|Genetics & Genomics Research Leadership
|Casey Hughes Lago
Molecular and Cellular Medicine
|David Threadgill, Ph.D.
Skills learned will include: 1) cell culture techniques (eg: Preparing and sterilizing media, proper passaging of cells, etc.) 2) microbiological techniques (eg: cultivation of bacteria, media prep, inoculation techniques, and techniques specific to anaerobic bacteria) 3) molecular biology techniques (eg: PCR, gel electrophoresis, nucleic acid extraction, etc.)
|Team members must be self-motivated, able to pay attention to detail and willing to do work independently once shown.
In addition to research activities, some lab chores will also be part of an undergraduate student’s duties which may include autoclaving trash, making various medias, assisting with anaerobic chamber maintenance, and general housekeeping of the lab.
Participants must commit to spending at least 4 hours a week. A weekly team meeting will also be held at a time that works for everyone. Previous experience is not required.
Please include a CV/Resume when inquiring.
|My project involves studying the comparative genomics of Campylobacter rectus with an emphasis on secretion systems and bacterial-host interactions. C. rectus is a gram-negative, anaerobic bacterium strongly associated with periodontitis. It also causes various extraoral infections and is linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes in humans and mice. Bacterial secretion systems are large protein complexes that span the bacterial membrane and export proteins, DNA, or other small molecules to neighboring prokaryotic or eukaryotic cells. These nanomachines play important roles in pathogenesis and polymicrobial communities. In many gram-negative bacteria, including several Campylobacter species, including C. jejuni, secretion systems play a role in pathogenesis. We hypothesize that secretion systems also play a role in the virulence of C. rectus.
This spring I will be exploring the T3SS in C. rectus by studying flagellar function and secretion and a protein known as Campylobacter Invasion Antigen B (CiaB). It has been shown that CiaB is secreted through a flagellar T3SS in C. jejuni and is required for invasion and adherence to host cells. I’m interested in determining if C. rectus CiaB and C. jejuni CiaB are functional homologs. Previously, using a ciaB C. rectus strain, our lab showed that CiaB was not required for adherence and only required for full invasion of some mammalian cells. Experimental approaches will be utilized to further explore the host response and measure protein expression of cytokines that were previously shown to be upregulated in RT-qPCR. I am also interested in determining the secretion status of CiaB. In C. jejuni, FlhB is a flagellar export apparatus required for Cia protein secretion. Using a flhB strain and an antibody to CiaB, we will experimentally determine if CiaB is secreted from the flagellar apparatus in C. rectus like it is in C. jejuni.