April 10, 2017
Kristin Burkholder, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biology, has given a presentation on her research to the Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) Science Department.
Burkholder’s talk, titled “Cellular mechanisms of infection and strategies for infection control,” highlighted research from the Burkholder lab which focuses on pathogenic strategies used by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, as well as potential mechanisms by which probiotic bacteria can reduce infectivity of enteric pathogens such as Salmonella.
The Burkholder lab studies host-pathogen interactions that occur during bacterial infection, focusing on how certain bacteria can enter and survive inside of host cells, even while the host actively tries to kill intruding microbes. Much of the lab’s current work concerns Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can cause serious, drug-resistant infections of the skin and deeper tissues such as the heart, bone and lungs. Recent discovery that MRSA can enter and persist within a variety of host cells has prompted Burkholder and her students to examine the strategies used by this bacterium to survive intracellularly.
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