Graduate Biology Student Wins Top Award at National Conference

ATLANTA—A Georgia State University graduate student has been awarded the Carol Litchfield Memorial Award for best student presentation in environmental microbiology at the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Kyle Gabriel, an applied and environmental microbiology doctoral student in the Department of Biology at Georgia State, studies and develops novel microbial control methods for fungal pathogens that cause wildlife disease or contamination of food crops. His work focuses on methods for treating and preventing an emerging disease among bats known as White-Nose Syndrome.

“Kyle is the third Applied and Environmental Microbiology student at Georgia State working on mold control utilizing Georgia State intellectual property to win this award,” said George Pierce, director of the Applied and Environmental Microbiology program at Georgia State.

“This is a major achievement for Kyle, our department and the university,” said Sid Crow, Gabriel’s graduate adviser and research mentor.

Gabriel’s research program has received funding from the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company, managed by the non-profit group The Conservation Fund, for a multi-year project. Researchers are testing a method Gabriel has developed to treat the abandoned Black Diamond Tunnel in Clayton, Ga., with the goal to lessen the severity of White-Nose Syndrome at the site and increase the number of bats who survive it.

“I have been very fortunate at Georgia State to have access to top-notch faculty researchers, research facilities and equipment in order to accomplish my goals,” Gabriel said.

To read more about Gabriel’s presentation, visit