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.
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.
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.view project
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.
mBio. 2019 Jul 23;10(4):e01091-19. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01091-19.PMID: 31337719
Methods Mol Biol. 2019;1943:389-403. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9092-4_26.PMID: 30838631
mSphere. 2017 Nov 22;2(6):e00493-17. doi: 10.1128/mSphereDirect.00493-17. eCollection 2017 Nov-Dec.PMID: 29202042
Complement Regulatory Protein Factor H Is a Soluble Prion Receptor That Potentiates Peripheral Prion Pathogenesis.
J Immunol. 2017 Dec 1;199(11):3821-3827. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1701100. Epub 2017 Oct 25.PMID: 29070671
Lab Pricipal Investigator
Associate Dean for Research, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Research Associate II
Graduate Research Assistant
Graduate Research Assistant
news and updates
Top Colorado State University researchers mobilized their disciplines over the course of the past year to address challenges raised by the global coronavirus pandemic.
Infectious disease scientists across Colorado State University are focused on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wolves could be a crucial tool in fighting the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease among deer and other cervidae.
Office: Pathology room 227
Lab: Pathology room 218