Lyme disease, caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common vector-borne disease in US. Complement resistance, enabling bloodstream survival, is required for the spirochete to cause systemic disease. My project seeks to identify B. burgdorferi factors that promote serum resistance with the goal of providing new insight to the dissemination mechanism of B. burgdorferi. My work will also help to identify strategies for interventions that prevent the development of serious systemic infection.
In my work as a CTS MS student, I am interested in mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and the avenues to utilize these insights to develop antimicrobial strategies.