Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University School of Medicine
PhD, University of Connecticut
BS, Stonehill College
Research Interests:Host-microbe interaction, beneficial symbiosis, pathogenesis, circadian rhythms, innate immunity.
Biographical SketchMy first opportunity to conduct research was during my time as an undergraduate at Stonehill College in the laboratory of Roger Denome, Ph.D. My undergraduate research focused on attempting to isolate DNA and genotype microsatellites from coyote feces as a non-invasive means of tracking Cape Cod coyote populations. Stonehill College provided me with the opportunity to conduct research, which was paramount to my future success as a researcher and why I am such an advocate for undergraduate research.
As a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, I studied the beneficial symbiosis between the bacterium Aeromonas veronii and the medicinal leech in the laboratory of Joerg Graf, Ph.D. My doctoral research focused on the identification of A. veronii genes that are required to colonize the leech digestive tract.
Upon completion of my Ph.D., I was awarded an NIH fellowship in Immunobiology to investigate the existence of circadian oscillations in innate immune recognition mechanisms of microbial infection and their relevance for immunopathogenesis in the laboratory of Erol Fikrig, M.D. at the Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to studying the circadian regulation of the innate immune system, I also investigated the role of the innate immune system in controlling Treponema pallidum infection, the causative agent of syphilis.
The daily light-dark cycle has been one of the steadiest environmental factors influencing evolution. From bacteria to mammals, nearly all organisms have adapted their physiology and behavior to a daily rhythm. Circadian rhythms refer to physiologic processes that oscillate with a period of approximately 24 hours, providing a temporal frame that allows organisms to efficiently program their physiologic tasks and optimize survival. Circadian rhythms influence a multitude of physiologic tasks, from gene expression to behavior. My research investigates the circadian regulation of the immune system and how the immune response to infection results in the disruption of circadian rhythms.
A constantly updated list can be found at Google Scholar.