My background is in the ecology of arthropod borne bacterial pathogens, specifically the tick vector Ixodes scapularis and the Lyme disease agent, Borrelia burgdorferi. My master’s thesis focused on the distribution and population dynamics of B. burgdorferi in the upper Midwest, and specifically investigated the role for non-traditional vertebrate reservoirs of Lyme disease. Since joining the Jobin lab, my focus has switched to the various roles of the gut microbiome in gastrointestinal disorders. I am interested in the applications of mini-gut (organoid) cultures as a model for various diseases of the gut. Currently I am involved in two projects: (1) the effects of Campylobacter jejuni and the cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) on colorectal cancer development, and (2) the roles of microbial metabolites on the development of necrotizing enterocolitis in pre-term infants. Applying in vitro organoid models to these research questions allows a high-throughput, nuanced method of investigating relationships between microbes and disease pathways.
2012 – B.S. Florida State University
2015 – M.S. University of North Dakota
- Graduate Student Symposia Travel Grant, Society for Vector Ecology, 2015
- 2nd Place Medical, Urban & Veterinary Entomology Student Competition for the President’s Prize, National Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, 2014
- Esther Wadsworth Wheeler Award for Graduate Research, University of North Dakota, 2013