Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a serious human pathogen that is the leading cause of virus-induced birth-defects and a common source of illness in those with compromised immune systems. Projects in this area may examine the role of virus proteins associated with the infectious virion in replication. A second area may focus on the role of a long non-coding RNA in virus replication and pathogenesis. A third area could look at the role of chromatin modifying enzymes in regulating viral gene expression. Students will make use of cell culture, molecular cloning techniques, quantitative PCR and various virological methods to carry out these studies.
The soil microbiome plays an important role in the health and function of ecosystems, both natural and agricultural. Projects in this area will focus on cataloging and characterizing the soil microbiota (bacterial and viral) of our local environs. Research projects will examine the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in the environment and explore the contribution of environmental disturbance in the appearance, movement and diversity of resistant bacterial species. Some projects may also explore the genetic and functional diversity of microbes and bacteriophages that infect those microbes in locally obtained samples. Students will make use of classical microbiology techniques including staining and microscopy, as well as molecular microbiology approaches such as PCR, DNA sequencing, database analysis and construction and biochemical analysis.
Cp is a common pathogen of goats and sheep, causing caseous lymphadenitis (CLA). These lesions are granulomatous swellings of lymph nodes and bear some resemblance to lesions in the lungs of humans infected with tuberculosis (TB). Given it’s evolutionary relationship to TB, Cp is a safe and simple model to study some aspects of mycobacterial replication and pathogenesis.
Senior Sem Form