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We are looking for a new postdoc to join our team studying influenza virus and how it exploits the host (even turning antiviral proteins proviral!). Check out the announcement. Drop Andy a line with any questions and then send in your application.

The hits keep coming for Tony, PhD. Congrats on a successful thesis defense, and great graduate career. Keep your eyes peeled for a few more papers to round out his thesis.

Congrats to Tony for the publication of his paper in Annual Reviews of Virology. We were very excited to be invited to write this review with our mass spec collaborator Josh Coon and his student Gary Wilson. Check out Post-translation Regulation of Influenza Virus Replication.


A few more farewells:

Jo (Supasek) Kongsomros returns to Thailand. Jo was a visiting scientist using his Royal Golden Jubilee PhD scholarship to spend part of his PhD in our lab. Jo is from Mahidol University in Bangkok working under Dr. Arunee Thitithanyanont. We were lucky to have him in the group. Despite the CoV-related shutdown, Jo made amazing progress in a short time (kudos to his mentor Cason too for making it such a successful visit).

Abby Hoover, undergrad extraordinaire, leaves us for the NIH. She will be a postbaccalaureate researcher in the IRTA program.

Newly minted LSRF fellow Cason King (standing in the back) with labmates at ASV 2019.

LSRF-yeah! CoV got you down? Us too. That is why it was all the more exciting to learn that Cason received a Life Sciences Research Foundation fellowship. CONGRATS! LSRF fellows are selected from a highly competitive international pool of application. ~1000 people apply, and about 25 awards are made. This is an amazing honor for Cason reflecting his stellar graduate work and ambitious postdoc proposal. We are thankful to LSRF and thrilled to bask in the LSRF glow that shines over the lab too. Can’t wait to see what his project brings.

We lift a glass to toast Gloria and wish her well on her new adventure. (We do this virtually, given that we are all following safe social distancing guidelines). Gloria joined the lab in December of 2014 and quickly got to work exploiting natural difference in gene expression to identify cellular factors that impact influenza virus replication. She is taking here expertise to the CDC where she is an ORISE fellow. Congrats and good luck Gloria.

what happened to winter 2020? Oh yeh, SAR-CoV-2

Lots happened, the university shut down, but the lab kept moving forward.


Ready for the annual holiday lab party? ✅

Congratulations Dr. Larson. Gloria successfully defended her PhD. An excellent seminar to a packed room, followed by a great performance in the closed-door exam. Excited to see her next steps as she finishes interviewing for postdocs.


Heading to Kansas for a visit with Tony Fehr. Excited to hear about the work there. Also need to talk to the person who made this poster to learn how they really feel about influenza virus.

Grace has an F30 under review this week. She set up a little shrine to the gods of Impact Score, and lab members have left offerings. Depending out the outcome, maybe this will be a new lab tradition.

(PS: Seems to have worked. Expect more lab shrines.)


Grace and Andy have a chapter that was just accepted as part the new book “Influenza: The Cutting Edge” edited by Yoshi Kawaoka and Gabrielle Neumann. Keep your eyes out for our chapter: Experimental Approaches to Identify Host Factors Important for Influenza Virus. When finished, the entire book should be open access and a great resource to the community. Nice work Grace.


You had me at “accepted in principle.” Our paper on EPS8 has gone from a pre-print at biorxiv to in press at Cell Reports. Congrats to Gloria, Vy, Christina and Steve from the lab, and our collaborators in the groups of Jens Kuhn and Sheli Rhadoshitzky.


Andy had a fun trip to Options X in Singapore where he got to present the lab’s work in the Viral Replication session. Really exciting science and great to connect with colleagues (e.g. Anice Lowen and Seema Lakdawala below).

Closing Banquet Options X

Another year, another Hodonger Merrison 4-lab pic, with the Hoskins lab, the Willdonger lab, the Harrison lab and ours. This is the 6th year running. Not yet sure if it is cute or cult-like that the lab showed up in their matching tie-dyes from Christina’s farewell party.

2019 Hodonger Merrison picnic


#ASV2019 here we come. Hope to see you at our talks and posters.

Traitors? Andy and lab alum Vy just co-authored a paper on bacterial pathogenesis. They helped Laurie Ristow in Rod Welch’s lab study cellular receptors for the hemolysin toxin produced by uropathogenic E. coli. This was a tour-de-force by Laurie, requiring a QUINTUPLE knockout made by CRISPR/Cas9 to show that the beta subunit of beta2 integrins is sufficient for hemolysin cytotoxicity. See this exciting story here.

