URAP

Camille Chen

Infection studies of a potentially hypervirulent bacterial mutant

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen associated with serious lung, skin, and hospital-acquired infections, as well as a major cause of contact lens wear-related eye infections. This summer, I am focusing on the role of an uncharacterized gene in P. aeruginosa called PA4308 during infection. We hypothesize that PA4308 might play a role in regulating normal bacterial toxin secretion during traversal across host cells, and therefore that PA4308 mutants may be hypervirulent and possibly more capable of serious infection. By using corneal cell cultures and fluorescence microscopy, I hope to determine this and build on the Fleiszig Lab’s work in studying how this bacteria causes disease in its host.

Message to Sponsor

I greatly appreciate this opportunity to continue my learning in summer URAP. As many of the infection experiments planned for this project have not been feasible during the school year, I am grateful to be able to expand my understanding of research and work towards meaningful applications for patients. URAP has wonderfully grown my interest and love of microbiology throughout my time in college, and as I expect the same to continue, I am looking forward to my time in summer URAP.
  • Major: Microbial Biology
  • Mentor: Suzanne Fleiszig, Optometry