Zabel Lab

The Zabel Laboratory, as part of the CSU Prion Research Center, employs molecular biological, immunological, and biochemical techniques to explore peripheral pathogenesis and vaccines for prion diseases. Studying basic mechanisms of prion infection and dissemination provides translational information leading to vaccine targets and early disease detection. Dr. Zabel’s research program focuses on the interaction of prions with cells and receptors of the immune system and lymphoid tissues in the early entry, trafficking, and pathogenesis phases of prion infections. He utilizes novel mouse models of chronic wasting disease that have led to numerous publications detailing translational knowledge about the role of the complement system in prion replication, disease progression, and transmission. 

research project

Mapping Chronic Wasting Disease Prion Strains Across the U.S.

The study will use a suite of in vivo and in vitro techniques to characterize chronic wasting disease PrP strains from multiple cervid species and noncontiguous epizootics in free-ranging cervids and map their distribution. The null hypothesis is that no substantial differences will be detected in prion strains from noncontiguous CWD epizootics in the United States and northern Europe. 

research project

COVID-19 Saliva Screening

In a matter of weeks, we developed, optimized, and deployed a high-throughput, saliva-based MultiPlex Paired-Pool ddPCR (MP4) test for SARS-CoV-2 to the students, staff, and faculty of Colorado State University beginning in October of 2020. Through the end of the spring semester (2021), we performed over 150,000 MP4 screening tests.

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A multiplexed, paired-pooled droplet digital PCR assay for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in saliva.
Wagner K, Fox P, Gordon E, Hahn W, Olsen K, Markham A, Buglewicz D, Selemenakis P, Lessard A, Goldstein D, Threatt A, Davis L, Miller-Dawson J, Stockett H, Rugh K, Turner H, Remias M, Williams M, Chavez J, Galindo G, Cialek C, Koch A, Fout A, Fosdick B, Broeckling B, Zabel MD. Sci Rep. 2023 Feb 22;13(1):3075. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-29858-5. PMID: 36813822

Adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells decrease prion-induced glial inflammation in vitro.
Hay AJD, Murphy TJ, Popichak KA, Zabel MD, Moreno JA. Sci Rep. 2022 Dec 29;12(1):22567. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-26628-7. PMID: 36581683

Tissue-specific biochemical differences between chronic wasting disease prions isolated from free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).
Wagner K, Pierce R, Gordon E, Hay A, Lessard A, Telling GC, Ballard JR, Moreno JA, Zabel MD. J Biol Chem. 2022 Apr;298(4):101834. doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2022.101834. Epub 2022 Mar 16. PMID: 35304100

siRNA Therapeutics for Protein Misfolding Diseases of the Central Nervous System.
Zabel MD, Mollnow L, Bender H.
Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2282:377-394. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1298-9_20. PMID: 33928585

Chronic Wasting Disease in Cervids: Implications for Prion Transmission to Humans and Other Animal Species.
Osterholm MT, Anderson CJ, Zabel MD, Scheftel JM, Moore KA, Appleby BS.
mBio. 2019 Jul 23;10(4):e01091-19. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01091-19. PMID: 31337719

more publications


Mark Zabel, Ph.D.

Lab Pricipal Investigator
Associate Dean for Research, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Bettina Broeckling

Technical/Support III

Kenzie Olsen

Technical/Support III

Analeis Cofield

Research Associate I

Nick Heyer

Graduate Research Assistant

Avery Lessard

Student Researcher

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