What the future holds

This summer, I have worked with Stephen in understanding more about the recently emerging bacterium, Streptococcus parauberis,  in the Chesapeake Bay. Because not much is known about the its virulence, I worked on identifying capsules present in fish and cow strains of S. parauberis. After many PCR reactions and utilizing various staining techniques, we were able to see differences in capsule types between hosts, reinforcing Stephen’s hypothesis of host-type playing the lead role in capsule expression differences. I tried using microscopy as a way of physically seeing differences in capsule sizes, however, was unsuccessful in this. After researching staining techniques, it seems as though the experiment will be more complex than previously thought. This may be due to enzymes not working properly or not creating a realistic-enough environment for the bacteria. Though I was unable to see differences, PCR reactions did lead the study in a new direction. The remainder of this project will be taking place at Norfolk State University under the direction of Dr. Ashley Haines, in hopes of understanding much more about this important emerging disease and with the possibilities of aiding vaccine designs.

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The end is here!

The end of summer is here and my research has finished! This summer has been an incredible learning experience for me. Not only have I learned a vast amount of molecular techniques, I have learned how to be more independent on my research.

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Coming to an end

Hello all! Here are just a few updates with where I am at in Dr. Forsyth’s lab! Coming into lab this summer, I originally expected to be working more with another student on an algae biofuel project. However, with Stephen’s master’s defense coming at the end of the summer, he needed as much help as he could get. I have been working with Stephen on this project for 2 years now and it has been an incredible opportunity to learn molecular techniques and have the chance to collaborate with different faculty members. It has been really interesting learning how to apply molecular techniques learned about in class to a bigger picture – a potential emerging disease within the Chesapeake Bay.

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Streptococcus parauberis

This summer, I have had the chance to continue working with Stephen Cole on his master’s project regarding Streptococcus parauberis in cattle and fish strains.

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Busy busy!

Hello again! I can’t believe summer is just over halfway over! This summer has turned out to be one of the most interesting and challenging summers I think I have ever experienced. Not only have I been focused on my research in Dr. Forsyth’s lab, but I have also been consumed with studying for my summer classes – especially organic chemistry!! Because my classes and research both have required a lot of attention, I have learned how to juggle two large commitments and manage time productively. I have really appreciated all the patience and help that Dr. Forsyth, my mentor – Stephen Cole, and other students have given to me. I know that I would be overwhelmed and less productive with research it I did not have the help from them.

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