Department of Immunology News
October/November 2015 Edition

It's been a busy couple of months. But it hasn't been all nose-to-the-grindstone lab work and academic drudgery. We know how to have fun. See the photographic proof from our 2nd Annual Hallowe'en Party below.

For Your Reading Pleasure

Appearing in Print and on the Web

In late November, Ph.D. student Peris Munyaka and Dr. Ghia made the web pages of UM Today, and Radio-Canada where their research on antibiotic use during pregnancy was featured.

And in journals....

Okwor I., Jia P., Interaction of Macrophage Antigen 1 and CD40 Ligand Leads to IL-12 Production and Resistance in CD40-Deficient Mice Infected with Leishmania major. J Immunol. 2015 Oct 1;195(7):3218-26. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1500922. Epub 2015 Aug 24.
PMID: 26304989.

Mou, Z., Li, J., Liu, D., et al. Identification of broadly conserved cross-species protective Leishmania antigen and its responding CD4+ T cells.Sci Trans Med, 2015 Oct 21;7(310):310ra167. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aac5477.
PMID: 26491077

Munyaka P.M., Eissa N., Bernstein C.N., Khafipour E., Ghia JE. Antepartum Antibiotic Treatment Increases Offspring Susceptibility to Experimental Colitis: A Role of the Gut Microbiota. PLoS One. 2015 Nov 25;10(11):e0142536. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142536. eCollection 2015.
PMID: 26605545

Eissa N., Ghia JE. Immunomodulatory effect of ghrelin in the intestinal mucosa. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2015 Nov;27(11):1519-27. doi: 10.1111/nmo.12703.

Please extend a warm welcome to:

Research Associate: Vinaya Siragam, formerly of the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, joined us in late November.   He will be working with Dr. Aaron Marshall.  Vinaya was most recently seen in our Department in September, when he gave a research presentation on the subject of "Fc receptors in autoimmunity and potential role of IVIg therapy: a key for immune regulation"
Visiting Student: Shinheng (Jessie) Li, arrived early in October.  She comes to us from the School of Clinical Medicine in Changchun City, Jilin Province, China.  As a member of the University of Manitoba/Jinlin University exchange program, she will be working with Dr. Xi Yang and the members of his lab for the next nine months.

And The Awards Go To....

Congratulations, Sheena on your two big wins.  You do us all proud.

Sheena Manghera - Ph.D. program - Gordon Wu Graduate Scholarship - $22,000 per year for 4 years.

Sheena Manghera - Ph.D. program - University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (held in conjuction with the Gordon Wu Graduate Scholarship) - $18,000 per year for 4 years.

Scary Times at Our Hallowe'en Party

Our Graduate Students did a bang up job of arranging our second annual Hallowe'en Party.  Thank you all.   It was a first time ghoulish experience for some of our students and they dove in with enthusiasm.  Pumpkin carving and best costume contests, "improvisational" pingpong, and food were the order of the day.  Click on the pictures to see a larger photo.


Costumes!  Grace Choi won the prize for best costume.  And yes, she prevailed in battle.  (But no one was harmed in the process.)

L-R:  Grace Choi,  Yongci Zhang, Ruoxin Wang, Ying Peng, Shiheng Li, Sai Qiao (with pumpkin)



The Pumpkin Carving Contest had only two entrants, but next year..... just wait!!!  We'll have a pumpkin patch big enough to satisfy even Charlie Brown and Linus Van Pelt.   

Contenders were this little green fellow carved by Team Young (Sai Qiao)



 winning pumpkin

Stars Pumpkin

the winner! by Team XiYangYang (Ruoxing Wang, Shiheng Zhang and Sai Qiao)

The China/Canada Pumpkin - Executed with surgical precision by first-time pumpkin carvers Ruoxin Wang, Sai Qiao, and Shiheng Li.  Not only did this orange squash have a captivating smile but sported Chinese stars and a Canadian maple leaf on the back to symbolize the friendship between the two countries.







This is what happened to Vasudeva Bhat after he spent too much time in the lab.  Completely ruined his complexion... No amount of Clearasil can help him now.
 Susan chair

And we won't say what happens when our administrative staff members spend too much time in the office, either. 
 Finger food, and toothy morsels, literally.
 Finger Food

 Toothy cookies


Immunological competition is not necessarily confined to academics or intellectual pursuits in this Department.  Instead, it takes the form merciless, cut-throat pingpong, particularly when played on a makeshift table that is too short. 

Game one (top) - Thomas Murooka and Afshin Raouf in a "friendly" encounter.

Game 2 (bottom) - Jude Uzonna smashes the ball into the ceiling, leaving Ping Jia searching for the ball and Afshin wondering where he put his bulletproof vest.  (Clue:  The ball is the orange streak.)



The Latest from Dr. Ghia ....

Jean-Eric Ghia on Radio-CanadaJean-Eric's Des éprouvettes et des hommes broadcasts continue on 88.1 FM, (Radio-Canada). In the most recent (Nov 17th) program, Jean-Eric talks about Leishmaniasis and the research of Dr. Jude Uzonna and his lab members. 

You can also follow Jean-Eric on his two Twitter accounts ( and and Facebook.  A separate listing of all the broadcasts will appear on our web site soon.  Stay tuned!

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