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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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

Lipopeptide Delivery of siRNA to the Central Nervous System.

Zabel MD, Mollnow L, Bender H.
Methods Mol Biol. 2019;1943:389-403. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9092-4_26.PMID: 30838631

Relative Impact of Complement Receptors CD21/35 (Cr2/1) on Scrapie Pathogenesis in Mice.

Kane SJ, Swanson E, Gordon EO, Rocha S, Bender HR, Donius LR, Aguzzi A, Hannan JP, Zabel MD.
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.

Kane SJ, Farley TK, Gordon EO, Estep J, Bender HR, Moreno JA, Bartz J, Telling GC, Pickering MC, Zabel MD.
J Immunol. 2017 Dec 1;199(11):3821-3827. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1701100. Epub 2017 Oct 25.PMID: 29070671

more publications


Mark Zabel, Ph.D.

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

Arielle Hay

Graduate Research Assistant

Savannah Rocha

Graduate Research Assistant

Nick Heyer

Graduate Research Assistant

Avery Lessard

Student Researcher

Riley Anderson

Student Researcher

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