BS Human Biology, Michigan State University, May 2008.
Our laboratory is primarily focused on the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni, which is one of the leading causes of food-borne gastroenteritis. My research in particular involves a technique called Fluorescence in situ Hybridization, which requires tagging C. jejuni with a fluorescent probe, and viewing it in the gut of host mice using fluorescence microscopy. This gastrointestinal tissue is then scored in a manner intended to assess the degree of colonization in each mouse. Ultimately, the purpose of this research is to elucidate the location of C. jejuni during colonization in the gut, possibly providing insight to the mechanisms of survival and proliferation used by this bacterium.