Andy took a trip recently. Does this make it a work trip? #worklifebalance

Do you like hanging out with sweaty people in spandex? (duh, of course!) Some of the MehleLab will be doing The Chillest Century Ever, or parts of it, on July 6. How can you go wrong with coffee, hotdogs, donuts, beer and ice cream, all under the guise of doing something healthful? Give a shout if you want to connect.


Welcome Liz Feltman! Liz joins us as a research specialist after two years of experience working at UW Madison as an undergrad researcher and two more years working in industry. We’re excited to have her join Team Flu.

One of the fun things about reading and reviewing papers is being asked to synthesize data and write commentaries of particularly interesting studies. Steve and Andy were asked to write an eLife Insight on the recent ANP32 papers from the Barclay and Wang labs. Unlike most scientific writing we do, this was specifically geared to a lay audience so has a different tone than most of our work. You’re supposed to be able to read it under 8 minutes. Can you? Try it here.


Working hard at the GRC. Gloria gave a great poster (x2, for both sessions) and Tony rocked his talk. We might have also stolen some time to enjoy the great location.

GR-C you there? The Mehle lab is heading to the GRC Viruses and Cells meeting.Both Tony and Gloria were accepted to the meeting, and Andy will be there as well. Stop by Gloria’s poster to hear about her pre-print on EPS8 as entry factor for flu, listen to Tony’s talk that builds on our phosphorylation studies, or come chat with Andy about anti-viral proteins that have been corrupted to perform pro-viral functions.

We won! (not really). Another year, another Monona 5k/20k. We ran as a team and we were the fastest virus-themed group (we were also the only virus-themed group, but stop splitting hairs). It was a beautiful day and fun for all of us. Glad we were joined by those who don’t normally run and several honorary lab members.

Team Influsiast


Heading to Halifax for a visit hosted by Craig McCormick. Very excited to meet the great community there. Tried this last fall, and got as close as 200 ft from the ground, but couldn’t land due to fog. Ever have a flight track like this? After being diverted, we ultimately flew back to Newark (KEWR) and then on to Madison, having spent 19hr traveling to go nowhere.

loop-the-loop as we try multiple times to land in Halifax (CYHZ)


For the second year in a row, Kaitlin represents the MehleLab in Sun Prairie to observe Jimmy the Groundhog. Jimmy saw his shadow, meaning an early spring (and that the reviews of our papers this spring will all be favorable).

January 2019

Only in Wisconsin. A meat judging competition was held on campus, and the leftovers were given away. In grad student tradition, the lab pounced on the chance for free food, hence, the first ever Mehle Meat Swap. I mean, what could go wrong with cured meats of questionable provenance shared in a microbiology building?

Arby’s ain’t got nothin’ on us.


The tradition continues. For the 4th year running, the lab has created a surprise portrait for Andy to hang in the office. Do you have a favorite? Serious science face, or my paper just got accepted face?

Just for fun



Had a great visit to UVM hosted by Jason Botten and long-time flu colleague Emily Bruce. Very cool arenavirus and hantavirus work happening in the Botten lab. Had no idea that arenaviruses package ribosomes — why? Also learned that stuff is much large in Vermont.

The lab was well represented at Wisc-e-sota, a joint U Wisconsin and U Minnesota virology retreat. Gloria spoke, while most others presented posters. Tony was the big poster winner, receiving the traditional Wisc-e-sota award of whisk(e)y and soda. Well done all.


Do you like flu and PTMs? Of course you do! Check out Tony’s PLOS Pathogens Pearl on the topic. Nice work Tony.

Woohoo. Steve’s ANP32A splicing paper is out in Cell Reports. Clearly shows that birds are different in their capacity to support influenza virus polymerase function, and not all  avian ANP32A are equal. Pretty cool implications on viral evolution and host range both within birds and between birds and people. Congrats to Steve and Mitch. See the paper here, and how it evolved from the original bioRxiv version here.


Happy to welcome Grace Schaack (CMB/MSTP) to the lab as she starts the PhD part of her MD/PhD.

2-for-2. Mitch and Katie both passed their prelim exams. Well done! Welcome to status.

