Lab News


June 16, 2020: Hannah’s next paper in the C. neoformans pH-sensing saga is published in mBio showing a Rim-independent alkaline response mechanism involving the sterol response pathway. Great job Hannah!

March, 2020: Calla receives prestigious Borden scholarship from the Duke Scholars in Molecular Medicine. This award is given to exceptional translational research proposals that bridges research experience with clinical problems. Congratulations Calla!


November 27, 2019: Hannah publishes a book chapter on the immunological importance and experimental history of chitin in the fungal cell wall. Hannah worked with Alspaugh lab alum Shannon Esher to compile this work. Congrats ladies!

November 21, 2019: Calla Telzrow’s beautiful paper on arrestin proteins in C. neoformans is published in mBio! Congrats Calla!








March 22nd, 2019: ConGRADulations to Dr. Pianalto on a very successful defense!

Calla, Kaila, and Hannah celebrate Kaila post defense 🙂

March, 2019: Dr. Alspaugh was awarded the Golden Apple Award for his outstanding dedication to medical student education. We are so proud of you Andy!! 🙂

February 21st, 2019: Hannah was nominated and awarded the prestigious Jo Rae Wright Fellowship for Outstanding Women in Science. Congrats Hannah!


November, 2018: Hannah received a perfect 10 on her F31! Congrats!!

September 6th, 2018: Calla officially passed her prelim exam and moves on to PhD Candidate status! Yay Calla!

June 8th, 2018: Hannah’s paper on pH sensing of the fungal plasma membrane was accepted in Molecular Microbiology! Congrats Hannah! Identifying a novel connection between the fungal plasma membrane and pH-sensing.

June 4th, 2018: Congrats to Shannon on her recent publication in PLoS Pathogens! Defects in intracellular trafficking of fungal cell wall synthases lead to aberrant host immune detection.

May 16th, 2018: Congrats to Kaila on her recent publication in the Journal of Biological Chemistry! Characterization of additional components of the environmental pH-sensing complex in the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans.

May 12th, 2018: The Alspaugh lab attended Dr. Esher’s hooding ceremony in downtown Durham. Congrats Shannon!


March 8th, 2018: Congratulations to Shannon on her recent review in Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz! Cryptococcal pathogenic mechanisms: a dangerous trip from the environment to the brain.

March 5th, 2018: Congratulations to Dr. Esher on successfully defending her PhD dissertation!


February 14th, 2018: Congratulations to Fabiana on her recent paper in Scientific Reports! HDAC genes play distinct and redundant roles in Cryptococcus neoformans virulence.


December 8, 2017: The Crypto Chicks celebrate the holidays at the annual department holiday party!

October 19-20th, 2017: The lab visits Clemson University for the CBEP meeting on eukaryotic pathogens. The Clemson Newspaper features one of our posters! Check it out here!

May 23rd, 2017: Hannah successfully passes her preliminary exam and becomes an official PhD candidate!

May 2017: The Alspaugh lab welcomes its newest member, Calla Telzrow!

March 30th, 2017: Congrats to Alspaugh lab alum Fabiana on her talk award at ICCC10!

March 26th – 30th, 2017: The Alspaugh lab traveled to Brazil with other Duke colleagues for the 10th International Conference on Cryptococcus and Cryptococcosis (ICCC10).

February 14th, 2017: The Alspaugh and Perfect labs celebrated C. neoformans H99 strain’s 39th birthday!

January 31st, 2017: Congratulations to Kyla on her recent paper in mBio! Rim Pathway-Mediated Alternations in the Fungal Cell Wall Influence Immune Recognition and Inflammation.


October 2nd, 2016: Congrats to Kaila on her recent review in the Journal of Fungi! New Horizons in Antifungal Therapy.

June 19-24th, 2016: Hannah and Shelby Priest from the Heitman lab at Duke attended the Cellular & Molecular Fungal Biology Gordon Research Conference in New Hampshire.


May 14th, 2016: The Alspaugh lab attended Kyla’s hooding ceremony.


April 22nd, 2016: Alspaugh lab undergraduate Maria presented her thesis work at the Biology Poster Symposium. Her thesis was selected to be awarded the honor of High Distinction. We are so proud of you Maria! Congratulations!


April 6th, 2016: Congratulations to Shannon on winning a poster prize at ECFG13 in Paris!

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April 5th, 2016: Congratulations to Dr. Ost on successfully defending her thesis!


April 3-6th, 2016: Two of the Alspaugh lab ladies attended the 13th European Conference on Fungal Genetics in Paris, France.

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April 2016: The Alspaugh lab would like to welcome our newest member, Hannah Brown!

March 30th, 2016: Congratulations to Shannon on her recent publication in mSphere! Relative Contributions of Prenylation and Postprenylation Processing in Cryptococcus neoformans Pathogenesis.

March 2016: Congratulations to Dr. Alspaugh on being awarded the 2016 Gordon G. Hammes Faculty Teaching Award!

March 2nd, 2016: Dr. Alspaugh was elected to the American Academy for Microbiology (AAM)! Congratulations!

February 1st, 2016: Welcoming the newest Alspaugh lady into the world! Ryan Marie Ost!



November 17th, 2015: Congrats to Kaila on successfully passing her prelim exam!


October 26th, 2015: The Alspaugh lab is featured in the Duke Research website’s A Picture is Worth 1,100 Words gallery.

September 11-13th, 2015: The Alspaugh lab ladies traveled to Wrightsville Beach, NC for the annual MGM Retreat.


June 23rd, 2015: Congratulations to Shannon on her recent publication in Fungal Genetics and Biology! Rapid mapping of insertional mutations to probe cell wall regulation in Cryptococcus neoformans

April 10th, 2015: Congratulations to Connie on her recent publication in Eukaryotic Cell! Impact of protein palmitoylation on the virulence potential of Cryptococcus neoformans.

Congratulations to Kyla on her recent publication in PLoS Genetics!
The Cryptococcus neoformans Alkaline Response Pathway: Identification of a Novel Rim Pathway Activator

March 21st, 2015: Congratulations to Kyla and Alspaugh lab alum Teresa O’Meara on their GSA poster awards at the 28th Fungal Genetics Conference in Pacific Grove, CA.


Fourteen early career researchers awarded for research presented at fungal genetics conference GSA Poster Awards for 28th Fungal Genetics Conference.

March 17th, 2015: The Alspaugh lab ladies attended the 28th Fungal Genetics Conference in Pacific Grove, CA.

Teresa O’Meara (Alspaugh lab alum), Kyla, Shannon, Kaila, and Liz Ballou (Alspaugh lab alum)

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February, 2015: The Alspaugh lab officially moved to our new space in the Sands building.