I am conducting my research with Dr. Arash Komeili, where we are interested in how bacteria form and maintain their organelles. The magnetic bacterium Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 is a model organism for studying this aspect of bacterial cell biology, and I am particularly interested in an actin protein called MamK that is required for organelle organization. Because little is known about this bacterial actin, findings will lead to a better understanding of MamK's behavior and provide insight on how this behavior is related to other bacterial actins.
I have always been interested in going to Cal because of its reputation as a top-notch university. The rotation aspect of the program has been beneficial as I was able to find a lab that is a great fit for my interests. In addition, I especially enjoy being a graduate student in PMB because of its smaller size and faculty to graduate student ratio. As the first generation college student, having this additional support from faculty and more senior graduate students has been crucial to my continued success.
B.A. University of California Santa Cruz, 2003
M.S. San Francisco State University, 2010
Bacterial actins have differing cellular functions, which is reflected in their great sequence diversity. MreB and ParM are thus far the most characterized, and current research is underway to characterize MamK, a bacterial actin that is distinct from these two families. Previous research determined that MamK affects organization of magnetosomes in the magnetotactic bacterium Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1. Deletion of mamK in AMB-1 results in significant disorganization of magnetosome chains. In addition, deletion of mamK in a related MTB results in ectopic and shorter magnetosome chains, and failure of evenly partitioning the chain between dividing daughter cells.
Though we know that MamK is involved in magnetosome alignment, the molecular mechanisms governing this function are not understood. Like other actin proteins, monomer exchange is often required for cellular function. By characterizing the genetic requirements for MamK filament turnover, this will lead to a better understanding of MamK’s behavior. By utilizing genetic analyses and microscopy, characterization on how these filaments form, maintain themselves and turnover will be performed.
Abreu NA, Nagalingam NA, Song Y, Roediger FC, Pletcher SD, Goldberg AN, Lynch SV. Sinus Microbiome Depletion and Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum enrichment mediates rhinosinusitis. Science Translational Medicine. 2012 Sept (epub ahead of print)
Roediger FC, Slusher NA (Abreu NA), Allgaier S, Cox MJ, Pletcher SD, Goldberg AN, Lynch SV. Nucleic acid extraction efficiency and bacterial recovery from maxillary sinus mucosal samples obtained by brushing or biopsy. American Journal Rhinology Allergy. 2010 Jul-Aug;24(4):263-5.
Singh G, Wu B, Baek MS, Camargo A, Nguyen A, Slusher NA (Abreu NA), Srinivasan R, Wiener-Kronish JP and Lynch SV. Pseudomonas aeruginosa Type III Cytotoxin Secretion is Dependent on Pseudomonas Quinolone Signal Concentration. Microbial Pathogensis. 2010 Oct;49(4):196-203.
Fujimura KE, Slusher NA (Abreu NA), Cabana MD, and Lynch, SV. Role of the gut microbiome in defining human health. Expert Review Anti Infective Therapy. 2010 Apr;8(4):435-54.
Thordarson G, Slusher N (Abreu NA), Leong H, Ochoa D, Rajkumar L, Guzman R, Nandi S, and Talamantes F. Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) obliterates the pregnancy-associated protection against mammary carinogenesis in rats. Evidence that IGF-I enhances cancer progression through estrogen receptor-alpha activation via the mitogen-avtivated protein kinase pathway. Breast Cancer Research. 2004;6(4):R423-36.
Honors & Awards
Mentored Research Award - UC Berkeley, 2012
Chancellor’s Fellowship - UC Berkeley, 2010
CIRM Fellowship - California Istitute for Regenerative Medicine, 2010
Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Fellowship - NIH, 2009
Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Fellowship- NIH, 2002