Prior DegreesBVSc, Madras Veterinary College, India, 2005.
Mentor(s)Dr. Martha Mulks
Bacterial pathogens use a variety of virulence factors to colonize and cause disease. I am interested in understanding the regulation of virulence gene expression, both at transcriptional and post-transcriptional level, in an effort to identify regulatory proteins which can be targeted for development of anti-virulence therapeutic agents against bacteria. Currently I am working on a post-transcriptional regulator, Hfq, in a porcine respiratory pathogen Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. I got involved in probing the function of Hfq because Hfq was up-regulated in response to branched-chain amino acid limitation, a host signal discovered by our research team. My studies led to the identification of novel roles for Hfq, including the regulation of poly-N-acetyl glucosamine biosynthetic operon expression. Studies in progress are aimed at detecting the small regulatory RNA partners involved in Hfq-mediated regulation of gene expression.