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UPGG Graduate Student (2010)
1543 Duke Hospital South
Box 102359 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710
Phone: (919) 684-5054
Fax: (919) 684-8902
I am originally from Montana and earned my degree in biochemistry at Montana State University. During my undergraduate education, I became fascinated with microbial pathogens and how they interact with their host. I chose to pursue this topic as a graduate student in the Alspaugh lab. I study the conserved fungal alkaline response pathway, or Rim101 pathway, in the basidiomycete pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. This pathogen requires this pathway to adapt to host pH and is required for proper formation of its protective polysaccharide capsule during infection. I am currently characterizing the upstream components of the Rim101 pathway to determine how this pathway becomes active and what particular host conditions activate the pathway. Additionally, I hope to define the cell surface changes that lead to increased immune recognition and failed capsule attachment when this pathway is disrupted.
Outside of lab, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, going out to eat, and going to Duke basketball games.