Shannon Esher

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Headshot of Shannon EsherMGM Graduate Student (2012)
334 Sands; DUMC 102359
Durham, N.C. 27710
Phone: (919) 684-5054
Fax: (919) 684-8902


Research interests: Microbial pathogenesis

I am originally from Philadelphia, PA, however, my family relocated to Yorktown, VA just before I started high school. I graduated from Virginia Tech (GO HOKIES!) in the spring of 2012 with degrees in Biochemistry and Biological Sciences.

While at VT, I spent two and a half years working in the lab of Dr. Florian Schubot, examining the protein interactions of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The primary focus of my research, as well as my senior thesis, was the anti-activator protein ExsD and its role in the regulation of the P. aeruginosa type III secretion system. I also spent a summer at the College of William and Mary, working in the lab of Dr. Eric Engstrom where I assisted with an ongoing project investigating ethylene synthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana.

These experiences, as well as some of my undergraduate class work, led me to graduate school and my decision to study microbiology. I am particularly interested in clinically relevant microbial pathogenesis, and so I was attracted to Duke for it’s medical atmosphere and wide variety of research opportunities. I joined the lab of Dr. Andrew Alspaugh, which uses a genetic approach to study the human fungal pathogen, Cryptococcus neoformans. I am interested in processes C. neoformansundergoes in order to adapt and survive in the host environment.

Outside of the lab, I like taking advantage of all that Durham has to offer. In my free time, I love to read, especially somewhere cozy. I am an avid Hokie football fan, as well as a college football fan in general. I also enjoy crafting, traveling, hiking, playing tennis, and taking lots and lots of pictures.