I am working to understand the mechanisms by which B. burgdorferi recognizes its different hosts (tick, mammal) and how it responds to this recognition and adapts to each environment. We have found that in order to transition from a mouse host and enter into a feeding tick, B. burgdorferi senses the presence of catecholamines released during tick feeding to turn on expression of genes required for survival in the tick. We are currently working to identify the receptor responsible for this recognition and proteins that are co-regulated by this pathway.
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, United States, 2005
Bachelor of Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, United States, 1998