate student presentations

03:35 - 04:00 PM

Business Meeting

04:05 PM

Closing Remarks
Dr. Claudia Rocha, ASM SC Branch President


Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015

Schedule of Events

Saturday Morning 08:30 AM - 12:00 PM



08:30 - 09:02 AM

Registration and Continental Breakfast

09:20 - 09:30 AM

Welcome and Opening

Dr. Claudia Rocha, ASM SC Branch President

09:30 - 10:05 AM

Healthcare Burden of Antimicrobial Resistance

Dr. Matthew Brigmon, University of South Carolina

10:05 - 10:30 AM

Bacteria, Burden and Bundles: How Copper Surfaces Continuously Enhance Patient Safety”

Dr. Michael Schmidt, Medical University of South Carolina

10:30 - 10:45 AM

Coffee Break

10:45 - Noon

Student Presentations

Noon - 01:00 PM


Saturday Afternoon 01:00 - 04:35 PM

01:00 - 02:15 PM

Workshop: ”Improve your Communication”

Dr. Tamara McNealy, Clemson University

02:15 - 02:30 PM

Coffee Break

02:30 - 02:55 PM

“Bacterial-adhesin-specific Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and their Applications in Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria”

Dr. Tzuen-Rong (Jeremy) Tzeng, Clemson University

02:55 - 03:35 PM

Student Presentations

03:35 - 03:50 PM

Coffee Break

03:50 - 04:05 PM

Award Presentations

04:05 - 04:35 PM

Business Meeting

04:35 PM

Closing Remarks


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.