Although completing his second year as an Emeritus Professor, Jim Bamburg wants you to know that “emeritus” does not necessarily equal “retired.” After working for 10 years to initiate a Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience at CSU, Bamburg welcomed the first incoming class of 31 freshmen neuroscience students in the Fall of 2014. The number of incoming neuroscience students has increased to 50-60 for Fall of 2015 and is expected to continue at this level or increase. Bamburg directs the program and teaches the freshman seminar, an activity he loves.
The Bamburg research program, focused on neurodegenerative diseases, has remained funded at a modest level of support, but Bamburg was recently awarded a new NIH R01 grant that will keep his lab going for another 5 years. His lab’s work was recently recognized by CSU with the 2015 Interdisciplinary Scholarship Award.
Barb Bernstein (36 years in the lab) still supervises the spinning disc confocal microscope. Alisa Shaw (14 years in the lab) still directs the molecular biology work in the laboratory that has led to the generation of a chimeric mouse, which, if it can pass on its conditionally expressed mutated cofilin gene to its progeny, may lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms by which synapses are lost in Alzheimer’s disease. O’Neil Wiggan (13 years in the lab) still drives most of the basic research in the lab on cofilin’s cellular roles. Laurie Minamide, Jim’s companion in life and his Senior Research Associate (27 years in the lab), started her “official retirement” as of June 1, 2015, but will continue working on lab projects as a volunteer. Jim and Laurie recently returned from a meeting in Chile that they have attended for several years in support of South American Cytoskeletal research. Jim is co-editing a special issue of the Wiley-Liss journal Cytoskeleton devoted to this conference. Participation in the meeting also allowed Jim and Laurie to visit Patagonia and the Torres del Paine National Park (see photo below) which they describe as “fantastic.”
Lindsey Whittington, an undergraduate in the lab, has taken over the job of coordinating the lab participation in the Alzheimer Association annual “Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease.” Keifer Walsh, an MS student in the lab, organized the walk in 2014 and resurrected an activity of the lab that was initiated by Mike Maloney in 2002-2005. The Bamburg lab team has raised more than $10,000 for supporting the Northern Colorado Alzheimer’s Association activities.
Bamburg lab team at Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease 2014 (left to right): Dan Peacock, Laurie Minamide, Ye Zhang, Jessica Zanon, Lindsey Whittington, Keifer Walsh, Adlei Carlson, Jim Bamburg.
News of Former JRB’ls: Chi Pak (Ph.D. 2009) announced his engagement to Amy Zhou, a medical student (now M.D.), that Chi met at the Univ. Texas Southwestern in Dallas where he is completing a postdoctoral fellowship appointment. Chi and Amy will both be moving to New York City by next January. Kevin Flynn (Ph.D. 2008) is completing his appointment at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. He and his wife Lisa and two kids will be returning to the US in July. Mike Maloney (Ph.D. 2006) is still at Stanford University working on neurodegenerative diseases. His wife Janice (Gonzalez) Maloney (M.S. 2003) was recently promoted to Senior Research Associate at Genentech in South San Francisco, the first internally promoted MS degree recipient in this position, which is usually filled by someone with a Ph.D. Janice recently hosted a visit by Jim Bamburg for a seminar to the Genentech neuroscience division. Lubna Tahtamouni (Ph.D. 2005), Associate Professor of Biology and Biotechnology, Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan continues to garner international awards for her research, mentoring and service. She was recently named to the “Women in Science Hall of Fame” initiated by the U.S. Embassy Amman’s Environment, Science, Technology and Health Office for the Middle East and North Africa. In 2013 Lubna received the CSU Distinguished International Alumni Award.