Image from iOS.jpg


Boom! Steve’s ANP32A paper has been accepted. Keep an eye out for it shortly, or read the preprint here. Congrats Steve.

Do you like RNA virus replication machinery? Do you like post-translational modifications? Let’s be honest, who doesn’t? Tony wrote a great primer on post-translational control during influenza virus infections. His PLoS Pathogens Pearl entitled “Flu’s Cues: exploiting host post-translational modifications to direct the influenza virus replication cycle” has been accepted and will be out soon.

Gloria, Mitch and Tony rocked their talks at #ASV2018. Great representation by the lab at this year’s meeting. As an added bonus, we had the first MehleLab reunion lunch, with James Kirui taking a break from his postdoc at the NIH to attend the meeting and join us for lunch.



Andy represented the lab at the Negative Strand Virus meeting where he presented Vy and Mitch’s story. Learning about science in Verona was tough, with the food, culture, wine and cappuccinos all getting in the way. This is one of our favorite meetings, and it did not disappoint.


We survived. Mehle Lab had another go at the Monona 5K/20K on May 5. New guy Cason led the lab (and took 9th overall). Great day of running for Mitch, Katie, Cason, Steve and Andy (left to right). Thanks Steve for organizing.



NS-F yeah! Congrats to Mitch for receiving an NSF-GRFP.


Stacy Horner visits UW Madison

Science paparazzi on the prowl – celebrity sighting when Stacy Horner has dinner with Tony Dawson and Sherer Lab members

March 6: Andy will be at UTSW for a seminar hosted by Julie Pfeiffer. Come out and say hello.


Our first preprint is up. Nice work Steve (with an assist by Mitch):


2/9 Snow day: 5 inches of snow overnight shut down school for Ryder, so he joined the lab and motivated a bit of sledding on campus. Here Ryder gives Steve a little help launching downhill towards the frozen lake. Steve ran the sled like a pro and stopped just before the path (and the drop into the trees and the lake).

2/2/18 Tenure! Both Melissa (@HarrisonFlyLab) and I got the call from our departmental chairs that we have been granted tenure. We’re very excited and thankful. My success as a PI has been the direct result of the hard work, creativity, productivity and friendship of all members of the lab (past and present). Tenure isn’t official until the Regents say so on July 1, but that didn’t stop us from celebrating in the best way we know how:

A nod to Arindam’s old data for providing the autorad backdrop.

January 2018


Cason King will be joining the Mehle Lab as a postdoc this May. He has done great work on viral mimicry in the Mymryk lab, with the last bits of his thesis just being accepted into J Virol. Congrats.
Andy got to go back to Berkeley to present in the “Confronting Persistent Epidemics” symposia hosted by the Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases. Great to be on the same stage as Stacey Schultz-Cherry and John Yewdell.

Kaitlin Davis officially starts in the lab. Welcome!

December 2017

Cookies brought into the lab. Frostie knows what he did (PS: it involves finishing a reagent, putting the tube back into the freezer, and waiting for someone to order it. Don’t be like Frostie.).


The Harrison Lab creates possibly the best pun-related Drosophila-themed holiday ornament ever.


October 2017

The Mehle Lab is well represented at the joint training grant meeting for virology at UW-Madison and University of Minnesota (aka Wisc-e-sota). The science was great, and the sunset wasn’t too bad either.

September 2017

Going to ESWI? Look for Steve, who is giving his ESWI young investigator prize talk. Ask him about his new host factors, his love of Malört, and say hi to the lab.

August 2017


Nothing to see here. Sadly, the clouds decided to join our eclipse viewing in Madison, but they didn’t stop us from seeing 85% coverage. Not so for Andy, who saw the whole thing in Jackson WY with crystal blue skies. Shadow bands right after totality made the entire ground appear to be wiggling and wavy. Yeah science! 

Steve hits a home run with appointment to the Microbes Health and Disease training grant. This is the second competitive fellowship to support Steve’s postdoc. Well done.

We’re excited that Kaitlin Davis will be joining the Mehle Lab! Kaitlin has done excellent work training in John Patton’s lab, and we look forward to having her use that expertise to study flu.

July 2017

Congrats to Arindam, Tony, Steve and our collaborators. Our paper has been accepted to eLife. Keep an eye out for the pre-print “Influenza virus recruits host protein kinase C to control assembly and activity of its replication machinery” coming soon. Tony celebrates with an eLife neck tattoo!

