Lab News

September 2016 – Criss Lab at International Pathogenic Neisseria Conference

The Criss Lab was well represented at the 20th International Pathogenic Neisseria Conference, September 4-9 in Manchester, UK. Stephanie and Asya gave talks, Jacqueline presented a poster, and Stephanie and Jacqueline received Igor Stojilkovic Memorial Travel Awards. Alison served on the Scientific Organizing Committee.

August 2016 – Stephanie’s manuscript accepted at Cellular Microbiology

Congratulations to Stephanie, whose manuscript “Two lytic transglycosylases in Neisseria gonorrhoeae impart resistance to killing by lysozyme and human neutrophils” was accepted at Cellular Microbiology! The manuscript was coauthored by Alison and collaborators Ryan Schaub, Katie Hackett, and Joe Dillard, University of Wisconsin-Madison. The manuscript can be accessed HERE.

August 2016 – Becky Dunning

We wish Becky well as she embarks on new adventures at Thermo Fisher Scientific, where she will work in cell biological Research and Development!

July 2016 – Criss and Cornelissen Labs Publish in Infection and Immunity

Our collaborative research with Dr. Cynthia Cornelissen’s laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University was accepted for publication at Infection and Immunity! “Neisseria gonorrhoeae Evades Calprotectin Mediated Nutritional Immunity and Survives Neutrophil Extracellular Traps by Production of TdfH” by Sophonie Jean, Richard Juneau (Criss Lab Postdoc), Alison Criss, and Cynthia Cornelissen is available HERE.

July 2016 – Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Handing

Huge congratulations to Jonathan, who has successfully defended his PhD! Jonathan’s dissertation is entitled “Neisseria gonorrhoeae defense against human neutrophils and host-derived antimicrobials.”

July 2016 – Criss and Columbus Labs Publish in Biochemistry

The latest collaborative research on Opa proteins between the Criss lab and the lab of Linda Columbus, UVA Dept. of Chemistry was accepted for publication! “Neisserial Opa protein – CEACAM interactions: competition for receptors as a means for bacterial invasion and pathogenesis” will be published in Biochemistry. Congratulations to coauthors Jennifer Martin and Tsega Solomon from the Columbus Lab and Louise Ball from the Criss Lab! The manuscript is available HERE.

July 2016 – Alison Presents at Gordon Research Conference

Alison presented the lab’s latest research at the 2016 Gordon Research Conference on Microbial Toxins and Pathogenicity at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire (

July 2016 – Rick Juneau Faculty Position at Virginia Western

We wish Rick all the best as he leaves the Criss Lab! Rick has accepted a full-time faculty position in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke, Virginia (

June 2016 – We welcome Katie Hill to the Criss Lab

Welcome to the newest member of the Criss Lab, Katie Hill, a rising third year undergraduate at UVA! Katie is investigating how bacterial genes important for antibiotic resistance impact N. gonorrhoeae susceptibility to neutrophils. Katie received a 2016 Summer Ethics Internship Award from the Institute for Practical Ethics and Public Life to support this research.

June 2016 – Stephanie and Jacqueline Receive 2016 Wagner Fellowships

Huge congratulations to Stephanie and Jacqueline, who were selected for the 2016 Robert R. Wagner Fellowship Awards! They were selected by the Directors of Graduate Studies from a highly competitive pool based on their outstanding performance at UVA. More information is available HERE.