Senior Laboratory Technician
B.S., Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN
M.S., University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
Prior to my time in Dr. Lin’s laboratory, I studied the transmission of mosquito-borne disease, malaria, particularly in the role that asymptomatic infections play in overall parasite transmissibility and focusing on how human movement patterns, age, and gender impact such disease transmission. After earning my Master’s degree, I came to the Wadsworth Center as a Wadsworth Center Fellow. During my year as a fellow, I rotated through various laboratories, including the Lin Laboratory where I tested Lyme borreliae positivity in the field collected Eastern Fence Lizards for Borrelia burgdorferi.
Since joining Dr. Lin’s Laboratory in the summer of 2021, I have started testing monoclonal antibodies and their role in preventing transmission of Lyme disease bacteria using our artificial tick feeding chamber model.
Since joining Dr. Lin’s Laboratory, I have been investigating the pathogenesis of Lyme disease and the immunomodulatory functions of Ixodes spp. ticks, the primary vector of Lyme bacteria and various other pathogens. By genetically manipulating both ticks and bacteria, I am aiming to define the determinants that impact fitness of ticks and bacteria throughout their enzootic cycle. I am also developing tick infection models with other tick-borne pathogens, Babesia microti and Ehrlichia muris, to identify the immunological pathways that lead to manifestations, which can be used to target candidates for transmission blocking vaccines.