We are excited to welcome Christina Higgins to the lab as our new research specialist/lab
manager. Christina comes with excellent experience from Nate Sherer’s group, and we are very happy to have her join the group.

The commute to work today was a little different for Andy. He is in Hong Kong teaching in the HKU-Pasteur Virology Course. One of the cool perks of science — meeting great scientists in amazing locations.

June 2017

#ASV2017. The Mehle Lab will be out in force at ASV. Seek us out to talk flu, discuss the postdoc openings in the lab, or for local food/drink recommendations.

May 2017

BWF! Andy has been named a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease. This prestigious award provides 5 years of funding to assistant professors. Congrats to friends of the MehleLab who also received one of the twelve awards this year: Catherine Blish, Stacey Horner, and Adam Lauring.

Congrats to Jon who received a Bose fellows position to perform research in India this summer.

Our bioluminescent viruses continue to shine in a collaboration with the Subbarao group. Congrats to Rita and co-authors for our recently accepted mBio paper, and thanks for involving us in this exciting project. Coming soon to an mBio near you:

In vivo imaging of influenza virus infection in immunized mice
Rita Czakó, Leatrice Vogel, Elaine W Lamirande, Kevin W Bock, Ian N Moore, Ali H Ellebedy, Rafi Ahmed, Andrew Mehle, and Kanta Subbarao

April 2017

Multiple members learned that they received talks at this year’s ASV meeting in Madison. Woo-hoo Gloria, Steve and Tony.

Please welcome Ari Domek to the lab.

March 2017

The Mehle Lab will be presenting a talk at the Gordon Research Conference Virus and Cells. We hope to see you there.

January 2017

Welcome to the new year. We are excited to welcome two new PhD students to the lab — Katie Amato and Mitch Ledwith. New people of course means new lab pictures. Mitch didn’t have any, so he posed for some natural action shots. What kind of  lab would we be if we didn’t have a behind-the-scenes montage too. Vy (the cinematographer) and Tony (the show runner) coach Mitch to look science-y.


We also happy to announce that Vy Tran is now officially a postdoc in the lab.

November 2016

New postdoc positions are available in the lab. We’re recruiting up to two post-docs for NIH-funded projects. Download the advert here. Follow in the footsteps of Arindam (see news item below).


We said goodbye to postdoc Arindam Mondal. Arindam has started his own faculty position at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. We’re sad to lose his generous and fun personality and his scientific insight. But, we couldn’t be happier that he is now running his own lab. We’re expecting great things.

October 2016

Happy Halloween from the Mehle Lab, home of the 2013 and 2014 departmental costume contest champs (a joint Mehle and Knoll lab project)!

2016: Theme: Classics; Our costume: Pacman (the dots had “data” written on them for the PI to eat)


2015: Theme: Famous Books; Our costume: The Bible


2014: Theme: TV Shows; Our costume: The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross


2013: Theme: Cartoons; Our costume: Captain Planet

New postdoc positions are available in the lab. We’re recruiting up to two post-docs for NIH-funded projects. Download the advert here.

September 2016

James Kirui‘s final paper from his thesis has been accepted to Journal of Virology. Check out what we learned about how ubiquitination impacts influenza polymerase activity. Spoiler alert: every member of the viral replication machinery is ubiquitinated, but it not all about proteasomal degradation.

Congrats to Gloria Larson and Tony Dawson for being selected through a competitive application process to become trainees on the University of Wisconsin’s Virology Training Grant.

August 2016

Professor Mondal! Postdoc Arindam Mondal will become Professor Arindam Mondal. Arindam has accepted a job offer to become an assistant professor and run his own group at the India Institute of Technology Kharagpur in the School of Biosciences. While we will be sad to see him leave, we couldn’t be prouder of the work he has done and his accomplishment.

8/22- Introducing Dr. Vy Tran!


Vy gave a fantastic seminar and defense of her thesis work: Development and Use of Influenza Reporter Viruses to Define Human Host Factors for Influenza Virus Replication.

Vy, PhD has a nice ring to it. Congrats.

8/18: What do you get when you cross a neurobiologist with a splicing person and cross a flu virologist with someone studying transcription during development? The 3rd annual  Hodonger-Merrison 4-lab picnic with the Mehle lab, the Harrison lab, the Hoskins lab, and the Wildonger lab.

