Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Alexandra Weiss Rose Hills

Uncovering Ferrosome Function with Random Barcode Transposon Sequencing

Compartmentalization lies at the heart of understanding cell biology. The eukaryotic cell is composed of organelles, each of which carries out a unique function. As the newly discovered complexity of the prokaryotic cell is becoming further understood, bacterial organelles are becoming an essential detail to comprehending how bacteria function. The Komeili group recently discovered a novel membrane-bound organelle called the ferrosome. It is hypothesized that the ferrosome may play a part in iron storage or bacterial stress response. Yet, the question remains: what is the function of the ferrosome? My project seeks to answer this question by employing Random Barcode Transposon Sequencing, a powerful new method used to annotate gene function. I will determine which genes become conditionally essential in the absence of ferrosomes. Finding out the ferrosome’s function can reveal how bacteria produce, use, and store iron. It can also have broader implications in organelle biogenesis and bacterial stress response.

Message To Sponsor

I would like to sincerely thank the Rose Hills Foundation for making this incredible experience possible. Being able to spend the summer focused on this research project will give me the opportunity to contribute to a better understanding of the exciting new discovery of the ferrosome. This hands-on learning experience will further support my passion for microbiology. I am excited to begin this amazing educational experience and am very grateful for this opportunity.
Profile image of Alexandra Weiss
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Hector Trujillo
Sponsor: Rose Hill Foundation
Back to Listings
Back to Donor Reports