Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Tania Sodhi L&S Sciences

Expression of RickA and Sca2 in Rickettsia parkeri

The spotted fever group Rickettsiae (SFGR) are a collective group of Gram-negative obligate pathogens from Rickettesia spp. Most bacteria in the SFGR use two effectors to mediate actin-based motility (ABM). This is in contrast to other intracellular pathogens, which utilize only a single effector for ABM. The goal of my research project is to understand how Rickettsia parkeri, a member of the SFGR family, regulates the expression of two effectors that mediate ABM: RickA and Sca2. While both effectors are involved in mediating ABM, the regulation for both effectors and the dynamics of their expression have not been fully characterized. In this project, I will explore the role of transcription of the rickA and sca2 genes with respect to ABM on a single-cell level using live-cell microscopy. To look at the role of translation and secretion in regulating gene expression and activity, I will explore the localization of RickA and Sca2 throughout the course of infection using fixed-cell imaging. My project will provide a better understanding of genetic and protein regulation of cytosolic bacterial pathogens.

Message To Sponsor

Hello! Thank you for funding my research project this summer. The SURF fellowship this summer will allow me to pursue my honors thesis, while allowing me to contribute new knowledge to the field of microbiology. I appreciate having this opportunity as it will provide me an insight to what full-time research looks like and will help me make a career decision for my future.
Profile image of Tania Sodhi
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology - Cell & Developmental Biology
Mentor: Matthew Welch
Sponsor: Pergo Fund
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