2016 lab picnic
2016 picnic mugs

This year the much anticipated party gift was a coffee mug. While I’m sure it is blazingly obvious, that is a neuron (wearing a cowboy hat, because) lassoing an influenza virion with a splicing lariat as it attempts to cross the maternal to zygotic transition…..of course.

July 2016


7/18: Just another Monday morning in the Mehle Lab

Congrats on passing your qualifying exam Gloria.


For those following at home, the score is now -80 freezer 2, outlet 0. This is getting ridiculous (and a little too close to freezer failure or fire for my taste).


The score is currently Mehle Lab -80 freezer 1, Outlet 0. Thankfully only the outlet melted, and not the freezer, and no fire. Close call!

Great news for Arindam, who has received a call-back for a final faculty interview back in India.

Congrats to our collaborators Erik Karlsson and Stacey Schultz-Cherry for their paper on flu vaccination and obesity accepted to mBio. Thanks for including us in the work.

June 2016

Farewell James! We wish James all the luck as he begins his postdoc in Eric Freed’s lab at the NIH.

Blacksburg will never be the same. Well, that’s highly unlikely. But, we can guess that Virginia Tech has never seen a “nerd prom” quite like the closing party for ASV 2016. Congrats to Arindam, Gloria, Tony and Steve for their excellent talks. Also, Andy represented the lab well with his State-of-the-Art talk. See you all in Madison for ASV 2017.

New postdoc positions are available in the lab. We’re recruiting up to two post-docs for NIH-funded projects. Download the advert here or look at the listing at the ASV jobs site. We will be at ASV, so if you’re there and want to talk, reach out to set up an informal meeting.

You’ve Got Mail: The NOA for our R01 arrived today! Now I need to get back to the bench….

Tony started the month off and made the lab proud with a very successful qualify exam. Congrats Tony! Now get back to the bench….

May 2016

Arindam hosted a lab BBQ to celebrate the return of good weather (finally) and the successful completion of the Lake Monona 20k (Steve and James) and the 5k (Andy pushing Ryder). Honorary lab member Kimberly donated a prize won at Brasserie V — 3L of Evil Twin Bozo Beer. Holy cow!

April 2016

Busy on May 7? Would you like to join the Mehle Lab for the Lake Monona 20K? Drop a line to join the group for a leisurely run around Lake Monona, including the free PBR available at the 9mi water stop.


Spring has sprung in Madison, along with new cartoons of the viral polymerase by Vy. Meet Paul Polymerase (right), and his transcriptionally active partner Paulina Polymerase (left). They are “anatomically” correct based on the newest structures from the great work by Fodor, Cusack, Crepin, et al. What, you didn’t know that the influenza polymerase had eyebrows?

We are wowed to have been selected for funding during the UW2020:WARF Discovery Initiative. Our project uses genomic approaches to identify host regulators of pathogen infections. It is another successful collaboration with the Friedrich Lab and Gitter Lab.

March 2016

3/25: Lab members were excited to learn that they will be giving talks at ASV 2016. Here we come Blacksburg!

3/16: James Kirui successfully defends his thesis to become Dr. James! Congratulations.


James is the first Mehle Lab graduate. He has an excellent postdoc lined up studying HIV assembly and maturation with Eric Freed at the NIH. The whole lab is incredibly happy and proud. The Mehle Lab’s first grad student James Kirui defends his thesis today at 10am in MSB 1510.

3/16: Vy Tran rocks her talk for the Microbiology Doctoral Training Program

R-Ohhhhhhhhhhhh-1. The Mehle Lab receives a fundable score for their R01 studying regulation of the influenza virus polymerase.

The Mehle Lab and their collaborators in the Friedrich Lab and Gitter Lab received a fundable score on their R21!

February 2016

Congratulations to Vy for her internship position!

Congratulations to James for his postdoc position!

Andy publishes a Preview for Cell Host & Microbe on Wendy Barclay’s find of a host range factor for the influenza virus polymerase.

January 2016

The Mehle Lab presents their work at Viruses 2016: At the Forefront of Virus-Host Interactions.

December 2015

Members of the Mehle lab sneak off to JC Penney’s for a “family portrait” and surprise Andy with his own framed copy as a holiday gift. Hilarity ensues. Note how all of the men grew facial hair, wore glasses, and parted their hair down the middle when possible:

Xmas photos

Photos from the Mehle Lab