January 4, 2021

Happy New Year from the Rollins-Smith Lab!

We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is ready for 2021. 

We all appreciate that metaphorical reset button that accompanies January 1st.   But even though we’ve joyfully said goodbye and good riddance to 2020, that doesn’t mean COVID magically disappears.  We all must continue to follow the CDC guidelines of wearing facemasks and physical distancing in addition to washing hands and staying home as much as reasonably possible.  Thankfully, we now have a working vaccine, so we hope to see lots of injections go into lots of people in the coming weeks.  VUMC is actively vaccinating its staff, so rest assured that the current members of the Rollins-Smith Lab are all vacc’d up & mask’d up…or something like that…

Now for the good news: PUBLICATIONS!

We closed out 2020 with the publication of a manuscript that we are very excited about.  I can say firsthand that a lot of time and effort went into this research.  It called for many late nights in the field collecting amphibians as well as LOTS of skin swabs and skin secretions.  This project began in 2017, and it looks at the relationship between climate and disease susceptibility in amphibians. 

This is how seriously we took this work.

Click on the link below to read the abstract.

Preparatory immunity: Seasonality of mucosal skin defences and Batrachochytrium infections in Southern leopard frogs

Emily Le Sage, PhD (pictured above, far left) is our lead author, and she worked very hard to pull together a lot of field data for this manuscript.  Congratulations, Dr Le Sage and colleagues, on this great study!

We also look forward to welcoming back our undergraduate student, Kaitlyn Linney, who will be studying on campus this spring.  She will resume her independent project in the lab looking at temperature-dependent virulence levels in Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans.  Stay tuned, and we'll provide updates on her project in the coming months.

Until then, stay safe and be well!