Alison Dewald

Assistant Professor at Salisbury University

PhD: Chemistry, University of Virginia (2012)
BS: Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University (2001)
M. Ed: Temple University, Educational Psychology (2006)
Alison conducted undergraduate research in the Guiltinan lab at the Penn State Biotechnology Institute, then taught chemistry and biology in Hershey, PA.

Alison’s research uses liposome (lipid vesicle) systems to investigate membrane proteins involved in bacterial pathogen – host interactions. Ultimately, her research aims to utilize the cellular hijacking mechanisms invented by pathogens (e.g. inducing phagocytosis, controlling cellular trafficking, and causing cell death) in the design of protein-decorated liposomes with novel characteristics desirable for drug delivery.

Li J, Liu Q, Xiao L, Haverstick DM, Dewald A, Columbus L, Kelly KA, Landers JP. A Label-free Method for Cell Counting in Crude Biological Samples via Paramagnetic Bead Aggregation. Analytical Chemistry. 85:11233 – 11239 (2013).

Dewald AH, Hodges JC, Columbus L. Physical Determinants of β-Barrel Membrane Protein Folding in Lipid Vesicles. Biophysical Journal 100:2131 – 2140 (2011).

Alison & Brett Graduate

On May 20th, 2012, Alison and Brett received their PhD degrees and were hooded by Linda.

Alison Dewald successfully defended her thesis

On Friday April 13th, 2012, Alison Dewald presented her thesis “Lipid reconstitution and functional characterization of outer membrane Opacity-associated (Opa) proteins of Neisseria”. Her private defense followed and her committee approved her PhD degree with minor revisions to her written document. The lab and Alison’s thesis committee celebrated with champagne afterwards.

Alison answers questions after her public presentation.

Time to celebrate!

The committee and lab toast to Alison's success.

The committee and lab toast to Alison's success.

The Dewald family.

Lab and family celebration for alison and Brett.

Alison and Jackie’s paper #15 of the “Top 25 Hottest Articles” in Biophysical Journal

According to Science Direct, from April to June 2011

Physical Determinants of Beta-Barrel Membrane Protein Folding in Lipid Vesicles
Biophysical Journal, Volume 100, Issue 9, May 2011, Pages 2131-2140
Dewald, Alison H.; Hodges, Jacqueline C.; Columbus, L.

is 15th in the “Top 25 Hottest Articles” of Biophysical Journal.

Columbus and Criss Colaboration an Inaugural Poster Finalists

As part of her inauguration celebration this April, President Sullivan recognized research and scholarship with a Pan-University Poster Competition which highlighted high-impact and innovative growth areas for U.Va. research. Our research poster on Opa-liposomes (a collaboration with the Criss laboratory) was chosen as one of the five finalists in the “Biosciences and Health” category, which had approximately 60 submissions. Louise and Alison presented the poster in the finals competition April 8th, 2011.

Columbus and Criss labs receive UVA nanoSTAR seed funds

UVA nanoSTAR Institute awarded $30,000 to the Columbus and Criss laboratories to facilitate a collaboration aimed at targeting liposomes cell specifically. The nanoSTAR seed projects fund is contributed to by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Medicine. The nanoSTAR Seed Fund program is designed to support promising new interdisciplinary research collaborations in the Institute’s three thrust areas: nanoelectronics, medicine, and energy and the environment.

Alison and Dan present at the Biophysical Society’s 54th Annual Meeting

SFAlison and Dan present at the Biophysical Society’s 54th Annual Meeting at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California, February 20-24, 2010. Dan presented a poster on the NMR structure determination of OpaI and Alison presented a talk on the molecular determinants of the spontaneous refolding of OpaI in lipid vesicles.

UVA Chemistry Colleague and Chair, David Cafiso, received a Fellow of the Biophysical Society award. danf_cafiso2.jpg

Village School Visits the Lab

The 8th grade class of Kim Taylor visited on November 13, 2008 for an introduction to a research laboratory. The visit included two chemistry demonstrations (elephant’s toothpaste and molecular clock) and a tour of the laboratory by two graduate students Alison Dewald and Celine Griot, interactive molecular graphics by undergraduate Thien Nguyen and Prof. Columbus, and liquid nitrogen ice cream by Iza Bielnicka and Prof. Columbus.

Alison presents poster at FASEB Summer Research Conference

Alison presented a poster entitled “Physical determinants of outer membrane Opacity-associated protein folding in lipid vesicles” this August at the Molecular Biophysics of Cellular Membranes FASEB Summer Research Conference.
Alison on a hike in the White Mountains of Vermont.

Alison and Linda on the same hike.

Alison and Jackie receive a UVA Double Hoo Fellowship

The University of Virginia has awarded eight “Double-’Hoo” research awards, which fund pairings of undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate on research projects. Each project is awarded up to $5,000 toward research expenses, as well as an additional $500 for the faculty mentor overseeing the project. Jackie, a second-year chemistry-biochemistry major, and Alison, a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry, will study proteins found in the outer membrane of bacterial pathogens to understand how these proteins infect and colonize human cells.
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Alison receives travel award

Alison received a Biophysical Society 2010 Student Travel Award and was chosen for a platform talk”The Spontaneous Refolding of Opacity-Associated Proteins into Lipid Membranes” at the 54th annual meeting in February

Alison shares second place in 3rd year poster competition

Alison’s poster entitled “Opa Proteins of Neisseria: Liposome Reconstitution and Interactions with a Human CEACAM Receptor” shared second place in the Departmental 3rd year poster award. She receives a monetary award and presented her research to the department on April 24th.