The Doctoral Program in Microbiology provides advanced training and education for students with the desire and ability to thrive in a stimulating, research-oriented graduate program leading to careers in science in the academic, governmental, or private sectors.
Cormac Lucas, PhD student, Morrison Lab
Cormac Lucas is a 4th year doctoral candidate in the Tem Morrison lab. The Morrison lab studies alphavirus pathogenesis and immunity, including studies delineating mechanisms of viral persistence, establishment of viremia, and testing of novel antiviral compounds in vitro and in vivo. Cormac’s research is focused on cell type and tissue-specific interactions between chikungunya virus and the scavenger receptor MARCO that regulate lymph node inflammation and the development of effective antibody responses during acute and chronic infection.
During graduate school, Cormac has received funding from the RNA Bioscience Initiative and the MPID T32 training grant, presented posters at local and international meetings that include the annual Rocky Mountain Virology Association meeting, the Positive Strand RNA viruses Keystone Symposia, the Colorado Immunology and Microbiology Conference, the MPID symposium, and will be presenting a poster at the 2023 Viruses and Cells Gordon Research Conference in Spain next spring. In addition, Cormac has written an original research article on the role of two phenylalanine residues in the alphavirus glycoprotein in viral fusion and a review of alphavirus animal models of infection and human disease, as well as been featured on additional publications by other members of the Morrison lab.
Outside the lab, Cormac spends his time staying active through weightlifting, swimming, cycling, and occasionally running before putting on some quality music and making a mess in the kitchen. The best advice Cormac has for new graduate students is to forge your own path; everyone has their own perspective and opinion and will gladly share it, but what works for you may be different than what worked for another student.
Microbiology faculty member Rosemary Rochford and graduate student Anna Burnet discuss their new study which sheds light on how diseases can be worsened by climate change.