Honors Program Staff
Natalie Carter holds a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in American Literature and Culture from George Washington University. Her research and pedagogical interests include trauma theory, gender and sexuality studies, and the dynamics of race, ethnicity, and violence in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century literary and cultural artifacts. Scholarship includes publications on Dorothy Allison, Julia Alvarez, and Ernest Hemingway, as well as works addressing violence against women and race-related trauma in American society. She teaches American Literature and Culture in addition to courses in the Honors and First-Year Seminar Programs, and is Affiliate Faculty in the Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (RGSS) program.
Carter is an elected member of the Faculty Senate; a Social Justice and Diversity (SJD) Faculty Mentor; member of the FYS Advisory Committee; and the advisor for several student organizations. She has been named Butler University’s Woman of Distinction (2019), and received the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching (2021).
Jason Lantzer serves as the Assistant Director of the Butler University Honors Program. An historian by training, his research and writing interests generally center on religion, politics, and law, with some work about Disney thrown in for good measure. He is the author of seven books, including Mainline Christianity: The Past and Future of America’s Majority Faith (NYU 2012) and Rebel Bulldog: The Story of One Family, Two States, and the Civil War (Indiana Historical Society Press, 2017), numerous book chapters and articles. He is a three-time graduate of Indiana University (BA, MA, PhD).
Dr. Anne M.Wilson graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in chemistry and obtained a PhD. from the University of Utah with Frederick West and Richard Ernst. After a post-doctoral research position with Marie Krafft at Florida State University, she took a position at Butler University in 1996. Her research with undergraduates is in the area of small molecule synthesis, organometallic synthesis, food and flavor chemistry, historical dyes, use of databases to categorize research in a microgravity environment, and women in science.
The Stobart lab aims to identify the fundamental structural and functional determinants that govern RNA virus environmental stability, infectivity, and replication. Studies in the lab focus on 3 different RNA virus systems: respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus (hMPV), and mouse hepatitis virus (MHV).
Dr. Stobart is a microbiologist specializing in virus structure, stability, and function. He received his B.S. degrees in biology and chemistry from Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH) in 2008 and his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) in 2013. His doctoral thesis was titled “Structural and Functional Analysis of Coronavirus Cysteine Protease nsp5” and was completed in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Denison. He continued his research in virology by completing a postdoctoral research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Martin Moore at Emory University (Atlanta, GA) where he played a central role in the development of a live-attenuated vaccine candidate for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a major human pathogen among infants and the elderly. Concurrent with his research training, he taught MCAT and DAT test-prep courses with The Princeton Review and was an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Life and Earth Science at Georgia State University – Perimeter College (Dunwoody, GA) before joining the Butler University Department of Biological Sciences in the Fall of 2016.
Pnuemoviruses – RSV and hMPV
RSV is a pneumovirus with a negative-strand RNA genome that is associated with upper and lower respiratory disease in young infants and the elderly. To date, RSV is a leading cause of viral mortality worldwide for children under age 1. Although RSV is a human pathogen, it rarely causes clinical disease in healthy adults due to pre-existing immunity. Despite over 50 years of research, there remains no commercially-available vaccines and considerable work is currently underway to develop one. We recently showed substantial differences in the stability of RSV strains to temperature and that the stability was dependent upon the virus attachment protein (F). Preliminary study of RSV identified mutations in the RSV fusion (F) protein that govern virus thermal stability and contribute to stabilizing the prefusion conformation, which is required for infectivity. Current research projects on RSV will focus on examining the environmental stability of reconstituted RSV clinical strains and site-directed mutagenesis to identify key regulatory regions governing RSV stability and replication.
HMPV is a pneumovirus that is very closely-related to RSV and is also associated with upper and lower respiratory disease in young infants and the elderly. Discovered in 1989, very little is known regarding its environmental stability and there remain no vaccines available for the prevention of hMPV disease. Current research projects on hMPV will focus on examining the environmental stability of a panel of hMPV clinical isolates. These studies may provide new insight into mechanisms to create stable live-attenuated vaccine candidates and novel approaches to limit hMPV spread in high risk environments.
MHV is a viral model for coronavirus biology. Coronaviruses are associated with upper and lower respiratory disease and are the 3rd leading cause of the common cold. Recent outbreaks of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 (causative agent of COVID-19), three emerging coronaviruses, highlight the pathogenic potential of coronavirus evolution. Our work focuses on understanding the relationship between structure and function of the coronavirus protease nsp5. This work aims to identify key molecular determinants that are critical for coronavirus replication and may be targeted for antiviral or inhibitor design.
Students interested in doing research in the Stobart lab are encouraged to contact Dr. Stobart directly.