Biofilms, groups of bacterial cells that attach to surfaces and grow while producing a slime, are present in the lungs of Cystic fibrosis (CF) patients resulting in chronic bacterial infections. Often in these infections bacterial mutants that themselves increase the rate of genomic mutations each cell division, called mutators, are present. These mutators are more likely to get beneficial mutations which increase the fitness of the bacterium, increasing the stability of the biofilm and the virulence of the infection. My focus right now is using an experimental evolution biofilm model to study population characteristics that can allow a mutator to rise in frequency in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.
Education & Training
- B.S. in Microbiology, University of Maine, ME, 2015