IM Ph.D. Student
Third year student in the Ph.D. program
Immunology and Microbiology
Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Withey
B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Southeast Missouri State University
7259 Scott Hall
My research interests include deciphering mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis, particularly those which disproportionately affect poverty-stricken regions of the world. Such bacterial pathogens are often found in communities with poor infrastructure, inadequate sanitation, and lack of government support.
Currently, my predoctoral research concentrates on using the zebrafish as a natural host model to study Vibrio cholerae infection with regard to gene transcription, translation, pathway regulation, and natural disease progression. My major projects seek to characterize the colonization phase of infection in the zebrafish intestine for both the V. cholerae O1 Classical and El Tor biotypes. Specifically, I am investigating the genetic mechanisms that allow the El Tor biotype to colonize the intestine for a longer time period than the Classical biotype. The results of this research are critical for understanding the enhanced pathogenesis of this microbe and the disease impacts it has on vulnerable populations around the world. I plan to present the early stages of this research in June at the American Society of Microbiology Microbe 2019 conference in San Francisco, California.