I first became involved in research during my undergraduate study at Boston College. I worked as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. David Newburg's lab where I studied how human milk oligosaccharides modulated the innate immune system. I enjoyed my experiences there so much I decided to pursue a master's degree in Microbial Systems Analysis at the University of Connecticut (UConn). At UConn, I continued to develop my molecular biology skills in Dr. Spencer Nyholm's lab studying the unique symbiotic relationship between the Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) and the bioluminescent bacteria (Vibrio fischeri). There I was also exposed to techniques in computational biology, which I became quickly interested in. During my study at UConn, I also had an internship with the Computational Sciences department at JAX-GM where I had the privilege to continue learning top-notch skills in computational biology and data analysis. Following this, I started working in Michael Stitzel's laboratory at JAX-GM where I have the opportunity to explore large genomic datasets and study how changes in genetics influences Type 2 diabetes development.
A major cause of enteric infection, Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria activate mucosal inflammation through lipopolysaccharide (LPS) binding to intestinal toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Breast feeding lowers risk of disease, and human milk modulates inflammation.
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